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HCND Collegiette Cooking Guide

You bought that awesome mini fridge. Now what do you put in it?

I learned the “do’s and don’ts” of college “cooking” in a painfully long and awkward trial-and-error-type way. My sacrifice for your well-being, fellow Domers!

I have compiled a list of what you should, and definitely should not, do when it comes to college “cooking.” Side note: this post is not for chefs (“chef” equating to someone who can cook a righteous meal that takes more than 15 minutes… and tastes good. You see, I do not have the cooking gene. Some may be surprised since my brother Aaron is basically Geoffrey Zakarian, but he and the rest of my family can attest to the fact that me in the kitchen for more than 15 minutes typically results in disaster.)

1.    DO Buy food that you will eat!

“Ooooo, I’ll buy that spinach even though I hate it because I’ll be more likely to eat healthy.”

NO. That spinach will wilt and mold and you will be out 5 bucks (which is a lot in college terms).

2.    DON’T buy more than you can eat!

As mentioned above, food goes bad. Shocker, right? Do not buy a gallon of milk unless you have five roommates who drink milk too.

3.    There is nothing wrong with frozen food! So DO!

What is better than being able to freeze a meal or snack until you are ready to eat it? In addition, it will take you less than 10 minutes! Less time spent cooking = more time studying. Wink wink.

4.    DO learn how to cook eggs!–Or a protein substitute for vegans

Please, please realize the greatness of eggs. I love boiled eggs, fried eggs, deviled eggs, eggs in cake. I did not know how to cook eggs before I came to ND… more accurately, I did not know how to cook anything before I came to ND, despite the fact of having a superchef brother. I tried to learn how to hard-boil them in December, but that ended in three separate trips to LaFun to get more and more eggs. Mind you, December at ND is Antarctica. Come to campus with the knowledge of how to cook eggs the way you like ‘em.

5. DO have coffee. 

I had a decent love for coffee that turned into a full-on addiction during my freshman year. As Domers, we have to stay on top of our 5-6 class loads whilst putting an equal amount of effort into our clubs, dorms, faith, and all other extracurricular activities we have going on. I personally do not know an individual who does it all without caffeine. Though it may be simple and painless to stop by Starbucks and buy another $4.00 coffee, it definitely is not cheap. Drink prices add up rapidly. Buy a Keurig or a coffee pot (my choice) and make your own!

6.    DO NOT buy baking staples in bulk.

Back at home, you may buy the whole pack of butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla. However, unless you bake all the time, most of that will go to waste. Save your money and food and go to The Huddle to buy all of that stuff in individual packs.

7.    DO keep snack items handy!

Granola and cereal bars are great go-tos. You can bring them to class or eat them as breakfast, and as a plus, you can even find healthy ones!

8. DO always have fresh veggies and fruits!

One of the things everyone has a problem with at the dining halls is the lack of fresh fruit. Take advantage of the local Whole Foods and buy some fresh veggies and fruits every once in a while however, take note of list items 1 and 2.

It’s raining fruit!

These eight suggestions are just that: suggestions. They are not strict rules in which every single person needs to abide by. Take these as ideas of what “cooking” is like in the Notre Dame atmosphere and form your own opinions of what to do when it comes to eating outside the dining halls. The dining halls serve as our 2-3 meals per day (depending on what meal plan you have), but they lack in every other area. The goal is to save money but have enough coffee and snacks to make it through class. If you take anything from this post Lady Domers, just take the coffee advice. Please.

Peace. Love. Coffee.


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Hello there! I am a Computer Science major from the golden Redding, California. I enjoy making people smile, dazing about the ocean, smelling like sunshine, and programming until my fingers cramp. California sand is my friend and I would much rather be laughing at the beach than almost anything else. I am a firm believer in great things taking copious amounts of time. Jason Mraz said it best with "the absence of the light is a necessary part." Though I see the incredibility of technology, the simple things in life are what really matter. The concept of 'family' is an extraordinary attribute of modern civilization. Check out my articles if you ever so desire!
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