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Tips to avoid the kitchen heat during the hot summer months

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Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:35 am, Wed Jul 23, 2014.

(BPT) - During the heat of summer, no one wants to spend time in the kitchen when the stove or oven is in use. But if you hate to give up the dishes your family loves until the weather cools again – don’t sweat it. From no-make recipes to alternative cooking tactics, you can find plenty of ways to beat kitchen heat this summer.

“Families can still enjoy favorite foods and stay cool in the kitchen,” says Chef Giuliano Hazan. “It’s just a matter of finding the combination of recipes, ingredients and cooking processes that allow you to prepare delicious food without heating up your kitchen.”

Hazan offers some stay-cool kitchen ideas for great summer dining:

* No one wants to heat up the oven – and the kitchen – by baking when summer arrives. Fortunately, “no-bake” dishes allow families to savor their favorite treats without the heat and hassle. No-Bake recipes require little or no cooking to produce a range of tasty desserts. When preparing a no-bake dish that calls for eggs, it’s important to be aware of salmonella risks. Using pasteurized eggs such as Safest Choice Eggs, can eliminate salmonella risks, making it easy to prepare perfect no-bake recipes.  

* Grilling is a favorite summer pastime, loved for the flavor it imparts, the convenience of cooking without heating the kitchen and the opportunity to enjoy being outdoors. It’s not just a great way to prepare meat, poultry or fish; grilling can be a great way to enjoy favorite foods that normally require an oven.

* One of the appealing aspects of baking or roasting in an oven is the ability to trap flavors within foods. You don’t have to add heat to the kitchen, however, to add flavor to foods. Marinades and seasonings are great for adding flavor to cold foods such as raw fruits and veggies or even cheese.

* Turn to that winter-time favorite via your slow cooker. A slow cooker allows you to prepare a range of dishes, from pot roast to peach cobbler, without raising the temperature in the kitchen. The microwave can also be a good alternative to the stovetop.

* Perfect your salad prowess. Salads are healthy, no-cook options that can make great low-calorie meals for the whole family. The plentiful harvest of seasonal fruits and vegetables available during spring and summer makes this time of year perfect for experimenting with new types of salads.

* It’s OK to cheat now and then with pre-cooked options, such as using premium canned tuna or a batch of hard boiled eggs kept in the refrigerator to add to salads. Because they’re already cooked, these items can cut out preparation time (and temperatures) while serving as ingredients in your favorite recipes.

Try this great no-bake recipe from Safest Choice Eggs and recommended by Chef Hazan. Visit www.safeeggs.com for more recipe ideas.

Frozen Pineapple Cream Cheese Torte

Ingredients:

1 1/4 (about 5 ounces) cups ground gingersnaps

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup melted butter

4 Safest Choice pasteurized eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cups sugar,

12 ounces (1 1/2 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup chopped fresh or crushed pineapple, drained well

1 1/4 cups whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

For glaze:

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons dark rum (or to taste)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine gingersnaps and panko. Add melted butter and stir until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press into bottom of 8 or 9-inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks and beat well. Mix in pineapple and vanilla.

In another medium bowl, beat cream until whipped. Fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Pour filling over crust and freeze until set, about five hours or overnight.

For glaze:

Combine sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan. Add pineapple juice and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Add rum and cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Cool.

To serve, let the torte sit at room temperature for five to 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen and remove pan sides. Top cheesecake with glaze.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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