The Perfect Panna Cotta Recipe

The Perfect Panna Cotta Recipe

How to make your friends think you're a chef (when you really aren't).

Now that I am a sophomore and no longer need a meal plan to sustain myself, I have to put at least decent effort to cook for my friends and myself. Luckily, making basic food is not too complicated. When I want to impress some friends, however, there is an art to leaving an impression while still being new to fixing a meal. Today, I will be introducing a very simple dessert that is easy, cheap, and tastes extremely good. Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert that means "cooked cream" and is essentially just that. One of the reasons this dessert is so convenient for college is that it requires only a few simple ingredients and is quite literally as easy as boiling water. I have made panna cotta several times and this is the best recipe I have found by far. It treats your sweet tooth and has the perfect texture of being as close to a liquid as a solid is going to get.

A list of what you will need for the panna cotta:

  • 2.5 cups of heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups of whole milk
  • 5 table spoons of sugar
  • 1 packet on unflavored gelatin
  • A splash of vanilla

Also, here is some of the equipment that you will need to have as well. Iam adding this because I realize how difficult it can sometimes be to find equipment on campus.

  • Stove
  • Refrigerator
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Measuring equipment
  • Small dishes or cups for the panna cotta to set in

Lastly, for some extra flavor, you can also add some homemade sauce on top using fruit. I have no real or exact measurements for this, but if you just have a cup or so of berries, a little water, and some corn starch, you will be fine.

First, mix the milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla into the sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Then, turn the heat off and whisk in the gelatin. Once everything has been combined, pour the mixture into the small dishes or cups. Refrigerate this for four hours or overnight. Honestly, the longer it chills, the better. Hopefully, by the time you take it out, the panna cotta will jiggle like Jell-O without being too watery. It really is that simple.

If you want to add some fruit sauce to the panna cotta, I recommend waiting until the dessert has set before you start this part of the recipe. One of the better parts of having the berries is the sensation of the cool panna cotta and the warm sauce mixing together in your mouth. You do not want to ruin that by having the berries get cold.

To make the berry sauce, simply pour the amount of fruit you have into a sauce pan and add some water. However, do not add so much water that the product will end up watery; the tops of the berries should still be above the water. Honestly, you do not have to add much at all. You can add a little sugar or vanilla at this point, but I prefer the contrast of sweet and slightly sour for the final dessert. Turn the heat to low and stir the water and berries constantly. Mash the berries up a little near the end and add a small amount of corn starch. "Small" is the key word, here. A pinch is usually enough. One the sauce has thickened slightly, pour it over the panna cotta. All that is left to do is enjoy.

Even though it takes forever to set, you will no doubt impress your friends with this easy recipe. Everything you need for roughly four servings only costs about 15 dollars. The taste is great, but the fact that people will think you know what you're doing in a kitchen is even sweeter.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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A Saturday In The Life Of A Freshman

Welcome to Darty Season


Have you ever had a more stereotypical freshman's Saturday than my friends Maddie, Lauren, Jocelyn, Meg, Barbara, and I? Keep reading to see a packed day in darty season from a freshman's point of view.

9:00 am

My alarm that I meant to set for the day before goes off. I begrudgingly roll over, and turn it off, falling back asleep.

10:00 am

I finally wake up, roll, or jump, out of my lofted bed, grab my laptop, and do a little studying for my exam on Monday -- there's no time for that later today, so I've gotta get some of it done then.

10:30 am

Shower. Pick an outfit. Brush teeth. Makeup. Pack a bag of extra clothes.

12:00 pm

I walked downstairs to the lobby to meet two of my friends who were gonna walk with me to Tutweiler Hall.

12:30 pm

My friends and I at the fundraising event

Elizabeth Gainey

We arrived at Tut, met our friends, then left to go to a philantropy event at Sig Tau sponsored by B+, an organization that assists the families of children diagnosed with cancer. Their burgers and fries were top notch.

2:30 pm

The Hackberrys, a band comprised of UA students, played the event. We left to go back to Tut after a few songs.

3:00 pm

We finally got back at Tut, changed clothes, listened to music, hung out.

3:45 pm

We *finally* left for Pike (sorry mom!). You know how long it takes five girls to get ready, so don't act so shocked.

4:10 pm

Myself, super escstatic about having to wait in a mob of people to get in

Elizabeth Gainey

Have you ever arrived to a frat when it's at capacity? Yeah, around 100 screaming girls were shoving to get into the darty. It was an experience like no other, but eventually, we made our way in. It may have been in groups of two, and we definitely lost a girl to the crowd (she's fine!), but we made it.

6:30 pm

After dancing on an elevated surface or two, walking in circles around their courtyard, watching an active climb into a basketball goal, and waiting in a way-too-long line for the restroom, we decided to go back to Tut.

6:45 pm

We definitely made a stop to grab a snack or two on our way back to Tut.

7:15 pm

After realizing that none of the parties at night were gonna start until around 10 pm, we decided to watch some random YouTube videos and Netflix to pass the time. There was also another stop for snacks at the infamous Julia's on the first floor of Tut.

9:30 pm

My third outfit change of the day. We decided to leave Tut for frat row for the third time that day, too. I wanna say my total steps for the day was around 17,000? It was a lot.

10:00 pm

Best view in the house (Myself on the left, Maddie on the right)

Elizabeth Gainey

We got to Sigma Pi as the party was just starting to build up. Their band room was filled within the hour, and they had a pretty good DJ. Although the active yelling at me and my friend to get off the stage was no fun.

11:00 pm

Have you ever faked out a frat boy with a soccer ball? Well, now I can say I have.

12:00 am

After someone pulled the fire alarm on Sigma Pi, we decided to walk back to Tut.

12:45 am

My two Ragecrest friends and I decided to take the bus back because, after the stretch to and from frat row three times, we had no more walking left in us.

1:00 am

Canes chicken tenders. Enough said. It's the way to end a night.

It was a very packed, but very fun and eventful day. We pretty much hit all the spring semester stereotypes: walking along and to frat row, going to a darty, going to a frat party, going to a philanthropy event, and more. As crazy as the day was, I highly recommend trying a day like this once because you won't forget it!


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