Latest recipes

8 Things You Didn't Know Your Microwave Could Do

8 Things You Didn't Know Your Microwave Could Do

Imagine Lois Lane’s surprise when she finally learns that the nerdy, predictable, and buttoned- down Clark Kent is in fact the super-strong, faster than a speeding bullet, hunky Superman. The man she had grown accustomed to was, in fact, not who she thought he was. She learned that he was capable of so much more, things no one else could do! What if I told you have a Superman right under your nose? Meet your Superman, or shall we say Superapplianace: the microwave.

Click here for 8 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do

No, I’m not kidding. Your microwave, like a certain Mr.Kent, is there when you need it, perhaps even comforting in times of need, but doesn't really offer anything new. You know it to serve A, B, and C purposes. Need popcorn? Zap! Microwave has your back. You need to nuke your leftovers? Microwave! And let’s not get started on the bevy of TV dinners that are available nowadays that a microwave can rock in a jiffy.

Like Clark, your microwave is reliable but one demensional. It's main purpose, if not only, is to reheat food. Right there is your first mistake because microwaves can actually cook many foods. Those of you in the know are privy to sanitizing your kitchen sponges and cutting boards in the microwave but that’s about as useful as it gets, right? So you think.

I’m not suggesting your microwave can rescue you from burning buildings and other perils. What your microwave can do, however, is save you money by rescuing foods that you may have otherwise thrown away. Rescue missions aside, it can also help you with other tasks like not crying over onions, peeling your foods, and drying your herbs. Now tell me what man, super or otherwise, will always be there for you to do all that and heat up a cup of hot cocoa? Your microwave!

Keep reading on to find out why your microwave is a super appliance.

Helps You With Your Tears

Will your microwave wipe away your tears and tell you its all going to be OK? No, that's what your friends are for. Your microwave will, however, help make the experience of cutting onions less emotional. Simply microwave your onion for 30 seconds and you'll see that your peeling and chopping will no longer induce tears.

Makes Time Travel Possible

How many times have you wanted to cook beans but you can't because you didn't soak them overnight? That's where your microwave saves the day. Again. You want to allocate 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry beans. Place beans in water in a large microwave-safe dish, cover, and cook on the highest setting until it boils, about 15 minutes. Remove beans from the microwave and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans, discard water, and then rinse beans with fresh, cool water. Its like you traveled back in time and soaked your beans overnight!

Click here to learn more about the 8 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do


19 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do

The microwave is a college staple, always there to help you make the essentials: easy mac, mug cakes, and ramen. It helps you make your meals quickly and efficiently, but are you maximizing your microwave’s potential? These life hacks will help you realize all the things your microwave can do and help you cook your food more efficiently.

1. Soften your ice cream

Microwave your ice cream (with the lid off) in ten-second intervals until the desired consistency is reached.

2. Soften brown sugar

If you ever need to use brown sugar in a recipe, such as for these snickerdoodles, add brown sugar to a bowl with one teaspoon of water and cover with a paper towel. Microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring the sugar in between.

3. Toast nuts, coconuts, or bread crumbs

Evenly spread your nuts/bread crumbs/coconut flakes on a microwave safe plate in one-minute intervals for four to five minutes.

4. Microwave two bowls at once

Photo courtesy of makeuseof.com

To heat multiple bowls at once, place a tall cup underneath one of the bowls, as shown in the picture above.

5. Soften butter

Photo by Kristin Arbutina

If you’ve ever needed softened butter for a recipe but realized that you forgot to put it at room temperature, this is for you. Just pop butter into a microwave and microwave it in ten-second intervals.

6. Make hard taco shells

Photo courtesy of youtube.com

Place soft taco shells into a mug and microwave for one minute. Hello, Taco Tuesdays.

7. Heat food evenly

Avoid rectangular containers because heat is distributed unevenly to the corners.

8. Keep food moist

Place a glass filled with water next to your leftovers when reheating to prevent them from getting dry. No more chewy pizza crusts.

9. Prevent yourself from crying when cutting onions

Photo courtesy of growyourownveg.net

All you need to do is cut off the ends and microwave them for 30 seconds.

10. Dry herbs

Spread herbs onto a paper towel and microwave for three minutes.

11. Make foam from milk

Photo by Meredith Simmons

Who needs Starbucks when all you need to do is shake milk in a jar for 30 seconds and microwave it for a minute?

12. Test if a container is microwave safe

Pour cold water into a microwave safe mug and place it on top of the container that you want to test. Microwave it for 20 seconds. If the container is hotter than the mug, it’s not microwave safe.

13. Make poached eggs

Get a bowl and fill it with water and a splash of vinegar. Microwave it for three minutes and crack an egg into the bowl. Microwave for one more minute.

14. Clean itself

Pop wet paper towels into the microwave for four minutes (add lemon juice to paper towels for a better scent). Then using an oven mitt, clean microwave with paper towels.

15. Make healthified veggie (or potato) chips

Lay out your vegetable (such as kale, carrots, or spinach) on a paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes. Flip over and microwave it on the other side for three more minutes.

16. Disinfect your cutting boards

Halve a lemon and rub your cutting board with the lemon half. Microwave for one minute.

17. Get gum out of clothing

To get rid of gum stuck on your clothing, microwave vinegar for a minute and apply on gum.

18. Ripen an avocado

Photo by Irina Chalaguina

Poke holes into an avocado with a fork and wrap a paper towel around it. Microwave in 30-second intervals.

19. Sterilize glass jars

Put jars in the microwave with a small amount of water (about an inch) inside. Heat for about two minutes.


9 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Oven Could Do

It may be hard to believe but the microwave oven has been around since the year 1947! That’s the year that the first one was available commercially, although at the time it was extremely expensive, retailing for about $5,000. It was also a bit large for most homes, standing over 5 feet tall and weighing about 750 pounds. Things sure have changed over the years, and these days you can walk in to Walmart and carry a microwave oven out the door for less than $50. Before their invention, a microwave oven would have probably seemed like a miracle. A meal that once took hours to cook can be prepared in a microwave oven in a fraction of the time. The vast majority of the time they are used to prepare food, but microwave ovens have a number of other uses that you may not be aware of. You might be surprised to find out how many other tricks the microwave has up its sleeve and chances are good that at least a few of them will come in handy for you some day.

1. Gardening

Some people enjoy growing their vegetables and other plants from seeds which they start indoors. In order to make sure soil is sterile and does not contain damaging bacteria or other micro organisms that can cause problems for seedlings, you can stick soil in the microwave oven to sterilize it. It’s best to use plastic containers and put a thin layer of soil in them and then microwave them for about 90 seconds for each 2 pounds of soil.


Shutterstock

"If you're in a pinch and want fewer dishes to clean, you can microwave your scrambled eggs in the same bowl you'll eat them from," Sacco said. For a quick and flavorful recipe, simply whisk three eggs in a microwave-safe bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper, one-ounce of half-and-half (optional), one-ounce grated cheddar cheese, and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce. Microwave on high for one minute, stir and repeat until eggs are fluffy.


10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Saltines

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

In my opinion, saltines are one of the most under-appreciated foods of all time. They should be more than just your sick or hungover food—they should be a pantry stable. These crackers are versatile, salty, crunchy (yet airy), low-calorie, and cheap. Here are ten things you should be doing with a box of saltines.

1. Make Salted Chocolate Toffee Brittle

If you want to make a cheap, quick treat, this chocolate salted toffee brittle should be your go-to. It only uses chocolate chips, brown sugar, salt, butter, and saltines. More than likely you already have some or all of these ingredients, and they’re all pretty cheap. Thank you, saltines, for this heavenly creation.

2. Make S’mores

Photo courtesy of Coryanne Ettiene on celebrations.com

Maybe you don’t have any graham crackers or maybe you want something lighter and saltier, but saltines should be your go to for both situations. You basically get the same experience, just a different crunch factor and a slightly smaller s’more. The ratio of more marshmallow and chocolate to less cracker is on point.

#SpoonTip: Use Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups instead of chocolate to make this s’more even more unique.

3. Incorporate Into a Pie Crust

Photo courtesy of @lalaburn on Instagram

Making a pie? Forgot to buy pastry dough? Just grab that box of saltines in your pantry. By just using crushed saltines, butter, and water (optional: add sugar), you can make a quality pie crust. It’s a bit lighter than a heavy dough or pastry, making it a refreshing way to switch up your pie baking.

4. Use as a Chaser

Photo courtesy of @robaemery on Instagram

This might be just me, but I find that chasing with saltines is quite effective for a few reasons. The salt content and plain flavor gets the alcohol taste out fast and is distracting. Also, it puts a bit more substance in your stomach to keep it settled throughout a night of going out. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, folks.

5. Make Little Pizzas

Photo courtesy of @nrgg_ on Instagram

This is super simple: dab on a little bit of pizza or tomato sauce, throw on a sprinkle of cheese, and microwave until the cheese melts. You can even bake a bunch in the oven if you feel like committing. These might give Bagel Bites a run for their money.

6. Throw Together a Cheese Board

Photo courtesy of @burkasaurus on Instagram

Pretend to be fancy and entertain your guests cheaply with saltines on your cheese board. We all know the cheese is the most important part anyway. Plus, everyone loves saltines whether they admit it or not.

7. Make Mini PB&J’s

This one is awesome for so many reasons. The crunchy alternative to soft bread is a satisfying way to change it up and give you that crunch factor. They’re cheap, transportable, bite-sized, and a fun thing to make for friends.

8. Top Your Easy Mac

This quick meal is always appetizing, but sometimes you need something to dress it up. Got a box of saltines lying around? Crush up a few and throw them in for an added crunch to your mac and cheese. Or, use them as a utensil to eat it.

9. Bread Your Chicken

Photo courtesy of @rickwilliamspga on Instagram

Substitute breading with crushed saltines for a lighter, crunchier way to make chicken. Add whatever spices you like, and voila, you have a cheap and simple breading.

Follow this recipe, serve it with your favorite sides and a glass of wine, and you’ve got yourself an upscale meal.

10. Dip into Salsa, Guac, or Hummus

Photo courtesy of @adventures_of_nomming on Instagram

There comes a time when you have more dip than chips. In that case, pull out your stash of saltines. Saltines and salsa or guacamole is definitely a different experience than tortilla chips, but it’s still good and satisfies the chips and dip craving. Hummus with saltines is actually really great, and they’re lighter than pita chips, allowing you to eat more. This combo is especially good with sliced cucumber on top.

If you have a leftover box of saltines from that time you were sick, go grab them and whip up a few of these ideas.


5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Your Microwave

Your microwave can do a lot more than reheat leftovers.

Ivy Knight Updated February 22, 2018

The microwave — if you’re like me it’s practically just a one-use appliance for heating up leftovers (though it also makes a great clock). But I do have one invaluable trick I use it for: making perfectly browned breadcrumbs (more on that later). Which got me thinking: Do other cooks have secret microwave tricks they’re not sharing — could this everyday appliance actually make food taste better, not just warm it up?

So I went to the experts. Chefs and food writers aren’t necessarily proponents of microwave cooking, but they’re a pragmatic bunch and use the best tools to get the job done. Here are the handiest microwave tricks I found.

1. Fry herbs in the microwave for a quick, flavourful garnish

Canadian chef Mandom Hui uses a microwave to crisp up basil leaves. He learned this quick technique from Modernist Cuisine, a six-volume tome on the science of cooking with an entire section devoted to the microwave. The cookbook’s leading author, Nathan Myhrvold, has called the microwave “an underappreciated thing in the kitchen.”

To make Modernist Cuisine‘s fried herbs, simply rub the leaves with oil and arrange them on top of a plastic-wrapped plate and then zap til crispy. Sprinkle them on top of pasta, meat dishes or salads for a next-level garnish.

Microwave-cooked eggs are ideal for breakfast sandwiches.

2. Microwave your eggs for the ultimate breakfast sandwich

Food writer Dan Clapson reviews restaurants in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for the Globe and Mail. He uses his microwave to cook perfectly formed eggs for his breakfast sandwiches. “Beat some eggs lightly and pour them into small heat-safe bowls. Microwaving gives them a more consistent size and height when you’re assembling a breakfast sandwich. I always use an English muffin, so the roundness you get from nuking an egg in a bowl is perfect. Top it with some cheddar cheese, a few pickles, tomato slices and mustard and that, my friends, is a decent start to the day!”

Clarified butter is ideal for frying. Photo, Jodi Pudge.

3. You can clarify butter in a snap with a microwave

If you haven’t clarified butter in a microwave, do it once and you’ll quickly become a convert. All you need is a Pyrex measuring cup (or an equivalent -sized glass jar) and some butter. Cut 1/2 cup of butter into 1-inch chunks and add to a Pyrex measuring cup. While keeping watch, heat the butter on medium until melted and starting to rise up. Wait for it to settle, it should separate into three layers: foam, clarified butter in the middle and water. Heat once more if the layers have not quite separated. Cool slightly, scoop off the foam, gently pour the clarified butter layer into a jar for storage, discard the water at the bottom. If you clarify butter on the stovetop, you won’t be able to see the layers as clearly.

Clarified butter, which is very similar to ghee (ghee is heated longer and has a nuttier taste), has a much higher smoke-point for frying (400 F) than regular butter because you remove the water and milk solids that don’t stand up to high heat. Clarified butter allows you to add amazing flavour to dishes such as sautéed veggies, fried breaded cutlets, eggs and steak without worrying about burning.

4. Frozen foods actually taste better zapped than baked

Forget trying to feel like you’re kinda-sorta cooking something homemade by heating up frozen fast food in the oven. If the instructions say you can microwave the food — just do it. “Most crappy frozen foods, like pizza pockets, get better results in the zapper,” says chef Matthew Hunt-Foley, who is currently on a sabbatical and enjoying a steady diet of Pizza Pockets.

5. The best way to make bread crumbs is in the microwave

Now time for my favourite trick. The microwave is not known for its browning abilities, but hear me out. Take a bowl of storebought breadcrumbs (or Japanese panko) and microwave it for 25-30 seconds at a time, stirring each time. You will notice the crumbs start to turn golden after a few rounds. Keep going until you have achieved golden brown perfection (usually after four rounds or two minutes).

This is especially great when you’re doing a breadcrumb coat on baked items, where they might not brown up as much as they would fried in a pan. I think we can all agree that oven-baked chicken fingers look more tantalizing when they’ve got some colour.


Here’s What Your Microwave Can Clean:

Micro Can Clean Itself

No, there’s no hidden self-cleaning setting like there is on your oven and some dishwashers. And no, your microwave won’t sprout little arms and start cleaning itself. However, there’s a quick trick that will make cleaning your microwave a whole lot easier. It’s going to seem strange, but bare with us. All you’ll need is a handful of soaking wet paper towels. Now, grit your teeth and place the towels in your microwave, and turn it on high for 1 minute. As the microwaves heat up the wet towels, they’ll start to let off steam that will soften up any and all grime that’s built up. When the microwave beeps, wait 5 minutes for the paper towels to cool down and use them to wipe off all the gunk that’s loosened up!

4 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Clean Microwave Paper Towel

Micro Can Clean Your Socks

It may sounds gross to clean your socks in the kitchen… but yes, you can clean your socks in the microwave! Laugh all you want, but admit you’re curious. If you didn’t already know, microwaves are great at killing germs . And when it comes to socks, not only will your microwave disinfect and clean, it will also deodorize them! So, if the day comes when your washing machine has broken down and your left with no one and nothing to lose, it’s time to use this micro-trick. To get started, all you need is a bowl of soapy water, and the socks in question. Once you have the essentials, dunk the socks in the soapy water, and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Then, just hang them up to dry and voila!

4 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Clean Microwave Socks

Micro Can Clean a Cutting Board

If you prepare meat and fish, you know that disinfecting is an important part of the clean up process. For a quick, easy and chemical-free way to disinfect a plastic cutting board , follow these three steps. First, wash the cutting board in your kitchen sink . Second, dry it and rub the affected side with a lemon. Third, place the cutting board in the microwave and let it run on high for 1 minute. This process will kill the bacteria, and make your cutting board fresh and clean quicker than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ! Remember: unlike the photo, this technique will only work for plastic cutting boards.

4 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Clean Microwave Cutting Board

Micro Can Clean Candle Wax

Have you ever tried to clean up candle wax , only to give up in frustration? What about when you’re trying to clean out the beautiful jar the candle came in? Well, it’s time to stop your chipping and listen up! This method will melt your mind. First things first, make sure the jar in question is microwave safe . If it is, you can start by removing the largest pieces of wax from the jar in question using a knife or a spoon. Really, use whatever tool you prefer that allows you to get at the larger chunks. Once you’ve prepped your jar, put it in the microwave on high for 20 seconds. When you pull it out, the wax will be in the perfect, melted condition to be wiped out with a paper towel. Fin!

4 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Clean Microwave Candles

Hungry for more?

This post was brought to you by Maid4Condos , a top-rated residential cleaning service dedicated to the people of Toronto. Maid4Condos has been a committed partner to the Toronto cleaning and construction scene for years, and continues to provide exceptional cleaning services to clients. Get a FREE quote & book your cleaning today or follow this link to learn more of what we’re all about !

Get Social With Us:

Visit the Maid4Condos blog and follow us on FaceBook , Twitter or Instagram for more industry news, Toronto lifestyle guides and cleaning tips!


It can do so much more than just heat up your leftovers!

A microwave can make life a lot easier. When you’ve cooked too much food, you can just reheat it the following day for a nice lunch or dinner. How easy is that? Microwaves are mostly used for that purpose, but there is so much more you can do with them! We’ve compiled a list of five of our favorites.

We had no idea about some of these!

Make dinner from scratch
Like we said, you can do much more with a microwave than heat leftovers. You can cook whole dinners from scratch, as long as you’ve got the right recipe! Just search for the dish you want to cook and “microwave recipe” on any search engine, and you’ll find tons of options. Risotto, enchiladas, even chicken – you can cook it all in your microwave. No need for a fancy oven at all!

Prevent onion tears
Onions can level up any dish you make, but chopping them is hardly a fun experience. Your eyes will start to prick and before you know it you’re crying. Apparently it helps to hold your breath, but that’s even more uncomfortable! We’ve got the perfect tip for you, because all you need is your trusty microwave. Cut off both tips of the onion and then microwave if for about 30 seconds. You’ll be able to chop your onion without tearing up now.

Make your own potato crisps
There’s no need for a deep fryer or an oven to make your own potato crisps. Slice your potatoes into thin slices and then coat both sides in vegetable oil. Spread them out on a microwave-safe dish in one single layer and then heat them in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes. That’s all it takes!

Revive stale bread
It’s such a bummer when you’ve got bread leftover from the day before and it’s already gone stale. Luckily, there’s a trick for that! Dampen a paper towel and wrap it around the bread. Microwave this for 10 seconds and your bread will be soft and delicious once more! If you don’t want to wrap your bread in a paper towel, you can also place a glass of water into the microwave along with the bread. This will work like a charm as well.

Loosen stamps from envelopes
In this digital age, we love getting as well as sending physical mail. It’s probably a dying art, but some people still collect stamps. Need to get a stamp off an envelope? If you put a few drops of water onto the stamp and then put the envelope into the microwave for about 20 seconds, you’ll be able to peel the stamp right off.


5 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Could Do

Most colleges and dorms have very strict rules about allowed cooking equipment, which often means a microwave at most. In addition to serving up ramen, mac and cheese, and re-heated leftovers, your microwave can be used for some creative hacks to help you stay healthy, and up your snacking game.

Clean that “ish”

Holy crud – what to do when your shared microwave inevitably gets disgusting (and it will)? You can easily clean it and disinfect it by heating a small bowl of vinegar for 5 minutes. Similarly, a bowl of water with 1 lemon cut in half will also work. This will steam out the grossness and you can then easily wipe it down with a clean sponge.

Make scrambled eggs in less than 3 mins

Making eggs without a stove may seem nuts, but you can easily cook most types of eggs, from poached to scrambled in your microwave. Scrambled eggs are the most foolproof. Beat your desired amount of eggs in a coffee mug with a splash of water and seasonings of choice. Then zap the mixture in the microwave for 45 seconds , stopping to stir. Then microwave for another minute and half. And boom you’ve got breakfast.

Clean that nasty kitchen sponge

Is your kitchen sponge starting to smell and look gross? Afraid using it to clean might actually make the situation worse? Nuke away the gross in the microwave. Make sure your sponge is free of steel or other metals. Place the sponge in a small bowl of water and make sure it is wet not dry. Microwave for 2 minutes and let to sit to cool off.

Make Your own DIY heat wrap

Worn down from studying? Or that new crazy spin class you tried on campus? Make an easy DIY heat wrap to help soothe sore achy muscles. All you need is a long sock and some dry rice ( m ake sure not to use instant rice- it can cook when heated). Fill the sock fully with rice and make sure it is tied tightly at the end. Toss it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes, take it out, and relax.

Coffee Cup Gourmet

Your coffee mug can be used to make everything from single serve mac, quiche & mac to s’mores, and chocolate cake. Need some comfort food? Serve up a chocolate nutella cake in less than 3 minutes. Mix up the following:

  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar (you can totally take those free sugar packets from the coffee shop)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Mix em all together in a large mug and whisk well. Microwave on high for 1 ½ to 3 minutes depending on your microwave. Enjoy!

Victoria Holliday

Marketing @ Chegg. I named my dog after my favorite type of wine, so I feel like that says everything you need to know about me as a person.


5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Your Microwave

Your microwave can do a lot more than reheat leftovers.

Ivy Knight Updated February 22, 2018

The microwave — if you’re like me it’s practically just a one-use appliance for heating up leftovers (though it also makes a great clock). But I do have one invaluable trick I use it for: making perfectly browned breadcrumbs (more on that later). Which got me thinking: Do other cooks have secret microwave tricks they’re not sharing — could this everyday appliance actually make food taste better, not just warm it up?

So I went to the experts. Chefs and food writers aren’t necessarily proponents of microwave cooking, but they’re a pragmatic bunch and use the best tools to get the job done. Here are the handiest microwave tricks I found.

1. Fry herbs in the microwave for a quick, flavourful garnish

Canadian chef Mandom Hui uses a microwave to crisp up basil leaves. He learned this quick technique from Modernist Cuisine, a six-volume tome on the science of cooking with an entire section devoted to the microwave. The cookbook’s leading author, Nathan Myhrvold, has called the microwave “an underappreciated thing in the kitchen.”

To make Modernist Cuisine‘s fried herbs, simply rub the leaves with oil and arrange them on top of a plastic-wrapped plate and then zap til crispy. Sprinkle them on top of pasta, meat dishes or salads for a next-level garnish.

Microwave-cooked eggs are ideal for breakfast sandwiches.

2. Microwave your eggs for the ultimate breakfast sandwich

Food writer Dan Clapson reviews restaurants in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for the Globe and Mail. He uses his microwave to cook perfectly formed eggs for his breakfast sandwiches. “Beat some eggs lightly and pour them into small heat-safe bowls. Microwaving gives them a more consistent size and height when you’re assembling a breakfast sandwich. I always use an English muffin, so the roundness you get from nuking an egg in a bowl is perfect. Top it with some cheddar cheese, a few pickles, tomato slices and mustard and that, my friends, is a decent start to the day!”

Clarified butter is ideal for frying. Photo, Jodi Pudge.

3. You can clarify butter in a snap with a microwave

If you haven’t clarified butter in a microwave, do it once and you’ll quickly become a convert. All you need is a Pyrex measuring cup (or an equivalent -sized glass jar) and some butter. Cut 1/2 cup of butter into 1-inch chunks and add to a Pyrex measuring cup. While keeping watch, heat the butter on medium until melted and starting to rise up. Wait for it to settle, it should separate into three layers: foam, clarified butter in the middle and water. Heat once more if the layers have not quite separated. Cool slightly, scoop off the foam, gently pour the clarified butter layer into a jar for storage, discard the water at the bottom. If you clarify butter on the stovetop, you won’t be able to see the layers as clearly.

Clarified butter, which is very similar to ghee (ghee is heated longer and has a nuttier taste), has a much higher smoke-point for frying (400 F) than regular butter because you remove the water and milk solids that don’t stand up to high heat. Clarified butter allows you to add amazing flavour to dishes such as sautéed veggies, fried breaded cutlets, eggs and steak without worrying about burning.

4. Frozen foods actually taste better zapped than baked

Forget trying to feel like you’re kinda-sorta cooking something homemade by heating up frozen fast food in the oven. If the instructions say you can microwave the food — just do it. “Most crappy frozen foods, like pizza pockets, get better results in the zapper,” says chef Matthew Hunt-Foley, who is currently on a sabbatical and enjoying a steady diet of Pizza Pockets.

5. The best way to make bread crumbs is in the microwave

Now time for my favourite trick. The microwave is not known for its browning abilities, but hear me out. Take a bowl of storebought breadcrumbs (or Japanese panko) and microwave it for 25-30 seconds at a time, stirring each time. You will notice the crumbs start to turn golden after a few rounds. Keep going until you have achieved golden brown perfection (usually after four rounds or two minutes).

This is especially great when you’re doing a breadcrumb coat on baked items, where they might not brown up as much as they would fried in a pan. I think we can all agree that oven-baked chicken fingers look more tantalizing when they’ve got some colour.