For freshman college students, the giddiness of first-time independence and meeting new friends at college has faded, tempered by the realities of grades, head colds and looming midterms.
As the thought of an all-nighter seems daunting, sometimes a shoebox full of M&Ms, Big Red, ramen noodles and homey treats can make all the difference.
Jennifer Adams of Fort Wayne remembers what she liked to receive when she attended IPFW and Ivy Tech Community College.
I know the perfect college care package, says Adams, who has used her expertise to put together care packages for her church. Noodles, popcorn, fruit snacks, trail mix, cookies, Crystal Light, Easy Mac, toothbrush, toothpaste, first aid kit, hand gel.
While its easy enough to grab prepared treats during a shopping trip, adding homemade goods to the package offers your favorite college student a taste of home. Here are a few of our favorites.
Of all the trail mix recipes out there, we chose this one for one primary reason: It didnt have chocolate in it, which can melt into a mess in the mail. Though if your favorite student must have chocolate, throw in some mini M&Ms, to taste.
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/2 cup mixed color raisins or Craisins (or both)
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together the first seven or eight ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the bottom three ingredients. Pour liquids over dry mixture. Spread evenly on oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool and break up any lumps.
Store in an airtight container.
Snickerdoodles are perfect to mail because they wont melt. Plus, a flavor like cinnamon is so tied to fall, the cookie is perfect for a good luck studying for those exams treat.
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 3/4 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix sugar, butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
Shape dough into 1 1/4 -inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Cardamom Granola Bars
Granola bars are easy to buy but many are filled with sugar and additives. Send your student a healthful and exotic version that she cant grab in the dining hall.
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, extending the foil over the sides. Grease the foil with shortening or butter. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Heat the butter, brown sugar and honey in a saucepan until the butter melts and begins to boil. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well coated. Transfer to the prepared pan and press evenly with a spatula. Bake about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool on rack. Using the foil, lift out of the pan and place on cutting board. Cut into 18 bars.
Party Hardy Chex Mix
Its true: College students like to party. But its hard to get down when the dorm has been evacuated because Room 202 has burnt popcorn again, setting off the fire alarm. A salty snack that requires no preparation on the students part is sure to please.
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1/8 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 (11.5-ounce) can mixed nuts
1can french-fried onions (small)
In small bowl, mix steak seasoning and brown sugar; set aside. In large microwavable bowl, microwave butter on high about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in cereals, nuts and fried onions until evenly coated. Stir in sugar mixture until even coated. Microwave uncovered on high for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until brown. Spread on cookie sheet to cool. Store in airtight container.