I got a text earlier this week from my neighbor, Miss Jackie, suggesting we order pizza and have snacks Saturday night in the front yard while the kids rode bikes, played Ghosts in the Graveyard, and ran around. Easy enough– we love casual summer get togethers. Who knew there would be a pop-up thunderstorm at 5:00? The whole group ended up in my kitchen and playroom, and I drank margaritas. I made a blue cheese Columbine dip that works really well as a topping for hamburgers too, so we cancelled the pizza idea and grilled burgers.
The original recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Colorado Collage. Sewing Sister thinks we should add crumbled bacon to the top to make it even more delicious.
- 1/2 lb. crumbled blue cheese
- 1/3 c. chopped red onion
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 T. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 t. crushed garlic
- 1 t. dry mustard
- 1/4 t. ground black pepper
- 1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
- Pour crumbled blue cheese in a 9-inch pie pan or similar sized dish (I used a quiche dish).
- In a food processor, combine onion, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, mustard, and pepper. Pulse to blend.
- Pour the dressing evenly over the blue cheese.
- Let stand 2+ hours at room temperature.
- Serve with blue corn tortilla chips, pita chips, or little toasted bread triangles.
- Add a scoop to the top of a freshly grilled hamburger to make a blue cheese burger.
I learned a new word this week. We had friends rent a beach house nearby, and they invited us over to porch. This is what we do almost every weekend, and I am so glad I now have a name for it. Porching is when neighbors wander from house to house on a warm summer evening and sit on the front porch to socialize. Cocktails encouraged. We porched this week with Basil Mojitos. They are delicious.
- 2 T. simple syrup
- 1 shot fresh lime juice
- 1 shot white rum
- 6-10 basil leaves
- crushed ice
- soda water
- lime wedges
- Place the simple syrup, rum, lime juice, 2 lime wedges, and the basil in a tall sturdy glass and bash with a muddler or the back of a spoon until the basil leaves and lime wedges are mashed up.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice.
- Top with soda water.
- Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a lime wedge.
- Ingredients list makes one large mojito. Increase amounts as needed.
- To make simple syrup, Put equal parts water and sugar in a pot and heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved. Swirl the mixture a few times while heating. Remove from heat and let cool. If you only need a few cocktails, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you are mixing cocktails for a large group, double or triple. Leftover simple syrup can be kept in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for a long time.
- If you want to make a Strawberry Mojito, replace the lime wedges and the basil with strawberries and mint.
- If you want to make a Cranberry Mojito, visit this post.
It’s a sad day on my friendly little street. One of our neighbors (and primary organizers of the neighborhood potlucks) is moving. Last night we had a casual farewell party for our dear friends. Even though they will not be moving far away, our street and neighborhood gatherings will not be the same.
In honor of this special event, I needed a dip untasted by the group. I pulled out a recipe for a Hot Vidalia Onion dip that I have not made in years. Man, is this stuff good. It falls into the “face food” category meaning you want to stick your face into it to eat. The dip lasted about 17 minutes (after picture below).
- 3 c. finely chopped Vidalia onions (the Vidalia part is important)
- 2 c. mayonnaise
- 2 c. grated Swiss cheese (I combine 1 1/2 c. baby Swiss and 1/2 c. Gruyere)
- 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- paprika to taste
- Wheat Thins
- In a medium bowl, mix chopped onions, mayonnaise, Swiss cheese, and Tabasco.
- Spread mixture in a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.
- Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over mixture and sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake ~30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden and bubbly.
- Serve with Wheat Thins.