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Crusty Olive Bread

What could make a crusty loaf of artisanal bread even better? Olives!

3 1/2 cups unbleached or bread flour (or a combination of 3 cups white flour, 1/2 cup whole grain flour)
1 scant tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 3/4 cups olives, pitted, patted dry and coarsely chopped (a mixture of Kalamata and green olives is attractive and delicious)

Date and Nut Dainties

Dainty date and nut morsels are perfect on Tu BiShvat!

2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 (7 1/2 oz.) pkg. dates, cut up
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
candied cherries, cut up
chocolate chips

Marinated Olives

Olives and oranges are often combined in foods of the Mediterranean. Here the ingredients almost call out their location as foods of Morocco and Spain are joined to create a great nibble at cocktail parties, as a part of a meze or tapas assortment.
8 ounces garlic-stuffed green olives, drained
1 medium orange
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
1 tablespoon finely snipped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón de la Vera) or sweet paprika
1–2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish or Italian
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (optional)

Deluxe Buckwheat Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling

This dessert pairs a delicate nut flavor with raspberry preserve filling.

1 1/2 cups skin-on sliced almonds
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light buckwheat flour
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
10- inch round paper lace doily
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Wake-Up Chocolate Fruit Kicks

These energizing chocolate chunks have a kick to them! 

1 pound dark chocolate, chips or broken into pieces
1 cup almonds
1⁄2 cup raisins, dates, figs, pomegranate, and/or other dried fruit
1⁄8 cup coffee beans
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Wheat cereal, barley cereal, granola, oatmeal, or other cereal (optional)