Dining In

For the chicken fajita dish we created, it was my job to help spice the chicken. The final result? Amazingly tasty chicken fajitas and many good memories created with my best friends.

This year the campus has made many changes in regard to the food they serve. The Underground underwent some changes not only to its menu, but also to the rules behind what makes a meal. While this does not affect the freshman class (they are lucky to learn the new system right off the bat!), the rest of us upperclassmen are almost always lost in the UG now. I am not complaining — change is great — but as of right now, it is still a shock to go down there for dinner and not know what to do!

The staff is still the same down in the UG; they are great people, which makes me feel even worse when I find myself feeling lost and confused (I mean since when aren’t granola bars a side!?!)

Still I find other options to limit my visits to the UG on a have-to-go basis. The Campus Dining Center is the best option, if you can make it there 10 minutes before they open for dinner.

Don’t quite make that cut? Then you will be waiting in line for your dinner for a very long time. The bigger the class sizes the bigger the dinner and lunch line. So if you are antsy or find yourself running behind, the Shoebox is definitely your best bet to snag a quick, yummy meal on campus.

This is a good option, as it is kind of like the UG but a more relaxed atmosphere where you can just hang out with your friends. And, you get to swipe your ID card and use your declining balance to pay for your meal.

Though sometimes none of these choices appeals to me. So what then? You can definitely trek into Madison and grab some Taco Bell, Red Pepper or whatever catches your fancy, or you can do something great. My roommates and I live in Crowe Hall, one of the only housing options without an oven, but that doesn’t stop us from cooking ourselves dinner.

We think outside the box and bring some supplies in the form of a crock-pot. Already this year we have hosted two family-style dinners at our house (or suite)! The first meal we had was a chicken fajita type meal. For this, we just put chicken, peppers, onions and seasoning into our crockpot and let it cook while we studied.

Of course, this was like a new form of torture for us, since the smell was amazing, and we were starving. The end result was so delicious we decided to quickly plan another homemade meal.

Exactly a week later we brought out the crockpot again, filled it with ribs, seasoning, some sauces, and waited. Eight hours later we quickly made some mashed potatoes and green beans as our sides and BINGO! An easy, fantastic dinner! There weren’t even any leftovers the second time around.

Now some of you may be thinking this is going to get expensive soon, but it’s really not. The affordable way to do this is to invite some friends over (no one says no to homemade food) and then split the cost. It ends up being roughly $4 a person for a massive amount of food!

Being frustrated at the other dining options is not the only reason to make a meal for you and your Hanover Family to enjoy. It’s so much fun to prepare something homemade (that reminds you of home, perhaps) to share with your best friends on campus. After all, the people you surround yourself with here are a family of your own choosing, so you should want and enjoy getting together with them for any occasion.

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