Chef John Folse's Herbs Love Tomatoes Festive Bread and Spread

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 8–10 Servings

Comment: For a delicious snack in a slice, give this herb bread a new twist by adding colorful fresh vegetables, cheese or herbs. For parties, bake the bread in mini-muffin pans. They bake in approximately 15 minutes and are gone in seconds.

Ingredients for Bread:
1 package herb quick bread mix (approximately 1 pound) 
1/2 cup diced vine-ripe tomatoes
2 tbsps sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and diced 
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh marjoram or 2/3 tsp fresh oregano
1 (12-ounce) beer or lemon-lime soda at room temperature

Method: In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir gently 1 minute or until flour is evenly moist. Place in pan(s) and bake according to package directions. Ingredients for Spread: 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened 1–2 tbsps milk 2 tbsps chopped tomatoes 1/4 tsp fresh marjoram or a pinch of fresh oregano 1 tbsp dried herb blend (from bread mix package) Method: In a food processor, pulse all ingredients a few times until combined. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with herb flowers. Let cool in refrigerator at least 2 hours for flavors to blend. For best results, serve warm bread with the spread.