Bobcats heat up budgeting and cooking skills with #Adulting Workshop

February 27, 2024

2 Girls smiling holding up pasta in the adulting meal prep for beginners class

Graduating students shopping around for tips to assist with budgeting, planning, and cooking healthy meals heated up their skills during a #Adulting Workshop led by Quinnipiac Dining Executive Chef Frank Barrese.

“No one wants to spend all day cooking, especially if they’re a young professional. They want simple, healthy and economic meals,” said Barrese.

Quinnipiac’s ongoing #Adulting Workshop Series covers a range of topics. Each is designed to provide graduates with skills and knowledge to assist them as independent adults, said University Event Coordinator Kirsten Webb of Quinnipiac’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.

“We are looking to help our graduating students with real-life experiences,” said Webb.

During the spring semester, seven different #Adulting Workshops are being offered to May 2024 undergraduate and graduate students.

On February 22, “#Adulting: The Absolute Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping” gathered a group of students with Barrese for a workshop in the teaching kitchen at the Recreation and Wellness Center on the Mount Carmel Campus.

Occupational therapy major Jessica Rokhsar, ’24, said she signed up because she’s relatively new to cooking at her off-campus residence.

“I think this class is going to help me out. I like meal prepping, but one of the things that’s hard for me is timing. I commute back and forth to campus, and with my schedule, homework, and activities, it’s definitely hard. The time just dwindles down,” said Rokhsar.

Young professionals facing a time crunch is something Barrese said he kept in mind when developing the class, among other hurdles they may face, such as food costs.

“It’s about the concept of budgeting your money and your time. If someone can set aside three or four hours a week, they can hammer out meals for the next few days, which is the best and most economic approach,” said Barrese.

His workshop focused on how to parlay a small, roasted chicken into several meals for the week.

“We want to help them to economize their dollars and to have some basic tools to develop their own meals. Chicken is something that is relatively inexpensive. And, if they don’t have the time to cook their own chicken, they can easily substitute a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store,” Barrese explained.

After learning how to safely prepare and roast a chicken, students headed to their cooking stations. With the addition of some fresh veggies and budget-friendly dried pasta, they followed Barrese’s lead as they chopped, boiled, and built their own creamy chicken pasta dinners.

Leaving nothing to waste, Barrese also explained how to make homemade chicken stock, and how to utilize, store, and freeze leftovers. Take-away materials provided by Barrese gave them step-by-step recipe instructions to make five different meals from a single roasted chicken.

Finance major David Okoronkwo ’24, said he came to the workshop because his cooking skills are still relatively new. He said he was excited to learn a new dish.

“I just started cooking about a year and a half ago. It started off slow, but I’m getting the hang of it, and I wanted to come and learn a bit more. And since I’m graduating, I think it’s important that I learn how to cook, because I’m not going to be eating out every day,” said Okoronkwo.

Additional Quinnipiac #Adulting Workshops planned for the spring semester will touch on personal finance, presenting a professional digital presence, basic sewing skills, community involvement through philanthropy, car buying and automotive care, and tips for renting or buying a home. Classes are led by expert members of the Quinnipiac community and visiting alumni.

“I think it’s very helpful,” said Okoronkwo. “I think if any senior gets the chance to take something like this class, they should do so.”

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