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Learn to zap tasty food in the microwave oven

Casey is 9. She can heat up a Kid's Cuisine dinner for herself in the microwave. She can warm up cheese sticks so they're easier to eat. When the family has shrimp for dinner, she melts the butter for the lemon-butter sauce.

Kevin is 7. He makes hot chocolate in the microwave.

If you're cooking in the microwave, too, here are some rules to remember and a few recipes.

First, the rules:

Never turn on an empty oven. This can cause the oven to break.

Use only microwave-safe cookware.

Use potholders to remove items from the microwave.

If a dish is covered with plastic film, turn up one corner to let excess steam to escape. Pull plastic wrap off foods so steam escapes away from your hands and face. Steam can burn.

Hot food can burn, too. Never pop food right out of the microwave into your mouth. Let it cool.

Here are two recipes to try:

HOT DOG FOR ONE

1 hot dog

1 hot dog bun

Ketchup, mustard, relish, or whatever you like

With fork, pierce hot dog three or four times. Wrap loosely in white paper towel and zap 20 seconds on high. Remove from oven, place hot dog in bun, rewrap loosely in the paper towel, and zap about 20 seconds more on high. Remove, unwrap, allow to cool a minute or so, and add condiments of your choice. Serves 1.

Notice the fat from the hot dog that is absorbed by the paper towel.

MY OWN OATMEAL

cup oatmeal

cup water

Brown sugar

Milk

Use a -cup measure. Fill it with oatmeal and place in large, microwave-safe cereal bowl. Fill the measure twice with water and add to the bowl. Stir. Zap on high 1{ minutes. Remove from oven, stir. Allow to cool down a minute, sprinkle with brown sugar and add as much milk as you like. Serves 1.

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