Saturday, August 22, 2015

College Cooking Tips

So you're all moved in at school, you don't have a meal plan, and you also aren't 100% sure how to cook. Let's chat for a sec about how to avoid a) burning your kitchen down, b) making food that doesn't taste good, and c) living on Lean Cuisine and Chikfila for a year.

  1. Plan your meals in advance.
    I'm not saying you need to schedule them down to the minute or anything, but at least have some idea of which days you want to eat out and which days you want to cook. If you leave it all up to chance, it's easy to get to December without ever cooking a meal.
  2. Pick simple recipes at first.
    It's tempting, but don't make the first meal you cook by yourself fancy. Start out with something simpler, like spaghetti or burgers. Making familiar food is comforting, and also harder to mess up. As you learn your way around in the kitchen, you can make crazier stuff.
  3. Find a friend to cook with.
    If you find someone who loves cooking AND knows what they're doing, you're golden. They'll teach you. If you find someone who also doesn't know what they're doing, that's okay too. You'll have an extra pair of hands, and a new friend. You can learn together.
  4. Make a grocery list and STICK TO IT.
    This goes back to the meal planning thing. You should pick a recipe, and then figure out what you'll need to buy for it. Then make a list and buy those things....instead of five bags of chips that will go stale before you can get to them.
  5. Get everything ready before you even turn on the stove.
    In my residence hall, the kitchen is on a different floor from my room. When I cook, I carry everything up before I start. You don't want to realize halfway through a recipe that you left the spatula in your room. It's inconvenient and unsafe.
  6. Scale down recipes or make food for one.
    Your room isn't that big, so your mini fridge probably isn't either. You don't want to use that precious space for leftovers that you probably won't even eat. Either scale down your recipes or make ones that only have a serving or two.
  7. Don't let it intimidate you.
    You've got this. I believe in you.

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