Category Archives: food

Cucumber Salad with a twist

I was thinking about doing some refrigerator pickles, but I came across a different recipe. It was from Isabelle (not my mom Isabelle) a friend of a friend.

I had to hurry if I was going to use the cucumbers in my fridge.

Here’s Isabelle’s Cucumber Salad recipe:

8 cups sliced cukes (I’m not exactly sure how much I had. I didn’t measure.) 1 cup chopped green pepper ( I didn’t have any green pepper but I did have some little orange ones.) I probably had 1/4 cup of pepper. 2 or 3 onions, sliced (Again I didn’t measure.) 1 Tbsp canning salt (I went a little light on the salt.)

Mix above ingredients. Let stand 1 hour. Drain.

Add: 1/2 tsp mustard seed (I used dried mustard.); 1/2 tsp. celery seed; 2 cups sugar; and 1 cup vinegar. (I heated this mixture in the microwave to almost boiling. Isabelle didn’t do this.)

Pour spice mixture over vegetables. Let stand 1/2 hour. Put it in plastic containers and freeze.

The onions should break up into rings as you mix in the salt to the raw vegetables.

The finished pickles are above. I put one container in the freezer and another in the fridge. I’m munching on those.

Oh, I forgot to say that I added 1/2 tsp of dried dill to my mixture. Isabelle didn’t.

This is an easy and yummy cucumber salad, even with my changes.

I see a recipe as a guide, not a commandment. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Marshmallow Public Service Announcement

I had the great idea of dehydrating regular sized marshmallows in my oven. I set the temp very low, loaded in the marshmallows, closed the door, and let them dehydrate.

It wasn’t long before I could smell burning marshmallows. I opened the door and found a disaster. My marshmallows didn’t dry. They melted and fell in gobs to the oven floor–no photo of disaster because I was too worried that I’d soon have a fire and too embarrassed.

No fire ensued. I caught the problem in time. It took a lot of work cleaning all the globs of white sweetness out of my oven.

Take this as a Public Service Announcement.

Do not try to dry regular size marshmallows in your oven! They melt.

A dedicated dehydrator does work.

To get crunchy, dry marshmallows, I set my Ninja air-fryer/dehydrator on dehydrate, set it for 4 hours and had success.

Once the machine stopped, I let the marshmallows cool before biting into their crisp, sweet whiteness.

This is better than waiting for Peeps to dry for months.

Just be careful how you try to dry your marshmallows. The small marshmallows will dry a lot faster.

Good luck with your marshmallow adventures.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved


Don’t feel sorry for me that my potatoes are small. That’s what I planted.

Oops, I turned the camera the wrong way, but I think you get the idea.

It doesn’t take much to cook up little spuds.

Boiling some in heavily salted water for 30 minutes and then let dry. You have a nice vegetable or snack. By the way, you keep the skins on. If you tried to peel them there wouldn’t be anything left.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Pizza time!

I found out that I can buy little frozen pizzas that I like.

But I don’t want to turn on my oven. Instead I use my summer kitchen. That’s a countertop oven or an air fryer–I have both.

I love my summer kitchen.

The countertop oven is perfect for pizza and having it on the back porch means the heat stays out there and not in the kitchen. (I know other people use their outside grills for pizzas too, but that’s too bother and charcoal for just one person.)

Pizza goes in.
Pizza comes out.

Enough for a couple meals for me.

I think I’ll try a soft taco shell pizza made with my own ingredients next. I just have to be careful that the soft crust doesn’t slip off the peel.

I use the air fryer a lot, too. I’ve even made bacon in it. The heat and the smell both stay in the ‘summer kitchen’.

I recommend cooking out of the kitchen on hot HOT days.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved


I hate thinking of what to eat for myself. For 46 years I thought first of what Bob would like to eat. Now, it’s just me.

Today’s lunch was quick. Two eggs with mushrooms, onion, sweet pepper, and a bit of bacon were my ingredients. (I cooked the vegetables first before adding the egg.)

I didn’t realize I’d make it into an omelet until I had the vegetables and eggs in the pan. At first, I thought I’d scramble everything together. When I added a bit of cheese it became an omelet.

It almost slid out of the pan in one piece but since I had a lot of veggies, it broke a little.

With whole wheat toast, this was a good lunch.

Bob and I often had breakfast for lunch or even dinner.

Today, I gave Car-E a little lunchtime snack. He ate nicely.

If another pet looked like it wanted a taste, Car-E would growl and attack his food so no one else would get any.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved