The Perfect Crouton

I've been on a cooking kick the last few days.  Maybe its the return of winter, maybe its because I haven't really done much of it the last few weeks.  Lots of baking in prep for my Mardi Gras party, but not much "cooking."

Yesterday I made Lentil Soup, which was exactly what I needed for the nasty, cold, snowy day it turned out to be.  After inhaling a bowl for lunch, I really wanted a salad.  And on top of that salad, I really wanted croutons.  But not just any crouton. The Perfect Crouton.  Something crunchy, but not hard as a rock.  Something flavorful, but not overly spiced.

And today, I found it in my very own kitchen.  I made my own.  Pretty simple, and took maybe 20 minutes.

I had left over french bread from my grocery store that I'd been keeping in a plastic bag to keep it super soft.  Melted about 4 tablespoons of butter on the stove, and added some garlic powder from my favorite spice store.  No measuring, just seasoned to my liking.  I'd cubed the bread, dumped it in the butter and garlic mix, tossed it around a little bit, and threw it on the baking sheet.  Added a few sprinkles of Fancy Garlic Salt to kick up the flavor (and add a little color).  Into a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  I ended up with a little bit of carbohydrate and garlic heaven.

Just crunchy enough, just seasoned enough, and a fantastic addition to the salad I ate today.

Super easy, I promise.  No waiting around for your bread to get stale (yuck), and you'll never want store bought croutons again.  And maybe, just maybe, you'll want a few more salads...