I am not really fond of cooking especially when I have my kids hovering over me and asking me "What's for dinner?" However, during the holiday season, I enjoy baking a lot of desserts and festive meals. Did you know that when you bake in your kitchen, the average temperature of your kitchen rises by at least 5-8 degrees Fahrenheit? I usually do a bit of prep work before I bake in the oven, because I want to maximize the heat that is being used. Therefore, I usually bake at least 3 dishes at a time (a main course entree such as chicken with carrots and mushrooms; a side dish such as sweet potatoes and a dessert such as apple pie). What do you do when the recipes for the separate dishes call for various temperatures? Well, I usually use the highest temperature recommended and for the dishes that require less than that temperature, I bake it about 5 minutes less than the recommended time. This works well when the temperature variation is 25 degrees or less. For example, if my chicken needs to be baked at 375 degrees and my dessert requires only 350 degrees, then, I set the oven temperature to 375 and reduce the baking time for the dessert by 5 minutes. Make sure you cover your dessert dish. I double up my baking containers so I won't have to use aluminum foil. In other words, when I bake a pie in a glass oven safe dish, I use another pie dish (the SAME size) as a cover so that I won't have to purchase aluminum foil. This saves you money and is great for the environment as well. Most glass oven safe dishes costs $2 or less for each so you wind up saving money after you bake ten or more times. Simple and effective way to bake. Share your energy efficient cooking and baking ideas!