Nigella Lawson
Chef Nigella Lawson is introducing everyone to the world of easy, inexpensive cooking with her website, Instagram account and multiple books. (Image via The Oxford Student)

While browsing the photos celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has posted to her Instagram, it is understandable to drool. Lawson has dedicated her most recent posts to telling her followers what they can feature at their holiday tables this year, inspiring them to get into the kitchen and try their luck at making something new.

The chef hails from England and is the daughter of Lord Nigel Lawson, the chancellor of her majesty’s exchequer under Margaret Thatcher. She was recently featured on Ina Garten’s “Cook Like a Pro: Thanksgiving Sides,” and for good reason, too. Lawson has published a number of best-selling books, many of them about teaching people how to cook.

For college students who live in dorms, cooking is often a hardship because of the dependence on dining halls for all of their meals, which at first sounds like a good thing, but it ends up emptying their pockets in the long run. But even as a college student, you can learn lessons from Lawson before you graduate and leave the sanctuaries of your dining halls.

The lessons in her books are not only about cooking; they transcend the kitchen to other areas of life, including how to enjoy every moment and live life to the fullest. Here are five lessons every college student should learn from Lawson.

1. Learn to enjoy your time in the kitchen.

Even by scrolling through Lawson’s Instagram, it is evident how much fun she has while she is in her kitchen. Her ornamented dishes, the detail she pays them and the effort she puts into them lends itself to an artistry that is admirable. On her website, Lawson explains the motivation behind writing her book “How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking.” She says that cooking “has a way of cutting through things, and to things, which have nothing to do with the kitchen,” meaning that cooking can be an outlet like no other.

Of course, in thinking about the wide variety of resources Lawson has available to her, viewers can easily assume her prowess and enjoyment are credited to what she has available to her. Regardless of how many resources Lawson has, she also makes resources for the rest of us who may not be the critically acclaimed chef that she is.

2. Make the most of your money.

On her website, Lawson highlights delicious but simple and economically savvy dishes. One of the dishes is “Naan Pizza,” which may have a fancy name, but the recipe calls for just a few simple steps. People should keep in mind that it is possible to create delicious dishes with ingredients that are budget-friendly.

One slice of naan bread, 2 teaspoons of tomato pulp, mushroom antipasto, fontina cheese, 3 stalks of thyme and a quick 5 minutes in the oven are all it would take to make a tasty dinner. Naan bread, traditionally used for Indian food, offers people a creative alternative to the standard microwavable pizza, and they can have access to some exotic fare for a small price.

Lawson creates dishes that are practical for the kitchen, and she appeals to people on a budget (like college students, let’s be real here). Another dish Lawson creates in her kitchen and shares with readers is something she calls “Lunchbox Treats.” With melted chocolate, syrup, butter and other low-cost ingredients, including rice malt syrup, Rice Krispies, cornflakes, quick-cooking oats and sesame seeds, chefs are on their way to a tasty dessert.

3. Eating good food isn’t as difficult as you think.

In her Italian cuisine recipe book “Nigellissima,” Lawson shares with readers a variety of recipes inspired by Italy, the culinary capital of the world. Her dishes are as peculiar as her “Hearty Whole Wheat Pasta with Brussel Sprouts, Cheese and Potato” and as ornate as “Chocolate Salame.”

She guides readers with step-by-step directions. Although her ingredient lists can sometimes be intimidating, her dishes are more accessible than you would think. Lawson includes tips on her website that include how to remove stubborn baked-on food and a question-and-answer forum dedicated to answering questions of troubled chefs. A lesson to learn from her is to try new foods and use the resources you have and that trial-and-error will happen before success.

4. Making Lawson’s recipes is actually doable.

Lawson’s social media and website are decorated with colorful, delectable-looking desserts. Viewers can feast their eyes on her masterpieces and take pleasure in the fact that they can make their very own. One dessert featured on her Instagram is the “Jumbleberry,” which Lawson shows requires very little labor.

Chefs place the flour and baking soda into a bowl and rub in the cubes of butter. After stirring in sugar, the items are placed in a freezer bag to freeze. Everything goes into an oven and the fruits are separated into a cup, with sugar and corn flour on the top. The mixture gets baked in the oven for 20 minutes.

On her Instagram, Lawson shows what her finished products look like, and it is certainly good to know that their preparation is both budget-friendly and friendly to novice chefs. College students and those who are not as comfortable in the kitchen can take advantage of opportunities to use their resources to their greatest potential.

5. Think outside the box.

The greatest lesson college students and anyone who wants to get more involved in the kitchen can learn from Lawson is to go beyond the humdrum dishes and experiment with what you have. Lawson’s dishes are outlandish, ranging from dishes like egg and bacon pie to Nigellan flatbread. No doubt, she needed to experiment to create the dishes she has, and not all of them require a host of ingredients or preparation time.

Some college students certainly have more abilities in the kitchen than others. College students can learn to cook with the help of Lawson and appreciate the kitchen they will rely on for their nourishment. If it is necessary to cook, you might as well have fun while doing so, and Lawson shows you how to do just that.

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