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Heat wave... over a week of 90's... what to cook/eat??

I usually associate cabin fever with being snowed-in. Here in my part of NJ, the longest I've been snowed in was for about 36 hours... because I live on a small circle, township plows circles LAST, and we had a VERY unusual BIG storm that dropped over 3 feet of snow. Even neighbors with 4WD trucks couldn't muscle thru that much snow.

I get a bit cabin-feverish just waiting for plows to show myself I CAN get out, if I want to.

Well, I'm suffering from reverse cabin fever, I guess. Has been well over 90 for over a week. When you walk out of the AC, it hits you like a ton of bricks. The most I've been outside is to pick up paper from driveway, mail from box at curb, or from hous-to-car-to supermarket-to-car-to-house.

In the winter, when stuck inside... one of the first things I start thinking about is what I'm gonna cook & eat. Getting those same urges during this heat wave. It's too hot to even cook out on the grill!?! Definitely don't want to fire up the oven or all the burners on stove top.

Yesterday, pulled some frozen shrimp out, butterflied, breaded and fried. I prefer tartar sauce over cocktail... and got a little inspired to make something I've NEVER made before... MAYO. MAN, was that simple and the result was delicious! Just hunted up a recipe (Alton B's) and used my mini-processor to zizz up about a cup or so.... 1 yolk, dry mustard, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, a few pinches of sugar, and some salt... think that's all it took. Think recipe says use within a week!?! The raw egg thing... NOT something I'm remotely worrying about.

So it's HOT HOT HOT and you're marooned inside in the AC... LUCKILY!! What are you cooking/eating?

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  1. Nummina nummina on the shrimp and mayo. It really is rewarding to make your own, innit?
    I eat SO many caprese salads when it's hot out. I eat a whole lotta rice/noodle plates, too: rice noodles, shredded cuke and carrot, basil, mint and cilantro, and prawns; w/ nuoc cham, maybe a bean sprout or two in there. Lotsa BLT's: for that matter, many many tomato sandwiches (w/ a nod to homemade mayo, unless I'm lazy in which case I just add a squeeze of lemon juice to best mayo in a jar). The bacon part of this is easy if you do it in the morning. :)

    1. When it's hot out, I blast on the A/C and make some hot soup (egg drop if I'm lazy or oxtail simmered overnight if I'm not lazy) and then finish off the meal with a big bowl of ice cream served over warm pound cake.

      1. I love to cook - but this is the weather that invented take-out. Last night we had take-out Indian, and for tonight, I've put the chicken I was going to cook into the freezer and getting a pizza.

        1. Just this morning we were gleefully talking about how it's only going to be in the 90's next week... I think we're on day 7 of 100+ degree heat, so I've been avoiding the oven and stove all together. Lots of salads here, fish/veggies stramed in the microwave, and fruit.

          1. We've been grateful that tomatoes arrived in time for this (4 days in triple digits, gazillion bazillion or so above 90, not typical for here). We've been enjoying a LOT of tomato/duke mayo sandwiches. And some BLTs.

            I made a big batch of coconut rice, and we've been having that with sliced avocado and/or mango and/or grilled veggies.

            Gazpacho is a great idea for this weather.

            I would love to bake a peach pie and/or blackberry pie or cobbler. The fruit has been delicious. But I just am not going to turn on the oven.

            1. The crockpot doesn't heat up the house. Last week I made pulled Chicken, which seemed more summery than Chili or stew.

              1. What is this AC you speak of? :) I'm in the suburbs of Philly and I've been enjoying huge watermelons from Costco and smoothies with kale or dandelion leaves from my yard and frozen bananas. Very refreshing. Cantalopes are finally in and also some corn which is pretty yummy just peeled and eaten raw. I will briefly boil up some corn when the days get a bit cooler.
                I did find a new taste combo that surprised me. I had some leftover spicy korean fried chicken wings that I got to go from a new place near me and I was surprised at how well slices of watermelon went with the spicy chicken.
                David's Cookies was at my Costco last week and I snagged a berry cheese cake for my freezer that I have been slowly working my way through. The slices certainly defrost quickly.

                1. How about, what are you eating when you have an all-electric house and the electricity is down for days on end? Plus, no AC with house temp around 90 is not conducive to appetite. I heard of one family member boiling eggs on the Weber. How have people been coping?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Querencia

                    Ice from convenience store. Beer. ?

                    1. re: MonMauler

                      Yep, that's what we would have under those conditions. Maybe some chips and salsa on the side.

                  2. Cottage Cheese; fruit and cheese and crackers; main dish salads; deli rotis chicken (put chunks on flour tortilla, top w/jarred salsa and wrap); cold sliced meatloaf from Trader Joe's (last night's dinner); guacamole & tortilla chips

                    1. Lots of cold salads. Soba salads, macaroni salads, eggs salads, green salads. You get the point.

                      1. my chicken has marinated all day in grapefruit/orange/lime diluted juice & Spanish olive oil + fresh ground spices.
                        it'll go on the BBQ when I get home with the checkerboard corn and partial baked marinated cut in half sweet potatoes. yesterday's berries with bleu cheese nibbles and balsamic for 'salad'?
                        water, lots of water with plentiful ice.

                        1. Even my 4 y.o. keeps reminding me that we should have a cold dinner these days.

                          Cold soba and mixed seaweed salad.

                          Lots of fruits, including pre-cut, frozen fruit (mango and berries) from the bag. Mix in some milk and honey, and you get a refreshing bowl of half-frozen fruit covered with white slush, good enough as a dessert for when you are too heat-struck to even operate that blender.

                          Mangoes are abundant where I am now, so I sliced them up along with some avocadoes, and together with lots of greens and garden herbs (basil, cilantro, green onion etc.), and some toasted tiny dried shrimp or left over grilled meat, they make pretty good Vietnamese style rice paper rolls, the kind that you dip in water and then roll up and eat. A no-cook dinner!

                          1. I've got my oven cranked to 500 degrees right now for a loaf of bread, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask, but...

                            Caprese salad is probably my favorite for this kind of weather. The fresh mozzarella cools me down quite a bit. Gazpacho requires no cooking. Ditto on ceviche.

                            My general strategy is to make cold salads, and prep hotter foods when it cools down a bit. We're down to the 80's here in Chicago after days of record heat, so I'm taking the chance to make some bread while I can. Sandwiches sure are great when it's way too hot.

                            Does anyone else have the summer chills in their office? I've been bringing in hotter foods and drinking hot coffee, since I'm shivering once I get to work.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: caseyjo

                              We're on day 12; no way my oven is on, let alone 500 degrees..

                              Agree . . . salads, gazpacho, cold carrot soup. Even offices are darkened.

                            2. Tzatziki, in a pita with some frozen turkey meatballs defrosted in the microwave.
                              I made a delicious salad last week with sauteed corn, fresh tomatoes, peppers, parsley, with a lime vinaigrette. Might be nice with some feta next time.

                              1. Especially since Mrs. O turned veggie, and since we both have an unending love for both of these things, we've been dining almost entirely on salade de tomates (good tomatoes cut into stew-meat-sized chunks, dressed with S&P, plenty of oil and enough vinegar or lemon juice, dried herbs) and our bean salad (canned canellini drained, combined with chopped celery and parsley, dressed same as tomatoes), and bread. Sometimes I'll add a green salad, sometime add avocado and/or feta or queso fresco to the tomatoes. But it gives us a nice light supper with no heating up the kitchen. For the record, we're in Pasadena, CA, where it's only now getting into 90s. We are no longer missing Nashville.

                                1. I hear you. I'm in So. Md., probably somewhere between 100 and 200 miles south of you. We've been eating a LOT of salads. I made Michelle Obama's White House chopped salad last week (very good, especially the pecans). We had vegetarian soft tacos and guacamole one night. I made my own Green Goddess dressing not too long ago. Fantastic (and I used fat-free Greek yogurt). Tonight I made Lebanese potato salad with purple potatoes, lemon, olive oil and mint to have with broccoli and pork chops (it dipped all the way down to 86 today!! I almost baked sweet potatoes!!). We have Mennoniite/Amish farms not too far from us, and I get a lot of produce from them this time of year: squash, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, okra, peppers, peaches. So, we've been eating a LOT of vegetables and fruit. I made pasta salad and tuna salad on the hottest days, but we've also had turkey chili and spaghetti w/ tomato sauce as well. Of course, we had hot dogs and cole slaw on the Fourth. lol I even made a pecan pie.

                                  1. I cook grains in the rice cooker and base salads on them. In addition lots of ruit, yogurt, ceviche. I alos hard boil eggs when it is cool in the a.m. a dozen at a time and make egg salads and just eat them plain. and zillions of raw veggies with aoli.