Dog Days of Summer Recipes

By Patricia Bradley

It’s so hot in Mississippi that even the mosquitos have moved north, and I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove. So I’ve been making a few easy one-dish meals and desserts. The meal I like best is my Cornbread Salad dish. While you have to make the cornbread (and none of that sweet stuff), you can make it early in the morning before it gets too hot.

Easy-Peasy Cornbread Salad

1 skillet of cornbread
Pinto beans – about one cup (I either cook my own or buy Luck’s)
Chopped red or Vidalia onion – to taste
Red, yellow, or green peppers
Shredded lettuce

Grape tomatoes cut in half or diced regular tomatoes
Shredded Cheese or parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top 

Directions for cornbread (makes enough for 2-4 people:
1 cup cornmeal mix (I use White Lily)
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
Stir together and pour into a small black skillet or 8” cake pan. Bake at 400 degrees approximately 20 minutes until top springs back when touched (like a cake)

Heat the pinto beans and spoon approximately ½ cup of the beans into an individual bowl. Crumble a slice of cornbread over the beans. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, onion and pepper. Drizzle with dressing.

To ½ cup mayonnaise add dill pickle juice to desired consistency.

Quick and easy summer dessert:
Chocolate Lava cake
1 box of chocolate cake mix, prepared according to directions
1 can of chocolate frosting
microwaveable pan

Prepare cake mix according to directions and pour into a microwaveable pan deep enough for cake to rise. Using a spoon, drop the frosting into the cake mix. Microwave for 8 minutes.

Patricia Johns

Here in Canada we make our own heat!

Hot Sauce

1 Tbsp oil
20 or so hot peppers
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of minced onion

Sautee these up together until the onion is soft. Then take off the heat and let it cool down.
Once cool, put it in a blender with:

1/2 cup of vinegar or lemon juice
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

Blend it up until smooth, and put into a bottle!

We run through his hot sauce pretty quickly in the Johns house. It's super spicy, and easy to make!

I hope you've enjoyed our summer recipes! Do you have a favorite recipe for the Dog Days of Summer?


  1. Great recipes! I can't wait to try that cornbread salad--I've never seen that before. And, Pat, you need to take those mosquitoes back--we have plenty of our own up here!

    1. Hey Liz! I 'm so sorry I'm late to responding to comments, but Monday I was trying to put my house back in order after gutting my two bathrooms...and here it is Wednesday night and I'm still not done! lol. That corbread salad is great!

  2. I have never heard of a cornbread salad! It sounds yummy and something I think my hubby would love. I can't wait to try it. :) The hot sauce recipe is also going on my "must try" list!

  3. That cornbread salad sounds delicious. There are some other cornbread salad recipes I remember seeing in some local cookbooks from Tennessee. They used crisp fried bacon, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and maybe chopped peppers and grated cheese along with the cornbread. The dressing was either a ranch style or a mayo and vinegar. You stir it up just before serving though I thought it might work also as a layered salad. I've always intended to try it, but haven't yet gotten around to the experiment since I couldn't find the original recipes in my collection. Being a hot sauce fanatic, I'll have to try that one too.

    1. Our local restaurants all have the cornbread salad on their menu, Callie. It is really good.

  4. Except for the cornbread, I have most of the ingredients for the cornbread salad already in my fridge. Always nice to have a recipe served up, instead of hunting for one myself. Thanks and best!

    1. M. K., that's the good thing about the cornbread salad - you usually have all the ingredients on hand!

  5. Hot sauce! Just the ticket for a subarctic climate. I live in Fort Kent and look right into Canada across the St. John River. I'm also growing jalapenos in the greenhouse so I'll give this recipe a try and see if it can take some of the chill out of winter.

  6. Wow, these are really creative recipes! The cornbread salad looks especially yummy!

  7. I recently discovered what a wacky cake is from reading a cozy mystery and have already made two of them since. It’s basically a one pan chocolate cake without the use of eggs, butter or milk. It’s quick and easy to make and so delicious!!

  8. Your cornbread salad looks delicious. I just don't cook when it is as hot as it is here in the summer. But I do go to regular salads, etc. Probably the only time I eat healthy.

    1. I'm not sure how "healthy" the cornbread salad is, Roz...

  9. Wow, I'll have to try both these out. Beans, cornbread, and hot sauce are my husband's favorites.


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