I just finished a delightful book called Domestically Challenged. Technically I suppose it is for women who are just now leaving the workplace to stay at home with their kids, but I'm always up for gleaning ideas on how to streamline the stay-at-home life. Anyway, there was a fleeting comment in the cooking section that grabbed my eye.
I have made peace with the fact that lunches are simple and monotonous around here. Pumpkin Pie eats basically one of three things for lunch: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bowl of "Daddy's Noodles" (aka ramen), or beefaroni (thank you, Chef Boyardee!) I used to feel bad about this tiny repertoire, but she truly is happy as a clam with any of these items. I mix it up with what kind of fruit she gets, and she has a full belly by the end of the meal.
I, on the other hand, am not always so satisfied with the same thing every day. I usually eat leftovers from the night before, since my husband is not a big leftover fan. (It's the smell of cold food that gets to him.) Sometimes I throw in a ham sandwich, and often I'll eat a baked potato.
Which brings me to the most awesome cooking tip that has changed my life. I think it will change yours too. Baked potatoes are easy enough to make in the microwave. My microwave even has a baked potato setting. It's a one button deal. However, I'm sure you all know the state of a potato that has been baked in a microwave. It's edible, but far inferior to a potato baked in a real oven. According to this book, though, if you wrap a potato in a wet paper towel and then bake it in a microwave, it will come out much closer to the superior oven-baked potatoes.
It's true. I tried it today. The potato did not look wrinkly and pathetic at the end of cooking time. So if you are a potato eater, give it a whirl. I think you will be pleased.