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3 Dorm Room Dinners to Master Before College

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If you're heading to college or moving out on your own for the first time, there are a few survival skills you'll have to master soon enough: killing a spider (or ushering it outside), changing the empty toilet paper roll (proper placement of overhang required), and most importantly, feeding yourself!

Most college dining halls are fine for the basics, but you'll soon get bored with the repetitive choices and sometimes find your schedule doesn't line up with your dining plan. What's a girl to do? Get creative. Learn a few basics now, and you'll be set for life.


Add these items to your dorm room wish list:
  • hot plate
  • saucepan
  • small non-stick frying pan
  • spatula
  • knife
  • cutting board

Now use the summer, your parents' wonderful full kitchen and these three recipes to get, um, cracking!

1. Boil Eggs

eggs gif
Eggs are FULL of protein and inexpensive. Hard boiled eggs are a quick snack and super satisfying.

How to Make'em:
  • Start with your eggs in the bottom of the pot.
  • Add water to cover the eggs plus 1-inch of space.
  • Place the pot on the burner and lid on the pot. Set the burner to high.
  • WATCH THE POT! "A watched pot never boils" is a lie. If you leave your pot and it boils over and sets something on fire, your roommate will be mad.

Bonus point: Add a pinch of baking soda to the water. It will help in the peeling process.

Once the water reaches a boil, turn off your burner, but DO NOT move it. Siri, set a timer for 10 minutes.

When 10 minutes is up, run the eggs under cold water and crack/peel when cool enough to touch. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, taco seasoning or chili powder when ready to serve. Boiled eggs will last about five days in the fridge.

2. Reheat Pizza — The Right Way

pizza gif
Pizza and college go together like peanut butter and jelly. But microwaves leave pizza soggy!

How to Reheat:
  • Stick your slice in your tiny frying pan and put it on the burner set to low.
  • Put a lid on the top if you have one — if not, use tin foil.
  • The "top" will trap the heat and re-melt the cheese and warm the toppings while the crust gets re-crisped by the bottom of the pan.
  • Check for done-ness using your sense of smell.

3. Make a REAL Grilled Cheese

jane the virgin gifNothing is more comforting than an ooey-gooey grilled cheese during a late night study session. But you're in the big leagues now! Just say no to white bread and American cheese.

Gather Your Goods:
  • Bread: Try sourdough for some bite or a nutty wheat if you're on a health kick.
  • Cheese: Gruyere is the ultimate melter, cheddar packs a lot of deep flavor, and pepper jack will make your tastebuds dance!
  • Glue: Butter will suffice for the outsides, but what about adding pesto, fig jam or Sriracha inside?
  • Extras: Feeling fancy? You can turn your grilled cheese into a balanced meal by adding avocado, tomato or even bacon (I said balanced, not healthy!).

How to Make a Grilled Cheese Worthy of Jane the Virgin:
  • Lightly spray your pan with cooking oil and place it on your burner, set to medium to heat up.
  • Assemble your sandwich: Glue on the insides of the bread, followed by cheese and extras.
  • Lightly butter the outsides of the bread then place the assembled sammy in the pan.
  • Let cook until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes. Then cut in quarters and enjoy!

Once you master these basics, there will be no need to blow your spending money on gross ramen noodles or run to the dining hall only to find boring choices. As an added bonus, nice smells wafting down the dorm halls might just bring new friends your way.

And PLEASE REMEMBER TO TURN OFF YOUR HOT PLATE. You do not want to be known as the freshman responsible for a 3 a.m. fire alarm.
(Cambio Col[lab] is a lab for young creators to showcase their passion and develop their voice. Like what you're seeing? Share it to support their effort!)


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