Monday, January 12, 2009

Homemade Croutons And Pizza Crackers

I was going to post this on the cooking blog, but tricia posted that wonderful soup recipe "Easy Taco Soup" over there last night and it looks so wonderful, I didn't want to go over the top of it until everyone had a chance to check it out. I'm making it for supper tonight, in fact.

Anyway... here's a couple of items that I make for my family quite regularly. I made them over the weekend, in fact. They are easy to do and delicious. I think you will all enjoy trying them both. At least once or twice. :-)

Homemade Croutons

A lovely bowl of crunchy, savory goodness.

How do you make this delightful treat? Let me tell you:

1. One long baguette of sourdough, or bread of your preference, sliced thin. *The long, skinny ones are perfect for this.
2. Olive oil, or any healthful oil you care to use. If it adds flavor all the better. *For this batch I used the tag ends of the bottles of organic olive oil, avocado oil, and grape seed oil that I wanted to finish off. The olive oil was sweet and fruity, the avocado oil was smooth and rich, the grape seed oil added just a hint of tartness.
3. Herbs and spices of your choosing. *I used garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, lemon powder, basil, and black pepper. You can also make taco flavored croutons, curried croutons, whatever flavor you desire.
4. Place baguette slices in deep bowl. Sprinkle on the herbs and spices. Toss with enough oil to get the dried herbs to adhere to the bread. I use a quarter cup or less for one long baguette.
5. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 300 to 325 degree oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the croutons are golden and crunchy. Or to your desired level of "doneness".

Before going into the oven:

I started making these homemade croutons one time when I had purchased too many baguettes and wanted to use them up before they went totally bad. It didn't take me long to realize that if I made these for my guys I could control the amount of salt and fat to a certain extent. I could use oils that offered more nutritionally than were used in the store bought varieties. They were such a big hit, I now buy baguettes specifically for this purpose.

I'm going to move on, now, to something that I'm sure you all know how to do, but perhaps have forgotten about:

Pizza Crackers!

This was supper for us on Friday night (01/09/09). Pizza crackers and a Cesar Salad with the awesome Homemade Croutons I discussed above.

Forget about spending money on that mediocre, mass produced, delivery pizza on "Pizza Night". My son loves these things. And although hubby doesn't admit to it, he likes them a lot, too. These little guys are super easy to make, versatile, and just plain fun.

So, how do you do it? Well... anyway you damn well please! tehehe... for this batch I used:

1. Whole Wheat crackers *which did not work very well. They didn't stay crispy. I usually use Triscuits, specifically the Cracked Pepper flavor, but I didn't have any last Friday night. You can bet I corrected that little issue on Sunday when I went grocery shopping.
2. Pizza or Spaghetti sauce of your choice.
3. Mozzarella cheese.
4. Turkey pepperoni *not necessary to use turkeyroni, I use it because its lower fat content.
5. Parmesan cheese to top it all off. *sorry Elsie, you can leave it off. After all, these are made however YOU like them.
To assemble, you just put your crackers down on a baking sheet, smear with a little bit of sauce, about a half tsp. or little less per cracker. Lay on a piece of mozzarella, followed by a piece of turkeyroni or pepperoni, or Italian salami or whatever you like (can use already cooked Italian sausage if you like it). Top with a thin slice of Parmesan cheese. You can also add slivers of peppers, onions, olives, anything you like, as long as its the proper size to fit on the cracker. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is all melted and goo-ey. Take up from the baking sheet as soon as you take it from the oven. Otherwise the melted cheese is prone to stick then your crackers break when you try to pry them up. These are good hot or room temp, just like regular pizza. I don't know about cold, cause there are never any left to get cold.

Pizza Crackers are a delicious, easy to do meal that kids of all ages enjoy. If you are careful, you can make a treat that is far more healthy than carry out/delivery pizza. And they are much tastier than frozen pizza will ever be.

Hope you'll give these two taste treats a try. They are really easy to do.


Judy said...

Both these recipes sound just YUMMY! I am certainly going to try them. I love croutons and have never made them before.

pamwax said...

You are a temptress. Here I am trying to stay away from bread and you but on these delicious little tidbits. I could resist the pizza crackers if I try but the croutons yum yum.

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

So, make them with whole grain baguettes, Pam. Then you can tell yourself they are good for you, while you woof them down by the hands full. :)

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Hi Judy, thanks for stopping in. I do hope if you try them you'll come back and let me know how you liked the results.

Jeannie said...

Oh, SKW! These look so good, but I'm afraid that I can't eat croutons until the braces come off. The pizza crackers I can eat though and may do so when I'm craving a little treat. Yum!

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Awwww, Jeannie, I'm so sorry! These are really good. So... let me tell you a little secret: when I make these, I always leave a few unbaked ones in the bowl to mop up any extra oil and spices. They are delicious without baking, too.

snowy said...

omigosh, those croutons look so good. Who needs soup or salad?

Kath aka Sleepydumpling said...

Om nom nom nom! I am making both of these on the weekend. (I'm known for my passion for "small food")

Mr. Mike said...

Pizza Crackers and croutons look very tasty! Just looking at these is making me want to go eat a snack now :)

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Hi Kath, thanks for tuning in. :) It's great to see you here. I hope you'll like them. I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't.

Mr. Mike, I always feel so blessed, or priveledged, or special or something when you leave a comment on one of my blogs. I enjoy reading your blog so much. Thank you for coming to visit mine. And once again you give me an opportunity to beg you to give the beautiful Bunny a soft squishy hug for me. I know you would do it anyway, but can't you perhaps tell her one of them is from me? :-)

chaki said...

Hi Holly,

I smelled my way to your blog. Homemade croutons are great in soups and salads. I grew up eating pizza crackers but on Ritz and with Hungarian salami that turns wonderfully crispy and the flavorful oil seeps into the cheese. Yum.

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I like to make Ritz bites with cheddar cheese and ham. I don't know... something about the "buttery-ness" of them. Seems to blend nicely with the cheddar and the ham. They are also good if you make brocolli with cheese sauce and then put a spoon of that on top of your Ritz and sprinkle a taddy of shredded cheddar or other similar cheese on top and zap in the microwave or crisp up a little in the regular oven. Really tasty. To me anyway...

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