Microwave-friendly fall recipes

Courtesy Photo TaraCooks.com
Courtesy Photo

Fall is finally here. With cold weather beginning to creep its way in and the daylight beginning to fade away, it can be tempting to stay curled up in your dorm or apartment with close friends and a nice, homemade meal. This presents a problem for those who live on campus and are without the means to make an elaborate meal. As the recipes below prove, with a little time and the use of a microwave, it’s possible to create a hearty fall-themed meal to rival your parents’ home-cooking.


Corn and Pepper Chowder

Makes 4 servings 

• 5 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces

• ¼ cup finely chopped onion

• ¼ cup finely chopped celery

• ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

• ¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper

• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 1 can (19 oz.) whole kernel corn with liquid

• 1 medium-sized potato, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes

• 2 cups milk

• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

• ½ teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 tsp chopped fresh dill)

• ½ teaspoon salt

• ¼ teaspoon white pepper

In a 2-quart microwave-proof casserole dish, combine the bacon, onion, celery and peppers. Microwave uncovered on high power for 8 to 9 minutes or until bacon is crisp and vegetables are tender, stirring halfway through the cooking cycle. Remove the dish from the microwave and blend in the flour. Stir in the corn, potato, milk, parsley, dill, salt and white pepper. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and poke holes in the wrap to allow steam to escape. Microwave on high power for 13 to 15 minutes or until the chowder has thickened and the potatoes are tender, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes during the cooking cycle. Garnish with fresh dill.


Hot Spiced Cider

Makes 4 to 6 servings

• 3 cups apple cider

• 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

• 1 one-inch cinnamon stick

• 1 teaspoon whole cloves

• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a 1-quart glass measuring cup, combine the cider, brown sugar, cinnamon stick and cloves. Microwave on high power for 5 to 6 minutes or until the cider starts to boil. Strain the cider into serving mugs and finish with a dash of nutmeg.


Pumpkin Bread

Makes 8-inch loaf

• 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

• ½ cup packed brown sugar

• ¼ cup granulated sugar

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• ¾ teaspoon salt

• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

• 1 cup canned pumpkin

• 2/3 cup vegetable oil

• 2 eggs

• 1/3 cup finely chopped nuts

Line the bottom of an 8×4 microwave-safe loaf pan with wax paper and set it aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat at low speed using an electric mixer until moistened. Beat at high speed for 1 minute, occasionally scraping the edges of the bowl. Spread the batter evenly in the loaf pan. Shield the ends of the pan with 2-inch strips of foil. Microwave the dish for 5 to 9 minutes, rotating the dish after the halfway point. Remove the foil and microwave on high for 6 to 7 minutes or until the center springs back when touched lightly and no uncooked batter remains on the bottom. Let the loaf cool for 5 to 10 minutes before attempting to remove it from the pan or slicing.