Blueberry Muffin in a Mug

I’m beginning to wonder how I survived my childhood, eating cold cereal or microwave oatmeal on most school mornings. Growing up, we occasionally made blueberry muffins on weekends from a boxed mix that came with a small tin of “real Maine blueberries.” These days, I live in Maine and I can get fresh blueberries close to home during the summer.

Homemade blueberry muffins are by far my favorite kind, but I’m the only real muffin lover in the house. It’s not worth making a whole pan of muffins when I’m the only one who will eat them, so I rarely get to have any.

This recipe was requested by another friend of mine, although I was planning on getting around to it soon anyways. A few months ago, I tried my hand at canning blueberries. With four pints sitting in the cabinet, I was looking for ways to start using them up. Once again, mug cooking seemed like a great option. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of trying this!

WARNING: Give this a minute or two to cool when it’s finished. The miracle of microwave cooking makes the blueberries hot enough to incinerate your tongue. No…I don’t know that from experience…really.

Blueberry Muffin in a Mug

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
1/2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp milk
1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
Slightly heaping 1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
Dash cinnamon
Smidgen nutmeg
1/3 Cup blueberries

In a mug, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and stir;
add the milk and stir again. Add the dry ingredients and stir
until thoroughly mixed. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Microwave on high for up to 3 minutes, checking after 90 seconds.
(In an 1100 watt microwave, my muffin cooked in 2 minutes and 15 seconds.)

Spiced Applesauce Cake in a Mug

Applesauce Cake with Butter

Can you tell that I’m obsessed with mug recipes? This past week, I’ve been working feverishly to put up a show. I choreographed a long dance piece that opened yesterday, so I haven’t had much time to grocery shop, cook, do dishes, or just about anything else unrelated to dancing. With few clean dishes, a nearly empty pantry, and very little time, I’ve had to get creative when I get hungry.

I find mug cooking for breakfast to be perfect. It only takes me a couple of minutes to put together, tastes great, and is additive free. Two days ago, I made banana bread in a mug. Unfortunately, that was my last banana. One of the few ingredients that I have lying around at the moment is applesauce. I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to make applesauce cake in a mug. It was delicious! I hope you enjoy it too.

This recipe is amazing for breakfast or a snack with a bit of butter. It would also make a wonderful dessert with a bit of drizzled cream cheese icing or topped with vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce.

Ingredients:
1/4 Cup applesauce
1/2 Egg, lightly beaten (or 1 egg yolk)
Dash Vanilla extract
4 Tbsp All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Baking soda
Pinch Salt
Dash cinnamon
Dash Ginger
Dash Cloves

Batter

Add all of the ingredients to a mug and stir to combine. Microwave on high for up to 3 minutes, checking after 90 seconds; a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. This cake rises quite a bit, so keep an eye on it; if it looks about to pour over the sides, pause the cooking until it settles.

Applecause Cake

Minute Brownie in a Mug

I absolutely love brownies. I can’t stand having a whole pan of them sitting around the house. This is the perfect solution! Boyfriend only gives this one 4 forks because it’s so rich.

Brownie with Whipped Cream

This recipe is amazing. I microwaved it for 65 seconds in an 1100 watt microwave and it came out with a fudgey molten center. 75-80 seconds would result in a firmer brownie. Be careful not to overcook it. (Since it has no eggs it only needs to get warm enough to taste good.)

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp warm water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 dash salt
4 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a 12 oz coffee mug, melt the butter; add the water, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and flour; mixing well after each addition.

Microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. The center should be slightly molten; be careful not to overcook it.

Enjoy it with a bit of fresh whipped cream. Be careful; as with most microwave magic, the center will be hot enough burn a hole through your tongue.

NOTES:
I served mine with homemade whipped cream (put up to a 1/4 C heavy cream and a small amount of sugar to taste in a blender and blend until stiff) and some homemade hot fudge. If your microwave is a lower wattage, you’ll probably have to cook it a bit longer to get a fully cooked brownie.

Inspired by this recipe by Wheres_the_beef?

Banana Bread in a Mug

I am obsessed with cooking things in mugs. Boyfriend works nights, so I usually only cook one big meal for him, and then I eat the leftovers for dinner the next day. The rest of the time I’m on my own and I hate making a lot of food when I’m only hungry for something small. Microwave mug cooking has been the perfect solution.

Up until now, I’ve been working exclusively from other people’s established recipes. I had half of a banana left over from a PB&Banana sandwich the other day, so I decided to make banana bread in a mug to use it up. Unfortunately, all of the recipes I found called for a whole egg and a whole banana for just one little mug. In my regular recipe, one egg and three bananas makes a whole loaf pan, so it seemed a little bit out of proportion.

I’m still a little leery when it comes to baking and I like to stick to recipes exactly as they’re written, but I wasn’t happy with anything I found. It seemed my only choice was to depart from the script and try to create my own. The result was absolutely perfect.

In a mug, mash the banana with a fork.

With a fork, mash your banana in the mug.


 
Add the egg, oil, and extract and stir. Add in the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until fully combined.

Add in the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until fully combined.


 
Microwave for up to 3 minutes, checking after 90 seconds. Mine was on the verge of overflowing, so I paused it at 45 seconds to let it settle before finishing the cooking. (Mine took 90 seconds total.)

Microwave for up to 3 minutes, checking after 90 seconds. Mine was on the verge of overflowing, so I paused it at 45 seconds to let it settle before finishing the cooking. (Mine took 90 seconds total.)


 
If you prefer your bread slightly brown like it's fresh out of the oven (I do!), place it under the broiler with the oven door slightly open. Cook just until the top is a golden brown. Do not walk away, because it can turn from golden to charred.

If you prefer your bread slightly brown like it’s fresh out of the oven (I do!), place it under the broiler with the oven door slightly open. Cook just until the top is a golden brown. Do not walk away, because it can quickly turn from golden to charred.


 
Serve warm with a little bit of butter.

Serve warm with a little butter.


 
Ingredients:
1/2 Banana
1/2 Egg, lightly beaten (or 1 egg yolk)
Scant Tbsp Vegetable oil
Dash Vanilla extract
4 Tbsp All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp Sugar
Scant 1/4 tsp Baking soda
Pinch Salt

In a mug, mash the banana with a fork. Add the egg, oil, and extract and stir. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until fully combined. Microwave for up to 3 minutes, checking after 90 seconds. Mine was on the verge of overflowing, so I paused it at 45 seconds to let it settle before finishing the cooking. (Mine took 90 seconds total.)

If you prefer your bread slightly brown like it’s fresh out of the oven (I do!), place it under the broiler with the oven door slightly ajar. Cook just until the top is a golden brown. Do not walk away, because it can quickly turn from golden to charred.

Serve warm with a little bit of butter.

Egg-free Brownie Batter and Cookie Dough (for snacking)

A few months ago my roommate taught me about “National Fail Day,” a day when absolutely everything you try to do fails to come to fruition. About a week ago, I ‘decided’ to celebrate my own “National Fail Day”.

I started my day with an argument, burnt my breakfast, couldn’t find the paperwork to renew my driver’s license, missed an appointment, and had my phone die mid conversation. That all happened before breakfast! On days like “National Fail Day,” sometimes you just need something awesome to help make up for it all. A single serving of Egg-free Brownie Batter or Cookie Dough did just the trick!

Cookie Dough

For both of these recipes, mix all of the ingredients in a coffee mug and enjoy the results with a spoon!

Brownie Batter

Ingredients:
1 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoons water
1 dash teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Whisk together the butter, water, extract, and salt. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and flower and stir until combined.

Cookie Dough

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Granulated White Sugar
1 Tbsp of firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
3 Drops of Vanilla Extract
Small Pinch of Kosher Salt
1-1 1/2 Tbsp Milk
Scant ¼ C of All Purpose Flour (slightly less than ¼ of a cup)
2 heaping Tbsp of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Combine the butter, sugars, vanilla extract, and salt. Add the milk and stir to combine. Add the flour and continue stirring until fully incorporated. Add chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug

Occasionally, I want a sweet treat without any commitment. I mean, I’m not looking for a long-term relationship here. I just want a one night stand, a fling, and then I want to return to my lovely relationship with whole foods and healthy fruits and vegetables. All too often I fail, making a whole two-layer cake (like the one currently sitting on my counter wondering why I’m neglecting it) or an entire batch of brownies that I have to face day after awkward day. Every once in a great while, though, I find something wonderful that satisfies my craving without all of the leftovers. This is one such recipe.

Who can turn down a still warm chocolate chip cookie? Even better, who can turn down a chocolate chip cookie that takes less than 5 minutes to make and doesn’t expect a commitment? Thanks to No. 2 Pencil for the inspiration!

Cookie Dough

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Granulated White Sugar
1 Tbsp of firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
3 Drops of Vanilla Extract
Small Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 Egg Yolk (discard the egg white or save for different recipe)
Scant ¼ C of All Purpose Flour (slightly less than ¼ of a cup)
2 heaping Tbsp of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Cookie in a Mug

Start by melting your butter in the microwave; the butter should just be melted, not boiling. Add the sugars, vanilla and salt and stir to combine. Separate your egg, adding only the yolk to your cup, and stir to combine. Measure a scant, slightly less than full, ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, add it to your mug, and stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips, and give it a final stir. Now your mixture should look like cookie dough.

Cook in the microwave for 40-60 seconds, start checking for doneness at 40 seconds. Mine took about 45 seconds. Do not cook past one minute, just like a regular cookie, this will continue cooking as it cools. Serve warm, possibly with a bit of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge or caramel sauce.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese in a Mug

Boyfriend works every Wednesday from 6pm to 6am at a local volunteer EMS agency. That leaves me to fend for myself once a week. Often, I’ll make dinner earlier in the day, send him with his serving, and stow mine in the fridge until I’m ready to eat. Today, I made the second batch of Hobo Meatball Stew (a freezer crock pot meal that Boyfriend enjoyed but I hated). Since I don’t like to waste food, making it for him on a day when he could take it to go made lots of sense. Unfortunately, that left me without a plan for dinner.

Out of desperation (and hunger), I turned to pinterest and rediscovered a link to 18 Microwave Snacks You Can Cook in a Mug. The Mac ‘n’ Cheese nearly jumped off the screen at me….until I realized that I didn’t have any macaroni in the pantry.

Not one to be easily defeated, I turned to couscous, a staple that I always have around. Microwave couscous ‘n’ cheese it was!

Couscous n Cheese

Ingredients:
1/3 C couscous
1/2 C water
3 Tbsp milk**
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese

Combine couscous and water in a mug. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir. Return to the microwave for 2-4 more minutes, stirring after every two minutes, until all of the water is absorbed and the pasta is tender. Add 2-3 more Tbsp of water if necessary for the last 2 minutes.

Add the milk and cheese. Stir to combine. Microwave for one minute more, and stir until the cheese is fully combined. Add a pinch of salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!

**If you decide to use regular macaroni, increase the milk to 1/4 C.

‘Pizza Hut’-style Pan Pizza

Pizza

When I was young, my family ate out most Friday nights. One of my favorite outings was going to Pizza Hut for their pan pizza. I loved the crunch on the bottom and sides of the crust with the thick doughy center under delicious layers of sauce and gooey cheese.

Now that I am all grown up, I have a different set of values. I’m trying to be more like my great grandmother, cooking from scratch, using whole ingredients, and avoiding heavily processed foods. That all but eliminates things like take-out pizza. Then, I found this amazing recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff that claimed to replicate the crunchy, chewy goodness at home. I couldn’t resist trying it out.

(I’ve recently started cooking by weight because it’s more accurate, so I’ve included the weights in parentheses.)

Dough
Pizza Dough:
1 package dry yeast
1 Tbsp (0.44 oz) sugar
1/2 tsp (0.1 oz) salt
1/4 C (0.75 oz) non-fat dry milk
1 1/3 C warm water (105 degrees F)
4 C (17 oz) all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp canola oil (for dough)
9 Tbsp canola oil (for pans)
Cooking spray

Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large bowl. Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes. Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Divide dough into three balls**. In three 9″ cake pans, put 3 Tbl. of oil in each making sure it is spread evenly. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9″ circle. Place in cake pans.

Spray the outer edge of dough with cooking spray. Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerating the dough for 1 hour after it finishes rising helps to prevent sinking when the toppings are added.

(**In my household, three 9″ pizzas would be way too much, so I rolled out two crusts and let the third ball rise before freezing it.)

Crust

Six Sisters’ Stuff recommends the following sauce (simply combining all of the ingredients), but I have an obsession with Classico Marinara with Plum Tomatoes, so I simply processed that in the blender until it was uniformly smooth and used that in place of the Six Sisters’ sauce.

Sauce:
1 can (8 ounce size) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Other Ingredients:
Mozzarella cheese (or an Italian blend), shredded (1 1/2-2 C)
Desired toppings

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Spoon 1/3 C of sauce on the dough and spread to within 1″ of edge. Distribute 1/4 C of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce. Place toppings of your choice in the following order: pepperoni or ham, vegetables, meats (cooked ground sausage or beef). Top with 1/2 C of mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown (between 10-15 minutes).

Slice

This pizza turned out wonderfully and brought me back to my childhood. My roommate, Jon, is the consummate take-out pizza aficionado, and he raved about what a perfect duplication it was. Even my significant other loved it, and he’s usually skeptical about homemade versions of popular foods. I would call this experiment a success!