A friend invited me on a stay-cation for the new year. What fun to drive less than an hour, spend very little money – we shared a cabin in the woods on the Myaka River, and dine heartily. All we had to bring was hiking clothes, one platter of food to share and one drink selection.

Since Maralyn and I are soon heading to Tecate, Mexico, to conduct one of our workshops, I was in the mood for a Mexican treat. I am sure you have enjoyed some version of this layered dish. We used to devour this treat on the shores of Lake Michigan after kayaking. This recipe was easy to bring and make on the spot.

Layered Mexican Dip

1 can (l6 ounces) of refried beans
2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 large avocados, peeled, then mashed or sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 cups sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese, grated or shredded
1/2 cup black olives, sliced for garnish
Tortilla chips, for dipping

Spread refried beans on platter.
Layer lettuce, onions, tomatoes, avocados, sour cream and Cheddar cheese over beans. Garnish with olives.
Best to cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Serve with strong tortilla chips for dipping.

This feast was fast and fun to assemble.
The cabin was so cold, even in Myaka, Florida, we could dive right in.
Our vegetarian hiker appreciated this dish. It disappeared fast.
I brought a cooler of Tecate beer. It was a perfect pairing after a day of hiking.
A red or white sangria, or margaritas, would also compliment this platter.
Cabins at Myaka State Park are reserved a year ahead, but due to the unusual cold, 39 degrees, they had a cancellation. With warm clothes, a fireplace and good food, it was a delicious stay-cation to share with old friends and new.

Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success Log Where & What in the World Blog

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book”