Living A Simplified Life!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Too Hot To Cook

As summer temperatures begin to soar, most of us not only don't feel like standing over a hot stove cooking, detest heating up the house unnecessarily, as well as most of the family really doesn't feel like eating hot foods anyway.
So take this time to create some quick and simple menus that require little or no cooking, that will be satisfying to everyone.

If you have portions of the meal that do require cooking, try to do that in the early morning or later in the evening. Here where I live, we have the "Smart Meters" on our electricity usage. From 2PM-7PM is considered "peak hours" so I do everything that I can that requires using lots of electricity outside of that time frame. Besides, cooking early in the day or later in the evening, either for the night meal or prepping ahead for the next day, is easy to do.

So here are some of the things that I've been making which require little or no cooking that might be of interest to you as well.

Tuna Salad. Make up a large batch that can be used in several ways. The conventional sandwiches, or on a bed of lettuce with some tomato slices and crackers, or try scooping out the insides of a tomato and put a big scoop of salad in the center. Make a Tuna/Macaroni Salad where you cook up your macaroni noodles, mix in the tuna salad and chill it for eating later on.

Fruit platter delight. Set out a large platter with different types of fruit and let everyone fix their own. A variety of Grapes, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew . Make a dressing out of honey and mayonnaise or miracle whip (if you prefer something a little lighter) or even just put out a tub of Cool Whip.

Strawberry Shortcake. I remember Grandma making up  huge cake pan sized shortcakes. She would core and sweeten the strawberries while the cakes were cooking. Then hot out of the oven, the cakes would get sliced and berries and whipped cream would be layered in the middle and on top. Then cut into big pie shaped wedges and served with a tall glass of ice tea.

Ice Cream and Cantaloupe  Cut a cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds, fill the center with Vanilla ice cream.

Hoggies are also always welcome in the summer. Using a loaf of french bread or hoggie buns, have ready a variety of luncheon meats, pickles, onions, olives, peppers, lettuce cheeses and condiments. Let everyone fix their own sandwiches. Since some adults might rather use vinegar and oil than regular condiments, put out a shaker bottle for them as well.

Hopefully these will give you some new ideas on fixing something that is not only quick and easy to prepare but also a new "twist" on summer eating.