Recipes That Will Remind You of College

Adulting, Author: Claire Greene

In a research study done at Auburn University, 131 students were followed over four years of college. It was found that 70% of them gained some weight before graduation, in amounts ranging from 12 pounds to 37 pounds.

Why is this? I personally believe that this is because college is the utmost time of freedom. It is the first time when we are living out on our own, away from our parents, and we are under the impression that we can do whatever we want. This includes eating what we want. Can we have that extra scoop of ice cream? Sure, because there is no one there telling us we can’t.

I am here to share some recipes that have token ingredients every college student will recognize, but makes them into actual meals, rather than just snacks to gorge on. Hope you enjoy!

Taco Lasagna

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Photo via Bunisinmyoven.com

I found this recipe at bunisinmyoven.com, and I find this recipe very much reminds me of college because of one key ingredient: nacho cheese soup. I can’t tell you how many trips I made to the on campus convenience store to stock up on salsa con queso and nachos. This lasagna is a slightly more grown-up version of that all-time favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 can RoTel diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
  • 1 can nacho cheese soup
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 12 8-inch, soft tortillas
  • Guacamole, cilantro, sour cream for topping, as desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the beef or turkey to a large skillet over medium heat and crumble as it cooks. Drain grease when cooked through.
  3. Add the taco seasoning and water to the skillet and cook for two minutes.
  4. Dump the tomatoes, cheese soup and sour cream into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the cooked meat.
  5. Place three tortillas in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the meat mixture.
  6. Repeat layers, ending with a layer of tortillas on the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and melty.
  8. Serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro, guacamole and extra sour cream, as desired.

My second nephew was just recently born. Because my brother and my sister-in-law were the parents of a newborn and a three-year-old and they would not have time to cook, I made them this lasagna to make things easier for them. All I have to say is now, my brother is on the Atkins diet. He was not while this dish was in the fridge.

Pesto Flatbread Pizza 

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A staple in the diet of every college student is the old stand by: pizza. It is served at every meal in every cafeteria and you can even get it delivered right to your door! I have yet to meet someone who does not savor melted cheese and tomato sauce over bread. Here is a slightly grown-up version of my favorite, not that delivery isn’t great.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 pieces Naan Stone fire flatbread
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto sauce
  • 1 small can sliced olives
  • Olive oil for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place flatbreads on large baking sheet
  3. Lightly dust flatbreads with olive oil
  4. Evenly spread pesto sauce over each flatbread
  5. Top each flatbread with mozzarella and olives
  6. Place flatbreads in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, cut into pieces and serve warm.

 

Brie Apple Grilled Cheese

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Grilled cheese has always been one of my all-time favorite foods. Also, there wasn’t a lunch meal where it wasn’t served. Of course, in the cafeteria it was nothing more than Wonder Bread filled with American cheese put into a frying pan with butter. If you want to feel slightly more grown-up, here is a delicious new take on the favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces sliced Italian Bread
  • 6 thin slices of brie cheese, or to taste
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 6 slices granny smith apple
  • Fresh tyme to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Place bread slices butter side down into hot skillet. Arrange Brie cheese slices on top of each piece of bread. Sprinkle thyme over the top.
  3. Spread apple slices in a single layer over the Brie cheese on one slice of bread.
  4. Flip the slice of bread without apple onto the slice of bread with the apple slices. Continue cooking sandwich until cheese and apple are heated through and cheese is melted.

I hope you enjoy all of recipes while reminiscing with your college friends about the old days. Bon Appetit!

Halloween as a Twentysomething

Adulting, Author: Brett Pucino

Yes, writing about Halloween as an “adult” just didn’t feel right. When I think of an “adult” Halloween, I think of parents taking their kids trick-or-treating, or a grandmother handing out caramel flavored hard candy while watching Jeopardy. I’m 26 years old, and I only graduated college three years ago. I simply cannot pretend like I have any authority to speak on Halloween as an “adult.”

Changing “adult” to “twentysomething” broke my writer’s block. I realized Halloween is distinctly different for twentysomethings than any other subsection of adults. Here’s three reasons why.

Twentysomethings have one foot in the party scene and the other in the “real” world.
Once you are an adult adult, like above 30, you cross a certain threshold that disqualifies you forever from partying in a college town. Every year after graduation, it becomes less and less acceptable to hit your old college town for a night of mayhem on Halloween weekend. I went back to my college town when I was 25, a mere two years after graduation, and I felt old in those bars.

On the flip side, you’ll feel young at the bars in your town that are hosting Halloween events. It’s like you exist in a limbo between college town life and how to go out like an “adult.”

If you’re younger than 25, I highly suggest considering one last hurrah in your college town. If you’re older than 25, you’ll probably end up feeling old and awkward. Which brings me to reason two.

Reason 2: The FOMO Fallacy
Another reason Halloween as a twentysomething is different than Halloween as an adult is what I call “the FOMO Fallacy.”

See, FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, is just your id playing tricks on you. Your id is the “inner child” of your psyche, and it pursues pleasure without considering consequences. FOMO happens when your id creates a false narrative regarding the amazingness of whatever you’re missing. In the case of Halloween, your id will want you to go to a crazy party. It will make you feel like you’re missing the best time.

We may think we have FOMO if we don’t have crazy plans for Halloween, but in reality, that feeling is just the sweet sting of growing up. Twentysomethings inevitably have that moment when they realize Halloween and all of the drinking holidays from college have severely lost their appeal. It’s better to just accept the reality of adulthood rather than chase the ghosts of Halloweens past.

Settled adults in their 30s or 40s probably have a fair amount of “normal” Halloweens under their belt. What they did on Halloween five years ago was probably very similar to what they’re doing this year. For most twentysomethings, Halloween five years ago was probably one of the craziest Halloweens of their lives. I know it was for me. For us twentysomethings, we have to be aware of the FOMO fallacy. Which brings me to reason three.

There’s a struggle between the Dreamer and the Realist for twentysomethings
The Dreamer is the part of you that says you’re taking Halloween off and going crazy at some high-profile event, and the Realist is the part of you that’s saying “why even waste the sick day?”

That’s the reality of Halloween as a twentysomething. It’s a struggle between wanting to live in the past and party like its Freshman year, and accepting your place in the real world. Adult adults have long-since accepted that Halloween is watching “Freeform” (ABC Family)’s 13 Nights of Halloween and daydreaming about the glory days. Will this be the year you accept the inevitable?

What’s your favorite thing to do on Halloween? Go out and drink? DVR Hocus Pocus and watch on repeat? Stare at your black cat and wonder if there’s a Puritan boy’s soul trapped somewhere inside? Let us know in the comments below.

College is Starting — Here’s What to Do… and Not to Do

Author: Gauri Bhatia, Real Life Stories

Being a millennial is not all nostalgia, like Beanie Babies, and Saved By The Bell. Some of our millennial population is starting (or heading back to) the big bad journey that is…. college!

Come on, kids. We have all been through it (or at least 61% of us according to the White House’s Millennial Report). Here’s a how-to for that first week and beyond — with some tips for freshmen, others even applying to veterans.

DO: Figure out how long it takes to get to your classes before the first day. You don’t want to find out that the buses don’t run every hour and miss all your classes for the first week.

DO: Establish a time that you are going to check in with your parents (whether it be daily, or weekly, or monthly, or any combination thereof). They want to hear from you. You want to reassure them that you are alive. Establishing a set time prevents the awkward situation of having to answer the call from Mom and Dad while you’re otherwise occupied.

DO: Try to make friends early. This one’s for you, freshmen. You might not keep the same friends the whole time, but it’s important to start off the year with a good social life.

DO: Take this opportunity to take classes in subjects you would never learn about normally — whether those subjects are Tango, Cognitive Psychology, or even Eastern Religions.

DO: Remember that despite all the fun times to be had, you are still there to get an education. Study as hard as you party/have fun. Seriously, don’t be that seventh-year senior.

DO: Have fun and enjoy (responsibly). When else will you be surrounded by people your own age who are as confused and lost as you? College will be over before you know it, and you will look back and miss these days, once you are out in the “real world.”

DO NOT: Panic. College may be the first time you are living away from home. It’s scary. But you will get through it. You may overload the washing machine and end up in a pool of suds, you may use dish soap in the dishwasher and end up… in a pool of suds, you may accidentally bleach your favorite black shirt… but, it will all be okay.

DO NOT: Party too hard. Life is not that serious. There will be more opportunities, and less hiding in the closet when the cops come.

College is Starting – Here’s What to Do…and Not to Do

Author: Gauri Bhatia, Real Life Stories

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So, being a millennial is not all nostalgia, like Beanie Babies and Saved By The Bell. Some of our millennial population is starting (or heading back to) the big bad journey that is…. college!

Come on, kids. We have all been through it (or at least 61% of us according to the White House’s Millennial Report). Here’s a how-to for that first week – with some tips for freshmen, others even applying to veterans. Because after that, you will be settled and having fun!

  • DO: Figure out how long it takes to get to your classes before the first day. You don’t want to find out that the buses don’t run every hour and miss all your classes for the first week. (I’m looking at my cousin Mohil on that one.)
  • DO: Establish a time that you are going to check in with your parents (whether it be daily, or weekly, or monthly, or any combination thereof).
    • They want to hear from you. You want to reassure them that you are alive.
    • Establishing a set time prevents the awkward situation of having to answer the call from Mom and Dad while the background is filled with things you really don’t want them to hear…(Sorry, Mumsy).
  • DO: Try to make friends early. This one’s for you, freshmen. You might not keep the same friends the whole time, but it’s important to start off the year with a good social life.
    • For example, one of my best friends is someone I met on the first day of school because she lived next door. But the rest of the people I met that day, I no longer talk to. But that’s okay!
  • DO: Take this opportunity to take classes in subjects you would never learn about normally: Tango, Cognitive Psychology and Eastern Religions were my “out of the box” choices.
  • DO: Remember that despite all the fun times, you are still there to get an education. Study as hard as you party/have fun. Seriously, don’t be that seventh-year senior. I had a blast in college and still graduated in three and a half years.
  • DO NOT: Panic. College may be the first time you are living away from home. I know it’s scary. But trust me, you will get through it. You may overload the washing machine and end up in a pool of suds; you may use dish soap in the dishwasher and end up…. in a pool of suds; you may accidentally bleach your favorite black shirt…it will all be okay. Not that I did any of these things…
  • DO NOT: Party too hard. Life is not that serious; there will be more opportunities and less hiding in the closet when the cops come. (I swear, Mumsy, it wasn’t me!)
  • DO: Have fun and enjoy (responsibly). When else will you be surrounded by people your own age who are as confused and lost as you? College will be over before you know it and you will look back and miss these days, once you are out in the “real world.”