Monday, March 14, 2011

C is for Cucumber and Coconut (...just not together)

What do you do when you've got a kid who's a picky eater? Well, if you're us you put her in charge of making a meal. That's how our family cooking tradition started about two years. Hannah, in particular, didn't like anything but fruit, chicken fingers, spaghetti with no sauce (but a mountain of processed parmesan cheese), and cereal.

So, we challenged her cook dinner once a week. Her first dinner suggestion was Mac 'n Cheese, which she wanted to make from a box. Oh no, no, no, sweetie! So we found a homemade mac 'n cheese recipe, she made it, loved it, and said buh-bye to the box.

Now, two years later, Hannah is 10 and has discovered several new foods she never knew she liked (Chicken Kabuli Pulao anyone?!?).

Hannah has now taken on a challenge and continues her whirl through the world of fruits and vegetables with two C ingredients:

Cucumbers and Coconuts. Yes, neither of them is technically a vegetable. They're both fruits ... or maybe a coconut ... is ... a nut. It's all a little confusing, isn't it?

Regardless, she chose cucumbers and coconuts, so that's what it is. Hannah recently discovered, rather happenstancily at a friend's house, that she likes cucumbers. In prep for this meal, she scoured the web and came up with this recipe for Cucumber Salad.

First step: slicing cucumbers and onions very thin (with a little help from Daddy).


  • 2 cucumbers, very thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or 2 tablespoons lemon juice (we used the vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (low fat) or 2 tablespoons yogurt (sour cream for us)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill


  1. Mix cucumbers and onions together.
  2. Mix rest of ingredients together in a closed bowl and give a shake.
  3. Add to cucumbers, chill till very cold & serve.

See how easy that is. Just mix. Or, in Hannah's case, shake.


Shake! (notice the blur of the action shot?!? A whole lotta shakin' going on)

Of course a girl can't live on Cukes alone. So we cooked up some burgers as a side...

This is Hannah, confused by her cooking lesson that included the pearl of wisdom "Just because it looks cooked on the outside, doesn't mean the inside's done". ("Say what, Dad?!? You're burning it!!")

And, voila...


Chef Hannah -- I figured out I like hamburgers (who knew?!?) and don't like Cucumber Salad. It's too ... (purses lips and scrunches up nose).

Sous Chef Jason -- I don't do cucumbers. (Gee, wonder where Hannah gets it from? He actually dislikes quite a few nightshade vegetables) The burger was good, though. I added Montreal Steak Seasoning. My secret ingredient.

Olivia -- I don't like hamburgers. I do like cucumbers. But I don't like this salad. Uck.

Tanya -- The hamburger was good, but I really liked the Cucumber Salad. It reminds me of something my mom or grandmother would bring to a family picnic. And it was tres easy.

Miranda is in Los Angeles, performing at Universal Studios and running around Rodeo Drive and Grauman's Chinese Theatre with these guys.

OOOhhh, forgot about the Coconut! Well, that's a different story. Blog post coming soon...


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