Don’t let summer heat spoil family fun

            Even as restaurants start to reopen and take-out food is available everywhere, home is where the cookouts happen.

            Moving dinner outdoors is a great way to save energy in the summer.

            Firing up a charcoal grill uses zero electricity. Other ways to keep energy bills down at dinnertime:

            Get creative with cold side dishes. Learn how to make gazpacho, colorful salads that mix fruit with raw veggies, and dips featuring avocados, garbanzo beans or tomato bases.

            Grill veggies outdoors rather than steaming them on the stove. Asparagus, corn-on-cob and skewer of mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and zucchini all taste better in the summer when they’re grilled.

            Make potato salad or pasta salad in large batches. That way, you only have to boil the ingredients on the stovetop once for a supply that can last over several dinners.

            Skip the baking. Order fresh bread and desserts from a nearby bakery to show your support for local businesses and keep your own oven closed for the season.