One of the only problems, if you can call it that, with the weather turning so beautiful is that we'd rather just spend our free time outside, so our motivation to spend it cooking indoors literally flies out the window. Here are a few ideas so you can have your outdoor fun and your home cooked meals!
• Take Prep Work Outside: If you have a table on your patio or apartment balcony, take your cutting board and vegetables out there to do your slicing and dicing. As an added bonus, we find that onions make our eyes water much less when we're outside!
• Bring the Outdoors In: Open your kitchen windows as wide as they will go and work where you can feel the breeze in your face. Bring in a vase of flowers from the farmer's market and arrange bowls of produce where you can see them.
• Grill As Much As Possible: Not that we have to tell you twice! Grilling is definitely the ultimate means to both spend time outside and get in some home cooking. Check out all our great tips and recipes.
• Change Your Routine: We often find ourselves heading into the kitchen to make dinner around 6pm - right when we most want to get outside for a little activity after a long work day. During the summer, one idea is to switch things up by eating a fairly substantial snack when we get home from work (like a salad or a bowl of popcorn) and then having our main meal a later in the evening.
• Cook Less, Make More: Our finally strategy is to cook larger portions ahead of time on the weekends so that we're not doing much actual cooking on weeknights. Pasta salads are one of our favorite make-ahead meals. We also like making a big frittata and simply eating leftover slices cold on a crusty piece of bread.
Do you have trouble staying motivated to cook during the summer? What are your strategies?
Related: Eating Outdoors: What Do You Do About Bugs?
(Image: Flickr member jeremygeorge licensed under Creative Commons)