The heat wave in the East continues. This is day #7, with at least one more day of it before some promised cooler weather makes its way here sometime over the weekend. The electric company is asking us to limit power usage during peak times, so I’m not using the stove or oven, and it’s too darn hot to stand outside over the grill cooking. What’s my solution to preparing meals?
Well, since the refrigerator can’t be turned off, I am making use of it to the max and we are eating cold foods. Today, I went to the super market early in the morning to get some necessary items for my menu. You know, I actually Shivered while shopping in the frozen foods isle. Yikes, almost didn’t recognize what was happening! When I got home I did a little preliminary cooking (morning is not peak time for power usage.), so that I could put together a cold salad plate for dinner. It turned into a Salad Niçoise, but I’ll save that for another day.
Two foods that always suggest coolness to me are watermelon and cucumbers. Having purchased some of each of those foods, I was led to create a salad combining both of them. Chilled watermelon and chunks of cucumber tossed with feta cheese, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic dressing. I love that salty-sweet-tangy thing going on. It is guaranteed to keep you cool as a cucumber when the temperature outside will have you melting. I could be happy eating just this for lunch; it is so refreshing and cool.
The second item I made using watermelon was Creamy Watermelon Pie. A pie so refreshing that it never lasts long on a hot summer day. Using just a few convenience foods, you can make it in a flash, then sit back and wait for it to thicken. Dee-lightful!
CHILLED WATERMELON, CUCUMBER AND FETA SALAD
Yield: Servings, 4
- 4 cups chilled seedless watermelon, diced large
- 1 medium chilled seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint – or basil- thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
In a large bowl, place the watermelon and cucumbers. Top with feta and mint or basil. When ready to serve, drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette, and toss to combine.
SOURCE: adapted from Skinny Taste.com
CREAMY WATERMELON PIE
Yield: 6 – 8 servings
- 1 package (3 ounces) watermelon flavor gelatin (I used Jolly Rancher Brand)
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
- 1 ( 9-inch) graham cracker (or other) pie crust. (I always use Shortbread Cookie Crust)
In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile cut up watermelon into small cubes. Whisk the whipped topping into the gelatin; then fold in the watermelon. Spoon into the crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours until set. Yield 6 – 8 servings
SOURCE: Taste of Home