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Old 04-21-2009, 06:24 PM
 
Location: central Austin
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Does anyone else do this?

Have a very different range of food that you cook in the summer and in the winter? (we eat 95% of our meals at home).

It was 90+ degrees today and at dinnertime, I found myself manning the microwave instead of the oven. And I realized that it was probably time to switch to "summer cooking."

In our house this means no more home-baked pies or quiches, no more home-roasted chicken, essentially we try to use the oven as little as possible because it heats up the house. In the summer we eat more soup, pasta, grilled food, stir fries and lots (and lots) of fruit and salad. No more baking potatoes in the oven, only the microwave, no more manicotti baked in the oven, etc.

I will keep baking cookies and pizza for a while but in July and August, we make due with pudding pies in graham cracker crusts, rice crispy treats, and ice cream. (and no more home-baked pizza). Our goal in July and August is to keep the oven off the whole time.

It does seem to keep the house (and the cook) cooler. I think that we also the seasonality of it all. Sometimes the seasons can be hard to detect in Austin "winter food" and "summer food" makes the changes more concrete.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
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I start BBQ'ing a lot in the summer rather then use the oven. Lots of salads and sandwiches and raw veggies with ranch dip.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
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Definitely! We have a Weber gas grill outside the kitchen that gets a lot of use once the temps start climbing. Grilling dinner is much easier and lighter too. We also have a smoker we use on weekends, but the gas grill kind of serves as an outdoor stove. I love baking in the oven during the winter months, but that pretty much goes away from about June-September.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:51 PM
 
Location: NW Austin
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We do the same; no more simmering chili or tortilla soup on the stove for hours once it's in the 90s. Grilling is the way to go.

We have used a crock pot and toaster oven out in the garage as a way to prepare some dishes without heating up the rest of the house.

Also time to get the ice cream maker going...
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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We do the same. We use our smoker or charcoal grill once or twice a week, I'll put the crockpot in the garage, or do something in a skillet on the stove. The oven stays off all summer. We did put in a convection oven/microwave combo over the stove and use that from time to time and it's great because it doesn't heat the house up the way the regular stove does but oven baked things are usually just too heavy once it's hot outside.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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We do a lot more grilling and salads and rotisserie chickens in the summer and more soups, lasagna, stew in the winter!

By the way....does anyone have info on installing an outdoor pizza oven? We're having our yard redone and want one!
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:34 AM
 
509 posts, read 1,422,665 times
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It definitely does keep the house cooler when the oven is off - I noticed that the last time we lived in Texas and our a/c was on its last legs. Not only that, but I just have a taste for different foods in the summer. Some things like meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chili, etc. just seem too heavy. Plus with all of the great seasonal fruits and veggies, it seems a shame not to take advantage of them. Wow though, I can't believe that it's 90 there already. We can't seem to make it to 70 here in the chilly northeast.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Mom View Post
It definitely does keep the house cooler when the oven is off - I noticed that the last time we lived in Texas and our a/c was on its last legs. Not only that, but I just have a taste for different foods in the summer. Some things like meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chili, etc. just seem too heavy. Plus with all of the great seasonal fruits and veggies, it seems a shame not to take advantage of them. Wow though, I can't believe that it's 90 there already. We can't seem to make it to 70 here in the chilly northeast.
What part of PA are you from? I'm from Western PA and we are having trouble making it to 60 degrees!!
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,956 posts, read 17,767,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Mom View Post
It definitely does keep the house cooler when the oven is off - I noticed that the last time we lived in Texas and our a/c was on its last legs. Not only that, but I just have a taste for different foods in the summer. Some things like meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chili, etc. just seem too heavy. Plus with all of the great seasonal fruits and veggies, it seems a shame not to take advantage of them. Wow though, I can't believe that it's 90 there already. We can't seem to make it to 70 here in the chilly northeast.
The interesting thing is that even though it was 90 yesterday, and supposed to be again today... I haven't had to run the A/C in the house, even upstairs. Must be the 20% humidity... although I can't remember in the past getting to 90 degrees and not having to run the A/C.
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:07 AM
 
593 posts, read 1,267,297 times
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Yup, BBQ & Grilling outside. Especially all the animals we shoot during hunting season. Yummy, Deer Meat & Sausage, Hog, Javelina, Raccoon, Squirrels, a Spring Turkey or Two. We're too sophisticated and uppity to eat possum, we don't do rats either.

Cool stuff inside: Salads, Pastas, Fruit, Ice Cream, Yogurt, Cheese, etc.
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