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My baby boy just started his junior year in college. Hard to imagine and sometimes difficult to accept. Every chapter in his life holds excitement for what’s to come and sadness for what is no more. He was home for the summer, and I cherished that knowing that at some point he will be completely on his own.

This year he lives off campus and is responsible for all his own food shopping and cooking. I have tried over the years to get him to pay attention to how I cook sauce or meatballs. Every Italian child should at least know how to cook these two dishes. He would watch, but often just waited to test the meatballs and give me the thumbs up of approval.

Oh have life has changed. Now he is on his own far away from home cooking. Luckily he went to the food store often with me, so had an idea of what to buy for basics. But I got the call from the store about what to buy for lunch, what spices should he have on hand, and where does he find chicken breast?

He was frustrated, but worked through it. His first meal was a chicken quesadilla. He cut up chicken in a frying pan with some oil, garlic and onion powder and sent me photos to make sure the chicken was cooked. His roommate had some experience and likes to cook, so helped him out. Good news–he didn’t get food poisoning and enjoyed his meal!

Now he’s venturing out and wants something other than chicken. I explained the differences in cuts of meat and the pricing. I also set up a Google file of go to meals he can try. His uncle who loves to cook will be adding some as well.

Everyone has their go to meal back when they were first starting out–besides take-out of course! I’m pretty sure mine was a lot of pasta!

So help my kid out. What was your favorite meal to make when you were off on your own away from your parents’ cooking?

In comments, feel free to send me the recipe or the link. My son will thank you!

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2 thoughts on “What’s Cooking?

  1. I went old school and am just today mailing Connor a notebook with a number of “simple” recipes in it. I discovered last week that he existed on Kraft Mac and Cheese microwaveable cups. You know, those mini, little itty bitty will never feed a 22 yr old cups. This weekend when we took him out to eat he ate EVERYTHING on his plate (and even cleaned up a few others!). Breakfast and lunch he’s good with. Dinner, not so much. Like Stephen, he watched (and even helped) with many dinners but I think he’s just overwhelmed at how to feed himself after so many years of dorm food. One of the recipes I sent to him is to cook pasta. Cook some chicken with spices, tomatoes and spinach. Throw together with some butter and some parm. You can change the meat and veggies to what works best for you. I know our two boys will end up just fine with their mom’s throwing some ideas their way!

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