Summer Family Specialties

Since it’s a time for family reunions, picnics and barbecues (and Labor Day is just around the corner), it seems like a good time to trade our favorite summer recipes.


An old favorite of mine is 7-layer dip. There are many versions; here is one:


1 (15-ounce) can refried beans
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt, to taste
4 ounces cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely chopped
2 avocados, mashed
1 tomato, seeds and juices removed, finely chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives

I would add a bunch of green onions, cut into rounds

1. Place the refried beans in a medium saute pan or in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the water, olive oil, chili powder, cumin and salt, stirring until combined. Once the beans are hot and bubbly, spread them over the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate (or other serving dish). Immediately sprinkle the cheese over the beans.

2. Layer on the jalapeño, avocado, tomato, sour cream, black olives and green onions.

3. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Here is another, the Pioneer Woman’s Mexican Layer Dip:


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30 Responses to Summer Family Specialties

  1. Menagerie says:

    Grandmother’s lemonade. Depending on the size of the lemons, squeeze 10-12 lemons to make one gallon. I like the pulp in my lemonade. Heat 2-3 cups sugar with enough water to dissolve. After it cools add to lemon juice with enough water to make a gallon.

    I find that lemons vary in tartness, so check the sweetness before adding cold water to make the gallon. I also like to add frozen lemon and lime slices to the jar, and sometimes I add frozen strawberries too.

    This drink is most excellent with a nip of Jack added. As are almost all liquids.

    Liked by 10 people

  2. nyetneetot says:

    Azarbaychan Salati (Azerbaijan Salad)
    3 large tomatoes, diced
    1 cucumber, peeled and diced small
    3 sweet Italian peppers, diced small (substitute bell peppers if desired)
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Place the tomatoes, cucumber and peppers in a serving dish. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and scallions to form a dressing, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

    Grilled Trout With Tarragon And Cilantro Walnut Sauce
    1 trout, cleaned and slit down the belly
    Salt and pepper
    1 tablespoon minced scallion
    4 to 5 thin slices lemon
    1 large sprig fresh tarragon
    Olive, sunflower or canola oil
    Georgian Cilantro Walnut Sauce (recipe below)

    Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. Lightly salt and pepper the insides of the trout and place the scallion, lemon slices and tarragon in the cavity. Rub the skin of the trout liberally with oil to keep it from sticking to the grill, then cook the fish over a hot fire for about 5 minutes per side, or until the skin is browned and the flesh begins to flake. Serve with Cilantro Walnut Sauce.

    Kindzis Satsebela (Georgian Cilantro Walnut Sauce)
    2 ounces apricot fruit leather*
    1/4 cup boiling water
    1/2 cup shelled walnuts
    4 garlic cloves, peeled
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped cilantro
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped mixed herbs (parsley, dill, basil and tarragon)
    1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    Pinch black pepper
    Dash cayenne
    1 cup walnut oil

    Dice the apricot leather into small bits, place in a dish and pour the boiling water over it. Let sit until softened, then stir until a puree is formed.

    Place the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely ground (do not over mix). Add the apricot puree, and the herbs, scallions, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne and pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the walnut oil in a stream until it forms a thick sauce.

    *These dried fruit-based snacks are widely available; try to find a natural version without added sweeteners.

    Liked by 7 people

    • stella says:

      ALL of this sounds delicious! I love tarragon with fish (great with salmon).

      Liked by 3 people

      • nyetneetot says:

        Mrs. Nyet cooks this way often. The last time I had what would be considered American food at home was three years ago, and I made it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • stella says:

          It’s Russian/American. I make vegetable mixtures like this – cooked or raw – all the time. The other day I made summer squash and eggplant with onions, peppers, and fresh tomatoes. And (as I said) I love fish with tarragon, and cook salmon with white wine and tarragon all the time.

          Liked by 3 people

          • nyetneetot says:

            We just finished off a salmon. She’s been using coconut oil with the fish this last year. She says it cut’s down on the odor. I think if the fish is fresh, there is very little odor. Personally, I suspect the fact we quit smoking 8 months ago has something to do with her noticing an odor to the fish now. It wasn’t a problem for the 10 years prior.

            Liked by 2 people

          • TwoLaine says:

            I had a friend who brought me a small bottle French wine preserves (jelly) from a trip to France once. I cooked my salmon with it on top. OMG, delicious! I love salmon and experimenting with it.

            I enjoy experimenting with all kinds of preserves in cooking, as well as alcohol. Throw a little whiskey in your gravy once in awhile. Good stuff. 😉

            Liked by 3 people

            • stella says:

              I brown salmon fillets, seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried tarragon, in olive oil, then add white wine to the pan, and cover to finish cooking. Remove the fish when cooked (still a bit pink in the center), then reduce the liquid left in the pan to make a sauce.

              Liked by 2 people

    • stella says:

      I love that kind of salad. I’m not very fond of lettuce, to tell the truth. I made cucumber and red onion in red wine vinegar (w/salt and pepper) yesterday, and think I’ll have that with tomatoes today.

      Liked by 4 people

    • facebkwallflower says:

      OK. The walnut sauce sounds like to die for! What do I serve it with?

      Liked by 1 person

    • michellc says:

      I do something similar to your first recipe except I just mix tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and make a dressing with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chopped basil, oregano, and parsley, crushed garlic, chives, salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese.

      Liked by 1 person

    • czarowniczy says:

      Uhhhhh….OK, we’re having a version of the Azerbaijani salad tonite…let’s see how that goes with the sloppy joe/cheese and tater tot entree (it’s ‘revert to elementary school nite’). Yeah, it’s elementary school lunch nite, except for the booze digestifs, thst was high school. Will try the trout recipe with white bass (trout sorta scarce ’round here) and with pecans (them’s not pee-cans, yankees, they’s puh-kawns).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    Here is my family’s current favorite summer recipe. To this I add about 3/4 cup of Gouda cheese. My daughter in law does this better than me, and the only thing we can figure out is that she leaves out the green onions, which I like, but also she has some kind of Tupperware deal she drains the tomatoes in overnight. Draining is key or you get a soggy pie. No matter what I do mine is never as good. I’m going to have to get one of whatever thingy it is that she uses.

    Make sure your tomatoes are big ole’ home growns.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. TwoLaine says:

    I love lots of color and veggies, and this one is also a meal all by itself. It’s my most requested summer dish. My creation MANY years ago.

    My Easy Bowtie (Farfalle) Pasta Salad

    Bow-tie Pasta, cooked to al dente
    Your favorite bottle of Italian dressing
    McCormick’s Salad Supreme Seasoning
    Chopped tomato’s
    Chopped green, red, yellow and orange peppers
    Sliced black olives
    Chopped red onions
    Sliced smoked link sausage (I prefer beef or turkey)
    Parmesan cheese

    Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Add all of the Italian dressing and about half of the Salad Supreme Seasoning, or to taste. Mix well and refrigerate, while you chop and slice everything else. Mix in remaining ingredients, add parmesan cheese to your taste, and it’s ready to eat, or refrigerate and eat later. It gets even better with age.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. facebkwallflower says:

    Years ago a Romanian lady told me how to make an eggplant spread she said was to Romania like peanut butter is to Americans. Anyways, I never canned it and don’t have the recipe. I think she expected me to just remember it as she told me it over the phone. The eggplant were slow roasted, charred, then peeled and pureed and then cooked all day with other stuff in roaster oven It seems she “canned” it without hot water bath or pressure cooker, which baffled me. Anyway, anyone know what this is and posted the recipe, would be my hero.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. TwoLaine says:

    This one I found after my neighbor came over a few summers ago with fresh zucchini and tomato’s from his garden. I didn’t have all this is my fridge, so I made a few changes. I had Mexican cheese, so I went Mexican instead of Italian. I added a few sliced green peppers, whole mushrooms, skipped the basil, and added halved cherry tomatoes too. Made my tomato sauce with some of the tomato’s he brought me, and added cilantro. I also added sliced beef sausage.

    It’s like lasagna, but made with veggies instead of pasta. Delish!

    Zucchini and Tomato Casserole Bake

    This is a wonderful vegetarian dish that even meat lovers will enjoy. Zucchini pre-cooked, then finish cooking in a tomato sauce, onions, garlic, and basil, topped with mozzarella cheese. Simple and utterly delicious.

    Prep: 15 min
    Cook: 30 min
    Ready in: 45 min
    Makes: 4 – 6 servings


    2 large Zucchini Cortado’s cut long
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
    1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
    1 tablespoon basil finely chopped
    2 tomato’s cut into 8 pieces


    Preheat oven to 350 F.
    In a large pot, boil the courgettes until tender; drain.
    Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is tender.
    Place half of tomato sauce in baking dish.
    Place a layer of onion and garlic, place the Zucchini, the rest of the tomato sauce, basil and top with mozzarella.
    Place tomatoes cut into 8.
    Bake 20 minutes or until it is golden.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. shiloh1973 says:

    Next time you do deviled eggs, sprinkle a little chili powder in the yolk mixture. Really takes it up a notch. I also mince up some yellow onion and throw that in too.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. czarowniczy says:

    Thanks, great recipes, we’ll make/eat ’em as we can’t get family or friends to come out into the wilderness…MO’ FO US! Just finished putting up eight quarts of kosher dill’ fo’ us!

    Liked by 6 people

  9. czarowniczy says:

    ET consolatus est in vodka. Twoje zdrowie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • czarowniczy says:

      Backmtomyour alcoholic (is that the correct term?) genetic roots. And yoyrvdogs still love ya when you’ve perhaps over-imbibed on premium 7X distilled imported (Polish) vodka. Who cares about the cats, stopped trying to impress them years ago.


  10. czarowniczy says:

    Neat stuff…Hillary’s released her tax returns. Press softballed her salary donations to the Clinton Family Trust, not unconfusing them with the Clinton Foundation, so it seems as if she donated a s***load of money to the old man’s charitable cookie jar instead of a tax dodge designed to have the tax oayers support her family’s lavish lifestyle.


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