The Prudent Pantry: Tips to Beat the Summer Heat and Keep Your Cool in the Kitchen
Image by castle79 via Flickr
Turn off the oven! It's officially summer and (at least here in Los Angeles
) it's HOT.
After a rather unpleasant experience last week when I foolishly roasted some bell peppers for our dinner and thereby raised the temperature of the whole apartment, I started thinking about cooler ways to cook.
Here are a few ideas I came up with.
If you have a barbecue grill
, now's the time to use it. Wear sunscreen and a hat and grill the foods you would normally put in the oven. You can avoid turning on the stove at all! You can even grill homemade pizza
Cook and bake in the morning before it gets hot
. You can pre-make most foods and either eat them cold/at room temp or quickly reheat them at mealtime (if they need refrigeration or to be served hot
Use a toaster oven
. Especially for folks cooking for just one or two people, the toaster oven can take the place of your regular oven. It won't heat up the kitchen the way the big oven does, but it's just as effective.
Eat more salad
. Green salads
, bean salads, pasta salads…the possibilities are endless.
Shop the Farmer's Markets
. 'Tis the season for fresh produce, artisan breads, and all sorts of other treats--at a great price! Check out Sarah's Farmer's Market shopping tips
and try not to get sucked into impulse buys and you can actually feed your family for less during the summer. Which leaves funds to…
. I know. It is the antithesis of this column. But sometimes, if you can budget for it, the best way to stay cool in the summertime is to stay out of the kitchen altogether.
Annika Barranti is a writer living in Los Angeles and blogging for the Savings.com personal finance blog as well as her personal blog, Through the Looking Glass. She and her husband are raising two children and trying to eat well on a tiny budget.