Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Two Easy Recipes: Tomato Cucumber Salad and Crisp Rosemary Potatoes

Mom's Tomato Cucumber Salad
Are you ever at a loss for what to make with that grilled steak or chicken? Here are a couple of go-to recipes that I love making in a pinch. Easy, a lot of flavor, and minimal effort. How great is that?  Weekly dinners should always be like this!


The first is a basic recipe my Mom has been making as long as I know. It is the traditional summer tomato cucumber salad. Fresh, cold, zesty, and filling. This recipes combines two of my favorite summer veggies. I usually make a large batch for two or three nights. You can add onion if you want a bit more zestiness to it. But be warned, with the Italian dressing and onions, you may want to make it on the nights you don't have a date planned. :-)  

The second recipe, crisp rosemary potatoes, is my go-to recipe if I am making rosemary chicken or just grilling chicken breast. It is a great side dish!  I prefer to leave the potatoes in to bake for more time as I like them pretty crispy.


Marinated Tomato Cucumber Salad
by Abby Deeds (MOM!)


-6 Roma tomatoes, diced into bite size pieces (or 3 of your favorite large beefsteak variety tomatoes)
-3 cucumbers, peeled and diced into bite size pieces (seeded or not, your preference)
***Thanks to friends Becky Kitchmire for the cucumbers and Leah Emerich for the tomatoes!
-1 small or medium red onion, chopped up fine (optional, or use a sweet vidalia)
-Italian dressing (I used the 4 Seasons dry box mix which you add your own olive oil and vinegar)
-salt and pepper to taste 
Ingredients all ready! 
-fresh basil cut into fine strips (My addition, optional)

You basically want equal parts tomatoes and cucumbers. The onion is completely optional. Realize that if you use a red onion, it will definitely have a stronger more pungent flavor. Add a little onion, taste, add more, taste, etc. Mix all ingredients. Top with basil strips. Cover with plastic wrap in a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serves 2-4 people.

Also remember, you can make your own Italian dressing if you are so inclined. I like the dry box packets or the pre-made bottled dressing because it lessens the prep time. Sometimes, it's all about convenience!

I like mixing up the vinegar and oils I use in this. For the vinegar, besides red wine, you can also try pomegranate or balsamic. For the oils, experiment with regular olive oil, extra virgin, or flavored oils such as lemon, basil, or garlic-infused.


Crisp Rosemary Potatoes
from Gourmet Magazine

-2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
-1 tablespoon olive oil
Crispy Rosemary Potatoes (the crispier the better!) 
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary(I've also used dried and the recipe came out great.)
-salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and generously oil 2 large baking sheets
Arrange potatoes in 1 layer on the sheets. 
Brush tops with oil and sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. (I always use alot of rosemary.)
Roast potatoes in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden and edges are crisp, about 20 minutes. Serves 4.
***I usually keep them in longer, checking every 5-10 minutes depending on how crispy you like them! 

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