Cucumber-Onion Salad Encore

Cucumber-Onion Salad Encore

This recipe for cucumber-onion salad was passed down from Grandma to Mom to me and my siblings. It's easy, inexpensive, non-dairy, healthy, and keeps well.Thanks to our weekly CSA share, the vegetable bin is overflowing with cucumbers. So cucumber-onion salad is gracing our table almost daily.  Because today is my birthday and I’m celebrating by not experimenting with a new recipe, I’m rerunning this one that was first featured on Down the Gravel Road in July of 2012. It’s easy, it’s tasty, it’s non-dairy, it’s low-cal, and the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it tastes. No wonder this recipe has been consistently discovered and repinned on Pinterest since the day it first appeared there.

Cucumber-Onion Salad

1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced into thin rings*
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Place vegetables in a small serving bowl. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well and pour over vegetables so they are completely covered with liquid. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad can be stored for several days or a week in the fridge.

I try to make it at least 8 hours before serving so the flavors can meld and the vinegar has time to pickle the vegetables a little. Also, more cukes and onions into the brine after the original veggies are gone. I usually do that once before discarding the brine and making a completely new batch.

*I used red onions, which is why the salad looks so pretty in the picture, but any type of onion is fine.


Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Yellow watermelon, red sweet corn, and colorblind tomatoes in this week's three thoughts.

Last week’s CSA share included a yellow watermelon. (It was a whole one, but I forgot to take a picture of it so what you see above is a supermarket shot.) It’s presence led to these three thoughts.

  1. Our yellow watermelon smelled wonderful, but it was disconcerting to look at. So I had to close my eyes and pretend it was red for the first bite. It was so indescribably delicious, I ate the rest with eyes wide open.
  2. In the interest of full disclosure, please know that if served an ear of red sweet corn, closing my eyes for the first bite would become necessary again.
  3. The same rules do not apply to yellow tomatoes in place of red ones. They are completely interchangeable. Don’t ask me why.

What horse-of-a-different-color foods are hard for you to eat? Leave a comment.

Slow-Roasted Grape and Cherry Tomatoes

Slow-Roasted Grape and Cherry Tomatoes

Do you have more cherry and grape tomatoes than you can eat? Oven roast them to shrink them to more manageable proportions.

Tomato season is here. Every week since mid-July our CSA share has been packed with delicious slicing tomatoes and pint boxes of cherry and grape tomatoes. I’ve kept on top of the slicers, but the smaller ones were piling up faster than we could eat them. So last week, I took a recipe for oven-roasted Roma tomatoes and adapted it for cherry and grape tomatoes. About two-thirds of the roasted tomatoes found their way onto pesto pizza (just leave off the cheese to make it dairy-free) and the rest are in the fridge waiting to be used as one of many ingredients in pesto pasta. I liked the roasted tomatoes on the pizza. The Man of Steel wasn’t quite so sure.

The recipe is very easy, though the tomatoes have to roast a long time, so be sure to start them early or prepare them a day or two in advance.

Slow Roasted Cherry and Grape Tomatoes

3 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, or a combination of the two
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Wash tomatoes. Remove stems. Slice tomatoes in half and put in a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients together in a smaller bowl. Pour mixture over halved tomatoes and toss until all are coated.

Spray 2 large cookie sheets with cooking spray. Pour half of tomatoes into each cookie sheet. Turn tomatoes so cut side is facing up. Like this:


Put in oven and roast for 5 hours. Take trays out and remove tomato halves that are well-dried. Continue roasting the others for an hour to hour and a half, checking them every 30 minutes. Use immediately in other recipes or store in the refrigerator.

Top Ten June Blessings

Top Ten June Blessings

To fight fighting discouragement and a tendency to dwell on what's wrong in my world, I'm counting June blessings this week.Life’s been rough at our house lately. So I’m fighting discouragement and a tendency to dwell on what’s wrong in my world by giving thanks for the small and good blessings that are part of each day.

10. The weather’s been so pleasant, we’ve hardly needed to turn on the AC.

9.  The propane company sent a letter saying our bill will go down over $100 in September.

8.  At this moment, the weeds are pulled and the housework is done.

7.  The herb garden provided fresh parsley, basil, and cilantro for several meals this week.

6.  Our first CSA produce pick up is today.

5.  But the CSA strawberries started early so we feasted our way through 2 delectable quarts…and I took some down to Mom last week, too.

4.  Revisions on my mystery novel are moving along and the escape therapy is just what the doctor ordered.

3.  The Man of Steel and I will take Mom to a family reunion in Minnesota this coming weekend. She will complain during the whole trip and then thoroughly enjoy being queen for a day in the presence of her nieces and nephews.

2.  My daughter held the phone close to our 2-month-old grandson’s mouth so we could hear him coo. Happy tears!

1.  In the last week, God arranged encounters with 2 dear friends and a sister who understand my current struggles and the time spent with them was soothing balm to the soul.

What blessings are you thankful for this week?

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

  1. Encouragement = 1 day when 2 nieces from different sides of the family ask for advice. They have no idea how much that means to their old auntie.
  2. Tuesday was the last day to pick up produce through our CSA. Oh, fresh melons, tomatoes, sweet corn and much more, you will be dearly missed!
  3. Could there be a correlation between this year’s early frost and the early appearance of pumpkin spice lattes in coffee shops? What do you think?

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