The Food Network


{After hearing rave reviews, I finally gave Odwalla juice a try. I'll also admit that I couldn't resist buying something flavored "Mo' Beta." It's the perfect on-the-go breakfast for when you wake up for your 9am at 8:54am}
This weekend I'll be making my first trip home since I've become an Austinite. It's been 38 days since I've slept in my bed, strolled through my dimly lit street to take my dog on his nightly walk with my 'rents, and enjoyed the luxury of home cooked meals from mama. While Hardin makes an admirable effort to provide "homey" food, nothing can ever replicate the meals you grew up on for eighteen years.

Merl, Kels and I fare pretty well here with the help of our favorite gourmet grocery store, Whole Foods. Conveniently located within a five-minute driving distance from Hardin, I swear Whole Foods makes half of its annual profit from UT students grabbing a quick lunch or stocking up their dorm room mini-fridges with delectable delights. They have it all: sushi, yogurt parfaits, an endless assortment of breads and all kinds of imported chocolate bars. In just several weeks, the three of us have established a pretty routine weekly list, which includes the following:

{the popular mix-ins of choice: sugar-infused dried cranberries, crunchy banana chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts}
Our own individual trail mixes with the mix-ins of our choosing. This bar, along with the salad bar, can entertain you for quite some time.

Our market trips are never complete without a stroll through the produce department. Research indicates that college weight gain doesn't come from eating late at night; rather it's the fact that these midnight munchies usually consist of fried wings (um Pluckers, anyone?}, chips and queso (Mag Mud dip?!) and other calorie-packed snacks. We're hoping 4am apples won't get us to the freshman fifteen quite as quickly.

And when berries just won't do, we always have some protein on hand. Whenever a meal is missed for one reason or another, it's nice to have substitutes on stock like cheese and crackers or some classic mac.

Okay, so we're not totally health nuts. Believe me. These Carmelita Bars were offered as samples and since we were lingering around the sample jar for a good ten minutes (each of us grabbed three), we decided we better bring some home. Yes, we're those people--the sampler suckers. These bad boys disappeared in about a day.

And our final staples include crackers, hummus, and sonoma chicken salad. I can barely wait to bring back some of my favorite treats from home to share with them like fresh orzo salad, the French House's chicken salad, and some sort of yummy baked good. It's 2am...time for one of those healthy midnight munchies!