Double Chocolate Microwave Fudge

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The microwave recipe for today involves making Double Chocolate Microwave Fudge.

After two, more time-intensive dishes, I wanted to kick back and make something to indulge myself with. Fudge was the perfect idea.

One interesting thing about fudge is that it is not as unhealthy as I had assumed it would be. Although the exact nutritional facts will vary depending on which ingredients are used (I snuck some marshmallows into mine), traditional fudge is low in both calories and fat content.

GETTING STARTED:

Four ingredients. That is all that it takes to pull of making fudge in the microwave. This not only helps you save time at the grocery store, but also in preparation and clean-up.

As a new addition, I figured I would say what kind of tools (bowls, measuring spoons etc.) that I used in making my dishes.

–       For the microwave fudge, I used a medium-sized microwavable bowl, a square Tupperware dish, a large spoon, and two measuring spoons.

Chocolate chips – $2.49

Baker’s chocolate – $3.12

Vanilla – FREE! (I used the same vanilla from the vanilla cake)

Sweetened condensed milk – $2.68

Marshmallows (optional) – $2.47

Total – $10.76

This is the cheapest recipe I have attempted so far! For right around ten dollars, you are making an easy, repeatable snack that won’t bust your gut.

PREPARATION:

The steps in the recipe involve hardly any technical cooking skills. Aside from combining all the ingredients and stirring, the hardest thing about this recipe would be folding in the vanilla and the optional additions.

For my recipe, I used mini-marshmallows as an extra addition. I found a quick guide on how to “fold in” ingredients online that really helped speed up the process.

-Folding in ingredients is used to keep air in the mixture.

FINISHED PRODUCT:

I pulled the fudge out of the refrigerator after a little over an hour. The first thing I noticed was that it was still a little bit gooey. Having never made fudge before, I didn’t quite know if the softness was to be expected or not.

The finished product

As far as taste goes, it turned out well. Adding marshmallows may have made the taste a little softer, which I enjoyed.

MY RATINGS:

Feasibility- A+

It’s hard to beat only four ingredients. This is something any busy college student can make. This dish is also very cost effective at only 10 dollars.

Preparation – A

Once you learn how to fold in ingredients, this recipe is just a matter of mixing everything together.

Final Product – B+

It’s hard for me to compare this dish because I don’t eat a lot of fudge usually. But as a fan of chocolate, I enjoyed it.

Also, my resident fudge-taster (my roommate Charlie) gave it two thumbs up.

Taste Test

Microwave Shrimp Tacos

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Recipe number three involves making microwave shrimp tacos.

Yes, I know. This is the second shrimp recipe in a row. But I chose this recipe strategically because of the fact that I had leftover shrimp from the scampi. A key for cooking in a dorm: use the same ingredients for multiple dishes.

One good thing about this recipe is that it provides an opportunity to cook with fresh produce. For me, it was my first time slicing onion, avocado and cilantro.

GETTING STARTED:

One thing I learned when shopping for the ingredients to this recipe is that I am really unfamiliar with vegetables and produce. I’m so grateful for labels or the 20 minutes I spent wandering the isles of Safeway could have easily been an hour or two.

Sad fact: I didn’t know what an avocado looked like (I was ashamed at my lack of knowledge).

Corn -$ .89

Black Beans – $1.19

Olive Oil – $7.99

Flour Tortillas – $3.29

Avocado – $1.29

Limes -$ .50

Onion – $1.11

Cilantro -$ .69

Total Cost:  $16.95

* One ingredient that I chose not to get was the jalapeno pepper. I’m not a huge jalapeno person, but that’s just a personal preference.

The ingredient list calls for chopped cilantro leaves and sliced onion. I have never really had the chance to slice, dice or chop anything, so I was a little timid at first. Luckily the Internet is filled with great guides on how to chop both the onions and cilantro.

PREPARATION:

The preparation time was the one part of the dish that really snuck up on me. From the looks of the recipe it seems as though it only takes a few steps. What I failed to realize was just how much time chopping the onion, cilantro, and avocado would take. Once these things get done, you finally get to start on the actual recipe.

Another frustrating thing for me was that I had to keep up with two different dishes at one time. While I was in the process of making the mixture to go inside the tacos, I also had to worry about making the avocado spread to go with the dish.

FINISHED PRODUCT:

The dish came together without any major problems, which was nice. Overall, the taste wasn’t quite what I expected. The dish seemed to get overwhelmed with the lime flavor, which detracted from the shrimp taste.

Preparing the shrimp taco

I also started to regret not using the jalapeno peppers like the recipe calls for because they may have evened out the flavors. Teach me to not follow the recipe as strictly as I should have.

MY RATINGS:

Feasibility- A

The ingredients are affordable, which was very nice. Anyone can easily pull this recipe off for fewer than 20 dollars. Working with the healthier, fresh produce also adds some appeal to this recipe.

Preparation – C+

This has definitely been the most time-consuming recipe that I have dealt with so far. The time it took from the start until I had my tacos was an hour and twenty minutes!

Taste- B

I liked the taste that the avocado adds to the tacos, but I was overwhelmed by the lime juice in the dish. This was a dish that was great to try once, but I probably wouldn’t try to make it again.

Folding the finished taco

Microwave Shrimp Scampi

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Microwave recipe number two involves cooking microwave shrimp scampi.

After a successful attempt at vanilla cake, my confidence was up. With a slightly inflated ego, I thought a step up to a dinner dish would be well within my reach.

Although shrimp scampi seems like an intensive recipe, it is surprisingly simple.  It involves 1) only 7 ingredients 2) only a small amount of preparation 3) and simple steps

GETTING STARTED:

One trip to Safeway and I was ready to go.

Butter – $3.99

Garlic –  $4.39

Lemon Juice- $2.69

Parsley – $2.69

Salt – $3.15

White Pepper – $3.49

Shrimp – $9.98

Total Cost: $30.38 *

Although this may seem like a large amount of money, keep in mind that you can make the dish multiple times with these ingredients. Also, many of the ingredients (like butter and salt) show up in other recipes. So this is a good investment.

The recipe calls for deveined shrimp. Deveined?  This wasn’t a term I was familiar with, so I Google searched an explanation.

–       To devein a shrimp means to remove the black intestinal tract that runs down the middle of the shrimp.

CONFESSION:

I cheated. The recipe calls for several steps that I chose to simplify in order to make the process easier. Again, as a college student, simplicity is the key.

  1. The first changes I made involved substituting fresh ingredients (the parsley and garlic) for dried, pre-packaged ingredients. Both the bottles of parsley and garlic had easy conversion charts. If you can’t find any conversions, a quick search yields a handy emergency conversion chart.
  2. The second change I made involved the shrimp. The recipe doesn’t specify whether to use fresh or pre-cooked shrimp, so I chose to use pre-cooked. Having already been peeled and deveined, it was the most effective way to quicken the cooking process.

PREPARATION:

One of the best things about the recipe is the ease in which you can prepare it. Most of the process involves making the butter sauce, which is as simple as combining all the ingredients together and putting it in the microwave.

For a video tutorial on making the dish, check out my video above!

FINISHED PRODUCT:

This dish turned out delicious! Within about 25 minutes I had my shrimp scampi.

The finished product: Microwave Shrimp Scampi

The best feeling for me is to get what I call the Roommate Stamp of Approval, and this dish earned the distinction. My roommate Charlie helped me devour the finished product.

MY RATINGS:

Feasibility – A

Ingredients aren’t too difficult to find in the local grocery store. Also, there is no need for anything more than a bowl and a measuring tool.

Preparation: A-

The recipe only calls for all the ingredients to be combined, which certainly makes it easy. The only thing that hurts the overall grade is the uncertainty with how long to microwave the dish for. I recommend always aiming for the high-side on the microwave time.

Taste – A

I would definitely make this again, and possibly substitute the shrimp for crab meat!

Microwave Vanilla Cake

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Today’s microwave recipe involves making a mini microwave vanilla cake.

The vanilla cake represents the perfect ideal for the beginner chef. It involves 1) an easy set of ingredients 2) simple measurements 3) no cutting, dicing, slicing, or mashing.

With my level of cooking experience (none), the vanilla cake was a great way to start. Let’s face it; you don’t have to be Emeril Lagasse to make a vanilla cake

GETTING STARTED:

After a trip to the local grocery store I had everything I needed to begin making my cake. Again, a positive to this recipe is that the ingredients are very common.

-Eggs  ($1.19)

-Flour ($1.55)

-Sugar ($1.39)

-Milk ($1.49)

– Baking soda ($1.45)

– Vanilla extract ($3.19)

-White vinegar ($.99)

Applesauce? ($1.89)

Total Cost:  $13.14

Yes. That’s right: applesauce. I know I’m a beginner cook, but I have never heard of anyone baking anything using applesauce. A quick Google search gave me some information as to the benefits of cooking with applesauce:

  • Many cooks replace vegetable oil with applesauce in their recipes in order to cut out fat and calories. (For college kids looking to not gain the freshman fifteen, this is key!)

PREPARATION:

The cake was very easy to put together. Using two bowls, a teaspoon and a tablespoon, this recipe took 10 minutes to get in the microwave. With busy college schedules, the time factor for this cake is perfect.

The recipe calls for the beating in, or whisking of eggs.  For the cooking-ignorant people like myself check out this handy guide on how to whisk eggs.

FINISHED PRODUCT:

I was pleasantly surprised with how the cake turned out! As a new cook, I expect the worst (spilling flour at the start of the cooking also didn’t exactly boost my confidence). But the finished product tasted great.

First Finished Cake

Some things I noticed at the end:  1) The cake is more moist than one baked in the oven, expect this going in  2) Extra time in the microwave is necessary. Add 1 extra minute.

The second, decorated cake

My Ratings:

Feasibility- A

–       Easy list of ingredients combined with small number of tools needed to prepare.

Preparation- A

–       Perfect amount of steps to keep from getting confused. Takes only a short amount of time to prepare

Taste – B+

– Not quite the same as an oven baked cake.  A little moist when eaten, but pretty good.