I don’t know about where you are but here, in Central Arkansas, it is hot and humid. Even the neighbor kids aren’t running around outside during the day anymore and by lunch time the house is 5 degrees warmer than it was when I woke up. The last thing I want to do is turn the oven on and heat the house up more, which is sad because I often want sweet potato fries with dinner.
I decided that I would come up with ways to still have a nice dinner without making the kitchen 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the house.
Other Kitchen Appliances
There are some great appliances that can give you similar results as cooking in the oven.
- Crockpot- They are not only great for soups in the winter or when you are busy during the school year. Crockpots are great for summer cooking because they don’t put off much heat at all. Some great summer crockpot meals are; Pork Carnitas, Pulled Chicken (or pork) BBQ, even Spaghetti Sauce, and if you’re in the mood for a roast or soup go for it.
- Toaster Oven- If you don’t need the whole oven and can fit all that needs to be cooked in the toaster oven then you’re set. It’s the perfect size to bake a sweet potato, even roast a medium one, cook meat, and many veggies. When we were dating the husband only had a toaster oven and hot plate and we made plenty of meals in them.
- Microwave- Other then reheating leftovers from the other day when it was just too hot to cook, your microwave can help you make dinner. I like to steam my frozen veggies before I do anything with them, just put them in a bowl with a little water and microwave for 2-3 minutes and they are perfect. I also heat up any jarred sauce in the microwave instead of heating it on the stove. It saves time and me from sweating over the stove.
Another option to keep the heat out of the kitchen is to do the cooking where it is already hot. We grill at least once a week usually a couple times. I love it because the clean-up is easy, the food always tastes great, and it doesn’t take long.
Here is a post from last summer that my Grill Master wrote up.
Wouldn’t it be great to not even have to turn anything on to get dinner on the table? Just take out of the fridge, assemble and eat.
- Sandwich- There are so many options with a sandwich. My favorite simple sandwich is ham or turkey, mayo, cheddar cheese on wheat bread. So simple but often not thought of, the first bite I am always reminded how good it is. A few other tasty ideas; Chicken Salad, Crab (Tuna) Salad (this filling looks great!), or a giant Grinder. Let’s not forget the Ice Cream Sandwich either. 🙂
- Salads-There are many different kinds of salads out there that range from simple to complicated. A good salad on a day where it is just too hot to cook and your tired is the perfect meal. This healthy summer salad looks good, use rotisserie or leftover chicken and no cooking needed.
- Wraps- Wraps like sandwiches are versatile and can contain anything you like. From lettuce, meats and cheeses, to cream cheese spreads with a little meat in them. A favorite of mine is cream cheese mixed with Pace salsa (pink dip) add in some shredded chicken or deli meat and it is good to go. A couple other ideas are; Turkey Club, Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups.
What do you make for dinners in the summer? How do you keep the kitchen from heating up? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.