There are some recipes you come back to, month after month, year after year. You’ve perfected them, they are comforting and homey or sometimes just plain easy. But for whatever reason, they may somehow fall out of that regular recipe rotation. You might get sick of them. When I was a child, we had pancakes every Saturday morning. They were great–until they weren’t. When I went away to college, there was a good 5-6 years where I wanted nothing to do with pancakes, then gradually I welcomed them back into my life. Then there are recipes that slip through the cracks and you just forget about. Like Crockpot Chicken.
I’m not usually one to judge, but sometimes there are recipes SO EASY that people don’t even think to try. It drives me crazy! So today, I’m going to be a bit judgy. If you’ve never made your own croutons, and don’t do so regularly, well, I might think a little less of you. And if you don’t try them after I go ahead and show you step by step how easy they are to make and take practically NO TIME out of your normal dinner preparation time, well, then you’ll just make me sad. Nothing’s worse than a sad locavore, burying herself in pint after pint of local Blue Marble Ice Cream. You don’t want to be responsible for that, do you? So please, just try it once.
After my experiment with gourmet sea salt, and past experiences with infusing alcohols, olive oil was the next logical step. At least to me. I love when Italian restaurants line their shelves with huge bottles of olive oil filled with floating peppers, sun dried tomatoes, herbs and spices. Without fail you can walk into some of the most illogical stores–Marshalls, Century 21, Home Goods, and find bottles of gourmet alcohol. I figured if gourmet sea salt was so easy to recreate, why not fancy olive oils?
Admit it, you say you love pumpkins, but you’re really in it for the seeds. I haven’t carved a pumpkin in years. Yes it’s fun, but they rot so quickly. There goes a perfectly good pumpkin that could have been turned into soup or bread or muffins. I love food too much to waste any of it. So instead I keep my one (sometimes two or three) out and un-carved for the Halloween season. After I cut them in half, roast and puree the flesh, just like I do Butternut Squash.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Quinoa and its magical powders–the newest super food. This whole grain is a seed derived from a plant closely related to spinach. It provides an excellent source of protein, fiber and calcium. And best of all? It’s tasty! I love the little bit of crunchiness, the texture really adds dimension to any dish.