Seriously, summer? Today's low-90s temps are a "not so bad" day for those of us who hate heat, and to think a few summers ago I was complaining about that. No matter how much you love the hot stuff, though, cooking in this weather is an exercise in misery. No one in their right minds is turning on the oven right now, and even the stove can heat up the kitchen to sauna-like temps.
On these days, no one in my house has much of an appetite, either, so slaving over a hot grill would be useless. We're all about the no-cook dinners. Here are some ideas:
Leftover night: I was forced into this when we had sporadic power about a month ago and I wanted to eat stuff in the fridge before it went bad; to my great surprise, my kids LOVED it and we've done it a few times since. It's a great way to use up those little bits of things that aren't enough for a meal for one person, but everyone can enjoy a little taste of along with other things.
Snack night: Put out cheese, crackers, fruit, veggies with dip, maybe some cold cuts and whatever else you like and let everyone nibble until they're full.
Meze: Middle Eastern cuisine boasts the meze, which is a platter of delicious bites meant as an appetizer. If you are lucky enough to live near a place that has great Middle Eastern food, you already know how great hummus, baba ganouj, tabbouleh, fattoush, and stuffed grape leaves taste on a wilting-hot night, and they're all served cold. On too tight of a budget for takeout? You can make your own.
Ice cream for dinner: I haven't talked my husband into this yet, but I have friends who do it on miserably hot nights. If you want something healthy, top frozen yogurt with fruit. And hey, sometimes it's OK to be fun mom, right?
Salad night: We do everything from a hearty green salad with fruit, nuts and cheese to a combo of grain, bean, or pasta salads; refreshing and hits the spot on a warm night.
What are your favorite too-hot-to-cook meals?