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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for a Hot Week

Most of summer, we're a pleasant 75 to 80 degrees F in my area. However, we seem to get one or two hot spells that last anywhere from 3 days to a week, where it's right around 90 or even hotter. We get through those hot spells without AC, just a couple of fans. Anyway, this week was the hot week. I did what I could to avoid heating the kitchen. I used the microwave a lot, grilled, and used the crockpot. I also served a cold dinner one night. I did need to bake bread. However, I got the dough started very early in the morning, so it could bake before noon. And when we wanted brownies, I made my microwave brownies, using basic ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, vanilla). These are really quite good, very chocolatey and on the fudgy side.

Here's what we had for our evening meals this past week:


homemade pepperoni and sausage pizza, sautéed kale/garlic scapes/chive blossoms, dolmathes, canned peach slices (dented can -- 69 cents) and fresh raspberries for dessert


refried beans, homemade tortillas, sautéed kale mixed with canned tomatoes, cherry and rhubarb pie

Swiss chard frittata, kale/cranberry/almond salad, brown rice, leftover cherry and rhubarb pie


tuna salad on garden greens, steamed broccoli, toast, rhubarb sauce


teriyaki chicken and cauliflower, brown rice, frozen peas, garden raspberries

(After dinner, the chicken leg quarter bones, skin, and leftover meat went into the crockpot for the night, to be used in Thursday's dinner.)

grilled chicken, crockpot polenta, garden salad, sautéed garden kale, garden blueberries and raspberries, microwave brownies

(My daughter was making dinner and had planned to make a chicken pot pie. To run the oven for less time, she made a quick chicken soup on the stove and baked the pie dough as crackers)

chicken and vegetable soup (chicken and stock from Wednesday's grilled chicken bones, canned carrots, frozen peas), cinnamon rhubarb sauce, homemade crackers (made with pie dough), last of the microwave brownies

That's what was on my menu. What were the highlights of yours?
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  1. I am very happy to have an air conditioner. Does it cool off at night when you have your hot spell? When I lived along the Gulf Coast, the temperature never went below 80 at night (90's during the day) for several months each year which made it more miserable during the day. At least here even if we've been in the 90's during the day, it usually goes into the 70's at night which is much better.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I'm glad you have an air conditioner. I've never lived in a home with one, so I don't really know what I'm missing, I guess.
      When it goes above 95 during the day, then the nights are in the low 70s. If it's just in the upper 80s to low 90s then the nights go down into the 60s. It can be hard to sleep. Last summer, when it went above 100, it was so hot even at night. We have a large deck across the south side of the house and it can go over 120 on the deck and radiate all that heat into the house on a 100 degree day. But, on the good side, these hot spells only last a few days then we return to mid to upper 70s for daytime highs. It's not bad and we survive.

  2. I'm also thankful for A/C. It often cools down at night for us here in Michigan (not always, though!) I haven't had my A/C for almost a week now because the temps have been cooler (mostly 80s and sometimes even high 70s with a breeze).

    Meals were available every single day and once again, I can' think of them all. Roast pork loin on the grill with grilled summer squash, ravioli casserole, hash browns, carrots, chicken and rice casserole, Qdoba, tomato and spinach wrap sandwiches, someone had a can of beefaroni that was found in the cupboard, meatballs. I'm sure there was more but I can't remember.

    1. Hi Alice,
      I imagine you get more sustained hot weather than we do in the PNW, so an air conditioner must be nice to have when it does get hot and sticky.

      I am so looking forward to summer squash to grill. Your grilled squash and pork loin sounds like a delicious summer meal. It's always a nice surprise to find something like a canned entree hiding in a cupboard, isn't it? Your meals sound delicious as always. have a nice weekend, Alice.

  3. You did well with your hot weather meals. I struggle this time of year because I don’t want to heat up the house. After living here for 23 years with no AC, we got 2 window units this year. Last summer we were over 90 for weeks (which is very unusual), so this year I told my husband I couldn’t do it again. We got an AC for the livingroom, which helps with the entire main floor, and then a smaller one for the bedroom, which is upstairs. I got my first electric bill yesterday and I was shocked to see my usage actually went down from last year, and we’ve been running those air conditioners daily. I can’t explain it, but I guess my usage in other areas is lower, offsetting them. Or maybe it’s cheaper to run air conditioners than it is to use 4 fans 24 hours a day.
    Meals this week have been: pork roast, lasagna, stuffed chicken breasts, shrimp and rice thing, and brats. That’s all I can remember.


    1. Hi Diane,
      Well that was a pleasant surprise, the lower electric bill! I'm glad you bought the two air conditioner units. You'll be much more comfortable if your future summers repeat what you had last year.
      Delicious sounding meals! I'm getting hungry just thinking about the stuffed chicken, brats, and lasagna.
      Have a wonderful weekend, Diane!

  4. This week was unnerving for us. While at our son's house on Sunday building their playhouse, my husband got an Afib episode, and it took until yesterday to correct. That meant we couldn't do the normal things around the house or go out whenever we wanted. I took over the kitchen and of course had my share of mishaps. I made a one pan spaghetti dish that I've done before, but chose the wrong type of spaghetti, angel hair, which didn't hold up well in set it and forget it style cooking. We had reheated frozen homemade pizza and a toss salad with the spaghetti for two days. Then on Wednesday, I made a pot of hamburger curry Thai style. I also made quick pickled vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, sweet onion in white vinegar, sugar, garlic and salt) On Friday, my husband was seen by his doctor, and we picked up Rx at Costco and bought a rotisserie chicken and sweet chili sauce to have with the curry. Made French toast for breakfast, which husband enjoyed. I've been spoiled not cooking all these years, this has been a good wake up that I should help out more.

    Temperatures here are warm and unpleasantly humid. We had ceiling fans going practically all day.

    Hope you had a nice relaxing weekend,

    1. Oh, Laura. You had a terrible week. I hope your husband is feeling better now. Good for you for taking over the kitchen for the week. So what if not everything turned out perfectly. We're not expected to run restaurants out of our homes, just feed ourselves and loved ones. It sounds like you did fine. (Truth be told, I've had so many kitchen fails over the years, I've lost count.) The hamburger curry Thai style sounds especially delicious and unique to me.
      I hope this week goes much better for you and your husband, and the humidity doesn't become too severe. I can take the heat, but the humidity can be overwhelming.
      Have a good day, Laura!


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