Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nuke It

Keith and I are a couple of snackers, especially in the evening after a certain little mooch goes to bed and we take up residence on the couch. I'm often looking for something sweet, and Keith usually tends towards salty and crunchy.

Though I've been eating a lot of ice cream this summer (it is on the doctor's list for good sources of calcium, so doctor's orders!), one of the cool evenings recently I was in the mood for something more along the lines of cake. But since we generally don't have cake sitting around waiting for my cravings, I thought I was out of luck. I got to thinking about how a couple years ago, I noticed those microwavable single-serving cakes in the grocery store, probably a Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines product. Somebody had to have figured out how to make them at home, right? After a little searching online, I found a simple recipe for microwave cake in a mug. Five minutes later, I was satisfying that cake craving.

Microwave Chocolate Cake in a Mug

4 Tbsp. white flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla

Put dry ingredients in a large mug and mix well.

Add egg and mix.

Add milk and oil and mix well. Then add chocolate chips and vanilla, mixing for a final time.

Microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. It looks like it is going to overflow the mug, but it just kind of rises straight out and sinks back down when done.

And there you have it, cake in a mug. The chocolate chips sink to the bottom and stay very warm so be careful! Also, the mug is pretty hot, so grab a pot holder or something to hold onto it. It's big enough to share, especially if you are topping it with ice cream. I shared mine with the baby.

As for Keith and his snacking, he has been into popcorn lately. I had been buying the store brand of light microwavable popcorn, at a little under $2 for three bags. Not expensive per se, but since he was eating a bag almost every night, it was adding up. Then someone (was it you, Mom-mom?) told us about microwaving popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag. So simple, and much cheaper. For about the same price as three bags of popcorn, we bought a bag of loose popcorn kernels that makes about 24 servings. Here's the run down:

Place approximately 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag.

Add a bit of salt.

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Fold the top of the bag over and staple shut. (Isn't that tiny stapler handy? Found it among some stuff in my office and now it lives in the pantry next to the popcorn just for this purpose.)

Shake to mix. Your bag will get oily so when you put it in the microwave, it doesn't hurt to put a paper towel or paper plate underneath.

Pop for about 2 1/2 minutes, listening for the popping to slow just like you would with a regular bag of popcorn.

Enjoy! Keith likes to sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on his for some added flavor, and you could certainly get creative, trying things like Old Bay seasoning or some herbs or something.

And now you know how exciting life gets here on the quarter-acre on a typical night.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously? I am green with popcorn envy. Last time I tried to do that, I tripped over the dog on my way to take out the popcorn, knocked a glass of wine onto my open laptop, and burned the popcorn so badly I had to buy a new microwave. Hats off to you, friend.

    FYI... after that escapade, I stole my air popper back from my sister.


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