5 Amazing Ways to Get the Most Mileage From Your Microwave

These will save you time in the kitchen!

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gemma stafford

Save time in the kitchen this holiday season with a little help from your microwave. These bold baking tips will allow you to spend more time with family and friends while still delivering over-the-top results with your holiday baking.

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1. Softening Butter

gemma stafford

Because it's a busy baking season, you often forget to leave butter out to soften at room temperature. My little trick to speed up this process is to pop my butter (paper wrapper and all) into the microwave and heat it for a few seconds until it has softened but not melted. This gives you perfect texture butter for all your holiday baking. Voila!

2. Make Mess-Free Popcorn Garlands

gemma stafford

If this is a holiday tradition of yours, then I have a simple, mess-free way to create this festive decoration. Place 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in a brown sandwich bag sealed up nice and tight (no oil needed). Cook in the microwave until you hear no more popping, roughly 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Once it's all popped, you can start stringing up your popcorn!

3. Microwave Dessert

gemma stafford

During the holidays, reserve the room in your oven for the turkey, ham, and side dishes, by cooking your dessert in the microwave! There are lots of recipes out there for microwave desserts that will wow your guests. Try my Hot Chocolate Mug Cake. It can be mixed up ahead of time and microwaved before serving. It makes for easy entertaining and your guests will never know it was this easy. Win-win!

4. Get More Juice from Citrus Fruits

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Lemons and oranges make great additions to cakes, desserts, and even cocktails during the holidays. To get the most bang for your buck from your citrus fruit, microwave them whole for 20 seconds before squeezing. This softens them and makes it easier to extract all of the juice. Talk about juicy... Chef's Tip: This microwave trick is a double whammy because not only does it soften your fruit for easy juicing, but it will leave your microwave smelling great. If you use your microwave as much as I do, you will appreciate the citrus smell!

5. Melting Chocolate

gemma stafford

Planning any chocolate desserts for your guests? Do you like fondue or fudge? Don't fuss around with a double boiler. Just place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until fully melted. Use as your recipe requires.

gemma stafford

For more microwave recipes, you can check out my new e-book, Gemma's Microwave Mug Meals, featuring 30 of my favorite mug recipes for real food fast. Happy microwaving!

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