OK, they fall a little short of actual "miracles", but you have to admit, they are some neat little timesaving helpers!
Your microwave is more than just a cop-out method for reheating your paisan's leftover pineapple and pepperoni pizza. Put it’s ability to steam and cook from the inside outward to good use as explained in these seven handy hints.
Micro-steam your veggies.
You can use your microwave to steam veggies and serve them in about 5-6 minutes. And cooking foods quickly in the microwave can conserve more nutrients than many other cooking methods.
So, take half that bag of that California Blend (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower), put it in a microwave-safe bowl (I use my Pyrex Visions Glass “Saucepan”), add a couple ounces of water, and zap it for 4 minutes or so. Drain the water, add a touch of olive oil and your choice of seasonings, stir, re-zap for 1 additional minute, stir again, and you are all set!
Cook corn on the cob
Perfectly cooked corn on the cob was never this easy. Place two unhusked ears on a microwave-safe plate, cook on high for 8 minutes. Then, cut off the bottom half inch or so (see picture), hold the top of the husk and silk firmly, and shake a few times. The cob will slip out from the husk silk-free and tender. Pass the butter, please.
Squeeze a juicier lemon and lime
Get more juice from your citrus fruits- and an easier time squeezing them- by heating them in the microwave before squeezing. Just nuke your lemons in the microwave for about 15 seconds or so before squeezing them. This trick will help you squeeze out more lemon juice and have an easier job doing it as well, a win-win!
Quick, one-dish scrambled eggs
OK: I admit it: eggs made in the microwave will never quite compare to eggs cooked on a stove. But when all you have is a few minutes to get going in the morning, microwaved eggs are a quick morning protein fix. And by whisking, cooking and eating- all in the same bowl- you cut down on dirty dishes and pans.
For tasty scrambled eggs, whisk 2-3 large eggs in a microwave-safe bowl, add a pinch of salt, a shot of milk, some grated cheese (cheddar for me, please) and a few drops of Worcestershire, Liquid Smoke, or your favorite hot sauce. Whisk all the ingredients together for a few seconds, and then cook in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until the eggs become fully cooked and fluffy! Voila!
Swift Sweetness- Make Molten Mug Cakes
Your microwave can also be used to bake your favorite cake in a mug, well actually, several mugs if you use the whole box! Mix a batch of your typical box cake mix (Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Pillsbury), and then pour into microwave-safe mugs. Microwave each mug separately for about 3 minutes until it’s set and fluffy. To serve, add a scoop of ice cream on top. Note: some cake mix boxes have their own procedures for making Mug Cakes which you should follow.
Freshen up old bread
Surprise guests coming and no time to bag a new baguette? No problem- the steaming power of the microwave can help freshen up that old one languishing on your counter from yesterday. Wrap your bygone bread in a dampened paper towel and nuke. Use 10-second bursts until it’s softened. Dinner’s ready!
Neater crisp bacon
Wouldn't it be nice to start your day with the awesome aroma of bacon- crispy bacon- without having to haul out the skillet, labor over a stove, or use about 17 feet of paper towels to blot up all the grease? Just turn a medium bowl upside down onto a large plate and drape your bacon over the top of the bowl. Cover it with just one paper towel to protect the oven from flying fat, and slide it into the microwave for about a minute per slice. The excess grease will run down the bowl into the plate and you'll be left with crispy bacon that you and your guests won’t believe came from the microwave. Tah dah!