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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Jefferson chapter.

      As a design student most days are longer than other students. I start my day waking up around 7:30am in the morning, go to school and don’t come home till 7:30pm; which can be a long day. I am constantly designing all day, either on my computer or sewing and constructing garments. And when it’s time to go home, I cook for myself. Most people would not combine a college student and cooking together. A typical college meal is fast food, something from the university kitchen (which never is good), or the go-to ramen. When I tell others I cook, I get responses for example, “It’s too much work” or “I don’t know how to cook.” My love of cooking comes from my family and growing up around it.

  Everyone in my family cooks, even my younger brother. This particularly stems from my Italian and Polish grandparents, on my mom’s side; they also make the best food. My Nonna and Poppy used to cook all the time and then it was eventually passed down. It started with my Mom, who then taught my Dad and as a family, my brother and I learned. 

   Growing up, my Mom had severe food allergies to almost everything we eat. Therefore, we were an ingredient house. Snacks at my house were chocolate chips or chips with cheese (that’s what my family called them instead of nachos). I would never have it any other way. Home-cooked meals are the best, hands down. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you haven’t had “Mom’s Home Cookin,” as my freshman year roommate would call it, when my mom brought up her food. Getting back on track to my point, cooking has been a big part of my life, so cooking for myself and others gives me a sense of home while away at college.

My Favorite Dishes to Make

Chicken Parm and Gravy – You know it’s Sunday at my house by the smell of fresh gravy (Tomato Meat Sauce). It also can be saved for other meals within the week, for pizzas, or to make a vodka blush sauce.

Zucchini Fries – It’s great to have as a healthy snack or to add to any meal. I put some parmesan or “shaker cheese” and have them with ranch or ketchup. I’ll make a big batch and then freeze them to have later on in the weeks ahead when I want them. 

Pork Chops w/ Roasted Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes – The perfect all-year-round staple if you don’t want chicken or beef. I use a skillet to saute the vegetables first and add the pork. Sear on both sides and then put in the oven to finish cooking. The secret to keeping pork from drying up is to add some apple juice to the pan before you put it in the oven. 

Soups – I will make all kinds of soup any time of year. (Which I know is a little crazy during the summer months). I make a vast variety of soups; french onion, pasta fagioli, butternut squash, chicken tortellini the list could go on. It’s a great way to make a meal only using one pot or cleaning out your fridge of mixed and matched vegetables.

      Cooking is my sense of comfort that I enjoy doing and it reminds me of my family. The best part is the satisfaction of doing it for myself and loving what I make. Challenge yourself to try cooking or cook more and have fun with it. 

I'm currently a senior at Thomas Jefferson University in East Falls Pennsylvania majoring in Fashion Design with a Textile Minor. I have a love for fashion and currently have designs and prints coming out in Spring/Summer'24 with a small golf apparel brand Belyn Key. I have been a bridal consultant for six years and counting. I am a sister of Theta Phi Alph and have been the chair holder of philanthropy, fundraising and special events. Some of my hobbies include cooking, traveling and crafting. I love baseball as I've been to 24 out of 30 stadiums; my home team being the Phillies. My articles are about my love for fashion and travel tips and tricks!