side dishes for the holiday weekend


The guys have big plans for working on our front porch over the holiday weekend while I plant some flowers at the cemetery. I am making a menu now, thinking we need a fridge full of great side dishes and fresh fruit to go along with the grilling I hope to pull off. These men need delicious meals to keep them inspired! I have shared the rotini and baked bean recipes before but they seem to belong in this line-up!


Black Bean Salsa Salad

I kept seeing versions of this on Pinterest and whipped up my own recipe. Seriously, it may be the most delicious thing I have ever eaten in my entire life! It keeps getting better as the flavors blend in the fridge and it will be perfect with grilled chicken for fajitas.

2 cans black beans, drained

1 can chopped tomatoes in garlic and olive oil, not drained

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped (will probably use all fresh tomatoes once they are in season here)

5 fresh ears of sweet corn, boiled and cut off the cobs

1 medium to large red onion, finely chopped

2 TBS. minced garlic

½ cup chopped cilantro

½ cup olive oil

Juice of 2 limes

Salt to taste

Mix all together and store in air tight container in fridge. Best if allowed to chill well so the flavors blend. You can also add cubes avocado before serving if desired.


Mama’s Potato Salad

Extra good served with grilled burgers or homemade fried chicken!


5 pounds red potatoes

1 dozen hard boiled eggs

2 cups mayonnaise

½ cup prepared yellow mustard

Salt to taste


Boil potatoes I skin, cool, peel. Cut into 1 inch cubes.

Mix first 5 ingredients together, adjusting for more mustard or mayo if preferred.

Place in serving bowl, sprinkle with paprika. Cover with plastic wrap and chill well.


Once-you-try-these-you’ll-never-eat-any-other-baked beans

The name does not lie!!


1  7# can pork and beans, drained, reserving 1 cup liquid
2 pounds hickory smoked bacon, fried, reserving grease
1 large onion, finely minced
2 TBS. garlic, minced in oil
1 large green pepper, finely chopped
½ to ¾  cup prepared mustard ( taste to see if it is too tart)
2 pounds brown sugar

Place beans in large casserole dish.  Fry bacon, reserving grease.  Crumble when cool and add to beans.  In grease, fry onions, garlic, and peppers until translucent.  Over low heat, dissolve brown sugar and mustard in same skillet, stirring until all are well mixed.  Pour over beans and mix well.  If mixture is too dry, add some of the reserved liquid from the beans. Bake in slow oven, about 300 degrees, for 3 hours or until the top is slightly browned and the liquid is absorbed.  (You may need to turn up the heat.) You can add brats if you want to make this a main dish meal.


Linda’s Rotini Salad

My friend, Linda, who passed away many years ago, created this delicious recipe and shared it with me. I think of her fondly every time I serve it.


1# rotini pasta cooked al dente and well drained

1 small jar salad olives with all the brine

1 can black olives with all the juice

1 large red onion chopped

1 large red pepper chopped

1 large green pepper chopped

1 large cucumber chopped

½ cup olive oil

Toss all ingredients together, mix well. Chill for several hours before serving.



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