Modern microwave does more than warm coffee

Friday, February 6, 2015, Vol. 39, No. 6

We’re finally in our new home, and we hope this is the last move we’ll ever have to make.

I have to say, this house fits us better than any other one we’ve owned, and there for a while, I’m sure the USPS had a hard time keeping our address changes straight. It seems that way, anyway.

However, we’re in, and everything is pretty much in order. We’ve been working hard at getting things in their right places. Our bathroom and the office area have been the most difficult.

I finally managed to complete the bathroom/closet area yesterday, but the office – well, it’s still a nightmare. Or at least a bad dream. But I can close the door.

Now to get my mother moved into our last home. I also hope it will be her last move. If it’s not easy on me, I can imagine how exhausting it must be for her.

So, I’ve managed to cook a few meals in the new kitchen. All the appliances are new, so it’s taking some getting used to, but it has been fun.

I love cooking, and cooking with new appliances is even more fun. This is probably the last time I’ll ever get to prepare a meal with all-new appliances, so I’m really trying to enjoy them.

At least, I hope they last that long...

I had to get Mr. GE service guy out to the house for a small repair on my washer, and as he was walking through the kitchen to the laundry room, he spotted the microwave.

Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons instant espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels
Shortening

Chocolate glaze:
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Buttermilk glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk together flour and next three ingredients. Beat 1-1/2 cups butter in a medium bowl on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yolk disappears. Combine 1-1/4 cups buttermilk and next two ingredients. Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low after each addition. Fold in bittersweet chocolate morsels. Pour batter into a well-greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan. Sharply tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour and 15-25 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack.

Chocolate glaze: Combine semisweet chocolate chips, three tablespoons butter, and one tablespoon corn syrup in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave at 50 percent power until morsels begin to melt. Stir until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Buttermilk glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar, one tablespoon buttermilk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Add up to one tablespoon buttermilk, if desired. Drizzle warm glazes over cooled cake.

Recipe courtesy of Southern Living Magazine, February, 2015

The microwave is a GE Café Advantium 120 mounted over the cooktop. We paid quite a bit for it, but I had no idea why. I just figured it was because it was a convection-cooking microwave.

While passing through, Mr. GE asked me if whoever sold me the microwave taught me how to use it. Well, of course not. They just liked the idea that we were getting that one.

Mr. GE said that most people just get it and use it like a regular microwave (that would be me), and have no idea of what it could really do.

Since I was guilty, having only warmed up coffee and a bowl of chili, I asked him to demonstrate for me. He gladly accepted the challenge.

Now I still haven’t used this for more than warming up my coffee, but this thing has so many menus to get through, I’m going to have to get the manual and study it, experimenting as I go.

According to Mr. GE, I can put a few pork chops in there, push a few buttons and turn a few dials, and they’ll come out as good as cooking outside on the grill.

See what I mean? It’s going to take some studying.

In the meantime, until I have time, I’m going to continue to warm up my coffee – and maybe pop a bag or two of popcorn. (Well, I’ve got to move momma.)

However, I do have a recipe for you I made this weekend (had to try out the new oven). It’s on the cover of the latest Southern Living Magazine, and I couldn’t resist. Good thing, too, because it was so good, even though it does bust the diet.

Kay Bona is an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.