Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Who buys croutons?

Do you know how easy it is to make croutons?

I was pleasantly surprised the first time I tried it.

Mr. PT and I have gotten into the habit of buying the day-old "fresh" bread at Kroger.  They have it placed on its own little shelf and the tag usually says "1.99! Woo!"  Who wouldn't buy that??

We usually get a ciabatta loaf.  It makes great toast!  AND, it makes great croutons.

So here is what you do.

Slice the bread into 3/4 inch slices.  If the bread is rather soft, toast it.  Cut the bread into 1 inch squares.  Heat 2-3 tbs. of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high.  Throw in the bread cubes.  Season as you like.  I usually do some Italian seasoning with a little salt and pepper.

Toss the bread crumbs regularly.  You will have to stay close because they may burn if left alone for too long.  Toast them in the oil until they reach your desired crispiness.  Place on a napkin-lined plate and you are done!

Delicious, homemade croutons for your next salad!  Or just for munching!

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on store-bought croutons?  Yuck!  How many ingredients in these? Well, if you count the bread as one ingredient (which may or may not be cheating), there are three ingredients.  Not bad!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Irish Soda Bread...and other things

Well, hello!

So it's been close to a year since I've updated my blog.  I feel terribly guilty about this, however, I would like to think I have an excuse.

As you know, Mr. PT and I were blessed with a sweet little girl in June of 2013.  Well, that sweet little girl has grown into a sweet, big toddler who will be two this summer!  This is very hard for me to believe; the time has truly flown by, just like everyone said it would.

I'm happy to say that our little one finally decided to grow some teeth and is eating like a madwoman these days!  She has a relatively diverse palate, and although genetics and personality are likely the cause, I would like to think I played a role in this!  Hopefully all those vegetable stir fries, smoothies, and salads gave her a heads up as to what she would be eating post-delivery.  Her favorites these days are cheese, milk, strawberries, bananas, and pancakes (my little pancake girl!).  However, she also eats rice, beans, avocado, pasta, oatmeal, broccoli, and plain yogurt!  I can't complain!

Our little girl has also grown up watching her crazy parents exercise.  While nestled in her car seat, Mr. PT would take her outside and use her as a weight for lunges and bicep curls (I'm pretty sure this is how she learned the concept of "up and down").  When big enough to stand, she would watch Mommy and Daddy share the bands for arm workouts.  She now screams "Run! Weee!" when it's time to get in the jogging stroller and shouts "my turn!" when I pull our the weights.  Her favorite toy?  Balls, of course!

Anyway, more big news on the way.  Mr. PT and I are now expecting our SECOND little blessing!  This, again, is very hard for me to believe.  Come August, we will be starting all over again with a new little person to feed healthy foods and teach band exercises to.  Not sure if our little one will be a "he" or a "she," but either way, we are very excited to give our little peanut a playmate.

So that's life here!  I'm sure life out there has been continuing on and you have many changes to report as well.  But let's get to a more serious matter...HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Yes, it's that day when we must wear green to avoid getting pinched from our coworkers (this almost happened to me today).  It's also the day to celebrate our Irish heritage, whether we can claim it or not.  To celebrate, I thought about giving our little girl green milk in her cereal, but of course, she requested pancakes for breakfast so my plan was foiled.  Next year!

Instead, I pulled out my wonderful King Arthur's Flour cookbook, given to me at my high school graduation, and found three different recipes for Irish Soda Bread.  The first was traditional, the second fruity, and the third an "Americanized" version of the old classic.  After consulting with Mr. PT, we decided to go with the American version..."but with less raisins."

So here you go!  I included the link for the recipe.  I did not make a glaze for the top since the bread has a nice, subtle sweetness of it's own. I also used less raisins, per the husband's request.  Enjoy!

Americanized Irish Soda Bread