I am so glad that I have an overflowing pantry and freezer! The weather has been very, very hot in Richmond. It was in the 90’s most of last week and all this week it is suppose to be in the 90’s again! Add in being 32 weeks pregnant and I am really miserable. (I am extremely thankful for air-conditioning as well.) The heat has completely zapped me of what little energy I seem to have.
I was on a huge “make twice as much and freeze half” kick about 2 months ago. I had a feeling that I would appreciate it during the summer months. I have begun “shopping” from my freezer for easy to prepare meals for us to enjoy. It is amazing what you can pull together from the freezer with a few fresh on-hand ingredients.
Saturday night we were working on some cleaning projects around the house and before we realized it it was already 6 o’clock and we were all starting to get hungry. I admit it was tempting to play the where do you want to order delivery from game. Instead we had a complete meal ready in 30 minutes with little prep – the time it would have taken us to decide what to have and wait for delivery. We ended up with Pork BBQ from the freezer on hamburger rolls I had picked up earlier in the week with some frozen french fries and fresh squash and onions that we had picked up earlier that day.
Tonight I have a baked ziti in the oven that I pulled out of the freezer. I didn’t really defrost it so I made sure to put it in the oven around 4:30 so that it will hopefully be ready around 6. I have some garlic bread in the freezer that I will heat up in the oven and round out our meal with either a green salad or some cucumbers with Italian dressing.
I have several other main dishes that I am thinking I will pull out later in the week. I have chicken and ground beef already cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning for a taco night. I also have a batch of chicken and black bean enchiladas in the freezer. I have some chicken barbeque for another night of barbeque sandwiches and ground beef already mixed with meatloaf ingredients for meatloaf. I also look forward to pulling out the various meats that I have in the freezer that I froze with a marinade.
It is great to have these things already on hand and with all of the wonderful fresh vegetables the summer gives us it is easy to pull together a complete meal without spending the entire afternoon in a hot kitchen.
How about you - how do you stay cool in the kitchen during the summer? Do you eat more salads for dinner, grill outside, or utilize your crock pot to avoid using the oven?