3 cups rolled oats,
or 2 cups rolled oats and 1 cup Rice Krispies
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup jelly or jam
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup honey (instead of the jelly)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2 Grease an 8- by 11-inch baking pan. If you have a different size pan, that’s fine—it’ll just change how thick the bars are, so you’ll want to adjust the cooking time a little. A larger pan may take less time to cook through and get crunchy, while a smaller pan will take a few more minutes—just keep an eye on it in the oven.
3 Pour the oats into a large bowl.
4 Place a small saucepan over low heat and add the peanut butter, half of the jelly, the water, the salt, and any other additions. Stir until smooth, about 2 minutes.
5 Pour the peanut butter and jelly concoction into the oats and mix until all the oats are coated and you have a sticky mass. Dump the mixture into the buttered baking pan and press it into an even layer. Spread the remaining jelly over the top.
6 Pop the baking dish into the oven for 25 minutes. The bars are done when the edges are toasty and brown. Mmm. Crunchy.
7 Leave the bars in the pan until they cool completely, about an hour, then slice them into 12 bars.
2 small field cucumbers or 1 English cucumber
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices day-old bread
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a few drops for the pan
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped tomato
salt and pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lime
chopped fresh herbs
chopped peaches, nectarines, or plums
finely chopped red onion
chopped zucchini or summer squash
1 If you’re using field cucumbers—usually cheaper than English—peel them to remove the tough skin. (A little leftover peel is not a problem.) For English cucumbers, there’s no need to peel.
2 Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the chopped tomatoes to use in the dressing, but throw the rest of the tomatoes and all of the cucumbers into a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; the salt helps draw out the juices. Toss the vegetables and set aside.
3 Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add a few drops of olive oil. Add the jalapeño and sauté until it sizzles and smells good, about a minute, then add the rest of the chopped tomato and a tablespoon of water. Cook until the tomato juices release, another 2 minutes. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
4 Once the water has evaporated, turn off the heat and dump the jalapeño-tomato mixture on your cutting board. Chop it up very finely, then throw it back into the pan—with the heat off—with the lime juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine, taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. You’ve got dressing!
5 Chop or tear the bread into bite-size pieces, then toast it in a skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the bread chunks are toasty on all sides. Alternatively, just toast full slices of bread in a toaster and tear them up afterward, or skip the toasting if the bread is already super-hard.
6 Add the bread and dressing to the vegetables and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper once more. Let the salad sit for a few minutes so that the bread can soak up the juices, then serve!