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College Cooking 101


If you've just left the comforting confines of your parents' house for college life, or life beyond college, you may be wondering what on earth you are going to eat. Don't panic, I've put together a bunch of tips that will ease you into the wonderful world of dorm style cooking. As most dormitories ban ovens of any sort, the George Foreman Grill and the microwave will be your most coveted companions followed closely by the mini fridge. Depending on the dorm's regulations you may also acquire a blender, rice cooker, or hot plate. To see my helpful hints on creating edible meals with these gadgets, read more

  • Get creative! When opened fully, many of the George Foreman grills can work as a griddle for frying eggs and other tasty proteins.
  • Learn how to correctly use the microwave and stick to it. Use microwave-safe dishes and don't overcook ingredients. Hot dogs and eggs can turn into a messy mistake if left in the microwave for too long.

  • When dealing with pre-made meals, follow the microwave directions found on the box.
  • Don't overcrowd your dorm room with pointless gadgets and little used ingredients. Keep things simple with salt and pepper shakers, bottle opener, can opener, knives, utensils and a set of plates, bowls, and glasses.
  • Don't like food from a can? Check out your local supermarket aisles. Safeway makes an excellent selection of Signature soups that stay up to three weeks in the fridge.
  • Be respectful of your roommates. NEVER make anything with an extreme smell like fish or broccoli.

  • Maintain a high level of cleanliness. Wash utensils and serveware after using and take out the garbage often. You don't want to attract bugs, rodents, or animals.
  • Know where the fire extinguisher is located in case of an emergency.
  • Keep dishes simple, the fewer ingredients you use, the easier they will be to put together. Check out Chow's collection of dorm room recipes for more ideas and inspirations.

Did you cook in your college dorm room? Share your secrets, successes, and blunders with us below!

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