10 Best Ways to Liven Up Your Kitchen (For Under $10)

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Have you fallen into the ‘college kid decor’ trap? You know the kind. Bob Marley posters, a counter filled with Keystone Light cans, poorly strung Christmas lights or empty pizza boxes laying around after a hungry midnight study session?  Of course you haven’t! Just checking.

Maintaining a beautiful kitchen on a less than beautiful budget can be seen as impossible. But with a few simple steps, any kitchen can be brought to life, and for under ten dollars! With these tips, you can transform your college kitchen into your own little piece of design heaven acting as the perfect backdrop …

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Table for Two: A Food-Lover’s Guide to First Dates

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In the circles I run in, I’m known as “that girl who really likes food.”

There could be worse things.

This title, though, comes with responsibilities: restaurant recommendations, menu ideas, party planning. I can handle these. Best dumplings in Chinatown? I’ve got you. What to bake for your best friend’s birthday? Easy.

But dating?

As a food-lover, dating can be complicated. First dates? Downright terrifying. When food is such an important part of the equation, choosing a restaurant, navigating a menu, and sidestepping food-related issues can be daunting tasks.

Here, then, is a cast of characters that you may …

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The 10 Best Ways to Eat Pasta in the Dining Hall for Every Meal

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1. Let Butter Be Your Friend. Melt butter in a bowl. Add a spoonful of Parmesan, a smattering of garlic powder, a shake of red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, and a serving of pasta. Mix, adding more Parmesan as you go.

2. Add Some Greens. Take a large handful of spinach a from the salad bar. Add a spoonful of water. Microwave until the spinach is wilted. Add salt, pepper, olive oil, and pasta. Top with parmesan.

3. Use the Salad Bar. Crumble walnuts on top of your pasta. Toss with just a tad of your favorite …

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Look Ma, No Oven! No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

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I have a sweet tooth. In fact, it runs in my family. My sister and I joke that everyone in my family has two stomachs: one for dessert, and one for everything else. Chocolate is our favorite food group. I kid you not.

So as you can imagine, I believe dessert is quite important. Don’t get me wrong, eating healthy is a central part of my lifestyle (fruits and veggies are my second favorite food group), but I am a firm believer that splurging on something sweet every once in a while is good for your mental and, occasionally, emotional …

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In Season: Apples

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As iconic as #2 yellow pencils, apples are often associated with school — remember how your elementary teachers always wore sweaters appliquéd with apples? Apples mesh with school for good reason as this beloved fruit begins its peak season right as school is in full swing. Apples are convenient to eat (perfect for snacking), rich in antioxidants, and, most importantly, delicious — so there is no excuse for not eating your physician-prescribed daily apple.

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Dining Hall DIY: Microwave Cheese Fondue

No need to bust your wallet on cheese fondue at a fancy restaurant when you've got a microwave, assorted raw veggies, and cheeses from the trusty ol' dining hall.

No need to bust your wallet on cheese fondue at a fancy restaurant when you’ve got a microwave, assorted raw veggies, and cheeses from the trusty ol’ dining hall!

This microwave fondue recipe could not be easier. And really, it’s very delicious! If it would be possible to dim the lights and put candles in the middle of every table in the dining hall, there really would be no difference between microwaved cheese fondue made in the dining hall and overpriced cheese fondue in some oh-so-fancy restaurant.

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Five Ingredient Feast: DIY Hot Dog Buffet

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Let’s be frank. Summer would be incomplete without the smell of hot dogs (or burgers) on the grill. They make a cheap meal when you’re having company, or when you’re feeling nostalgic, or at the ballpark, or the county fair, or walking down a New York City sidewalk…but after the tenth barbecue of the season, hot dogs just start to taste like salty rubber.

World hot dog eating champion, Takeru Kobayashi, unofficially broke his own record yet again last month, consuming 69 dogs in 10 minutes. Talk about no longer savoring the sausage. Kobayashi probably doesn’t even …

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How To: Grow Your Own Produce

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Food always plays an integral role in life, but in college it becomes a whole new adventure. As freshmen we’re warned about the dreaded Freshman 15, told horror stories about “Mystery Meat” and greasy, bland dining hall food. While this may not be the case at every school (in fact, many dining halls are not half bad), going to college is, for many of us, the first lesson in developing a healthy diet on our own.

Fresh produce is key to healthy eating. While frozen and canned vegetables do provide essential vitamins, it is always better (and tastier) to eat …

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Meatless Mondays

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Mondays have a bad reputation, and for good reason. In a nutshell, it is the longest day, often the busiest, and the entire week is ahead of you. On your calendar for this week: a dreaded chemistry test, impossible Spanish quiz and a ridiculously long comparative literature essay.

While I do know that Mondays will never be my favorite day, I have found hope in improving this drab and often depressing part of my week. What is the light at the end of the never-ending Monday-tunnel? Joining the Meatless Monday movement.

Yes, going meatless on Mondays is the answer …

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iCooking: The Ultimate Kitchen Playlist

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There’s a playlist for every occasion.

There are the obvious workout, pregame, and homework playlists. There are the cleaning your dorm room, oldies but goodies, and internet-scoured mash-up playlists. There’s the guilty pleasure playlist that you can only listen to alone with the door dead bolted. Then comes the getting into the shower, getting out of the shower, and of course, the actual shower sequence (whoever invented the shower radio is a godsend). There’s specific music for when it’s raining outside so you’re allowed to stay in bed all day. There’s the road trip playlist that you have to roll …

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