Please bear with me as I reflect a bit before getting to the actual recipe for today:
Two years ago, hesitation swarmed every ounce of my body as I contemplated beginning a food blog. For several weeks, I had stalked other blogs I highly admired and an obsession blossomed: I began yearning to take pretty pictures of my food and share them with others.
A paralyzing fear nearly gripped me, though, with the thought of putting myself out to the public. I viewed a vulnerability in even sharing about the foods I make because it would reveal something about me. You see, I’m actually quite shy and don’t like much attention. Luckily, I had a friend to bounce my fears around with and she encouraged me to give blogging a try.
Two years later now, I love playing with this blog even more than when I first began. I still wonder what my goals are with it. Do I really have any other than to simply share the recipes of foods I love? That, actually, was the impetus for the blog. Since then, this hobby has prompted me to explore, experiment, and grow–as a cook and a photographer and a writer (with lots of room still to continue growing). Slowly I’ve even learned to share a bit more about myself on the blog, something I initially shied away from.
For the past 15 months, I have taken a series of photography courses with the specific goal of improving my blog pictures. I’m happy to say I have learned a ton about my camera and about lighting. After 7 years of owning my fancy digital SLR, I now know how to use those many buttons on it whereas I used to stick to the Auto button. Took me long enough, didn’t it? The blog provided the catalyst for this improvement. Now my pictures get accepted more often from foodgawker, a site that accepts blog photos and provides links to various blogs.
I’ve surprised myself with the array of recipes I try. The obsession with stalking foodgawker and the joy of discovering other blog sites with fantastic recipes has spurred a creative desire (which my hubby labels as obsession ; )
Mainly, I’m astounded that I can make so many food items at home rather than buy them at the grocery store, things like mayonnaise, yogurt, tortillas, pasta, pickles, granola, ricotta, mozzarella, canned salsa and tomato sauce… I love it. Who knew I had a homesteader in me? And alongside all this, my love of gardening has developed because I really want to eat healthier as a result of this food affair (but shhh, let’s pretend I didn’t gorge myself silly between Thanksgiving and New Years, okay?).
Weekly, I see new blog subscribers trickle in. I get so excited about that. Amazing how this blog has slowly grown in readership. Thank you to all those who supported me and started with me two years ago, a small circle of friends. The readership is now moving toward 100 subscribers and the viewership on some days reaches several hundred. I know that is a drop in the bucket of the blogging world, but it means a lot to me. Thank you, also, to every new subscriber who has jumped on board. Some of you I’ve learned about through the connection to your blogs, and it’s fun to at least meet you via this internet world. I’m tickled pink that you like my blog enough to subscribe.
Today marks two years that this food blogging hobby has survived, and with thousands of recipes to still try, I intend to continue sharing. I hope to inspire you, and I hope to help you grow just as all the other food blogs have helped me learn and grow in the kitchen.
And now, here’s a simple little practice to help you move toward wasting less food, saving more money, and honing your urban homesteading skills: How to Make Bread Crumbs.
Hubby and I used to haggle over who would get the undesired ends when we made BLT sandwiches. Well, the haggling days are over. I’ve discovered how easy and economical it is to make my own bread crumbs. And to think of the bread heels that used to get tossed into the trash…for shame! Now, I toss those end pieces into a large resealable Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer until I have enough to process into crumbs.
Any type of bread will suffice: sliced bread, wheat bread, white bread, rye bread, french bread, English muffins… I have even used jalapeno bread. Just save all leftover, stale bread in the freezer until ready to mix up a batch, then store in the freezer for up to six months. So convenient. So easy. So economical. And don’t worry about the variety of breads; the more the merrier, right?
See the tray of heels I toasted? Not many, right? But it yielded about 2 cups of crumbs. Much better than trashing it, for now it gets reused. Yay!
- leftover, stale pieces of bread
- optional: dry seasonings such as Italian, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Arrange pieces of bread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake in 300 degree F oven for approximately 30 minutes, turning bread over halfway through the 30 minutes. If not totally crisp, you can turn the oven off and leave the tray of bread in the oven for awhile longer. You want to bread crisp enough to snap when broken.
- Remove from oven; allow to cool.
- Break bread into smaller pieces and place in food processor. Pulse until desired coarseness is achieved.
- Add seasoning at this point, if desired, and pulse to mix seasonings into the crumbs.
- Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
- Use as needed; no thawing necessary.
Seasoned Bread Crumbs
If you desire seasoned bread crumbs, add about 1/2 teaspoon, for starters, of dry seasonings for each cup of crumbs. I like to add 1 tbsp. per cup, but I like the flavor of the seasonings.
You can use Italian seasoning or any combination of seasonings you prefer.
This mix is for 1 1/2 cups of crumbs and uses more than the 1/2 tsp. of seasonings mentioned above; again, add as much as you desire.
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano or thyme
- 1 tbsp. dried basil or parsley
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper