Saturday, March 29, 2014

Homemade Croutons/Munchies

When you have some bread that has dried out, make bread crumbs OR you can also make delicious croutons which are a popular munching treat at our house.

1 to 2 loaves French or whole grain bread
1/4 cup Greek (or other) olive oil --another type of vegetable oil can be substituted
1 teaspoon each kosher salt, dill weed, granulated garlic, onion powder
1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Seasonings used for croutons, plus Greek olive oil
Cut the bread into crouton-sized cubes.  Put into a large bowl or covered container.  Drizzle with the olive oil then stir well, or cover and shake until all sides of the bread cubes are coated with oil.
Bread cubes in bucket having been "oiled" and shaken.

Place all the spices and herbs in a bowl and stir well to combine.  Sift over the bread cubes then stir well or cover and shake until all side are seasoned.
Seasonings sifted over the bread cubes that were previously spread with oil.

In the meantime, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  When croutons-to-be are well coated, place them in a half-sheet pan or very large baking pan with high sides (to avoid spillage when stirring) and spread out to make as close to one layer deep as possible.

Bake for 20 minutes then remove from oven and stir well.  Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.  After the 30 minutes total baking time, remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.  Store in a covered container....if you can keep hands from the container!

At our house these disappear rather quickly.  They are tastier, cheaper (you already have the bread!), and healthier than potato and other chips.  Of course, to make this last true, you cannot eat the whole container at one sitting....

Friday, March 21, 2014

Quick Strawberry Ice Cream--in a heavy-duty blender

Quick Strawberry Ice Cream

1 cup heavy cream (what I used, not having the  half and half called for in the original recipe)
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
16 ounces or 3 cups frozen strawberries
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Using a heavy duty blender like a Blendtec blender, a VitaMix blender, or a Bosch mixer Blender, place the cream, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and frozen berries into the blender jar in that order.

Start blending on low, then go through the gears to high.  Within about a minute you will hear a grinding sound in the Bosch, which is what I used, not having one of the other higher priced machines, so stop the blender.  (If you have a Blendtec or Vitamix, there is most likely an ice cream button...)

After removing the cover, use a spoon to check all the way to the bottom of the blender jar to see that all the berries are blended.  Spoon into serving bowls and enjoy.  Serves 4 or 5 people a nice bowl of wonderful ice cream.

Leftover strawberry ice cream.
If you do NOT have a heavy duty blender, better not try it.  It will probably destroy your blender with the strain of grinding the frozen berries.

Next time I will try blueberries.