Cindy's Scoop - Cool Menus

Welcome to the official start of summer, although it has been steadily warming up beautifully for a while now. I love this time of year, I love the inviting weather, I love that my garden looks beautiful and I love being able to head down to the beach with the dogs.

However, I know that a lot of people don’t like the warmer weather when it comes to cooking dinner at the end of a hot day. So, I just wanted to share a selection of refreshing dishes from my menus not only as inspiration for your meal tonight, but also to help you think about planning a cool menu for your summer wedding.

Wedding Drinks

Remember that when your guests are drinking alcohol in hot weather, it affects them much faster. We’re more easily dehydrated in the hot weather and even one or two drinks can sneak up on you. Therefore, set up a water bar at your wedding of flavoured waters, infused with fruits and herbs so you and your guests can keep hydrated.

And don’t forget about the ceremony either, it can be hot for the guests standing in a garden or ensconced in a church watching you exchange your vows, so have a stash of bottled water ready to give out when the ceremony is over.

Cool Cocktail Food

In the height of summer heat your appetite can quickly evaporate, but these are some of my favourite cocktail menu inclusions for summer weddings to revive your guests and keep them satisfied:

Chicken and coriander cups
Chicken, chickpea, feta and mint cups
Artichoke tartlets with parmesan
Smoked salmon and Neufchatel on rye
Smoked salmon and brie on mini toasts
Crumbed chicken with minted yoghurt dressing
Mini tempura whiting with lime aioli
Lemon and lime prawn skewers
Roast beef rolled in pesto bites
Stuffed mushrooms

Summer Wedding Main Meals

My main meals for a summer wedding are always hearty, but with a refreshing finish of fresh herbs or spices reminiscent of an island holiday, such as:

Trio of dips with herb pita bread
Smoked salmon and macadamia nut salad with balsamic and feta dressing
Smoked salmon with prawn caper cream, salad leaves and mango dressing
Chicken, leek and basil tart with tomato compote
Thai chilli lamb topped with roasted almonds and capsicum on a jasmine rice bed

Refreshing Wedding Salads

A salad is my go-to meal at home when it’s just too hot to cook, and the salads and sides in my wedding menus are clean and crisp, and never an afterthought: 

Mesculin orange and brie salad
Cocktail potato salad with anchovies and Spanish onion
Spinach and almond salad with pomegranate dressing
Rice noodles with roasted almonds, capsicum and coriander dressing
Smoked Rainbow Trout salad with watercress and roasted nuts

Light Summer Wedding Desserts

There’s always room for dessert, even when it’s warm, but rather than a heavy overpowering end to the meal, I finish my summer wedding menus with:

Brandy snap basket filled with ice cream, fresh fruit salad and strawberry caulis
Lemon cheesecake served with King Island cream
Mocha torte bathed with passionfruit sauce and fruit
Rich chocolate torte on a passionfruit skirt

I hope I’ve inspired you to put together a fresh and satisfying meal even when it’s hot outside, and given you a few new ways to get your guests excited about your wedding menu.

Until next time,


Cindy Westphalen owns and operates award winning South Australian based catering business, Cindy's Classic Gourmet.


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