Friday, August 12, 2011

Frugal Friday~Making Your Own Croutons

I used to make my own croutons, but that was around 20 many years ago.  It was simple enough to do, so why did I stop?  I suppose I got lazy.  It was easy to buy a bag of croutons and not even think about what went into them or how much they cost.  Croutons weren't just for salads.  They became something to munch on when we wanted something crunchy to eat.

I haven't bought croutons for over a year.  Part of the fact is that I now how braces and crunchy things aren't as easy to eat.  Let alone pain free at times.  Lately, I have been catching myself yearning for croutons when shopping for groceries.  I take a look at the price, along with the selection, and pass them by.  I am not a big fan of garlic.  I don't like to taste my food for two days later.  I like it, but in moderation.  Many of the croutons you buy contain more garlic flavor than I like.  Hence the journey to make my own.

 I was inspired by a friend, Maria's, blog postings on "Things I May Never Buy Again" and another in Part 2.  I have been wanting to make some croutons since reading her posts a few weeks ago.  Lotion as well, but that is for another day.  I had an extra loaf of bread we were neglecting so I decided to start the venture.

I searched for a recipe and the first site that popped up was How to make croutons from left over bread.  Even though my bread wasn't "left over" I was ready to give it a try.  I laid the pieces of bread out on my dehydrator tray to dry out for a few hours.  The bread was really moist and wasn't going to cut easy.  After a few attempts with a knife I noticed the site mentioned using scissors to cut the bread.  What a great idea!  It worked great.

Bread Cubes
 After cutting the bread I started making my concoction.  This recipe, or simple directions was just what I was looking for.  I hate following directions.  Just ask my husband.  Any time I can throw in ingredients and come up with something edible is great by me!

 I got out my large roasting pan, poured olive oil in the bottom, added garlic powder, onion powder, dried marjoram, paprika and pepper and stirred to mix.  I then added the bread cubes and mixed to coat them.  I ended up having to drizzle more olive oil over them and added more spices.  For added flavor I sprinkled them with fresh grated Romano cheese.  Put it in the oven at 350 degrees.  I stirred it frequently, and baked them until crisp.  I like mine really crunchy, so I baked them a little longer than most would.  I will have to make another batch of softer ones for the rest of the family. 

Finished Croutons

There would have been more in the container, but I couldn't stop eating them.  I also decided to make a salad as an excuse to eat more of them!

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