Make delicious tomato basil bread just like panera

Easy One Hour Tomato Basil Bread

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Make delicious tomato basil bread just like panera

Tomato Basil Bread

Down home goodness in a hurry. Terrific with my homemade Tomato Basil Soup or herbed butter as shown.  Slice it a bit thick, top with some slices of cheese and broil for a wonderful comforting and substantial meal.

Easy One Hour Tomato Basil Bread


1 ½ cups milk

6 Tbl. granulated sugar

3 Tbl. Active dry yeast

14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, pureed

2 Tbl. fresh chopped basil  OR  1 Tbl. dry

5-6 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. garlic salt 1 tsp. baking powder

2 Tbl. butter, melted

1 Tbl. lemon juice, bottled works fine

Butter for brushing on top of loaves  



This recipe makes 2 loaves (8 ½ x 4 ½”).

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 pans with non-stick spray and set aside.  

In a large measuring cup or microwavable bowl microwave milk for 1 minute on high. Check to make sure it is the temperature of a warm baby bath. Heat a bit more if needed.

Add sugar to the warm milk  and stir. Tomato Basil Bread 1Add in yeast, stir and set aside for 5-7 minutes allowing it rise.Tomato Basil Bread 2When it is risen it will look like thisTomato Basil Bread 3

Tomato Basil Bread 4

Meanwhile puree tomato.Tomato Basil Bread 5In a large mixing bowl of stand mixture add 4 cups of the flour, milk, pureed tomatoes, basil, salt, baking powder, melted butter, lemon juice and yeast mixture.Tomato Basil Bread 6Knead with a dough hook 5-8 minutes; adding 1-2 cups flour to make a soft dough.  

NOTE: The dough must be soft, just firm enough to handle with floured hands.Tomato Basil Bread 7However, use just enough flour to keep it from sticking completely to the sides of the bowl.Tomato Basil Bread 8

You want a sticky dough like this after mixing:Tomato Basil Bread 9Pour a bit of flour on a counter or cutting board.

Dump the dough onto the lightly floured surface.

With a little flour on top of the dough and a bit on your hands.

Divide the dough in half, put half into a prepared pan and the other into the other pan. Tomato Basil Bread 10Pat out lightly with your hands to make even.Tomato Basil Bread 11Place saran wrap over the pans, then a clean towel to allow it to rise.Tomato Basil Bread 12

Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. 

Take off towel and saran wrap.Tomato Basil Bread 13Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a digital thermometer reads 185.

Brush the top of the loaves with additional melted butter.Tomato Basil Bread 14Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Pictured with my homemade Tomato Basil Soup you can find HERETomato Basil Bread 15Recipe from Becky Low, Dairy Council

Copyright of Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow

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Homemade Tomato Pesto Basil Soup

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Oh my, is there anything more comforting than  really (REALLY) good tomato soup?  NO more cans with this easy recipe, and it IS the BEST!

 Here is my recipe for a tomato soup with amazing flavor.  Pair with homemade Tomato Basil Bread for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup


½ cup real butter (1 stick)

1 med -large onion, diced

3 cans (14.5 oz each) diced fire roasted tomatoes, with the juice (can use regular, but fire roasted has a great flavor)

1  ½ cups water

1 cube chicken bouillon, Knorr (or 2 teaspoons granules; to taste)

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Montreal Steak seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

1 can evaporated milk

3/4 cup basil pesto

1 cup real Parmesan cheese, finely grated

 optional: 6-8 oz. risotto or small pasta, cooked till al dente, drained


Melt butter in a large saucepan.

Add onions and cook over medium heat, stirring until completely translucent.

Add tomatoes, water, bouillon, balsamic vinegar, Montreal steak seasoning and salt.Tomato Basil Soup 2Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes to allow for ‘marrying’ of flavors.

Working in batches, pour soup mixture into blender (but only about ½ way up the container and hold a towel over the top, tightly, to allow for expansion due to the hot liquid) and process until smooth.Tomato Basil Soup 3Pour pureed soup into a pan. 

Add in the basil pesto-

And the evaporated milk


Then simmer for 10 minutes.

Add in the fresh grated Parmesan cheese, stir and serve hot. 


*If adding risotto pasta, cook according to directions when beginning soup.

Drain well and add to soup with the evaporated milk and pesto.

The pasta will expand if allowed to sit in soup overnight or for several hours.

 Delicious when paired with an open faced grilled cheese made with my Tomato Basil Bread, you will find HERETomato Basil Soup 6Carrie Groneman’s recipe

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018

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Herb & Grits Muffins

Herb & Grits Muffins

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Herb & Grits Muffins

Herb & Grits Muffins

These are a wonderful pairing for any soup, especially good with chowders and my butternut squash soup.  Tender, moist and substantial.

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Herb & Grits Muffins


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups instant grits (not regular or they do not become tender) or corn meal

3/4 cup cake flour (a lighter flour, lightens the muffin)

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbl. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces

1/3 cup olive oil

3 large eggs

1  1/3 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

2 Tbl. fresh minced chives or the green tops of green onions

2 Tbl. dried basil

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Grease 12 regular muffin cups with butter.

Cut butter into small pieces.Herb & Grits Muffins 1In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, instant grits or cornmeal, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Using an electric mixer on low speed, add the butter and olive oilHerb & Grits Muffins 2Mix until thick crumbs form.Herb & Grits Muffins 3Add the eggs, buttermilk, parsley, chives or green onion tops and basil.Herb & Grits Muffins 4Beat just until the mixture is smooth and the herbs are evenly distributed. do NOT over beat.

Spoon the muffin mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups.Herb & Grits Muffins 5


Bake until golden, dry in the center and springy to the touch, about 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins.

 Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature.

Williams and Sonoma recipe

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Fresh Garden Vegetable Pasta

Healthy Garden Vegetable Pasta

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Fresh Garden Vegetable Pasta

Pasta with Fresh Garden Vegetables

This is a fabulous summer that is quick, filling and low calorie, particularly if you use a whole grain pasta.  Take advantage of the fresh summer vegetables, garden herbs and enjoy how quick and easy this comes together. 

Quick & Healthy Garden Vegetable Pasta


1 Tbl. olive oil

1 tsp. sugar

1 Tbl. chopped garlic or 1 bulb roasted garlic – click HERE for my easy to follow tutorial to roast garlic

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup diced zucchini

3 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped

2-4 Tbl. fresh basil, chopped*

¼ tsp. coarse ground pepper

1-2 Tbl. sundried tomato pesto (see my tutorial to make your own sun-dried roasted tomatoes  HERE or use store-bought)

1 Tbl. red wine vinegar

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese

1 lb. thick spaghetti, or similar pasta


Fill a large pot with water for pasta, bring to boil.

Add pasta and cook till al denta; drain and set aside.

In a large pan sauté the onion until almost translucent.

Add in the sugar.Garden Vegetable Pasta 1Gently put the zucchini in the oil over medium heat and cook until crisp-tender.  Just until al dente. 
Garden Vegetable Pasta 2Add in the tomatoes, basil, pepper, tomato pesto/spread and vinegar’s.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until it is all is warmed through.Garden Vegetable Pasta 3Serve the sauce over cooked pasta and sprinkle with grated cheese.

*If fresh basil is unavailable, use 1 Tbl. dried basil and add in when you cook the garlic, onion and zucchini to give it time to soften and hydrate.

Carrie’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A  Mother’s Shadow, 2013

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Appetizers with Sun Dried Tomato

Baguette With Oven Roasted Sun Dried Tomato

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Appetizers with Sun Dried Tomato

Appetizers with Sun Dried Tomato and puree

I created this heavenly appetizer using these home oven roasted sundried tomatoes OR the puree, cheese and herbs.  I think you will enjoy serving them and believe me, your guests will think you picked them up at the local specialty shop!

Baguette with Roasted Tomatoes

Option #1

Slice baguette in approx. 1  1/2″ slices,

place on cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Spread with a thin coating of the roasted tomato pesto, then cheese cut to fit the bread and top with sliced fresh basil.

Broil just until cheese (provolone or munster work well) begins to melt.

Cool slightly and serve.  


Option #2

Slice baguette in approx. 1 1/2″ slices.

Spread with a layer of soft cream cheese, then sliced roasted tomatoes at room temperature.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, or whatever herb you desire.


Click HERE  for the easy to follow tutorial to make your own oven-roasted aka sun-dried tomatoes and puree. 

Make them while their in season and freeze for use all year long.

Recipe copyrighted by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

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Brick Sandwich 1

Brick Sandwich

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Brick Sandwich 1

Brick Sandwich

As I was cleaning, Chef Bryan Woolley ( on for his cooking segment, and I heard him say he was going to make a brick sandwich.  Of course I stopped what I was doing to see what in the world he was talking about.     I adapted it sandwich a bit to my liking and presto, a MASTERPIECE, a dense compact scrumptious meal in every bite.

THANK YOU Chef Bryan for this awesome idea that is perfect for picnic’s, camp-outs, parades, fireworks – anytime!

Brick Sandwich

The secret to the success of this sandwich is to use a dense bread that is a bit dry such as a sour dough, focaccia, etc. AND you MUST squeeze ALL the moisture out of the roasted peppers and the artichokes or your sandwich WILL get a bit soggy. Ingredients:

14-24 oz. loaf bread (a bread that is crusty) I used a loaf of roasted garlic sour dough

2-4 oz. spreadable cream cheese (your preference, I like the chive & onion style)

2 – 3 roasted red bell peppers (15 oz. bottled), drained and patted very dry to avoid soggy bread

14 oz. can of artichoke hearts quarters (not in oil), drained and patted very dry to avoid soggy bread

6 slices of provolone cheese

4 – 8oz. of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and patted very dry to avoid soggy bread

1/3 – 1/2 lb. sliced salami, sandwich sliced

¼ – 1/3 cup fresh basil, or 2 Tbl. dried or to tasteBrick Sandwich 2

Directions: Lay the bread on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise. Take out some of the bread from the inside to accommodate the filling. Brick Sandwich 3

Brick Sandwich 4

Dividing the cream cheese between the 2 halves of the bread, spread evenly.Brick Sandwich 5With the remaining ingredients, arrange on the bread halves and them put together. Brick Sandwich 6

Brick Sandwich 7

             Brick Sandwich 8

Brick Sandwich 9             Brick Sandwich 10

Brick Sandwich 11
Brick Sandwich 12

Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap tightly. Brick Sandwich 13

Brick Sandwich 14             Brick Sandwich 15

Brick Sandwich 16

            Place in a cake pan, or other pan such as a jelly roll or cookie sheet.  Cover with foil. Brick Sandwich 17

Brick Sandwich 18             Place another pan over the top of the brick sandwich.  Put in the refrigerator.Brick Sandwich 19Take 1 or 2 bricks, that are clean, and place on top of the top pan.  Allow to sit 3-6 hours. Can be up to 24 hours IF you did not use the red peppers, artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes; greater chance of bread becoming soggy.Brick Sandwich 20To serve, unwrap foil, saran wrap, slice. and serve. Brick Sandwich 25


Carrie’s recipe adapted from Chef Bryan. Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow

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