Recommended Baking Adventures: August 2014

It’s been a pleasure to continue baking even as I start working. Unfortunately, this means that more pictures are taken at night, resulting in less attractive images overall. Quick and easy recipes are the new name of the game, and there are several to try!

First: Tomato Cobbler. I made this recipe for a potluck, because it’s perfect: savory, simple, good at room temperature, and vegetarian. It is also a great way to use up a ton of tomatoes. Note: It’s important to add additional flavor to both the tomatoes and the cornbread topping.

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Before baking on top, after on bottom!

There’s also less time to bake bread, so I’ve been searching for easy and fast bread recipes, and found this one: Savory Oatmeal Pan Bread. The oats and the eggs make it super dense, not a substitute for regular bread, but it was delicious. Highly recommended. No rising time, no kneading, easy to put together and only 30 minutes in the oven.

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We’ve also wanted to try our hand at making granola bars, thinking they would be good for care packages and for keeping us full and healthy throughout the week. The Five Ingredient Granola Bars from the Minimalist Baker came together in a snap. We substituted prunes for the dates, peanuts and sliced almonds for the almonds, used chunky peanut butter, and added chocolate chips to the mix. After chilling, they were easy to chop and not a big mess.

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And, because some people go to work the Friday before a three day weekend, I figured we deserved a treat, and brought these flourless chocolate cookies into work. Gluten free and basically dairy free, they are pretty consumable by everyone. The texture is less like a cookie and more like a french macron, with a crunchy shell on the outside and chewy on the inside. They don’t rise a ton, but the crackle of the shell and sprinkle of salt makes them very pretty.

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This month’s bonus feature: Gazpacho! The NYT ran one of those lovely Mark Bittman features on gazpacho that has a ton of options. Go make one now. So easy, so delicious, so summery. Great to pack for work, to eat on the deck, or to have a mug of for an afternoon snack. We’ve made the classic version a few times and will branch out to avocado and pea this week.

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