Friday, November 26, 2010

Cucumber Sandwiches: My Go-To

Thanksgiving leftovers -- heck, leftovers from any holiday -- are wonderful. I look forward to leftovers almost more than I do the actual meal. Weird? I bet I'm not alone.

Because you and I are sitting back enjoying our leftovers today, I'm not going to post a multi-step, intricate recipe. I'm taking it easy. Post-Thanksgiving is meant to be savored, don't you think? The day after Thanksgiving is so great. Still lots of family time, but a whole lot less cooking. Rather than scurry out and shop, we prefer to open our boxes of holiday decor and pick out our tree.

To celebrate today being a laid-back day, then, I'm sharing one of my top Go-To recipes. Over the years, we discovered that one of our favorite holiday leftovers is actually an appetizer. We all like it so much, we stopped serving it only on holidays and at parties, and now we make it at the drop of a hat. Here's the excuse we used this time: Our three daughters are home this week!

Super, super easy, this one comes from Pampered Chef. We changed it ever so slightly, but I gotta give them credit. They've really mastered making yummy food fast. I might have mentioned that I used to be a Pampered Chef lady (you know, the one who comes to your house and shows you all the great gadgets?), so I have a houseful of fun toys to play with.

This is *not* a Pampered Chef commercial -- just a little back story. It's been years since I've even been to a party. But I still love this recipe!

Cucumber Sandwiches

1 cucumber
1 8-oz cream cheese
1 cup mayo
1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix (like Good Seasons. I use the store house brand and I buy them in 4 packs -- less expensive when you make it as often as we do!)

I like to soften my cream cheese a little before mixing. I put it in a glass bowl and pop it into the microwave for about 10 - 15 seconds, or maybe even a little more.

Add dry Italian dressing mix. Add mayo. Use hand mixer until smooth.

Put this in the fridge. I always find the taste improves after I've given the mix time to set and allow the flavors to combine.

In the meantime, slice cucumber into very thin slices. I have a mandolin-thing from Pampered Chef. Can't remember what they call it, but it has different slicing/shredding blades that pop in and out. Perfect for slicing cucumbers ultra thin.

Bread: The original recipe encouraged us to bake our own bread in bread tubes. I did that for a while but it got very old very fast. Plus the breads were relatively small and these little sandwiches would disappear quicker than I could keep up. I would make four loaves and it still wouldn't be enough.

What I do now is go to my local supermarket (Jewel), find the twin French loaves, and ask the friendly ladies behind the counter to slice them for me. Voila. Perfect! And plenty. I still wind up buying four (two 2-packs) at a time, but they're much bigger than the ones I made myself.

Spread mix on bread slice, top with cucumber. Repeat, repeat, repeat....
(I like to cut the cuke slice about halfway up, then twist before placing atop the bread. Pretty!)


Just an easy and very, very delicious appetizer that everyone seems to love. I can't believe how often I get compliments on these. Or how much my kids still love them. It's been over 10 years and they haven't gotten tired of them yet!

This is one of my favorite Go-To recipes.
What's one of yours?

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  1. This is just perfect after all the heavy Thanksgiving food yesterday. I can see these with a nice cup of Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup for a nice light lunch or supper.

  2. I want about a dozen right now...

  3. These look so light and yummy...especially after the heavy meal I had yesterday! Thanks for sharing this, Julie!

  4. How pretty! In my house, cucumber sandwiches are standard fare too, with a husband who grew up in England and a wife (me) who was born there. He is always the one who makes them, and they are so good that at least one kidlet has been known to request them for her special birthday dinner.

    But I'm loving those leftovers, too! It snowed yesterday, perfect weather for soup. I just stripped the turkey, so I think I'll put the bones right into the soup pot, right now.

  5. Around here (Kentucky/Indiana), our cucumber sandwiches are Benedictine. A woman named Jenny Benedict created the spread for her restaurant around the turn of the 19/20 century.

    Peel, de-seed and finely chop cucumber. Salt lightly and drain over a bowl. Soften cream cheese. Blend drained cucumber, cream cheese, finely diced onion to taste (or use onion powder or juice), salt to taste. If too thick to spread, add a little cucumber juice. Should be very pale green.

    Marian Allen

  6. Beverly - exactly! Love that idea. Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup sounds heavenly! Care to share the recipe?

    booklover - come on over. We've got the fixings for way more than a dozen!

    Elizabeth - Easy after a big event is always such a joy, isn't it?

    Laineshots - I would love to try the cucumber sandwiches you and your husband grew up with. I bet they'd be fabulous. I hear you about the kids, though. They're the ones who started requesting them for birthdays and then requesting them for no special occasion at all!

    Marian - I've never heard of Benedictines, but I love the history and recipe. Thank you! I will definitely try making this spread! Sounds delicious!

  7. Julie, these look lovely and easy. Pampered Chef. Does it still exist? I need a couple of bake pans!

    Killer Characters

  8. Always a good idea to eat light the day after feasting! Have a great Thanksgiving weekend, Julie!

    ~ Cleo

  9. I'm a big fan of this blog and all the authors. Most days I read the recipes and drool with a sad face because I'm on a strict (somewhat strict) diet and am afraid to try some of the delicious recipes (though I have made several things to share with friends who are not on such a strict diet). I love that you posted this one today. It sounds wonderful and it won't hurt my diet. Yahoo! Have all of you ever considered taking all the great recipes you share and turning them into a Mystery Lovers Kitchen Cookbook?

    Beverly AKA Bookwoman

  10. Avery - Pampered Chef does still exist - which is great for me! I've not been to any parties, but they often have a presence at our local Farmer's Market and at holiday gift festivals at local restaurants. Good thing, because I go through those tiny paring knives like water!

    Cleo - eating heavy, eating light... I don't discriminate! I think it's actually my favorite pastime, after writing and reading, of course!

    Beverly/Bookwoman - so happy you're part of our Mystery Lovers' Kitchen community and that this recipe (and, I'm sure, others here) works for you. We've occasionally tossed around the idea of a group cookbook, but nothing solid yet. Great idea, though!

  11. Oh, those look scrumptious! I'll have to try them.

  12. Julie, these are so festive. I love the idea of using them as appetizers.

    ~ Krista

  13. Hey Jenn and Krista - Yep, scrumptious, festive, and fun. Have fun with them!