Tuesday, December 13, 2011

 With the cold air settling in, it's time to change up our dinner menu to the more rustic and hearty meals like chili, roast and potatoes, soups with cornbread, ect.
 That is one thing I love about weather changes, because as the weather changes, typically so does my menu. It's always nice to be able to change up the dinner menu because we get so tired of eating the same thing over and over again.
 One thing I decided to make a few weeks ago was some home made croutons and I'm so glad I did.  :)  They were delicious!   On top of being very cheap... and you can't beat cheap! 

 It's a very simple little recipe, but it made plenty to last us for quite a while.  We had them on salads, in soups and sometimes they even replaced potato chips at lunch time for the kids since they really liked them too.  :)

  Since I knew I was going to be making the croutons I decided to take pictures along the way with the intention of "blogging" about it.  Silly, I know, but I always enjoy pictures with recipes, so although this is very simple, I thought I would share it with you.  :)

Any kind of bread will do. I had many different kinds of french bread that was in my freezer, so that is what I used. 

You then cut your bread up into cubed pieces. How big or small is completely up to you and your preference.  I wanted mine a little bigger so that they would be crunchy on the outside but still a little more soft on the inside.

I used a packet of ranch dressing seasoning. Although you can use any kind of seasoning you would like. Even just plain ole salt, pepper, & garlic powder will give you great tasting croutons.  I just happened to have a packet of this and decided to try it.

After you have cut up your bread. You then will need your dry seasoning of choice and olive oil and prepare to get your hands dirty!  :)

Turn your oven to 325degrees. You want to cook your croutons on a lower temperature to give them time to cook evenly through.  Arrange your bread cubes onto a single layer sheet or, in my case, I used a roasting pan with sides.  Important thing is that you want to be sure to keep them in a single layer or else you will overcook some & under cook others.
Sprinkle your dry seasoning all over your bread cubes, be sure to get your hands in there so that every piece of bread gets a good season to it.  After you are finished with your seasonings then you  want to drizzle your Olive Oil, or "EVOO" as Rachel Ray would call it (I think of her almost every time I use my Olive oil. :) ) all over your bread, again don't be afraid to get your hands in there. ;)  Just be sure to not over do it and saturate the bread to much, or else you will have very crispy croutons!
 Place in the oven and "Voila" you have yourself some delicious croutons! 
Don't you smell them already?!  They not only taste wonderful, they also make your house smell wonderful too! :)
Just be sure to freeze any croutons that you are not going to eat in a freezer zip lock bag. Whenever you are ready to eat more, just toss them back onto a cookie sheet at 250degrees and cook until their thawed and crisp.


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