Let me set up a completely not true at all but just go with it hypothetical situation: You’re an 18-23 year-old college student living in a dorm or an apartment close to a college campus. You are off meal plan, but many of your friends still eat dining hall food regularly. You enjoy food. You enjoy cooking. Sometimes, you don’t feel like cooking intricate and in-depth recipes for every meal because you’re usually cooking for one. You don’t want to buy food every day, but also don’t want to subsist on instant oatmeal and Easy Mac. What to do? Luckily for you this completely anonymous and hypothetical person with no connection to you at all, one woman has your back, through thick and thin, through cocktails and more cocktails: Sandra Lee.
Ms. Lee has made a career drinking vodka on television helping you make “Semi-Homemade Cooking” and “Money Saving Meals” on the Food Network by using a 70/30 attitude when it comes to cooking; 70% ready-made products and 30% fresh ingredients. In other words, you’ll learn how to trick others into thinking you slaved over a hot stove for hours!
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I haven’t really ever taken too much an interest in Sandra Lee, nor have I watched her show for more than a few minutes. Despite the fact that I have never made one of her Frankenstein concoctions before, I find her methodology to cooking very college-friendly. There are a ton of things you can do to improve upon ready-to-make foods. The Internet is swarming with “recipes,” or you can just figure stuff out with food you already have. So, in honor of this approach to gastronomy in college sans meal plan, I present you with some great ideas for cheating your way to homemade. [Read more →]