Forget The Cooking ... It's Too Hot Outside



Okay. The hot weather has settled in around the Rim country and cooking is not a fun prospect.

Barbecuing is only a safe option, if you have a gas grill.

There are alternatives though.

It is time to get well acquainted with what all the assorted deli counters around town have to offer. Pick up some cold, thin-sliced baked ham or roast beef. Or pay a visit to everyone's favorite colonel. Get some potato salad or cole slaw.

Plan a cold supper for the deck, patio or the wonderful town parks.

There are plenty of cold dishes you can make too. One of my family favorites is cucumbers and onions mixed with vinegar and sugar.

It is really simple, quick and tasty.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

1 large cucumber, or 2 small

1 medium, sweet onion

1 cup of white vinegar (to start)

1/2 cup sugar (to start)

Combine the vinegar and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves and chill. If desired, these ingredients can be doubled to assure enough dressing for your vegetables. It is also possible to use the sugar substitute, Splenda in this recipe. The resulting taste is only slightly different from the original, making it very low calorie.

Wash cucumber, score, lengthwise, with fork tines, slice as if making pickle chips.

Peel onion and separate rings, it is not necessary to keep rings intact.

Combine vegetables with chilled dressing and chill until flavors combine, about an hour.

Serve as a salad or as condiments for those cold ham or roast beef sandwiches.

Now, this is not a no-cook recipe, but it is a no-bake recipe and makes one of my childhood favorites.

No Bake Cookies

3 cups quick cooking rolled oats

2/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup butter or margarine (one stick)

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup baking cocoa

2 teaspoons vanilla

Put wax paper or foil on a cookie sheet. Combine oats and peanut butter and set aside.

Put remaining ingredients, except vanilla, in a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add other ingredients. Combine until well blended.

Drop heaping mounds on cookie sheet and cool.

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