Since the heat of summer has set in, I don't like to use my oven as it heats up my whole house. I need some quick and easy (if possible) no bake or stove-top recipes for supper. Thanks so much.
Jeannine from Jackson, MS
Slowcooker French Dip Sandwich
Put all in slowcooker. Cook "slow" 8 to 10 hours or "high" 4 to 6 hours.
If gravy is too thin mix cornstarch with some of gravy. Heat until thickened.
Apple Chicken Salad Recipe
This simple, but tasty salad combines cooked chicken breast, apples, celery, carrots, and sweet onion with ranch dressing. The apples give a sweet crunch and a perfect offset to the tanginess of the ranch dressing. Use as a topper for lettuce greens or as a sandwich filler. Kids love this salad.
Gently toss chicken breast, apple, celery, sweet onions, carrot, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, salt, and pepper until well-combined. Serve with salad greens and tomatoes or as a filler for sandwiches.
Yield: 4 servings (06/15/2007)
Think cold soups and crisp salads of all sorts, for a change. The Imagine boxed veggie soups at Whole Foods Health food store here are just great cold, with croutons or Pepperidge Farms crackers floating on top.
Also, keep plenty of made-ahead finger foods ready to serve in the fridge. You won't regret it. Remember that cool refreshing new mixed flavored drinks are equally exciting, if you have the money, time, and creativity. Just think about what you and your family likes. Try different things like fresh pineapple spears in iced tea glasses, and fruit punches with real frozen fruit added to ice cubes, and lots of things made from cold pasta salad combos, using tuna, salmon, cold canned boned chicken, cold boiled ham, keeping lots of cold boiled eggs and sliced veggies handy to add to each meal on the side.
Nothing says each meal has to be a certain way, remember, so "think outside of the pot, pan, box, package, bottle, and norm" in order to get freely creative. Avocados, melons/fruit of all varieties, cabbages and peppers of all colors will add zing to both flavors and visual appeal to all new recipes for Summer heat. Remember to rely on lots of cold lemonade, orangeade, watermelon, OJ, and watch for good sales on cheap colorful glasses and plastic dishes to brighten up the table. Use every placemat, tablecloth, colorful napkin you own, to inspire you. Don't "match" food to the cloths, but rather contrast them so that there is always a lot of color for offsetting the heat.
Learn to use interesting tree/flowers/pods, grasses, twigs, knick knacks as well. Use kitchen utensils to ball melons, slice/trim/decorate fresh veggies, changing the usual sizes and shapes and taking an extra moment to "place" them on the plates and table. It helps stimulate the palate, I hear.
Plan on spending time under a tree on pillows having a dinner picnic, with Christmas lights strung overhead? Or candles on the table if evening time. Remember the patio stakes that folks often toss curbside? Use a couple of them for a change.
Summer's the time for ices, bought or homemade. Target has a wonderful cheaper SnowCone Shaved ice machine you will love, if you have extra cash. It's worth it. Keep the cups frozen in the freezer
for ready use for visitors, too. Use anything on the ice, or the ice in any drink you serve.
Grill, with lots of K-bobs, steamed veggie chunks/thick slices, fish with garlic/lemon and lime with dill and parsley, and all sorts of cold olives.
Make fruit frosties/whips out of whipped egg whites, powdered sugar, and fresh fruit drinks, along with crushed ice. This serves as dessert as well. Serve ginger snaps, and lemon sand tarts in Summer.
Small amounts of after dinner hot tea/coffees warm up the skin and makes a Summer wind seem cool. This is the principle used by Arabians in the hot desert. Serve with light sponge /angel food cakes of all flavors if dessert is wanted.
Breakfasts of cold healthy cereals and unsweetened vanilla almond milk, sprinkled with lightly with cinnamon is divine, especially if with melons, different variety/shape on the side, each morning.
Brunches/lunches are good with big salads and cold veggie soups, for a change, in cups with bread sticks, variety crackers/chips/ small cold meats or egg sandwiches. Berries go well in individual bowls.
Don't swelter inside, but, keep insect repellent available for everyone and keep fans going outside at all times of the day/night. Set up a service area that's cheery, has closeable salt/pepper,
and room to set pitchers of drinks, desserts on, to save you from going in and out. Place napkins inside
a gallon plastic bag or bug proof container. Buy two of the "picnic food umbrellas" from the dollar stores, and use/keep handy until ready to serve the food and eat. Try to keep a table setup that's clean
and large enough to eat on, if possible, otherwise, keep TV trays handy under cover. Also, keep a jar
of soapy water and a roll of paper towels nearby to clean up any mess or accidents from wind or children.
Keep in mind that it takes a little adjustment to the outdoor living, but with practice, you will enjoy your efforts. Keep trying to improve upon your past efforts and you will finally work the "bugs" and kinks out of any problems that might arise.
Even the poorest of us, and most frugal, can get our thinking caps on and use whatever we have to our best advantage, when we put our minds to it, right?
Good luck, and God bless you.
Cook the entree in the back yard in the BBQ or electric skillet. (06/16/2007)
When it is so very hot, I love to eat salads. One of my favorite is a plate of greens, some tuna fish, out of the can, some salmon, cottage cheese, just a scoop, a hard boiled egg cut up, or two, maybe some cold lunch meat, then eat it with some crackers, etc. Makes a good meal, you could add cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, whatever is cool and will cool you down. It is a good idea. (06/16/2007)
In the hot summer months, I keep certain canned goods in the fridge till I get ready to serve them with a meal: pickled beets, baby corn, cranberry sauce, candied yams, any canned fruits, etc. Other dishes that can be made up in advance that keep really well in the fridge are pimento cheese spread (that can be served on various sliced fresh veggies like celery pieces, cucumber slices, or used as a sandwich spread or as a chip dip). Potato salad, ham salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, mixed beans salad, a variety of sliced melons, all can be served at a moment's notice, all are cool and refreshing. (02/15/2008)
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