Chilled Cucumber Salad

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These chilled garlic soy cucumbers are a refreshing snack for any hot summer day! Make a batch to accompany your next summer meal!

Cucumbers are perfect as a light appetizer.  They’re refreshing, they aren’t too filling, and they taste surprisingly good.  Also, they’re really easy to make.  No stove required!  You may have seen chilled Cucumber Salad as an appetizer at a Chinese restaurant.  Now you can make your own!

Ingredients:

1-2 large seedless cucumbers

2-3 cloves of garlic

Soy sauce ( start with a 1/2 cup, then add to taste)

Rice vinegar (start with a 1/2 cup, then add to taste)

Chili oil (Optional, but delicious)

Directions:

1. Peel the cucumber first if you don’t like the skin.  Otherwise, just wash it, and then slice it into pieces 1/3-1/2 inches (or around 1 cm) thick.

2. Dice the cloves of garlic.

3. Put the garlic and the cucumber into a large bowl.  Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili oil to taste.

4. Toss gently.  That’s it!  You’re done!  Now enjoy!

Wasn’t that easy?

Credit: my mom and Allison

Photo credit: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/chilled-garlic-soy-cucumbers/

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Microwave Potato Chips

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I made these in the microwave. Really!

Yes, I know.  Microwave potato chips.  They do come out of a microwave, but trust me.  Unlike most nuked food, these are actually crispy.  They’re also healthier than the normal potato chip, because they use much less oil. I’ve tried making these before, but foodgal’s tips made my chips better, so I’m sharing a mashup of our recipes.  Depending on how thinly you slice your potatoes, the amount of each ingredient will change.

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds of potatoes (foodgal said Yukon Gold or red, I say whatever you have in the kitchen)

1-3 tablespoons of oil (if you cut your potatoes super thin, you may need more)

1 teaspoon salt (add to taste- I like my salt)

Something to grease your plate with- oil, butter, or cooking spray

Optional: onion powder, chili powder, garlic salt, be creative!

Directions:

1. Grease your microwave-safe plate, just well enough to cover the whole surface

2. Slice your potatoes.  This may take a while, if you want thinner (and crispier!) chips.  But if you’re impatient and hungry, like me, mangled chips or thicker chips in the style of kettle chips still taste great.

3. Toss your potato slices in a bowl with your oil and salt.  Try to get a bit of oil and salt on every slice.  Feel free to add a little more salt and oil if you need to.

4. Arrange your slices on the greased microwave-safe plate in one layer.  Overlapping chips in multiple layers means they won’t be crispy.  I like to form spirals.

5. Microwave uncovered for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to turn brown (may be 30 seconds if you sliced your potatoes really thinly).  Thinner slices brown faster.  Turn your slices over (I use a fork or chopsticks because they are HOT) and repeat.

6. Once both sides have been microwaved, take them out!  Wait for them to cool and turn crispy.  This shouldn’t take too long, unless your slices are on the thicker side. And even then, potato slices taste great!  Now distribute your chips among your friends (but only if you want to) and enjoy!

Credit: http://www.foodgal.com/2010/01/microwave-potato-chips-really/

Microwave Mac & Cheese

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Who doesn’t like mac and cheese?  I love it, but I find that a whole bowl of it can be too much.  This recipe is perfect for a small, but filling snack, and the most you’ll have to wash is a mug and a spoon!  Honestly, that’s the best part.  Easy cooking and easy cleaning.  (Wash as soon as you’re done eating, or soak your mug in hot water to get rid of the cheese and make for easier clean up.)

 

Ingredients:

1/3 cup macaroni/ any small pasta you have on hand

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup milk (whatever kind you have)

1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar probably works best, but feel free to mix in your favorites)

Optional: teaspoon of butter/ ground pepper

 

Directions:

1. “Boil” your pasta by combining the pasta and the water in a large mug.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes, then stir.  I recommend doing this on 20 second intervals, so the water doesn’t spill over.  That should be 6, 20 second intervals.

2. Check the pasta.  Repeat until desired firmness.  For me, this usually takes another 2 minutes, but I have a strong microwave.  If you like your pasta softer than al dente, you might want to cook for 4 extra minutes instead of 2.  Stir at every interval.  (All the water should be absorbed.  If the pasta isn’t cooked yet, add another spoonful of water, and cook for another few intervals of 20 seconds.)

3. You’re almost done now!  Remove your mug from the microwave, and stir in the milk and cheese!  (Add the butter and pepper here too if you want.)  Be careful with the hot mug, but everything should eventually melt into gooey goodness as you stir.

4. Enjoy!  You can always make another mug for yourself, or share with a friend!

Credit:

I’ve seen this recipe more than once, and I’ve added butter and pepper to mine, but here’s the most recent one I’ve seen: http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/instant-mug-o-mac-cheese-in-the-microwave/

The picture is also from babble.com

Microwave Choco Pudding

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It’s still early in the school year, but that dreaded time has come. Midterms. In between study sessions, I find myself craving something sweet and easy. What’s easier than a chocolate pudding you can whip up with a microwave in about 15 minutes? This recipe makes 4 servings, so share some with your study group!

Serving size: 4 cups of puddin

Ingredients:

  • ​1/2 cup white sugar
  • ​1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ​2 cups milk
  • ​2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: (for toppings) chopped bananas, sliced almonds, caramel drizzle

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add the milk in a little at a time to avoid lumps.
  2. Cook everything for one minute.  Stir, then cook again for another minute.  Stir.  Continue microwaving for one-minute intervals, and stirring until the pudding looks shiny and thick.
  3. Then stir in the vanilla.
  4. Carefully place a piece of plastic kitchen wrap smoothly onto the surface of the pudding.  This will prevent a rubbery layer of “skin” from forming.  Chill in the refrigerator.  Once the pudding has set, it’s ready to serve!
  5. Stir in chopped bananas and sliced almonds or whatever you feel goes with chocolate pudding!

Enjoy!

Source: AllRecipes.com