Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What to Cook when the Temps are Cooking?

It's hot!

Really hot.

Since I had a meat thermometer out the other day, I decided to check the temp in my kitchen - 95degrees

Which is just my wimpy way of explaining why there's really not much cooking going on at the moment. The heat wave and the fact that I was at a writing workshop for teachers for the past two days.

But we still have to eat.

Honestly, I'd probably rather eat a bowl of cereal -

This one was on sale for $2.99 last week. It's already one of my favorites, but load it with a pile of fresh blueberries??? Oh yum!

It's really kind of scary how many blueberries I have eaten in the past few weeks!

But man (or woman) cannot survive on cereal alone, no matter how tasty.

So I've done a few quick meals this week that gave me nutrition and taste without a lot of oven time.

The first is similar to one I've done before. I had the most amazing plum tomatoes from the farmer's market plus my basil, so what better to do than fresh pizza.

All I did for this was hollow out a loaf of Italian bread - you don't have to but I like the crust better than the doughy part.

I sprinkled shredded cheese and garlic powder on the bread, then added some oregano and fresh basil leave. I topped it with those luscious tomatoes.

The concoction went into the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. DIVINE.

Oh my goodness!  I could eat this stuff all day!

In fact, I made it again tonight on mini pitas instead. I left the tomatoes off one.

Fenny's hoping I'll drop a shrimp.

But last night we were in the midst of crazy storms so I was late cooking. I sure didn't feel like cooking when I had to close the kitchen windows on top of the 95 degree h

Saved by the leftovers.

I made fried haddock for my husband a week ago. Brilliant me thought I would forego my usual egg batter and try the milk soak that Ruthy described for fried onions.

Nope. Didn't work. Made a mess.

I had more of the haddock so I fried that up normally for him and saved the rest in the freezer.

So one night when I had no culinary inspiration whatsoever, I  remembered that haddock. I took it out, added some pre-cooked shrimp from COSTCO, covered with a breadcrumb topping, some lemon and butter, and stuck under the broiler for a few minutes. Soooo very good.

If it wasn't summer, I probably would have paired it with rice or noodles, but this was perfectly light just as was.

Nice things about summer -

When I'm in Maine, I love summer sunrises. But this year, stuck in the city, I'm really appeciating all the vivid summer sunsets. The camera really doesn't do the brilliant sky justice.

This doesn't even begin to capture the colors, but I took it through my window so not too bad,

Sunrise in Maine.  


  1. So fun to see a sunrise picture over the ocean. :) Makes me think of my college roommate breaking up with a guy she'd just started to date. I asked her, "What went wrong?"
    She said, "He wants to take me to the beach and watch the sunrise."
    LOL. She was a science major and just couldn't get over that slip of logic.

    It's hot here, too. It was 103 today, but we tried to keep the house closed up and shades drawn. Doesn't help a lot but helps enough that we don't all melt into a puddle. Tomorrow we'll have to brave the heat, though, because the blackberries are ripe and I am NOT missing blackberry season!

    1. I was just telling my daughter the other day that I envy you the blueberry picking. We used to do that when we were kids. I loved it and then making blueberry jam.

      I was just reading somewhere that blackberries help you to sleep better if you have them half an hour before bed.

  2. Gotta love sunrises and sunsets, it's so "Fiddler on the Roof" friendly. It's so Tevye and who doesn't love Tevye???

    Okay, yes, the milk soaking thing doesn't work on big fish. You have to dredge in flour/beaten egg/crumbs for that one, or batter it.... although for little pan fish (smelt, bass, perch) it does work. We just dredge in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and pan fry.

    But that open faced sandwich.... be still my heart!

    The heat.

    I'm feeling positively cool here at 92° today after seeing you and Mary Jane. And every time someone tells me this is unprecedented, I remember the summer of 83 when I was 8 and 9 months pregnant with the future lawyer, and we had the 3rd hottest summer on record...

    Hello El Nino!

    Now I'm waiting to see if the decreased sunspot activity scientists are seeing will result in their projected "Mini Ice Age" a temporary phenom we'd all welcome right about now.

    We're not used to seeing the Pacific fired up with hurricanes and the Atlantic calmly trudging along.

    We'll conquer this, ladies!

    Now I need an ocean and a sunrise!

    1. Conquering may require more ambition than I'm feeling. Yes, an ocean and a sunrise!

  3. It's been scorching hot this summer, hasn't it? I went out to weed in the garden really early to beat the heat and the weeds were crispy!

    When it's this hot even melting cheese is too hot for me. I'm a salad girl all the way. Veggie, fruit, combination of the two. Maybe a few slices of cheese. Some slivered almonds tossed into the mix. That's what I live on!

    Love the gratuitous puppy picture! And the sunset/sunrise. I'd like to be on a beach in Maine right now.

    1. My problem is I only like salads if someone else makes them.

      I do mean to try making a shredded kale salad.

      I'll join you on that beach in Maine, Kav. We can have a stack of books between us beneath the beach umbrella.

  4. Oh, the heat! We had your weather last week, but it moved on to the east and we're enjoying normal summertime temps now - mid-80's to mid-90's.

    Hot weather meals...I love them! Quick stove-top lunches, salads for supper. It's all good!

    But don't we start craving the stews and casseroles by the end of August??? Autumn creeps in somewhere in the last third of August, with cooler nights, and I can hardly wait!!!

    1. Jan, they're predicting a hot autumn for us so I'm not happy about that. Autumn is my favorite season. Wish that's when I had vacation.

  5. Gorgeous photos! I love both those recipes! Will have to try them. I have store bought pizza crusts and fresh mozzarella right now. Of course, I don't have any fresh basil. I love the stuff!

    1. Missy, I've been buying the basil plants with roots at the farmer's market and sticking it in a jar of water so I always have some fresh.

  6. Sorry I missed this. Brain fry from the heat. It all looks yummy.