The Novel Bakers ~ "Gathering in the Garden" ~ Part II

Hello and welcome to the Wednesday installment of The Novel Bakers 
where we are featuring the book "Gathering the Garden"
written and illustrated  by Shelly Snow and Elaine Husband.

Same old story at my house... 

The summer wildfires made it nearly impossible to capture 
garden gathering outdoors this summer, 
so I dredged up one from my archives.  

It is from a few years ago. 

Thanks for understanding!

Now, I normally wouldn't serve these three 
items together . . . these are just ideas for
items you might serve at a gathering in the garden.

First up are Tomato Melts:

Garlic Bread toasted, spread with mayonnaise, a layer of
fresh basil, then thinly sliced ripe tomatoes, a generous
sprinkling of bacon then a layer of sliced or grated cheese ~
placed on shallow pan and baked in a 450º(F) oven 
until the cheese is nice and melty and the 
slices are warmed through.

Click here for a printable copy of Tomato Melts.

Next up, Warm Yukon Gold Potato salad:

Though this recipe also calls for bacon, it seems to me that we had 
plenty of bacon on the Tomato Cheese Melts, so I substituted
sweet red onion to lighten it up a bit (and omitted the mayonnaise.)  
I also added a couple of sprigs of fresh tarragon, optional. 

Back to the Tomato Melts ~

Instead of large slices of bread I sliced the bread into narrow diagonal pieces and made them into "boats"

 ~ the basil "sails" are an idea I copied from Mary's inspiring blog:

Home is Where the Boat is

Thank you Mary!! :)

I also made a few  ~

~ Quiche d'Olives and Basil Tomato Tarts ~

Click here for a printable copy of the Quiche d'Olives recipe.

Instead of one large pan of each, I made individual size portions.

I used tiny Nicoise olives in the olive quiche, and cherry/grape
tomatoes cut in half for the  Basil Tomato Tarts.

Click here for Basil Tomato Tart.

Using smaller tomatoes and olives worked out perfectly
for these small tart pans.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Please come on back on Friday for our "Gathering in the Garden" finale ~

Thank you for any comments you would like to leave ~
they absolutely MAKE my day!  :) :) :)

And please do check out the other Novel Bakers' blogs 
to see their creative ideas as interpreted from
'Gathering in the Garden'  :

Home is Where the Boat is

Rattlebridge Farm

A Quiet Life Blog


  1. Mari, I'm always happy to see photos from your archives! I just love the bright, clear and sharp appearance rather than the faded look so popular now. The food and the settings are wonderful. I love the tomatoes and garlic in the cupcake (?) stand and Mary's sails on the tomato melts. Looking forward to reading the recipes, especially for the tiny tarts. Linda

  2. I am quite smitten with the boats:) I think I may have to serve some up one day at the beach..I will bring those toothpicks..they make the sail~
    And they made the sale for me:)
    That was a lush lush garden.. I am so sorry for you and the air and smoke..I hope fall clears everything up for you.
    Love the addition of mayo to the cheese~
    Pretty as a picture post Mary..Comme toujours~

  3. Stunning! I am in love with the sails too and just got some of those fun bamboo picks. I had searched all over for them a couple of years ago after having them at a wedding reception but nobody had them. Then I found them at World Market.
    Everything is making my mouth water. The mini quiches look wonderful too. Your table is wonderful!

  4. Mari, I adore your wonderful fresh- from-the-garden veggie plates, perfect for a gathering in the garden party and I LOVE your centerpiece with the tomatoes and garlic! Your tomato melts with bacon with the basil sails float my boat!

    And your potato salad~ DROOL! Your photo makes me want to grab a fork with the beautiful red onion... I prefer potato salad warm any day over the traditional kind. We also love the idea of mini bites, I like to think of it as portion control when in reality it means more grazing for me :) and your quiches and tarts look delicious...

    I'm so sorry the smoke has kept you indoors, the thoughts and realities of those fires are terrifying to me.

  5. i love this all, i have these dishes and haven't seen them in years, so of course this is totally new and refreshing for me! each dish is more inviting then the next! i love the tomato with mayo recipes this week, baked they just plump up and remind me of recipes from yesteryear, when life felt like an easier time, comforting, soothing and so enjoyable~ of course any dish that can sail into my mouth is a win win!

    only you can make potato salad look like an art show... the colors are gorgeous~

    dang i love those dishes, i so wonder if i got the same ones as you, i know i have artichokes, but i think you got the better deal with so many cute plates! the lighting is driving me wild too, pretty things lit well excite me!

    is that a cupcake stand that you made so adorable?

    i made those same tarts, obviously mine look like the childrens version and here is how adults eat... i have to say scott LOVED them, they really were good! but yours are so darn pretty... and i love the olives!

    well that was a delightful visit gathering in the garden with you, surprisingly enough i am leaving hungry, but yet still very satisfied! thanks so much for sharing your garden treats~

  6. Love the basil sails. A+ for presentation. Love the little tarts. And your dishes are just fabulous. I think I should just click on and see what you are having and follow your menu.

    Saying a prayer that they get the fires under control. I cannot believe it has gone on for so long.

  7. What an adorable table, besides having serious plate envy, I love the tomatoes and garlic in the wire basket stand! Your recipes are mouth watering and perfect for a gathering in the garden!

  8. Once again, Bandy and I are enjoying your post from two different laptops. You should hear our joyful shouts. Look! We've got to do that! I'm craving potato salad; and the potato boats are as darling as they come. I've enjoyed playing this week with you, Mari. xx

  9. Thank you everybody for taking the time to leave such kind comments!

    Thankfully the smoke has cleared out of the area and we just received a downpour of rain within the past day. They tell us the fire danger is still high, but the rain was an enormous help in clearing the air and rinsing everything down.

    I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend, and thank you for your happy thoughts and comments!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


 Subscribe in a reader...or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner