Sunday, August 08, 2010

Not Your Mother's Microwave Cookbook

I love Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, so when I was given the opportunity to review Not Your Mother's Microwave Cookbook: Fresh, Delicious, and Wholesome Main Dishes, Snacks, Sides, Desserts, and More, I thought I'd give it a try. If Beth Hensperger can rescue the crock pot from cream of mushroom soup mix, she could entice me to actually cook in my microwave.

I used to live in the South, and I always wondered why women's magazines featured "Don't heat up your kitchen" mealplans, because although it was 90 outside, the inside was the same overly air conditioned temperature it always was. Well, now that I leave here in New England, where many people have no a/c or like me, a smaller unit that effectively cools the bedrooms, but leaves the kitchen and living room stuffy when the temperatures get above 85, I get it. And there's no way I'd bake something in my oven for 35 minutes on a day such as that.

I've tried several recipes from the cookbook, and they've all been big hits.

I adapted the "orzo with sun-dried tomatoes and peas" recipe. I didn't add the parmesan at the end, and I ate it at room temperature, not hot. I've eaten the leftovers cold. Who would imagine cooking a pasta dish in the microwave?

I also tried out two protein dishes, because though I've cooked fish in the microwave, I've not used it to fully cook chicken and the like. The Chicken Diane with boneless chicken breasts are going into my regular recipe rotation. The kids loved it, my husband liked it. I thought it was okay, but with that success, I'm making it again.

The Barbecued Chicken drums (thighs initially called for) were also pretty successful. My son and daughter and I all thought the result was good, but my husband did not (I think it's because he knew that they were cooked in the microwave).

The steamed carrots ("The Best Glazed Carrots") were a hit. I loved the sauce, and would love to try it on other dishes (like as a chicken glaze).

I can't wait to try one of the risotto recipes.

There are also great dessert sauce recipes, for ice cream or the like.

The recipes are clear, telling you upfront the cooking time and what tools and pans you need to make the recipe.

I do wish that there was a bit more general information, because after using it so successfully, I thought I'd try to make regular white rice in there. I guess for that I would need my mother's microwave cookbook, because unlike some who just used it to heat when they first came on the scene, my mother used hers to make rice, scalloped potatoes and more.

Do you change your cooking methods in the summer? If so, how? Do you have any tried-and-true microwave recipes?


Martha said...

I have the Betty Crocker Microwave Cookbook and I love it. It is great to have fast meals that don't heat up the kitchen down here in Texas. I'd love to try this one too!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

When the kitchen heats up I use my grill. I don't bake a lot of meals anyway so the summer doesn't change my cooking a whole lot. My mom LOVES using her microwave to cook au gratin potatoes (from a box). When I was a kid she cooked our Christmas turkeys that way. It worked but I don't recommend it.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Oh this sounds good. I do try to avoid heating up the kitchen in the summer, but resort more to the crockpot or to cold-ish foods. Sandwiches, salads, etc.

TastiWave said...

Good tips on making protein-based dishes. By incorporating a microwave, one may cut down on time without sacrificing on results. Thanks for the post.