Tips for cooking in hot weather.
I live in Phoenix and I refuse to turn on the oven in the summer. But I use our gas barbecue grill a lot. Not just for grilling. I use it as an oven. I bake casseroles, cakes, cookies, pizzas, corn bread, biscuits. Last night I made stuffed peppers. I do have a top rack that is up off the flames. I have thought if I didn't have that I would try to do a double boiler of sorts to keep the bottom from burning. Just experiment a little. An added benefit from not heating your house is that a propane bottle lasts for a long time for a few dollars.
What I find is a really big help in hot weather is this: after tidying up after breakfast I prepare my salad greens by cleaning them in the salad crisper and then refrigerate them. Then all I have to do is add the tomatoes, cukes, salad dressing, etc. at lunch time. Add some cold meat, cheese, etc. By doing this early in the morning, you will beat the heat.
Sometimes we barbecue on the grill; chicken, beef, fish, etc. Along with the meat, take some aluminum foil and add veggies like potatoes, peppers, onions, whatever you desire. Serve on paper plates to cut down on spending extra time in the kitchen cleaning up. Splurge once in a while and order pizza. On a hot evening, you deserve a break. Hope this helps.
I do have an idea for providing meals for your family during the hot weather. It's been hot in my area as well, and, I too, have a family to feed. I have been using my crock pot outside on my front porch. I have a plug in outside, so I just plug my crock pot, and let it cook outside. It does not heat up my house and I can provide my hungry husband and family a nice meal.
Today I put in a roast, with some dried onion soup mix, carrots and potatoes. The soup mix makes a nice broth for gravy if desired. Two days ago I prepared chicken, dumping in some barb-b-q sauce. You can do a lot with a crock pot!
You might consider solar cooking. Here's a link to a website with information and plans to make a solar oven. We don't usually have enough sun here to do that but it sounds like you do.
We live in South Central Washington state. The temperature has been running in the high nineties. Usually we have a cold breakfast, then for lunch we have egg or meat sandwiches, potato salad, macaroni salad or tuna salad. For dinner, which we eat around 7:30 after the heat of the day is off, I usually just have leftovers or cold chicken and serve colorful fruit (melon, etc.), ice cold. My husband works very hard in the field and yard, and I make sure he is well supplied with iced tea, milkshakes or fruit juice all day long. Sometimes in the evening if he is still hungry he will have some cheese and chips with a cold drink.
If I have to cook a big dinner, I put a crock pot outside in the shop and make a big piece of meat with vegetables. That serves us for at least two meals. I prepare my salads early enough in the morning before the heat of the day comes on, and that seems to work really well. Good luck!
I use my crockpot a lot in the hot weather. I don't want to heat up the house so I put it outside on the deck and let it cook out there. I have even brought the toaster/oven out there an cooked in that.
I know what you mean about it being to hot to cook. The heat index most days is over 100 here in Houston. What I did was went to the store and got a cookie sheet and took it to where they have the toaster ovens and found an oven that could fit the cookie sheet. The toaster oven both bakes and broils. They are great to have to bake cookies, cakes, pies, casseroles, etc.. This really cuts down on the heat in our apartment and did when I had a house as well. Just make sure to check to see if a cookie sheet will fit into the toaster over as some do not.
This stew is easy to make, and it cooks in the crock-pot, so you don't heat your home!
Put all of the ingredients in the crock pot on low. No need to mix; it all blends nicely as it cooks. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve over potatoes or rice.
This is also a great recipe for working parents. Put it together in the morning before work, and when you come home it is ready to eat.
When it's hot, I don't even want to eat hot food half the time. I have lots of salads and milkshakes. Don't forget about fruit salads. Put chicken salad or tuna salad on bread, crackers or celery. Put yogurt and fruit in your shakes. I like to put canned pumpkin or sweet potatoes in the blender with milk, ice cream, and pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg, cloves) and maybe some wheat germ. You can also make a cold "fruit salad" from canned sweet potatoes, pineapple, maybe some tofu, pumpkin pie spice, and something crunchy like walnuts or water chestnuts. I've also had cold fruit soups in restaurants which taste like frozen berries and water in a blender, with maybe some mint extract. Just think of things you like that are good for you and how you can eat them cold.
Feel free to post your ideas below.
We use a gas grill at lot in the summer. During the really hot days, I will grill extra chicken for leftovers and fix lettuce salads topped with chicken. We like the BBq chicken with french and ranch dressings mixed on top. Served with french bread or crusty rolls, these dinners are quick, easy, delicious and doesn't heat up the kitchen. You could even use paper plates for even less time in the kitchen.
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