Daily GUIDE-ance:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Man Cooking

(I only chose that title because I makes me think of man-pies in The Silver Chair)

So let me try something a bit queer.
Queer isn't exactly the right word. Oh well, its late so whatever.

I'm not a single parent, but I have seen my wife through 2 utterly debilitating pregnancies and recoveries, as well as at least 1.5 serious long term recovery type illnesses, so for a guy, I have done a fair amount of mommy-ing. Being unusually smart (well maybe- you be the judge at the end of this), I will now make like a mommy blogger and tell you some of the things I have learned to cook.

Here's the hook though, here's the thing- here is what may (or may not) make this post worth reading: Using only the microwave.

yeah, so like- OK here it is: 4 easy, cheap, quick and dirty and reasonably healthy dishes I have learned to microwave over the years.

Cheesy Toast

slice of bread
slice of cheese
maple syrup

What you do:
Put them on a plate, on top of each other, in that order. Microwave until cheese is pleasantly gooey. (about 66.6 seconds)

Makes for an ok breakfast food. Jonni likes it anyway.

Aside: I always use numbers like 6666 or 888 or 999 or 1111 for timing on a digital microwave. It saves me having to push more than one button, and I never wait for the timer to get done anyway. I just watch stuff and yank it out when its done. By the same token, on a rotary timer microwave I usually just give it a crank to like 30 minutes or so.

Scrambled eggs

I assume everyone knows that you can microwave and egg, right? Just crack one into a ceramic bowl, or coffee mug and nuke it. You might want to cover the dish if you have never done this before because if you over do it there is an explosion hazard. The trick to not over doing it is to yank the egg out frequently and give it a good stir. This makes the egg cook uniformly as opposed to being rubbery and gross.

You can also add to your eggs:
Peppers sometimes turn out ok too.

It takes like 111 seconds to make a pretty good egg. Also, since there is no grease involved I think these eggs might be better for you than traditional scrambled in a pan eggs.


Of course, you can make oatmeal in the microwave. You can buy the stupid little Kool-aid sized packets if you want but those are stupidly expensive considering $1.25 will get you a 2 pound cylinder of oatmeal at Aldis. The wee packets are flavored and have some nominal fruit in them, of course, but they are still not worth it. Here is why:

Cereal bowl. Put plain oatmeal in it. 1/2 full or so. Run some H2O from the faucet into it. Just enough to not quite float the top flakes of oatmeal. Now add the following:

2-3 spoons of brown sugar
Several shakes worth of Cinnamon, Ginger and/or Nutmeg.

Next get a jar of apple sauce (also cheap) and dump about half again as much apple sauce as you have oatmeal. Stir. Microwave until soft.

Also, you can use milk instead of H20 if you prefer- and apple juice works good too. Its a good way to dispose of the last centimeter of juice that no one wants to drink.

Mashed Potatoes

This really is my own invention and these mashed potatoes are as good and better than any other kind I have ever eaten. And they are much easier to make than the old fashioned skin, boil and mash method.

Get 3-5 potatoes. Wash them. (How clean you bother to get them depends on how much of the skin you like in your mashed potatoes.) Gouge holes in them (so they don't explode). Microwave for like 8:88 minutes or more. Until they are squishy to the touch.

Take them out. They will be very hot indeed. What you want to do now is get the baked, white stuff out. You could do it with a spoon, if only you could hold on to the outside of the potato, but you can't cause it is so stinking hot (a hot potato!). the trick is to run cold water over them first. It will cool the outside enough to handle, and leave the insides piping.

With a knife or fork open the potatoes and spoon out the white goo into a biggish bowl. If you like skins in your potatoes, and if you washed them fairly well, you can toss the skins in too.

After the contents of all your potatoes are in your bowl, add some of the following (you don't have to add them all, but I would at least not neglect the butter, salt and pepper):

Sour Cream
Parmesan Cheese

You should be able to use a fork to stir all this together, adding milk and/or sour cream to get the consistency just right. From scratch, mashed potatoes: done in 15 minutes.

So that's me being Rachel Ray. Let me know if you try any of these, especially the potatoes.
Oh hey another thing- It is easier to pick up legos using a dust pan and broom than it is to do it using your fingers.


Bruce said...

ok, turn it over. you no longer have rights to your "man card." its not the fact that you did the cooking. that is perfictly fine. its not that you told some one how to do it. your just trying to help. its that you bloged about it. what are you going to give advice on how to collor and style hair next. (i have collored hair befor and i have been giving hair cuts for a long time(although i dont think you can call the hair cuts i give "styleing")) i think im going to get you an aprin and a pink too too for x-mas.

Bruce said...

acually i think ill try the mashed potatoes. sound like an easy way to do it. the rest of them i have already done. but not the cheasy toasat. that one has always seemed weard to me.

timpani76 said...

Why would I need to learn man cooking when I can cook for real?

I think Erik would add tomales out of a can (heated in the microwave of course) and mac & cheese to that list.

Renae said...

Dang it!!! Never type lengthy things with a two year old around. I was nearly done, and the stinker erased it for me! I don't feel like typing that all in again.

WTG Mr. Mom! You rock, Maybe I'll tell you what I was going to say later.

Bruce said...

so timp, your saying "man" cooking isnt real cooking?

timpani76 said...

Man cooking is the wussy version of real cooking (aka woman cooking!)

That being said I'm very proud of John for how good he has been with Liz's long illness and I think he's an excellent husband and father, despite his man cooking.

Eyepoke said...

Yeah like:

Who needs "Insult of the Day" if you have Timpani?

And for Bruce, I hate to be the one to break it to you, man, but most of us guys don't need a card to prove that we are male.

I call on everyone to witness that the body slam putdowns above were administered Defensively!

Eyepoke said...

We tease because we love!

Anonymous said...

My elbow hurts

Anonymous said...

You know, if you use the auto-cook button for the items that don't need to be in the microwave longer than a minute or 2 it's just as fast of not faster than 9999. But for the potatoes, 888 is great. :) I think the oatmeal sounds good. I'll have to try it.


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and I agree with Bruce (for once), the cheesy toast looks seriously gross. Where did you get the idea to create that anyway? Eew.