The summer heat waves in Austin are no joke. Once August hits, it’s time to camp out by a pool with icy cold drinks on constant rotation. As for dinner plans, I like to keep things fresh and simple with as little oven use as possible. This month, I decided to get creative with a completely oven-free menu plan that includes five dinners, a dessert, and a seasonal drink. I’m even sharing my recipe for Shrimp Cocktail Ceviche, which has become somewhat legendary in the Casey household.
Read on for all the details and let’s get cooking.
recipe via The Identite Collective
Back in the day, I dated a boy whose mom made the most incredible shrimp cocktail ceviche. It hit all the notes of citrus and spice, and I still crave it whenever an extra hot day comes around. Luckily, I learned the perfect my own version, and it’s become my go-to for summer hosting. Just add salty tortilla chips or club crackers, and it’s basically a meal in and of itself.
As a loyal reader of Inspired With a Twist, I try pretty much any new recipe that hits the blog, and it’s a smash hit every time. These chicken and bell pepper skewers are perfect for the nights you want to make dinner without heating up the house. But the real magic is in that whipped ricotta flavored with honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, and all the fresh herbs. Serve with warmed pita bread and dip to your heart’s content.
Panzanella is essentially a fancy term for bread salad, and it’s one of my favorite summer meals. The classic version features heirloom tomatoes, but this one takes a slight twist. You’ll make this Panzanella feel like a complete meal with grilled bell peppers, summer squash, and red onions. You could also try grilled eggplant for a fun addition. Whip up a simple homemade dressing, toss it together, and enjoy.
Oven-free dinners require a little creativity, but this chopped salad makes it easy. The only real cooking involves chopping veggies, whisking a dressing, and assembling. I love how filling this salad feels, and if you keep dressing on the side, it makes fantastic leftovers for lunch the next day.
When it’s too hot to consider turning on the oven, poke bowls save the day. This variation is made with raw ahi tuna tossed in a simple soy sauce and served over sushi rice with sliced avocado. I know raw fish is out of some people’s comfort zones, but don’t be intimated. Buy the highest quality, freshest fish from your local market and make your poke bowls the very same day.
I’m always on the lookout for lightened-up desserts that still wow a crowd and this fresh berry tart does exactly that. You’ll use pecans and dates to make the crust, whole milk plain Greek yogurt for your filling, and a medley of summer berries arranged on top. Drizzle with honey for added sweetness, and the best part? You can slice and serve immediately.
I’m not too fussy when it comes to summer cocktails. My only real requirement is minimal ingredients and maximum seasonal flavor. I particularly love a good Moscow Mule, especially when fresh blackberries are involved. This one comes together in no time, and you can easily batch it up for a crowd.
IDCO Studio is a boutique creative agency specialized in beautiful and unique marketing solutions for interior designers. Focused on branding, web design and Instagram marketing, IDCO Studio is a woman owned and operated team of creatives based in Austin, Texas. The Identité Collective, which began as a business blog quickly grew into a collaborative community focused on providing business strategy and visual inspiration to the interior design community.
Now you can find our shop of resources, templates and custom branding and web design work over at IDCO Studio – leaving The Identité Collective as a permanent resource for our beloved design community.