Cucumber Salad

With some of the most massive cucumbers I have ever seen starting to come in from the garden, it was time for a tasty cucumber salad.  This recipe came from somewhere in the family, but I mostly have made it up at this point!


  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • dash paprika


1. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt. Let stand 15 minutes.
2. Drain liquid. Add onions, vinegar and pepper.
3. Stir in sour cream, and refrigerate.
4. Dust with paprika before serving.


Creamy Polenta with Gorgonzola and Spinach

New recipe cribbed from  This was taken from Bon Appetit magazine and modified by me to fit what I had in the kitchen!  The

Serves 6-8

gorgonzola gives the recipe a beautiful sharp flavor.  I had this as a main dish in a meat free dinner with some salad on the side.


  • 4 cups low-salt vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)*
  • 1 cup (packed) chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese


  1. Bring first 3 ingredients to boil in large saucepan.
  2. Gradually whisk in polenta.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring often, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add cream and simmer until almost absorbed and polenta thickens, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add cheese; stir until cheese melts.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.
See original at:

Garlic Green Beans

This side dish is taken pretty much “as is” from Recipezaar, with just an increase in garlic to suit my tastes.  This is not the best Garlic Green Beans recipe around, but it is one of the easiest!


  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 3 tbs minced garlic
  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


  1. Wash beans, trim ends and remove all strings
  2. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add beans
  3. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  4. Saute garlic in butter in large skillet
  5. Add beans, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Roast Chicken with Asparagus and Tahini Sauce

From, a reprint from April 2005 Gourmet Magazine, with a couple of very minor changes:


  • 2 lbs asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (3 lbs total)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbs well-stirred tahini (make sure you stir before measuring!)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs garlic, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Toss asparagus with 2 tbs oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a 15×10 inch shallow baking pan.  Roast on bottom rack, shaking pan once or twice, for 10 minutes
  3. As asparagus cooks, pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with 1/2 tsp salt and remaining pepper
  4. Heat 2 tbs oil in 12 inch ovenproof skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking
  5. Brown chicken, turning over just once, until golden, about 6 minutes total
  6. Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast until cooked through, about 5 more minutes
  7. While chicken roasts, puree tahini, water, lemon juice, sugar, garlic and remaining salt in blender until smooth.  (about 1 minute)  Add water if sauce is too thick.
  8. Server chicken and asparagus drizzled with sauce and remaining sauce on the side.

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

Tried this one for the first time tonight.  With two teenage boys and myself to feed, I increasingly find that a pound of ground beef doesn’t even

In the iron skillet!

begin to cover their dinner needs, much less leave anything for leftovers.  This ground beef/cornbread casserole fits the bill well.  It is a skillet dish.  Although it would be served classically with some borracho or black beans, I needed to green things up, so I did a spicy spinach dish with it.  I also like a little sour cream on top, although the boys turn up their noses at that idea.


For Batter:

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 10 oz cream corn
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk (may use more if needed to thin out batter)


Ready to serve, cheesy with a substantial cornbread crust.

Ready to serve, cheesy with a substantial cornbread crust.

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 can Hatch hot green chiles
  • 2 1/1 cup shredded colby jack cheese


  1. Mix corn meal and brown sugar together.  Then add eggs, oil, corn and milk.  Stir to a cake batter like consistency.  Should be slightly lumpy.  Set this aside.
  2. In an iron skillet brown the ground beef with onions and chiles until thoroughly cooked.  Pour into strainer and rinse with hot water.  I also use hot water to rinse out the skillet.  Let the beef drain.
  3. Dry and then grease iron skillet
  4. Pour half the batter into the skillet
  5. Spread hamburger mixture evenly over batter
  6. Top this layer with all of the cheese
  7. Pour the remaining batter over the cheese
  8. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until the top is well browned.