Dine in the dorm and stay warm

Lately, Vermont has been showing us what a real winter is.

Daily, I face the tough decision: food or warmth?

With temperatures below freezing, I struggle to make it to class, let alone tend to my growling stomach, particularly once the bus stops running.

But I like food.

I like not having to pile on seven layers only to freeze my eyes shut trekking over to one of the dining halls.

So IÕve started stocking my dorm room with ingredients and experimenting with recipes. IÕve found that dorm room dining is now a treat.

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Something warm

Warm up that internal temperature with a bowl of soup, or maybe some hot chocolate.

If you want something more adventurous, make a panini, no press needed:

1. Heat a tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a pan.

2. Heat another empty pan on the stove.

3. Assemble the panini using your favorite bread and cheese, add any other ingredients you may have around.

4. Place the panini in the pan with the butter or oil, flipping it once you make sure you coat both sides.

5. Using the hot, empty pan, press down on the top of the bread. That cheese will be melting before you know it!

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Something sweet

Treat yourself! A delicious option: maple glazed nuts.

HereÕs an easy recipe adapted from Food Network:

1. Heat a pan on medium-high heat.

2. Add two cups of walnut halves and 1/3 cup Vermont maple syrup.

3. Stir constantly, until the nuts have browned and the maple syrup has caramelized.

4. Let cool.

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Something smart

YouÕre body deserves to be well nourished.

One of my favorite healthy choices: sweet potatoes.

TheyÕre packed with antioxidants, fiber and beta-carotene, a pre-cursor to Vitamin A, according to the WorldÕs Healthiest Foods online.

Pop it in the microwave for five minutes and enjoy it as is, or fancy it up by filling it with some saut?ed kale and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.