You won’t be able to stop snacking on these buttery garlic and herb Homemade Croutons – they just may not make it into the salad!
Recipe at bottom of post
I started making these homemade croutons when I was 15 years old – a time when I wouldn’t even touch a salad unless there were croutons in it (in addition to an offensive amount of dressing).
Homemade anything is always better, but with the word “homemade” comes the notion that you need loads of time to accomplish it. But that’s not the case with crunchy bits of joy! In less than 30 minutes, you’ll be snacking on buttery golden crisp croutons that might not even make it into the salad. I know this from experience. I REGRET NOTHING.
I went with garlic and herb flavors for this recipe, but feel free to season your croutons however you’d like. You can stick to basic flavors or, if you’re feeling adventurous, get creative and use seasonings like chili or curry powder! I’m just here to show you how simple it is.
How to make homemade croutons
You want to plan slightly ahead. Score yourself a fresh loaf of French or Italian bread a few days in advance. Much like when you make stuffing for Thanksgiving, you want the bread to be firmed up a bit – and by firm, I don’t mean stale. We don’t need it hardened to the point where it could knock out a small child.
Cut the bread into 1-inch slices, and then cut the slices into 1-inch cubes. These make really nice bite-sized croutons!
(Bite-sized if you’re Chain Chomp!)
When done, transfer your cubed bread pieces into a large bowl and start seasoning. You’ll kick things off by drizzling the melted butter and olive oil over the bread. Follow that up with your dry seasonings and, with clean hands, gently toss the bread cubes around until all of them are as close to being evenly coated as possible.
Transfer the bread pieces to a baking sheet and spread them out for even baking.
Put them in the oven, mid-rack, and let them bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Set them aside and allow them to cool.
Once cooled, transfer them to an airtight container and store in a dry place. They’re good for a week!
This Watermelon Radish Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Vinaigrette has many mouthwatering components, including mandarin oranges, candied walnuts, goat cheese, and shallots.
One of my most favorite things to work with in the kitchen is gorgeous produce. It’s safe to say the Watermelon Radish is queen of them all. It may seem boring from the outside, but when you slice into it, it’s pretty darn magical!
I had my hopes set high when I ventured off to Whole Foods back in May to find these beauties. Sadly, at that point, I had no luck. It wasn’t until this past weekend when a beige-colored beet looking thing poked it’s roots out at me. I literally gasped once I realized what it was, and I’m sure I startled the people around me, but hey. Pretty produce is exciting, guys!
Due to the fact that I’d never even seen a Watermelon Radish in person before (let alone prepare a dish with one), my knowledge in how it could be used was limited. What I did know was this: I wanted it to be the star.
What does the Watermelon Radish taste like?
Not melons, sorry to disappoint. Named after it’s vibrant pink center, this fancy-ass radish tastes like any other ol’ radish – slightly sweet and a little peppery. With that in mind, throwing together a vibrant salad seemed like the right thing to do. I know a salad sounds kind of boring in theory but, with the right elements, it can turn into quite a big deal.
And trust me, it did.
For the vinaigrette, I wanted to keep it simple but I also wanted to add some acidity to the sweet and tangy flavors. This is why I went with a lemon-y flavor. It’s tame enough to not steal the show, but acidic enough to make up for the lack of tartness in the salad.
Recipe at the end of the post
Sugar and spice and everything nice… like vodka, right?
This punchy bev is inspired by a lot of things. It’s inspired by summer and my first real scorcher living in the South (which I’m not sure my Canadian maple syrup blood can handle); it’s inspired by the fact that it’s the weekend (holler!), but most importantly, this sweet and zippy concoction is inspired by some very special friendships I’ve made in the last six months.
Connecting Over Cocktails
Networking is important in business, and in the blogging world it’s no different. But what is also important (and much less evident) is creating solid relationships with fellow bloggers. A few of my closest blogging chums and I decided to give a nod to the significance of blogging buddies – and what better way than through a cocktail link party?
If we’re friends, you’ve heard me say it time and time again: bloggin’ ain’t easy. This is especially true when it becomes your life. Blogging for business is a constant battle to balance creation, learning, delivery, analytics, research, promotion, networking – and unlike other jobs, where you have your colleagues to join you in griping about work woes, you’re on your own here.
Probably why most of us drink, yeah?
When I grumble to my family or friends about the woes that come with running a blog, I know they can’t fathom it and, as a result, they can’t say what I need to hear. They can’t tell me they understand how annoying it is to create fresh, beautiful dishes only to be beaten out in the rankings by uninspired no-bake cheesecakes and anything wrapped in bacon; they can’t moan and groan with me about how fickle Foodgawker can be when they approve one of your mediocre photos only to deny one you consider a total gem the next day; family and friends don’t understand just how taxing it can be to pour yourself into a well-planned post only to have it ruined by a bad photo session. Most importantly, no one but fellow like-minded bloggers understand the struggles of denying unfit paid opportunities in an effort to avoid becoming a sell-out.
As bloggers, we are constantly questioning ourselves and our decisions, and we absolutely need those few pals to tell us, “Hey, you. You did the right thing.”
Decisions are hard, blogging can be trying, and we need our blogging peers for support. We need their constructive criticism and we need them to help push us forward when we feel like we’re falling behind.
So, if you’re a blogger, go make blog friends. NOW. Find them in your blogging niche and, heck, outside of your niche too! To say it’s rewarding seems like an understatement.
To my blogging friends – thank you. Thank you for being my inspiration, my fuel, and the incredible support that you’ve been and will continue to be.
Cheers to the #FBCConnectingWithCocktails link party members and my bests:
*Happiness, Hotness, and Health-Trolling was written by Susan Knowles. See the Contributors page for more.
There are three things food can do. Obviously, it sates our hunger, providing micro and macronutrients that allow our bodies to function well. Food also has an emotional/mental component; we turn to it in joy and in pain. In all of life’s big moments, there food is, helping us to celebrate, to heal, and to comfort us in our hours of need. Of course, there is a third thing food can do. When we consume more calories than we need, our body stores that energy as fat. This wasn’t really a problem up until about 100 years ago. But, for as long as I can remember, it’s been a problem for me.
I’m on a serious hummus kick and that’s becoming clear here at Killing Thyme. Not long ago I posted my dearly beloved Homemade Hummus with Za’atar and Sweet Paprika. It was so yummy, I had to make more hummus.
Due to spending this week on the coast (yay for vacation!), I wanted to clear out the ol’ crisper before leaving. (No one wants to come home to a swampy crisper, am I right?) I found some red bell pepper and zucchini kicking around, and I had some chalet olives in the fridge, so my wheels started turning and this nummy hummus came to be.