Small Space Living

11 Things We Wish We Had Known About Cooking in College — Life in the Kitchen

(Image credit: CandyBox Images/Shutterstock)

One year, when I was in college, my dorm roommate and I decided to save money by not signing up for a dining plan. Instead we each pitched in about $20 a week, and my remarkably frugal roommate found a way to stretch that to a week of meals for two. But there wasn't a lot of cooking going on. I look back at that time and laugh a bit ruefully about all the Hot Pockets and Pop-Tarts I ate, and wish I would have known a little more about making smart, cheap meals right there in my dorm room.

I was curious what else our editors and readers wish they would have known in college about cooking. Here are our thoughts — we'd love to hear yours too!

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How My Tiny Kitchen Taught Me to Love Cooking — Alien Territory

(Image credit: Kevin Pieper, from the upcoming Reader’s Digest book Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet with Six Dogs, a Husband and One Remote—Plus More Stories of How You Can Too. Used by permission of Trusted Media Brands, Inc.)

My husband and I spent the better part of our 30 years of marriage in a home we bought in Kansas City. It had a large eat-in country kitchen with plenty of counter and cabinet space; in short, it was a home cook's dream.

But my kitchen was never really part of my life. It was like that acquaintance you bump into and then, after a few minutes of small talk, you have nothing left to say. I "cooked" if I had to — processed frozen or boxed meals, or something I could easily throw into the slow cooker — but we spent most of our time in restaurants.

That all changed when, nine years ago, we moved to our 480-square-foot lake house in the Ozark Mountains.

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5 Ways a Mini Chopper Can Be Better than a Food Processor — Go It Alone

(Image credit: Courtesy of Russell Hobbs)

Until last year, when I finally got a full-sized food processor, I relied on my small yet sturdy mini chopper. For years it ranked as my most-valued kitchen appliance, pulling its weight valiantly.

And, surprisingly, my love of the mini chopper didn't change when I got a food processor. Because as much as I love the full-sized appliance, there are just so many times that the mini chopper still proves itself more useful.

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More Urban Millennials Are Embracing Microkitchens — Food News

For most of us, our kitchen mantra is the more space, the better; we want a spacious, well-stocked room with sprawling countertops, ample storage, and large ovens and appliances. And while some of us might cringe at the thought of a kitchen no larger than a small nook, there's a group of urban millennials that don't quite share the sentiment, reports The New York Times.

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5 Rules for Hosting a Holiday Party in a Small Apartment — Holiday Entertaining Tips

'Tis the season for lots of cookies, and eggnog, and tipsy parties with friends and family alike. Do you want to host a holiday party but have a small apartment or home? If I can fit 30 to 40 people in my 500 square-foot apartment, you can too.

Here are five rules I live by when hosting a bunch of people for a party in my apartment in Brooklyn.

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5 Smart Ways to Host Thanksgiving on a Small Dining Table — Small Space Living

For most of the year, living in a small space can be wonderful. It's easier to clean, you don't accumulate as much clutter, and ideally (if you're a renter) it might be a little bit cheaper, too. But when the holidays hit, and you're the designated host of your family or friend group, having a small space can be a bit of a challenge.

But that doesn't mean you should hang up your apron and start preparing your Thanksgiving dishes to travel. Instead, you just have to be creative about how you plan your meal.

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