So, I am having a four day weekend, and it is glorious.

Brad and I took the dogs to the park today, and they are seriously worn out.

Summer for us means lots of trips to the park where the dogs explore and sniff and roll in dead animals and cool off in a stream.

It is dog heaven.

And it is also people heaven, for the dogs are exhausted when they get home.

Lola has been upstairs in her crate (by her own choice) since just after dinner.

Dogs are easy if you can just manage to wear them out.

Easier said than done usually.

Summer means the best weather.

Summer makes me feel alive again. And sweaty. And thirsty.

But mostly good.

Summer means that the Bachelorette is back on. Man, that show is terrible.

And yet. Oy. And yet. I get sucked in. Over and over again.

This year’s season is exceptionally cheesy (man in the mask, anyone?… Bentley anyone?… anyone? Bueller?), yet here I sit watching and talking back to the T.V.

I have issues.

For us, summer also means a big first.

That’s right, folks.

Brad and I said goodbye to cable today. We have toyed with the idea for a long time, and I’m feeling pretty good (and a little nervous) about our decision. We still have the basic channels, and we have Netflix on-demand. But I’m hoping that this move will prevent me from watching meaningless drivel that seems to dominate the airwaves.

However, I just admitted that I am totally obsessed with The Bachelor, and that happens to be on basic cable. So please disregard my comment about avoiding watching meaningless drivel.

Summer also means super simple and delicious dinners and side dishes.

I love, love, love summer foods.

Tonight, I’m sharing with you an oldie but a goodie.

This old gal of a recipe has found its way onto a plethora of picnic tables. It is a super duper simple salad/side dish, and it is extra delicious.

That is a winner combination if you ask me.

Let’s toss this bad boy together, shall we?

Get yourself a cucumber. I like the English cucumbers. They are a little more expensive, but they don’t have that thick, weird, waxy exterior.

Unwrap that cuke, and lob off the ends.

Slice it in half lengthwise.

Then cut it into little half moons.

Drop those into a bowl.

Now, get yourself a ruby red tomato.

Guess what? Tonight I picked my first cherry tomatoes from my garden- yay for produce from my yard!!

The tomato pictured below was picked from the grocery store. Far less fun.

Get out your brand new Wustoff Chef’s knife.

Oh, did I mention that I got this gorgeous gal from my brother and sister-in-law for my birthday?

Slicing and dicing tomatoes is much easier when you are using a beautiful, new and very sharp knife.

Chop that tomato up.

Toss that into the bowl with the cukes.

How about a shallot?

I love shallots. I generally keep a bunch of shallots on hand rather than onions.

Why?

Because, in the words of Bobby Brown, it is my prerogative.

And I guess that I prefer shallots because it is a rare occurrence that I’ll use a whole honkin’ onion in any given recipe.

Yes, I said honkin’.

Shallots are usually the perfect size.

And they have a more mellow flavor.

So, get acquainted with them and use them and love them.

Thank you.

Take off the skin and slice it thinly.

Toss the shallots into the bowl.

Now go grab some dill from your garden.

Yes!

My herbs are growing too. Oh joy of joys.

Have I mentioned that I love summer?

Chop that up and toss it into the bowl too.

Now, add 1 cup of vinegar.

The traditional recipe calls for 1 c of white vinegar.

I used about 1/4 c. of white vinegar. Then, I ran out.

So, I moved on to white wine vinegar.

I used about 1/4 c. of that, and then I ran out.

I finished with 1/2 c. of apple cider vinegar. And you guessed it… then, I ran out.

So, what I’m trying to tell you is that just about any vinegar or any combination of vinegar would work here.

Get yourself some sugar.

Pour 1 T, and add it to your mix.

Now, add 1/2 t. of salt.

Mix it all up.

And that is it.

OK, I lied.

You aren’t quite done.

Put some plastic wrap over your bowl, and pop it into the fridge for at least an hour to marinate.

You want to give the flavors time to get to know one another.

You can let it soak for up to 24 hours if you love super flavorful veggies.

Serve it up with some Grilled Barbecue Chicken Pizza.

Oh yes, Grilled Barbecue Chicken Pizza.

I’m bringing that recipe to you later this week.

Are you excited or what?

That’s all for tonight.

I’m wrapping up this post, and I just peeked out into the backyard.

And guess what??

I saw a lightening bug.

Oh summer.

How I love thee.

Love all of you too.

XO,
Leah

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