Our friends Dodger and Red Dane, who both thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail this year, are visiting. Dodger hiked part of Hubster's cross-country walk with him, was there when Hub and I first fell in love, and came to our wedding, so it was a nice reunion of old friends. Red Dane is from Denmark but has spent much of the last ten years in South Carolina, so she has this charming accent--a mix of Danish and a Carolina southern drawl.
The Tar Heel Tavern's theme for this week is "Around the Kitchen Table." The weather was so nice last night that we had dinner around the picnic table outside. Yummy dinner (click links for recipes): Tex-Mex Black-Bean Dip and chips for the appetizer, grilled hamburgers, herbed potato wedges, and broccoli for dinner, and warm automatic brownies with vanilla ice cream for dessert. (If something is made from a mix rather than from scratch, I call it an "automatic food." I don't usually like to make automatic foods, but Betty Crocker's Supreme Brownie Mix makes some really good brownies in a pinch.)
The black-bean dip was wonderful. Highly recommended for get-togethers with friends, or if you need to contribute something to a party. The herbed potato wedges were perfect with the grilled burgers. I followed a suggestion from a Cooking Light reader and mixed the potatoes with the oil and all of the spices by shaking it all up in a gallon-size Ziploc bag.
I really love Cooking Light magazine. The bean dip and the potato wedge recipes both came from Cooking Light's 1998 collection of recipes. Try 'em out, and enjoy!