mathsnerd: (coffee addict)
[personal profile] mathsnerd
Hello all!

I'm hoping to pick to your collective brains in the hopes that someone has the answer to this question. I have recently acquired a 20L microwave/grill/convection oven and am now facing the cold hard truth that I don't know how to use it other than re-heating things. (Oops.)

The weather here in Germany is getting colder, and I am craving PASTA! Hence, my question to you all: how can I cook pasta in a microwave? What kind of dishes/equipment do I need to purchase? (I have, quite literally, nothing.) Are some sorts of pasta going to be harder than others? I do own an electric hot water cooker, so I can boil water ahead of time, if that helps.

In other important information, I share a tiny room, have next to no storage space, have almost no prep space, have a sink, share a tiny under-the-counter-fridge, do NOT have a freezer, have two hot plates but do not use them (hence the microwave/oven) due to fear of burns, do not currently have any storage containers but can get some when I get cooking dishes/equipment if it's recommended.

I am disabled, hence the not cooking on hot plates, use crutches and hand/arm braces, and have reduced motor skills in my hands/arms/legs. Spoons vary wildly by day and time of day.

I need to eat more and eat warm food. I turn to you in hopes of being able to start having pasta. If I can cook pasta, I can make a batch and refrigerate it, and then re-heat it and make sauces or dress it as my stomach permits (I have weird food things due to a chronic illness) and a lot of things would be better. At least one of my closer friends and her mother would stop bitching (they bought the microwave).

I thank you all in advance and look forward to being able to have pasta! X-posted to [community profile] cookability
jd: (Default)
[personal profile] jd
This is a several-in-one recipe mix-and-match thing, but it's real easy to make. We got it from some Kraft "food&family program guide" club thing [personal profile] ryan signed up for in years past.

Anyway! It goes like this:

The base recipe calls for:
a 14.5-oz can of undrained diced tomatoes
8 oz uncooked pasta
a large skillet and a pasta pot
A pound of meat (or vegetarian substitute)
About 2 cups or so of vegetables
Half a cup of salad dressing for marinade/sauce
A cup of shredded cheese (for topping)

The suggested meats are:
meats )

Suggested vegetables to stir in are:
vegetables )

The suggested dressing-cheese pairings are:
tasty )

I know all that sounds complicated but they're all just options - feel free to use whatever you want.

So now that you've picked one of each, make the pasta like normal. Cook the meat with 2 Tbsp of dressing in a large skillet for 5 minutes or until it's browned on both sides (turn after 3 min if you need to). Stir in the can of diced tomatoes, vegetables, and the rest of the dressing. [If you're doing beans instead of meat, just throw it all in together here.] Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 10 minutes until the meat is cooked. Serve over pasta and top with cheese; let it sit so the cheese can melt. Serves roughly 4, more if you add lots of vegetables.

Pro tip: if you use ground beef, don't pair it with ranch salad dressing. It still tastes good, but comes out looking like gray sludge.
sibyllevance: (Default)
[personal profile] sibyllevance
Hello everybody!
I posted this on my journal yesterday but thought maybe others could benefit from what I've found. I'm 21 and up till October, I lived with my parents, who cook in bulk for all of us so I never had any opportunity to cook for myself. In October I moved to the UK (where I still am) to finish my Master's degree and here I live in a huge house with a huge kitchen that I share with lovely housemates.
Cooking is a challenge to me - I don't enjoy it at all (it's very lonely to go in there and chop and feel hot for hours each week) but I dearly love eating and I can't afford to go out more than once in a while so cooking is nonetheless a necessity.
I've found that since I've had to prepare my own meals, I'm constantly thinking about what I'm going to eat, when I'll have to prepare the food or buy it. It's exhausting, to be honest, but sometimes it's actually rewarding. The following recipes are recipes that worked well for me this year and that I would like to make again.

Mango Chicken Curry - Exact recipe but I substituted the heavy cream with light coconut milk, which by the way I could drink on its own with a bit of sugar if nobody was watching me.
Morrocan Aubergine and Chickpeas Salad - Exact recipe. I think adding grilled lamb meatballs to it might make it a complete omnivore dish, I haven't tried but I will next time I make it.
Falafel Burgers - Exact recipe but for the tomato salsa, since I wasn't sure what they meant, I used grilled diced tomatoes.
Hummus - Exact recipe. Had that with pita bread and on toasted artisan bread with olive oil and diced tomatoes for breakfast one day.
Fancy Macaroni - Exact recipe, don't skip the goat cheese, it makes a huge difference. Got two other cheeses on discount.

There are also countless other dishes which I didn't use a recipe for (that's far more difficult) but that I thought would taste good and they did. For example thick pasta with lemon and a mushroom sauce (mushrooms, cream and various spices that didn't look too different from the earthy taste of mushrooms). Today I had mint lamb (I put lamb steaks in a zipper bag with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and lots of fresh mint and let it marinate overnight) with couscous and some veggies in it (peppers and sun-dried tomatoes).

These tips also worked for me this year: cooking in bulk and freezing is a great method. Dried herbs are my best friends, so are spices, especially if the dish requires the herbs to be cooked. If it's for a salad or some such, better fresh. Some things are worth buying half-ready to use, like diced chicken breasts, some are not (guacamole in a jar, I'd rather be guacamole-deprived, maybe it's the brand I bought but it had 40% double cream, and it tasted horrible). Some things are totally fine by me and have saved me time (example: rice in the bag, teabags, already-washed salad). Old el Paso is not Mexican food, but their corn tortillas are rather good. I personally buy spices in bulk and throw some of each together instead of using their spices mix, too.

I wish I'd known how to use my oven better sooner this year. I learned last week that I could do all the 'grilling' of the recipes in my oven *sigh* Better late than never, I suppose. Turns out the way you prepare something really changes the ingredient. My whole life I thought I hated aubergines, but grilled aubergines are, I find, to die for.
zarhooie: Ianto holding a hockey stick (Whoverse: Ianto with hockey stick)
[personal profile] zarhooie
Found at LiveJournal via bOINGbOING.net

I present to you hot dogs and spaghetti:



How to do it:

-Set a pot of water to boil and cut up your hot dogs into 3rds or 4ths.
-Next, take 5-7 pieces of dried spaghetti and impale your hot dog pieces in whatever direction you please.
-Carefully (making sure not to break the spaghetti or burn yourself) put the hot dogs into the boiling water for 7-10 minutes (or however long the pasta directions say).
-Remove from boiling water (either drain or spear) and serve with ketchup, mustard and/or spaghetti sauce.

-Kat

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Boiling water without burning it

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