This time of year, I am always on the go, usually with a dip in hand. If your summer includes a variety of gatherings and you need delicious easy dip ideas, I have them.

There are a lot of good bean dips out there, but mine is a standout. It’s inspired by Mexican corn on the cob, also known as elote. In Mexico, you’ll see vendors hawking grilled corn on the cob rubbed with mayonnaise, chili powder and a dash of Parmesan. The Parmesan doesn’t seem like it would pair well, but it does — that slight cheesy tang beefs up the flavor in the beans and brings out the sweetness of the corn.

In this dip, I add corn, dark kidney beans (you can also substitute pinto), mayonnaise, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, lime, Parmesan and cilantro and warm it on the stove top for about 3 minutes, so it is super easy! Before serving, add a handful of shredded cheddar. Serve it with tortilla chips. It’s best warm but is still delicious when it cools. It always garners rave reviews.

You can use canned or fresh cooked corn cut off the cob. Also, if you’re serving margaritas this dip pairs perfectly with margaritas.

On a sweltering day, the dilly dip recipe is a great choice.

My favorite dill dip comes from Carolyn Cazort, my husband’s grandmother, who died in 2017. She made this recipe and served it with rye or pumpernickel. I like to serve it with carrots and cucumbers, too, to offer something healthier. It is best made a day in advance, which is my favorite type of entertaining recipe because it’s done ahead of time. It’s light and refreshing and bursting with dill flavor.

The last choice is a wild card, so to speak. It’s my tomato fennel jam that pairs well with cheese so it’s an excellent choice on a cheese or charcuterie board. You can serve it in a mini Mason jar for cute presentation or take some as a hostess gift, if it’s not your party.

I serve it on a Triscuit, topped with either manchego, sharp cheddar or smoked Gouda (you want a sharp cheese), and then top it with a dollop of jam. The tomato is sweet and the cracker and cheese are salty, so it’s a heavenly match. People always comment how refreshing it is.

It pairs well with a crisp white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc or vinho verde, great summer wines.

Also, if you have homegrown tomatoes, this is a good way to use some, and the recipe will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. This jam is also delicious on grilled chicken or pork, so it serves several purposes.

I hope you enjoy the recipes.


Mexican-inspired corn and bean dip

1 (15-ounce) can of whole kernel corn or 2 cups cooked corn

1 (15-ounce) can dark kidney beans or pinto beans

1 cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seed

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Chop onion and set aside. Drain the beans and corn and set both of those aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cumin seed and cook 4 minutes. Then pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 more minutes until everything has melted together and is well-combined. Serve with tortilla chips.


Dilly dip

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon finely minced red onion

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon Bon Appetite seasoning

Rye, pumpernickel and carrots for serving

Finely mince the red onion and place it in a bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley flakes, dill weed and Bon Appetite seasoning. Stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours before serving, but it’s best to make this a day in advance.

For best presentation, serve it in a rye or pumpernickel bowl with chunks of bread for dipping, as well as with carrots or cucumbers.


Tomato fennel jam

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

7 Roma tomatoes

2 yellow onions

1/3 cup sliced fennel

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

2 bay leaves

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Chop tomatoes, onions and fennel and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan or pot and when it’s hot, add the onions, tomato and fennel. Cook 5 minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients except the balsamic vinegar. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently over medium heat. When the tomatoes are cooked down, stir in the vinegar.

Remove from heat and chill before serving.

Juliana Goodwin is author of “Rotisserie Chicken Queen: 50 Fabulous Recipes That Start With Rotisserie Chicken.” If you have a question concerning a recipe, email her at