Basic Recipes Every College Student Should Know

Coming to college kind of shell-shocks you on the cooking forefront. Some students come to college like this:

Ratatouille

[“A dash of this… a pinch of that…”]

Others come here like this:

HomerCereal

[“Okay I might missed a step somewhere.”]

Well, no need to worry. After living by myself this past summer and having to cook for myself, I picked up some quick and easy recipes that every college student should learn before coming to college (from easiest to hardest for beginners).

Scrambled Eggs

Take any number of eggs (I stay around 3) and whisk them in a bowl with no more than 1/4 cup of milk. Put 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a heated pan. Then pour the egg mix in and routinely mix the eggs around until they have solidified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Cheese

For this recipe, you’ll need your favorite cheese, two slices of bread and some butter. Butter one side of each slice before placing the cheese in-between. In a heated pan, place the sandwich in. The goal is only need to flip it once so watch the bottom but don’t burn the bread either (unless you like it like that). Flip when necessary and once cooked to liking, remove from pan and wait about 5 minutes to enjoy.

Mac and Cheese (from scratch)

To prep the noodles: Most pastas cook in 8 to 12 minutes. Boil the macaroni noodles in 2 cups of water until tender. Stir occasionally so that the noodles don’t stick to the pot. Once done, strain them out.

To prep the cheese: Stir in 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and 2-1/2 cups milk all at once. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly. Then add the cheeses. Cook and stir until the cheeses melt. Stir in the cooked pasta.

Pancakes

NOTE: Don’t mix your dry ingredients with the wet ones to begin.

Whisk together 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (or 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil) and 1 large egg. Add dry ingredients (1 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt) to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not over mix; a few small lumps are fine). Heat your pan or griddle up and pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons for each pancake in the pan. Similar to our grilled cheese recipe, check it routinely so that you only need to flip it once. Aim for golden brown before serving. NOTE: If you would like to add toppings, add them to your separate dry mix.

Spaghetti

For every pound of pasta you add, you should have at least four quarts of water brought to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt for flavor and add your pasta. Stir it well so the noodles don’t stick together and until they are tender. Strain them out. Add your pasta sauce to the pot with a little olive oil (no more than a tablespoon) and heat, don’t boil. Add the noodles back to the pot and stir so each noodle gets a good coat of sauce. Season after with oregano and other needed spices to taste. I like to add hot sauce to my plate.

Perfect Rice

For every cup of rice, use 1-3/4 cups of water. Pour water  into a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Mix 1 teaspoon salt into the water for flavor. Add in the rice. Stir the rice ONLY once to separate the rice (More than that and the rice becomes sticky). Be sure the lid fits tightly on the pot. Turn down the heat to its lowest setting and let the rice simmer for about 18 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and let it steam for about 5 minutes. Gently fluff the rice before serving.

French Toast

NOTE: This recipe calls for 12 pieces. Measure 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of milk. Whisk in a pinch of salt, 3 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of white sugar until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot.

Hope you all find these recipes helpful. If you would like to know more, I’d be more than happy to teach you all some more advanced recipes to get you a little more educated on cooking. Trust me: somedays you really don’t want to go to dining centers and if you live in an apartment, cooking is the best option for you.

NOTE: I’m not an expert chef; I am an expert eater though so that counts for something, right?

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