Recipe: Pimms Cup and low-fat cucumber sandwiches

As a sucker for the Olympics (and themes), I hosted a full-fledged British bash to ring in the games this year.

I bought streamers, balloons, ribbon and colored plates and napkins in red, white and blue as a nod to the Union Jack. (Although, during the fun, I forgot to take more pictures!) 

I will admit, decorating for London was a tad easier than Beijing in 2008 as I happen to own at least 4 prints of the skyline, the tube and Big Ben. I spent the summer of 2009 living in Chelsea and interning in Covent Garden and miss it dearly.

For drinks we have Pimms Cup of course. See the Trib article for the history behind the unofficial British summer sipper, some British beers including Newcastle, Bulmers Cider if I can get my hands on some, Bass and some other ales.

I tried something different with the Pimms Cup tonight, the traditional recipe calls for English lemonade, which is like sparkling lemon flavored water. Hugh Acheson also has a fun twist on the drink, he substitutes the sparkling water for straight lemonade and adds a spicy ginger beer for a “Southern Pimms Cup.”

I suppose this is my take on a “Northern Pimms Cup,” as I’ll be using lemonade and plain sparkling water.

Pimms Cup

3 Cups Pimms No. 1 (If you’re in the Chicagoland area, you can find it at Binnys)
1 English cucumber, sliced
1 Lemon, sliced
10 Strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 Orange, sliced
10 Mint sprigs
1 Cup Lemonade (Or add more for taste)
2 Cups Sparkling water or club soda
Combine ingredients in a pitcher. Fill 8-ounce highball glasses with ice, add Pimms mixture, garnish with extra mint. Serves 6

Finally I served the natural cucumber sandwich, pub cheese, crackers and crudities. Dessert included jam thumb prints, ginger cookies and cinnamon almonds.

Cucumber Sandwiches

1 loaf of plain white bread
2 English Cucumbers
Lite cream cheese*
Salt and Pepper
*So I decided to make these on the lighter side, using cream cheese (2 tbs: 70 cal, 4.5 g of fat) instead of butter (2 tbs: 200 cal, 22 g fat).

Here is where you would remove the crusts, but this step can be optional if you’re in a rush. Spread the cream cheese on each slice. Diagonally cut each slice in half. Finely slice cucumbers and place them on the bread, you should have 2 thin slices for each half of bread slice. Add pepper and sea salt to taste.

Looking forward to the next 2 weeks of fun, athleticism, celebration and peace. Cheerio and all that.

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