Here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest we melt when it gets over 80 degrees. I know we’re pretty wimpy here. In summer we like to grill or use the crock pot. Grilling doesn’t heat up the house at all except for maybe the rice cooker. I like using the crock pot in the summer because it doesn’t heat up the house like the oven does but sometimes it’s even too hot to use the crock pot! This week the Schoolhouse Review Crew is blogging recipes with the idea that It’s Too Hot to Cook!
I’m going to link to some different recipe posts I’ve done. This first one is for my Tuna Macaroni Salad. Yes you have to cook the pasta but I cook the pasta in the morning because my kitchen is relatively cool in the morning and very hot in the afternoon with the sun coming through the skylight.
I like serving fresh fruit as the side dish for pasta salads. Two other popular-around-my-house summer salads are my Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad. I don’t have a separate blog post recipe for you but basically it’s grilled chicken (when we grill chicken I always do extra just to have on hand for this salad!), whatever-shape-pasta you want (I usually choose penne for this one!), bacon bits and a ranch dressing. I usually take a bottle of ranch dressing and mix it with sour cream to get the consistency I want. For some unknown reason I always have to serve this with either Rainier Cherries or Red grapes.
I also make a Vegetable Pasta Salad. Again making the pasta (for this one I tend to use rotini.) in the morning means I don’t have to cook in the heat of the afternoon. I chop up broccoli, carrots, bell peppers (green and whatever color I might have on hand) and cut cherry tomatoes in half. I’ll add cubed mozzarella cheese and sliced pepperoni and toss the whole thing with an Italian Salad Dressing. Like the other salads this one just cries for fruit as a side dish.
What if you want something more “real” or “comforting” than a pasta salad but you don’t want something too heavy? How about a French Dip Sandwich? I use my Super Easy Crock Pot Roast beef recipe. In the winter I might do some oven fries but not in the summer. In the summer I like to serve coleslaw as a side dish and (ready for this?) fruit of course! In the summer if it is too hot, we skip toasting the sandwich rolls but if it isn’t unbearable it doesn’t take long to broil them in the oven. Sometimes for variety I do Pork Roast Dip instead of Beef.
Of course there’s always my favorite: Take Out! One of the things I love about this area: plenty of Teriyaki Take-Out places!
What do you like to prepare in the summer when it’s too hot to cook? Check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Cruise on Tuesday to see what other crew members are [not] cooking this summer!