College Cooking Tips

Everyone loves tips. Whether they are tips to save money, tips for exercising, tips on what professors to pick for your classes or whatever kind of tips you need. Since most college students may not be extremely comfortable in the kitchen yet, I have decided to pass along some tips I find helpful. Below you will find tips about cooking since that is the focus of my blog, but I thought it may be helpful to share some grocery shopping tips since college kids live on a pretty strict budget. If you aren’t in college, I know you won’t be mad about saving some extra cash. I believe it never hurts to pass along helpful information.

Grocery Shopping

1. Research your local grocery store’s ads. Find what store has the best deals on the items you plan on purchasing.

2. Never go grocery shopping hungry! All of the food will look good to you, and you will spend way more than you originally intended.

3. Avoid eye-level products, according to Epicurious. They say grocery stores place the  most expensive products at eye-level, so check that lower shelf for a good deal.

4. Buy generic. This is a tip I have definitely used since I came to college. Generic brand foods are generally much cheaper than other brands, and guess what, most of the time, they taste exactly the same!

5. Bring your own bags. Grocery stores are starting to give discounts for shoppers bringing their own bags. This not only helps you save money, but it helps the environment!

Cooking – These tips are from the 100 Greatest Cooking Tips from Food Network Stars

1. It’s all about the prep. If you are planning a big meal, do the preparations the night or day before so you have everything ready to go.

2. For a evenly flavorful sandwich, spread the mayo or other condiment of you choice on it from corner to corner of the bread.

3. Take the time to read through recipes before you begin cooking. This way you will have a good idea of what you will be doing, and there will be less of a chance of something getting messed up.

4. Never overcrowd a pan. This will make it harder for all of the ingredients in the pan to cook evenly causing some to burn and some not to be fully cooked.

5. When you are cooking on the stove, make sure the handle of the pan is turned away from you so you don’t accidentally hit it and cause everything in the pan to go flying.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! I know they have really come in handy when I do my cooking in the kitchen. Feel free to leave any tip of cooking or grocery shopping related tips! I would love to read them. The recipe I decided to share today is for tortilla soup. I made this soup for my room mates last week, and we ate the whole pot in less than 24 hours! I got the recipe from Food.com, but I changed it up a little!

Tortilla Soup

  • 2 (10 ¾ ounce) cans Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 (10 ¾ ounce) cans Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 (10 ¾ ounce) cans Campbell’s condensed cream of celery soup
  • 2 (10 ¾ ounce) cans Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cana diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves , minced
  • chile powder, to taste
  • salt and pepper , to your taste
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts , cut into small chunks
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil

1. In a large pot, whisk all 8 cans of soup together until they are smooth. (I added a little bit of milk to help smooth things out.)

2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, corn, onion, garlic, chile powder and salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

3. Cook the chicken breasts then add them to the soup. Simmer for another hour. (I cooked the chicken on the stove and seasoned it with chile powder.)

4. Right before you are ready to serve the soup, make the tortilla strip toppings. Cut the tortillas into small, thin strips. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry up the tortillas until they are golden brown and crunchy. (I added salt and chile powder to the tortilla strips as they were frying up in the pan for some extra flavor.)

5. Serve the soup with the tortilla strips on top. For an extra touch, sprinkle cheese on top.

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