An essential gift guide for college students living in dorms.
When your daughter is a dorm-living college student, you learn a few things from her. These campus dwellers develop some skills, some out of necessity and some out of desire.
Eating 3 meals a day in the college cafeteria can be hard. There is some variety initially but after awhile the food rotations seem to dwindle. Everything starts to look and taste the same. It can be expensive too. If you are used to eating cereal and fruit in the morning but eat in the cafeteria instead, you essentially are paying for a $6 bowl of cereal and an apple if you are on a meal plan. Most dorm students end up using at least their fridge and microwave. Some dive into some very creative dorm room cuisine using approved appliances which rarely include a hot plate or toaster. At our daughters school, appliances are required to have an auto shut off and not have exposed heating elements. This leads to some very creative solutions such as using your rice cooker to make soup or Pad Thai.
Another reason to cook in your dorm is to avoid the Freshman 15. It is very easy to make healthy meals using limited resources. Think wraps, salads, sandwiches, veggie bowls. Just stay away from microwave pizza and hot pockets and do some really, but easy cooking.
The beauty of this gift guide is that all of these items are on Amazon, which you can order from your couch, in your jammies, and delivered right to their door. I do this a lot with Miss B. We live in different states and I save some money ordering on Amazon rather than shopping and driving the stuff to her. She could shop on her own, in her spare time, which is never.
Below are some items that either Miss Bianca is currently using or that is on her wish list. If you have some dorm room tricks or have a favorite cooking item we didn’t mention, leave a comment below and let us all in on your little secrets.
our top picks
Dorm Room Cuisine Cookbook – A dorm cookbook written by me and my daughter, Miss Bianca. We might be a little biased but we put a lot of work into this book for you and we think you’ll love it. Master the art of cooking in a rice cooker, microwave and crockpot. Let us know how all of your creations turn out.
Steel Dual Julienne & Vegetable Peeler – No need for an expensive julienne spiraling device that is difficult to clean for a college student. This handy tool I use all the time, an easy way to spiralize veggies and eat healthier.
Westinghouse 10 Cup (Cooked), Rice Cooker / Food Steamer – This is where all of the dorm cooking magic happens. Rice, couscous, soup, Thai dishes. This very versatile cooking utensil is a must have for everyone but especially college students. The non-stick surface makes it easy to clean. This style of rice cooker is my favorite, with a removable lid and pot. It makes it way easier to clean than the hinged variety.
Danby Microwave, 0.7 cu.ft., Black and Stainless Steel – If you can only have one appliance, the microwave would be it. In a nutshell, you can make everything in a microwave, even coffee and rice.
Casual Home Kitchen Island with Solid American Hardwood Top – This is a necessary luxury according to Miss B. Her dorm room has a cubby ample enough for a fridge, and 3 linear feet of shelving for appliances, like microwave and coffee pot. Actual food prep is very hard unless you have one of these. This is a small kitchen island with shelves only which makes it easier to assemble for your college bound student. Ordering on Amazon makes this easy, delivered right to their door.
A good thing to do is maybe practice cooking dorm style at home to work out all the kinks before your precious goes off to college. Could lead to some quality bonding time, if kids do that anymore. Kids, I wish you good luck in all of your future endeavors and remember to call or text Mom every few days so she doesn’t worry, she will appreciate that.
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Your first dorm room recipe: