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Eating the heat

No sooner does it turn warm than we all realize why we like living here: heat does have its drawbacks. Yes: my clothes on the line are drying super fast! No: I don't feel much like engaging in slow cooking enterprises that take all afternoon. Dishes that get us through the rest of the year, like tacos and chicken soup and chili, seem too much.

And often, we eat little between a mid-morning breakfast and dinner. The boys and I snack on fruit and chips and salsa and hummus. Come late afternoon, I know I need to fix them something and no one has the slightest idea what they want.

My go-to, especially when there are friends about, as is often in the summer. One of our frequent visitors is a vegetarian, and another is very picky, so bread-and-cheese combos are the best for him: grilled cheese and carrot sticks and cherries is dinner they all can eat happily (and boy do those cherries disappear). My other standby choices are terribly dull: hamburger patties and roasted or parboiled-plus-butter veggies. Whole-wheat spaghetti with sausage and tomato sauce (for my boys) and cheese (for the visitors). Hot dogs with baked bean-style lentils (we have lots of lentils and they were a hit with the boys!). Fried eggs, scramble eggs, boiled eggs. Bread with butter and honey.

Soon we'll have corn on the cob to boil and eat with butter and tomatoes to roast and cucumbers to slice thin for sandwiches and crudite and chop for dips and gazpacho. But in the meantime, I'd love a few ideas... what was a hit with your crowd? What do you feel like fixing when the thermometer crosses the hot-for-Portland 80F? (I'll share the recipes for the boy-approved hummus and lentil dip in an edit to the post later, promise!)


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I go for quesadillas and homemade guacamole or sandwich bar make your own when it gets hot. If I'm super motivated I'll grill some zucchini, red onion, yellow squash and asparagus and make a garlic aoli so the sandwiches seem special. My kids love homemade egg salad and so sometimes we'll do that with hand squeezed lemonade and potato chips ( a treat since we usually avoid them).

A lot of similarities to what you do. And trying to use the convection oven whenever possible, if it something that has to be cooked. And, of course, salads.

Oh yes---and whining at my husband to grill (yes, we really still do that gender thing) or getting to go out or get take out.

Big salads. Put out a big bowl of lettuce, all kinds of veggies, cold potatoes, a grilled protein or hard eggs, and a loaf of bread. Everyone builds their own.

we do snacky lunch. lots of veggies with hummus, hard boiled eggs from our hens. PB to dip crackers or apples in. cheese and lunch meat. PB honey in a tortilla has been a hit. Also Lunch meat, pickle with cream cheese rolled up.

I will put my crock pot to work also. We tend to grill things like chicken for salads or noodles.

@saramd Where do you find healthy crock pot recipes?

I second the crock pot, also pressure cooker, cooks while keeping the house cool. Lots of locally made sausages grilled on the bbq and salad made with cauliflower in place of potatoes for 'not potato salad'.

We're crockpotting this every-other-week. Great on salad greens, in hard or soft tortillas as burritoes or tacos, in a bowl by itself, warm, cold...it seems to work in hot weather, and in colder months as comfort food.

Ingredients are flexible; I most typically use what I've listed below, but if you don't like something, substitute something else!

Layer and cook on low for 5-6 hours:

1 bag Trader Joe's fire roasted corn
1 can whole black beans, rinsed and drained
4 skinned and boned chicken breasts, frozen individually
1/2 envelope Trader Joe's taco seasoning (or an equivalent amount of my own making)
16 oz salsa

When chicken breasts are cooked through, remove from crockpot, shred, and return to crockpot and stir into other ingredients. Give it another 30 minutes or so in the crockpot in order for flavors to incorporate and it's ready to serve.

Thanks so much for the link tinuvi and Sheryl that sounds like a keeper.

Sweet Tomatoes. With a coupon.

Our new family favorite is the charcuterie plate: several kinds of cheese and crackers, fig jam, baguette sliced up, salami, olives, and strawberries or cherries. A glass of wine for the grown ups and sparkling water for our little guy. We lay out the food on a cutting board and put it in the center of the dining room table.

It's a bit pricy and definitely a treat but I like seeing my husband getting a break from his usual cooking up a storm in the kitchen. My nearly three-year-old likes the novelty of serving food at the table and asking for his favorites. And I notice that there's a lot more conversation at the table when we're sharing food off the same plate/cutting board.

During the summer, the panini sandwich maker is my friend. You can layer all sorts of yummy veggies, cheeses, and deli meats (or not, for vegetarian), plus spreads like olive tapenade and artichoke spread. Trader Joe's has both for a good price.

We also do a lot of beans with hot dogs. A good, easy baked bean recipe:

small white beans cooked in crockpot
add mustard, sweet paprika, salt, tomato paste, and honey to taste.
Add cut up hot dogs if you want.

My kids will eat this for days and days.

Cold pasta salad with tuna and apples, preferably using shell shaped pasta.

Make your own salad (they all love this and it's zero cooking)--basically instead of tossing a salad, put everything in separate dishes and let everyone pick their own toppings. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Similar to the above -- a Greek platter. Feta cheese, hummus, cucumbers, peppers, olives, pita bread, sliced cold chicken. Lots and lots of grilling. The other day I had ripe peaches, but instead of making a cobbler I served them sliced with "thick cream" -- my 6-year-old got to shake the container until the whipping cream thickened a bit, lightly sweetened and with a drop of vanilla. It was super delicious, and my nephew ate two bowls. And gluten free!

We also do the Greek platter thing, charcuterie platter, lots of salads as mentioned above. Also pasta/ravioli salads. I just made pizza on the bbq and it was fabulous! Easy, super fast, and really delicious. Another new favorite is bruschetta: I stick a bunch of oiled baguette slices under the broiler for a couple of minutes and serve with lots of little dishes of whatever we have: olives, beans, feta, diced chicken, veggies, caramelized onions, garbanzos sauteed in a little oil and spices, whatever.

Sushi is a nice option on hot days. Cook your rice, slice up your veggies, maybe a can of tuna, precooked tofu, or other cold meats, and let the kids assemble their rolls.
Tacos or burritos are great since there's no oven necessary. You can even plug the griddle to an outside outlet and picnic in the yard.

This post brought me back to the 'summer kitchen' of my childhood. Did anyone else grow up in an ancient house in the middle of the country with a summer kitchen? Everyone had them in North Dakota ;)

We cook on the grill 365 days a year, so that doesn't really change. Like so many above, the communal DIY plate has been whats for dinner every night. Sushi, sandwiches, tacos. Tonight I arranged all the veggies in a rainbow on a big platter (anything to entice the kids!) and we made our own salads, with grilled chicken for a protein topper. Pizza on the grill sounds great!

Onwillekeurig zie je artikel, ik voel me zeer vergelijkbaar met de stijl van schrijven en ik kan de inhoud van het artikel en zijn gelijkgestemden, het is echt de moeite waard graag uw artikel te lezen zoals die bijvoorbeeld Concert generallyalso hopen dat je meer goede werken hebben , en met speciale dank

The youngster sound crisp juvenileTender, very nice, and the most beautiful sound in the world, spread over the road, like a group of lively birds QiFly.

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