Posted in Food Favorites, Freedom Friday

Our Meals

The other night my wife surprised me with a barbecue chicken meal. I say surprised because it was the first time she’d made it. It was delicious. No surprise there since she cooks pretty amazing things for me and the family. During the weekend, I return the favor by cooking the Saturday meal. My kids like it as does my wife.

My  garlic chicken and my wife's coleslaw
My garlic chicken and my wife’s coleslaw

Freedom Friday is not the same if I don’t talk about food in some form or another. Today makes no exception.

Some of my favorite meals my wife makes are the simple ones with lots of flavor. For instance, during those cold winter nights when the heat cuts in every two minutes and the snow piles high outside our front door, she’ll dedicate a good portion of her time making all sorts of soup. Squash soup, heavy on the hot pepper, is a regular treat for dinner. It lights up the palate and soothes the chills from the bitter wind blowing from the Arctic. Broccoli soup is another one of her specialties. I don’t know what she puts in it to get it so creamy, but I have to say it’s so good.

Although not a meal, my wife has taken to making batches of Greek Tzatziki sauce. It’s a yogurt-based sauce with bits of cucumber and lots of garlic in the mix. We use it to dip fries, chicken and pita bread in it. I can only describe the flavor as divine. The creamy richness of the sauce provides the meal a missing element of flavor that few sauces can compare. Simply outstanding.

My wife also cooks the traditional Italian dishes for our family. Pasta sauce and meatballs is a staple in our diet. Our typical Tuesday night meal consists of lots of pasta—penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, etc.—drenched with her homemade sauce and lots of spicy meat as part of the plate. She’ll add salad and vegetables as side dishes, but her salads are meals in themselves. Standard ingredients in her salads are sliced cucumbers, chunks of feta cheese and at times, Greek olives. I suppose you might call it a Greek salad with a little something to boot.

My Saturday meals can be anything. I’ve been on a curry kick lately, making everything from curry chicken to any meat with curry in there. I have a handful of ingredients I use on a regular basis to bring out the flavor of the meat in a wild and exciting way (coconut milk, curry, garlic, onion, salt, black and cayenne pepper).

I’ll sometimes make lamb as a special treat on a long weekend. I love my garlic, so I’ll mince garlic in the lamb, add olive oil, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard to give it an extra kick. I don’t want to brag—oh, why not—it’s one of the best dishes I enjoy making and eating with the family.

Lastly, the best part about our meals is sitting together as a family and talking about our day. Nothing quite beats that.


What foods do you enjoy making or eating? Do you also have recipes you like having for special occasions?

Posted in Food Favorites, Freedom Friday

Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are one of my favorite vegetables. I add them to salads. I have them plain. I even toss them into a bowl, dipping them into olive oil as a snack. Cucumbers are great. That’s why for this Freedom Friday post I’m going to share with you one of my absolute favorite cucumber salad recipes ever. If you’re looking for something to eat on a Sunday afternoon, this is the recipe for you.

My cucumber salad recipe
My cucumber salad recipe

Although tailored for summer fun, this recipe came from my ongoing experimentation with different food combinations. If anything, this dish has more of a Greek/Mediterranean flavor combination suitable for an evening get-together with friends and family alike. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it any other time.

Let’s get to it.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Half an English cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • Half a lemon
  • Oregano
  • Half a garlic clove
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Greek olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive oil


  • Cut an English cucumber in half, peel it and slice it into small pieces, and add it to a deep bowl. Some folks like keeping the skin on the cucumber, which is great because the skin has lot of vitamins. In this case, however, I peel it to give the dish a particular flavor I’ve grown to like. Nonetheless, you can keep the peel if you want.
  • Chop half a garlic clove and add it to the bowl. Trust me, adding half a garlic is being stingy. I’m Italian, garlic runs in our veins. Too much garlic is never enough.
  • Now, add oregano, fresh ground pepper, salt, Greek olives, a generous dousing of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice. Regarding the amounts to add, I can answer that simply by saying “to taste”. I love oregano, so I add quite a bit of it. The same goes for the fresh ground pepper, nothing quite like the flavor to surprise someone trying it for the first time. 
  • Toss the ingredients with salad spoons or ordinary spoons for that matter.
  • The last step is to scoop the meat from an avocado into the bowl. Add a good amount of feta cheese on top and you’re good to go. The reason we don’t toss the final ingredients in the salad is to avoid them from getting soggy. No one wants a mushy salad.
Cucumber diced in bowl
Cucumber diced in bowl
Spices added
Spices added
Before tossing the ingredients
Before tossing the ingredients
The complete dish
The complete dish

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. If you ever do try it out, make it part of a BBQ on a hot summer evening and let me know what you think.


Do you have any cucumber recipes you’d like to share?