Peanut Butter Drops

While trying to come up with some inspiration of what to cook next some time ago, people kept suggesting peanut butter. For like a week. I’m not a big peanut butter eater so I ignored them at first. But a lot of people do like peanut butter out there, it’s relatively cheap, and seems to never spoil- seriously, I’ve never heard of someone’s peanut butter going bad. So after some thought and help from our family friend, I’ve put together a dessert-ish recipe that requires no cooking. Well, if you don’t consider the microwave a real cooking device. The recipe makes 4 and uses less than $1 in ingredients.

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Ingredients

1/4 cup oats
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp peanut butter
5 tbsp chocolate or 3 pieces of a chocolate bar

 

  1. Chop the oats or smash them with a bowl or small plate. Do the same with the raisins.
  2. Microwave the peanut butter in a bowl for 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave on high. Add the raisins and half of the oats then begin to mix. Gradually add the rest of the oats. Spoon the mixture into drops about 3/4 inch in diameter. They won’t want to stay together very well, so don’t try to roll them with your hands. Let them sit in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 45 seconds. If it isn’t melted then, put it back in for 5 second intervals. Coat the peanut butter drops in the melted chocolate. Freeze for another 7 to 10 minutes.


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Grits Bowl

Like a lot of people, I never get up in the morning in time to actually cook something for breakfast. I enjoy my sleeping time too much to give it up. Cooking the night before and popping food in the microwave come breakfast time just seems so much easier to me. And being a southern girl, grits is one of the best foods for the job. It’s simple to cook, goes with everything, and with a sprinkle of water reheats like it’s never been chilled. This recipe makes 6 servings and costs about $2.00  in ingredients to make including mushrooms, $1.70 without them.

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Ingredients

1 cup instant grits
4 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 pack frozen breakfast sausage
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup cheese

Combine grits, water, and salt in a 2 quart dish. Microwave on high for 8-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes until a majority of the water has evaporated. Stir in your chopped onions and microwave for another 2-4 minutes. Add the sausage- either whole or sliced- and mushrooms. Stirring them in is not necessary. Microwave for another 2 minutes or until the sausage is completely warmed through. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Micro-Mac&Cheese

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Now who doesn’t love mac & cheese? It’s simple and delicious, not to mention a childhood staple.  And you can make it entirely in a microwave. Late night dorm macaroni parties are a go. This recipe makes about 6 servings and uses about $2.45 in ingredients.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups macaroni
3 cups water
4 oz. cubed cheese, 1/2 a block
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

  1. Combine the macaroni, water and salt in a 2 quart dish. Microwave covered and on high for 8-10 minutes, or until the noodles are slightly squishy to the touch. Be careful of the steam whenever you uncover it. Drain the leftover water. It’s alright if there is still a little bit of water left on the bottom.
  2. Add in the milk and cheese. Stir well then microwave on high in 4 minute intervals, stirring in between, until all the cheese is melted. Let it stand for a couple of minutes to thicken up.

Broccoli Soup

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The weather is still being weird and gloomy. It’s supposed to be in the mid-70’s already but only gets as high as 60°. Earlier this week, I battled a particularly nasty day with this super simple soup. It made 6 servings and uses about $1.80 worth of ingredients.

Ingredients

1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups broccoli, cooked/steamed
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup shredded cheese
2/3 cup milk (optional)
black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a 2.5 quart dish. Microwave covered and on high for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for at least 5 minutes. Mind the steam when you take the cover off.

Express Potato au Gratin

Au Gratin [oh graht-n, oh grat-n, aw graht-n, aw grat-n; French oh gra-tan]

adjective

Cooked or baked with a topping of either browned bread crumbs and butter or grated cheese, or with both.

-Dictionary.com

Sounds fancy doesn’t it? I thought so, plus it’s covered with cheese. You can’t go wrong with that. There was a problem though: every recipe I could find required baking it for at least an hour and 30 minutes; Too much time using an oven that I might not have anyway. So with a bit of planning and some luck, I came up with recipe where you use a microwaveSure it might not be the traditional golden brown, oh-so-creamy dish restaurants serve, but it’s pretty tasty and can be a whole meal. That and it does technically fall in the definition 🙂

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Ingredients

2 potatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 1/2 cups milk or soymilk
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp flour

 

Instructions

1.  Rinse off the potatoes and peel them. Slice them thinly, then microwave for about 2 minutes.

2.  If you’re using some microwavable steam broccoli, just follow the package directions (this won’t use a full bag). If not, you can use frozen or raw broccoli, just cook it first. Slice the broccoli into smaller pieces if you want. I know I hate those random, chunky stems…

3.  Layer about half of the potato slices, overlapping a bit, on the bottom of a 8 in. x 8 in. x 2 1/2 in. dish. Sprinkle them with half of your salt, layer the broccoli on next, and top with 1 cup of the cheese. Cover it all with the rest of your potato slices and season with the rest of the salt.

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4.  Mix your flour and milk well in a separate bowl, then pour over everything in the dish. The milk should only fill up, at most, half of the dish. It will rise when it’s cooking and boil over. If you’re not careful, you will end up with hot milk and cheese mixture in your microwave and on the sides of the dish, and nobody wants that.

5.  Cover the dish with whatever microwave-safe material you have then stick it in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Let it sit for a bit since there will probably be some steam. Add the rest of your cheese on top and pop it back in the microwave for another 4 minutes. Let it sit for another couple of minutes before eating.

*Note: All microwave times may vary because of different wattage.*

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There’s a lot you can do to this recipe. Carrots, onions, any vegetables really, can be used with or instead of the broccoli. You could even add mushrooms or chicken to really make it an all-in-one dinner. Just remember, they have to be cooked beforehand, especially meat. Anywho, experiment to your heart’s content. Happy eating!