|Reviewers Comments: ||Nutritious and easy cooking does not require a stove or an oven, and this booklet sets out to prove it! Making the Most of Your Microwave includes everything one would need to know about using a microwave to cook complete meals, from main courses to snacks and desserts. Terrific detail is used in covering topics such as how to test for wattage of the oven and how to determine cooking time for vegetables. Recipes are varied and include many untraditional microwave dishes, such as meatloaf, barbecued chicken and rice, strawberry jam, and cherry cheese pie.
The booklet is broken into three sections, “A Basic Understanding of Microwave Cooking”, “Microwaving Meat and Main Dishes” and “Creative Cooking”. Material is generally well organized; however, recipes for vegetables in the first section seem out of place and may deserve their own division. Overall, the dishes included contain common ingredients that would be easily accessible and seem easy to make. All recipes include nutritional information per serving in a nutrition facts box. They do not include recipe preparation time. While the preparation methods of the recipes are straightforward, the tips and descriptions of how to cook with a microwave are sometimes complicated and may be difficult for a low literate population to understand. In addition, some basic math skills are required, including multiplication and division of fractional numbers. A section on the benefits of microwave cooking, including energy minimization, quicker cooking time, more vitamin and mineral retention, and ease of use may be a beneficial addition.
The booklet is available on CD for printing. It is best produced on standard 8 ½” by 11” paper, with printing on both sides of the page. When assembled, the booklet is 8.5” by 5.5”, and some of the recipes are printed very close together, which may make it difficult for some to read clearly. The nutritional fact boxes are also slightly odd shaped, with text looking either stretched or compressed. This also may make it difficult for some people to read them. Graphics or clip art and additional white space on some of the recipe pages may enhance the readability and look of the booklet.
Overall, this is a great resource for those interested in teaching or learning microwave skills. The booklet would be useful to a variety of audiences, especially those who may not enjoy or are unfamiliar with oven and range-top cooking, such as elderly adults, men, and college-age students. Although it could serve as a stand-alone tool, depending on the audience, it would probably work best when received with an explanation and/or additional guidance.
Note: This resource is no longer available to be ordered through the distributor. It can still be checked out through the National Agricultural Library (NAL).