Food for Thought

By: Ashlee

Whether you hate to cook, consider yourself the next Julia Child, or simply enjoy having food on hand 24/7 in your fridge, you do need to eat. The reality is if you eat take-out all the time, your wallet is going empty pretty fast. If all you eat is ramen noodles, you’re going to starve from malnutrition. Yes, it’s cheap, but you need more in your diet than chicken flavoring and noodles. You’ll have to use that kitchen.

It doesn’t have to be as good as your mom’s cooking or have your kitchen equipped like that of a haute Parisian couture cafe. The fact is, you don’t need lots of expensive kitchen hardware in order to turn out delicious and nutritious meals.

You can find a lot of kitchen need basics at a Salvation Army or at tag sales. Cast iron is easily refurbished and needs only light maintenance so they last for a long time and are well worth the investment. For an idea of what basic kitchen tools your kitchen should have, check out this list at Real Simple.

Many people claim they don’t have the time to cook meals or have the skill to make something tasty. This is simply not true! There are so many quick and easy recipes out there. Not only do they taste great, but they’re actually good for you!

I don’t know about you, but when I select a new recipe to try out, I have a fun time at the grocery store shopping for ingredients. Don’t be shy to ask employees at the grocery store for help if you can’t find something that’s considered standard (like molasses) or difficult to find (like sword fish).

To build your recipe repertoire, start by asking family members for their go-to recipes or the dishes they cook that you absolutely love. If anything, it’ll start as a good foundation for your recipe collection and cooking skills.

Need some great websites to try for new, tasty and easy recipes? You can never go wrong with the Food Network. In fact, be a couch potato and spend a Saturday watching the Food Network on TV to pick up new skills and see how experts prepare certain items. is also a great resource for every single dish imaginable. Katie Lee is one of my favorite chefs, and I love checking out her blog for new recipes. They’re delicious, easy to make, and fairly inexpensive. If you feel incredibly clueless and don’t have any idea where to start, head over to Barnes and Noble and purchase the College Kids Can Cook cookbook. It walks you through very simple recipes while teaching you basic cooking techniques, and it’s easy to adjust and change the recipe to what you like in terms of flavors.

That’s your Monday lesson from outside of the college world.

Read Ashlee’s other posts

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