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This week, a heat wave is sweeping the nation. I know we are feeling it here – with temps over 110 all week long. GAH! The last thing we want to do is cook. But, no matter how hot it is outside, everyone still needs to eat!
So, how do we feed everyone when we don’t want to heat up the kitchen? I thought I would share…
4 ways we feed our family when we feel like we are living on the surface of the sun!!
It’s no secret that many of us turn to the grill at the peak of summer. Even though it’s hot for the grill master, at least the house doesn’t heat up, am I right?
None of us forgets that the grill is fantastic for cooking meat. But I think we forget we can grill other things than meat.
Use your grill for your veggies!
This weekend, it was so hot I didn’t even want to boil water inside, so we cooked our corn on the grill and it was delicious!
To grill corn, all you need to do is husk it and toss it on the grill for 5 minutes. Turn. Then grill for another 5 minutes. Easy peasy!
If you’re grilling meat, you’re already standing there so it’s nothing extra to flip that corn. And it is delicious!!!!
Use your grill for fruits as a tasty summer dessert!
We also tossed out peaches on the grill and they were delectable. Seriously, a real treat. They tasted just like a peach pie that’s pulled straight from the oven. Our only regret was that we didn’t have more to eat. We scarfed them all down and were wanting for more.
To grill peaches, all you need to do is cut them in half and put them on the grill. Brush with honey and let them cook about 10 minutes. You can season them with nutmeg and cinnamon or top them with brown sugar or whipped cream.
They’re amazing – no matter how you top them! I eat them plain – just topped with the honey I cook on them. Trust me – if you have never grilled peaches, you must try them!!!!
Grilled pineapple is also an amazingly delicious treat on the grill!
Use your grill for tasty side dishes!
Smoked fried potatoes is a wonderful allergen-friendly summer side dish.
SMOKED FRIED POTATOES
Slice potatoes into thin rounds. Place in a large bowl and toss with lots of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour potatoes into a large cast-iron skillet and place on grill. Close the grill lid and let cook. These take a while – close to an hour but they are oh so worth the wait!! Stir and flip the potatoes on occasion for even cooking.
2. Instant Pot
You all know how much I love my Instant Pots. I use them year-round. As the temperatures rise, I find that my love for my Pots rises too. I can cook anything without heating up my house at all. Things that I might consider heating on the stove during other times of the year, I will throw in my pot during the summer. Check out this blog for all the things I love cooking in my Instant Pot.
3. Roaster Pan (outside!)
I don’t think I have taken as much opportunity as I should have to tell you all how much I love my Oster Roaster Pan. Most people haven’t even heard of a roaster pan – let alone know how amazing it is.
It’s basically a mini-oven that is portable. You plug it in anywhere.
Our family loves oven roasted meats and veggies. They’re our favorite types of meals. But, no way on earth I am going to make a pot roast or baked potatoes when it’s over 100 degrees outside. With my roaster pan, I prepare my meals just as if they’re to go in the oven, but I put them in the Roaster Pan instead. And then I plug it in outside and let it work its’ magic.
It makes fabulous roasts, hams and BBQ ribs – really, anything that would otherwise go in the oven. The best part? Roaster pans are inexpensive…. ringing in at about $70 (sometimes on sale from there, but not often). Not bad for a portable oven! If you are looking for a way to enjoy oven cooked meals year-round, I highly recommend getting a roaster oven.
4. Cold Meals
And, of course, when it’s just too hot to cook anything – no matter the method – or too hot to eat warm food, don’t forget the option of cold food!
I don’t think we can pull off a smoothie for dinner around here – my husband, who hardly objects to anything, would object to that. But, we love them for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.
One of our favorite smoothies is the Strawberry Whirl from Jamba Juice. At $5+ a pop, that’s not an affordable option for us. So, I created a knock off version that tastes almost identical!
STRAWBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE
(makes 8 cups)
3 cups of milk (of your choice)
3 tablespoons honey
30 frozen strawberries
3 frozen bananas
1. Blend the honey and milk together in a blender.
2. Add bananas and strawberries and blend until smooth.
***Pro-tip*** Adding the honey first keeps the honey from freezing solid with the fruit.
***Pro-tip#2*** Don’t skip using frozen bananas – they give the smoothie the creamy texture you are looking for.
Don’t forget about your favorite salads! They really can hit the spot on these hot days.
My favorite tip with salads is to double up on the chopping and store the extras in mason jars to use later in the week. Most cut and prepped veggies can be stored 5 days in a mason jar! It’s shocking but true. And, as soon as you discover how amazing this trick is, you will want more mason jars in your life! Check out this blog for more details on how we use mason jars for food storage.
Deli platter with fresh veggies & dips
Sometimes, it can be just as simple as some rolled up deli meat, fresh veggies, and your favorite dip. I think we (and by we…I mean me!) overcomplicate what dinner needs to be. It’s ok to simplify our expectations of what constitutes dinner!!! Check out this blog for more ideas on simple meals.
I know you’re sweating. We are too! Hopefully, these tips and recipes can help you keep your family fed without heating up the house.
Be sure to let us know your favorite tips for how you feed your family when the temps are rising! Here’s to keeping cool!