Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cucumber Salad Recipe

Cucumber salad is so simple yet so wonderful. I have been eating it like crazy this summer. With abundant fresh cucumbers available at all the farmers markets they are easy to find and cheap.

You can have it creamy or traditional; skin on or off. I have been leaving the skin on for extra fiber and nutrition plus it gives the dish more visual depth. I think the traditional style offers more of a chance to taste the freshness of the cucumbers.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for you to try. It's so good I almost want to drink the liquid when done!

Andy's Cucumber Salad
4 large cucumbers or equivalent
1 medium onion
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fine ground pepper

Thinly slice cucumbers and place in a large bowl.
(If cucumbers are fat you may want to cut in half length wise before slicing.)
Cut onion in half; then thinly slice and add to the bowl.
Stir in salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan add vinegar, water, sugar, and dill.
Bring to a boil stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add to the cucumber/onion mixture.
Stir, cover, then refrigerate.
Should be ready to eat in about 1-1/2 hours.

My experience is this salad will get better the longer it marinates. I think it really comes together after about two days. The cucumbers start to soften a bit and the onions tend to mellow after they soak up the goodness of the marinade. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Los Gables Mexican Restaurant - Fountain, MN - Review

Los Gables Mexican Restaurant
HWY 52 and HWY 80
Fountain, MN, 55935

Rating - 8 out of 10

Peggy and I stopped at Los Gables Mexican Restaurant in Fountain, MN this past weekend. We were driving past on Highway 52 on our way back from our Niece's wedding in Iowa.

After parking the car the first thing I noticed was the nice setting. Behind the building next to the gravel parking lot is a lush yard with thick grass, large trees and picnic benches scattered around. Lined with woods on one side and a corn field on the other it was the perfect setting to walk my dog after our long trip. There are also horseshoe pits with horseshoes waiting for whomever wants to play.

Inside we were greeted with a smile and quickly seated. The employees were all very friendly and the decor was very cute and quaint with brightly colored tables and chairs, fun decorations, and many other niceties hanging from the walls or displayed on shelves.

The menu had a good amount of traditional Mexican dishes as well as some interesting combination platters. There was also a section that explained some Spanish phrases in English. We had fun practicing during our visit. We were interested to see a traditional "soda shoppe" type menu behind the front counter as well. It was reminiscent of places I used to visit during my childhood offering malts, soft serve ice cream, fries, onion rings, etc.

Chips and mild salsa were immediately brought to the table. The chips were warm and the salsa fresh but a bit bland for my taste. I asked for some hot sauce and was presented with two homemade choices; red or green. The red sauce was excellent with great roasted flavor and had a good bit of heat but the green was the bomb! Made with habanero peppers it packed some serious fire.

For our meal Peggy chose the Mexican sandwich. This large sandwich consisted of warm soft artisan bread with refried beans, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and shredded lamb meat. Very nice consistency and flavor. I had two spicy chicken enchiladas with a spicy chicken soft shell taco. While the quantity and quality were good, the chicken was not spicy at all. This did not bother me because I had their great hot sauces to help with that. Our meals were accompanied with tasty refried beans and a very moist, tender and delicate Mexican rice.

All things considered we really enjoyed our visit and will be back again. If you are ever traveling through Southeastern MN or live in the area it would definitely be worth a visit. I even opted to buy a t-shirt with their logo albeit too small. More reason for me to continue my efforts at the gym and to cut back on the margaritas.

CLICK HERE to check out Los Gables on Facebook or visit