Valentine’s Day Menu for the Single College Student
When I took Econ 002 with Dirk Mateer in my first semester of college, he started the semester by explaining a very detailed theory he called “The Economics of Love.” The theory essentially proved that, with the amount of people at Penn State who are a part of the same age group and share similar interests, if we did not find our soul mate during college, we would be much less likely to find him or her in the real world. Now I’m a single, second-semester senior, so you can probably imagine how stressful these next few months are going to be for me. I like to think that this stressful period will really be kicked off on Valentine’s Day.
Since a lot of my friends are in relationships these days, I sometimes feel like, “always a third wheel, never an … even-numbered wheel.” Now I’m not really one to constantly complain about being single and all that nonsense, but on days like tomorrow, it just isn’t fun. To avoid the constant reminder that I will not be wined and dined this Valentine’s Day, I think it’s always best to stay away from all restaurants, ice cream shops, and any other date destinations. Because of this decision, along with the fact that to single people, Valentine’s Day is better known as “Comfort Food Day,” I have put together a little shopping list of all the foods you will need to survive this Valentine’s Day from the comfort of your couch.
Nothing screams comfort food more than pancakes. They are beyond simple to make (if I can do it, you can), and you can tailor them exactly to your liking. Do you crave the sweet taste of blueberries or bananas? Throw ’em in! Prefer the rich chocolate flavor? Add some M&Ms or chocolate chips. Either way, your stomach will thank you and your day will be off to a great start.
2. Mac and Cheese
There are many routes to take on this one, but you really can’t go wrong with a classic boxed mix. On a college budget, this is a great way to indulge and get that warm feeling inside. If you have the skill, though, try making it yourself! You can’t beat the feeling of accomplishment that comes with cooking your own meal, and the warmth and heartiness of the cheese-covered carbs will definitely make you happy.
Even though soup isn’t exactly the most unhealthy thing in the world, it still does the trick for all your loveless woes. Soup is also a warm comfort food that leaves plenty of room (and uneaten calories) for the rest of the things you plan on indulging later in the day.
4. Home-Made Nachos
So what if it isn’t the Super Bowl or Mad Mex Monday? Nachos are the perfect way to balance out the sweetness of the desserts you are undoubtedly going to eat afterwards. I have personally found that the best way is to prepare and bake the plate of toppings is without the chips to ensure that they don’t get soft from the oven or microwave. You can’t go wrong with refried beans, shredded Mexican cheese, black olives, salsa, and the tiniest drop of taco sauce. Put all that on a plate, bake or nuke it, dip your chips in it, and enjoy!
5. Ice Cream
I’m not talking frozen yogurt, either. I’m talking the real thing; hundreds of calories of absolute deliciousness. To avoid sounding cliché, I won’t limit this to Ben and Jerry’s (although Americone Dream is probably one of my favorite things in this entire universe). I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t love ice cream, so why not live a little and make your tummy smile?
6. Hot Cocoa
Since it is still February, you might get a little chilly after eating all of that ice cream. Nothing will make you feel warmer inside than a huge glass of hot chocolate. Do yourself a favor and make it with milk, not water. And don’t forget to add marshmallows to make it even tastier!
7. Cake/Oreo Truffles
If you’re feeling super ambitious, this one is for you. My roommate recently made the most heavenly cake balls, followed by a gigantic tray of Oreo truffles. These will literally change your life. Baking is also a great activity to do with your other single friends, and the result is simply delicious!
This one might take you by surprise, but I add it for one reason and one reason only. If you end your day with an apple or a banana, the healthiness cancels out everything bad you ate earlier. That’s a proven fact.
Remember, on February 14th, calories don’t exist. If you don’t have someone else to spend one day out of the year declaring their undying love for you via dinner, chocolates, candy, why not do it for yourself? These are only a few suggestions, but take this day to indulge in all of the treats that you wouldn’t have otherwise eaten. It might sound like a lame excuse to eat every single one of your favorite foods, and maybe it is, but it works. Every year. Happy Valentine’s Day.