The weather in the dying days before school starts could best be described not as Christmas in July, but winter in August. Instead of the scenes of parenting bliss- kids outdoors from dawn to dusk playing on the trampoline or swing, sitting reading in a quiet corner of the garden, drinking milkshakes, eating homemade ice-lollies and running around in swimsuits having water fights- I anticipated at the beginning of the holidays, they are instead playing inside, reading inside, making a mess inside, making all the outside noises inside.
Between tidying up after the various children that have populated my house, feeding them, begging them to be quiet, the ball most frequently dropped is feeding myself. Handily for me I can use the microwave for more than just reheating leftover My Little Pony Pasta shapes.
Take a mug and a couple of minutes, and you too can have sustenance in the time it takes to boil a kettle for a much-needed cuppa.
Here are seven microwave meals you can make in a mug.
1. Macaroni Cheese I know it seems implausible, but you can cook pasta in the microwave. You may need a large bowl to ensure that the cup doesn’t boil over, or you could use leftover plain pasta that you’ve kept in the fridge. The full recipe is on Babble.
2. Meatloaf in a mug: mince, oats, ketchup and not much else. Cooks in three minutes. You could slap it between two slabs of the bread below and call it a burger.
3. Crustless Quiche: this recipe calls for a few crumbs of bread as a crust-alternative but literally cooks in a minute and looks delicious. Full recipe on Full Thyme Student’s blog. Or ditch the bread and just make an Omelette in a Mug.
4. Bread. I kid you not, you can make bread in a mug in the microwave in about 90 seconds. OK so you need some fancy Gluten-free mix, but the instructions do suggest Bisquick as an alternative and that is widely available in the UK. Full Recipe on gfreefoodie.
5. “Baked” porridge: add apple and cinnamon, even an egg, for a delicious breakfast treat in minutes. But you can eat it at any time of day! The full details are on The Wife of a Dairyman’s blog.
6. Chilaquiles: no, I’ve no idea what they are either. But all you need are a few tortilla chips, egg, cheese and garnishes. Easy and exotic, if you close your eyes whilst you eat it, you could be in Mexico on a beach and not surrounded by toys.
7. And if you need a quick dessert- or it’s that kind of day- try the Molten Mug Chocolate Cake from the BBC Good Food website.
Or you could just make a cup of soup.