Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Zesty Croutons

Woohoo! I am back from my unexpected absence. Thank all of you who left comments and sent emails looking for me. I had to get busy and very serious with the job hunt. I have some irons in the fire and am hoping to have something positive to report to you very soon.

First, I want to thank Marguerite from Cajun Delights for passing along the Noblesse Oblige Award. Marguerite has a fantastic blog wherein she posts wonderful Cajun recipes and short videos showcasing the Cajun experience. i cherish Marguerite's friendship. Merci Beaucoup, Marguerite!

The recipient of this award is recognized for the following:
• The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs
• Their Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage, and offers solutions
• There is a clear purpose at the Blog: one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Cultures, Sciences, and Beliefs
• The Blog is refreshing and creative; and The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking
The requirements of the person receiving the award are as follows:
• Create a post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award
• The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post
• Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts as support
• The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions- Blogger must display the Award at any location at their Blog

I started Smoky Mountain Cafe because I thought it would be fun sharing my love of cooking. It has been a blast way beyond my wildest imagination. I wanted to share my Cajun heritage reflected in my cooking because where I come from it's all about the food. Major life events are recalled by what was served so whatever you serve has to be memorable.

Now for the fun part of passing this prestigious award on.

A Duck in Her Pond


Chez What

Burp and Slurp

My Tasty Treasures

Suburb Sanity

Words cannot express how blessed and how appreciative I truly am to each and everyone of you, my dear bloggie friends, who take the time to visit, encourage and support me with your thoughtful comments. Your friendship is a really treasure, you are all the best!!

Second, I would like to thank Heather from Stuck on a Lunatic for nominating Smoky Mountain Cafe as a Tasty Blog for the BlogLuxe Awards. A great big thank you Heather for nominating me and another great, big thank you to those that voted for me.

Third, thank you Charlotte from Canning Jars Etc. for the following award.

Charlotte is the go to blog for any canning how-to's and recipes. I want to can everything I find!

To get this award, I have to name 7 things about myself that you might find interesting.

1. I am going stir crazy being home and not working - power to the stay at home moms!
2. Most of my fresh herbs are homegrown. I'll have to take some pictures and post them...note to self.
3. I love terrorizing my husband by grabbing one of his power tools and walking past him mumbling about fixing something. It REALLY freaks him out. Hey, I'm broke, I like to be entertained.
4. It's been one year since I smoked I smoked a cigarette.
5. I Tweet, but deep down, I think it's stupid.
6. Anytime I see someone in a U.S. military uniform, I thank them.
7. I am politically ultra-conservative and wonder how happy people are with "Change".

I nominate the following people to receive this award:

1. Teresa from a Blog About Food
2. Cathy from Accountants Can Cook
3. Marguerite from Cajun Delights
4. Sam from My Carolina Kitchen
5. Mary from My New 30
6. Claudia from Journey of an Italian Cook
7. Dar from Girlichef

To accept this award do the following

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

Now let's get to the food portion of this post!

Many of us are stretching our dollars these days. Every wonder what to do with leftover bread? Make croutons! Not only is this a thrifty little gem, it's so tasty, easy and versatile, you'll stop buying croutons. Just read, watch and try!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use any kind of leftover of bread you have on hand. Go with at least 6 slices and cube them. Place the cubes in a large bowl.

Season the bread with just about anything your heart desires; be creative, be bold! I used season salt, onion powder, lemon pepper, garlic powder, dried basil. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. using your hands toss the cubes to evenly coat with seasonings and olive oil.

Layer bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place baking sheet in preheated 400 degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes until golden brown.

See, I told you these are easier and better tasting!


Sophie said...

Congratulations on your recent awards & congrats on the others too!

Well deserved to all of you!

Your croutons look so lovely! Yum!

Selba said...

Congrats on your awards, Katherine :)

The croutons looks wonderful, I would love to try them.

Donna-FFW said...

Oh Thank you so so very much Katherine. I havent received this award and am so honored you thought of me to pass it along to. Really thank you. I will pass it along soon

Love the croutons. So much better than store bought. I use my left over hamburger/hot dog buns for the very same thing.

Claudia said...

Congrats on the awards Katherine - you so deserve them! And I am so touched that you thought of me! Meanwhile, the blog is timely - I have all these buns leftover from the 4th and was thinking of giving them to the birds.... who are plump enough eating from my yard!

sherri said...

I've gien homemade croutons and homemade salad dressing as a gift inside a nice walnut salad bowl- the recipient went on and on about the croutons! My recipe is very similar-easy and delicious!

TavoLini said...

and they SMELL so great too, when cooking. My favorite task at my old restaurant was making croutons. I just had to stop myself from eating them all!!

Congrats on your awards :)

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Congrats Katherine on both awards and glad to see you back! I'm playing catch up too on commenting!

Cathy said...

Congrats on the awards and thank you so much for mine :)

Croutons look great! I love croutons and as a kid would happily sit there with a box of them for a snack while watching cartoons. I'll have to give this a try as I have some leftover buns right now.

Mary said...

Congratulations on your awards, Katherine. The croutons looks wonderful. Good luck on the job front.

Debbie said...

Congrats on all your awards Katherine. You truly deserve them. I have missed you and I'm glad you are back!!! I always seem to have leftover bread so now I know what to do with it!! Thanks!

buffalodick said...

I make my own croutons on occasion..a better use of bread going stale was never invented! Congrats on awards! You lovely ladies seem to enjoy them, but I don't recieve nor give them...I want everyone to know their efforts are interesting, and appreciated..

Elra said...

Nothing like homemade croutons. They are healthier, free of chemicals, fresher, and you can add just about any herb you like! Perfect Katherine!

Theresa said...

Congrats on the awards Katherine! I'm going to give these croutons a try; they look so good! I wish you success in the job hunt sister-in- law! You'll find something soon.

the ungourmet said...

Congratulations on your awards. Your blog is wonderful!

I thought number 3 in your list was hysterical! I'll have to give this a try!

My son and I love croutons! He just loves the crunchy goodness and can eat a whole bowl of them if I let him.

Cheryl said...

I wondered where you were and what you were up to! I am so glad to see you back! I am ashamed to say I have only made croutons once in my life, yours look yummy!

Marguerite said...

Welcome back to blogland, cher! I missed you so much. Congratulations on your much deserved awards and thank you so much for passing the Kreativ Blogger award to me. I am truly honored! The croutons look sinfully delicious. :)

Reeni♥ said...

Congrats on your awards! Thanks for sharing those tidbits about yourself - you have me giggling! Home-made croutons are the best! These look so delicious I want to go make some now and eat a giant salad!

Marjie said...

Welcome back; I've missed you! I make croutons, too, sometimes, and while I don't like croutons (I mumble to my kids about "stale bread on the salad is stupid" and it sends them into orbit), I have a lot of fans here. I also toast leftover bread cubes for homemade stuffing. Try it, you'll love it!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the well deserved awards!

My sous chefs LOVE croutons. Thank you for the recipe!

teresa said...

Oh the croutons look wonderful, I've never made my own before.

You made me laugh out loud at the powertool thing. I'm going to HAVE to try that sometime, my husband would die!

Thank you so much for the award! You made my day!

girlichef said...

Congrats on your awards and thank you so much for passing one on to me :) Gotta love bread in any form!! It's always fun learning some inside facts about people we "interact" with regularly :)

Chris said...

Congrats on the awards!

Croutons are like crack for me. Well, them and bacon. You could give me a bowl of croutons and bacon and tell me that I just ate a salad, I'd say it was the best salad I ever had:)

Mary at My New 30 said...

I figured you were busy - I thought you said you would be away for a bit here and there. Best of luck with the job search. Thanks for thinking of me! So sweet.

The croutons look fantastic!!

Not Another Omnivore said...

I'm so behind one everything!

Are you still in the south east?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your award, Katherine! I feel SO honored, and I agree you truly deserve those awards!
Good luck on the job...My fingers are crossed for you!

gigi said...

WOW! I'm just glad you are back! I wasn't expecting to come and visit and find an award for ME! Thank you! That was very cool indeed and you know how badly I need to be cool! Although we are having a cool front :) praise be! I sure appreciate your friendship and really did miss you.

Congratulations to the other winners and for your nomination :)

I can't wait to check out the canning lady, you know how I like canning stuff! I just found out that you can can butter and it will last on the shelf 3-5 years, how cool is that? Did I say, I missed you?

Okay, now on to commenting on your 7 things. You didn't tell us that you grow your own herbs? And aggrivating your husband like that, shame on you, but to funny. I am so proud of you for quiting smoking, you rock! Twitting is stupid and I love our military personel!! And NO I don't like the D@%#! Change!! It sucks so far and I didn't vote for it and it's funny that I haven't found the first person that will admit to voting for it! Well somebody sure did! Sorry about that but thanks for asking. Love you.

Don't hate me but I've never made croutons :-{ scary, I know.

Did I say WELCOME back yet? Well, WELCOME back!

Bridgett said...

I would be all over those croutons. How addictive. Congrats on both awards and I wish you the best in your job hunt.

Pearl said...

congrats on the award!

Pam said...

Congrats on your awards - you deserve them.

There is nothing better than homemade croutons. Yours look great.

Pam said...

Congrats on your awards!

And welcome back.

And good luck on your job hunting!

Have I covered everything??

Oh wait, the croutons, look great!

Debbie said...

This was chock full of goodness!
First, congrats on all of your awards. You so rightly deserve them.
And thank you for passing one along to me! It means alot to me that you thought of me - and even more that you took time out of your life to meet me!
And lastly, good luck on the job search. Keep us posted.

Greg C said...

You make everything look easy. They do look yummy.

...Mrs. Southern Bride... said...

Those croutons look wonderful!

Natashya said...

I love homemade croutons, they are the best.
Congratulations on all of your well deserved awards and good luck to you in finding your dream job!

Gamma Sharon said...

That sounds so good!!! I am going to try it.
BTW, Congrats on all your awards!
I really want to munch on those croutons right now!
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Lynda said...

Congrats on the awards- you are very worthy!
I love homemade croutons as they are so fresh and yummy tasting!

Not Another Omnivore said...

Up in Boston and missing Knoxville :(

The Japanese Redneck said...

Hope job hunting is rewarded. Croutons look good. Didn't know they were so easy to make.

Melissa Erickson said...

Congrats & the croutons look great!

Juliana said...

Congratulations on your award :-)
The croutons look so yummie, my salad is ready for it!

John Roberts said...

Homemade croutons are the best! I like mine just a little less on the crunchy side.

Joanne said...

Congrats on the awards and welcome back...we missed you! These croutons look quite good. I would love them in a salad.

Julie said...

Congrats on the award!
I love homemade croutons...these look great :)