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‘Hot Summer, Cool Kitchen’; El Paso food writer offers tips for cooking in hot weather

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- June is one of El Paso's hottest months. As temperatures rise, many people might stray from baking, broiling and roasting food to keep the kitchen cool. El Paso Times food columnist Ruth Taber says you don't have to, as long as you have a toaster convection oven in your kitchen.

Taber says the toaster oven can roast almost anything.

"I roasted a rack of lamb, a whole 3 ½ lb. chicken I made oven fried chicken wings – (A single portion since my husband doesn’t like them). They were fantastic, crispy and just enough for me – no leftovers to worry about," she wrote.

Taber said the toaster oven can also bake cookies, cakes and muffins and can steam-bake bread, fish and other foods. She said she uses the book Toaster Oven Perfection to find recipes.

She added that the toaster oven can cook foods faster, more evenly and can better brown foods.

Taber offered a recipe to help El Pasoans start using their toaster oven.

Oven-Fried Barbecue Chicken Wings (adapted by Ruth Taber from “Toaster Oven Perfection” published by America’s Test Kitchen)

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 1 and ¾ pounds chicken wings
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • Easy Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons molasses (or honey)
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (optional)


  • Adjust toaster oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 250°
  • Set small wire rack on small foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray rack with olive oil or other vegetable spray.
  • Combine baking powder, salt in bowl, pat wings dry and coat them with the baking powder and salt. Arrange the wings on the rack – single layer – bake for 30 minutes at the 250° temperature.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 450°. Rotate the baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes more until they’re golden brown and crisp, flipping after the first 15 minutes minutes.
  • Remove wings and let them sit for 5 minutes.
  • Barbecue sauce: Whisk the sauce ingredients together in large clean bowl. Add the wings to coat and serve. (Or use your own favorite barbecue sauce!)

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.


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