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College cooking help!
Old 08-10-2019, 11:06 AM
  #1

DD18 will be a sophomore in college, living in a townhouse on campus this year. She won't have a meal plan, and she has a full kitchen. The dining halls at her college are terrible, and she really wants to make her own meals. And while I support this......she has made no effort to learn to cook this summer, and goes back to school in 2 weeks.

She can make scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, and pasta. And honestly, that's IT. And while I know that she can actually survive on those things lol, I'd like her to learn to make a few more things.

What are your best college recipes?

What about specific cookbooks your kids have found helpful?

ANY tips would be helpful! THANKS!


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Old 08-10-2019, 11:10 AM
  #2

What about a crockpot? There are plenty of dump-it-in recipes.

I also really like the sheet-pan dinners that are popular now. Dump the meat and veggies on a cookie sheet and stick in the oven.

If she's new to cooking, maybe a meat thermometer would help? I know that always gives me peace of mind when cooking meat.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:23 AM
  #3

A small Crock-Pot is a great idea :-) I would probably Google recipes for college kids or something like that and I'm sure you'll find plenty of simple things.

She will learn to expand once she gets bored eating the same 4 things haha.
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Wait till she asks
Old 08-10-2019, 11:27 AM
  #4

It appears that your daughter doesn't have any real interest in learning to cook, or she wouldn't have gotten to the place she is with the skill set she has. I'm guessing you've always done the cooking?

Within a few weeks, she'll get tired of scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches and the like, and she'll call you for suggestions, or better yet, instructions. How do I cook rice? How do I cook a baked potato, etc.

When she does, she'll be listening and interested and ready to learn. Until then, a few weeks of basic foods won't hurt.

And send her to some websites!

https://www.budgetbytes.com/top-10-r...lege-students/

https://www.fromvalerieskitchen.com/...lege-students/
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:46 AM
  #5

I think when she gets bored with those, she will figure it out. There are so many websites, videos, tv shows now, she will be able to find out how to make whatever she wants to try. Maybe teach her how to bake a chicken breast, grill a hamburger, and make a basic soup/stew. It really will depend on her likes and dislikes. I wouldn't worry too much. Necessity is the mother of invention!


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Old 08-10-2019, 11:59 AM
  #6

I agree that she'll figure it out, and I think she's much more likely to use a website (if she's anything like the kids in my family) for a recipe if desired rather than a cookbook.

She'll probably end up doing some premade, heat up meals, too. That's what many non-cooks live one

I do remember making a lot of phone calls to my mom about cooking, even into adulthood. In fact, I was talking to her about how to cook a pork loin when I went into labor with #3
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Fun
Old 08-10-2019, 12:05 PM
  #7

My daughter knew how to cook. She also would watch utube videos...she became sort of the house mother and organized who would cook. I think she had 8 roommates.

I think sending her cooking tools would be your best bet

Waffle iron
A few quality sharp knives
Cutting boards. Thin colored plastic ones are good
Tea towels
Cast iron skillet
Spatula
Vegetable peeler

Anyway, my Mother would not force
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:24 PM
  #8

google college cookbook 5 ingredients. That's what I got my dd when she also had a full kitchen.
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Believe it or not but...
Old 08-10-2019, 01:41 PM
  #9

There is at least 1 cookbook devoted to Ramen Noodles, appetizers to dessert! That could be a good place to start.

Instead of a crockpot consider an Instapot. She can use it as a crockpot and a pressure cooker as well as other functions. There is now a lid from Mealthy that allows you to use an Instapot as a hot air fryer. (I did get one, just haven't tried it yet.) But if space is limited that might be a good option. It is also more economical, about $100 or less for the Instapot and $50 for the Mealthy lid. Of course there are tons of websites and YouTube videos to help with all three of those methods of cooking. She might discover what's she's been missing!
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:08 PM
  #10

My mother was extremely concerned that I had no interest in learning to cook. She tried to teach me a few recipes and got annoyed with how little I cared about the whole endeavor .

I know baking can be more complex, but IMO it's not hard to just follow a cooking recipe as long as you pay attention. I mean, you literally just do whatever the recipe says. My aunt was a "bad cook" and really the problem was that she just had no attention to detail and didn't follow the recipe. She'd skip steps, put something in the oven/on the stove, and then go read a book instead of setting a timer and/or watching it. It wasn't lack of cooking skill- it was lack of willingness to pay attention to details.

There are tons and tons of recipes online so cookbooks aren't needed. And if I ran into a term I didn't know, or the recipe assumed you knew how to do something basic and didn't list out all of the steps, I'd just google that term or step. You can always find a video too if you really need a visual. When I was more into cooking I really liked a website called EmilyBites. She has recipes that are lower calorie/healthier but typically things you still actually want to eat, and they're super easy to follow.

I've gone through phases where I've cooked a lot and IMO it's not all that practical for a single person. IDK if she'll be eating with roommates or just cooking for herself. I don't like to make things like casseroles, because then I have to eat the same thing over and over again so the leftovers don't go bad. Shopping for varied ingredients also really adds up, and it's kind of depressing to spend an hour+ cooking (not to mention clean up time) only to be finished eating in 10 minutes.

In recent years I've been a lot more successful with eating low prep items. I get 90% of my food from Trader Joe's and the vast majority of it is heat and eat but doesn't taste like "frozen aisle food." I so appreciate how it helps my budget, gives me more free time, and doesn't require a ton of clean up!


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Old 08-10-2019, 02:49 PM
  #11

I had a cookbook called "3-ingredient cookbook" and my mom made me a little notebook of her common recipes.

Other than that, you just figure it out as you go along, I think. Either you are like me and don't really care if you eat boring food and so never bother to really learn to cook OR you are like my brother who learned to cook because he likes food.

Maybe a list of go to recipe sites? Smitten Kitchen recipes always work but they're not really basic for a non cook, more like "feeling ambitious."
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I see someone beat me to it...
Old 08-10-2019, 03:48 PM
  #12

Ramen Noodles. Food for all occasions while a student.

There are a lot of meals people can cook without really following a recipe.
I am amazed at the selection of ready made food available fresh in our grocery stores. The food can be purchased either hot or cold and then be reheated at home. The food is not expensive and looks delicious. If I didn't like to cook I know I would be buying that food for myself.

BTW-I LOVE cookbooks and have several shelves of them. I just like to have them. Almost all the recipes I use I find online.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:44 AM
  #13

Younger ds is the same. He basically makes easy things and when he doesn’t feel like cooking he makes a salad with chicken or tuna, hot pockets, or Mac and cheese. They do figure it out. I received phone calls by October asking how to make something.
An easy recipe is brown ground turkey, add a jar of salsa, let it heat through and put on a roll. I do send him with frozen items I made when he goes back.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:58 AM
  #14

I don't know what either of my girls ate in college. I do know that they survived the experience and are pretty good cooks! They didn't start out that way.

There are so many resources on line to show people how to make everything (I get annoyed because of all the videos! I don't need anything but the recipe!) that she will figure it out.

The hardest part is cooking for one. Even buying for one is difficult.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:16 AM
  #15

Quote:
The hardest part is cooking for one. Even buying for one is difficult.
Boy, do I know that! I learned it this past year when DD went to college. Many nights, I had cereal for dinner. Just not worth making anything else Like someone else said, if I make a casserole, then I have to eat it for the next 3 days lol!
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:41 AM
  #16

Quote:
Just not worth making anything else Like someone else said, if I make a casserole, then I have to eat it for the next 3 days lol!
Get a Foodsaver!

I always vacuum seal leftovers for the freezer, and we can eat them whenever. I just had three year old lasagna. I don't recommend waiting 3 years, but you can make 5-6 things, portion them into individual sizes, and spread them out over a couple of months.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:41 AM
  #17

A George Foreman grill would be a good purchase. Our boys used that. One son lived in a condo where he bought a real gas grill. It is now in our backyard.
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