Summer Dinner

When it's hot, I hate to cook.  Actually, despite all the talk of food on this blog, I am not too crazy about cooking in general.  If I had to make a meal a few times a week, I probably would enjoy the challenge but getting three nutritious, unprocessed meals on the table every day of the week becomes a huge grind.  And then there's the clean-up...  sometimes I just want to throw in the dishtowel and let the kids feed off the floor.

While I don't have any great insight into getting things cleaned up efficiently, I came up with a meal last night that was a HUGE hit with my girls.  Before you get too excited, it is just a variation on quesadillas but it is an improved variation, I think.  What I have done in the past is put some cheese and beans in a tortilla, heated it up, and served it with some guacamole on top.  Vivi would eat a couple bites and then announce that she did not, in fact, like quesadillas.

And then I realized... it's all about presentation baby!  Well, duh!

So last night, I made plain cheese quesadillas, black beans and peppers, watermelon salsa, guacamole, and local corn on the cob.  The quesadillas were cut into triangles and the other items were served separately in ramekins.  What used to be a ho-hum meal turned into a dipping extravaganza. 

The beauty of this meal is that you can make (or buy) the guacamole and salsa in advance.  For the beans, I just chopped an onion, green pepper , and garlic.  Cooked it in canola oil until softened, added my beans, mixed in some tomato juice and spicy brown mustard and then salted it to taste.  It took 10 minutes max.  I softened my tortillas directly on the (gas) burner of my stove.  The cheese will melt from the residual heat of the tortilla.  Steam your corn at the same time and you are good to go.  The final step is the most important:  look worn out when your husband walks in the door so you get out of doing the clean-up.

What are your tips for easy summer meals?


  1. so that is what ramekins are for! lets get our families together for quesadillas! sooner !

  2. I like the Italian antipasti variation on this: lots of little things, (horseradish cheddar, artichoke hearts, olive tapinade, feta, fire roasted red bell peppers, grapes, etc...) bright colors, pleasingly arranged on a plate with some thin cut mutigrain crusty bread. Nom.


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