kitchenTwo years ago this month we renovated our kitchen. It was the first time I ever got to pick out everything from scratch… including the appliances. We picked a really nice stove in my opinion. The only thing is, it is a really hot oven/stove, and I mean hot! Even in the frigid wintertime when I cook I have to open the windows.

So this mistake (even though I love the way it looks and works) forces me to get better organized with my meal planning in the summer months. The last thing I want to do is turn the oven on.

This brings me to my favorite summer kitchen tip…

Plan your meals around a Farmer’s Market and Your Grill

farmer's marketIt’s fun, it’s healthy and it’s perishable… so less kitchen clutter. Triple win. You can even visit different towns each time to try new markets. Choose your veggies, fruits, herbs, cheeses and other garden delights and plan your meals around those fresh ingredients. In one week’s time, all the ingredients will be used up if you planned well and you’re ready for the next Farmer’s Market.

Additionally, grill off extra protein (great to grill the vegetables and fruits too) for the week on the weekends, and now you have a plethora of healthy weekday choices to efficiently put meals together. You could create cold soups, delicious salads, or interesting sandwiches without turning on the hot box.

If you feel your kitchen needs an overhaul prior to enjoying your summertime meals, here is a form I created in the past to help people create their different “kitchen categories”. Remember to keep like with like, this is especially important in a kitchen. It makes finding items, using them, and putting them away easy, quick, and worry-free.