Saturday, July 28, 2012

Walk in the garden…it’s what’s for dinner

I just watered the yard to save my flowers and garden from our drought.  It is a daily chore now.  I try to get up early in the morning before the heat and take a stab at it.  So as I did this today, I picked what I’ll have for dinner.  I picked tomatoes, chives and kale.

I cut some small kale which I love.  I prefer it small so I don’t have the large stacks to cut out and it is more tender.  It is one of the best veggies you can eat as far as vitamins and being of German decent, it is bred into me I think.  The area my grandfather came from actually has a yearly festival celebrating Kale.  I wrote a little about it in my Kale blog and shared a lot of kale recipes along with what I’m making today.  I love to just take some cubed ham, kale and new potatoes and cook it until the potatoes are tender.  I cook it in chicken broth (just enough to cover everything in the pot).  I add a little onion powder, salt and pepper and once everything is cooked, I add a pint of half and half.  Once it is simmering, I thicken it with a corn starch slurry.  I check it again for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. 

I picked tomatoes and some chives so there will be sliced tomatoes and I’m making cucumber sliders since I have a large English cucumber, left over bacon and some canned crab in the pantry.  Here is that recipe.

Cool Cucumber Sliders 

8 oz cream cheese (I like the whipped cram cheese)
1/4 cup chopped green onion or chives
12 slices of cooked chopped bacon
4 oz. crab meat
1 tsp fresh dill (you can substitute with dried dill but use ½ tsp.)
½ tsp. onion powder (Optional)
2 large sliced cucumbers
Fresh chives

Clean cucumbers and with a potato peeler decorate the skin of the cucumber by peeling lines on the skin.  Slice your cucumber about ¼ of an inch thick.

Lightly salt the cucumber and let it sit on paper plate or a paper towel.  Use a cucumber with small seeds.

Prep work:  Clean and chop your green onion or chives and fresh dill.  I prefer chives because I have it in my garden all summer and it is more delicate and does not overwhelm the crab meat or cucumber.  Chop your fried bacon (this is a good time to buy that precooked bacon).  I actually use a kitchen scissors for cutting the bacon and the chives.  I have smaller pieces and have a more controlled size.

Mix a package of cream cheese, chives or onions, bacon and crab. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and dill. Place a spoonful of cheese mixture on a slice of cucumber and top with an additional slice.  Garnish with chives and/or dill weed.  I like the dill because it just seems to go hand and hand with cucumbers but I have chives in the cheese mixture.

Variation:  Replace the crab with finely chopped deli roast beef or ham.  You can make an assortment and label your plates and let company sample one of each. 

Enjoy your day and be happy.  May God bless you and yours.  

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