I am a bad 'during the week' cook. I usually just pick up a rotisserie chicken, some vegetables and a bottle of wine on my way home from work. Weekends are a different story; I love to cook and spend lots of time finding new recipes that are complex and rewarding. However, with August heat and no air conditioning, who wants to be near a stove all day? 'Not I,' said the girl who does not handle any temperature over 75 degrees well.
The last few times I've had guests over I've kept the menu very simple. Items I can prep (without heat) and then leave in the oven while I sit on the patio enjoying a glass of cool wine and the ocean breeze. My favorites have been roasting asparagus (just toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then put in the oven) and hasselblad potatoes, courtesy of pinterest. It's actually the first and only recipe idea I've used from the site. Serve with grilled steak, chicken or fish and a light salad and you are set.
For setting the table, I've loved using old mason jars and wrapping them with twine, burlap, raffia and butcher string. Put a big bunch of babies breath in one or two of the jars to give the table a breezy touch of summer.