Dealing with Specialty Diets at College

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When it comes to food, no two bodies are the same. And as our knowledge of nutrition grows, so does our own knowledge of what our body does and doesn’t need. For some, dietary restrictions are a result of having severe food allergies or a nutrition-related disease. For others, the desire to respect their faith or beliefs — or just to eat healthily while at college — is the driving factor. Whatever your particular case, if you follow a specialty diet, here’s what you need to know about eating in college.

 

Contact Student Disability Office

If you have a significant food allergy for which you need particular accommodation, you must go straight to the Student Disability Office on your campus. They can ensure that your classroom is peanut-free or that the cafeteria has to clean their plates a certain way to prevent contamination. Plus, if you were to have a bad reaction that would affect your school work, you would be provided those accommodations because of your disability. Just remember to bring any and all doctor’s notes and information on your specific disorder so they are informed and it is on record.

 

Work With the Nutritional Officer

Each campus with a cafeteria has a head nutritionist or nutritional officer who looks over meal plans. They should be your go-to if you are struggling to find food that you can safely eat. Many will even work with you to ensure there’s at least one daily menu item that you can eat. A great one will take your advice and needs to mind and design meals and set out snacks and sides that work for you.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Cook

Because it’s mostly “quick service” of sandwiches and other fast items, lunch can be the most difficult meal to find substitutes for. But you don’t have to be stuck eating the same thing every single day. Instead, become an expert dorm room chef! Your residence hall likely has a common area with a stove, oven, and/or microwave — everything you need to boil up some gluten-free pasta or put some vegan cookies on to bake. Grab yourself some cooking staples that fit with your diet, plus a pot and a pan, and you’ll be all set.

 

Give the Gift of Health

If you’re concerned that your student is not eating because of dietary concerns, try a care package. Care packages are mailed to them (either for an occasion or just because). There are several specialty versions that offer a great solution. For example, OCM’s Kosher Support Package cuts out items that cannot be consumed and only goes for the good stuff. There’s no guess work or searching through small-print ingredient lists. It’s the perfect gift for someone who needs a tasty pick-me-up during final exam week.

 

Speak Your Mind

If you’re struggling to find food to match your diet, you’re probably not alone. This is when taking your grievances to the higher ups really matter. Give your cafeteria time to adapt to your needs, but if they aren’t following through, seek help from a Dean or Student Life office. If that doesn’t work, consider starting support groups for students in similar situations or writing an editorial to the school newspaper about the lack of halal menu items. Your voice should be heard, especially when it comes to something as important as specialty diets in college.

The Best College Majors for Foodies

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Top Chef is your favorite TV show. You’ve got a bucket list of restaurants you want to visit. Your book collection is more like a cookbook collection. You are a proud foodie! But how does being a lover of all things tasty translate to a college major? These are the best majors for foodies, some traditional and some not, that will help you find a great way to blend a future career with your delicious passion.

 

Chef

Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. Attending culinary school is the easiest way to graduate with the skills you need to work in the kitchen. Specialize in a particular type of food or food art, and you’ll be more marketable.

 

Food Science

Food scientists are the ones who create the food from start to finish. Like chefs, they come up with new ideas, taste test, quality control and recreate. They work with food manufacturers and producers, but it’s an engineering degree at heart.

 

Biotechnology

At the micro level is biotechnology in food sciences. This major is perfect for the engineer or chemist who loves to play with their dishes. You’ll study what makes food, well, food and how our bodies process it at a molecular level.

 

Nutrition

While you may not be making food, you’ll be helping others consume food differently. Nutritionists and dietitians work with hospitals or in private practices helping clients and patients choose meals for their special diets or weight loss.

 

Art or Design

Bakers, in particular, could benefit from an art or design degree where you’ll pick up drawing and creating skills that could translate to beautiful (food) works. The better you are at designing, the more client you’re likely to attract.

 

Photography

Food photography is a skill that’s picking up! You’ll work with business, publications, independent writers, journalists, restaurants, etc. on creating gorgeous images of recipes in action or food for sale. A photography major will show you how to get the best lighting or color combos.

 

Journalism

Critics and travel writers all get started somewhere, and it’s often with a degree in Journalism or English. Having strong writing skills and a portfolio to show your range can improve your chances in this competitive field.

 

Food Business/Services

At your college cafeteria is probably someone who majored in Food Business. It’s a growing major that teaches you how to manage restaurants, cafeterias, and craft services. You’ll learn how to supervise staff, create long-term or seasonal menus, and market your business to prospective clients.

 

Agriculture

If your passion is growing it from the ground, agriculture is the best major for you. You can use this major to go into organic farming or put it to a purpose by teaching others how to make sustainable food sources in urban or developing areas.

 

As you can see, foodies have so many college major options to build their skills and find a successful career. By thinking out of the box and customizing your degree to your passion, you can cook up a foodie profession you can be proud to call your own.

 

Delicious Microwave Desserts You Can Make in a Mug

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Microwave-Desserts

Bakers and fans of homemade desserts have never had much to celebrate when living in the dorms. There’s no easy access to ovens, and dorms lack quality baking supplies. Plus, students have limited time — meaning fewer cookies, cakes, and brownies, except for the insipid stuff the cafeteria tries to pass off as homemade.

But we’re here to tell you that you can bake decadent desserts with just a few ingredients, a mug (or mason jar), and a microwave! Here are a few starter recipes to get you baking dorm room style!

 

smores-mug

Fire-Less S’mores in a Mug

Who needs a campfire when you’ve got a microwave in your dorm room? Make these super delicious throwback desserts in under five minutes. Bonus: no risk of dropping your marshmallow into an open flame or contaminating your cracker on a dirty rock.

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. white flour
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ⅓ tsp. baking powder
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4-5 graham crackers, crushed
  • 3-4 chocolate squares (any type)
  • Handful of mini marshmallows

 

Directions:

  1. In a mug, stir flour, oil, baking powder, milk, sugar, and graham crackers until well mixed.
  2. Add chocolate squares to the center of the mixture and microwave in 30-second intervals until mostly melted.
  3. Top with mini marshmallows and microwave 10 to 20 seconds until melted.

 

mug

Instant Cinnamon Roll in a Mug

Who said dessert was just for after dinner? When we want a treat for breakfast, we make ourselves a huge, fluffy cinnamon roll just like our mom did for special occasions. But given just how easy it is to make these rolls in the microwave, we may have to make them every day of the week.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp. of syrup (to taste)
  • Icing or frosting*

 

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a mug until the flour is not clumpy.
  2. Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
  3. Spoon or drizzle icing or frosting on top. Serve warm.

 

*Icing is also easy to make in your dorm! To make a cream cheese version perfect for cinnamon rolls, use 1 tbsp. cream cheese, 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. milk. Whisk all ingredients together with a fork in a small bowl and add to your roll!

 

berry-pie-mug-microwave

Pick-Your-Berry Pie in a Cup

It’s not exactly summer yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re not dreaming of summer desserts like our favorite berry-filled pies. Pick your favorite flavor (blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry are highly recommended) and experiment with this quick and easy recipe. Add a scoop of ice cream to make it even more satisfying.

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup berries (your choice; if frozen, thaw)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp milk

 

Directions:

  1. Chop or mash berries and mix with powdered sugar at bottom of the mug.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl. Add on top of berry mix.
  3. Microwave 1½ minutes.
  4. Allow 30 seconds to cool. Add ice cream to the top, or allow it to melt in to make it a cobbler!

Must-Haves For Your College Kitchen

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college kitchen

Whether you moved into your own off-campus apartment earlier in your college career or are just finally starting to reap the benefits as a senior, one of the most exciting (and sometimes most challenging!) parts of living on your own in college is having a kitchen!

As a senior at St. Michael’s College, I finally have a kitchen in my on-campus “townhouse”. I’ve enjoyed bidding an official adieu to dining hall food and cooking for myself, however, this privilege comes with some responsibilities.

Chances are, you’ll be dealing with a small space, limited storage, other roommates to share this with, and a responsibility to keep things clean around your already hectic schedules.

That said, here are some absolute must-haves for keeping things easy and breezy in your college kitchen!

1.) Cookware Items

You won’t have the space and convenience of your parents’ kitchen, so you’ll need to do some thinking and prioritize what you think you’ll use the most. These are my musts:

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– Baking sheet

– Cutting board

– Frying pan

– Wooden spoon

– Strainer

– Large multipurpose pot

2.) Cleaning Items

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It’s imperative to keep your college kitchen clean, especially given the small space you’re likely sharing with others. You’ll get by with Clorox wipes, paper towels, a vacuum, awareness of the mess you’re making and promptness in cleaning up after yourself.

3.) Patience & Communication 

patience

Be aware of the time and space you’re taking up in the kitchen, be considerate of other people’s time and space, and communicate your wants and needs to the best of your ability. You’ll be able to enjoy and even learn from the experience!

What is your favorite part of having a kitchen in college?

 

Our Favorite Ways to Eat Watermelon (Plus Recipes!)

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Watermelon Recipes

In honor of National Watermelon Day, we’re getting our favorite fruit out of the fridge and onto the counter. While you may love yours whole and fresh (who doesn’t), there’s actually a ton you can do with watermelon! This ultimate guide will give you ideas for just about any dish from appetizer to dessert and beyond.

watermelon

Appetizer: Watermelon Slices With Lime, Mint, and Honey

Watermelon slices are our absolute favorite pre-meal eats for a summer afternoon, but it can get boring after a few bites. Mix it up with a few extra ingredients to make it more of a wow factor.

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon, sliced in thick pieces
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • Handful of finely chopped mint

To make:

  1. Mix honey and lime in small pot and heat on medium-high for 1-3 minutes.
  2. Allow honey and lime to cool and then generously spread on watermelon slices. Top with mint for an extra kick.

 

Salad: Watermelon Salad With Feta and Almonds

When we think of a summer salad, we usually think of raspberries or strawberries, but watermelon is becoming a new favorite salad topping! We love how you can personalize this dish to make it your own.

Ingredients:

  • Leafy greens
  • Mint leafs
  • Tomatoes, preferably cherry or heirloom
  • Watermelon in cubes or small bites
  • Feta cheese
  • Slivered almonds
  • Raspberry vinaigrette dressing

To make:

  1. It’s as easy as taking all the ingredients and tossing together! Play around with dressings, nuts, and toppings.

 

Entrees: Watermelon and Shrimp Lettuce Wrap

We know it sounds weird to have watermelon in the main course, but it’s an added flavor that totally changes up a meal from bland to amazing! Plus, watermelon goes with a lot of meats and seafood, including pork and shrimp.

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp, tail off
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Romaine lettuce pieces
  • Watermelon cut in chunks
  • Feta cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To make:

  1. In a small pan, heat oil for 1-2 minutes on medium-low. In a dish, cover shrimp with garlic powder. Add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes on each side.
  2. Remove shrimp and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Spread lettuce and add shrimp, watermelon, and feta cheese. Sprinkle with vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Roll the lettuce up and serve as a wrap.

 

Desserts: Watermelon Popsicle

Sure, we get that you’re an adult with sophisticated tastes when it comes to your food choices. However, we can guarantee that you’ll go NUTS when you take a bite of a classic watermelon popsicle. It’s a flashback on childhood you won’t want to miss.

Ingredients:

  • Chopped watermelon (roughly 3-5 cups’ worth)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • Dash of salt

To make:

  1. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until watermelon is liquid and sugar is fully dissolved. If needed, add more lime juice to taste.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and add popsicle sticks. Freeze and serve.

**Don’t have popsicle molds? No problem! By using ice cube trays, you can make watermelon ice cubes that are perfect to toss into your favorite juices, lemonades, and other summer drink mixes. Or you can stick toothpicks in them for mini-popsicles that make a great, guilt-free, refreshing treat!

Homemade Tomato Sauce (& Dishes You Can Use it in!)

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Tomato sauce

Eating and cooking healthy foods means starting with whole-food recipes. However, making everything from scratch can be time consuming and even difficult. Luckily, one must-have pantry item is both simple and customizable. Knowing how to make your own tomato sauce can help you cut down on carbs and keep your meals truly organic. Here’s how to make your own homemade tomato sauce and a few dishes you can use it in.

How to Make Tomato Sauce

Just like so many favorite foods, you probably like your tomato sauce a certain way. Some like it super spicy, and others love it with a little meat in it. You may like cheesy versions while a friend is all about mushrooms and onion. There is no wrong way to make tomato sauce!

To get you started, here’s how to make a base recipe good for about 4-5 total cups worth. Add on your favorite flavors, spices, meats, veggies, and more to create a sauce where you’ll love each and every taste.

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What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • 10 large, ripe tomatoes (tomatoes on the vine preferred)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1½ tbsp. butter, unmelted
  • ⅓ cup basil, chopped
  • ½ tsp. of Italian seasoning mix
  • 2-5 cloves garlic, to taste, minced
  • ¼ cup red cooking wine
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 whole bay leaf

Supplies

  • 1-2 large jars (recycle old tomato sauce jars to save money)
  • 2 medium cooking pots
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Ice water
  • Blender or food processor

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Instructions

  1. Boil water in medium pan. Keep pan full of ice water nearby.
  2. When water boils, add all tomatoes and stew for 1-2 minutes, until the skin starts to fall off of the tomatoes or look as if it is peeling. Remove tomatoes immediately and place in ice water.
  3. When cool, remove the tomatoes. Peel the skin off and remove the seeds. Place in blender or food processor and mince. Sauce should be chunky and not too runny.
  4. In second pot, heat oil and/or butter. When melted, add tomatoes, basil, seasoning, garlic, red wine, and any other seasonings you desire.
  5. Let boil. Reduce heat and mix in tomato paste and bay leaf.
  6. Cover and cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaf and either serve fresh in your recipe or let cool and store in your jar.

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Dishes Perfect for Tomato Sauce

Now that you’ve successfully made your perfect tomato sauce, it’s time to serve it up! Our first best bet for tomato sauce pairing is always a great pasta. Whatever your pasta recipe, highly recommended is cooking your pasta directly in the sauce. Cook the noodles al dente, and add a touch of oil to the sauce to keep the pasta from sticking, and cook altogether in a large pat. It warms up the sauce and helps it to stick directly to the noodles.

But it’s not just Italian dishes that require tomato sauce! We love fresh sauce in our favorite Mexican dishes as well! Add chiles, red onion, and peppers to your recipe for a sauce that can be used in oven baked bean burritos. Mix in cooked black beans with the sauce, add cream cheese and shredded cheese to the mix, and then spread in a burrito. Roll, cover with more sauce and cheese, and bake in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is cooked.

Finally, don’t be afraid to use your homemade tomato sauce in on-the-go recipes. Sure, we all love a good meatball sandwich, but that’s not all tomato sauce goes with! Vegetarians will love adding it to grilled cheese sandwiches and organic meat lovers will become addicted when it’s added to fresh hard salami, swiss cheese, and extra basil on french bread. Buon appetito!

Kitchen Supplies Every College Student Needs: Apartment Edition

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Kitchen Tools (Apartment) (1)

Getting your first apartment is one of the most exciting parts of college! It signals that you are ready to step into adulthood for real and that you’re fully independent. But that independence comes with picking up or dusting off some skills you may have forgotten while living at home or in the dorms, especially cooking and baking. Having a properly stocked kitchen with the must-have supplies will get you set up on the right foot. Here’s a list of kitchen supplies all college students need in their apartments.

Must-Have Kitchen Supplies Every College Student Needs in an Apartment

1.   Pot and Pan Set With Lids and Colander

Nothing fancy required, but a few sizes of pots and pans along with lids and a colander can really take your cooking to the next level.

2.   Baking Sheets

Just like pots and pans, you may want to get a few sizes of sheets such as a round one for pizza, brownie or cake for desserts, and flat versions for cookies.

3.   Tupperware

Cooking for yourself leaves you with plenty of opportunities for leftovers. Have every last drop available to you by storing in tupperware. (If you don’t want to buy these, save old tubs from butter, whip cream, etc. and recycle!)

4.   Dishtowels, Oven Mitts, Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies and kitchen linens are a must. Remember that you’re the one in charge of keeping everything tidy.

5.   2 Sets of Utensils

Can opener, bottle opener, mixing spoons, spatula, veggie peeler, whisk, and scoop should be doubled up since they’ll be in use more frequently.

6.   Spice Rack or Holder

Outside a pepper and salt shaker, storing your spices must be done properly to avoid a big mess. You can pre-buy a rack with spices already there if you want to save time.

7.   Single-Size Blender, Coffee Maker, Electric Tea-Kettle, Hand Mixer

Deciding on kitchen appliances is really dependent on your lifestyle. Only get what you will actually use like coffee maker for your coffee addiction or blenders for your smoothie.

8.   Toaster and Microwave

Two tech items you will want to have around no matter what is a microwave and toaster. Some apartments may provide these, but it’s not guaranteed.

9.   Dishware, Silverware, Glasses, and Mugs

Don’t just get a single set of dishes and silverware. You’ll probably have guests that will want to eat your delicious foods, so go with a set of 4 or 6 to play it safe.

10. Serving-ware

Even if you’re not one to throw a huge dinner party, some serving-ware can just make life easier. A bowl to display fruit, salad tongs, pasta bowls, and more can all be doubled up on use even when it’s just you.

11. Dish Organizer for Sink

Depending on your dish situation, you won’t just want to throw your dirty dishes straight into your sink. A dish organizer or drying rack will keep things separate until you’re ready to wash or put away.

12. Trash Can

Your dorm most likely provided one, but in your apartment, you’re on your own. You can go cheap, but make sure it is easily cleaned and taken apart.

13. Knife Set

No kitchen is complete without a sturdy, reliable knife set. It should contain a few steak knives, a good pair of scissors, carving knives, and chef knives.

Kitchen Supplies Every College Student Needs: Dorm Edition

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Kitchen Tools (Dorm)

With meal plans, dining halls, and ample nights out with friends, you’re probably prepared to give up cooking for the next four years. After all, who needs to make their own food when they can get it done for them? But the truth is that sometimes having your own home-cooked meal or even just a few treats you can’t get in the cafeteria is a luxury you can give yourself. Packing and planning your dorm room shouldn’t ignore the basics, and this list gives you an idea of the kitchen supplies every college student needs while living in the dorms.

Kitchen Supplies Every College Student Needs in Their Dorm

1. Rice Cooker

You don’t have to be a carb lover to be addicted to your rice cooker. You can use it to instantly warm up water for noodles and soups or even steam your veggies! It’s the perfect double duty machine.

2. Cutting Knife

Before purchasing this one, check with your residence hall rules, but having a sharp knife to slice through apples or some leftover sandwich saves you from a load of broken plastic knives.

3. Larger Sized, Metal or Wooden Spatula and Mixing Spoon

You really don’t need much in terms of utensils when living in the dorms but spatulas and mixing spoons are key. Just make sure they will last by getting higher quality metal or wood instead of easily warped or broken plastic.

4. Microwave Safe Dishware

Much of your food will likely be cooked via a shared microwave so be sure you check the label on your bowls and plates before you nuke. This material is also more sturdy and holds up over the years if that’s important to you.

5. Mixing Bowl Set

Baking can be complicated in the dorms, but even if you’re not making brownies every night, having one or two larger sized bowls can make cooking pasta, serving fresh cut fruit, or stirring up soup that much easier.

6. Medium-Sized Pot and Pan With Lids

Save your money and avoid buying big sets of pots and pans. You can do with just a medium sized pot and pan considering you’re probably only cooking for one or two at a time.

7. Tea Kettle or Coffee Maker

Believe us when we say that tea and coffee made at home in the dorm ALWAYS beats out cafeteria versions. Plus doing it at home saves you big bucks on your favorite drink. Don’t forget the mug!

8. Measuring Cups and Spoons

Another baking essential, this comes in handy if you plan on being more creative with your food choices.

9. Tupperware

Even if you don’t cook at all, you’ll need some good quality tupperware to store leftovers. We recommend a variety of sizes that can fit in one another to save space. But test the size in your mini fridge so it fits!

10. Can and Bottle Opener

There is absolutely nothing worse than having a can and no can opener or a bottle and no bottle opener. Go old school on both of these because there’s zero need for fancy appliance versions.

11. Silverware

Discount stores make decent quality sets that’s usually an individual set so you’re not buying for an entire party.

12. Set of Dish Towels

Dish towels are cleaning musts, and they also double for oven mitts or protection on your desk or table when you set down your pans.

Summer Adventures: Kitchen Concoctions

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Hello all! I hope you’re all enjoying the beginning of your summer vacation, wherever you are and however you’ve spent it so far! As this is my last summer before graduating, I’m excited to knock a few to-dos off my summer bucket list! I’ll also share my favorite guacamole recipe — it’s super simple, and makes for the perfect summer snack.

As college students, we all know that summer vacations are precious time. And for this particular college student, this summer is my last before I graduate next spring! I had a brief moment of shock today going through the next few months in my head, realizing I already had so many weekends booked up and so many things planned. It’s my last college summer, and perhaps the last summer that I’ll have this much freedom to run around adventuring. Naturally, I wanted to make sure I’ll be able to conquer my bucket list of adventures! I have plans to go camping, attend a surprise family wedding, see the Zac Brown Band live at Fenway Park, and possibly visit a lake house for a weekend!

So over the next few months, I’ll be taking you all through the adventures of my last college summer! On this Tuesday’s Summer Adventures, I’ll be discussing one of my favorite parts of being home for the summer: food! With a kitchen finally in arm’s reach, it’s time at last to leave behind all that dining hall food.

I’ve actually been very into cooking lately. Once you learn different techniques and develop different tastes, the kitchen becomes a world of experimentation and an opportunity to try new things!

Today, I’ll be taking you through my favorite guacamole recipe! (Ok, so this isn’t technically cooking. But it’s a classic summer snack that I couldn’t help sharing my go-to version of!)

Whether you just spent a full day at your summer job, or you need a substantial pre-dinner pick-me-up after a day spent in the sun, this guacamole recipe is a sure way to put you in the summer mood!

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Ingredients:

2 large avocados (3 for a larger group)

1/2 of a small red onion, chopped finely

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime (In my opinion, you can never have too much lime juice. Go crazy.)

Salt and black pepper to taste (A tip in advance: you’ll need plenty of both, but taste along the way to make sure it’s to your liking.)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients by mashing with a large fork. Mash and mix to your desired consistency, but if you ask me, a little chunky is the way to go!

Enjoy your summer snack! What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

5 Favorite Christmas Desserts to Impress Your Family

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easy-xmas-recipes-family

 

The struggle to come up with Christmas food ideas is real, especially if you’re not a seasoned chef.  And if you’re looking to impress, it’s easy to get way over your head with desserts in particular. However, there are some very simple Christmas favorites that will get your family saying “yum” with just a few ingredients and steps. Here are our top five faves.

1.   Eggnog Fudge

 egg-nog-fudge

Combining two holiday favorites, you’ll love this Christmas-only treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ cup eggnog
  • 13 oz. package white chocolate chips
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 8 oz. jar marshmallow cream

 

How to Make:

  1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, boil the sugar, butter, and eggnog together. Stir frequently for 8-10 minutes after boil starts.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate chips, nutmeg, and marshmallow cream until well blended and chocolate is melted.
  3. Pour in small pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Cool at room temperature and then cut into squares or large pieces.

 

2.   Mint Cookies

 mint-cookies-ritz

Cookies are expected, but when you don’t have an oven to work with, you can still make something deliciously Christmas.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. baking chocolate
  • 3 drops of peppermint extract (found in spice aisle)
  • 1 package Ritz crackers

 

How to Make:

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave and stir in extract.
  2. Make rows of Ritz crackers on baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  3. Cover and spread chocolate on Ritz crackers and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.

 

3.   Christmas Chocolate Bark

xmas-choco-bark-pepmint

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Triple the punch with three different kinds in one serving.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 8 oz. white chocolate
  • 2-3 candy canes, crushed

 

How to Make:

  1. Chop chocolate very finely and separate into individual bowls.
  2. Melt bittersweet chocolate using a microwave safe bowl and pour and spread onto a small, rectangular pan or dish lined with parchment paper.
  3. Cool for 15 minutes in the freezer.
  4. Repeat steps for semisweet and white chocolate by making new layers on top of the one before it and freezing each time so it does not run.
  5. While white chocolate is still warm, sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.

 

4.   Christmas Cake Balls

 xmas-cake-balls

Cake balls are all the rage, but you don’t need a fancy maker. Create them the easy way with this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cake mix (your choice)
  • Red or green frosting
  • Holiday-themed sprinkles

 

How to Make:

  1. Prepare cake mix by directions on box.
  2. Crumble warm cake in a bowl until soft again and form into balls using a melon baller, cookie scoop, or your hands.
  3. Warm frosting in microwave until somewhat runny. Drop in cake balls and cover. Use a fork to transfer onto a plate or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Cool in the fridge for 2-4 hours or until frosting is hard.
  5. Add sprinkles.

 

5.   Nutella Cheesecake

 nutella-cheesecake

Nutella is great all year round, but cheesecake is especially amazing during the holidays. This recipe is almost too easy to be true!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 1¼ cup white sugar
  • 13 oz. jar of Nutella
  • 1 crust of your choice (chocolate graham cracker is recommended)

 

How to Make:

  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar till mixed.
  2. Use a blender to stir in Nutella.
  3. Pour and spread evenly onto crust.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.