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Microwave Tips And Reminders

Use only microwave-safe containers. Sour cream, yogurt or margarine containers are not safe, containing nasty chemicals that could leach into your food.

When using plastic wrap to cover containers, do not let plastic come in contact with the food.

Heating water to boiling can pose a risk of getting scalded unless a small wooden object is placed inside the container; a popsicle stick, wooden stir stick or simply the handle of a small wooden mixing spoon. There have been reports of burst-like action when the cup is removed or when the door is opened. This is prevented by a small, wooden object to diffuse the energy.

Soften hardened brown sugar by placing it in a container with a slice of apple. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and heat at high setting for approximately 30 seconds.

Melt chocolate squares by heating at full power for approximately 45 seconds per ounce of chocolate.

Toast coconut by spreading in a thin layer and heat on high two to three minutes. To dry lemon or orange peel, place grated rind in small container and heat on high 30 to 60 seconds.

Heat lemons for 20 seconds. Before cutting heated fruit, roll on cutting board by pressing with the palm of your hand until softened. This yields more juice.

To plump dried fruits or raisins, add 2 tbsp. water to each cup of dried fruit. Heat on high for 30 seconds.

Wrap leftover pizza slices in slightly damp paper towels. Heat on high for 45 to 60 seconds. The damp towels keep crust crisp. Soften cream cheese by removing foil wrapper and heat on medium for 60 seconds.

Changed your mind about mailing a letter? Place a couple drops of water on the stamp and microwave for 30 seconds. Stamp should be easily removed.

Cleaning the microwave: Mix 2 cups warm water, 1 tbsp. vinegar and 2 drops dish soap. Heat the solution about three minutes.Do not open door.Let stand for 10 minutes then all you have to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth. The steam loosens stuck-on foods and also deodorizes. – Eva Krawchuk writes from Winnipeg

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