As some of you know, Mr. Foodie and I have been without air conditioning for the past month 😦 Until we can fix it, we have been finding creative ways to beat the heat. Let me say that it has been a bit tortuous not being able to flip the oven on whenever I want/have time to try out a new recipe. Everything now has to be strategic. All baking must be done in the morning – the coolest part of the day. Any afternoon/evening cooking must be done on the stovetop and/or on the grill. We rely on the microwave more than usual, and we discovered that a crockpot (while great for long cooking times and freeing up oven space) is more of a heat-culprit than you might think.
I, for one, have a fairly high heat tolerance, but even I have wilted (more like melted down) on the hottest days. Mr. Foodie has been wonderful – bolstering my spirits, putting cold towels on my neck, and in general trying to find the “fun side” of being without A/C. All his efforts have worked for the most part- there are some upsides to this new norm. For one, we finally have a light/fan in the basement room which I’ve wanted for a while. It took us 4+ hours to get it up there, though, because we ran into some unexpected complications in the ceiling. It was worth every minute and bead of sweat – that thing runs 24-7 and the basement is a full 5+ degrees cooler than the upper level. We sleep here on the worst nights just fine!
And the best upside? GRILLING! Our adorable condo-sized, red grill is pulling its weight this summer, turning out delicious ribs one time and burgers the next. The other day we had friends over for dinner, and because it was a little last-minute, we just pulled out whatever we had to grill. They brought steak and asparagus. We skewered shrimp and made corn. I also showed the girls how to spiralize and cook zucchini noodles which they enjoyed enough to buy their own spiralizer. Later, we sliced a cold watermelon and watched Guardians of the Galaxy. It was so much fun – even with the heat.
For the most part, we just seasoned the veggies, meat, and fish with olive oil, salt, and pepper, but I did make a quick marinade for the shrimp – honey, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and white wine vinegar. I stirred these together, and Mr. Foodie basted the shrimp with it on the grill. It was…okay. Honestly, I was winging it and using whatever I had on hand to try and make something that was sweet/spicy. I think next time I’d replace the vinegar with another acid like lime or lemon, maybe include the zest as well. I did enjoy the red pepper flakes on the shrimp. I find shrimp, like many shellfish, very rich, so a little heat is welcome on my palette.
I enjoy grilling so much that I’ve got some grilled meals slated for this week, so stay tuned. What about you all? Grilling anything fun this week? Btw, this weekend I’ll be at Taste of Reston, the largest outdoor food festival in NOVA. You can keep tabs on us via instagram @fairfaxfoodie.
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