2. Cooking an Entire Dinner in Under 10 Minutes
Use the microwave for any recipe that calls for braising, poaching, or steaming. Just subtract about three-quarters of the cooking time. Remember to stir liquids often to redistribute the heat, and always take the food out a minute or two before it's completely done, since it will continue to cook.
3. Disinfecting Plastic Cutting Boards
Wash the board well, rub it with the cut side of a lemon, then heat for 1 minute.
6. Decrystalizing Honey
Place the dough in a very large bowl and cover with plastic. Place an 8-ounce cup of water in the back of the microwave with the bowl of dough in the center, and set the power as low as possible (10 percent power). Heat for 3 minutes, then let the dough rest in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat for 3 minutes longer, then let rest for 6 minutes. The dough will double in bulk.
8. Heating up Health Aids
You use a microwave to reheat your coffee, so why not use it to heat and reheat gel packs for headaches? (Don't do this with a metal-wrapped pack.)
9. Warming Beauty Products
Warming up a hot-oil conditioning pack for your hair takes about 10 to 20 seconds and feels marvelous, as does briefly heating up a moisturizing facial mask. (Stir the mask and test the temperature with your finger before applying to your face.) And if hot wax hardens when you're only halfway up your calf, reheat in the microwave. It's much less messy than using a double boiler.
13. Toasting Nuts, Bread Crumbs, and Coconut
The microwave toasts them in a quarter of the time it takes in a conventional oven. Spread them out on a plate and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Keep in mind that they will continue to toast for about a minute after removal.
14. Cooking Vegetables
All vegetables can be steamed in the microwave without adding water. Place them in one layer (if possible) on a dish, cover tightly with plastic, and cook on high. The timing will vary, but check tender items, such as spinach, mushrooms, and snow peas, after 30 seconds, and crunchy one
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