Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Homemade Croutons ~ Homemade Dry Italian Seasoning ~ Tidbits

It seemed as soon as we stocked some firewood by the house, the weather turned dreary, cold and then rain arrived.

 We woke up to this.  The sun is shining and the there is no wind.  It's actually a beautiful Sunday.  Warning....feeling talkative this morning.  Grab a cup of your favorite beverage.

Our grocery store is now selling an organic whole wheat (labeled non-gmo) bread.  I was lucky to get a loaf at a good price, which I made homemade croutons with.  Next batch I will try using homemade bread of some sort.

I think they taste fantastic, and are not rock hard like what you are served in a restaurant or find in stores.

I slice up my bread (6-7 slices) into cubes first, and either layer on a large baking tray (with 1 inch sides), or into a large mixing bowl. 

I sprinkle 2 Tbsp of my homemade dry Italian seasoning over the bread cubes, with 1 tsp. of my home ground garlic powder.  I then drizzle 1/4 cup of organic olive oil (also non-gmo), and mix until coated.  

I love my herb garden (and my dehydrator), and when it's producing in full amounts, I can make a jar of dry Italian seasoning.

Homemade Dry Italian Seasoning
12 teaspoons dried basil
8   teaspoons dried thyme
10 teaspoons dried oregano
6   teaspoons dried rosemary
6   teaspoons dried sage
4   teaspoons homemade garlic powder 

Note: I sometimes add black pepper too.  I do not add additional salt.

 I bake mine at 350°F for about 15-16 minutes until dry. 

With the remaining bread slices, I went ahead and baked them dry. These will be used for making stuffing, or ground into bread crumbsHowever, lately I have been using ground oats in place of bread crumbs.
The big Thanksgiving meal is coming up for many folks.  To cook or not to cook?  That is the question for me this year.  I really do not want to over work myself either.

When I said "let's skip Thanksgiving" the kids protested.  Yes, leftovers from the big meal are nice, but does it have to be so big?

By the way, we located organic turkeys, but they are sold out.  They are charging $35.00 for a turkey, so I may see about raising our own.  Our pasture has lots of clover, I'd just have to plant or purchase alfalfa.

The kids all volunteered to help prepare a meal, but a few of my recipes require days of meal prep.

Personally, I would like to make some hot cranberry punch to sip on, and just hang out in cozy clothes, and read a book. 

Our favorite side dish (one of them) is corn pudding.

Crock Pot Corn Pudding from Scratch

We used to make corn pie, which was like a corn bread with corn in it.  When I first starting making the corn pudding in the  crock pot, it would turn out dense and heavy when you ate it.  Then I discovered adding eggs to it.  It really made a lighter dish (that we preferred).

I'm still on the hunt for the roll of plastic sheeting I purchased. I will double check all my storage spots again today, but not until we have made another pot of coffee, and a leisurely made breakfast. 


Mama Pea said...

I think there are very few women (or chief cooks in a household) who wouldn't want to skip all the work a Thanksgiving Dinner entails! I've lobbied for that comfy, leisurely, easy-eating day for years, but, of course, no one else will agree. Gotten offers of help but there's still too much for me to do. For the past couple of years, I've made the turkey the day before and then heated up the slices, parts and pieces on Thanksgiving. That makes it seem a lot easier for me.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Mama Pea, I typically roast the turkey in a counter-top roaster, so that leaves my oven free, but doing it the day before is a good idea. That would free up counter space. I know if I don't cook a turkey, Hubby will bring one in from the grocer deli (blech).

RB said...

Anything I add oil to, I generally put in a bowl first, pour MEASURED oil over and then toss. I learned that from Chef Paul Prudhomme long ago who said we use less oil that way, and I'm sure it's true.
I've also made croutons about the same way you do. Only difference is, I cut mine up a day ahead and spread out on cookie sheets to dry a bit before adding the oil and seasonings to it, then I bake them. It seems to me it might soak up more of the oil and seasonings that way.
I'm working Thanksgiving (10am-3pm, I volunteered so those with children could stay home), so we just got a turkey breast to roast this year. I'll make the sides and brine the turkey ahead of time so Bro Tom can just toss it all in the oven while I'm working, and I'll come home to a wonderful meal.
I pray everyone has a nice safe week.
God bless.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

RB, sorry you have to work on Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful meal!