One of the cutest, most Instagram-able things to do with college friends is to host a "Friendsgiving," a potluck with Thanksgiving foods in the comfort of your dorm kitchen. It's the closest thing to a home-cooked meal that most of us can achieve while still at school.
To do it without breaking the bank, however, is another skill altogether. Most dining halls charge students extra for the food they will steal—the rumor here at Brown University is that we get charged an extra $60 per semester. So why not capitalize on that? Here are some Thanksgiving-themed recipes with (almost) completely steal-able items to make your potluck feel like home.
For the Turkey
The most obvious Thanksgiving food is turkey. If you are lucky enough to have roasted turkey in your dining hall, then grab some and run before it's all gone. For the rest of us, though, sliced turkey will have to do.
I used this recipe to make turkey cranberry pinwheels, subbing out the fancy chive cream cheese for the regular type offered at my dining hall. The other four ingredients, however, are just sliced turkey, tortilla wraps, Craisins, and spinach leaves—four fairly basic ingredients that you can find at your salad bar.
Next, the Stuffing
The next recipe is a little trickier: the stuffing. While there are a few "easy stuffing recipes" on the internet, I looked high and low to find one that would actually taste good. I came up with this one, which unfortunately incorporates the first necessary thing to buy: butter. There are spices here too, but they are optional and you can do it justice with salt and pepper (we did).
In order to make this cheap, easy recipe as close to your mother's as possible, I read the comments to find some suggestions. According to reviewers, everyone used butter to sauté the onions first, and then added the bread and seasonings to the butter instead of using water. Some suggested adding celery, mushrooms, or an apple—I personally could only find mushrooms in my dining hall, but go nuts with whatever you have.
The Healthy Side Dish, Roasted Vegetables
For a typical (and delicious) side dish, roasted vegetables are a necessity. If your dining hall is offering vegetables of any kind, just go to the different stations and grab all that you can. There is also a fairly simple way to roast your own vegetables, so if you can grab and find a baking sheet and some olive oil (also steal-able!) and you are good to go.
And For Dessert, Baked Apples
And now, the most important aspect of any meal—the dessert. For an easier twist on apple pie, I found this recipe for baked apples. Again, butter is the only thing you really need to buy—apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon should be available (though you may need to get creative at an oatmeal bar). It is worth mentioning that baked apples pair quite well with vanilla ice cream. While it's not a necessity, but who isn't willing to splurge on some ice cream anyway?
These easy recipes are almost more fun to make than they are to eat, and they are a nice way to bring a taste of home to your dorm. As we near finals season, sometimes we need a little home cooking to remind us of the holidays and happy time. So get a group of stealthy friends together and steal your way to full stomach.