Cold Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup | Onion Pie

Yep, still hot. Still perfect for cucumber soup, which one day you’ll actually try. And then you’ll thank me, believe it or not. The soup recipe links are repeats from a couple of weeks ago; the first one, from Eating Well, is the winner, if you have time to make it.

Love to Cook: This rich, creamy recipe from Eating Well does require a bit of cooking, but not much. And you can serve it warm or room temperature if you don’t have time to let it cook fully. With the inclusion of avocado, it’s more satisfying than soups that are just cucumber, yogurt and cream. Paired with a sweet onion pie, it’s actually a decadent dinner.

Weeknight Reality: This version of cucumber soup is quick to make but best when it has time to hang out in the refrigerator for several hours before serving – not for temperature, really, but for the flavors to develop. If you have time to make it in the morning or at lunch time, great. If not, then skip to the recipe below, which you can serve immediately. You’re not making onion pie, and we both know it. Instead, sauté some onions in butter and spoon them on top of toasted brioche, or other egg bread.

Need a Miracle: This cucumber soup is the last of the three cold soup options provided on this great post. Each soup is ready in just a few minutes, really. If you don’t have an hour for the soup to chill (develop), then just increase the amount of seasonings. Garlic bread, with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan, is your quick-fix alternative to onion pie.

Weekly Line-Up

Cold Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup | Onion Pie
Shrimp Skewers | Creole Caesar Salad
Rum-spiked Jerk Chicken | Basmati Rice | Avocado & Citrus Salad
Grilled Chicken & Apple Sausage | Tomato-Basil Salad Salad | Chocolate Cupcakes
Fruit & Cheese Platter | Ancient Grains Bread



So, you didn’t plan dinner and you don’t feel like cooking and it’s hot outside? Yeah, here too. How about a platter of fresh vegetables and Mediterranean treats, scooped up from the olive bar at your local market?

Mediterranean Platter (Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves, olives, hummus, grilled lemon chicken, etc.)

Love to Cook: This Composed Greek Salad makes a pretty presentation, and a hearty vegetarian meal. For a different twist, try this hummus made with white beans and anchovies.

Weeknight Reality: Here’s a Greek salad that’s ready in 15 minutes, even with homemade dressing. Provided you have a food processor, this simple hummus is also super quick. Serve with some store-bought stuffed grape leaves and a tray of olives.

Need a Miracle: Yep, you’re buying it all pre-made from the market, or take-out from Taziki’s.


Tubby Creek July 2014

Whether you prepare your tomatoes and vegetables by whipping them in a blender (or food processor) or painstakingly dicing by hand, gazpacho makes the most of what’s in season mid-summer. There are myriad recipes available online; below are just three that seemed good today. Pair with a hunk of cold iceberg lettuce, topped with blue cheese, bacon and diced tomato, and summer dinner is served.

Love to Cook: This classic gazpacho is easy and quick, aside from the chilling time (which, frankly, I always cut short). Try it with this wedge salad.

Weeknight Reality: Ina Garten’s version takes 20 minutes to make. Really. Add Tabasco if you want it spicy. Here’s an easy wedge salad, easier if you substitute cooked bacon.

Need a Miracle: This quick recipe takes 10 minutes (and passata is crushed, strained tomatoes, which are available in most groceries). See above for salad recipe, or just make a plain salad.


July 4 CSA

Tomato Pie | Corn on the Cob | Basil Salad | Blueberries & Cream

The major and minor passions.
Sunlight. Hair.

The basic pleasures. Tomatoes, Keats,
meeting a smart man for a drink.

From “The Uses of the Body,” by Deborah Landau

Love to Cook: Few dishes scream SUMMER, at least in the South, like a good tomato pie. This version, from Southern Living, has decadent additions like bacon and sour cream. If you’re feeling fancy, pair it with this Basil Caesar Salad. Boil or grill the corn; wash the blueberries and top with sweetened whipped cream. No need to make those last two things any harder than they are.

Weeknight Reality: If you use prepared crust (no, not as good, but definitely fast), then you can have this Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie ready in a little more than 30 minutes, almost all of which is baking time. Cut any leftover fresh basil into ribbons and toss into your regular green salad. Boil the corn, wash the blueberries and whip the cream while the pie bakes, and the whole thing is ready in about 45 minutes.

Need a Miracle: A quick dip in some boiling water will cook the corn, and everything else can just be served the way nature made it, if you either don’t have time or just don’t want to cook. Warm a multi-grain boule, sourdough loaf or slices of buttered brioche. Slice and salt some fresh tomatoes, top them with ribbons of basil and maybe a dash of balsamic vinegar; toss a salad; wash the berries and just pour sweetened cream (or ice cream) over the top. The end.

Happy July 4th weekend.



BLTs | Potato Chips | Watermelon Slices | Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Whether or not you’re in vacation mode this week, a picnic for dinner makes life feel more vacation-y. You can go fancy, adding avocado, arugula and artisan bread to your BLT and making your own potato chips, or you can go super easy, buying cooked bacon, kettle chips, and pre-sliced watermelon. You can make the ice cream sandwiches with or without making the ice cream and cookies from scratch; just soften a tub of your favorite flavor, drop a big scoop between two big Pepperidge Farm cookies, and you’re set.

Love to Cook: How about Candied Bacon with a Garlic-Basil Aioli for your gourmet BLT? And even if you’re not a Ree Drummond fan, her recipe for homemade potato chips is simple and reliable. Here’s another plug for the two-ingredient, no-churn ice cream, if you have time to make it in advance. You can flavor with vanilla (or lavender, or whatever).

Weeknight Reality: How about a BLT salad instead of traditional sandwich? The total time is almost an hour, but most of that is bacon cooking time. You could easily trim the time by buying cooked bacon (even candied bacon, for an extra zing). For the ice cream sandwiches, buy ice cream and big cookies and let people assemble their own.

Need a Miracle: If you want to make it look like you did more work than you had time to do, upgrade the ingredients for your BLTs and serve them like a salad bar for people to assemble their own (avocado, candied bacon, micro greens, flavored mayo, etc.). Ditto for the chips, ice cream and cookies, although you could also just buy old-fashioned ice cream sandwiches and probably please just about everyone you’re serving.