Beyond Ramen

Beyond Ramen

Tips for Successful Dorm Room Cooking
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College is a time of great stress and also a lot of fantastic experiences. Schools open the doorway to things like internships and volunteer opportunities, but they also make sure you always have something to work on. One way to deal with stress that they’ll advertise to students is for you to go by the cafeteria and grab a quick meal on your way to the library or favorite study spot. For some students, this works, but not for very long.

No matter how creative cafeterias get with the food they serve, it isn’t always right for everyone. People who have specialized diets like vegans and vegetarians may not have enough — or any — options to eat. Those with food allergies come across this problem as well. And for many, they just prefer food from elsewhere. It’s why pizza places and Chinese restaurants around schools offer discounts and delivery. However, eating takeout every night is also not a great way to live.

While you’re learning about many other things during your time at school, you’ll find that you need to learn about cooking as well. Dorms aren’t the best place to begin a culinary career, but even if you lack a stove, you can still find ways to cook for yourself. To figure out where to start, check out some tips so you can skip the Ramen and be a successful dorm room chef.

1. Never Forget About Your Roommates

When you live with roommates, you have to be especially careful about how your actions affect them. Things like keeping your room clean and not spending too much time in the bathroom will come up, and this same thoughtfulness applies to cooking.

If you think there’s a good chance you’ll burn a food, make something smelly or generally make a mess in your shared space, give them a heads up. They’ll appreciate knowing what’s going on, and they may even want to join in on the action!

2. Start With the Small Stuff

Your first instinct might be to start looking at food blogs online or pinning recipes on Pinterest, which are both great to do. Just remember that you should start with the small stuff. Instead of aiming to bake a family-sized lasagna, maybe look for simple pasta recipes instead.

The fewer ingredients and steps there are in a recipe, the more likely you’ll be able to cook it or find a way to add it to your dorm room supplies. Plus, you don’t want to make a big recipe and then get discouraged when it doesn’t work out.

3. Buy the Basics

Almost every meal will share a common ingredient, and those ingredients come together as the staples of every kitchen. You should learn what the staple foods are so you know what to go out and buy.

If you plan on cooking, think about spices and vegetable oil. If you want to bake, focus on things like flour and baking powder. These are things every cook should have in their pantry, and they’ll end up lasting a long time. Don’t sweat it if your initial grocery bill is higher than you thought it would be. These items are worth it!

4. Rethink the Basics

Okay, so you’ve bought your staple foods. Now what? It’s time to get creative. You can only make sandwiches for so long before you start to crave literally anything else. Rethink how you can use your foods by getting creative.

For instance, a can of tuna usually only costs about a dollar, and it can be made into many different meals. For five dollars, you could get five entirely different dinner options. Take a second to do an internet search on the ingredients you have on hand to see what you can make.

5. Talk With Your Campus Nutritionist

More and more colleges are now getting on board with the idea of offering students the ability to talk with a nutritionist while they’re enrolled. Check on your school’s website to see if a nutritionist is on staff, and then make yourself an appointment.

Not sure if that’s for you? Certain bodily functions, issues and goals you may have are signs that you should see a nutritionist. Even if you’re healthy and fine eating anything, a nutritionist will help you learn about what foods you should eat and how to cook them.

6. Branch Out When You Can

Eventually, you’re going to get tired of eating the same soups and sandwiches that you can easily put together. When you get there, know how to branch out. You can explore a whole new world of foods by investing in a rice cooker or microwave pasta bowl. These things don’t take up much space, but they present the opportunity to try all new foods. And if you haven’t already, renting or buying a mini fridge will give you more space to store food (and keep it all safe from your roommates!).

You may have been assigned to the tiniest room on campus, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck eating at the cafeteria every day. There are still plenty of ways to cook in a dorm room that don’t require a stovetop or dishwasher.

The best first step you can take is to talk with a nutritionist so that you get started by eating what’s right for you and not just what’s microwaveable. Reaching for the quick foods often means eating stuff that’s processed and unhealthy, which will lead you down the road of bad health habits.

Then, it’s time to get creative! Buy the basic foods and do some research to learn all the different ways you can combine them to make meals for yourself. Or experiment on your own and see what you can come up with! Foods like tuna and pasta can be stretched into multiple meals if you find the right recipes.

Don’t let your worries stop you from inventing delicious foods for yourself. You’ll be much happier not waiting in the cafeteria line every night, and you’ll have fun while you’re cooking!

Cover Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/amylovesyah/6198142735

Popular Right Now

25 Secret Dairy Queen Treats

Order like an expert.
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views

Flurries and soft serve cones from other ice cream chains can’t compete with the delicious treats served at Dairy Queen. DQ is the perfect place to stop after a family dinner, on a date, or on your way home from work; essentially, there’s never a bad time to eat ice cream. And Dairy Queen has been serving loyal customers for over 75 years, so they know what they’re doing. Blizzard flavors and specialty treats have come and gone over the past decades, but some still exist on the Dairy Queen secret menu. Although not displayed on the menu boards, these items can still be ordered and created just for you. If you’d like one, don’t hesitate to ask!


Secret Blizzard Flavors

1. Banana Creme Pie


Ingredients: sliced banana, pie pieces, and whipped cream

2. Cappuccino Heath

Ingredients: chocolate syrup, coffee concentrate, and Heath

3. Caramel Delight Pie


Ingredients: caramel, choco chunks, and pie pieces

4. Choco Cherry Love

Ingredients: cherry topping and choco chunks

5. Chocolate Chip

Ingredients: a ladle of chocolate cone coating

6. Chocolate Covered Cheesecake


Ingredients: cheesecake pieces, cocoa fudge, and choco chunks

7. Choco Covered Strawberry


Ingredients: strawberries and choco chunks

8. Choco Peanut Butter Brownie

Ingredients: choco chunks, brownie pieces, and peanut butter topping

9. French Silk Pie

Ingredients: pie pieces, choco chunks, cocoa fudge, and whipped cream

10. Georgia Mud Fudge

Ingredients: brownie pieces, cocoa fudge,

11. German Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients: brownie pieces, coconut, pecans, and caramel

12. Mint Chocolate Chip

Ingredients: mint and choco chunks

13. Mocha Chip

Ingredients: coffee concentrate and choco chunks

14. Ooey Gooey Caramel Brownie

Ingredients: caramel, brownie pieces, and choco chunks

15. Oreo Brownie Earthquake

Ingredients: brownie pieces, Oreo cookie pieces, hot fudge, and marshmallow topping

16. Cookie Jar

Ingredients: chocolate chip cookie dough, hot fudge, and Oreo cookie pieces

17. Peanut Butter Butterfinger

Ingredients: Butterfinger and peanut butter topping

18. Strawberry Banana

Ingredients: strawberries and sliced banana

19. Tripleberry Brownie


Ingredients: Tripleberry (from Julius station), brownie pieces, and choco chunks

20. Tropical

Ingredients: sliced banana, pecans, and coconut


Secret Royal Treats

21. Pecan Mudslide

This delicious creation can be created by putting caramel and hot fudge in a large sundae cup. Then, add the ice cream and top with more caramel and hot fudge. Finally, finish it off with some pecans.

22. Oreo Brownie Earthquake

Although DQ no longer has the sliced brownies for the classic version of the brownie earthquake, it’s still possible to make this. Start off with a round treat dish and add ice cream. Top it with hot fudge and marshmallow, and add plenty of brownie pieces and Oreo cookie pieces. Lastly, garnish it with whipped cream!

23. Peanut Butter Bash

Start off with a large sundae cup and pump peanut butter topping and hot fudge into it. Then, add ice cream and top with more peanut butter and hot fudge. Spoon some choco chunks on top, and it’s finished.


Secret Drinks

24. Arctic Rush Freezes


This is just your favorite Arctic Rush with ice cream. You can choose to have the ice cream blended or have the Arctic Rush served with ice cream floating in it!

25. Frozen Hot Chocolate

This can be easily made by filling a clear cup to the red line with Arctic Rush base. Then, add cocoa fudge and the desired flavor (Double Fudge, Caramel, or Peanut Butter). Fill the cup with ice cream and blend. Garnish with whipped cream, and you have a frozen hot chocolate!


Now that you’re a DQ expert, go ahead and order your favorite secret menu treat! Be aware, however, that toppings and candies may vary by location.

Cover Image Credit: http://assets3.thrillist.com/

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7 Reasons Starbucks' Coffee Is 100 Percent Superior To Dunkin Donuts Coffee

Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?

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There has been this controversial debate on whether Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts is the better option when it comes to getting one of the best coffees. As a lover of the White Chocolate Mocha, I can not begin to fathom how someone would be willing to go to Starbucks' competitor, Dunkin Donuts. Here are 5 reasons why you should kick Dunkin Donuts to the curb and let Starbucks into your life!

Study Spot

What better place is there to study than Starbucks! The comfy couches allow you to relax and do your homework peacefully.

The Holiday cups

During the Christmas season, Starbucks comes out with creative cups design for the most wonderful time of the year!

Frappuccinos> Coolatta

Frappuccinos definitely rule over the Coolattas that Dunkin provides.

More menu options

Starbucks provides way more coffee drinks than Dunkin. And the best part is that you can customize your own coffee/latte/tea. Anything you name, Starbucks has it.

The Lactose intolerants are certainly welcomed at Starbucks!

One of my friends is Lactose intolerant and she tells me that Starbucks has dairy-free options.

Best food quantity

Does Dunkin Donuts sell cake pops? I don't think so.

BEST Quality Coffee

Starbucks has the top quality coffees and lets be honest Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes burnt

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