Which Dining Hall Is Better – Cook or Phelps?

My first semester, I lived in Scott Hall, which meant I had to eat in the Phelps Dining Hall. Phelps Dining Hall is mostly for freshmen and sophomores. The second semester I moved to Cook Hall, so I gained an access to Cook Dining Hall. In order to be able to eat in Cook Dining student needs to have certain amount of credits or to live in Cook Hall. This results that only the upperclassmen and Cook Hall residents are the only ones who are eating in Cook Dining Hall.

Phelps Dining Hall.
Phelps Dining Hall.

In my opinion both dining halls provide a very good standard for a college dining in the terms of food quality, but there are few differences. Phelps Dining Hall is about twice as big as Cook Dining Hall, which reflects in the number of options. In Phelps there is bigger variety of food and drink options. Cook Dining Hall does offer that many options. There are multiple “stations” but it is significantly smaller than at Phelps. That being said, based on multiple students’ opinion, Cook Dining Hall’s food is slightly better in taste. Some students assume that since Cook Dining Hall is cooking from less students the food tastes better than at Phelps. I would agree with this statement, but there are some nights when I wished I went to Phelps instead going to Cook.

Phelps Dining Hall.
Phelps Dining Hall.

In the end, the food in both dining halls is very good, so I would say it is a win in either way. The difference is only in who is able to go to Cook and who is not.

Another Birthday in the Drez

Happy Sunday, Readers!

Hopefully your weekend has been great! I just wanted to give you a little glimpse of what I’ve been up to this weekend. (To give you a hint, birthday’s in the Drez (my house name is VanDrezer, aka the Drez) are fantastic!)

So this weekend was my friend and housemate’s birthday! My other housemates and I wanted to do something special for her, so we spent last week devising something that would catch her off-guard, since she’s a planner and likes to be aware of what’s going on. We were so excited to surprise her!

The idea we came up with was to “kidnap” her, where we say we’re going one place, but then we end up going another place. So she and I had originally planned to go to The Brewery downtown for a late dinner, but instead, my friends met us on our way to The Brewery and surprised her to take her to Buffalo Wild Wings. So where she thought it would be just the two of us for dinner, our whole house got to go and celebrate her birthday with her at midnight! It was so fun seeing her surprised, but the fun didn’t stop there!

I’m not sure if I’ve told you all this before, but my house is chock full of crafty cooks. Our house is always full of homemade cookies, homemade cakes, and yummy dinners made from scratch… Betty Crocker would be very proud. So what we decided to do to continue our friends birthday is make her a home cooked dinner of spaghetti (cooked to perfection in the crock pot – a college student’s best friend) and raspberry vinaigrette salad, complete with baguette bread. As I write this, I can smell the sauce cooking and see my housemates chopping the lettuce and it makes me excited to eat the food we’ve worked on together to prepare! Here’s a pic of our delicious meal:

SO MUCH GOOD FOOD! And it was so fun to make with our house, too. :)
SO MUCH GOOD FOOD! And it was so fun to make with our house, too. 🙂

And what’s a birthday without a cake?! We are made a yellow cake with fresh fruit on the bottom and a homemade whipped cream – it’s one of her favorites. Check it out:

This cake was so simple, but so delicious!
This cake was so simple, but so delicious!

It’s the best celebrating birthday’s, but especially with food and friends that you love!

Until next time!

Brooke’s Baked Donuts | Better Than Good Time?

If you go to Hope currently or are a recent alumni, you’ve probably heard of Good Time Donuts. This is the sketchy little donut shop that everyone goes to in the middle of the night to get some hot, fresh pastries. Their donuts are nothing short of amazing, but I’ve realized how bad for you they are if you have more than one every week or so.

With that being said, I’ve done a little bit of research and I’ve come up with my own healthy donut recipe. Now, if you’re searching for the Good Time Donuts taste, don’t look here. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative, this is exactly where you should be. It was a pretty lengthy process, but worth it in the end!

Good Time makes some pretty fabulous blueberry donuts, so I decided to take a twist on them and make strawberry donuts!

Recipe for 2 dozen small donuts. You will need:

1 cup Mashed Banana (took me about 2 bananas)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup (pure)
1/2 cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt (sugar free)
1/4 cup applesauce (no sugar added)
2 Eggs (Room Temperature)
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Strawberries (cut or mashed up into small pieces, you could also do chocolate chips, blueberries, etc.)
Whisk or electric mixer
Mixing bowl
A plastic bag
Tin foil
Cupcake pan
Nonstick cooking spray

1. Start by preheating your oven to 325° Fahrenheit.

2. Using either an electric mixer or a whisk, mix the mashed banana, honey, maple syrup, and greek yogurt together.

3. Add the applesauce, eggs, and vanilla and then mix.

4. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix it until it is just incorporated, don’t over mix!

5. Fold in your strawberry bits (or chocolate chips, blueberries, etc!)

6. Prepare your pan – take your tin foil and bunch it up into a small ball, set one in each cupcake hole and spray with non-stick spray! (If you have a donut pan, just use that!)

7. Take your plastic bag and fill it with your batter. Snip the end for easy piping!

8. Pipe your batter around the tin foil. I did about 2-3 time around.

9. Bake for 12-15 minutes!

10. Get your donuts out of the pan. Push the tin foil out the bottom of the donut, set to cool.

Optional: I’m sure you could make a honey and strawberry glaze to go over this, but I didn’t do that. It would be really yummy, though!

I just thought I’d share my college-healthy donut alternative with the world. Since donuts are (shockingly) such a big part of my Hope life, I saw it fit to post here. In term of taste, Good Time definitely trumps. In terms of health, I think I’m the winner here!


If you have any questions for me you can contact me at brookelyn.wharton@hope.edu, through Hope on Facebook, or my Twitter @hopebrooke18! I’d love to answer them!

The Grandma Dinner

Grandma Dinner  (grănd′mä′ dĭn′ər)
Eating dinner as soon as possible in order to avoid crowds.


  • “I’m going to eat a Grandma Dinner tonight because I just don’t want to deal with hordes of people right now…want to join me?”

College students may be all about that late night life, but, interestingly enough, many also value the early dinner lifestyle.

I don’t know about how your family functions, but when I was in high school my family didn’t eat dinner until 7:00, sometimes 8:00, whenever it was that everyone finally returned home for the night. That was our schedule.

Then I got to college.

My friends and I arrive at Phelps between 4:45 pm (when they open for dinner) and 5:00 pm to scout out our table for the evening.

The earlier you get to the dining hall, the wider the variety of seating options you have.

Our preferred side of Phelps with all the seats to choose from.
Our preferred side of Phelps with all the seats to choose from.

Eating a Grandma Dinner also lowers the amount of people who are in the dining hall which decreases the amount of awkward almost-running-into-someone-with-a-plate-full-of-food-while-trying-to-return-to-your-table moments.

Kristin & Ashley, my fellow Grandma Dinner-mates, in front of our choice seating for the night--a lovely booth.
Ashley & Kristin, my fellow Grandma Dinner-mates, in front of our choice seating for the night–a lovely booth–and happy that there are practically no people around.

Thanks to The Grandma Dinner my friends and I can eat with minimal awkward encounters, free of crowds of people, and be back in the dorm working on assignments by 5:20 – it’s a good life.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the benefits a Grandma Dinner lifestyle can bring to a college student schedule!


You can follow me @HopeErin18 on Twitter and @e_delaney333 for more daily insights and pictures of my life at Hope as a college Grandma Dinner enthusiast.

Step Up Your Grub Game, Part 2

Well everyone, I hope you’re ready to take a well deserved few days off, as tomorrow begins Winter Break. You all deserve it, you’ve worked hard so far this semester!

Thanks for coming back for part 2 of discovering all that Phelps has to offer! Without further adieu, lets get started!

1. Chips and Dip/Salsa. This side dish is fantastic, especially when you’re craving a little crunch. First off, Phelps always has tortilla chips – right next to the soup section in a big white bowl! Then for your dips/salsas, there are always yummy options at the salad bar closest to the ice cream machine. There’s this three-bean one that I get all the time, and it’s super healthy too so it’s double goodness! Or, it’s your lucky day at ChipHOPEle, then you can always ask them for a side of salsa.

2. DIY Panini’s. This is a great option if you’re in the mood for something warm to go with a bowl of soup. All you have to do is make your own sandwich at the sandwich station (or even get one of the special ones!) and then go to the grillers right NEXT to the sandwich station, and grill up your creation! Some of the best one’s I’ve heard of are the grilled PB&J sandwich, the grilled Caprese sandwich (one of my favorites) and even making your own quesadillas with whatever fillings you want! It’s a great experience and lets you be super creative with your food – try it sometime!

3. Breakfast! Do you like breakfast for dinner? Well then these options are for you! Over where you find the dessert bars, you’ll find a breakfast oasis. There’s a whole section for cereal alone! Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Life are the main options, but sometimes there are more…it’s awesome. Then right next to that is the waffle-making station where there’s batter that you can put in a waffle iron, and when that’s done, you can top it with strawberries, whipped cream, cinnamon and chocolate chips! SO yummy.

4. Toast. It may seem simple, but it you have an upset stomach and need something plain and simple, this would be your go to food. Right by the place that Sundae Sunday is, there’s an allergen section that has different types of breads and butters and jellies, as well as a toaster for all your toasting needs. It’s plain, but it’s still oh so good!

5. Floats and Shakes. I saved the best for last! Always a Phelps favorite, you can make almost ANY combination of shake or float you could ever want. Some of my personal favorites are: an Oreo shake (just take some vanilla ice cream with a splash of 2% and tons of Oreos), a peanut butter shake (same vanilla ice cream with 2% and a few packets of peanut butter and some chocolate chips for good measure), and a fresh strawberry shake (same combo of ice cream and milk, just add fresh strawberries from the salad station if they have them)! There’s also Root Beer floats (or any float for that matter), ice cream sandwiches (ice cream and two cookies) and just plain old ice cream! SO MANY OPTIONS.

I hope you get to experience the yummy options that are available in Phelps soon! Don’t be afraid to try new things and get creative with your food options. It can be hard sometimes, but there’s always something to eat when it comes to Phelps food!

Until next time, readers!

Death by Winter Fantasia

I realize that Winter Fantasia was a week ago, but I wanted to share my awesome experience with you all. Firstly, Winter Fantasia is an event hosted by Student Activities Committee, or SAC for short where people eat and dance in Grand Rapids’ Amway Grand Hotel. It’s great because you get to dress up and kill it on the dance floor. Let me tell you, I ate copious amounts of food and really killed it on the dance floor.

I am so proud of my organization, SAC, for planning out this event. It took so much work, time, and energy. I applaud you, SAC! Seeing as it was my last Winter Fantasia, I went all out. I ate at an Italian restaurant just outside of Grand Rapids with friends, then I ate some more at the event. Followed by the dancing of course. Another way in which I went gung-ho was that I wore a BOWTIE, WITH ANCHORS. Wow, so Hope, right?!

It was great to be with friends. Many many many pictures were taken, many memories were made, and many laughs were a given. Winter Fantasia, you did it again.

But as you may have noticed, the title says, “Death by Winter Fantasia.” Why death? Because it took so much out of me. I feel as if I can generalize to others because it took out so many people. So much food, so much dancing, staying up late. And yes, being up past midnight is now late. That was merely not the case freshman year.

Anyway, after I drove back to Holland, it was around 1:00 AM and I was beyond ready for sleep. I hopped into bed at around 1:30 AM and I slept like a ROCK. I slept in like it was my business; recuperation is key. But ultimately, all college students are sleep-deprived so no matter how long I slept, I was still tired. To be so exhausted after an amazing event like Winter Fantasia is so totally worth it.

Check out these fun pictures from Winter Fantasia of me and my awesome friends. If you want to see what Hope life is like for me, make sure to follow me on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15 or on Instagram at MarvSolberg. My life is interesting so I say the follow is worth it!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Fall Break Fridge Frenzy, featuring Fantastic Food

A few weeks ago while speaking with my mom on the phone, she asked me what type of cake I’d like to have for my 20th birthday (count it down, everyone– my birthday is in fourteen days!). I pondered it for a moment– Chocolate? Vanilla? Pumpkin Spice (it is Fall, right)? But I had only one flavor on my mind.

“You know, mom,” I began, “Could I just skip a cake for this year?”

“Sure, if that’s what you’d like,” she replied. “But you know your friends can always eat it if you don’t want it.”

“True,” I said. “But I’m thinking of something else. Could I skip the cake and have the Sesame Ginger Quinoa salad you made for me during last summer instead?”

FOOD. The one thing that seems to accompany every event, action, and situation I encounter in college.

Last night, my Entrepreneurship class Sales Pitch Practice was accompanied with cookies. I have coffee dates with my besties to catch up and talk about life. Snack breaks while completing long hours of homework. Three meals per day.

Here’s the problem I face, however: Food can be expensive. Or repetitive. Or straight-up-not-the-type-of-food-I-want-to-eat.

Don’t get me wrong, here. Phelps Dining Hall food is not that bad, regardless of what you may have heard. Cook Dining Hall food, primarily for upperclassmen, is good too. The gluten free chicken fingers from the Kletz are prime.

Sometimes, though, I’d love to have an unlimited supply of sushi and pumpkin spice lattes and the opportunity to open my fridge and actually see food (I’m currently sitting with a carton of milk, a container of lemon-lime Jell-O and a cheese stick, which feels less than acceptable to me.)

So, one can only imagine my excitement when I arrived home for Fall Break last Friday night at 1am to find a fridge overflowing with food of all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Never in my life had leftover pizza looked and sounded so good to me. I was so excited, in fact, that I slammed the doors shut and embraced my fridge, thanking it for being stocked full of so many delicious items.

A Fridge Full of Food
So much food, so little time to eat it all.

I was in love. I spend the weekend eating all of my favorites that I can’t always find at school– steak, asparagus, and chocolate brownie hot fudge cake for my Dad’s birthday– chowing on an endless supply of yogurt, fresh raspberries, microwave popcorn, and vanilla ice cream.

The saddest part of leaving home (other than saying goodbye to my dog… and my family) is thinking of all the food I was leaving back in the fridge. Unfortunately, the 7-hour drive isn’t cut out for bringing back cold items, and flying to and from Hope doesn’t exactly create an opportunity for space for food.

Not to sound desperate or anything, but, THANKSGIVING, PLEASE COME SOONER.


What was the best part about your Fall Break? Let me know by tagging me in your tweet @hopesophie17. Shoot me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu or comment below with any questions you may have. Have a great rest of your week!



Hope College’s Annual Chicago Trip!

Hey Folks!

As I promised, here is another post, and it’s a happier one too! Last weekend, I had the privilege with 2 other SAC (Student Activities Committee) members to plan the annual Chicago trip. This trip had so much planning behind it, and I didn’t realize this until I jumped in the bandwagon. But, am I glad I did. Here’s a few things I learned:

  • Prioritization
  • Event planning
  • Time management
  • Delegation of roles
  • Communication

Some of those skills I had already, but this experience just allowed for improvement, and that’s why I LOVE SAC. Its a group that is fun, but challenges me as an individual to keep improving my skills that I do have. Anyways, more about the trip! After all preparation, Hope College took more than 200 students to the Windy City. Pretty incredible right? (and stressful might I add!). But it was such a great trip. The weather was perfect, and I couldn’t of asked for anything better.

Chicago is such a great city. It is the country’s 3rd largest city, and having it relatively close to Holland is super convenient. Those Chicagoland people are lucky! While in Chicago, I shopped, ate, met with one of my high school friends that goes to school there, went sightseeing, and ate (did I mention that already!?). I didn’t spend that much money in the city seeing as things are already ridiculously expensive and the tax is OUT OF THIS WORLD. So to prepare for a budgeted, but fun experience, I looked for sales and cut coupons, especially for food.

Speaking of food, I ate so much Panda Express. The reason being that we don’t have one in Michigan! Ridiculous right? Anyways yeah, fried rice and orange chicken powered my day. And regarding my clothes, I got a great deal on them. When it comes to buying them, I NEVER buy them at retail price. It’s just not worth it! So, I got them for a good deal because of my coupons and sales. You just gotta know what you’re doing, so you can get a bang for your buck! Oh and here are some pictures!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ok, that’s all I have for now! If you haven’t already, make sure you follow me on twitter @HopeMarvin15. Feel free to ask me anything Hope related!

Time to get Merry!

The Christmas season is now among us! Christmas music sounded throughout the Quick household the day after Thanksgiving. While enjoying a marvelous and relaxing break, I helped prepare my family’s house for the Christmas season. We decorated our tree, put up lights, hung garland, and completely covered our house with a variety of Christmas decorations. Snowmen are my mom’s favorite Christmas decoration so they are the major theme at my house. I love the holiday season and the joy Christmas brings out in people. My roommate and I are eagerly waiting to decorate our room from head to toe in festive holiday decorations. My mom sent me back to school with a bag full of decorations for our room.

While I was home, I enjoyed some quality time with my friends and family. I caught up on some sleep and worked on schoolwork. Of course during break I enjoyed every bit of food that was placed in front of me. I went out for sushi four times, which really satisfied my appetite. On Thanksgiving Day, I chowed down on some of my dad’s homemade Italian shells. I helped cook the food with my dad while watching the Packers play the Lions, and the Packers won!!!! It was definitely a good day.

I enjoyed a typical Thanksgiving meal on Saturday evening with my family and good family friends. We also had an exchange student from Juarez, Mexico eat with us for her first American Thanksgiving.

I really enjoyed being home and cannot wait for Christmas break where we have almost a whole month off. However, when I returned to Hope last night, everyone was excited to see everyone and laughter and screams filled the Gilmore hallways.

Well, now I am off to start my loads of homework for the coming weeks. Have a great day! 

Our dining room table on Thanksgiving 

Decorated Poinsettias in our home

The family Christmas Tree