You need to chill!

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou [Thy cooking] art more lovely and more temperate:*

There’s nothing more beautiful than a sunny summer’s day, but, when you live in the Midwest, there’s also nothing hotter. After spending the day in the garden, at the Farmers’ Market, the dog park, your kids’ ball game, or even the swimming pool, the last thing you want to do is spend any time over a hot stove making dinner, and heating up your kitchen at dinnertime.

Takeout food, or dinner out are options for keeping your house (and yourself) cool, but that gets expensive pretty quickly. Plus, you’re a capable cook — you can make a meal that’s better than what a “fast casual” place can offer.

And that’s where we come in. Here are some cool ideas for easy, stove-free meals on hot days. These recipes require minimal effort, and taste fresh and fabulous. With refreshing salads, chilled soups, no-fuss sandwiches, and a few desserts, you won’t have to mess with the oven or stove when it’s too hot to cook. Dinner tonight? Done!

Cool and Easy Foods For Hot Days

Tomato-Orange Soup
Ceviche
Chilled Corn Soup (requires a little stove-work, but *so* worth it!!)
Mango Cucumber Gazpacho
Chickpea Cucumber Salad
Watermelon Salad With Feta
Melon Cooler
Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita
Caprese Sandwiches
Chicken Salad Sandwiches (made with storebought rotisserie chicken)
Strawberry Ice Cream**
Peach Ice Cream With Balsamic Reduction**

*with apologies to William Shakespeare
**keep that freezer cylinder in the freezer and ready to go, whenever you find fresh berries or peaches – be prepared!
Cornfield Picture from flickr.com (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicholas_t/4719020153/)