When It's Hot Stay out of the Kitchen
It's hot outside and you're dripping with sweat. There's no way you want to go in the kitchen and cook. But, your family still needs to eat. So, what do you do? You become creative with your meals and make no-cook meals.
- Make soups that don't need to be cooked and are served cold like cucumber soup or gazpacho soup.
- Make a fruit salad for dinner, one that is filling and tempting. I included a fabulous recipe below that I found on Soupcon.com.
- Have a sandwich and boiled egg dinner one or two night a week.
- Make your self a super duper salad. Use your imagination, throw everything in it but the kitchen sink. I often use leftover meat in mine. Open up a small can of mandarin oranges and toss it in.
How to keep your kitchen cool.
- Use alternative cooking appliances
On those hot, sticky days, how about using an appliance other than your stove or oven. Instead try using your crockpot, toaster oven, electric fry pan, electric roaster, or any other appliance you happen to have hanging around. Not only will it keep the kitchen a little cooler, it will also cost you less in electricity.
- Limit the time your oven is on
One of the ways to limit the time your oven is on is to place your dish in the oven as soon as you turn it on to preheat. I also turn the oven off just before the dish is finished cooking and leave it in the oven while it is still hot. This is the perfect time, for example, to meal cheese on top.
While you have the oven on, cook more than one dish. You can save them for another day and heat it up in the microwave. Not only do you cut down on the heat in the kitchen by not turning on the oven as often, but you also conserve energy. I like this because it cuts down a little on my energy bill.
While you are using your oven, try to limit the number of times you open the oven door. Not only does opening the door let heat escape into the kitchen but it also takes longer for you dish to cook.
- Plan a picnic
Instead of heating up the oven cooking dinner, plan a cold dinner of sandwiches, chips, and cool drinks. Take a blanket and spread it underneath a shade tree in your yard and enjoy the breeze.
- Grill your meal
Cook your main dish on the grill and serve it with salads. Not only will your kitchen stay cooler but your cleanup is a snap.
- Close the kitchen door
I know what you're thinking. How am I going to keep the kitchen cooler by closing in the heat? That's the whole point. You are keeping the heat in the kitchen. For those days when you absolutely must cook, close the kitchen door. Don't let the heat of cooking escape into the rest of your home. You'll be glad you did.
- Order take out
This is my favorite. Not only do you keep your kitchen cool, but you also don't have to spend any time in it. It's nice having a night off from planning and putting together a supper for your family.
Scrumptious Shrimp and Avocado Wraps
1 ripe avocado
4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp horseradish
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp chili powder
3 cups baby spinach leaf
1/2 cup slivered almonds
10 oz. cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined), chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Mash the avocado in a bowl and add cream cheese stirring until well blended.
Stir in mayonnaise, horseradish, lemon peel, lemon juice, dill and chili powder.
Spread avocado mixture on tortillas leaving a small border along the edges.
Top with spinach, slivered almonds and chopped shrimp.
Roll tortillas and secure with a toothpick.
Refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving.
Makes 6 sandwiches.
Fruit Salad Supreme
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 melon (honeydew or cantaloupes)
2 oranges, sectioned
1 grapefruit, sectioned
1 banana, sliced
1 apple, sliced
Fresh blueberries, optional
Split pineapple lengthwise (keep top leaves intact. Scoop out pineapple, leaving shell intact). Cut 1/2 the strawberries into bite-size pieces, leaving the small ones whole. Cut some large strawberries into wedges to put into niches. Make melon balls or cut small apple-size wedges. Put fruits into pineapple boats. (Do not allow to stand, as it gets juicy). This needs to be fairly dry so dressing will show nicely. Have guests drizzle with the following fruit salad dressing as needed.
Fruit Salad Dressing
1/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 Tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup salad oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Combine honey, vinegar, orange juice concentrate, mustard and salt. Add oil slowly, beating thoroughly until well blended. Stir in nuts and poppy seeds. Put into pint jar with lid. Chill well before serving. Shake well before using.
Note: This fabulous recipe came from Soupcon.com. It is so delicious I just had to share it with you.
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© 2013 Susan Hazelton