As students at uni, we all grow to appreciate those people and things that mean the most in our lives. I am talking about a very particular friend, however. This friend is there to help you with your midnight snacking, and to provide you comfort food when you need it. They soften the ice cream after a bad breakup so you don’t have to hack at it. This friend has even helped you with some not-so-scientific experiments. Yes, I am talking about the microwave. It is a perilous risk to underestimate the positive impact this genius invention can have on your life. Some of my tastiest creations have come from microwave experiments. I will share my favourites with you. The following recipes are not healthy in any way and do not pretend to be. But they are delicious.

  • The s’more. Tragically lacking from British culture, the s’more is the ultimate American campfire food. Though the toasted-over-a-fire authentic version is undoubtedly the best, this microwave substitute of gooey, chocolaty goodness will do in the absence of a fire pit. 
    1. You’ll need graham crackers (plain digestive biscuits), a chocolate bar of your choice (Hershey’s is best, but it’s very difficult to find in the UK), and large marshmallows
    2. Place one digestive biscuit on a plate, cover with part of the chocolate bar. And I do mean cover, one or two squares of a Dairy milk isn’t quite enough
    3. Place one or two marshmallows on top and place the whole thing in the microwave for about 30 seconds, but you have to watch it the whole time it’s in there or the marshmallows will positively explode and they aren’t fun to clean up
    4. Remove from microwave, place another digestive on top to make a sandwich.
    5. Consume and enjoy.
    6. Experience authentic version as soon as possible if you haven’t already.
  • Baked sweet potato. Like the s’more, the authentic version (baked in the oven) is better, but if you don’t have an oven or are short on time, this is a pretty great alternative.
    1. You’ll need a sweet potato, butter, brown sugar, mini marshmallows (optional)
    2. Place potato on microwave safe plate and pierce with a knife so it doesn’t explode. I’ve had this happen. Potatoes explode in the microwave. It’s real.
    3. Heat for five minutes
    4. Turn potato over and heat for another five minutes
    5. Continue this cycle until potato is tender all the way through. Be very careful when handling the plate. It will be extremely hot.
    6. Here’s where it gets interesting. In the US, we see the sweet potato as a kind of dessert and they’re amazing so just give it a try.
    7. Butter to taste
    8. Now, add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar and make sure you combine it well with the butter (which should be very melty at this point)
    9. Add a few mini marshmallows and put it back in the microwave for fifteen seconds or so, keeping a close eye on it (optional)
    10. Consume and enjoy.
  • Garlic cheese bread.
    1. You’ll need bread (I use regular loaf bread, but any will do), shredded cheese, garlic salt
    2. Place bread on microwave safe plate and cover in cheese, lots of cheese
    3. Microwave on high for 30 second intervals until cheese is just starting to melt
    4. Add garlic salt to taste
    5. Continue to microwave at 30 second intervals until cheese is completely melted
    6. Consume and enjoy.
  • Macaroni and cheese. Perhaps the most obvious, but also the best. And I don’t mean the store brand stuff you get at Tesco—trust me, that is truly inedible. Also don’t use the instant EasyMac type stuff. It’s just not the same. Try to find something like Kraft. Kraft is the best.
    1. You’ll need a box of mac and cheese, a bag of shredded cheese (preferably one of the four cheese blends because that’s going to give you the most flavour), that’s right, more cheese. That powdery mix that looks so unappetising when you first pour it out somehow turns into delicious magnificence when combined with milk and butter just isn’t enough to achieve the level of mac and cheese perfection I want you to experience.
    2. Oh, you’ll need milk and butter, too.
    3. There should be a microwave recipe on the box, but if there isn’t, put the noodles in a bowl and add enough water to cover them completely and heat on high for three minute intervals, stirring intermittently until noodles reach desired texture.
    4. Add 125-150mls skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
    5. 3 tablespoons of butter
    6. Salt and pepper to taste
    7. I’ve found a touch of garlic salt is also a lovely addition
    8. Stir until butter is mostly melted
    9. Add powdered cheese first, then loads, I mean HEAPS of the extra shredded stuff you got.
    10. Stir until is it a cheesy blend of perfection
    11. Consume in one sitting and enjoy the bliss of the perfect microwave mac and cheese.

Though these recipes are simple and unhealthy, they are tasty and amazing and on those nights when you can’t be bothered with real cooking or you just need something bad, I’ve found that they don’t disappoint. So please, go forth and enjoy the fruits of my laziness and food addictions.