Friday, May 23, 2008

Keeping Your Cool in the Summer Heat

It is starting to heat up in our part of the country. We are expecting temperatures in the 90s this week. Every year about this time, my dear husband starts thinking about the cost of cooling the house and ways we can save electricity.

One thing that has always been troublesome is preparing meals without heating the house. Over the years, we have found ways to cope with that problem and I hope these ideas will bless you as well.

1. Avoid using the oven as much as possible. For people like us, we bake our own bread so instead of baking several times a week I will simply bake a weeks worth of bread in one day. I may throw in a few other treats that the boys like to enjoy like cinnamon rolls too. As soon as the bread cools completely, it goes into the freezer for use later in the week.

2. Use items like indoor grills and crock-pots more often. These heat a smaller space so the kitchen not warmed up as much. I have even put the crock-pot outside in a safe place (away from critters and hungry pups) so that heat was not inside.

3. Use your outside grill as much as possible. Not only does this keep from heating the house, you will also enjoy wonderful summer evenings with your family. Don't forget most of them have burners as well so side dishes can be cooked there too. If you preserve foods by canning them in jars, you can use that burner as well.

4. Think about changing your menu up to include foods that are not cooked. Tuna salads are just right for warm summer evenings and many other foods don't require cooking.

5. Combine cooking chores. If you are having grilled chicken breast tonight for dinner, grill a few extras for tomorrow or later in the week. You can chop them and add them to a garden salad for a nice cool weather meal or using them in recipes like the Teriyaki Chicken with Brown Rice and Veggies.

6. Don't forget your microwave oven. Although not everyone uses a microwave oven, those of you who do can save electricity by use those instead of cooking on stovetops and in ovens.

I hope some of these ideas help you keep the temperatures down in your home.

Have a great day!

Mavis D.

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