Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Supper Ideas a.k.a. keeping the oven turned off

The heat and humidity of summer are here to stay. In the south most days well into September will find the thermometer hitting upwards of 90 degrees. Keeping the oven off but also putting delicious meals on the table is a priority for me.

Stove top meals can be filling and keep the kitchen cooler. We do enjoy refreshing summer salad and fruit meals, but often we need something with more substance. A slow cooker can keep the oven off and can even be placed in the garage to keep the heat out of the kitchen.

Give some of these ideas a try.

Here is a segment Rachael Ray did about lemons and how they can add great taste to many dishes. Near the end she talks about lemon-pepper chicken. We love this chicken. Add some steamed broccoli, some rice or barley (yummy w/carmelized onions) or some honey glazed carrots and you have a delicious stove-top dinner.

Cooking Light Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne
My notes: Use whatever cut of meat you have or even lean ground beef.
We always add three cans of beans so we have more leftovers.
Add four or five cans for vegetarian.
Use 2 cans diced tomatoes if you do not have fresh.
Recently I added 2 or 3 cups of shredded zucchini and you could not tell *at* all.
I should have just re-written the recipe : )
Serve alone or on top of rice. Add a fruit salad or pineapple and cottage cheese on the side.

Fried Egg and Cheese sandwiches and fruit and/or raw vegetables and dip.

Sesame Noodles
we add shredded chicken and usually broccoli or sugar snap peas instead of snow peas
We have severe peanut/nut allergies so we substitute Sun Butter for the peanut butter.

Southwest Chicken

Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish
my notes: I do not add the jalapeƱo. The Cajun seasoning can be very hot. Use sparingly or not at all depending on what your family can tolerate.

Pizza Quesadillas
Take flour tortillas, spread thin layer of pizza sauce, add cheese and pepperoni. Cook like you would regular quesadillas. A little messier, but yummy. Great for a cooler pizza night. Serve with a side salad.

If you are not receiving the Kraft Food and Family Magazine, you are missing something.
Sign up here or enjoy online here. One of my favorites from this issue is Zesty Grilled Vegetables.

My sister Beth mentioned that she made this 5-minute Southwest Layered Salad with the addition of grilled chicken for her meat and potato loving hubby and 3 growing boys. It was a winner, though with a house full of men, she will make more servings in the future.

Maybe Victoria will post about her black bean tacos and a delicious way that her friend Joanne takes grill cheese sandwiches to a whole new level.

Happy Cooking.

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