It’s juuuuusssst about summer time here in AZ. This means hibernating inside watching movies and coloring a million pictures. It means venturing outside into only 1) an air conditioned car or 2) a refreshing pool. And it means avoiding turning on your oven at all costs. Seriously, I avoid that thing like the plague for at least four months out of the year.
Now we all know about “summer salads
,” but if I ate nothing but
those all season I would be sad. I am also ALL FOR grilling, but sometimes the marinating, and the hauling everything outside, and the not burning things just does not work for us. So here are 3 ways to avoid using your oven:
1. Cook smaller amounts in the toaster oven. I am in LOVE with my toaster oven and have learned how to use it for just about anything. In the summer, we tend to cook smaller amounts of whatever meat we are having and go bigger on the sides. It is a bit of a learning curve at first (it usually takes a few minutes longer than the recipe calls for), but I have been able to bake chicken, tilapia, and even homemade nuggets and taquitos. It is a hard-working little machine at our house!
2. Bake on demand. We are big bakers at our house, and I hate to take that away during the summer. Every month or two we make a triple batch of cookie dough and freeze it, and then take out enough to make about 6 cookies each time. The bulk of the fun is rolling out the dough and cutting out the cookies (or just making them into balls). We also bake these in the toaster oven! This is a double win for us because it means we are not overdoing it with the sugary sweets, and we are still gaining an afternoon activity.
3. Get creative with your slow cooker. Pretty much anything you make in an oven can be done in a slow cooker – so if you plan ahead, and do some research, you can make it work. Remember at the beginning of the summer when you had grand plans to do a bunch of craft projects like homemade candles, play-doh, or crayons? Yeah, you can do those too! I will warn that some things can get messy pretty quickly, and every slow cooker is different, but you never know until you try!
What other unconventional ways to avoid the oven did I miss? Enjoy your summer mamas and stay cool as long as you can!