Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Making breadcrumbs

I apologize for my lack of posts.  As we all know, the holiday season hasarrived which for me brings additional commitments and busier weekends.  Between shopping, wrapping, decorating, andgeneral cheer, I feel like the hours in each day have gotten even shorter.

My sweet littlest guy has decided to be just like his bigbrother and give up all baby food.  Ihave quite the stash in my freezer and I felt like I was just getting in thegroove of making it again.  He startedthrowing the biggest fit when he wasn’t served the exact same dinner thateveryone else was eating.  When he pairedthese fits with refusing baby food, I knew that my pureeing days wereover.  Luckily he pops out teeth like it’snothing and we have nine and ten about to arrive any day now.

I’ve been cooking numerous freezer meals to prepare for my upcoming surgery.  Each week I decided totake something that we use regularly and make it myself.  Nothing too difficult, not so much tochallenge, but more of an eye opener of how easy this can be. 

The first weekend I made my own breadcrumbs.  I hated buying the premade, but it was justso easy.  I lucked out and found someorganic bread on clearance at the grocery store.  I bought three loaves, which was way toomuch.  I will never have to buy or makebreadcrumbs again!  I placed the sliceson a cookie sheet, being careful to not overlap, and dried them in the oven at300 degrees.  It took about 15 minutesand I flipped the slices about halfway through. After the bread cooled down, I threw the pieces in a food processor andwatched them crumble.  You can decide thelevel of chunkiness.  My food processoris incredibly cheap and I’ve never liked it much.  After the first batch it died on me.  I guess I know what I’ll be asking for thisChristmas!  Anyway, without that frustration,the process was incredibly quick and easy. I almost seasoned the entire batch, but at the last minute decided thatI would season them as needed.

My recipe for seasoning (this is an Italian seasoning):
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon salt

(adapted from allrecipes.com “Italian Dressing Mix”)

This makes quite a bit of seasoning.  If you prefer it as a finer powder, just giveit a spin in a Magic Bullet.  I don’tmind the big parsley, basil, and oregano flakes so I just leave it as is.  I keep this seasoning, ranch dressing powder,and taco seasoning on hand in mason jars. It keeps me away from those packets of chemicals and it’s just aseasy.  I use approximately 2 teaspoons toflavor 1 cup of breadcrumbs.

To store breadcrumbs, just use a glass jar or Ziploc bag andplace them in your freezer.  They’ll be readywhen you need them!  The seasoned versionis incredibly tasty in meatballs and meatloaf. Just like anything else made from scratch, these are so much better thanthe premade store variety.  Enjoy!
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