THE BLOG
05/15/2013 01:29 pm ET Updated Jul 15, 2013

Top Five Recipes for Finals Week

I started my cooking blog my junior year of college, collecting all of the easy recipes I could make in my dorm kitchen (which was extremely limiting, I might add; there was no vent above my stove, so the fire alarm would go off if I made a piece of toast, and I had very little counter space), but every semester it became especially hard to cook during finals week.

By the end of the semester I was forced to cook, since I used up most of my cafeteria money by that point, but it was difficult to fit the time in. You have to study, write, calculate; whatever you have to do to get at least a passing grade, if not a good grade; and on top of that, make some energy-boosting, good-for-you meals without spending too much money. These would often end up being deep fried, cheesy, melty, sauced up takeout meals for my friends and I. We would be too tired to cook, too busy to shop for groceries, and just didn't carve out enough time for ourselves.

My top tip for cooking during finals: plan ahead. Get some small quantities of basic, fresh ingredients (you're moving out soon anyways!) and get to cooking the Sunday beforehand. That way you can plan ahead, make some dishes in bigger quantities so they last all week, and shove 'em in containers so you can take them on the go.

Here are the top five recipes -- some taken from my blog, by the way, which I would love for you guys to check out! -- that I recommend making around this rough time of year.

Top Five Finals Recipes:

1 Breakfast for Dinner: This is by far the most fun, especially if you're studying with friends. Scramble up some eggs, fry up some turkey bacon; you can even get crazy and put in some veggies in an omelette. Or keep it simple with oatmeal, add in what you like, and stick it in the microwave!

2 Mac and Cheese: Fine, not the most nutritious. But definitely one of the easiest, and looks way harder than it is. It also uses up the most basic ingredients (also ones that spoil the fastest, like milk) in your kitchen before you have to move out. Get the recipe here.

3 Guacamole: One of the easiest things to make, ever. Also one of the most flavorful. Get some avocados, slice em and dice em, and add in whatever you want. Onion, garlic, cilantro, whatever you please.

4 Hummus: Hummus is one of the best things to make during finals because it's so customizable, and you can dip whatever you want in it. Make basil pesto hummus and bust out the pita chips. Make plain hummus and give pretzels a try! Also a great thing to eat in the library (or sneak in the library, since it won't spill!)

5 Casseroles: I know -- you think I'm nuts. But just hear me out. Make some pasta, a veggie, and some meat (whatever you want; turkey sausage, chicken, beef) throw in some cheese, toss it in a dish with deep sides and bake it for a while. You've now fed yourself for at least three days. I have a vegetarian casserole recipe on my blog here.

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