Intro to Cooking: Advice (and a Recipe) From an Expert

[The following post was written by Eli Sussman – an adorable boy who also happens to be the co-author of an awesome college cookbook, Freshman in the Kitchen.]

College can be the greatest place on earth… that is, until the cash starts running low. And since right after you read this you are going to head to Urban Outfitters “just to look around”, and you are bound to find that rug/lamp/’80s drinking game/hip wall art, and you just “absolutely have to have them all because they are all so cute and will go perfect in your room,” you might not be the most frugal shopper on campus.

College can become a pretty expensive place for a lot of different reasons. Now, we know you aren’t paying for drinks at the bar (ahhh… to be a girl in college…) but next week is your BFF’s b-day and then your MFF’s HY b-day (most favorite friend’s half year birthday) and you are way past making them a friendship collage. Also I’m pretty sure season two of Gossip Girl comes out on DVD soon so there are some big purchases in the near future you cannot avoid.

With all these costs racking up, the 300 person line to that cheap franchised burrito place isn’t looking too long anymore (even though you know it only tastes good after 7 Slippery Nipples) and the Golden Arches seem like the right option to squeeze every penny. But we are here to convince you of another option. It’s called cooking. For yourself. With real ingredients.

Wait… wait. C’mon, at least let me explain before you go check Perez and go watch The Bachelor choose the skanky girl with the tongue ring.

My brother Max and I are professional chefs who wrote a cookbook that’s just for you. It’s a step by step guide starting with incredibly simple recipes that you don’t even need an oven or microwave for and then gets progressively more challenging with each chapter. By the end of our book you will be whipping up three-course meals for your BFFs, MFFs, BFs, GFs, RAs, TAs, roomies, your big sis, and maybe even the ‘rents. You’ll be like Monica from Friends, but without having to deal with Ross’s constant bitching about his lady troubles.

We want to help get it in your mind that cooking isn’t really all that difficult, time consuming, or expensive. In the cookbook we have tips on how to set up your kitchen, how to grocery shop, and even how to boil water and cook perfect pasta. So any possible cooking question you could have, we answer it. And if you come up with something we don’t answer in our cookbook, email and ask us and we’ll get back to you the same day. Technology is really an amazing thing.

Here’s a great healthy recipe below that isn’t too heavy so you can eat it before you go out. It will be so much more delicious that any fast food dinner option, too. We suggest having a few girlfriends pitch in so the overall cost is REALLY cheap. Grab a bottle of wine, crank up the Gaga and get cooking. We know you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment once you finish making this. And hey, isn’t feeling a sense of accomplishment what college is all about?

[Freshman in the Kitchen, published by Huron River Press available now. For more information and to order visit]

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