Tuesday, April 20, 2010

baking, without heating up the house

so this spring i'm not pregnant. sounds like an odd comment to start a post about, i know, but there is a reason i point this out. see, last spring, i was pregnant. very pregnant. and thus, very hot... all the time. so, as soon as the outdoors temperate hit 70, i had the window shut and the air conditioner on.

This spring is a very different story. partly because i'm not pregnant and partly because my hubby is between jobs. so, i'm doing everything in my power to avoid turning on the air. so far, so good. lately we've been having some days that have been hitting the upper 80's, so we've kept all the fans on and have been strategically been opening and closing windows to try and bring the cool air in and keep the hot air out. currently my house is sitting at 84 and it's honestly not too bad.

because of my extreme cheapness this spring, i'm having to get creative with my cooking. after all, i know that if i turn on my oven even for a short period of time, my house will be blistering hot for the rest of the day and most of the night. so, we've been doing cold cuts, grilling a lot and today i have the crock pot out in the backyard. but then, there are some things that you just don't grill... or so i thought.

after seeing a flier from the local utility company about how to save energy, i decided to go out on a limb and...

bake on the grill.

i know... it sounds crazy. but, i decided to give it a shot. i started with something farely easy and a quick baking time. dinner rolls. :) 15-20 minutes at a 350 temp. and here's how they looked when i got done.

the one's in the corners got a tiny bit darker on top than i would like, but the inside and bottom were perfect. hooray!! it wasn't all that hard. i did put down a piece of foil to try and avoid too much direct heat, and i only turned on the burners on the ends and left the center off. by keeping the burners on low-med, it stayed between 300 and 350 almost the whole time. not bad for a first time i would say.

i want to try cookies on the grill, cuz they also have a short baking time. we'll see what happens. you might be saying i'm crazy, and you are probably saying "Sarah, it still costs money to run the grill," and you are right on both statements... but a $30 propane refill is a whole lot cheaper than a $300 electric bill (yes, that was our bill one month last summer). so i think i will keep up my crazy ideas, at least for the moment.

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