A no muss, no fuss pound cake for you to enhance with anything you please. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at iwrite33@comcast.net or 504-0545.

I eat cucumbers nearly every day and this is the salad that I turn to in any season for a quick side dish, or for my whole lunch. It’s not your mom’s cucumber salad, trust me. Cool and crunchy with sauciness spread on the bottom of the bowl, it’s something like crudite and dip, but not quite that either. Eat a bowl of this and you won’t feel guilty about having a thick slice of buttery pound cake nestled into a smear of hot fudge afterwards. Or before.

To prepare this gorgeous pound cake with the crispy top, you only need one bowl and a few utensils.

You’ll also need a 6-cup loaf pan, but if you don’t have one, bake off a couple cupcakes with the extra batter. You’ll want this dessert in your arsenal when the strawberries come around.

For now, experiment with a drizzle of warmed jam or put two slices together with buttercream (and jam), softened ice cream, a slather of whipped cream or lemon curd. The possibilities of this pound cake are myriad.

I toted this to a sibling reunion recently, along with a Mason jar of this velvety hot fudge. You’ll want to have this in the fridge at all times – make it a double batch.

Cucumber salad with garlic dill yogurt

1 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt


1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped, plus more for garnish

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound small Persian (or larger seedless) cucumbers, unpeeled

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced


1 tablespoon plain or white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Red pepper flakes, to taste

Mix yogurt with dill, garlic, black pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise into 4 to 6 wedges (you’ll have fewer for smaller cucumbers, more for bigger ones). Cut the wedges into 1- to 1 1/2-inch lengths on the diagonal and place them in a big bowl with onion, vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

When you’re ready to serve the salad, spoon the yogurt sauce into a wide bowl or rimmed plate and swirl it to cover the bottom of the dish. Spoon the cucumbers and onions over the top. Finish with extra dill and eat it right away.


Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings

One-bowl pound cake

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 cup turbinado or packed light-brown sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 large eggs


1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups flour

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 6-cup loaf pan well with butter and line with a sling of parchment paper that extends up the two long sides.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, turbinado sugar, salt and 1 cup granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and whisk until smooth.


Sprinkle baking powder over the batter and whisk until this disappears. Add flour and stir with a spatula until just combined.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and “drop” the pan on the counter a couple of times to release any trapped air. Smooth the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes, until a skewer inserted all over comes out batter free. Let it cool in the pan. Run a knife along the short sides of the cake, then use the parchment sling to remove the cake for slicing.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for 5 days. Leave the top uncovered so it stays crisp. Just press a piece of foil against the cut side of the loaf only.

Yield: 8 slices

Hot fudge sauce

1 cup dark chocolate chips


1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk, butter and water in a medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium heat. Beat until smooth with a wire whisk. Take off the heat and stir in vanilla.

To reheat, combine sauce with a small amount of water in a small heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until heated through.

To make it in the microwave, combine ingredients in a 1-quart glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, stirring after each minute.

Yield: 2 cups

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