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Cooking 101 for Your College-Bound Child

Teach your children the basics and beyond

Handle With Care

Kids in the kitchen are not always the neatest, and germs run rampant on college campuses. You can’t be too careful when it comes to proper food handling.Mom 101 (and my daughter's advanced-level course, Mom 201) put great emphasis on the importance of proper dishwashing, soaking utensils, and cleaning up after meals. Food safety, hand washing, cleaning of sponges and cutting boards, sanitizing the workspace, proper food storage, leftovers, and using thermometers in both the freezer and refrigerator were addressed.

One More Thing Before You Leave

It was difficult for me to say good-bye to my son three years ago, and it's going to be even harder when I take my daughter to school this fall. Spending this special time with each of my children gave me a wonderful opportunity to impart some domestic wisdom, but, more important, it was cherished time to be together.

My son still calls me with cooking and recipe questions, and has impressed a date or two with his culinary skills. I suspect my daughter will feel very confident in the kitchen, and hope she continues to eat healthfully and avoid the dreaded "freshman 15."

All you can do as a parent is to teach your children well and set a good example. As much as I would like to keep them young and at home, I feel great knowing that they passed "Mom 101," and I'm confident they'll be able to fend for themselves in their first apartments.

The real test will be when they invite me to dinner. I await that day with great anticipation.

Mediterranean Pasta

Journal as: 1/2 cup starchy food with fat + 4 oz. lean meat + 1 serving vegetables.

2 boneless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 scallions, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 ounces farfalle or any shaped pasta
1 package Knorr Swiss garlic cream sauce made with skim milk

  • Grill chicken breasts until cooked; slice into strips
  • Cook pasta in boiling water according to the package instructions until tender, approximately 10-12 minutes.
  • Make garlic cream sauce according to package directions, set aside
  • Saute garlic and onions in olive oil for 3 minutes; add sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms and cook 3-5 minutes; add chicken strips and cream sauce.
  • Toss cream sauce with pasta; serve immediately
  • Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

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