How to cook without an oven

I absolutely love the Summer! I love the early-morning sunrise, the long days, herb gardens – it’s all great! But, if there is one thing I can’t stand during the Summer, it is cooking and baking! I mean, I still love doing them, but the idea of having my A/C set at 70º, while heating an oven to 350º does seem rather counter-intuitive, wouldn’t you agree?

So, here are my sure-fire methods for enjoying your favorite home-baked goodies, but with a new twist (and, ahem, a few new toys). :)

  • Toaster Oven :: I love my little toast oven! It pre-heats in about three minutes and cooks beautifully. Just tonight I pan-fried some pecan-panko-crusted chicken breasts, then threw them in the mini-oven for five minutes to finish baking. As I tossed them in, I was so grateful that I didn’t have to wait 30 minutes for my full-size oven to pre-heat. It also works great for cookies, cakes and the like!
  • Grill :: Whether charcoal or propane, things just taste better off the grill! A grill heats up in ten minutes, then you can throw your meat on and have it cook in just ten more minutes! But, it’s not just meats – if you have a veggie-hater in the family, for some reason, grilling them makes them taste that much better! One of my personal favorites is to rub corn with Sweet Basil Oil (Canola Oil will do fine), cover with fine sea salt, freshly-ground pepper and fresh-chopped parsely. Roll in foil and cook about ten minutes over high-flame, rotating often. Yummy!
  • Bread-Machine :: Though I just recently posted about this, I wanted to reiterate what a wonderful tool this is! In the Summer, all the self-contained heat of such a tiny contraption can still crank out yummy, homemade bread without melting down the kitchen. All breads are within reach, even for the black thumb of the kitchen. And, with so many choices of type, you can experiment on with cinnamon rolls, wheat breads, etc.

So, turn off the anti-A/C contraptions and jump on the heat-contained band wagon. The food tastes great and more time for your to sit in the sun and enjoy! Happy baking!

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