New Hampshire has a bad case of the muggies and they just won’t quit. I don’t know about you but it tends to make me more than a bit cranky. Forget that tired and too often used phrase. You know the one, “it’s not the heat – it’s the humidity.” Lies, all lies, it’s BOTH – the heat AND the humidity.
For those of us without central air conditioning, it’s also the noise. There is a constant drone from strategically placed window air conditioners as well as the whirl of big box fans. Together, they do their best to spread cool air throughout the house. It works pretty well but the noise is constant and deafening. Throughout the evening, I find myself hopping up to check the thermometer. Desperate to turn off the racket and open the windows, I anxiously wait for the tipping point when it is finally cooler outside than in.
Anyway, heat, humidity, rain … what to do about it?
- First of all, stay hydrated. Throughout the day, drink lots of water.
- Wear cool clothing. Think natural fibers, soft colors and loose, flowing styles. If nothing else, you’ll look bohemian chic.
- Go for a swim. The beach empties when it rains but for heaven sakes why? A swim out the raft and back will keep you cool. Do be careful and make sure there is no thunder before diving in.
- Alternatively, take a walk in the rain. Several times over the past week or so, I’ve been caught on my morning walk. While not exactly refreshing, it’s surprisingly pleasant. Again, stay home if you hear thunder.
- Think cool thoughts. Need some help? Imagine a typical January day in New Hampshire – that should work.
Then again, perhaps you’d like to take advantage of other people’s cool.
- Go to a movie. It’s summer, which means you can always find an animated kid’s movie, a frothy musical and at least one blockbuster. Want something a little more highbrow? A bunch of indie films are finally making it to New Hampshire. Take your pick.
- Park yourself in a café. Bring your laptop and a book and relax. Don’t forget to order something at least every hour or so. The café owner has bills to pay. Be generous when you tip your waiter, she has bills too.
- Visit a museum. Wander around and enjoy the art. Then, find a good place to sit and enjoy more art. Wander into the café, sit and treat yourself to something yummy.
- Stop in at a community or senior center. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a game of bridge, poker or mah jongg or meet a new friend. Just in case you don’t, bring along a magazine or book.
- Go to the library. Find a comfortable chair and read the day away.
Stay cool and bon appétit!
Moroccan Grilled Chicken & Carrots with Chickpea-Quinoa Salad
Salad for dinner is a good way to beat the heat and humidity. You can prep and refrigerate everything early in the day while it’s still relatively cool. Enjoy!
Tahini Sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups quinoa
About 3 cups (28-30 ounces canned) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon chopped mint
2 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
Make the Tahini Sauce. Let the sauce sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer in the refrigerator to combine the flavors.
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl, add the chickpeas, and enough Tahini Sauce to lightly coat and toss to combine. Cool to room temperature, sprinkle with cilantro, mint and parsley and toss again.
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup tahini
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4-6 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
Sea salt to taste
Put the tahini in a bowl, add the olive oil and lime juice and whisk to combine. A tablespoon at a time, add the water and whisk until smooth. The sauce should have a creamy consistency. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne and salt and whisk and until well combined.
Use the sauce sparingly and refrigerate any leftovers.
Moroccan Grilled Chicken & Carrots
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
About 1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 1/2 – 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
Garnish: 1/2 European cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped, thinly sliced scallions and fresh cilantro leaves
Put the spices in a small bowl, add the olive oil, lime juice and garlic and whisk to combine. Put the chicken in a bowl, add 2/3 of the marinade and turn to coat. Turning once or twice, marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature or longer in the refrigerator.
Put the carrots in a bowl, add the remaining marinade and toss to coat. Marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature or longer in the refrigerator.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
Arrange the chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken 3-5 minutes per side or until it registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the grill, let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes and slice.
Reduce the heat to medium and arrange the carrots on the grill. Cook the carrots for 3-5 minutes per side or until nicely caramelized and tender crisp.
To serve: transfer the Chickpea-Quinoa Salad to a large deep serving platter or spoon into individual bowls, top with chicken and carrots and drizzle with a little Tahini Sauce. Sprinkle with cucumber, scallion and cilantro leaves.
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Three Years Ago – Cucumber-Mint Agua Fresca
Four Years Ago – Double Corn & Cheddar Muffins
Five Years Ago – Blueberry Clafouti
Six Years Ago – Blackberry Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt
Seven Years Ago – Brown Sugar Yogurt Gelato
EighYears Ago – Red Pepper Dip
Nine Years Ago – Grilled Chicken, Shallots & New Potatoes
Ten Years Ago – Barbecue Chicken
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
How do you keep cool in muggy weather? Tips welcome – feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2018