August is just streaming past. Schools have started, even colleges. The abundance of big meaty summer tomatoes has dwindled but is still more than adequate. Lots of zucchini and squash. Lots and lots and lots of okra this year. Still some cucumbers, but no pickling cucumbers this week. Only a few small sweet peppers – really not a good year for them. Late peaches are still here. And cantaloupes. I still have cantaloupe left from last week, but bought a small one that hopefully will not ripen for a couple of days. There is an overabundance of plums and muscadine grapes, neither of which I am crazy about. While I do have really good plum cake recipe, I don’t have a reason to bake one this year.
But instead I’ll do some healthy baking today, as it’s a very very gray and rainy day. I’m going to make the zucchini lasagna I discovered last year, substituting thin-sliced zucchini for the lasagna noodles. I made meat sauce for lunch (and extra for freezing) with zucchini noodles – and for the first time I nicked my finger with my veggetti zucchini noodle-maker. It made an odd angled cut. Now clean and bandaged, it’s a reminder to always be careful. And then while the oven is hot, probably some dark chocolate chip almond butter (gluten-free) cookies – my current favorite cookie. And finally some chive & artichoke dip for snacking on the cucumbers and peppers (and some carrots).
Artichoke Dip & Variations
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 can (or jar) artichoke hearts, chopped finely or coarsely
- 3-4 Tblsp, chopped chives (sniping them with scissors works better)
- optional 1-2 Tbsp. of other herbs you like.
Soften cream cheese, beat together with sour cream and mayonnaise. Add other ingredients, put into a small casserole dish and bake at 350 until bubbly and very lightly browned on top, 15 – 25 minutes depending on the size of the casserole dish.