The next best thing to ice cream

It’s got to be rice pudding. I love eating it cold in the summertime. I discovered it’s even better with a few fresh berries on top. Last week my friend Arin made rice pudding topped with rhubarb sauce, which was also fantastic.

Here’s a recipe.

Some bloom, some die

I’m sad to report that my purple coneflower died pretty soon after I planted it.

It has been uncharacteristically hot and dry here the past couple weeks, so I think it became a victim of the weather. I was surprised it wasn’t sturdier, but live and learn. Mike went out and bought another one, so we’ll see how it fares.

The daisy has been struggling a bit, too, but as long as I water it every day it perks up and continues to bloom.

The dark pink roses finally bloomed, and they seem really happy. They’re just like the light pink ones — very delicate. The petals just fall off when you touch them.

Our new tomatoes seem to be faring well, and we have enjoyed many more salads from the greens. Overall, garden win!

Zucchini pesto bake

Later this summer when you’re either digging zucchini baseball bats out of the garden, or receiving them from friends, you’ll be glad to have this recipe. It’s really easy to make, and it also makes use of pesto, which I always have a lot of in the summertime. Luckily I still had some in the freezer from last year when I made this.

Zucchini pesto bake
adapted slightly from Beaverdale Living magazine

1 pound zucchini (I used 3 medium ones)
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 pound plum tomatoes
10 slices provolone cheese

Slice both the zucchini and the tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise. Microwave the zucchini in a covered dish for four minutes. Pat them dry in a few paper towels.

Spread the zucchini slices with the pesto until they’re covered on all sides.

In a small casserole dish, layer half the breadcrumbs, then half the zucchini, half the tomatoes, and half the cheese slices. I had to tear one of the slices in half to cover it properly.

Then add another layer of zucchini, tomatoes and cheese, and top with the rest of the breadcrumbs.

Bake in a 375 degree oven, uncovered for 30 minutes.