Updated 2012-08-13 22:02:45 ID=668:1

© 2012 The Romantic Table
©2012 The Romantic Table, tapanade 2012-08-13 21:50:22:339
©2012 The Romantic Table

Here on the Central Coast, most Mediterranean-style restaurants offer an olive-based tapenade when you sit down to order to have with their breads. --Most restaurant-offerings' are pretty boring. We've come up with a tapenade Central Coast Style that's has a little more oomph.

Some cooling recipes for the unbearably hot summer weather of August


The unbearable hot weather that the rest of the nation has been having has finally arrived here in California this August. To help cope with that and have some fun as well, we've come up with four new recipes that will help ease and take your mind off the heat --especially if you share them with others!

This month has been a real killer for me --especially since besides fighting the heat, I'm also getting over a case of pneumonia. But since my body and mental attitude were in the doldrums, I figured the best way to pick me up and overcome both obstacles, was to come up with some fun recipes.So here they are:

I wanted a cooling appetizer that's quick to throw together, but would be a treat to my friends or family to savor while I got together the rest of the meal. Here on the Central Coast, most Mediterranean-style restaurants offer an olive-based tapenade when you sit down to order to have with their breads. --Most restaurant-offerings' are pretty boring. We've come up with a Tapenade Central Coast Style that's has a little more oomph to it-though not as spicy as our Olive Caviar. This new milder tapenade goes well with a chilled white such as a Gewurztraminer or young red wine and is a perfect partner for the bread with the milder tapenade. And it's a little easier to make since you use a combination of olives --some which are already pitted, and are also more easily found in one's average grocery-store.

©2012 The Romantic Table, Lime Freeze 2012-08-13 21:57:45:340
©2012 The Romantic Table

A Lime Freeze is like a milk shake, but rather than using ice cream and milk as a base, it is made with lime sherbert and carbonated soda. On a hot day, in my mind at least, I think the freeze is both lighter and more refreshing than its milk based cousin.
Our pasta this month is one that's also easy to throw together and is a classic Italian-style of a vegetarian pasta Orecchiette Rapini. Remember, if you're craving a pasta and you don't want to heat-up the kitchen, you can easily boil your pasta in your pasta-pot right on the grill outside. When it's hot outside, the grill works well! This pasta combines the flavors of steamed Rapini, with lightly-cooked garlic and olive oil and salt and pepper.-Pretty basic, but a surprisingly a flavorful punch!-Especially when you top it off with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and a flavorful glass of wine!

The next recipe is a real summer-cooler - Country Cousin Lime Freeze. At my family's "mom and pop" (the Country Cousin), a seasonal restaurant on the shores of Lake Michigan, we made popular and memorable orange or lime sherbet cooling sherbet drink/desserts. Still to this day, people who remember the restaurant still mention how much they loved those special dessert coolers --and still think about them on hot days. So during this especially hot August, I'm sharing their recipes with you. The fastest and easiest way to get you cooler and out of the doldrums!

©2012 The Romantic Table, Orange Muscato Mousse 2012-08-13 22:00:51:341
©2012 The Romantic Table

Another cooling dessert, but quite a lot more sophisticated is an Orange Muscato Mousse and oh! is it divine and not that hard to make.
Our last recipe this month is another cooling dessert, but quite a lot more sophisticated is an Orange Muscato Mousse and oh! is it divine and not that hard to make. And it can be made a day in advance. We like to use a Muscato dessert wine called Quady's Essensia Muscat Wine that the dessert is based around. Most big California wine stores either carry it or can get it for you.

To make this showy mousse, you combine egg yolks, sugar, the orange muscat, Grand Marnier and a heavy cream together in the top of a double boiler. When it's "just combined", you pour into tall wine glasses and chill. Then at serving time you garnish with some grated orange peel and serve. What decadence! What cooling flavor!

As August progresses, hopefully the early Autumn breezes will occasionally start our cool-down for the summer and we'll feel more like getting on with the duties at-hand might they be -getting the kids ready for school again, getting back in the groove at work - or just enjoying the start of our Central Coast harvest. Enjoy and stay cool!




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A tip from Sue!

No cheese on seafood please!

When serving an Italian seafood dish, unless the recipe specifically calls for cheese, grated Parmesan cheese on top is not a good idea!

The pungent taste of Parmesan is usually too strong for the delicate fish flavors.