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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Making The Most of Your Microwave

By Sherrie Norris

Where would we be without the mighty microwave? Considered by many as a cook’s best friend, I don’t use mine to do a lot of meals from start to finish, but I couldn’t do without it for reheating and whipping up quick snacks.

If you’re one who uses your microwave a lot, these tips and recipes may help to make your life even simpler.


Italian Vegetable Tidbits

2 cups thin carrot sticks

2 cups whole fresh green beans

2 cups fresh cauliflower

¾ cup Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients in oblong baking dish. Microwave on HIGH for 7-9 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring once. Best if served chilled.


Microwave Cheesy Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts

Melted butter

About 1 dozen Ritz crackers

½ cup Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. parsley flakes

Salt and pepper

Melt enough butter to dip chicken in. In another bowl, crush crackers; mix in Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. After chicken has been dipped in butter, roll it in the cracker crumbs. Place in baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for about 19-20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes more.


Hot Fudge Sauce

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces

½ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup light cream or milk

1½ Tbs. butter or margarine

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Combine chocolate pieces and corn syrup in quart glass bowl. Microwave, uncovered for about 2 or 3 minutes, or until chocolate is melted and smooth, checking after about 1 minute and stirring to avoid scorching. Gradually add cream or milk, stirring to blend thoroughly. Stir in butter, vanilla and salt.


Rice Pudding

3 cups milk

½ cup instant rice

3-oz. pkg. regular vanilla pudding and pie filling

¼ cup raisins

Grated orange peel (optional)

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon or nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a 2-qt. glass bowl or casserole; cover with waxed paper. Microwave for about 15 minutes, or until pudding is thickened, stirring every 3 minutes. Chill before serving.


Quick and Easy Nachos

Nacho chips

Canned hot dog chili or refried beans

Taco sauce or salsa

Shredded Cheddar cheese

Layer ingredients as listed onto large microwavable plate, (spread chili/beans over chips to cover.) Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, shredded tomatoes, lettuce, olives etc.

Excellent side dish for tacos, burritos, etc., or as a stand-alone meal.