17 Ways to Beat the Heat in the Kitchen

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Well, apparently, the devil is taking a vacation in the Pacific Northwest this week, with temps sky-rocketing to the 100+ (I’ve seen forecasts as high as 110F for the Portland/Metro area…Oy!)

Ways to Beat the Heat

1. Cook up a couple of pounds of pasta, rinse (this is the only time you EVER want to rinse you pasta!) and tuck in the fridge.

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This Zucchini and Bow-tie Pasta with Shallot Sauce, is one of my favorites!

2. Toss with some fresh veggies (tomatoes, cukes, etc.) a little fresh basil, and some dressing (I like Italian, or sun-dried tomatoes) for a refreshingly cool pasta salad. Penne and orzo are my favorites. I usually add some…

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3. 12 Minute Chicken
Use your microwave, and this recipe to poach enough chicken breasts for a couple of dinners. Great for salads and sandwiches.

4. Stock up on sandwich fixings, and toss a couple of extra loaves of bread in the freezer.

5. When the heat hits, both ice and bottled water will be at a premium, and likely limited to a couple of bags per purchase. Stock up now.

6. Likewise, the price of fresh fruit will likely go up (especially high water content items like melons, grapes, berries, etc.,) Buy extra and store in the fridge.

7. Deli meat is a life-saver.

Salads with deli-meat, chopped chicken, salad-shrimp, or some good canned tuna, and easy and refreshing.

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This Shrimp with Fresh Pico is a favorite.

My Sesame-Cilantro Slaw is lovely in hot weather, as well. 🙂

8. Keep some cherry tomatoes and sliced celery sticks in a pitcher of water, in the fridge, for snacking.

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9. The last thing you want to do, is kick-start the heat by cooking in the morning. If you’re not a cold cereal person, scramble up a big mess of eggs with some chopped bacon, onions, peppers, etc., and keep it in the fridge for a quick-nuke breakfast. Avoid using mushrooms, as they’ll get slimy.

10. Hard boil a dozen or more eggs, for a quick, cool, easy to peel protein source. Eat them straight-up, in salads, or as sandwiches.

11. If you must cook, use your crock-pot, or get up a couple of hours early, and cook while it’s still cool. Open the kitchen windows to let the heat out.

12. Invest in freezer pops!

As much as I hate to say it, don’t plan to BBQ or grill. 105F is too hot to be cooking outdoors, and standing over a grill in that heat it brutal (believe me, I know!)

13. This is a good time to invest in a rice cooker, and learn to make your own sushi! If that seems too daunting, toss up a sushi salad:

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Non-Food Tips

14. Toss some damp wash-clothes in a zip bag, and put them in the fridge. A cool cloth on the back of the neck (or anywhere else that’s overheated) is a wonderful thing.

15. Periodically, add some ice-cubes to your pet’s water bowl. Imagine wearing a fur coat in this heat!

16. Plan chores (especially outside chores) for early morning. Let the friggin’ grass grow, a perfect lawn isn’t worth heatstroke.

If like what I’m posting, please share! If you love what I’m posting, and want to help me feed the hungry, and teach at-risk and special needs kids to cook for themselves, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon Page!

Lastly, and this is a personal note…

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17. Carry a small cooler of ice and bottled water in your passenger seat.

Keep an eye out for homeless folks at intersections and street-corners, and pass along a couple of cold bottles to them, when you can. (Your local homeless shelter is probably desperate for a case of three as well, just sayin’…)

This kind of heat can be miserable for all of us, but people who don’t have shelter can (and do) die in these kinds of temps. 

Stay cool!

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

 

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