We're entering the season where I have to make a conscious effort not to talk about the hot weather, and the fact that we have no air-conditioning in this old farmhouse in every post. But I am going talk about it for just a wee bit. Because it makes me feel better.
We are in the midst of a heat wave here in the mid-atlantic–one of those times when I'd consider trading all this in for a little condo in the city.
But still, I have much to be thankful for.
We still have our electricity, when folks all around us are black, many for the rest of the week. That never happens. It's always us.
The house has stayed remarkably cool for a good part of the day.
We found the window in our room that produces the coolest temperatures at night and pumps in that fresh cold air that hits around 4am. Last night, I pulled up the comforter. Crazy.
My family has been wonderfully patient with my "it's too hot to cook" dinners. There's been a lot of tuna salad. And pasta salad. And taco salad. And cereal.
Yes, I'm not above a good dinner of cereal when the temperatures get really ridiculous.
But here's my simple question for all of you, because I'm kind of reaching the end of my hot weather menu arsenal:
What's your favorite keeping cool, it's too hot to turn on the oven, meal? I need some inspiration. And if it involves cucumbers (because I have about 40 sitting on my kitchen counter, with about 20 still out in the garden) you get super bonus points.
Apparently, I've asked these "simple" questions before.
I randomly found these: (and hello?! I think I need to bring back the cute little question banner!)
39 comments on “One simple question: No. 9”
This Chick Pea and Feta salad. But I often use balsamic instead of the red wine
We grill up a bunch of chicken breasts in the grill and eat some for dinner now, save some for dinners later. I pull out the chicken from the freezer, reheat in the microwave, slice them up and serve in pita pockets with tomatoes, feta,and sliced cukes. The kiddos love love love when we have “chicken pockets” for dinner.
BLTs at least once a week, which the hubs cooks for me and all I have to do is toast the bread!
We like shepards pie, but it’s too hot to fire up the oven, so recently I made it by making mashed potatoes then layering corn on top of the hot potatoes, then heated up ground beef mixed with tomato soup (I cook big batches of ground beef and freeze in meal-size containers, then when I make, say spaghetti, all I have to do is grab a container of meat and add it to the sauce, done!) layered the meat/soup mixture on top of the corn then a good handfull of cheese. cover with a lid for 5 minutes for the cheese to melt and ta-da.. shepards pie in a pan! Can’t believe I never did this before– and I barely heated up the kitchen!
I grill pretty much everything. Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits…..and we eat a lot of salad. Our AC broke two summers ago and we’re saving to pay for a new one. We are lucky because the house is shaded but as soon as temperature reaches the 90’s it gets really hot and there is no way I would use the oven so the grill saves the day
Tabbouleh! (double bonus for including cukes!)We’re without a/c in our farmhouse as well, but I let my guard down for a week while we had a contractor put together a quote for a unit. Not going to happen this year, so I need to pull that resolve back out and stop wallowing in sweaty pity. So thanks for your post – I feel like the only one slogging through it. 🙂
well we grill 2x a week. Bonus points because grill night is my night of for cooking 🙂
Cobb salad is a new go to around here, though it usually turns into a hodge podge kinda salad adding what ever other toppings I can find in the fridge :beans, black olives, corn, cheese etc..
I’ll be stalking the comments though for more ideas and hoping this heatwave breaks soon!
and I will also be feeling very grateful for a/c in our house 🙂
Tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil salad with olive oil and balsamic. Soft boiled eggs with cucumber yogurt sauce, and we grill a lot in the summer when it’s too hot. Grilled salmon with that cucumber sauce. Grilled veggies. We also eat tons of sliced cucumber with tajin (like chili flakes) and lime juice. Watermelon salad with feta cheese.
Hummus! Tabouli! (both from the Moosewood cookbook. Salad bar:a big bowl of greens, sliced veggies, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, hard boiled eggs, olives etc….sandwiches…watermelon….
Living in SouthEast Texas I completely sympathize with you. I will be stalking these comments as well. :)We also grill a good bit…kabobs, burgers, pork tenderloin, etc. But our favorite is grilled pizzas. I have been using my slow cooker a great deal as well.Good luck and stay cool!
We are going on what seems like weeks of cold rainy weather. Ugh! Wishing for just a little bit of that warmth over here on the west side. We love cucumbers here in our house. A few favorites (other than straight up) are Thai Cucumber Salad which is easy to find recipes for online, Thai Fresh Rolls, both are really great for hot weather, no cooking involved. There are actually a lot of Thai dishes that involve cucumbers. Tomato, cucumber and basil salad, just add a little olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, yum:)Also, I love to make fresh salsa with cucumbers, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno (if you like). When I make this I’m pretty generous with the cukes, replacing some of the tomatoes. On a hot day with a bag of good quality tortilla chips I call this dinner! Hope you have some relief from the heat soon.
Lots of salads, green salads mostly but watermelon salad too (watermelon, feta, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar–combine in a proportion that tastes good to you), chicken salad, pasta salad, egg salad. My husband likes to grill so we do a lot of that–at least it keeps the heat outside. Veggies with homemade ranch dip (cukes would be great for that!). We none of us seem to have a huge appetite when it’s this hot so I get by with fixing lighter meals.
A cantaloupe sliced up, wrapped with some sort of cured meat (plain ham is fine, prosciutto is better), sprinkled with fat dollops of mozzarella and little bits of basil or mint. Takes all of five minutes, no oven required, and even my little guy will dig in with gusto!
haha! MaryJo when I first read your comment I thought it said, “stop wallowing in sweaty pits”!! 🙂 You can tell I’m hot, huh?
When you feel like you’re the only one sweating it out this summer, make sure you think of us! 🙂
Wish I could send you some of our weather. I’m thinking about breaking out the stews and soups! Hot weather cooking is not even an issue!We just made gyros. This for the bread: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/soft-wrap-bread-recipeThey are sooo good. And homemade tzatziki sauce to use up some cukes.
Tomatoes, mozz, basil is my favorite. I’m watching those tomatoes as they ripen in the garden. I can’t wait for them to be ready! And I love grilling salmon but hadn’t thought of the yogurt sauce with it. I think I just figured out tonight’s dinner. xo.
Break out the crockpot! I made baked potatoes in it last week and we had that for dinner with grilled pork chops. We definitely grill a lot in the summer. Grilled pizza is awesome – we make individual ones so everyone can top it with whatever they want. I made a really great corn salad with cilantro viniagrette (from ourbestbites.com) this weekend that I have been eating for lunch all week. As for all the cukes, I love cucumbers and onions made like my Mom-Mom used to make them: slice the cucumbers (2 or 3) and 1 onion (thin). Place into a bowl and nearly cover with apple cider vinegar. Add a little water and/or vegetable oil and about 2 tsp. fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried). Let set in the fridge for about an hour – so refreshing!
Watermelon w/ basil, tomatoes, feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil/balsamic vinegar. Trust me on this one – I brought you to lentil salad, did I not? xo
Sometimes I just pile the table with several cutting boards full of cheese, bread, raw vegetables, hummus, and fruit. 🙂 My husband has a beer with it, and the kids drink plenty of fresh goats milk….it’s one of our favorite summertime meals!
Anything in the crock pot, but last night we had beer chicken with a chickpea and tomato salad. I filled it out with a cup of couscous and would totally add some cucumber next time. Had me going back for thirds!
Black bean and mango salad!- healthy, easy, no heat involved and surprisingly filling.We also fry a lot of eggs . . . no matter the weather. That’s what happens with just boys to feed I guess.Oh! And ‘picnic’ dinners (in other words, you make sandwiches and juice boxes but eat them for dinner on a blanket at the park and suddenly it’s a wonderful night out as well as lazy!)
Seriously, i like to put some sausages in a pan way down low and leave the kitchen…to return 30 mins later to turn. It doesn’t heat the kitchen up, and my 4 love sausages. Serve with salad. Any salad. Beet and fetta, normal lettucy salad, whatever. I also like to cook some quinoa and make it into a cold salad (very healthy) with all kind of cold veggies. We love grated carrot in a salad, some crushed nuts thrown in, maybe a boiled egg or two cut up. i have 4 teenagers (3 boys), so packing meals with protein is really important. But this time of year, it’s all about variations on salad, with whatever protein requires little or slow (low) cooking.
Glad you have power!
How about some cucumber sandwiches? Those are a hit at our house in the summer. Try one of these recipes: http://www.thepauperedchef.com/2006/02/cucumber_sandwi.html
Tonight I actually cooked some chicken, although we regretted the heat later it was nice to have something “real” again after salads and cold meat for a while.
(When it’s not 100 degrees, try layering chicken pieces, pesto and tomato slices in a 350 oven for 20 minutes, then add mozza or your fave cheese for another 5…. even the picky eaters like it!)
But since it is 100 degrees, we countered the heat with a ridiculously simple salad of large cucumber chunks, giant blueberries and watermelon cut up in random pieces about the same size. Couldn’t be bothered to dress it, but something lemon-poppy-seed-ish would have probably worked well…
This heat makes me think of Bridges of Madison County… think I will rent it soon if the heat doesn’t break.
Have a good one gals! Stay cool.
Make pickles which are easy and crunchy and cold for cucumbers.I also like to drop a few in a glass of water.
Cook OUtside, BBQ or use an electric frypan out side, if you don’t have an outdoor powerpoint use an extension lead, also I cook things like rice in the morning then just a quick reheat in the microwave at dinnertime. Stay cool, it’s winter in AUstralia and it’s cold! xxBrenda
Gazpacho of course!! So good, and it uses lots of tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and cukes!! Make lots, and keep in the frig, I find it lasts several days, if it doesn’t get eaten first. I have never served this to guests that I didn’t get asked for the recipe. I’m sure there must be lots of good versions out there, but if you don’t find one you like, email me and I will send you my version, from Southern Living decades ago.
we do salad bar a lot. and last night it was sandwiches with a corn salad. i’m a fan of grilling whatever i can AND if i’m turning on the oven, roasting extra chicken for later.
Grilling, crockpots, shrimp salads, ceviche, salad. Hope you get some relief soon!
We love to make spring rolls or sushi when it’s too hot to cook. Both are good uses for cucumber. The doing rolls are great for fresh herbs, too. So tasty and cool. Add soon as the tomatoes get ripe, my mom’s favorite too hot to cook meal when I was growing up was BLTs.
Gazpacho, so cooling, especially with a little mint. also we grilled pizza for the fourth. I place my baking stone on the grill and heat it up, but I heard you can do it directly on the grates. I also do pita bread this way when I need a fresh bread fix.
sorry it is so hot, molly! we live in NC and it’s beastly here, but at least we have air conditioning! my favorite – and super easy! – dinner for hot nights is “The French Picnic.” i put out assorted cheeses, hard salami, french bread, olives, fig spread, fresh veggies (like cucumbers!), grapes, etc. my kids especially love it when i finish the meal with a piece of dark chocolate for everyone!
Falafels! You can usually get a falafel mix (“just add water”) @ the health food store or grocery store (somewhere in the vicinity of the boxed rice sides in the regular grocery). Then set up your camping stove outside to fry those buggers up. Or fry or bake in oven ahead of time during a part of the day you don’t mind the extra heat quite so much. They’re great left over.Then just serve then in a pita or rolled in flat bread or tortilla w/ lettuce, olives, tomatoes, cucumber + tahini sauce. Wonderful! Cool, easy & pretty quick. :)Note- they’re easier to pack into the wraps/pitas & eat if you make the balls into slightly flattened discs, rather than round!
Leftover salad: any partial veggies and extra meat pieces added to lettuce with shredded cheese on top.My hubby using his gas grill as an oven–pizza!Crockpot meat with that goes with stuff that requires no cooking: BBQ pulled pork or chicken, taco chicken.
i love to do quinoa salad and you can put anything you’d like in there. i love black beans, avocado, corn and tomato but cukes would be great in there too. all that with a simple lime vinegarette…yum! sometimes i also add a shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken. also, for the cukes you could make some great “green smoothies” – google it…i’m thinking ice, cukes, mint, spinach or chard and some fruit to sweeten it up! YUM
This is a huge favorite at our house too. Whenever I bring it to a potluck, people are skeptical but once they taste it they are breaking out the pen to write down the recipe!
I live in Central Florida…where it’s pretty much hot and humid about 9 months of the year. We do a lot of grilling. And I use the crockpot as much as possible. I’ve made everything in it from lasagna, tacos, spaghetti, baked potatoes, soup, brownies, etc. We always have fruit salad on hand, cut up veggies with ranch dip, sliced cheese, and popcorn on hand for nights when we don’t feel like cooking. Plus, there is always Chinese or pizza takeout. LOL
I’ve never thought myself a cold soup person, but have come to love love love this cold cucumber (!!) soup, which we first made a few years ago in hot August: http://www.remedialeating.com/2010/08/keeping-cool.html.
Also, a simple sliced salad of tomatoes, cukes (!!!), garbanzos, maybe feta, drizzled in this tahini dressing: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-miso-tahini-dressing-172942
Been thinking of you, these past sweltering days. Hope that creek is keeping you all cool. Or at the very least, keeping away the crazy.
I feel your pain (or heat) we’re in the same boat. Our two favorites are Tomato and Basil Pasta (http://ahappylittlefamily.blogspot.com/2009/08/recipe-tomato-and-basil-ravioli.html) and Wedge Salads (http://ahappylittlefamily.blogspot.com/2012/07/recipe-wedge-salad-with-blue-cheese.html)
Take the toaster oven outside. If the farmhouse is old, it may not have an outdoor electrical outlet so an extension cord would come in handy. During a heat wave, I have baked potatoes in the toaster oven on the deck outside. It saves heating up the house. We also use the barbecue.Make lots of salads.
Our biggest too hot to cook meal is Blt’s or some version of one. Also good? A cucumber sandwich with toasted bread and cream cheese that you mix your own veggies into.