Tag Archives: tomatoes

Nine Layer Bean Dip

Nine Layer Bean Dip
Nine Layer Bean Dip

This recipe has some serious history behind it.  It all started about 16 years ago.  We had been invited to join my husband’s best friends family for a Fourth of July barbecue/swim party.  It was a pot luck for a fairly large group so I thought the nine layer bean dip would work well as an appetizer.  The dip was a hit and so began a Barton Family Bean Dip legacy.  At first it was just 1 pan but then I found out a family member had an allergy to avocados so I added a small pan that had no guacamole in it.  Soon the dip was disappearing as fast as I brought it out.  Come to find out, people were skipping lunch just to eat the dip when we arrived.

9 layer dip dos


9 layer dip



Fast forward to the present.  We now bring 3 varieties of the dip all weighing between 5 and 7 pounds each to all of our Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day gatherings.  Three parties every year plus a couple of extra events thrown in by special request.  That’s a lot of dip!  One year we had to miss Memorial Day because Matthew was in the hospital.  One family member jokingly asked, “Well, can you at least bring the dip?”  Yeah.  It’s that good!


Well, now it’s football season and the holiday season is quickly approaching.  The next time you are invited to a party bring “the dip”.  Word of caution, be prepared to be stopped at the door when you are invited back and you decide to bring something else!

3 cups of non-fried re-fried beans
2 cups diced green chiles
2 cups guacamole
1 cup taco seasoning
2 cups chopped olives
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups chopped green onion
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese

Guacamole directions: Peel, pit and mash 4-5 avocados. Mix in ¼ cup sour cream and salt, Cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste.

Dip directions: Layer each ingredient into a large lasagna pan (13-1/2 in. L x 9-5/8 in. W x 2-3/4 in. H) in the order listed. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Food Tip: For those allergic to avocado, eliminate that layer. For those who like a spicier dip, use chopped jalapenos in place of green chiles. This size dip is excellent for parties. If you want a smaller dip, choose the desired size pan and evenly layer all of the ingredients. The beans should measure about ¾ inch deep and each successive layer should completely cover the one below it.

Time Tip: The beans puree and spread much easier if they are freshly cooked and blended. Spread the non-fried re-fried beans into the pan, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Also chop the olives, tomatoes, green chiles and/or jalapenos the night before and store in airtight containers. It is best to chop the onions and make the guacamole the day the dip is to prepared and eaten.

Money Tip: When making this dip for a large group it is best to buy the ingredients at club stores or stores that specialize in catering. Making the non-fried re-fried beans fresh from beans purchased at a bulk food store is always more nutritional, less expensive and better tasting than canned.

Ratatouille and Brown Rice Dinner

I made this for the family last night and offered it to Mathew for the first time.  He was hesitant at first but, after I fed him the first spoon, it was all bright eyes and smiles!

Brown rice:
1 cup of brown rice
1 tablespoon of butter
2 cups of water
2 tsp chicken bouillon

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.


½ pound each sliced yellow summer squash and zucchini (about ¼ inch thick)
½ large onion-sliced
1 medium tomato-sliced or 1 15oz can stewed tomatoes-drained
1 clove of garlic-minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp of ground pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions: In a medium bowl, toss all vegetables EXCEPT the yellow squash in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside. In a large skillet, sauté yellow squash in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes turning once. Add remaining vegetables and seasons to the sauté pan and stir to blend evenly. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Turn off heat and mix in the cheese.

Sautéed Chicken Breast:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz each)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
Dried basil leaves

Directions: In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the chicken breasts and place in the skillet. Cover and cook about 5 minutes each side until it is firm to touch.

1. Place 1 ½ cups of the “ratatouille”, 1 cup of the brown rice and 4oz-6oz of cooked chicken breasts into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 30 seconds or until the desired consistency is reached.


Food Tip: Pureed meals can seem bland because of the texture. To make it more appealing I use fresh vegetables and garlic along with a fair amount of seasons. Some individuals have digestive tract issues and/or hypersensitivity to flavors that require a bland diet. Reduce or remove the seasoning to meet their needs.

Money tip: Buying brown rice from a bulk food store like Winco’s is the best way to go. Because of the oils in it, it will keep in the pantry for about a month opened but will keep longer in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Buy only what you need based on how you will store it to avoid waste. This is a great meal to make in the summer because zucchini and yellow squash are cheaper this time of year.

Time Tip: This was dinner for the family. All I did was to puree a portion of the leftovers. The added time was about 5 minutes. Freezing them in ice cube trays and storing them in labeled Ziploc bags ensures quick well balanced meals. Defrost what you will use the next day in the refrigerator and warm it in the microwave before serving.