Under no circumstance would I suggest cooking all of the recipes listed here for your party. I’m simply presenting you with options to pick and choose according to the energy you can find for this event. Personally, I’m going to choose a soup, a main dish, and dessert. Feel free to choose only first courses and desserts if that better suits your party and inclination.
First Course Ideas to Help You Chill Out
Cool Latin Caribbean Avocado Dish - Stuffed Avocado Salad - For a change of pace and taste, try this stuffed avocado recipe from our Guide to Latin Caribbean Food. This nice cold dish works well as a first course or served in place of a salad.
Cold Soups Will Cool You Down
Gazpacho is, of course, the classic warm weather soup. This easy no-cook version of the Chilled Tomato Soup from our Dutch Food Guide may be just what the doctor ordered for a break from the heat.
Spanish Soups - Sometimes a refreshing gazpacho is everything we could possibly want to help us cool down in the summer. Other times, we want to take our taste buds on a little journey and try something a bit different. In that case, we can expand our possibilities with one of these Cold Spanish Soups.
Local Ingredients - When you’re looking to use the freshest summer produce in your menu, the first place to turn would be to Molly Watson, About.com’s Guide to Local Foods. She serves us a variety of the best Cooling Cold Soups to use up the goodies from our farm share.
British Summer Soups - When the temperatures heat up, we can always turn to Elaine Lemm, our Guide to British Food who feels that there’s nothing more delicious than a bowl of Cool Soup for Warm Days . Elaine says, "Summer soups make the most of wonderful, seasonal ingredients and should the temperatures fall, you can always warm them up."
No Sweat Main Dishes
Cool Spanish Dishes - As temperatures rise, few of us have the desire to further heat up the house, so we look for fresh, easy-to-prepare dishes - no boiling, baking or frying! Spaniards know a thing or two about summer heat, and About's Guides to Spanish Food share some great Spanish dishes for summer to prepare in 15 minutes. Why not follow the advice of the experts?
Classic Italian Insalata di Riso, Rice Salad - Italians also know a thing or two about hot climates. Kyle Phillip, About Guide to Italian Food, suggests Insalata di riso, or Rice Salad, one of those classic Italian summer dishes that varies greatly from cook to cook. While Kyle shows us a very rich way to prepare this dish, feel free to tone it down or substitute other things to your taste. I always look in my produce drawer to see how many vegetables I can jam into a dish like this. But for the less vegetable-friendly, a simple preparation would be just as tasty.
Cool Recipes for Busy Cooks - When it's too hot to cook, you need simple recipes that don't use a bit of heat. That means leaving the oven turned off, no boiling water on the stovetop, and stay away from the grill when it's 90 degrees outside. Linda Larsen, Guide to Busy Cooks shows us how we can turn to frozen, refrigerated, and canned goods on hand so we can whip up these quick and easy, cool no cook recipes at a moment's notice. Then you can just chill or freeze these dishes until you're ready to eat!
Quick Cooling Recipes from Local Foods - Molly Watson, About Guide to Local Foods, uses our favorite summer produce to make these 10 Summer Meals In 10 Minutes. Cool recipes that take no time to whip up? Wow, this party almost prepares itself!
No-Cook Main Recipes - Many salads are substantial enough to stand in for a main dish. This tangy Smoked Mackerel Salad packs plenty of punch and tastes yummy, too. Buy a packet of cooked beets to turn this vegetarian-friendly Roast Beet Salad with Chevre into a no-cook main option.
Cool Dessert Options
No Bake Desserts You Must Try - These irresistible no bake desserts include cool and refreshing pies, parfaits, milkshakes and more. Stephanie Gallagher, Guide to Cooking for Kids, shares recipes for the classics as well as unique twists on old favorites, like ice cream cone cannoli recipe, made with sweetened ricotta cheese, mini chocolate chips, pistachio nuts in sugar cones.
Ice Cream, Gelato and Sorbet - There are no other summer desserts quite as satisfying as cold ice cream, sherbet, gelato and sorbet on a warm evening. Try one of these refreshing frozen desserts from Carroll Pellegrinelli, Guide to Desserts and Baking, who has many luscious treats up her sleeve.
Even More No Bake Desserts - It’s almost as if our About Guides have all turned off their ovens for the summer when you consider all of the options you have for avoiding it. Barbara Rolek, Guide to Eastern European Food, tells us that these no-bake dessert recipes are sure to please your party guests.
Delicious No-Cook Dessert Recipes - The Dutch know a thing or two about sweets, have you ever tried their licorice? That’s why I will give a very serious look at these recipes from Karin Engelbrecht, Guide to Dutch Food, and try most of them over the summer. First she tempts us with a very nice but naughty Amarula Sunset Cocktail , that blends vanilla ice cream, strawberries and creamy liqueur in a food processor. Think of it as a milkshake for grown-ups. Or, if all of these desserts have tweaked your conscience, you can choose a healthier option with a Raspberry Hangop or Summer Berry Soup . And for the more savory minded among us (myself included), she suggests serving a Dutch Cheese Plate. Of course, I might not walk anywhere else the rest of the night.