West indian culture

What to bring to Friendsgiving | Culture

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The cost of living on campus is steadily rising and finding ways to save money is becoming more important than ever. A starting point is to ditch the meal plan and cook for yourself. Meal plans can be great, but they’re also boring and expensive. If you’ve never baked before but want to save some money, this fall is a great time to try it out as the Friendsgiving invites are starting to roll in.

As someone who didn’t start cooking until my sophomore year in college, I understand how daunting recipes can be, especially when you don’t have a fully equipped kitchen. The great thing about cooking is that you don’t have to know it all or have it all to get started. It’s not as hard as it looks, and the payoff is better than dinner at Case.

Luckily, Friendsgiving is just around the corner and it’s the perfect opportunity to give the kitchen a boost with these recipes. From baked meals to hot soups, these meals will keep you and your friends warm and cozy this fall.

cooked spaghetti

Baked spaghetti has been my favorite dinner lately. It’s quick and easy, so you can do it after a long school day without much effort. The recipe linked above makes six servings, so you make it once and it’ll last a few days, or you can bring it to Friendsgiving to share with everyone.

It is also a versatile dish. You can make it with ground turkey, ground beef, or forego the meat altogether and make it vegetarian with ingredients like mushrooms, zucchini, or more.

Potato gratin

The best part of Thanksgiving is the sides, and a beloved classic is potato gratin. This is one of my favorite recipes because it combines two of my favorite things: cheese and potatoes. Like baked spaghetti, there’s enough to serve a crowd and can make any fall potluck a little more full.

This recipe is incredibly simple and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. For students who haven’t cooked much and aren’t comfortable with complex steps, this recipe is perfect because it’s hard to go wrong.

Hearty Potato Soup

When it’s cold outside, you need a recipe that will fill you up. Like the best winter meals, a bowl of soup acts as your personal heater, and this potato soup recipe does the job. It’s good enough to eat on its own, but you can make it even heartier by pouring it over rice. Last year during the Winter Olympics, it was my go-to to eat wrapped in fuzzy blankets in front of the TV. It’s easy to make a big batch with lots to make and will go great with your Friendsgiving buns or as a side to your turkey entree.

Butter chicken

Thanksgiving food has almost everything except spices. This Indian butter chicken dish is great when it’s colder because it warms you up just like potato soup. Like the others, this dish also makes enough for everyone and will bring a different flavor to a traditional Friendsgiving.

Doing it yourself allows you to control the spice level. It’s not as easy as baked goods and requires marinating the chicken the day before, but the results are worth it, and Thanksgiving is made for cooking all day.

If some of them seem a bit more laborious for a beginner, don’t worry. There are countless cookbooks specifically focused on simplicity, perfect for full-time students. Sweater time is the perfect time to open one up and enjoy the extra time inside.

If you are looking for recipes with fewer ingredients, this Food52 cookbook is for you. If your goal is to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen, this America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook is all about quick recipes. Finally, if you just want some basic classic recipes, this cookbook by tanorria askew offers good dishes including potatoes au gratin and potato soup.

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