Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

With a forecasted temperature of 95° today, we are experiencing our hottest day this summer. When the temperature gets this hot, the last thing I want to do is turn on the stove, let alone the oven. I thought I would throw out some suggestions for some easy meals that don't require cooking.

Besides the obvious – going out to eat in a nice, cool restaurant – you could pick up some deli items and have a picnic in your dining room. The market’s deli section carries great easy items, from fried or rotisserie chicken to salads of all kinds. You could pick up cold cuts and cheeses and have a build-your-own-sandwich night.

You could make chicken salad and have it on a bed of greens, sub buns or even just with fruit and crackers. I would use either rotisserie chicken that has been shredded or canned chicken that has been drained. Chop a bit of celery, onion, bell pepper and toss with a scoop of mayonnaise, a dollop of Dijon mustard with salt and pepper to taste.

Buy some pre-cooked shrimp, crab legs or lobster. I found 3 easy, no-cook recipes that any of these seafood options would be tasty with.
Quick and Easy Coconut Shrimp Salad
No Cook Sweet Beet Lime Shrimp Salad
Easy No Cook Calypso Coconut Shrimp Salad

Or go nuts and have a build-your-own-ice-cream-sundae dinner. Buy several types of ice cream, chopped nuts, fudge sauce, fresh fruit like bananas and strawberries, and don’t forget the whipped cream and cherries and stay cool by eating a banana split or not-so-hot-fudge sundae. I don’t advocate eating like this all the time, but on days like today I think it is okay.

Whatever you do, stay cool and enjoy your day!

PS Can you fry an egg on the side walk? According to the Library of Congress, it is theoretically possible, but it does not actually work. “An egg needs a temperature of 158°F to become firm. In order to cook, proteins in the egg must denature (modify), then coagulate, and that won’t happen until the temperature rises enough to start and maintain the process.” Even on the hottest of days, the pavement temperature only reaches 145°F.

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