Summer Cooking – Cool Meals



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Keep Your Cool! Cooking When It’s Hot

I wrote this a couple of years ago so there have been a few changes in my life since then but the cooking tips all still apply.

My house is no longer vibrating. Once again I have sent the “kids” to grandma’s in Colorado. I usually spend the first day just enjoying the novelty of a peaceful house. Oh, I know they don’t live with me anymore but with the phone calls and with them popping in, it keeps me busy. Of course I wouldn’t have it any other way but like any mom (even if my darlings are in their 30′s) it’s nice to have a break. I won’t be too lonely though because David (my son) lives within walking distance so I still have a few kids and grandkids around.

I’m in the cool basement with the granddog trying to get some work done and to get a break from the heat. I got to thinking about all the questions we get this time of year from our readers about how to “cook cool”. I have spent most of my summers in hundred degree weather with no air conditioning so I had to learn quickly how to “cook cool”. I don’t have room to tell you everything I have learned today but I can give you a few hints.

Some of these things may seem like no-brainers but if you’re like me you need to be reminded of the basics sometimes.

 

First, in the morning when it’s cooler:

  • Clean a large supply of carrot sticks and celery sticks and keep them in water in the refrigerator.
  • Boil a dozen or so eggs to store.
  • Have some lettuce and grated cheese (I buy my cheese already grated because the grated cheese costs the same as the block cheese. I believe in doing a lot of things from scratch but I don’t believe in killing myself over grating cheese. Besides, no matter how careful I am I almost always grate a knuckle so I have to really psych myself up to grate cheese.)
  • Keep lunch meat or sliced meat on hand.

If you keep a few things like this on hand you can make some quick and easy meals, even on very hot and tiring days.

 

Here are some examples:

  • I would make chef salads at least twice a week in the summer. Just chop up some of your cleaned carrot and celery sticks, slice your hard boiled eggs, sliver some of you lunch meat and you have a chef salad. You can add any other vegetables you want, too.

    If everything is cleaned in advance it makes cooking in a hot kitchen so much easier and faster. Don’t forget the cheese.

  • Egg salad, tuna salad or sandwiches. You can use those hard boiled eggs to make egg salad sandwiches or add them to tuna. Serve on lettuce for a tuna salad. You can add the cleaned celery to the tuna salad, too.
  • Keep it simple. Some of the best summer meals I ate were when I went to my grandma’s in Iowa. She would slice up some tomatoes, put sliced cucumbers in salt and vinegar water and set out some cottage cheese. For an extra hearty meal, she would add some soft bread with butter and apple butter. It was delicious.

    Tawra was born in July and, after many long hard hours of labor, the first meal they brought me was a fruit platter with all kinds of fresh fruit and crackers and cheese. If you were to ask me to name the top five meals of my life, this would be one of them.

    Simple, cool and refreshing. You can do the same for your family.

Some families have very hearty eaters (teenage boys, etc.) and if this is your situation you may have to actually cook. If you do, bring out the crock pot. There really isn’t as much mystery to using a crock pot as you think.

Crockpot Tips

  • You can cook almost anything in a crock pot.
  • The low setting on a crock pot is equal to 250 degrees in the oven and the high setting is 350 degrees. That may help you determine how long to cook your “regular” recipes in a crock pot.
  • Layer things in order of how long it takes them to cook. Things that take almost no cooking time should be added last.
  • Add things like sour cream and cheese during the very last few minutes of cooking.

 

General Tips

  • If I did need to heat up the oven, I would usually cook things at 250 degrees. It took longer but it didn’t seem to heat up the kitchen as much.
  • It is a little late this year but next year you might think about stocking your freezer in May to help get you through the first couple of months of summer.

    • Make things like roasts to have for barbecue beef sandwiches or just for a good old fashioned roast beef sandwich with mayo and lettuce.
    • You could have a couple of chickens cooked and deboned to use for chicken salad or sprinkled on salads or sandwiches. Then all you need to do is grab it out of the freezer, thaw and you are ready to go.
    • You could also stock up on a few things like muffins and banana bread that keep well in the freezer.

I couldn’t cover as much as I would have liked in this post but I hope this helps give you some ideas for the coming hot days!

      -Jill

photo by: edsel

Comments

  1. Tawra Jean says

    One thing I forgot to mention when cooking “cool” is cookies. We know of most of the cool desserts like ice cream but years ago I found out it was just too hot to bake cookies. Store bought cookies cost way more then than they do now. I know that blows everyones theory that prices are so much higher now but that is the truth. My kids loved cookies so I started just making up the cookie dough and let them eat that instead of baking it. They loved that more than the baked cookies. What do you know 25 plus years later some brilliant guy came up with this idea to sell cookie dough in everything and is making millions. He probably got the idea from his hot mom who didn’t have a/c. Just think I could have been a millionaire if I had just thought to sell my “dough”. :) :) OK I know bad pun. :) Jill

  2. Tawra Jean says

    Thanks Heather, I checked it out and they do have some good looking recipes. Don’t forget that you can take your own basic recipes and using ideas from this website adapt them. Jill

  3. Anonymous says

    When I cook “cool” I also use those morning hours to cook some type of starch. (In addition to Jill’s excellent suggestions like hard-boiled eggs, etc.) This is the time to cook a batch of pasta or rice, or boil potatoes. Cool briefly, then keep in the refrigerator until the evening. Then you can make a quick potato salad, (add some of those eggs!) or a pasta or rice salad with chopped veggies and an oil and vinegar-type dressing. The possibilities are endless, and you’re not adding the steam from the boiling pot to the kitchen during the hottest time.

  4. Anonymous says

    thanks for sharing jill, tawra and heather….
    i was just looking for some crock pot recipes too… thanks for posting this website…
    i appreciate it… :D

  5. Tawra Jean says

    Duh. How could I have forgotten potato salad and cooking the potatoes ahead of time. You see what I mean about having to be reminded of things too. Great tip. I was hoping you guys would give us more ideas. Thanks, Jill

  6. Anonymous says

    Hi Jill. I have never made the connection until now that the low temp is similar to 250 and the high is similar to 350. I always use the low setting on everything because I prepare the ingredients in the morning and forget it until dinner time. Thanks for pointing that out to me! I guess I just never thought about it.

    I just put my roast in the crockpot for tonight’s dinner and was so happy that it was already marinated and ready to go because I took care of the seasonings before I froze it. When I prepare my meats for the freezer (because I am usually dividing them from larger packages) I line everything up and season it. I love it, because when I am popping it in the oven or crockpot or on the grill, the flavor has already been added and soaking in for some time. The least I have to do at the last minute, the better.

    I label the flavor of seasoning on the package so I am not surprised. It is so much easier to do everything at one time when the seasonings are out. It helps me get a little creative too.

    I do this with everything except hamburger meat.

    Just another last minute time saver that has helped me so much especially during the summer when I would rather be somewhere else than in the kitchen.

    Robin

  7. Tawra Jean says

    Robin this is another great idea. I never thought of seasoning the meat before you freeze it. Not only would this be a great time saver but I bet because the seasonings have time to “gel” with the meat that the flavor is even better.

    I bake gingerbread men at Christmas each year and because I do so many I make the dough up in Sept., vacuum seal and freeze. One year I ran out of dough and had to mix more of it to use that same day. The cookies weren’t near as good as usual and almost tasted flat. I finally figured out that letting them freeze for awhile blended the flavors. I imagine the same thing happens with your meat. I will try this idea. Thanks, Jill

  8. Anonymous says

    Living in SW Florida where it’s almost always too hot to cook inside (kidding, usually just April – October) I use my slow cooker in my screen room. Keeps the heat outside and it’s safe. Bellen

  9. marzerna says

    Well my husband isn’t much for sandwiches for dinner (more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy) so the summer is when he likes to cook outdoors, since I refuse to heat up the kitchen indoors. I usually grocery shop on Saturday and when I come home he takes the meat out and starts marinading it for his Sunday cookout. After church and lunch on Sunday he fires up the grill and cooks most of the meat for the week, usually chicken breast, a few steaks or hamburgers. He sits outside grilling, drinking diet coke, reading and lets our 5 year old play in his pool. Mommy then has free time to finish the house work and take a nap and all are happy. After all the meat is cooked we place it in Ziplocs and just reheat using the microwave during the week. Which make dinner much simpler when you just need to fix a salad, veggie and a starch.

  10. alisha says

    i never even thought of seasoning the meat ahead of time and then freezing it. i think i’ll give this a try after my next shopping trip. i’m betting it will be a great time saver and make the meats extra yummy.

  11. Trisha says

    You can use your bread machine to make banana bread or cornbread in it. Put the bread machine in the garage to keep the heat out of the house.

  12. says

    If I have something I just have to bake in the summer I use my toaster oven (I have one that fits a large pizza)and set it in my garage or out on the deck. Most good ovens have timers so you don’t have to continually watch it. I used this for Memorial Day when I wanted to roast potatoes for my dinner. It works great.

  13. Tanya says

    I always forget about chef’s salads – so simple and obvious! I have a bunch of eggs at home right now that need to be used up – definitely going to keep the chef’s salad idea in mind. Those are great to take to work, too.

  14. Janet says

    Don’t know too much about your site, but do have a burning question: Why do you keep moving? Is your husband in the military? Does your mother move with you? None of my business questions, but I’m really curious. Thanks.

    • says

      Uh… well, we keep moving because we were working our way “up” in houses after we were married. I may write out the entire long story one day but basically we had no money and lived in a few dumps and started with nothing and then worked our up to our “nice” house now. A couple of times it was layoff’s and we moved so hubby could get a job and one time to help my brother.

  15. Kenneth says

    Didn’t know if you wanted my snail mail add or my email add. However, I just wanted to add something about you roast beef sandwich. Skip the mayo.. use mustard, lettuce, onion, or if you want to spice it up a bit, add some chopped or sliced peppers.

  16. Bea says

    I didn’t know that the low setting on a crockpot equals 250 degrees, and the high 350. That is so helpful. Thanks. Also, the menu ideas are a great help too. It has been around 95 degrees here the last few days and very humid!!! Yuck. Jill I want to tell you that the lemonade sure does hit the spot! Hurrah for that. And I’ve been going on walks after 5pm and taking my lemonade with me and it helps so much. I put about a third of the lemonade in a water bottle and freeze it overnight and when I come home I add some more lemonade that’s not frozen to the container and set out on my walk. Since I walk up some hills and it’s so hot, that lemonade sure tastes good and is so cooling. I was reading that lemonade helps replace potassium and that is why it tastes so good and feels so good after exercise. A pinch of salt can be added to.

  17. Roy Gibson says

    Hi Jill
    I have been getting your “Living on a dime” for about 6 months. I love it and have used many of your tips and recieps.
    The “cooking cool” and the comment about seasoning your meat before freezing is greatly appreciated.
    I am in Missouri and am still planting my garden. I do 2 plantings and double my veggies for canning and freezing. Some of your garden tips have also been used and appreciated.

    Thanks again Roy

  18. Melanie may says

    I have to disagree with you on buying cheese already grated. I have discovered that buying it in block form when it’s on sale and then shredding it and freezing it is alot cheaper and TASTES soooo much better. It tastes so much better than I have a hard time keeping my teenage and college age son out of eating the shredded cheese right out of the baggie.
    I too used to scrap by nuckles all the time UNTIL I started using my Cuisinart to shred cheese. It’s done in seconds and I can even get my boys to do that because they want to nibble on the shredded cheese!

  19. Jayhawker says

    Thanks for the hot weather tips. As one of those lowly Kansans you left behind, I appreciate it because we’re breaking heat records here this week. Now that you’ve moved to colorful Colorado, could you please concentrate on sharing how lovely it is there, the lack of humidity, the brief afternoon showers, the gentle breezes through the pines, instead of reminding us how hot and humid Kansas is? Just a thought. :-)

  20. Lisa says

    When it’s not feasible to cook outdoors, I keep heat to a minimum by using my crockpot or roaster oven in an unused room in my house, keeping the door closed from the rest of the house and transferring the food after it finishes cooking.

  21. Kirsten Schull says

    I get the meal prepped and in the crock pot, then carry it out to the garage, plug it in there, and let it heat up the garage instead of my kitchen. This would work in any outdoor outlet–a porch, deck, etc. Serve a hot meal without the hot kitchen.

  22. barb~ says

    Jill and Tawra-

    Just checkining-do you have your user names mixed up today? Jill-you sound like Tawra,and Tawra, you sound like Jill!

    Great tips asa usual. I’d like to add that I cook many things out in the gargage or back porch in crock pots on these hot days.

    Tawra-hope you are enjoying Co. now!

    • says

      LOL, Yep we sure do!! I just discovered it as I was reading your comment. I guess mom was on here while I was gone and I didn’t realize she was logged in. :-)

  23. Jean Geyer says

    Definitely morning preparation most helpful.After a long work week as a physical therapist assistant(&eating dinner @ 8:30 each evening),I used to prepare macaroni salad one Sat. morning & potato salad the next & rotate throughout the summer.That,with a large tossed salad & a quick grilled meat put a smile on all faces.Also,make Italian red sauce & assemble with pasta in the morning & heat in a glass bowl with a plate on top at dinner time.NEVER use plastic for microwaves. It is porous & may leak poisonous chemicals into your food.
    To Jill & Tawra-really enjoy your news letter& ideas. Most of your suggestions I already did,but nice to share similar ideas.Have a blessed & beautiful summer.

  24. Jean Geyer says

    Oh,forgot-my 4 children always loved cold cereal & cut up fruit with a yogurt for dessert on those close to 100 degree evenings.My young children were easy to please.Thanks kids!!

  25. Judy Nelson says

    I usually raost a lot of chicken in the morning when the house is cool. Some we eat like roast chicken, the rest goes in the fridge to cool and then into qt. bags to freeze for later. I also cook 2-3 lbs. of ground beef early in the day and use part of it in a quick casserole like Shepherds Pie, or Texas Hash. The rest I bag in qt. bags to use later. Then I am not adding heat to our already hot house.

  26. Katholyn says

    Beating the heat meals. I love to use the crockpot all year but especially during the summer. Pork roast in the pot, shredd it at the end of the day and have pulled pork sandwiches or barbaqued pork. Same with roast. Chicken dishes are a breeze. Anything you do in the oven you can do in a crockpot–even desserts.

  27. Sheri says

    My friend has been using her solar cooker over the winter and looks forward to a cool kitchen this summer by cooking outside with her solar cooker. Did you know you can use your crock pot outside with an outlet? I found that when I used the crockpot overnight in winter, I didn’t use the heater as much, so what do think it does to my kitchen in summer?

    I have been bugging my friend for very simple solar cooking ideas. I found a few ideas for using the heat in the car! This one lady uses the dash of the car and foil packets of food for cooking her dinner. My friend uses sealed canning jars for cooking her beans to perfection. I need to find some good canning jars to make my beans on the dash of my car!

    Maybe I can get my friend to supply her favorite links for simple solar cooking!

    Now I will read the other comments.

  28. Sheri says

    I forgot something. In the summer, when I use the stove, I cook on the back of the stove so the fan captures more of the heat to send it out. In the winter, I cook on the front of the stove so the heat goes in to the house to help warm it up.

    Also, I have a convection oven on my back porch for summer baking. Unfortunately, it died and I haven’t replaced it yet.

    What I don’t understand is, how does cooking in the cool of the day keep your house cool? Doesn’t it just give you house a head start in warming up for the day?

    • says

      I kind of wonder the same thing Sheri but I think what is supposed to happen is you cook in the cool of the day and get the warm air out of the house before it gets to hot.

  29. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    I also mass cook meat. I brown all the ground beef, grill all the mini meatloaves, stuff the oven with potatoes if I’m roasting meat, etc to save energy and clen up. Then I seperate into individual portions, freeze, and pull out only what I need. Why wash a greasy frying pan more than necessary?

    I love love love the crockpot in the garage trick. Its 100 degrees in DC. I thought of calling in naked. to hot to dress!

  30. Evelyn says

    Thank you all for sharing these wonderful and helpful ideas! Wish I had something to add here, but I am so scattered much of the time, I just can’t figure out how you do all that and stay so organized, especially with your medical conditions and all. I am tying out some of your ideas and learning a lot from this website, but it’s going slow. Good to know you’re out there! Thanks again, Jill and Tawra, and everybody!! I’ll keep at it.

  31. rose says

    i use my crockpot every day in the summer .. its way too hot for the oven to be on ..
    i have a roaster that i got at walmart .. i also used that last summer .. but i put it in the garage or outside on a small table to cook my food ..
    i wanted to make a homemade solar oven for this summer too .. but havent tried any home projects yet ..
    we are currently looking for a new home to buy or move .. and hopefully this will be our last yr in this house we are in now .. i told hubby that if we move .. then one of the first things i want is a solar oven .. and he agreed .. and also .. have a makeshift table set in a carport (the houses we are looking at have carports instead of garages, not sure why tho) .. and leave the roaster and the crockpot out there to cook our meals .. and leave the house as cool as possible ..
    and whenever i want roasted chicken .. i have been buying them at the store .. yes i know its a bit cheaper if i cook it but i just do not wish to use the roaster or the oven .. and well .. i find that its nice to be able to get 3 meals out of that one chicken (not sure if this is true but those rotisserie chickens seem to be a bit larger than the ones they have in the meat section and supposedly they are the same exact chickens .. heehhee .. hubby thinks its my eyes .. but i dont think so .. they seem plumper .. maybe its just me.. hehehee :D )
    and tawra.. i am definitely going to move to colorado .. esp with those temps .. now i can certainly understand why my brother wants to move there .. :D ..
    *our neighbor doesnt even cook inside on her stove from june 1st to sept 1st .. they stock up all yr long and use the bbq’er .. or cooks in the garage (crockpot) .. she is actually the one that suggested i buy the rotisserie chicken instead of cooking one at home and clean up is a snap! .. hehee :D *

    • says

      rose, actually around here it is cheaper to buy the store chicken.
      a nice size chicken that actually has meat on it so that it doesn’t dry out costs about $11. you can go to the one grocery store some weeks and get a baquette and salad plus chicken for $10.
      I would probably do that more but we don’t care for the non or too much seasoning. So I buy fresh or frozen chickens and do our own.
      My mom lives in Florida 6 months of the year and she said now she wears her glasses and pay attention to what she is buying. Came home one day with a cajun spiced chicken and ended up throwing most of it out as the spice was so hot and so over powering. She said she likes spices but this was just way too hot.
      But she eats out a lot because it is cheaper to go to a few different restaurants and the pot luck dinners than to stock up her fridge and sit down to eating by herself. She has always claimed she would love to be a hermit but now that she is on her own she finds she goes out just to have someone to look at across the meal table.

  32. rose says

    *she told me she normally buys 2 at a time . .one is just the roasted plain flavored so she can make soup/stew and taco’s and sandwiches with .. and hte other has the seasonings .. and that is for the dinner and the carcass is for the soups/stews… she and her husband broke down the prices based on the # of meals they got and the savings as per using their electricity to cook the chickens and etc.. and well even tho she said it wasnt a huge savings she said it was about even if not a bit more but like in pennies .. it wasnt super huge .. but the main thing was bc of their schedule and family things they do the clean up was so much faster and well it just worked for their family well*
    i dont buy 2 at a time bc that would be too much and well i think one chicken is enuff .. we get 3 meals out of it .. their house they have 5 people and well the 2 oldest girls have boyfriends that come over all of the time or grandma comes over too.. the littlest one is only 8 or 9 .. and with my family its just me, hubby and our son ..
    just wanted to share ..

  33. Barbara says

    Thanks for the great ideas = so straight forward and common sense…….with my family has the problem of not wanting eat it when it is hot….however,it seems like they are snacking all night. What to do?

    • says

      Barbara, you might try changing your meal time. I have always had my big evening meal at about 4:30 because I can get the kitchen cleaned before I am too tired and then can relax and help the kids with homework (not that doing the kids homework is relaxing but I am not trying to prepare dinner at the same time) and do other things but dinner times don’t have to be set in stone.

      My husband worked at home most of the time so in the summer when the kids were out of school I would have our big meal at noon. That way in the heat of the afternoon I wasn’t having to start fixing a huge meal but we would have something very light like a sandwich or a salad. Then later in the evening we would have a snack.

      One thing about the snacking you might try is to set out a bowl of snacks – fruit, granola bars, cookies etc. The exact amount of portions each child needs or you want them to have. When their snacks are gone that is it they don’t get any more so they can eat them all at once or spread it out the choice is theirs.

      Also kids are smart little monkeys and are good at pulling the wool over mom’s eyes I know mine did and most do. It is amazing how often they don’t feel like eating when it is to hot but 10 minutes later have no problem eating a snack. I’m not saying your kids are doing this but it is something to be aware of for others.

      Hope maybe one of these ideas will fit your situation.

  34. Stefanie says

    Pasta salad with veggies and ham or chicken makes a great full meal. Make a big batch to have for the week. That way you only heat the stove once to make pasta.

  35. Debbie says

    Re: Grated Cheese, it’s just not grated cheese. Look at the list of ingredients. I haven’t been able to find one yet that is just cheese. Most include anti-caking agents like Powdered Cellulose and wood pulp. Some of these are banned in other countries. Most also include mold inhibitors whose names end in “mycin”. I lose a knuckle or two to avoid these ingredients and in my area, block cheese is a lot cheaper!

  36. Karen says

    I use a turkey roaster. I bought mine at Walmart for about $35 (Cdn) I put it outside or in the garage and can bake all sorts of things rather than heating up my oven in the kitchen. I also use my crock pot; or toaster oven for smaller things that would fit in that. Neither of those heat up my kitchen.

  37. says

    In the summer we use the bbq almost daily. My husband has discovered that he enjoys using the rotisserie so he does chicken with just salt and pepper and it is wonderful. He also likes pork back ribs the same thing salt and pepper. I am not just saying he is good at these because it means I don’t have to cook they just taste great.
    We have done standing rib roasts and blade roasts on the rotisserie as well.
    I was at a yard sale and picked up a kabobber. It does 8 kabobs at at time and no heat in the house. I love this machine as it even does hot dogs and sausages.
    I also found a george forman rotisserie which I got thinking I could give it to my son’s family when they get here but it only has the basket not the bar so am looking for that piece. But the basket does roasted vegetables great and chicken wings come out so juicy and good.
    To the lady whose family stops eating during the heat try making up meat and lettuce rolls. add cheese or pickles and just roll them up put them on a large plate covered in the fridge and there are nutritious snacks for later in the day.
    Or different types of salads in individual sizes.
    With lettuce you could have a can of shrimp or chicken cut up or tuna fish. Let each person add the dressing and toppings they like.
    It actually isn’t more work and if you use little bowls or containers no extra dishes.
    When you bbq make extra burgers and have those in the fridge to zap in the microwave for snackers.
    Have been dealing with too hot to eat for 36 years and have come up with ways to save me work when everyone gets hungry at different times.
    Even a cooked pizza cut into slices works well for nutritious snacks.

    • says

      As much as I do love different sauces on meats and things most of the time good old salt and pepper seems to bring out the best flavor of the meat so I love keeping my life easy and just using that a lot.

      Lynda when does your son and family get here. I kept thinking they are coming this summer but I guess summer is already here. I’m a little behind things if you can’t tell.

      • says

        Jill, Qian had a hard time making the final decision and I can understand that even when I wanted to wring her neck.
        The final plan if the school will co-operate and buy Dan’s ticket home is for him to come in Oct. then find a place for them and set up for them to come in Dec. In time for Christmas.
        If the school insists on an Aug. ticket then Dan will come in August and Qian and Anqi will come in Nov.
        I was out today with the yard sale and recycling friend and the thrift store had bag day. I found 6 really cute outfits for playing and 2 small hand crocheted baby blankets. All for $3. even if I don’t know what to do with the blankets they are nice for the car since they are small and will cover a little one or my shoulders. But the one is such a pretty bright pink I couldn’t not get it.
        So Oct. is my mothers day or month this year.
        Oh yes I made the jam with the jello and it is really good. Gave away 3 containers of it already. But the patch is ready to pick again so I guess I won’t miss them.
        Have a ham in the oven covered in rhubarb and it sure smells good.
        I don’t use sauces when bbqing just a lot more spices than Don does. He says he wouldn’t know one from the other so he figures stick with what he knows.
        I think I married a pretty smart man.

        • says

          Oh dear I’m sorry you have to wait even longer. Being a grandma I know that can be hard. So I guess we are aiming for Oct. or Nov. I am still so excited for you. It is fun planning and buying things for when they come.

          I was going to mention too for anyone who doesn’t already know you can easily freeze rhubarb. Just wash, cut in pieces, place in air tight container and freeze.

          • says

            that is what I usually do. But then I forget about it and end up using it up just before the new years crop is ready. This way if I have it stewed and jammed I can give it as gifts. Much nicer to wrap that up than to hand over a frozen bag of the stuff. Much more appreciated as well.
            Forgot to tell you. You may be into summer but the last 2 nights we have had frost warnings and lots of frost last night so I had to cover my 2 tomatoe plants. One store in town hasn’t even opened their plant green house. They wait till the end of may after the other stores have almost sold out and people have to buy new because of the cold.
            Waiting is hard but it was the no desision that was getting to me. One day a date the next day maybe not. My blood pressure was high the entire time. Now it is back to normal and I am having fun with life again.

          • says

            Know what you mean about waiting for them to make a decision. I laugh at my grown kids when they say how much easier and less stressful things will be when the kids are grown and gone. I hate to break it to them but I say it doesn’t get any less stressful if anything it gets more so because they reproduce and multiply so there are even more of them to deal with. : ) I now have 10 kids instead of 2. Of course the older I get the easier it is to go with the flow.

  38. Jan C says

    For me the tip about buying the chicken is right on. At my store the small chicken is $3.95 or 4.95 on sale. It feeds 3 of us if necessary, or I have leftovers for lunch the next day. Since I usually don’t get home till 6, this way we can eat right away as soon as the vegetable cooks.
    By the way, do you feel better living in a cooler climate?

    • says

      I will answer for Tawra since she is on the road today bringing the kids to me to watch for a week. I think the cooler weather is helping a little and she gets to go outside more but she still has been having some pretty rough days. She has been trying to change her diet and things and that can make her worse. Her allergies are worse back there too so it causes her CFS to flare up. It really has been a toss up.

  39. says

    Hi you have given lot of tips like making the foods fast and how to make fast in that making of the chef salads is so nice and which looks it will be complete soon. Thanks for your nice information…

  40. Kris says

    Hi, I just wanted to add that if you have an older crockpot the low temp is probably closer to 200 degrees and the high one, 300 degrees. I have an older and newer one and noticed a difference–Phyllis Pellman Good comments on this in her crockpot cookbooks so it must be true. :)

  41. says

    Have to cook 2 suppers tonight. One for normal folks and one for 4AM.
    So the BBQ is coming into play.
    I will have grilled chicken bits and shrimp in honey garlic marinade and for Don he will have just the chicken. I will do up some of the chicken in Teriyaki as well for tomorrow.
    It is cooling off but has been around 70 all day.
    If the weather forecasters are right this is going to be one hot summer and on the North Shore of Superior we are not used to that. So I hope shrimp is on sale a lot this summer as it is a nice meal with no heat.
    The heat is hitting me hard as 2 weeks ago we were having to scrape car windows some mornings. Too much too fast.

  42. Sandy says

    One other thing we cook in the crockpot are baked potatoes, wash and pierce and put them in, low for 6 hours, high for 2 to 3 hours. I bake 4 potatoes a week and we split one for dinner at night, taco salad or a potato bar

  43. Sheri says

    Last summer, we came up with another cool dinner; we just open a can of refried beans and make a layered bean dip on our plates to serve with tortilla chips with a salad on the side. Refried beans, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, black olives with tortillas chips. Quick and simple.

    Tonight we had french roll pizza. I only cooked the pizza for 15 minutes. That’s not enough to heat up the house.

    When I was young, we would have fruit salad served over cottage cheese. Gazpacho is cool too.

    Not everything needs to be warmed up to be enjoyed.

  44. Tricia says

    When making cookie dough to eat raw, you can use egg beater-type products instead of eggs if you worry about Salmonella. They are pasturized.

    • Jan says

      I have found that you can even skip the eggs in many recipes, if you are just making dough. You may need to add a bit more liquid, depending on the recipe.

  45. Theresa says

    Last year the temp was over 100 for over 2 weeks (I love in Iowa). I got so hungry for potato salad. I put some red potatoes with water in the crock pot, before I went to bed. They were ready in the morning. It doesn’t take as long for eggs to boil. Had that potato salad for lunch,

  46. Magdalen says

    Thanks, Ladies. I’ll adapt. Where I live, in Cheshire, England, we’ve not definitely finished having frosts.

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