microwave http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2530/all en-US 7 New Ways to Use Your Microwave http://www.wisebread.com/7-new-ways-to-use-your-microwave <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-new-ways-to-use-your-microwave" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_herbs_000018281549.jpg" alt="Woman in kitchen cooking with basil" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in middle school, a friend of mine put her CD in the microwave and turned it on high. You can imagine what happened &mdash; the CD sparked and gave us quite a light show. (Don't try this at home, you can find a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JkCIfLE_-M&amp;spfreload=10">video on YouTube</a> that will give you the show without the smoke.)</p> <p>But there are some strange uses for microwaves that <em>won't</em> end in explosions! And I'm here to share with you some genius ideas for this often under-utilized appliance.</p> <h2>1. Clean Sponges</h2> <p>We've all read how sponges are basically the dirtiest things in our homes. But you can <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/20070124/microwave-kills-germs-sponges">disinfect sponges</a> easily by zapping them in your microwave. Simply wet your sponge, then cook on high for two minutes. Repeat this process as often as you cook, so basically every day. Note that if your sponge contains metal in any form &mdash; skip this idea. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-healthy-people-do-not-have-in-their-homes?ref=seealso">10 Things Healthy People Should Not Have in Their Homes</a>)</p> <h2>2. Revitalize Bread</h2> <p>So, at my first desk job, there was this guy who was obsessed with giving life to his stale bread. His favorite method? Using the office microwave. First, wrap bread <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-soften-hard-bread-138150">in a damp cloth</a> or paper towel. Place it on a microwave safe dish, then microwave on high for ten seconds. Repeat as necessary. From day-old to bakery worthy &mdash; sort of.</p> <h2>3. Peel Garlic</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BjIeJU2INV8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>My CSA garlic is particularly hearty and difficult to peel because it's so fresh. So, I searched around for ways to make this process easier and came across CHOW's <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjIeJU2INV8">garlic-peeling method</a>&nbsp;using the microwave. Place your bulb inside and cook on high for 20 seconds. Then enjoy how easily the cloves slip out of their skins for chopping.</p> <h2>4. Proof Dough</h2> <p>I bake almost all the bread we eat from scratch, so learning how to <a href="http://www.craftybaking.com/howto/bread-proofer-sarahs-microwave-bread-proofer">proof dough</a> in our microwave has been amazing. The benefit here is cutting down rise times to get from mixing to eating faster. Start by bringing a cup of water to boil on high (around one minute). Then place your dough inside for 35-45 minutes, check the temperature and humidity of the box, and repeat the whole process until your dough has risen enough.</p> <h2>5. Bake Dessert</h2> <p>Microwave baking is such instant gratification. And there are a number of recipes on the web that allow you to bake cakes, brownies, cookies, and more treats in just a few minutes. Check out our roundup of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts">10 Incredible Microwave Desserts</a> that will transform your baking routine.</p> <h2>6. Cook Eggs</h2> <p>The whole idea of <a href="http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes-and-more/cooking-school/microwave-scramble-eggs">microwaving eggs</a>&nbsp;can seem a little scary. But once you try it, you'll love having this skill at your disposal. I used to bring eggs with me to work and scramble a few to have with lunch. Combine two eggs with two tablespoons of milk in a mug. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, stir, and then heat 30-45 seconds more &mdash; until eggs are set. Enjoy!</p> <h2>7. Dry Herbs</h2> <p>I recently picked up all my seeds for my spring garden. I bought a lot of herbs, so I can't wait to start drying and freezing them. You can actually <a href="http://www.four-h.purdue.edu/foods/Drying%20herbs%20frame1.htm">dry herbs</a> in your microwave oven. The process is simple: Place a few clean and dry herb branches in your microwave between two paper towels. Heat on high for two to three minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container.</p> <p><em>What amazing things have you done in your microwave?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-new-ways-to-use-your-microwave">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-a-microwave">Life Without a Microwave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-your-coffee-maker">11 Cool Uses for Your Coffee Maker</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paint-a-room-and-wash-your-face-more-uses-for-powdered-milk-than-you-ever-imagined">Paint a Room and Wash Your Face: More Uses For Powdered Milk Than You Ever Imagined</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-birthday-freebies">Big List of Birthday Freebies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-for-those-who-hate-cooking">8 Money-Saving Hacks for Those Who Hate Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink kitchen hacks microwave Wed, 11 Mar 2015 17:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1329317 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Incredible Microwave Baked Desserts http://www.wisebread.com/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000043316482_Large.jpg" alt="cake in a mug" title="cake in a mug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think your microwave is only for heating and reheating? Think again. You can bake up a number of warm, gooey treats in individual portions to suit your diet and your on-the-go lifestyle. Once you get the hang of this new style of micro-baking, you won't soon forget it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-microwave-besides-food?ref=seealso">8 Things You Can Microwave Besides Food</a>)</p> <p>Check out these amazingly easy recipes, most of which come together in less than five minutes.</p> <h2>1. Chocolate Brownie I</h2> <p>Mix batter in a mug to make these delicious <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/brownie_in_a_mug/">microwave brownies</a>. All the ingredients are the same as what's in your regular batch &mdash; flour, sugar, cocoa powder, etc. &mdash; but the serving size is sweetly single.</p> <h2>2. Chocolate Brownie II</h2> <p>If you have dietary restrictions, this <a href="http://petiteallergytreats.blogspot.com/2014/05/brownie-in-mug-gluten-free-and-vegan.html">gluten-free vegan brownie</a> recipe will change your life. I like how the author places a muffin liner in her mug for easy cleanup. Those of you without avocado on hand can easily substitute coconut, canola, or even olive oil in its place.</p> <h2>3. Blondies</h2> <p>These decadent <a href="http://poorcouplesfoodguide.com/2014/08/06/recipe-microwave-mug-blondie/">two-minute blondies</a> come together in a pinch. Microwave them in either a mug or ramekin for best results. And make them fancy by adding peanuts, caramel, and chocolate chips for a melted turtle crunch topping.</p> <h2>4. Oatmeal Muffins</h2> <p>I first fell in love with microwave baking with this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2011/06/hearty-pecan-chip-micro-muffins.html">pecan-chip muffin</a> recipe. Over time I learned to use the base ingredients (flour, oats, banana, milk, baking powder, and oil) with a variety of add-ins in equal ratio for a different muffin each morning.</p> <h2>5. Blueberry Muffins</h2> <p>I was always afraid that if I used fruit, my muffins might explode into a juicy mess. Not with this <a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=975928">blueberry flax micro-muffin</a> recipe. If you're not keen on using standard pancake syrup, try agave nectar, honey, or real maple syrup. The orange zest is sure to take this one over the edge into favorite breakfast territory.</p> <h2>6. Chocolate Cake</h2> <p>You can have your cake and microwave it, too. This <a href="http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/the-moistest-chocolate-mug-cake/">chocolate mug cake</a> takes a mere minute to rise and set. The center is undeniably fudge-filled. Top with a dollop of Nutella for extra goodness.</p> <h2>7. Vanilla Cake</h2> <p>Bake up a batch of <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/microwave-cake/">vanilla microwave cakes</a> and wow your friends with your skills. Spray ramekins with cooking spray so nothing sticks and fill each half full to avoid spill-over. Then cover with plastic wrap and leave room for a little steam to escape. Cook one minute. Done!</p> <h2>8. Chocolate Chip Cookies</h2> <p>Yes, you can also bake <a href="http://www.sweetestkitchen.com/2013/06/microwave-chocolate-chip-cookie-in-a-mug/">chocolate chip cookies</a> in a microwave. The best part? When you're done cooking, you can top the warm cookie in the mug with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A single-serve treat in one handy dish.</p> <h2>9. Peanut Butter Cookies</h2> <p>The same goes for <a href="http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2012/03/10/peanut-butter-cookie-in-cup/">peanut butter cookies</a>. (Are you pinching yourself yet?) This recipe gets its unique flavor from dark brown sugar, so don't skimp on this ingredient. And follow the instructions carefully &mdash; you only add the yolk of the egg &mdash; save the whites for a lean omelette.</p> <h2>10. Fruit Cobbler</h2> <p>A box of baking mix can yield endless desserts in your kitchen. Try whipping up this <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/build-your-own-microwave-mug-cobbler/8bb858a3-9ed8-4b38-98cd-d5a3d34aa21d">microwave cobbler</a> with any fruit you have on hand. You first mix the fruit with sugar on the bottom of the mug before topping with the Bisquick topping.</p> <p><em>Do you use your microwave for more than popping popcorn? What are your favorite recipes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad">10 Smart Uses for Food That&#039;s About to Go Bad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-bonkers-candy-corn-recipes">20 Bonkers Candy Corn Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-10-simple-swaps-will-make-your-baking-so-much-better">These 10 Simple Swaps Will Make Your Baking So Much Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-and-impressive-frozen-puff-pastry-recipes">30 Easy and Impressive Frozen Puff Pastry Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Homemade Bread</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink baking desserts easy desserts microwave treats Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1282529 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things You Can Microwave Besides Food http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-microwave-besides-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-you-can-microwave-besides-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/microwave-78752187.jpg" alt="microwave" title="microwave" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average household microwave is used much more frequently throughout the day than people realize. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-microwaves?ref=seealso">5 Best Microwaves</a>)</p> <p>If you&#39;re unaware how often you &quot;nuke&quot; leftovers, warm up a cup of room temperature coffee, or make a bag of popcorn, try living without a microwave for about a week. You&#39;ll realize quickly how easy life is with a microwave and how essential the appliance is to your daily routine.</p> <p>Few people also realize that the box of electromagnetic radiation and wavelengths hanging above your oven is handy for countless other tasks besides warming your day-old burrito. From sponges to crayons, and even dirt, here are eight things you can microwave besides food. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-great-dishes-you-can-make-in-the-microwave?ref=seealso">14 Dishes You Can Make in the Microwave</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sponges</h2> <p>After two or three really good marathon dishwashing sessions, it&#39;s tempting to toss a soaking wet and stinky sponge into the trash and grab a fresh one from the package, but that&#39;s not always the most cost effective idea. Instead of trashing sponges, disinfect and bring them back to life in the microwave. Just soak a used sponge in water spiked with white vinegar or lemon juice. Heat it on high for about a minute. This will disinfect the sponge, increase the sponge&#39;s usefulness, and save you money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-spring-cleaning-on-a-budget?ref=seealso">Spring Cleaning on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. Soil</h2> <p>It seems rather odd to sterilize dirt (especially since we&#39;re usually concerned with sterilizing things that got <em>in</em> the dirt), but soil is sterilized to ensure plants have the best growing environment possible. Sterilization kills weed seeds or any random organisms lingering in the dirt that will eventually be harmful to your plants. Put about a pint of moistened soil in a microwave-safe plastic bag. Leave the bag open, and nuke it on high for about two minutes. Presto! Clean dirt.</p> <h2>3. Heating Pads</h2> <p>Aches and pains are sadly a part of life. Thankfully all those pains often need is a nice, warm compress. While there are several useful microwaveable heating pads on the market, if you&#39;re looking to save some cash, you can easily make your own and soothe those recurring ailments on the cheap. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-all-natural-ways-to-relieve-sore-muscles?ref=seealso">Natural Ways to Relieve Sore Muscles</a>)</p> <h2>4. Beauty Products</h2> <p>The microwave is perfect for warming up hot-oil conditioning packs for your hair or moisturizing facial masks. Just be sure to test the temperature of the products before applying to your scalp or face. If you&#39;re the brave soul still self-applying hot wax to remove unwanted hair, nuke the wax for a couple seconds if it starts to harden while you&#39;re silently sobbing between each painful rip. To ungunk your mascara applicator, heat up a mug of water for about a minute, remove it from the microwave, and drop your mascara bottle into the hot water for a couple minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pretty-cheap-makeup-advice-for-the-frugal?ref=seealso">Makeup Advice for the Frugal</a>)</p> <h2>5. Custom T-Shirts</h2> <p>You can dye fabric for your next kid&#39;s birthday party or a T-shirt for the next Phish reunion concert. Just make sure the fabric is microwave safe and that it doesn&#39;t have any buttons, zippers, or other metal that might spark up during the heating process.</p> <h2>6. Crayons</h2> <p>Do the kids constantly beg for a new box of crayons after every art project? Grab that box of unwrapped and broken crayons and melt them back to life. Pick up some microwaveable molds from the dollar store and turn the crayons into different shapes and odd colors or just melt similar shades back into new crayons.</p> <h2>7. Plates</h2> <p>There is nothing better than going out to eat and enjoying warm food on a nice toasty plate, yet it never dawns on us to warm up our dishes at home. The next time you prepare an amazing meal, put your serving dishes in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Just make sure the dishes are microwavable first</p> <h2>8. Candle Wax</h2> <p>There are few things more frustrating than removing candle wax. To get the most out of decorative votives, use the microwave to remove leftover wax from old and unusable candles. Again, be sure to microwave only glass votives. You can also give old and almost dead candles the &quot;crayon treatment&quot; mentioned earlier and make new candles by microwaving and melting them into new shapes. All you need is a pack of wicks from the craft store.</p> <p><em>What odd things have you nuked in your microwave? Tell us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-illuminati">Chris Illuminati</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-microwave-besides-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/28-innovative-uses-for-binder-clips">28 Innovative Uses for Binder Clips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-creative-ways-to-use-golf-balls-around-the-house">11 Creative Ways to Use Golf Balls Around the House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unusual-ways-to-open-a-bottle-of-beer-without-a-bottle-opener">5 Unusual Ways to Open a Bottle of Beer (Without a Bottle Opener!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips crafts kitchen hacks microwave Mon, 13 Jan 2014 10:48:06 +0000 Chris Illuminati 1110360 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Easy and Scrumptious Microwaveable Desserts http://www.wisebread.com/23-easy-and-scrumptious-microwaveable-desserts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-easy-and-scrumptious-microwaveable-desserts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/microdes-185497988.jpg" alt="dessert" title="dessert" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being a dessert-loving lady who can&#39;t justify making an entire cake just for herself (ahem, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_Hobbes">Miranda Hobbes</a>), I sometimes resort to the microwave to get my sweet fix. And fortunately, the Internet overflows with wonderful microwavable dessert recipes. Below are 23 scrumptious and easy recipes, most only requiring the basics of your pantry and all ready in a jiff. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-microwaves?ref=seealso">The Top 5 Microwaves</a>)</p> <h2>1. Mini Chocolate Cheesecake</h2> <p>Ricotta, chocolate chips, and wafer cookies are all it takes to make these <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/mini_chocolate_cheesecakes.html">mini chocolate cheesecakes</a>. The only thing you microwave is the chocolate (for 1 minute and then in 20 second intervals &mdash; making sure not to burn it). Once melted, mix with ricotta and spread on a chocolate wafer. This recipe yields one dozen, and according to the comments it&#39;s very possible you&#39;ll eat all of them at once.</p> <h2>2. Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas</h2> <p>You don&#39;t have to know a <a href="http://arresteddevelopment.wikia.com/wiki/Bluth%27s_Original_Frozen_Banana_Stand">Bluth</a> to enjoy this dessert. All you need is bananas, chocolate chips, and coconut to make these delicious <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chocolate_covered_bananas.html">frozen bananas</a>. Insert a popsicle stick into the banana and cover the fruit with microwave melted chocolate using a spatula. Then sprinkle on the coconut. Freeze for two hours. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels?ref=seealso">Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a>)</p> <h2>3. Pumpkin Coffee Cake</h2> <p>This is the first of the many mug cakes on this list. This <a href="http://www.heatherlikesfood.com/2-minute-pumpkin-coffee-cake-in-a-mug/">2-minute pumpkin coffee cake</a> is the on top because &#39;tis the season for pumpkin! Use pumpkin puree and cloves with a number of common ingredients including vanilla extract, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and sugar. After mixing in the mug, 50-80 seconds in the microwave makes it a cake.</p> <h2>4. German Chocolate Cake</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microdes-177283424-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Next up in the world of cake is this <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/11/28/german-chocolate-cake-for-one/">German chocolate cake for one</a> recipe. This one isn&#39;t in a mug, but in ramekins. Using cocoa powder and a number of basic ingredients, mix everything together in two separate ramekins and heat for 30-60 seconds. You can make homemade frosting as well, but it&#39;s a bit cheaper (and definitely faster) to buy it pre-made, even if you&#39;re eating alone.</p> <h2>5. French Toast</h2> <p>French toast is an art form, which usually requires the perfect temperature and mixture. But for this tasty <a href="http://prudentbaby.com/2012/01/entertaining-food/2-minute-french-toast-in-a-cup/">two-minute french toast</a> recipe all you&#39;ll need is a couple of minutes. This is perfect for breakfast on the go or a late night snack for one person. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes?ref=seealso">10 Freezable Hot Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h2>6. Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.cookingclassy.com/2012/03/cinnamon-roll-mug-cake-made-in-3-minutes/">cinnamon roll mug cake</a> takes three minutes to make, but as the recipe notes, it&#39;s the quickest way to gain 10 pounds. Almost all of the ingredients should be accessible from your pantry (if it&#39;s stocked) with the exception of a few. Replace the cream cheese with powdered sugar and water for equally delicious icing.</p> <h2>7. Coffee Cake</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microdes-177412720-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Keeping with the morning mug cake theme, this <a href="http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking/recipes/coffee-cup-coffeecake/article_738608ed-a298-58cf-88bf-883a8e622f90.html">coffee cup coffeecake</a> only takes a minute and 15 seconds to heat up. Grab butter, flour, seasonings, and the preserves of your choice; mix together, nuke, and enjoy! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ultra-quick-homemade-desserts?ref=seealso">Ultra-Quick Homemade Desserts</a>)</p> <h2>8. Banana Bread</h2> <p>I&#39;ve never been good at making loaves of banana bread, but I&#39;m a master of muffins. The same idea is in this recipe for <a href="http://passthesushi.com/banana-bread-in-a-mug/">banana bread in a mug</a>. After combining the ingredients, heat for 90 seconds to three minutes, allow a few minutes to cool, and dig away.</p> <h2>9. S&#39;mores Mug Cake</h2> <p>It&#39;s campfire weather, so my life has been s&#39;mores galore, but sometimes I&#39;d rather sit on the couch than build a fire outside. This <a href="http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/02/5-minute-chocolate-fudge-smores-mug-cake/">five-minute chocolate fudge s&rsquo;mores mug cake</a> uses the s&#39;mores basics of graham crackers and marshmallows, along with the basics of a chocolate mug cake. After heating, make sure to let it cool for a minute unless you want to burn the roof of your mouth!</p> <h2>10. Carrot Cake</h2> <p>This delicious <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/04/03/five-minute-carrot-cake-for-one/">five-minute carrot cake</a> uses ramekins instead of mugs. You can layer this cake to make a cuter yummy treat. You can also switch out the carrots with pumpkin.</p> <h2>11. Red Velvet Mug Cake</h2> <p>This <a href="http://lacreativitedelafille.blogspot.com/2012/06/red-velvet-mug-cake.html">mug cake recipe</a> uses the same basic ingredients of red velvet cake and seemingly a lot of cream cheese frosting. Only cook for around two minutes or so and be careful not to overheat, so it doesn&#39;t become rubbery.</p> <h2>12. Chocolate Chip Cookie</h2> <p>Okay, enough with cakes already. Let&#39;s talk cookies. Although I&#39;m more of the eat-the-cookie-dough-right-out-of-the-package type of girl, I also love making cookies from scratch. And the good news of this <a href="http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2012/03/06/chocolate-chip-cookie-in-cup/">chocolate chip cookie in a cup</a> recipe is that you won&#39;t end up eating a dozen cookies, just the equivalent of one or two. But I can&#39;t guarantee you won&#39;t make a dozen mug cakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-healthy-breakfast-cookies-with-chocolate-covered-espresso-beans?ref=seealso">Breakfast Cookies With Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans</a>)</p> <h2>13. Peanut Butter Cookie</h2> <p>This is an excellent, easy <a href="http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2012/03/10/peanut-butter-cookie-in-cup/">peanut butter cookie</a> recipe. Simply mix some peanut butter and regular butter, and melt in a cup. Add brown and white sugar, salt, and vanilla, and combine. Add one egg yolk (no egg whites!) and mix. Add flour and then heat for 35-45 seconds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-uses-for-peanut-butter?ref=seealso">15 Surprising Uses for Peanut Butter</a>)</p> <h2>14. Apple Pie</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microdes-167231059-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Using cookies or graham crackers as the crust and green apples, flour, powdered sugar, lemon, and apple pie spice as the filling, this <a href="http://prudentbaby.com/2013/04/entertaining-food/2-minute-single-serve-apple-pie-and-a-debate-to-cheese-or-not-to-cheese/">two-minute apple pie</a> is delish. Simply melt the butter and assemble the crackers or cookies inside a mug or ramekin and put the apple pie filling. Top with cheddar cheese if desired.</p> <h2>15. Lime Cheesecake</h2> <p>For this <a href="http://www.patentandthepantry.com/2010/09/29/microwave-lime-cheesecake/">microwave lime cheesecake</a>, make the crust in a ramekin or small mason jar using melted butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs. Mix the rest of the ingredients and microwave for two minutes to two minutes and 30 seconds. Let chill for one hour in the fridge, and they&#39;re ready to eat.</p> <h2>16. Chocolate Banana Mousse Cake</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.cheekykitchen.com/2013/01/microwave-dole-banana-chocolate-mousse-cake.html">microwave chocolate banana mousse cake</a> is perfect for those on the Paleo diet, which seems to be a growing phenomenon. Although it&#39;s a little more expensive with a few of the different ingredients involved (coconut flour), the cake is effortlessly made using the microwave. Total time, including prep and microwaving, takes about 10 minutes. Serves 8-10.</p> <h2>17. Sticky Date Pudding</h2> <p>This <a href="http://besthomechef.com.au/recipe/sticky-date-pudding-in-a-mug/">recipe for sticky date pudding</a> is just in time for Christmas. And although this recipe yields only one serving, Best Home Chef suggests making two so you don&#39;t waste half an egg. Total cooking time is about three minutes. Please note: This recipe is from Australia, so bicarb soda is baking soda. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fast-single-serving-fake-desserts?ref=seealso">Single-Serving &quot;Fake&quot; Desserts</a>)</p> <h2>18. Apple Crisp</h2> <p>For a family-size dessert, arrange apples on a platter and top with apple crisp basics: brown sugar, oats, nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter. As it is a <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/microwave-apple-crisp/ace23080-1e39-4a6d-85f3-6c798c43cf72">Betty Crocker recipe</a>, Bisquick is included in the list as well. This quick apple crisp yields six servings and only takes about 7-10 minutes to heat in the microwave. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples?ref=seealso">23 Uses for Apples</a>)</p> <h2>19. Berry Cobbler</h2> <p>For this <a href="http://domesticfits.com/2012/10/17/5-minute-microwave-berry-cobbler/">single-serve berry cobbler</a>, toss some strawberries and powdered sugar in the bottom of a mug and top with the cobbler mix. Heat for almost two minutes and let cool as it will be burning hot.</p> <h2>20. Fudge</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microdes-126984175-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Mix all <a href="http://heartofthematteronline.com/easy-valentine-fudge/">these fudge ingredients</a> together and stir every two minutes until a total cooking time of five minutes. Refrigerate for two hours or freeze for 45 minutes, cut into bite size pieces and go to town!</p> <h2>21. Peanut Butter and Pretzel Truffles</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/peanut_butter_pretzel_truffles.html">peanut butter pretzel truffles</a> only consist of peanut butter, pretzels, and chocolate and are the simplest microwavable dessert on the list. After combining peanut butter and pretzels and freezing an hour and fifteen minutes (see recipe for specifics), roll the combination in melted chocolate and freeze for 30 minutes. They make for a perfect holiday gift too! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=seealso">15 Yummy Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>22. Popcorn Brittle</h2> <p>For this <a href="http://www.ezrapoundcake.com/archives/25929">popcorn peanut brittle</a> recipe, simply heat everything but the peanuts together in the microwave for five minutes, and then add peanuts. Heat for an additional two minutes, then spoon onto a pan and cool until firm. Once it&#39;s done, break into pieces and store in an airtight container. Makes about one pound. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-popcorn?ref=seealso">Homemade Popcorn</a>)</p> <h2>23. Chocolate Bark With Pistachios and Dried Cherries</h2> <p>In addition to the microwave, the only other kitchen appliance you&#39;ll need for this <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chocolate_bark_with_pistachios_dried_cherries.html">chocolate bark</a> recipe is the refrigerator. After melting the chocolate and combining with pistachios, dried cherries, and orange zest, work quickly to press this mixture on a pan and put in the fridge . After 20 minutes, you have a snack or an excellent holiday gift for loved ones.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite microwavable desserts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-easy-and-scrumptious-microwaveable-desserts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-good-these-low-calorie-desserts-taste">You Won&#039;t Believe How Good These Low-Calorie Desserts Taste</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables">25 Ways to Use Frozen Mixed Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap recipes dessert microwave Thu, 19 Dec 2013 11:24:56 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1101063 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Microwaves http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-microwaves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-microwaves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/microwave-iStock_000009993329Small.jpg" alt="microwave" title="microwave" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Microwave ovens revolutionized the way we prepare foods. The first microwave was sold in 1947, and since then, they've become a necessity in the kitchen of every busy cook. With options for everything from popping popcorn to defrosting chicken, there are a lot of things to consider when buying a microwave &mdash; and we here at Wise Bread have taken some of the guesswork out of it by narrowing it down to our top five.</p> <h2>What Is a Microwave Oven?</h2> <p>Microwave ovens use electromagnetic radiation to target the moisture in food and heat it up quickly. Microwaves range in size from compact to full size, and what's right for a large family may not be right for an individual living alone. It's important to evaluate your needs to pick the best option for you. Over-the-range microwaves incorporate the appliance into the design of your kitchen, whereas countertop models only require counter space and an outlet. Convection style microwaves save energy and heat food evenly so you don't have that &quot;burnt on the edges, frozen in the middle&quot; disaster that was once typical of microwaved meals.</p> <h2>Best 5 Microwave Ovens</h2> <h3>Kenmore TrueCookPlus Countertop Microwave Oven - 6633</h3> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11034749?sid=981405&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sears.com%2Fshc%2Fs%2Fp_10153_12605_02066339000P&amp;cjsku=02066339000" target="_blank"><img width="250" height="162" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microkenmore.jpg" /></a>Exceptional defrosting skills, ease of use, and even heating make this midsize microwave an excellent choice, according to Consumer Reports.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11034749?sid=981405&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sears.com%2Fshc%2Fs%2Fp_10153_12605_02066339000P&amp;cjsku=02066339000" target="_blank">Kenmore 6633</a> has 1,200 watts of cooking power and 1.2 cubic feet of rounded interior space, making it extremely easy to clean. The extensive, easy-to-read instructions and numerous button options take the guesswork out of preparing food. It is very powerful and thus heats meals up more quickly than your average microwave. It also has a sensor that determines when food is done, which prevents overcooking.</p> <p>This appliance is equipped with TrueCookPlus technology, which allows you to punch in codes for various packaged foods, and then adjusts heat levels and cooking times to ensure that your meal comes out perfectly. It also comes with a very solid one year warranty.</p> <p><em>Current Price: </em><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11034749?sid=981405&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sears.com%2Fshc%2Fs%2Fp_10153_12605_02066339000P&amp;cjsku=02066339000" target="_blank"><em>$99.88 at Sears</em></a></p> <h3>GE Profile Series JES2251SJ</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UW1WW8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UW1WW8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><img width="250" height="162" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microgeprofile.jpg" /></a>This large microwave is extremely easy to use and Consumer Reports claims that it has the best heating evenness of all of their recommended models.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UW1WW8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UW1WW8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">GE Profile microwave</a> has 1,200 watts of cooking power, and its large size makes it perfect for families. Reviewers like the attractive design and the fact that it runs extremely quietly. The interior size and turntable allow it to accommodate larger dishes.</p> <p>Several reviews claim that this microwave can pop every kernel of popcorn in a bag without burning any.</p> <p><em>Current Price: </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UW1WW8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UW1WW8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><em>$290.99 at Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Panasonic NN-H965WF Genius 2.2 Cu. Ft. 1250 Watt Sensor Microwave</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009KMYDM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009KMYDM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><img width="250" height="167" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/micropanasonic.jpg" /></a>This large microwave is 2.2 cubic feet and uses 1,250 watts, which reduces cooking time by about 30% compared with other models. It has 10 different power settings and boasts inverter technology, which uses more even temperatures throughout and thus reduces over- or undercooking.</p> <p>Reviewers recommend measuring out the counter space for this microwave before buying, as the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009KMYDM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009KMYDM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Panasonic Genius</a> does take up a lot of room. On the plus side, this means it can handle large dishes and the interior can be easily cleaned. One reviewer noted that it can defrost an entire chicken perfectly.</p> <p>This microwave comes with myriad easy-to-use functions and presets, and the &quot;Sensor/Reheat&quot; button figures out how long a dish should be cooked by sensing when it's warm enough.</p> <p><em>Current Price: </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009KMYDM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009KMYDM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><em>$152.97 at Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>GE Profile Spacemaker II</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W3JHHM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000W3JHHM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="280" height="149" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microgeprofilespace.jpg" /></a>This mid-sized microwave is extremely easy to use. It is very good at heating things evenly, but the defrost seems to leave something to be desired. It uses 800 watts and thus is not as fast at heating food as some of the other microwaves on this list; however, its size and the ability to mount it under a cabinet makes it ideal for kitchens with limited space.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W3JHHM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000W3JHHM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">GE Profile Spacemaker</a> has an attractive design and control panel. Word prompts on the panel guide you through the cooking process, making an already easy-to-use microwave even simpler.</p> <p>This microwave doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the other microwaves so if simplicity is what you crave in your appliances, this is the model for you.</p> <p><em>Current Price: </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W3JHHM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000W3JHHM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>$279.95 at Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Whirlpool MT4155SPS</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Y904SK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000Y904SK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><img width="285" height="179" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/microwhirlpool.jpg" /></a>This large microwave has a capacity of 1.5 cubic feet and uses 1,200 watts. It is a Consumer Reports best buy and boasts very good heating evenness, excellent defrosting, and excellent ease of use.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Y904SK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000Y904SK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank">Whirlpool microwave</a> takes up a lot of room due to its size and seems best suited for families. It is slightly louder than other microwaves but heats food up quickly and evenly. This microwave is unique in that in addition to all the traditional microwave colors, it also comes in bisque, which is very difficult to find; if you're trying to match it to other appliances in your kitchen, this is a great option to have.</p> <p>The large interior makes this an easy microwave to clean. The controls are all very simple to use. At the end of the cooking time, the display has a cheery &quot;Enjoy Your Meal&quot; message.</p> <p><em>Current Price: </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Y904SK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000Y904SK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20" target="_blank"><em>$150.00 at Amazon</em></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gina-ippolito">Gina Ippolito</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-microwaves">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">The 5 Best Refrigerators</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dryers">The 5 Best Dryers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guide microwave product reviews Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:25:32 +0000 Gina Ippolito 981405 at http://www.wisebread.com Life Without a Microwave http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-a-microwave <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/life-without-a-microwave" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/microwave.jpg" alt="Broken microwave" title="Broken microwave" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have lived without a microwave for over 10 years now, and I don't miss it. When I moved into my first apartment after college, I was a vegan and very strict about my lifestyle choices. There was just something unsettling about nuking my food, so I chose to equip my kitchen without a microwave. Although I'm less neurotic now (and enjoy eating a rare steak and then diving into a pint of Ben and Jerry's afterwards), I still think that food isn't as flavorful if it's cooked in a microwave. Plus, cooking without a microwave encourages fewer TV dinners and healthier eating habits.</p> <p>Coming from a family who used the microwave all the time, I had to make some adjustments after no longer having this convenience. Now I don't even think about it unless I am entertaining a guest who wants to know where the microwave is. I also learned to appreciate cooking after making the transition to a microwave-free life, since it sort of forced me to slow down whenever I was in the kitchen. Not to get too Zen on you, but there are many larger benefits to tossing your microwave. If you thought you could never live without one, consider these alternatives to the most common uses for microwaves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen">7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen</a>)</p> <h3>Heat Leftovers in a Toaster Oven</h3> <p>I didn't own a toaster oven until a few years ago. I thought it was one of those pointless appliances taking up more counter space, especially since I already had a toaster. But if you are considering life without a microwave, a toaster oven will make your transition much easier. For me, it is essential for heating up leftovers and making anything I want to melt cheese on. You could always use the oven, but it takes a lot less energy and time to heat up a toaster oven.</p> <p>Because toaster ovens are small, you may have to find the right containers to heat your leftovers in. I use a mini bread pan, which fits perfectly if I take out the top rack. I wouldn't recommend using your dishes, unless they are safe in high temps. I also like to use it to make mini pizzas, melted cheese sandwiches, and cinnamon toast. A toaster oven is more versatile than a microwave in that respect, since the bread would get soggy in the microwave. You don't have to spend a fortune on one either, especially if you are a bargain hunter. I found mine at a thrift store for ten bucks, and aside from some of my favorite albums, it's probably the best ten dollars I've ever spent.</p> <h3>Warm Drinks and Food on the Stove</h3> <p>This may seem like an obvious one for things like soup, but what about when you want to warm up your coffee or tea? I simply pour my beverage into a pot and warm it up, which does require washing another dish. Still, I find that I can control the heat better than sticking my mug in the microwave, which I do occasionally when I'm at a friend's house and I don't want to seem too odd for pulling out the pots and pans. I always end up having to put it back in the microwave because it isn't hot enough. On the stove, you can easily tell when it is at the temp you want.</p> <p>This method is ideal for quickly heating up leftovers as well, and using the stove also encourages recreating your leftovers, since you've already pulled out all your cooking utensils. Now you can get creative and make an entirely new meal that will take you less time than your original creation.</p> <h3>Use Cold Water to Defrost Meat</h3> <p>If you are one of those people (like me) who forgets to take the meat out of the freezer the night before you want to cook it, you can use the cold water method. It might not be as fast as using a microwave, but it will thaw the meat more evenly. Put the meat in a watertight bag and submerse it in cold water. Make sure the water stays cold, and if the meat takes longer than 30 minutes to defrost, be sure to change the water to keep it cool. It really depends on the size and how frozen the meat is. It could take close to an hour, but you could use that time to make other preparations as well.</p> <p>To speed up the process, you can put the meat under running cold water and flip it from side to side, though this does waste more water. Someone recently suggested putting the meat in a washing machine in cold water on the gentle cycle, since it's the agitation that helps defrost the meat faster. I've yet to try this method, but if you are going to venture out, I'd say just be careful and keep the lid open so you can watch the meat and stop it before the spin cycle &mdash; that could be quite a mess in the end. Either way, make sure to use cold water and change it often if you are soaking larger quantities.</p> <h3>Make Popcorn on the Stove</h3> <p>This is the one savory snack that comes to mind for my houseguests when they discover that there's no microwave in my kitchen. Our Senior Editor has the bases covered on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-popcorn">how to make your own popcorn</a>. I would only add that I've found that using a heavier pot works the best, and it's important to clean it completely if you are going for a second batch. Otherwise, the kernels tend to stick. Another advantage to consider is that you can get more creative with stovetop popcorn. Try adding some nutritional yeast instead of butter (another throwback from my vegan days). Or go exotic with a little curry powder and cinnamon. I'm a traditionalist for the most part, so I tend to just add salt. But the possibilities are endless when it doesn't come from a bag, not to mention healthier. How many times have you eaten an entire bag of popcorn? You can also control your portion sizes when you pop on the stove.</p> <p>Ultimately, life without a microwave helps remind me how fast-paced life in our culture can be sometimes. Not having the convenience of the two-minute meal is a blessing if you think about it that way. Slowing down and savoring every part of the meal, from preparing it to eating it, is just one simple way to really appreciate and enjoy the rare moments of peace most of us get throughout the busy work week. And there are plenty of ways to do it without a microwave.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-a-microwave">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-new-ways-to-use-your-microwave">7 New Ways to Use Your Microwave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dilutions-of-grandeur-stretch-your-food-at-every-meal">Dilutions of Grandeur: Stretch Your Food at Every Meal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-easy-and-scrumptious-microwaveable-desserts">23 Easy and Scrumptious Microwaveable Desserts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-incredible-microwave-baked-desserts">10 Incredible Microwave Baked Desserts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kitchen-hacks-i-can-make-this-in-that">Kitchen Hacks: I Can Make This in That?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink appliances kitchen hacks microwave Thu, 07 Jul 2011 10:24:58 +0000 Ashley Watson 610962 at http://www.wisebread.com Germ Killin' Machine http://www.wisebread.com/germ-killin-machine <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/sinksponge.jpg" alt=" " width="325" height="185" /></p> <p>Guarding against germs doesn&#39;t have to be a chemical-filled experience. To get rid of <a href="http://news.ufl.edu/2007/01/24/microwave-sponges-2/">germs in your kitchen sponge</a> (and there ARE germs in you kitchen sponge), do the following:</p> <ol> <li>Soak the sponge with water (this is <strong>key</strong> - not doing so poses a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=2822160http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=2822160">significant fire risk</a>).</li> <li>Place the sponge on a microwave-safe plate.</li> <li>Stick it in the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.</li> <li>Don&#39;t even TRY to pick it up with your fingers. Use a pair of tongs to remove it from the microwave and leave it to cool or soak it in cold water before using.</li> </ol> <p>*Make sure the sponge doesn&#39;t contain metal, even though lots of modern microwaves don&#39;t mind metal.*</p> <p>If nuking the sponge kind of creeps you out or creates so nasty smells (if it does, stop the heating immediately), try boiling it in a little clean water instead. I don&#39;t keep a sponge for more than three weeks anyway, but I boil it at least twice a week to kill germs. </p> <p>AND I use a different sponge for my dogs&#39; dishes. </p> <p>(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/dalasie/">dalasie</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germ-killin-machine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/we-do-the-math-when-is-it-worth-hiring-household-help">We Do the Math: When Is It Worth Hiring Household Help?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shoveling-snow-and-5-other-things-robots-can-do-for-you">Shoveling Snow and 5 Other Things Robots Can Do for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-dirty-is-your-money-really">Do You Know How Dirty Your Money Is?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-uses-for-empty-plastic-bottles">The many uses for empty plastic bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Are we too clean for our own good?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks bacteria chores disinfect environmentally friendly germs housework microwave nuke sponge Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:33:11 +0000 Andrea Karim 522 at http://www.wisebread.com