If you do not care for cafeteria food or just do not have the time to go, great meals can be prepared by dorm room cooking, from a simple lunch to a great dinner. (Make sure cooking is allowed before you spend the time and money gathering items.) All you need are two very small appliances, some basic tools and a few standard ingredients. Gather simple recipes from Mom or you can check on-line recipes already tried and proven by other students that have “been there, done that”.
Kitchen necessities for dorm room cooking:
1 microwave oven and a small refrigerator (preferable with freezer), George Forman Grill is a plus.
Microwave-safe bowls (2 or 3), glass baking dish (small), knives, measuring cup (glass to use in microwave), cutting board, wooden spoons, can opener, potholders, tea towels, zip lock baggies, foil, plastic wrap, paper plates/ bowls/ towels, plastic forks/spoons/cups, dish pan (small plastic), Clorox wipes and dish washing soap.
Refrigerator necessities for dorm room cooking:
V-8 or fruit juice, frozen dinners, fresh fruit, cheese, salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine, milk
Pantry necessities for dorm room cooking:
Spray Oil, chips, peanut butter, rice, pasta, dry cereal, bread, refried beans, salsa, tuna, canned soups, microwave popcorn, crackers, instant tea and coffee, canned fruit, sports bars, raisins, nuts, dried fruit
Storage in a dorm room is always a concern. For pantry items necessary for dorm room cooking, purchase a plastic storage container with a snap closure lid for concealment in a closet or under-bed space. The snap closure lid will protect items from any bugs or mice, but human invasion cannot be avoided. Plan to restock often.
Recipes for dorm room cooking:
There may be recipe books available in your local book store. I could not find any satisfactory books listed on Amazon for dorm room cooking recipes, but I did find an interesting article on ask dot metafilter dot com that asks the question, “What are some inventive recipes for cooking in a dorm room?” Some of the answers offered are quite good, some scary and some very funny. One person warned against trying to roast peanuts in a microwave as the results would be that everyone in the dorm would hunt you down! They repeated the caution twice. I can only assume that popcorn might have the same effect, as it always did when someone cooked popcorn in our office building. (The entire link is listed at the end of this article.)
If you are fortunate enough to be allowed some dorm room cooking, you might have interest in creating your own cuisine from time to time. Cafeteria food does “get old” after a period and having foods you like, especially on your own timetable, could be a very nice alternative.