Homemade Croutons Are So Easy

The weather was so nice on Sunday! It felt like summer and I loved every minute of it!

A local greenhouse right up the road from us finally opened up. They were previously only doing curbside pickup for plants, which I was grateful for, but now they’ve opened with some strict social-distancing guidelines. Most of their plants are outside, they had arrows marking all the paths as one-directional, and even moved their check-out stations outdoors. Plus, they weren’t overly crowded. I drove by a different home and garden store the other day and the parking lot was packed. No way I’d be going in a store like that right now. No way. What in the world are people thinking? I just don’t get it.

Our local greenhouse was one of the few places that I’ve felt comfortable going to in the midst of all this Corona chaos, but OMG was I happy to buy some flowers and plants. Gardening is one of my true summer joys, and I need it more than ever this year. So my hubby and I put our masks on, and enjoyed an hour or so of selecting some veggie plants, some annuals and some perennials. All while social-distancing. I am so happy to have some plants.

Of course, even though yesterday was lovely, it was followed up by a cold front. This week is supposed to get fairly cool at night, so I didn’t want to put out anything that might not do well in the colder temps.

Right now, my screen porch looks (and smells) like we have our own greenhouse! I’m kinda loving it….

We spent the afternoon getting several perennials in the ground, but held off on my annuals.

We planted three of these Heavenly Angel Ice Daylilies on the north side of the house in between the two peonies I planted last spring. I can’t wait to see the peonies bloom for the first time later this month!

On the south side of the house, I needed some more plants that thrive in part sun and part shade. I found these Younique White Astilbe perennials, which are new to me, but I’m so excited to see them bloom!

It was literally a perfect afternoon. Sunshine, warm temps, no wind. I was a dirty mess by the time we came inside, but a happy and dirty mess. 😂

Salad for Supper

Fortunately, we had planned for a super simple supper. On Friday night, we had grilled some balsamic marinaded chicken. We intentionally grilled a couple of extra pieces so we would have leftovers for a dinner salad.

It was perfect after coming in from a warm afternoon of planting. On my last grocery pick-up, I had ordered fresh romaine and veggies for the salad, but what I didn’t get was croutons, and I really wanted some for this salad. I figured they’d be easy, but I was surprised by how easy!

I had some leftover homemade hamburger buns in the freezer, so I pulled a couple of them out, and cut them into cubes.

Then, I drizzled them with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

And toasted them on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Watch them carefully, because once they start to brown, they go quickly.

That was it! It was so simple, I was asking myself why I ever bought croutons from the store in the first place!

These are a gazillion times better than those rock-hard cubes you can purchase at the store. These are crispy, while still being just a tiny bit chewy, and had such better flavor.

By the time I had the rest of the salad assembled, the croutons were done and ready to add to the top of the salad.

We already had an open bottle of wine in the fridge, so we poured ourselves a glass, and carried our easy dinner out to the back deck just in time for sunset.

Is there anything more satisfying than finally sitting down to relax after a rewarding day of hard work?

It felt so much like summer, and it was good for my soul. I’m looking forward to this cooler than average week passing, so I can get the rest of these flowers planted.

Sunshine and outdoors makes the current situation so much easier. I anticipate a lot of time spent with plants this summer, since most of our other plans for travel, concerts, and events have been cancelled. Thank goodness for this simple pleasure. Right now, we have to find joy in the little things.

Easy Homemade Croutons

thehouseonsilverado
Use whatever day-old bread you have on hand to make these restaurant quality croutons.
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cubed bread (heaping cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the bread, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle olive oil over bread while stirring. Stir well until bread is coated by all ingredients and olive oil is absorbed.
  • Spread the bread cubes into an even layer on a sheet pan. I covered mine in foil for easy clean-up. Don’t crowd the pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. If you're using super fresh bread, they'll take a little longer to become golden brown. If the bread is stale and dry, it may brown faster, so keep an eye on it!

4 thoughts on “Homemade Croutons Are So Easy

  1. 5 stars
    I love your new discoveries in your yard, just a beautiful plant. There is nothing like homemade croutons, they are always good! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday,483.
    Come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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