Microwave Popcorn Recipe

Modern conveniences are great.

Back in the early 80s, there were all sorts of new electronic appliances coming onto the market. My parents asked my brothers and I whether we would prefer a Video Cassette Recorder or a Microwave Oven. Both promised to revolutionise our lives!

We all voted for the VCR. We ended up with the microwave.

Oh well. It wasn’t all bad. We made a lot of microwave cakes. It was amazing – you were 10 minutes to cake at any point in the day.

We worked our way through the microwave cookbook. It turned out that all sorts of things could be baked until they were moist and floppy.

Unfortunately, you can maintain the excitement only so long of cooking stuff in a metal box with a spinning glass dish. These days our microwave is relegated to defrosting, melting and reheating. No actual cooking.

Well, there is one counter-example: microwave popcorn.

Think of all the technology that goes into that special plastic bag, bought from the supermarket, placed into a microwave, and zapped until fluffy popcorn appears. How did they ever make it before? Turns out that it was pretty simple.

And in fact, according to this great article I found on the interwebs, it can still be simple, and yet still use a microwave.

I was so excited by this discovery that I immediately posted it on Facebook, but since all my important recipes have to live on my blog, I’m reposting it here.

And for those who were concerned – the next year we got the VCR.


1/4 cup of ordinary popping corn



Place the popping corn into a sealed microwave safe container, e.g. microwave rice cooker, paper bag folded shut, etc.

Microwave on High in an 850W oven for 2:15 mins. Remove, tip into a bowl, and sprinkle with salt.

Serves 2.

Okay.. a little word of warning. There are trade-offs between the following parameters: wattage of your oven, the amount of popping corn used, size of the cooking container, amount of corn that burns, amount of corn left unpopped. The first time you do this, keep a careful eye (and vigilant nose) on what is going on so that you can hit Stop if anything starts burning. I have erred on the side of unpopped kernels rather than burnt popcorn, but perhaps I could improve this with further experimentation.

Nuts and Bolts Recipe

My grandfather always makes this recipe at Christmas, so for me it is part of that bundle of food associations that make this time of year particularly special. However, this year he’s been a little unwell, so didn’t have time to make the stuff. He normally produces enough Nuts and Bolts to feel a small nation, and gives gifts of the savoury snack to every family member. The dinner table wouldn’t have been the same this year without it, so I made a quick batch. It is deliciously more-ish!


250g dry-roasted peanuts, unsalted
300g Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain (these are the “bolts”)
1/2 cup (125mL) of light oil (preferably peanut oil)
45g packet of French Onion Soup mix
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of mustard powder


Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Warm oil in microwave, for example, on High setting for 30 seconds, then pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.

Spread the mix across a large, flat baking dish and put into the oven for 15-20 minutes, removing to stir every 5 minutes or so. The result should look dry and smell very aromatic.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating. Needs to be stored in an air-tight container.

This recipe is easily adaptable to taste, e.g. use more or less Nutri-Grain, nuts, curry or mustard as your taste dictates.

Makes enough Nuts and Bolts to fill a 2L container. Best eaten before 1st January.

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