Summertime Recipes

lakeAs we prepare for a week of R&R at the lake, I’m digging up some of my favorite go to recipes and wanted to share them with you.

This year, the whole family (8 total) will go with us and since we only eat one big meal a day, my only stipulation is I’m not cooking every night.  Thank goodness for daughter-in-laws because my boys told me they were fixing cereal one night and cheese sandwiches the next.  Both DIL’s are making yummy dishes so I know we will eat well.  I don’t know why, but food tastes so much better at the lake!   For one of my nights, this is the menu:

First of all, I would probably be disowned if I didn’t make my Bean Dip.  My kids could eat this as a meal and I get in big time trouble if it’s not present at every function.  Also, if you have not tried On the Border Cantina Thin Chips, you must go out and buy some.  They are hands down the best chip I’ve ever eaten.

Homemade Bean Dip
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2-1 package (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning mix
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 small tomato, cored and chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. black olives, chopped
2 Tbs. cilantro or parsley, snipped
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all of the above together and watch it disappear!

Homemade Salsa
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
juice of 1 lime
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt

Mix together and let set until flavors are blended. We love this on chips, hamburgers and breakfast tortillas.

Margarita Pork Tenderloin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 TBs chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice (1 lime)
1-1/2 Tbs. tequila
1 Tbs. orange juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 lb. pork tenderloin

Combine first 10 ingredients in a shallow dish or large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Cut pork diagonally into 1 inch thick slices and add to tequila mixture. Cover or seal and chill for 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat (400* to 500*) 3-4 minutes on each side or until done.
Makes 6 servings.  (I usually double this recipe as it’s great for lunch the next day)

Grilled Three Cheese Potatoes
6 large potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 medium onions, chopped
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 c. butter, cubed
1 Tbs. minced fresh or dried chives
1 to 2 tsp. seasoned salt

Divide the potatoes and onion equally between two pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square) that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Combine parmesan cheese and 3/4 c. each cheddar and mozzarella; sprinkle over potatoes and onions. Top with bacon, butter, chives, seasoned salt and pepper. Bring opposite ends of foil together over filling and fold down several times. Fold unsealed ends toward filling ad crimp tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from grill. Open foil carefully and sprinkle with remaining cheeses.
Makes 6-8 servings.
(this can also be cooked in the oven at 350* for 1 hour.)

and for dessert

4-Layer Dessert
1 c. flour
1/2 c. pecans
1 stick butter, softened
Combine and pat into a 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 375* for 15 min. and cool.

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
Mix until creamy. Blend in
1 c. cool whip. Pour over crust.

2 pkgs. (3.9 oz. each) instant pudding (any flavor) we like pistachio, lemon, vanilla or chocolate)
3 c. milk
Mix and beat for 2 minutes. Pour on top of cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until set.

Top with remaining cool whip and sprinkle with 1/2 c. pecans.

We are looking forward to staying in the “big house” at the resort this year.  Shady back yard, pool close by, the boat dock just a short walk away and quiet roads to take our evening walks.  I’m actually excited about no cell phone service and limited internet.  That’s what I call “roughing it”!  Plus I have kids and grandkids with me for a whole week.  Heaven!

Crazy?, yes, but Heaven to me!


About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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5 Responses to Summertime Recipes

  1. Wow! These are awesome recipes. Can’t wait to try them all, especially the pork tenderloin!


  2. ChgoJohn says:

    That’s quite a dinner you’ll put together. You’ll need it after back-to-back suppers of cereal and cheese sandwiches. 🙂
    I hope you all have a fantastic time and vacation.


  3. The Dancing Rider says:

    These look great! Thank you!


  4. I will have to try several of these especially the pork…mmmmm!


  5. All sounds delicious. Your potato dish reminds me of a potato dish we make on the grill – just potatoes, onions, butter, and salt and pepper wrapped in heavy foils and cooked on the grill.


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