Food & Drink

Read blogs in our food & drink category to find suggestions and recipes for every day or special occasions in college.

Hacks to Help You Survive College

Ahhh college. The best four years of your life. You make new friends, educate your future, live on your own, struggle with classes, and feel like ripping your hair out every once in a while. Okay…maybe it isn’t the best four years of life for everyone, BUT there’s certainly ways to make life a little easier! Check out our 20 college hacks and watch your life be forever changed!

 

1. Smelly dorms

Stick a dryer sheet on the back of a fan while it’s on. This gets rid of bad smells in your dorm!

 

2.  Get wrinkles out of shirts

For those who don’t have time to iron their clothes, hang a shirt somewhere in your bathroom while you shower. The steam from the shower gets the wrinkles out.

 

3. Binder Clips

Sticking binder clips to you desk helps keep your cords organized and prevents them from tangling up.

 

4. Cleaning your keyboard

Use a Post-It note to clean your keyboard. The sticky side of the note collects all the gunk that was stuck underneath!

 

5. Class schedule

During your first few weeks of class, screenshotting your schedule and making it your lock screen helps you memorize it. You’ll never forget your schedule again!

 

6. Note organization

Leave a few pages in the front of your notebook blank for a table of contents. This way you’ll know where everything is when it comes time for the big test!

 

7.  Late night homework

If you’re up late doing homework, listen to movie scores. There’s no distracting lyrics and it keeps you motivated!

 

8.  Syllabus week

At the beginning of each semester, highlight important dates and put them into your calendar for the best class preparation.

 

9. Writing Papers

After writing a paper, copy and paste it into Google Translate. This allows you to check for any misspells or grammatical errors!

 

10. Color code your notes

Color coding notes with pens is a great way to stay organized. The correlation between the colors and theme makes it easier to remember. Just make sure you don’t use too many colors on a subject. This could lead to you being overwhelmed!

 

11. Textbook reading motivation

We’ve all been through the struggle of reading the textbook and attempting to retain its information. A good incentive to stay on track is to put pieces of candy on each paragraph of the assigned reading. Every time you reach a paragraph, you get to eat the candy. How’s that for motivation?

 

12. Gum Hack

Studies have shown that chewing a piece of gum while studying for exams and then chewing the same flavor during the test helps you recall the material better.

 

13. Makeshift utensils

Have you ever forgotten to bring a fork with your packed lunch? No problem! Just bend some paper clips, tape them together to a writing utensil, and you’ll be good to go!

 

14.  Cooking in a coffee pot

You can save time cooking simple foods such as pasta, hot dogs, and oatmeal in a coffee pot. Just add water and you’re good to go!

 

15. Use a Keurig for your instant ramen

Keurigs can have more than one use. Try using it to get a hot cup of instant ramen noodles!

 

16. Instant Iced Coffee

For those of you who are in a rush to get to class but need your coffee fix, there’s a way to get it in just two minutes! All you need is instant coffee, water, ice, and creamer! View how to do it here.

 

17. Fruit juice ice cubes

Fill up an ice tray with your favorite fruit juices and freeze them for 3-4 hours. Add the cubes and a slice of fruit to some seltzer water and you’ll have a nice refreshing drink!

 

18. Scrambled eggs in a mug

You don’t need a stove to get your morning eggs! If  you have a microwave, you’re all set! View how to make them here.

 

19. Get a bottled drink cold in 15 minutes

Wrap your bottled drink in a damp paper towel and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Your drink will be nice and cold!

 

20. Bottle opening tricks

There are many tricks to opening a bottle when no bottle opener is around. Try out these 9 tricks!

 

Easy Meals to Make in a Dorm

Dorming in college has its perks as well as set backs. Some dorm buildings only supply students with a microwave and fridge. Late night meals are difficult to make when you don’t have the proper appliances. Have no fear, for this post is here! These easy meals can be made in a microwave in any dorm room as long as you have the ingredients. They may not be the most healthy option, but they will for sure satisfy your hunger!

Easy Meals to Make in a Dorm

1. Omelette

If you’re anything like me, eggs are an essential part to my diet. Living in a dorm for two years I was severely deprived of having eggs. With this recipe, you can have eggs at any time!

2. Chocolate Cake

For those who have late-night chocolate cravings, this recipe is for you! Who would’ve thought making chocolate cake in a mug was possible?!

3. Spinach Ricotta Lasagna

One of the worst parts of being in college, for me, is being away from my mom’s cooking. Although this recipe can’t compare to the real thing, it’s a good substitute.

4. “Baked” Sweet Potato

My housemate last year used to do this all the time to save time, but it works perfectly for those who dorm. Making a potato is satisfying, but using an oven can take longer than you’re willing to wait. Try this way out.

5. Classic Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is the staple college food. Companies like Kraft and Velveeta make mac and cheese in a cup that you can microwave. However, those can taste fake and processed. Follow this recipe that uses real pasta and cheese to get a better tasting mac and cheese using a microwave.

Enjoy these easy meals until you move to an apartment or graduate and have your own oven! Happy microwaving!

Best Food Places in NYC

Summer means it’s finally time to travel and explore a new place. If you decide to take a trip to the city that never sleeps I highly, highly, highly recommend stopping at some of these restaurants for a quick bite or a sit down meal! From my experience, here are what I’ve found to be the best food places in NYC.

Best Pizza: Artichoke Bastille’s

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.01.11 PM

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza is hands down the best pizza you can find in the city. If you couldn’t already tell by the name of the spot, their most popular pizza is the artichoke pizza. The giant slices and fresh cheeses is sure to make you believe New York has the best pizza in the country. The pizza is so good, it’s been nationally recognized. Owners were on The Chew and The Tonight show with Jay Leno. 

Best Family Restaurant: Carmine’s

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.20.29 PM

If you’re traveling with a big group of people stopping for a meal at Carmine’s is a must. The Italian restaurant is served family style and they aren’t joking about the portion sizes. When the waiter says a dish will feed four, the dish WILL feed four. Unlike Olive Garden, Carmine’s food is authentic Italian-American cuisine. Located in the heart of the city, you can either talk a stroll through Times Square or through the theatre district to work off the heavy meal you are bound to have.

Best After Bar Eats: Wo Hop

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.48.04 PM

For the college student who’s traveling on a budget Wo Hop is the place to go for late night eats. Open 10am-7am this Cantonese restaurant is perfect for post-bar food. In business for 72 years the low-key spot has barely changed, it’s still inexpensive and old fashioned. Be sure to have cash on you as they do not accept cards. Wo Hop is popular among locals and is not widely known to out-of-towners, so eating here is sure to make you feel like a true New Yorker.

Best Date Night Spot: Victor’s Cafe

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.47.04 PM

Next date night be sure to take your special someone to Victor’s Cafe for an intimate meal of New York’s finest Cuban cuisine. The restaurant, over a 50 year period, has been passed down through three generations but maintained the quality of the food. Favorited by celebs like Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, Mike Tyson and Bryan Cranston this place is sure to impress your date. After dinner definitely order the flan, but be sure to each get one as you will probably not want to share.

If you recommend a restaurant in NYC comment below!

How to be a Healthy and Creative College Cook

Landscape

Most people think that if you wish to have a healthy diet, you must deal with being hungry; healthy food can’t possibly keep you full, can it? Faced with what appears to be an “either-or” choice, college students often choose to stick with what they are comfortable with: an unbalanced diet. It is hard for many people to realize that eating healthy does not mean cutting out all your favorite foods; it simply means getting creative. If you are cooking for yourself and struggling to buy the proper foods, these tips are for you.

College can becoming monotonous– the same schedule, day after day, and tests week after week. Creating healthy, delicious meals can help add some variety to your daily obligations. In order to create meals you enjoy, you must listen to your body: what upsets your stomach? What foods make you feel lethargic? Many people do not realize how much what they eat affects their mood; you will be surprised at how much better you feel if you listen to your body! It is helpful to keep a food log in order to keep track of what you eat and how you react to it. Through this process, I learned that I should avoid gluten and dairy. In fact, most of the population has a sensitivity to dairy; it is hard to digest and provides few health benefits.

You must stay focused at the supermarket: stay out of the isles that are too tempting. Start off in the produce section and pick out the vegetables you like the most. No one is forcing you to eat anything; pick only what you enjoy! I always buy spinach because it is delicious, healthy, and can be added to almost every meal. Next, pick out some fruits; they are the perfect snack and the perfect alternative to a high-calorie dessert.

Many college students fail to pick out the proper grains. Processed gluten ha2187748015_b23f5bd7ed_bs few health benefits and does not keep you full for long. Instead, look for foods with a low glycemic index; these grains keep you full for longer. This does not mean you have to compromise on taste– it is all about how you prepare your food. The better you are at cooking, the less you have to worry about finding that perfect balance between delicious and healthy. I usually buy rice products like basmati rice or rice noodles.

Next, pick your protein. It is important to be aware of what happens to your food before it reaches the grocery store; many animals are raised in horrible conditions and are not fed a natural diet. If this upsets you, I recommend becoming a vegetarian or pescatarian. Apart from the occasional chicken or turkey, I eat only fish. No matter your diet, it is important to eat protein. I recommend fish, beans, yogurt, and eggs; these foods keep you full for a long time.

Everyone loves snacks. Just because you want to eat healthy, doesn’t mean you have to cut out snacks. Moderation is key; only buy one of your favorite snacks. Give yourself some freedom– if you are too strict with yourself, you won’t succeed. Be smart about what snack you choose. I recommend dark chocolate, because it is both delicious and does not contain artificial ingredients. Avoid buying sugary drinks. Many people don’t realize how dangerous it is to buy soda; drinking your calories tricks you into thinking you are not being unhealthy. In addition, pick out a healthier snack– something you can eat a lot of without feeling too guilty or getting a stomach ache. I love rice crisps or Snapea crisps; they come in a lot of different flavors and are relatively light snacks. Don’t avoid the snacks that “sound healthy.” Just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s gross!

Before you leave the store, make sure you have seasoning; something this simple can elevate your meals. I make sure to always have salt, pepper, and garlic. On top of those essentials, I also buy plenty of olive oil and teriyaki sauce. Olive oil is a healthy alternative to butter or canola oil; it is a monounsaturated fatty acid, not a saturated or trans fat. These little details are what make all the difference–always check the ingredients before you buy something!

Many people give up on a healthy diet because they think it requires too much effort or takes up too much time. Once you create a system, eating healthy is easy. After you have all your ingredients, check out before you get tempted to buy more than you have to! Now the challenge is to think about what your favorite meals are; there is always a way to create a healthy version of a meal. For example, if you like french fries, make your own– buy some potatoes, cut them into fries, cover them with olive oil and a little salt, and bake them! This is much healthier than the pre-made french fries you buy at McDonald’s.

Though eating healthy inevitably takes more time than buying pre-made food, it does not have to be complicated. When you have a break, start cooking. I recommend cooking big meals so that you will have leftovers. I sometimes cook a meal that lasts for two or three days, which allows me to eat quickly on the days when I am the most busy. The stigma 4920968077_8523c4b35a_qagainst leftovers is not true; they can be delicious! I have found that the most successful meals are stir-frys; simply choose a protein, a vegetable, and a grain. Add garlic and teriyaki sauce to the pan and you’re ready to go.

I believe that the main reason college students do not eat healthy is because they do not make their own food. Many college students don’t really know how to cook. People do not realize how easy and fun cooking can be. Not only does it allow you to see exactly what is going into your food, but it is also a great way to take a break from studying. When I feel overworked but know that I don’t have the time to take a real break, I choose to cook instead. While you are cooking, you have time to yourself; you can think through problems or you can turn off your racing mind and listen to music. Enjoy cooking healthy–your mind and your body will thank you!

6 “Healthy” Foods to Avoid this Summer

Walking into a supermarket you’re met with a plethora of food options. Labels throw phrases like “no sugar added,” “low-fat,” and “all-natural” around, but how true are these claims? It’s easy to believe what you see in front of you rather than really research the foods you buy. They have to be true if they’re on the label, right? Wrong. Buying those items, on the surface, seems like a healthy alternative, but often times it isn’t. The following foods are commonly labeled as healthy foods, but in reality should be avoided.

1. Energy Bars

healthy foods - energy bars

Everyone’s guilty of it: you’re running late, no time to eat so you grab an energy bar on the way out thinking, “Well it’s better than buying a McDonald’s breakfast or not having breakfast at all!” Many energy bars today claim to be healthy and good for you, however that is not the case. Many times they have a nutritional profile like a candy bar’s, not like fit foods’. Some even have as much sugar as candy. However, not all bars are unhealthy. Check the ingredients list as well as the amount of sugar and calories a bar has to determine if it’s basically the same as eating candy for breakfast.

2. Dried Fruit

healthy foods - dried fruit

Dried fruit, considering the fact that it’s fruit, seems like a guilty-free snack. Little do people know, however, companies add sugar to enhance the flavor and use sulfur dioxide to preserve freshness, making dried fruit more like little candies. When eating dried fruit you do get all the vitamins, minerals and fiber the fruit has to offer, but it is often easy to eat more than one serving at a time thanks to the added sugar. You’re better off sticking to actual fruit.

3. Wraps

healthy foods - wraps

 

Wraps are the supposed healthier alternative to breads because they’re thinner but just because it’s thinner doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier. Most restaurants and delis package your sandwich fixings into a 12-inch wrap. That wrap can hold twice the amount of calories than a regular sandwich. More often than not, spinach, tomato and whole grain wraps contain additional coloring and flavoring. A healthier alternative to bread and wraps are lettuce wraps.

4. Skim Milk

healthy foods - skim milk

Most people think skim milk is better than whole milk because it doesn’t contain any fat. Although this is true, skim milk also eliminates essential vitamins. Skim milk is made with synthetic vitamins to attempt to replace the calcium and protein lost during processing. There is little benefit to buying fat-free dairy products.

5. Flavored Yogurt

healthy foods - flavored yogurt

Flavored yogurt is another food that is supposedly healthy and also quick and easy. You know that the small cup isn’t very filling and you’ll be craving something with more substance only 10 minutes after eating, yet you still reach for it. Flavored yogurts are actually full of sugar, with most brands having about 15 grams of sugar per 6 ounce serving. Switching to plain Greek yogurt is a better option that will leave you more satisfied and full of protein for a full day.

I hope this lists helps you choose healthy foods, and not “healthy” foods during your next trip to the supermarket. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? Share in the comments below!

Fourth of July Party Ideas

It is the beginning of July, which means the coolest holiday of the summer is on the horizon! Here are some great ways to celebrate the Fourth of July with friends or family and not break the bank!

Fun With Food!

fourth of july - fun with food

It’s a party which means there has to be food! Change up the same old dishes and add some American spirit flare!

  • Cut up fruit. The easiest fruit would be watermelon into stars shapes and lay them out.
  • Make a healthy flag cake with bananas, strawberries and blueberries.
  • Make white-chocolate dipped strawberries and add blue sprinkles!

Games!

fourth of july - games

I would say games are for kids but who are we kidding? Adults have just as much fun playing games as kids do.

  • Corn hole of course is on the list, it’s a tradition.
  • A fun twist on the classic game Twister is to spray paint the dots on the lawn.  This way you can have more dots and more players!
  • Spray paint cans in red, white and blue and set the up.  Grab a ball and play backyard bowling!
  • Stick a stake in the ground. Grab glow-sticks and play ring toss in the dark!

Decorations!

fourth of july - decorations

You cannot have a party without some decorations to spice things up.

  • Pick up streamers from the store and string them up in the backyard to add color.
  • Buy white and red flowers and place them in a vase of water. Add blue food coloring to the water.
  • Spray paint mason jars and set them up on a colorful table runner.

I hope these ideas on how to change up your Fourth of July party spark your creativity!

Comment below with other fun ideas for the Fourth of July! And of course, Happy Fourth of July!

5 Summery Strawberry Drink Ideas

The first day of summer this year is Sunday, June 21st. There will likely be some great patio dates and parties in your near future where you will want to enjoy refreshing, delicious drinks with your friends!  Strawberry drinks are always a big hit. Here are 5 summery strawberry drink ideas for you to try out.  I tried to mix it up with some non-alcoholic and alcoholic options but you can always add or subtract ingredients as preferred!

1. Sparkling Strawberry Limeade

strawberry drink ideas 1

The sparkling strawberry limeade is easy to make in large quantities and still maintains its great taste.  It is the perfect drink for hosting summer showers or birthday parties. Get the recipe for Sparkling Strawberry Limeade.

2. Strawberry Sangria

strawberry drink ideas 2

The strawberry sangria is perfect for an afternoon on the patio with your girlfriends! The combination of frozen and fresh strawberries is extra refreshing. This will surely be a hit to relax and enjoy some necessary girl talk. Get the recipe for Strawberry Sangria.

Tip: Want to enjoy this drink but not old enough to drink alcohol? Substitute the white zinfandel wine suggested in the recipe with the award-winning non-alcoholic Fre brand White Zinfandel.

3. Strawberry Iced Tea Cooler

strawberry drink ideas 3

Iced tea is a summertime classic! It’s perfect for keeping hydrated while boosting your energy levels. This spin on the popular classic adds some great flavor to the mix. Make yourself a big pitcher for your yard days to keep you hydrated and satisfied as you plant flowers or take care of some necessary weeding! Get the recipe for Strawberry Iced Tea Cooler.

4. Strawberry Mango Margaritas 

strawberry drink ideas 4

This cocktail is perfect for a little get together with friends this summer. It’s strong, sweet and delicious. A heads up- you will need a blender for this one! Get the recipe for Strawberry Mango Margaritas.

5. Strawberry-Cucumber Water

strawberry drink ideas 5

This is a simple, yet exciting alternative to hydrating with good old fashioned water.  You can make it with infused water or sparkling water depending on your preference. Keep this strawberry drink on deck for those hot days this summer when hydrating is extra important. Get the recipe for Strawberry-Cucumber Water.

Now that you have 5 great strawberry drink ideas for the summer I hope you try them out!

Tell us how you liked them in the comments below!

 

5 Quick & Tasty Meatless Meals

Whether you’re a vegetarian, participating in Meatless Mondays, or are just short on time and want a delicious meal you can make at home, these ideas are perfect for you!

1. Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Grilled Cheese

1-22 Grilled Cheese

For this one, all you have to do is slice up some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, grab 2 slices of your favorite bread, and get a hold of some pesto or pesto-mayo. Then you put the sandwich together to your liking and throw it a pan with some melted butter or margarine and make it like you would a normal grilled cheese and you’re good to go!

2. Greek Yogurt Bowl

1-22 Greek Yogurt Bowl

With this meal you have a lot of room for variety and creativity. Whether for breakfast or lunch, this is a healthy and filling meatless option. Pick up your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt (such as French Vanilla or Original Plain) and measure ourabout a cup into a bowl. Then top with your favorite fresh fruit, granola, and a superfood of your choice (chia seeds, goji berries, and bee pollen are all great options!) The best part about this, apart from it being delicious, is that you can customize it to fit whatever you’re in the mood for!

3. Egg, Avocado, and Chia Seed Toast

1-22 Egg, Avocado Toast

This one is really simple. Scramble up some eggs. Pop a slice of bread into the toaster. Smash up some avocado on top of your toast and sprinkle some chia seeds on top. Then add your eggs on top and you have a delicious, protein-packed meatless meal!

4. Rigatoni Pesto Primavera

1-22 Pesto Primavera

All you need for this is a package of rigatoni (or penne if you prefer), a jar of pesto, some frozen broccoli, an onion, and a bell pepper. Once you gather all your ingredients, cook your pasta to your liking. While your pasta is cooking, sauté your vegetables in a pan with some extra virgin olive oil. When your pasta is done and strained, toss it with the pesto and your sautéed vegetables. You can add some grated cheese if you’d like or leave it as is for a vegan/dairy-free option!

5. Nutella Strawberry Chocolate French Toast

1-22 French Toast

Most people might consider this a breakfast or brunch dish, but if like me, you’re a fan of breakfast food for any meal, then you can treat yourself to this one at any time of the day! You can use any bread you like (Texas Toast is my favorite for this, but you can use whole grain for a healthier version.) All you need to do to make your egg-wash is whisk up an egg and then stir in some chocolate milk; this is where the “Chocolate” in Chocolate French Toast comes in! Once you do that, cover your bread with your chocolate egg-wash and cook it up in your pan with some non-stick spray. Once you’ve cooked your French Toast to your liking, spread some Nutella on top and then add some strawberry slices for the most delicious French Toast you’ve ever had!

The Best Peppermint Sugar Cookie Recipe

Now that you’re home for winter break, it’s time to start treating yourself to some festive sweets!  These  peppermint sugar blossom cookies are delicious and super-easy to make.

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 package Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses

-2 cups all-purpose flour

-1 cup granulated sugar

-1/4 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

-1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

-1 large egg

-2 tablespoons milk

-1/2 cup crushed candy cane pieces

(Makes about 48 cookies.)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

  1. Mix butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl until well blended.

 

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and crushed candy canes in a separate bowl and stir.

 

  1. Gradually add the dry ingredients (from step 3) and milk to the butter mixture (alternating between dry ingredients and milk) and stir together with a wooden spoon until you get an even, doughy consistency.

 

  1. Shape your dough into 1-inch balls and place them onto ungreased cookie sheets.

 

  1. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Now is a good time to unwrap your Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses.

 

  1. Take your cookie sheets out of the oven and press one Kiss into each cookie. Put your cookies back into the oven for 2 minutes.

 

  1. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely.

 

Now you have a fresh batch of cookies to serve at your holiday party or you can put them in small festive bags and give them as gifts!  (Or just enjoy them for yourself!)

 

*If you’re not the best at baking, or you’re short on time, you can also buy prepackaged peppermint sugar cookie dough (Pillsbury makes a great one) at your local supermarket and just add the Candy Cane Kisses!

Pumpkin Spice Recipes

pumpkin-spice-meme

‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice! Whether you find it in your latte, candles, or cupcakes, you’ll find something dunked, sprinkled, or drizzled with pumpkin spice. Here are a few recipes to spice up your life! 🙂

1. Pumpkin Spice Whip Dip

pumpkin-spice-whip-dip

This yummy fall favorite only require 4 ingredients. Pumpkin Spice Whip Dip Recipe is super simple and easy! So, get to mixing and prepare to be the life of your next tailgate party!

2. Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte

pumpkin-spice-skinny-latte

Never spend five dollars on a fall latte again with this super tasty and healthy Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe. Get all the yummy taste with fewer calories!

3. Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies

pumpkin-spice-honey-cookies

Use this Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies Recipe for super soft and fluffy cookies that will leave you yearning for haunted hayrides, sweaters and crunching leaves.

4. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

pumpkin-spice-pancakes

Start your day off right with this Pumpkin Spice Pancakes Recipe! The recipe is healthy and is sure to be a yummy treat for a cool, crisp autumn morning.

How do you prefer to get your pumpkin spice fix? Let us know in the comments below!