Monday, November 7, 2011

Caesar Salad With Homemade Croutons

I have been making these croutons (with a few minor changes) since the summer of 1992.  When I make my own I can use the left over french bread, plus I hate 1/2 a box of anything hidden in the pantry.
This recipe is fast, easy and uses what you have in the house.


#1  In a big microwave bowl/dish, melt
1/4 cup BUTTER

#2  Toss in
About 8 slices of bread - cubed  (I use french bread cut into 1 inch slices and then cubed into 6-8 pieces.
Left over bread works great.)

#3  I sprinkle 2-4 table. of OUR BEST BITES  "Garlic Bread Seasoning" ( I told you we use it a lot.  You can use herbs of your choice.) and toss until the bread cubes are coated with the butter and the seasoning.
Garlic Bread Seasoning
(This recipe is in their cookbook.)

bread cubes tossed w/melted butter & seasoning
in a microwaveable dish
#4  Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4-6 mins.  (You can stir it once if you want, but then I need to cook a bit longer.  Mine usually take 5-6 mins.)  They will be crisp when they are done.
2 loafs of french bread made 4 batches
and a very full 9x13 pan
#5  Let cool.  Serve or store.
Pretty easy, huh?  My family loves these.  We use them to top salads and soups. 

I use Romaine lettuce, Caesar Salad dressing, grated Parmesan cheese and croutons for a fast and easy salad.  I prepare the lettuce ahead of time because I want it really dry.  (Most of the time we use a spinner.) 
Remember to not dress and toss the salad until just before serving.  And... the lettuce will reduce to about 1/2 the amount that was in the bowl.  (I use a purchased dressing most of the time.)
Easy salad.  Great reviews. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter blew in last night taking October with it

In Utah, fall blew out as we slept last night. "sigh"
October and Halloween have moved on for another year.  We ended the month with a few of our favourite things.

This year our Grandpa (Dad:) really surpassed his past spook allies/haunted houses.  (Even better than the year he had a partially demolished empty house.) 
On Grandpa's  FRIGHT SCALE, he said the basement would be a 5 (with 10 being the scariest).  The yard would be a seven, and the garage, a nine.  Lincoln loved it so much that he declared the whole outside a 15.  (He kept reviewing everything so he would not miss anything as he tells his sisters about it.  The gorilla in the garage, the thrown leaves from upstairs windows (and great use of a leaf blower), rings of fire...)

My scariest part (O.K., I only did this part.  I am afraid of things jumping out in the dark.) was THE BUSH.  Mark borrowed a friend's undercover bush and scared a lot of people.  (I just stayed near Mark to watch people  ;-)
Thank you, Dad.  Your spook alley is one of the big highlights of the whole year. 

THE BUSH (Mark) relaxing after
a "frightening" evening.
Doug's office invites Trick or Treaters on Halloween day.  Logan has gone every year.  He loves walking around with Grandpa.  He loves how much candy he gets in a short time.  (We miss Layne, who lives in Idaho.)
Brooklyn, Grandpa and Logan
Lady Bug, Grandpa and Captain Jack Sparrow
I used my fun BAT sandwich cutter to make a Halloween lunch for Logan.  He said it was so cute. ( "Can I eat the whole apple?  O.K. I will take 1 tiny bite, and save the rest.")

I ordered my BAT sandwich cutter at Amazon.  (It came with 2 cutters for $6.69)

With Halloween gone, I have my first Thanksgiving Decor up.
My centerpiece of $ Store pumpkins with their fall/winter sweaters on.

I got the fun idea for sweater pumpkins from Under My Umbrella blog.  I have been buying sweaters (at thrift stores for $3.00 or less) to make an Eddie Bauer inspired sweater quilt.
Pinned Image
Eddie Bauer quilt
(It is sold out on their site)
Since I have my sweater collection, I just cut a sleeve off of 3 that coordinated.  (I cut a cuff off of each of my sweaters to take with me for matching, when I go shopping.)  I slide them up from the bottom to the top of the pumpkin, with the raw edge on top.  I tightly bound jute around the top raw edge to form the stem, and used fishing line to sew the cuff on the bottom shut.
 (I can use these pumpkins again next year for Halloween by cutting the fishing line.  When it is time for sweaters again I will just slide the sweater down this time, and restitch the bottom.)
Since I bought the sweaters for another project, my only cost for this centerpiece was $3.00 for the pumpkins at the $ Store.  (I had the basket, and the mini pumpkins were given to me.  The fall leaves were leftovers from a daughter.  And jute to wrap the "stem"?  I ALWAYS have jute. 

Happy Holiday Season.
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