Peanut Noodle Salad with Cucumber, accompanied by Frozen Lemon Cups, won’t heat up your kitchen. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

I confess that this is the time of year when I want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. This week’s recipes reflect that, and all include ways to incorporate tart lemons and limes into a refreshing, easy meal. This includes an icy adult beverage, Asian noodle salad and a cool, creamy dessert.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at

I sampled these slushies at a friend’s house recently and was sold on the first sip, especially when I saw how easy the drinks were to make. There’s no juicing involved and no painstakingly coating the glass rims with salt. All the ingredients are blitzed together in a blender and the limes can even be peeled in advance and kept in the freezer.

For our main dish, crunchy peanuts and curly cucumber spirals are teamed up with toothsome Udon noodles encased in a silky sauce. Play with the level of spiciness and saltiness to make it to your satisfaction. If you don’t own a spiralizer, simply cut the cucumber into thin slices. This dish is great on its own and also accompanies grilled salmon or chicken quite nicely with enough peanut-ginger dressing for dipping.

You may want to make a bunch of these frozen yogurt desserts for emergencies. A grapefruit spoon with a serrated edge works well to scoop out the lemon, which you can freeze for other recipes.

Experiment with different flavors of yogurt and add berries to the filling or simply use them as a garnish. Other choices for toppings are mint leaves, rainbow sprinkles, shredded coconut, or a drizzle of fruity syrup.


I hope these ideas work well to keep you cool!

Strawberry-Lime Slushies

4 limes, 3 peeled and 1 thinly sliced

1/4 cup honey or agave syrup

3-4 cups strawberries or raspberries

1 cup tequila

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


4 cups ice cubes

Peel three of the limes by cutting off the tops and bottoms just deep enough to expose the fruit beneath the pith. Cut the remaining peel and pith off the lime in wide strips. Cut the last lime into thin slices for the garnish.

Place peeled limes in a blender; add all other ingredients except ice and blend until combined. Add the ice in batches and keep blending until the mixture is smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with lime slices. Yield: 4 servings

Peanut Noodle Salad with Cucumbers

1 pound frozen or 8 ounces dried Udon noodles

1-2 (14 ounces) large cucumbers

2-4 (1 cup) scallions, thinly sliced


1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1/3 cup peanut-ginger dressing (see below), plus more to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook noodles according to package directions then drain, rinse under cold water and allow to dry. Spiralize or thinly slice cucumbers and remove excess moisture with paper towels.

Toss noodles gently with 1/3 cup dressing to thoroughly coat. Add cucumbers, scallions, cilantro and peanuts. Toss again. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Chill until flavors are blended. Serve with extra dressing, cilantro and peanuts piled on top. Yield: 4 servings

Peanut-Ginger Dressing


1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, finely minced


2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, such as Sambal Oelek, optional


Flaky sea salt

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients, adding a tablespoon of water if needed. Taste and adjust with more lime juice and salt if desired. As the dressing sits, it may thicken so thin it with a tablespoon or two of water until it reaches the desired consistency. This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Frozen Lemon Cups

5 large lemons


3 cups lemon Greek yogurt

1/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Seasonal berries (optional)

Garnishes such as mint leaves and sprinkles

Scrub the lemons and juice and zest one of them. Cut the bottom tips off the remaining four so they will sit upright on serving plates. Cut off the tops then cut around the inside of the lemon peel with a serrated knife and scoop out the lemon pulp.

Whisk yogurt with honey, lemon juice, and rind. Gently stir in berries if using. Fill lemon shells with the mixture then freeze at least 6 hours. Garnish and serve. Yield: 4 servings

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