Monday, September 3, 2018

Around the Kitchen Table - Are you frying? + book #giveaway



From Daryl:  It's still summer. It's hot. Are you frying? I don't know about you, but in the summer, I like to do most of my cooking outdoors and not add the extra heat in the kitchen. Sure, I bake occasionally. What is life without a good muffin? So how do you keep hot food on the table without heating up your house? What are your go-to meals that keep you satisfied but not sweltering? Do you actually fry anything in the summer? I have to admit I love stir-fry in the winter!  

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LUCY BURDETTE: Our garden has come in fast and furious so this is the season for tons of sliced tomatoes and cukes, or steamed green beans, or maybe fried okra. My easiest hardly-any-cooking-involved meal is chunks of fresh tomatoes mixed with fresh mozzarella and basil and good olive oil served over pasta. You can add a little grated Parmesan cheese on top too!

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LESLIE: Truthfully, I don't worry much about heating up the kitchen -- our preferences seem to adjust themselves seasonally, and we don't find ourselves wanting the kinds of meals that require long hours over a hot stove. I do bake some, but mostly in the mornings -- muffins, as Daryl said, or bacon on Sunday. (Yes, we bake bacon -- and highly recommend it!) And I have had to test a couple of recipes that required the oven later in the day. But Mr. Right is a terrific grill-master and we use the propane grill on the back deck several times a week. It's great for veggies and naan or pita as well as chicken, fish, or meat. Oh, and grilled peaches, served with a balsamic reduction you can make in a small saucepan on the grill!

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DENISE

We moved a few years ago, threw away our grill, and never replaced it so I have no other option but to cook inside even on the hottest days. I rarely bake since we're trying to eat healthy so that's not an issue. For our main meal, I have a ton of stove top recipes so if it's really hot, I stick to those. Last night I made skillet ragu. Another alternative that I've been thinking of purchasing is a combo air fryer/toaster oven. It's a bit pricey, but I may put it on my Christmas list.
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PEG: My go-to when I'm limp from the heat and don't want to cook at all are BLTs.  They're so easy and give me a night off from preparing dinner.  (I do the bacon in the microwave.)  Another favorite is gazpacho--everything goes in the food processor and out comes "liquid vitamins" as I think of the soup since it's so chock full of veggies.  And if neither of those appeal, I grill.  I probably grill several times a week all season (and sometime in the winter, too, even though I have to brush the snow off.)  It's so easy to do shrimp or chicken kebobs or salmon.  Like Leslie said, our tastes adapt to the season and something heavy like shepherd's pie just doesn't appeal.  

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LINDA:  I'm with you about the gazpacho, Peg. Love it and it's my summer go-to. This year, I discovered gazpacho with green tomatoes. Where have I been all this time? But I'm a griller at heart and will only use the stove for short periods and necessities, like boiled potatoes for potato salad. The oven is never on, unless it's pouring outside and I can't use the BBQ. I seldom, if ever, fry meats and poultry although I will poach a fillet of halibut or salmon. Anything goes on the BBQ, from meats, poultry and fish to fruits and veggies. It's the best thing about summer.

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CLEO: Our small New York kitchen is not air conditioned, so for us grilling is good, and our secret to grilling great steaks and ribs is...coffee! (No kidding.) Coffee is an effective and wonderfully earthy meat tenderizer and many of our readers have tried and loved our quick and easy marination method. Get our COFFEE RIBS recipe here. For our recipe on using coffee to marinate steak, click here. Another thing we do for really hot days is eat ice cream for dinner. We'll either go out for a sundae or eat a bowl of my homemade no churn ice cream. Marc's favorite is WHITE HOUSE CHERRY. It's one delicious way to beat the heat!
Click for Cleo's "No Churn"
White House Cherry Ice Cream
(a non-partisan recipe)




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SHEILA: Frying with a lot of fat or oil always makes me think of medieval soldiers pouring boiling oil on the attackers of the castle, so I tend to avoid it. My mother once had a deep-fat fryer, in 1960-something. I remember her making donuts--once. After that, the machine was never seen again.

I do like grilling outside. But the best thing I ever saw along those lines was when I was house-sitting for a college friend in her home in Carlisle MA for a couple of months. She had a grill (gas-fired if I recall) built into the kitchen, and I used that a lot! No clean-up, no muss or fuss, and it worked really well. I'd love to have one, but I'd have to build a kitchen around it.

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Krista: I'm afraid my grill hasn't even been uncovered all summer. I've been trying out recipes for The Diva Sweetens the Pie and one of my favorites is Piled High Fresh Strawberry Pie. As the name suggests, most of the strawberries are fresh and uncooked. I confess that I ate two pieces for dinner the other night. Shhhh.



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Thanks to all for stopping by! 

Giveaway!

Leave a comment and tell us what you do during the
summer to keep cool to win copies of:


A Deadly Eclair, the first French Bistro mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber 



Death on the Menu, a Key West food critic mystery by Lucy Burdette (audio version on CD) 





The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller, Cleo Coyle's first new Haunted Bookshop Mystery in nearly 10 years. On sale September 25th!





99 comments:

  1. We like to grill just about year 'round. I also have several stove top recipes that I use when grilling's not an option. I don't fry very often because it just heats up the kitchen too much. I love Cleo's idea of having ice cream for the evening meal!

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    1. Linda, me, too. I'm an ice cream lover through and through. ~ Daryl

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  2. I try to grill and cook on the stove top as much as possible. Also, you can use your crockpot for summer foods sometimes-I am making the chicken and peppers for fajitas in the crockpot this week.
    Wendy
    clarksrfun at gmail com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You won this giveaway by random selection. I will email you for your info. Congrats! ~ Daryl

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  3. We order take out Food. It’s been to hot to cook dinner . xzjh04(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Kiki, take out seems to be the new norm in many households. ~ Daryl

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  4. I eat a lot of leftovers so there is cooking only a couple of times a week. I don’t grill.

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    1. I forgot the email. suefoster109 at gmail.

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    2. Sue, I eat leftovers, too. Leftovers from BBQ-ing. :) ~ Daryl

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  5. I eat A LOT of ice cream in the summer; sometimes twice a day 😆
    Donah42(at)aol(dot)com

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  6. At my apartment complex we are not allowed to have a grill! Really miss it in the summer! I make different salads and stove top cooking mostly. The only time the oven gets used is for pizza, casseroles or muffins!
    Thank you for the chance to win these books.
    debprice60@gmail.com

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    1. Deb, my sister couldn't have a grill any longer, either. She settled for the Forman indoor grill. It helps at least cook an occasional steak or burger. ~ Daryl

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  7. We grill 1-2 times/wk in the summer. We're blessed that the kitchen doesn't get too hot in the summer though. The second story gets about 10 degrees warmer than the downstairs, though, at least in my (older) part of our rehabbed 1880 farmhouse. My son and his wife have a master suite that was added on and even though it's upstairs, it stays quite cool in there while I'm roasting. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  8. It was either too hot or rainy to grill much. We did lots of salads and stir frying
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    1. Sandy, I think salads are a go-to food for many during the hot summers. ~ Daryl

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  9. Cooking on the grill is how we stay cool with heat indexes over 100. Or, just having ice cream for dinner. ;)
    harbingerdc(at)gmail(com)

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    1. Harbinger, you seem to be in the majority today. Ice cream is getting a lot of votes! ~ Daryl

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  10. Wow! Three books on my list! Thanks for the contest. Any baking or oven use is done early in the morning when it's not as hot. We don't have a BBQ grill. I cook most of our meat and all our fish in our NuWave Oven. Best gadget I ever bought. People may laugh because it's on an infomercial but food turns out so good. It's also an easy clean up which is a good thing any time of year. :) ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Riley, I haven't heard of this oven. I'm checking it out now. ~ Daryl

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  11. I don't have a grill. Summer lends itself to lots of main dish salads and plenty of fresh fruit for desserts. When I do bake, I tend to make things that hold well so I can cook it early in the day and then reheat briefly. My current favorite is baked tandoori chicken with extra marinade. And since some great meat dishes take low and slow baking, marinated slow roasted pork shoulder (for example, Bo Ssam) can be cooked in normal part of the day and has also featured in my summer meal rotation. Hmmm....getting hungry.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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    1. I had to look up Bo Ssam. That sounds delicious! Interesting accompaniment--oysters. I will have to try that some day.

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  12. We have a grill, a big green egg and a large smoker wood fired grill so yes we do a LOT of cooking outside but not just summer but all year long. I'm fortunate that hubby loved to cook/bake as much as I do. He usually tends to the meat when cooking outside. I do the sides. Summer time always means fresh veggies and being from the south that means a lot of fried veggies as well - fried squash coated with a mixture of parmesan cheese, cornmeal, salt and pepper - fried cauliflower dipped in egg mixture and then mixture of flour, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, fried bell pepper rings, and even fried corn on the cob. We have our timing about down pat to where both the inside food and the outside food comes off at about the same time ready to set on the table and enjoy. As for the heat and you know us "mature" gals can generate our own heat even in the winter time, we turn the a/c to cooler when cooking and make sure the Big Ass fan (that's the actual name of it) is turned up a notch or two while cooking. We just make sure to turn things down just before we sit down to the table so as not to cool down the food we just cooked to get hot. :)

    Thank you for the marvelous chance to win not one but THREE wonderful books by authors that I love reading their books!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. I love your fan! LOL. the fried cauliflower sounds delish! I wonder if it can be done in an air fryer?

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  13. Grills aren't allowed in our complex, so it's stir fry and salads.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  14. I enjoy summer cooking which means delectable fish grilling and salads that are enticing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com