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Janet McCormick/The Lawrence Herald Add some Italian heat to the first fresh, cool produce of summer to create the perfect quick nibble with these Cucumber Sausage Bites.

I love keeping it simple when it comes to entertaining or having snacks I can grab. Nothing beats cucumbers when fresh and delightful is a must for the menu.

This is a simple snack with mouth-watering delicious, crispy sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, cream cheese and cucumbers.

This is a great recipe to serve for a Mother's Day brunch, as a simple appetizer, for lunch, or even a light dinner - meaning: also perfect for entertaining.

Freshly cut grass always reminds me of summer with the full fragrance of green and newness. I feel the same way about cucumbers.

There's just something beautifully fresh about them. So any chance I get, I include this green goddess in my salads or even as a side dish with tomatoes, feta, red onion and vinegar.

My mom used to make that little side dish with hamburgers on the grill. We knew it was hamburger night when she'd cut a cucumber and mix it with vinegar and lots of cracked pepper.

Well, this little pre-dinner snack isn't the fresh vegetable mixture my mom used to make but the first slice of cucumber certainly reminds me of the smells in the kitchen when my mom was making us dinner.

Simple appetizers of snacks like this are the way to go when you're trying to take the stress out of figuring out what to eat. I stay busy, and grabbing these on the go is perfect when I don't have time to make a full meal. Whether it's an impending work deadline or unexpected responsibilities, life event or family drama, daily stresses can quickly build up, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, panicky and uneasy.

Here is another idea for a little food therapy. It's hard to only eat just one.

Cucumber Sausage Bites

English cucumber

Sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup cooked Italian sausage

Sprig of parsley

Slice the cucumber at an angle to increase the surface area. Spread a little cream cheese on top. Top with tomatoes, sausage and parsley. Serve.

Janet McCormick is the author of "10-Minute Meals" and owner of Let's Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.

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