64 In Life/ Recipes

More of Summer & More Recipes

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love summer.  There’s something about the freedom of summer that might just make it my favorite of all the seasons. Sure, it’s about 103° outside with 100% humidity but I love being obligation-free and I love seeing the kids enjoy themselves outside. I might even love it more as a mother than I did when I was a child. Tonight we spent time with Justin’s brother and sister and their families and of course we talked about school and how the children will all be starting soon… none of us seem to be ready and I’m just so thankful to have another full year with 1/2 days before Morgan starts full-day 1st grade next year.


Anyway, I digress… Paige has mastered swimming. “Mastered” may be too strong of a word but she has certainly improved and can swim from the shallow end to deep end completely float-free, sporting her way cool goggles, and coming up regularly for breaths. We are so proud of her and she gets a little silly when we make a big deal out of her. She has attempted numerous times to go after diving rings but she’s so buoyant that she can’t get to the bottom to pick them up. I found myself so tickled as I watched her kick her legs and squirm around, giving it her all to get down there… over and over again. I finally caved in and gave her a little push so she could reach them!

Little Martin Man on has come to grips with the fact that we insist he wear his “water wings” when he’s in the pool… and he has fortunately obliged.  If we had another month or two of summer I’m almost convinced I could teach him to swim!


I also have been reminded of what swimming can do to a child’s appetite! We have nearly 4 meals between the time Justin leaves for work and the time he arrives home… but I’m thankful that when they’re hungry they are certainly less picky and will almost always eat what is put before them!


Before I move on to the recipes… another thing I love about summer is zinnias. I know I’ve mentioned them many times but  the seeds are so cheap and they are so easy to grow I really can’t think of any reason not to try them. These are my “GIANT zinnias” and I never knew zinnias could be so giant. It’s probably hard to tell from the picture but they really are enormous {about 5-6″ in diameter}.


Now for the recipes…


I’ve never met a Junior League Cookbook that I didn’t like {and I’ve met several of them} and A Thyme to Celebrate from the Tallahassee Junior League is certainly no exception… especially since I arrived at my doorstep with several of the recipes already completed and wrapped in brown paper packages tied up with bows!

Nancy {a Tallahassee Junior Leaguer and cookbook co-chair} thought I might enjoy the cookbook… and my goodness was she right! She also gave me permission to share a few of my favorites.


I’ve been through the book several times “flagging” what I couldn’t wait to try and so far I’ve not been disappointed! Last weekend we hosted our families here for Paige’s birthday so I chose 2 appetizers from the book and both were a big hit.


First, Artichoke Bites.

Thank you to my sister for helping hold them and for refraining from eating them while I photographed them and thanks to my sister-in-law for placing them ever-so-carefully on the plate. We had fun pretending like we were “foodies”. Now, I wish I could have had my act together enough to take pictures of the whole process but I was hosting our families and well, I didn’t have presence of mind, nor the time to mess with my camera during the process… but trust me, this one is so easy and SO good.

Artichoke Bites

Serves 8
1 {8 oz can} artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 cup {4 oz} shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 envelope of Italian salad dressing mix {I used Good Seasons}
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ready-made pizza crust {like Boboli, but I found a wonderful thin crust pizza crust in the bakery at Walmart}

Preheat oven to 400°. Place artichokes, shredded Cheddar, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and Parmesan together in large bowl and mix well. Spread evenly over the pizza crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let cool and cut into bite-size pieces.

It’s so good and I love that your guests can just pick up the little bites!



Feta Black Bean Dip

Now, this may not be new to you… but somehow it was kept secret from me until a few years ago when I had it at an Auburn football tailgate and it was brought by none other than a Tallahassee Junior Leaguer. It was definitely the first thing I marked in the cookbook. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple years now and am glad to have my hands on the real deal recipe and I’m delighted to be able share it in case you don’t know about it!

Feta Black Bean Dip
Serves 30 {and that’s not a typo, it makes a TON!}
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 {15 oz} cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 {15 oz} cans of Shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 {8 oz} block feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk sugar, vinegar and oil in a large bowl. Add the black beans, corn, scallions, cilantro, and feta and mix well. Chill until serving time. Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips.

They were BOTH so good. I look forward to sharing a couple more recipes! The Tallahassee Junior League sells their cookbook on their WEBSITE if you are interested! Like all Junior League chapters these women are working hard to improve the lives of women and families in Tallahassee!

Ok, now it’s 11:10 pm and I want Feta Black Bean Dip and Artichoke Bites but I don’t think I could keep my eyes opened long enough to eat them…. good night!!

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  • Ashley
    July 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Oh my delicious!!!!! Thanks for sharing the yummy recipes!
    I’ve had a jar of artichokes sitting in my pantry and was just looking up a recipe to use them in! 🙂 funny timing!

    July 26, 2010 at 12:11 am

    beautiful summer pics! cant wait to try these recipes. thanks for sharing!

  • Lillian - Domestic Simplicity
    July 26, 2010 at 6:01 am

    YUM – thanks so much for sharing! I love to have recipes like this on hand so that I don’t have to think so much when I’m prepping to have people over:) I think I need to see if our local Junior League has a cookbook!

  • Hannah
    July 26, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Any chance I could beg you for the recipe of Banana Foster Bread? Looks like y’all are having a super summer, even in the midst of this crazy heat. All the best…. And thanks for your posts.

  • Nancy Click
    July 26, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Thank you, Darby! Your photo of the package makes it look far cuter than it actually was :). Glad you have found many recipes to enjoy. And I couldn’t agree with you more about summertime – I thought it was wonderful as a child – eating ice cream sandwiches poolside. Now I know, little is better than sharing an ice cream sandwich poolside with your own child. Here’s to making the next month stretch as long as possible!

  • Melissa
    July 26, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Love the swimming photos! I am not a mom but I agree that summer should last forever.

  • Laura
    July 26, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Thanks for the recipes! The Feta Black Bean dip sounds wonderful!

  • Kat
    July 26, 2010 at 7:29 am

    You would LOVE the website http://www.tastebook.com You can create you own cookbook. We did it for Christmas gifts one year and they were a hit!

  • Whitney @ How Sweet It Is
    July 26, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Great pictures! We sure wish summer would last forever! Thanks for the posts…always great to hear from you.

  • Heather
    July 26, 2010 at 7:32 am

    They both look amazing!! I love summer too, the freedom..even though my kids are much older and still keep a little busy in the summer (or a lot in some cases), it’s still a more relaxed time of year….

  • Katie
    July 26, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I am thrilled you posted this. I was just given this cookbook as a gift by my former college roommate (who is from Tallahassee)! Will add those to my list to try!

  • Meredith
    July 26, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I just love your blog! I also love summer and I love seeing my daughter (who is 3) enjoy some of the same things that I loved to do as a kid. This summer has been a little different though. I am having difficulty with the 100+ degree temperatures because I am 34 weeks pregnant! We have had to spend a lot of time inside in the AC! We do try to go to the pool a couple of times a week though (when I can summon the energy to get us ready and pack a lunch, etc). Wow! You have 1/2 day Kindergarten there?! That would be great.

  • Tessa
    July 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Now I need an excuse to make those artichoke bites…look sooo yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle
    July 26, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I’ve been looking through your older pictures on Flickr. JM has gotten so big so quickly!! I love all your pictures 🙂 I’m about to get married in May and to be honest, looking through your family pictures makes me so excited to start my own family! God Bless you all!

  • natalie @ our old southern house
    July 26, 2010 at 8:13 am

    hey girl!
    two things:
    1. tried the corn salad-stuff you mentioned last week (i think). it was great! i used all sorts of heirloom tomatoes–pink, yellow, orange, and purple and it was just beautiful (and tasty)!
    2. i’m in the jr. league of gwinnett-north fulton (suburb of atlanta) and i have an extra copy. email me if you would like it–it’s got some GREAT recipes.

  • elizabeth
    July 26, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Ok, it’s 9:16am and now I want some of that dip. Thanks for sharing the recipes!

  • Whitney
    July 26, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Darby, I’m always in awe of your pictures. I remember you saying you have a Tamron 17-50 lens. Is that what you use most often? A Sigma I have is on it’s last legs and I’m shopping for a new lens. Any suggestions?
    Thank you!

  • Ashley @ Ramblings and Photos
    July 26, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I love love love your summer pool pictures. So you have the 17-50 lens? I have the 28-75 and love it. It’s on my camera nearly all the time.

  • Betsy
    July 26, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I love this cookbook. The Tickled Pink is a great summer cocktail and also perfect for baby showers — I served this last weekend for a baby shower and it was delicious.

  • Becky
    July 26, 2010 at 9:16 am

    A correction for you from the mother of four boys: on girls, those are called “water wings” but on boys, they are called “water muscles.” Just thought you should know. 🙂

  • Lauren
    July 26, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Cute Summer photos of your children! Cookbook sounds wonderful ~ I love any cookbook. Your zinnias are gorgeous!

  • Marisa
    July 26, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Those zinnias are gorgeous! I wish I could remember the name of the zinnia variety I have. The blooms are the size of dimes. They’re adorable!

  • Anne K
    July 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Funny you should mention the cookbook…just last week Megan was asking about cookbooks and I told her…The Jr League Cookbooks are always good…you can’t go wrong if you find one. I had to laugh when I saw this. Looks good! Love the zinnias!

  • Adriana L.
    July 26, 2010 at 10:14 am

    There’s nothing like a good cookbook! I just started eating artichoke (mostly in spinach artichoke dip) but now I’m going to venture off into other recipes: one of them being the bites! They look so good. And the dip looks super healthy which is always a plus.

  • Allie L.
    July 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for posting about this cookbook, Darby! I always love hearing cookbook recommendations from other people. Glad to see yall enjoying your summer! 🙂

  • angela
    July 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Your Zinnias are gorgeous! Mine usually get some kind of crazy disease!! I think it is my soil!

    I am going to try that feta dip at the beach in a couple of weeks! I have feta on my salad every day. It’s my favorite cheese!

    As always, your children are too PRECIOUS!

  • Leslie
    July 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Not sure how I found your blog, but I love it!!! Love to cook, trying to learn to sew, and try to take pictures. Your family seems lovely!

  • Lori
    July 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    So, what are you secrets/tips about teaching your kids swimming? Always love your posts – I’m hungry just reading the recipes!

  • bellamia
    July 26, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Darby, my sister-in-law makes the Blackbean and Feta dip (on request!) when she comes to family gatherings. My mom wanted her to make it the other week when she came down but had bought Goat Cheese instead of Feta. A FABULOUS error! I will take goat cheese over feta any day, and for this recipe it was a winner! I highly recommend! It was creamier instead of crumbles, but all the same YUMMY!! FYI!

  • the Provident Woman
    July 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Those outdoor pictures are wonderful! It makes me want to take my children to the pool.

  • Cat Moore
    July 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I just made that Feta Black Bean Dip and OH MY! Yummmmm! Thanks for the recipes and cute pics! Can’t wait to have a pool one day! Ahhhh!

  • Kelly@TearingUpHouses
    July 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I had no idea zinnias were easy to grow? Really? They’re so gorgeous! I’m off to buy seeds!


  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    July 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Those recipes look fabulous! Can’t wait to try the artichoke bites. 🙂 Paige sounds like my 4 year old…she really wants to reach those diving rings at the bottom, but I have to give her a helpful shove first. 😉

  • Chris
    July 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Can we be your neighbors?

  • kayce hughes
    July 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    OK I may need to stop working and make those artichoke bites. They look so good!

  • nealie
    July 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    love those big oe zinnias! i grew them along with my (crispy) tomato plants- tres pretty!
    The dip is awesome and sub shredded cabbage, golden raisins, toasted almonds and chinese skinny crispies and ou have one incredible slaw-the feta makes it pop! I’ve subbed blue cheese and peppered goat cheese in both recipes-yum!

  • Heather Spencer
    July 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    The only way we could get Gabe to wear floaties was to call them “muscles”. Once he heard they were muscles he was all for it!

  • Gramercy Home
    July 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Too cute. I haven’t met a JL cookbook I didn’t like either. I love all the yummy ideas. I just need someone to implement them!

  • Katharina
    July 27, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Hi Darby…I really like the tiles of your pool – it looks so much nicer than a new, bluish plastic kind of pool. I remeber that it was a suprise when you bought the house that there was a pool. Could you take a “total” pic of the pool and let me know the size and depth.
    (ONLY if it is not too much work)…meanwhile I go and get some chocolate for breakfast. (thanks Darby, for the choclate cake photo early in the morning 😉

  • Katharina
    July 27, 2010 at 9:42 am

    of course I ment thanks Erica for the chocolate cake…

  • Bailey@peppermintbliss
    July 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

    My momma always said the best times of her life were being a kid in the summer, and then having babies in the summertime (and now she *suspects* having grandbabies in the summer might be a blast too- no pressure or anything though 🙂 ) and I am glad to hear you say that…because summer as an adult with no babies is kinnndddd of a bummer. Work when its gorgeous, even when you try to play hookey for a day, its just not the same! Love living vicariously through your sweet fam!

  • andrea
    July 27, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Looks like fun! We’ve been having a lot of fun too this summer. Anyway, those who are reading my comment, my family could use some prayers. We are still hurting a bit. Just a prayer in general that our hearts remain open and that, maybe, if it be God’s Will, we find our way back to one another. Thanks everyone!

    Enjoy your summer! It’s been so beautiful and warm! God’s glorious gifts abound in the summer time especially!

  • Jill Pope
    July 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Darby! Thank you SO SO SO much for posting this post about the cookbook. As a JLT board member this year, I can’t thank you enough!! You rock!

  • Summer Dip (No Pool Involved) « welcome to elaney!
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    […] know) made.  Lo and behold, it’s the same dip.  Then if that wasn’t random enough, Darby of Fly Through Our Window posted it Sunday, so we decided, there is someone out there that just needs this recipe (tweaked a little, per […]

  • Melissa Wagner
    July 27, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Darby: As your cousin and office manager of the Junior League of Evansville (Indiana), I love that you have a post on the Junior League of Tampa cookbook! AND even more happy that you mention how hard Junior Leaguers work to improve lives for women and children in their communities!!! I am sure your mother gave you a JLE cookbook… she bought a dozen of them for gifts!! You can’t beat a JL cookbook for THE best recipes. If anyone is interested, check out our cookbook at: https://www.juniorleagueofevansville.org/evansville/npo.jsp?pg=store&category=504

  • alissa@33shadesofgreen
    July 28, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Beautiful pictures Darby and both of the recipes sound absolutely delicious! I definitely will be making both very soon! Happy Summer!

  • Mary Phillips
    July 28, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I just could not read another of your blogs without leaving a comment..I LOVE IT !!! As a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 9, I feel like I have seen and heard it all, but your blog proves me wrong..LOL .. You have a beautiful, precious family, and I love reading about them and absolutley love new recipes and new craft ideas. Keep up the great work and God Bless,

  • MB
    July 28, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I grew up in Tallahassee and will be visiting my hometown in a couple weeks. I’ll be on the look out for the cookbook. I now live in the U.K. and the food is great but I treasure the Junior League cookbooks I hauled across the ocean when I hopped the pond. I mean, how can you pass on a recipe titled ‘party potatoes’!!! I’ve impressed many a Brit at my dining room table with some good Southern cookin’. Cheers!

  • Dina @ 4 Lettre Words
    July 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Wow…I want those artichoke bites NOW! And, that little plate. Lovely!

  • Melanie Gore
    July 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    You make me long for Florida:) Love the pictures of the babies enjoying their summer!

  • Susan V
    July 30, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Yummy! I have had the dip before at a friend’s house and it is to die for. She buys it a local cafe. I am pumped to have the recipe. I will definitely be making this tonight!

  • Sharla Stockwell
    July 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I made the dip last night and it was wonderful. Thanks for sharing!!

  • mary katharine
    July 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Seeing that cookbook brings back so many memories! My family lived in Tallahassee when I was in grades 5-10. My Momma was the lady who edited and typed the entire Thymes Remembered edition one of those years:). I still have it and still use it. I must admit, I use the internet a lot for recipes now, but nothing compares to a book in hand.

  • Jennifer Reyes
    July 30, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing the artichoke recipe…made it on a whim when friends came over tonight…we devoured them! Did not have a pizza crust so I used Pillsbury Grands cut into 6th’s, rolled out thin on a baking sheet (borrowed idea from Pioneer Woman)! This concoction was fantastic….. Thanks Darby! ~Jennifer

  • casey
    August 2, 2010 at 6:38 am

    We took both of these to a dinner party this weekend and everyone loved them!!! THx for the fun recipes!!!

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  • Deanna Fox
    August 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    SAY WHAT???!!!! The JL has cookbooks? Okay, I’m totally embarrassed. I’m a JL member in Upstate NY (Albany area), and didn’t even know those existed. But the JL up here is VERY different than in the South (don’t worry, we have a couple transfers in our chapter from the South, and they let us know how very different it is). Gotta get my hands on one of those!

    You take the best pictures. I’m totally jealous.

  • Amanda
    August 23, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Just made the Feta Black bean dip this weekend….BIG HIT!! and very YUMMY!!! Thanks, Darby!

  • Jan
    November 28, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Just made the artichoke bites for the big game this weekend and they were a HUGE hit. They are my families new favorite. We will definitely make them again for the SEC game! Thanks so much and WAR EAGLE!

  • Lanell
    March 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I love Junior League cookbooks. They are the best for tried and true recipes. I posted this recipe to my new blog and linked you to it. Thanks for sharing such great recipes. I’m a fan.

  • westcoastvany
    June 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Your site is like a breathe of fresh air! Or real sunshine, not the liquid kind out here:)I am sooooo making those artichoke yummies. Will they ship that cookbook to Canada? {hope so}

  • alfiesaden
    January 4, 2012 at 5:55 am

    hello – is it just me !! can any one explain why when i type in the bing browser “www.flythroughourwindow.com” i get a different site yet whe i type it in google its ok? could this be a bug in my system or is any one else having same probs ?
    alfie saden

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  • Shannon
    April 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I just came upon your blog through a Pinterest link to your photography Q & A…I have to say I love your posts! I’m starting to feel like a stalker, but you are captivating from click to click! Thanks for the eye-candy of pictures, and I am excited for summer to try the recipes on this page!