Style Syllabus: Dorm Room Essentials For A Bitchin' Kitchen

It's no secret that college students and Martha Stewart don't have much in common. If you do have a kitchen in your dorm, chances are popcorn and ramen are as gourmet as it gets. If you are the type to be occasionally struck by a whim to wip up something special, don't shy away from the less-than-ideal public facilities! You can and should take advantage of dorm kitchens, whether you're baking a cake for your friends or cooking up some pasta on a cold winter night. But you can't do it alone! A sink, a fridge, and an oven are worth nothing without at least the most basic of supplies. Since you're no Stepford wife (or hubby!), we don't recommend the whole package–you probably don't need a meat tenderizer or a grater for hand-collected Himalayan salt rocks. What you will need is some bare necessities to keep your kitchen clean and functional. Check out these few choice items that will take you surprisingly far in the world of college cuisine!
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Don't ruin your favorite shirt by trying to use it as an impromptu oven mitt. These babies also double as trivets for hot dishes and remove the need for a strong-armed male neighbor when opening jars.

Silicone Hot Pads, $7.99 each, available at Bed Bath and Beyond.
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Ok, not strictly necessary (an old sweatshirt would probably suffice)...but we couldn't resist.

Anthropologie Fluttered Chambray Apron, $38, available at Anthropologie.
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Take it from someone who learned the hard way: Using your washcloths as kitchen towels results in a linty garnish at your next meal. Do it right and invest in the real thing.

Food Network Scrubber Dish Pads, $7.19 for 3, available at Kohl's.
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This little fellow is a multi-functional tool that makes everything from home-made soup to smoothies easy even for a total culinary novice. Plus, you couldn't spend more than 60 seconds cleaning it if you tried.

Cuisinart Smartstick Hand Blender, $34.55, available at Amazon.
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More likely than not, your countertop cleaning practices aren't quite up to the highest standards of sanitation. Avoid the situation all together, and keep your knives sharper, with an easy-to-clean cutting board.

Williams Sonoma Antibacterial Cutting Board, $20, available at Williams Sonoma.
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Put the "kitsch" in kitchen with these necessary measuring spoons–even cake from a box requires the right proportions.

Swiss Measuring Spoons, $16, available at Fred Flare.