The “What's for dinner?” question doesn't disappear with the relaxed summer months. And preparing dinners during late afternoon heat becomes a dreaded task. Use the stove or oven, and the house gets hot along with the food.If you don't want to relegate everything to the outdoor grill, here are some other ideas.
(1)Cook in the early morning or late at night.If you do need to use the stove or oven, do it during the cooler times of the day. Either cook an item completely, to be served chilled later ““ or cook an item most of the way, allow it to chill for the day in the fridge, and then turn the oven/stove back on just long enough to warm it through and finish the cooking process for dinner.
(2)Forget traditional meals.Some nights, make a little “˜buffet' of foods that do not need to be heated. Think fresh cut fruits, veggies and dip, chips and salsa, cold cuts and cheeses, pickles and olives, crackers and jelly. No need to put it all together either. Set it out and let family members make a fun meal by mixing and matching selections. Added bonus: It's fun to experiment with flavors and dare each other to try something unusual!
(3)Employ the toaster and microwave to stage breakfast at dinner.Don't be afraid to have toaster waffles or eggs cooked in the microwave. Not only are these fast, but change up the normal dinner routine. Egg sandwiches are particularly pleasing and easy. (Simply beat one egg with a dash of salt in a small microwave safe bowl. Cook on high for approximately 40 seconds or until no longer runny. Serve on toasted bread, spread with your favorite condiment. If you want to add deli meat to complete the sandwich, set a bit on a microwave safe plate and cook on high for about 20 seconds.)
One last idea “¦ Forget the dishes.Scrubbing dishes, or even rinsing them to go in the dishwasher, is an added unpleasant task during summer. Don't be afraid to forgo the traditional tableware. Search out inexpensive disposable pieces for those nights you just don't want to wash anything. And even consider using nothing but napkins for meals that are mainly handheld.