Maple spread

4 ounces whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Combine the cream cheese and syrup in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly until smooth and well-combined.

Dorm Eggs Florentine

Crusty bread, steamed spinach, poached eggs and a kick of creamy hot sauce: This is an assembly line kind of a dish, but it doesn't taste factory-made. Each element is prepeared separately, then brought together on the plate. Multi-step cooking like this is the basis of restaurant cooking — but you knew that from watching Iron Chef, right? If you've never used sriracha (also known as rooster sauce) before, you're in for a treat.

Makes one; repeat steps as needed for each person.

Equipment: iron; microwave-safe bowl, coffee mug and plate; mixing bowl, whisk, mesh strainer, measuring cups, measuring spoons

6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
juice of half a lemon (about a tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 slice crusty bread of your choice, like ciabatta or sourdough (not Wonder bread)
handful of baby spinach (prewashed and bagged is most convenient)
1 egg
black pepper to taste

First make the sriracha mayonnaise: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, hot sauce, lemon juice and soy sauce. Beat until it's thick and creamy.

Now toast the bread: If it's a steam iron, empty out the water. Set the iron to "linen" or the highest setting and turn off the steam option if there is one. Put the bread on a plate and iron it for about a minute or two; keep moving the iron or the heat will shut off automatically. Once you have some crispy texture to the bread, set it aside.

Next, steam the spinach: Put 1/2 teaspoon of water in the bottom of a bowl, toss in a handful of baby spinach, cover with a plate and microwave for 30 seconds. Take it out of the oven and set it aside.

Last, poach the egg: Put 1/2 cup of water in a mug or small bowl. Crack an egg **gently** into the water; it should be submerged in the water. Cover with a plate and microwave for a minute. **Gently** pour into the strainer.

Now you're ready to assemble. Spread some sriracha mayo on the toast, top with the spinach, put another dab of mayo and then top that with the egg. Salt and pepper the egg to taste.

(sriracha mayonnaise recipe adapted from whiteonricecouple.com)

HEALTHY OPTIONS

Whether you're trying to control your weight or just add some vitamins and fiber to balance out all the pizza, eating vegetables doesn't have to be a drag.

Spaghetti squash with lemon-tahini sauce

Spaghetti squash is the holy grail for carb-avoiders: pale yellow, oval-shaped and thin-skinned, it can save you from pasta overload. After you cook it, the flesh separates into strands that can be topped with anything you like — tomato sauce, butter and garlic, olive oil and Parmesan, or almost anything you'd put on pasta. This Middle Eastern sauce is a bit different than the usual Italian-inspired treatment.

Serves two (or one very hungry person)

Equipment: 9-inch glass dish, chef's knife, cutting board, fork

Small spaghetti squash (2 pounds or less)
2 tablespoons lemon-tahini sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
some fresh basil leaves, washed and torn or shredded

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