Cucumber, Avocado, Shrimp Salad

I had so much fun bumming around at my parents’ house, eating mom’s cooking, watching TV with dad, shopping with mom.

But I was stoked to get back to my own kitchen and whip up a yummy dinner.

Except for the heat.

I love summer, but oh my goodness is it hot in the city! I had zero desire to turn on my oven today.

So a no-cook dinner it had to be.

I remembered something in Alex Guarnaschelli’s cookbook, Old School Comfort Food, that I had been waiting for the right night to try out. Tonight, fellow city dwellers melting in the heat, was the perfect night for Alex’s shrimp, avocado and cucumber salad. I tweaked the recipe a bit to fit the ingredients I had on hand.

I also bought pre-cooked shrimp and just defrosted them, because, like I said, it’s way too hot to cook. Anything.

So here’s a no-cook, one bowl dinner, to help you beat the heat in your itty bitty city kitchen.

You will need

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cucumber
  • shrimp (I got like 3/4 pound for the two of us)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • black pepper

Chop up the cucumber and the avocado and toss them into the bowl. Remove the tails from the shrimp and either toss in the bowl whole or chop in half. I chopped mine so everything would be relatively the same size.


Add the olive oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and black pepper and toss the shrimp and vegetable to coat. You can adjust the amounts depending in which flavors you want to come through more.

Cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for an hour.

A delicious, refreshing, cooling dinner. You can serve over brown rice if you like.


We grabbed some from the Chinese restaurant again.

I went light on the rice because I had overindulged a little this weekend. This salad is great to help get you back on track. It’s also great for a Sunday night because it’s so easy and takes so little time that you can make the most of the last hours before the work week starts again.

And it means you can watch Michael Symon battle Jose Garces on Iron Chef!


My Kitchen

So, I moved to the big beautiful city, with its bright lights and big dreams.

And I got ….


a tiny kitchen.

I’m luckier than most of my friends. I have a full-sized oven and refrigerator. And I have a dishwasher. Not my boyfriend, but an actual dishwasher!

But I’m lacking counter space- here’s my counter-


and the ever elusive storage.

I spend Saturday mornings with my coffee on the couch watching Ree Drummond and Paula Deen and Alex Guarnaschelli churn out mouth-watering meals, scrumptious snacks and tantalizing treats.

A sea of bowls and fresh produce and pans and fancy stand mixers and food processors line their counters and their granite islands.

I wrap my hands around my coffee, look at my kitchen and sigh.

No island. No room for a stand mixer. No room to roll out dough for dozens of cookies. No room to even put a bowl and a cookie sheet side-by-side.


Does this mean that sizzling casseroles of enchiladas, ooey gooey chocolate and caramel birthday cakes and simmering pots of stews filling the house with tantalizing smells will elude me until I can afford that upper west side brownstone or, worse, until I, gulp, succumb to the call of the suburbs where I could get more for my money?

My taste buds will not wait that long!

So, instead, I invite you into my tiny kitchen. It’s cozy. We’ll be fast friends.