When it's as hot as an oven outside, you don't want to re-create that heat inside.
Readers from Lincolnton to Zebulon responded to our request to share cool cooking tips and recipes for hot summer days.
The most common suggestions: Don't turn on the oven at the end of the day. If you must, use the oven in the early morning or do a couple hours of cooking on Sunday to set up several days' worth of meals. Use other appliances instead that don't turn the kitchen into a sauna: the microwave, the toaster oven, the sandwich press. Or opt to keep all the heat outside and use the grill.
Gazpacho, that cool Spanish soup that takes advantage of the tomatoes and cucumbers now abundant in the garden and at the farmers market, was the recipe most suggested. We offer a reader's classic version as well as a tasty twist: a Spicy Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Soup from award-winning chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill.
Beyond that, heat-weary cooks often turn to recipes that require only assembly, like our Layered Turkey Sandwich or the Chickpea-Couscous Salad with Lemon and Mint.
Plus, these recipes and tips would produce quick, easy meals after a long, hot day at the beach because, really, the last thing anyone wants to do on vacation is sweat over a hot stove.
As we suffer through August and what will likely be more record-breaking heat, let's aim for cool and comfortable in the kitchen. See readers' tips and recipes to the right.
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