How To Make Easy Italian Parmesan Croutons

Easy Italian Parmesan Croutons

Yes, you can buy croutons for $1.99 at the grocery store. So why make your own? There are several reasons you’ll want to try making these Italian Parmesan croutons:

1.) Using fresh bakery bread puts less preservatives in your body.

2.) One loaf of french bread will yield 7 cups of croutons. That bag for $1.99 yields 5 ounces!

3.) The smell from the herbs as the croutons bake are guaranteed to make you want to eat salad!

This recipe is for Italian herb with Parmesan cheese, but the same concept applies to any flavor combination. It’s quick and easy, so let’s start!

Italian Parmesan Croutons

Spices for Italian Bread Croutons

Preheat the oven to 350F. Gather the spices and oil and simmer for 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

While the seasoning is simmering, use a bread knife (highly recommended) or serrated knife to cut a loaf of Italian or French bread into 1/2″ pieces. (Whatever you may have seen on Pinterest, this is messy, so don’t fret about crumbs everywhere.)

Cube Bread for Italian Parmesan Croutons

 

After the seasoning has simmered, discard the garlic pieces (or as I do, munch on them or save them to toss in a salad). Pour the oil over the bread cubes and toss until every last one is coated. Spread the cubes in a single layer on two baking pans. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Be sure to rotate the pans when you put them back into the oven. Bake for another 8 minutes or so. Bake the croutons until they are golden brown, rotating the pans again if needed.

TIP: I LOVE cheese, so I always add more. However, adding more cheese will add to the amount of cooking time.

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Easy Italian Parmesan Croutons
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf Italian or French Bread cut into 1/2"cubes
  • 2 large garlic gloves, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1.2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.


  2. Combined the garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, pepper and oil in a small saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes and discard the garlic.

  3. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the oil mixture.

  4. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on 2 baking pans and bake for 10 minutes

  5. Rotate the pans and sprinkle the cubes with the grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for another 8 minutes or until golden.

  6. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Happy eating!

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Fresh Pico De Gallo and Housemade Pita Chips

I admit, I love salsa. I’ll eat gallons of salsa with fresh tortilla chips at my favorite Mexican restaurant. But, what do I make and eat at home and love even more? Pico De Gallo with Rosemary Parmesan Pita Chips!

What’s the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?  Texture, ingredients and cooked vs. uncooked. Salsa recipes vary and may include all types of different ingredients (beans, pumpkin, spices) while pico de gallo is always the same.

Pico de gallo is the freshest and so easy to make. Why buy a bottle of salsa with preservatives and who knows what else when this delicious treat is minutes away?

Oh, and I prefer to eat my pico with freshly made pita chips. Don’t judge until you’ve tried my recipe!  Yep, it’s another super easy recipe.

I make the pico de gallo first and let the flavors meld in the refrigerator while I made the pita chips.

Pico De Gallo:

Start with diced tomatoes. Add diced red onions.

Salsa2

Add one seeded and minced jalapeno pepper and juice from one lime.

Salsa5

Add chopped fresh cilantro and cumin and stir. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Salsa7

 

While the Pico is chilling, time to make the fresh pita chips! These are brushed with olive oil and flavored with rosemary and Parmesan.

Pita-Chip-Ingredients

Pita Chips:

Start with a package of pita bread and cut carefully horizontally to separate in half. Finely chop 1-2 rosemary sprigs and add to 1 cup olive oil. Brush each half pita with this mix.

Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and layer the pita halves.

Pita-Chips-1

Cut the pita halves like a pie into 8 slices. Spread the pieces in a single layer on a baking pan.

Pita-Chips-2

Spread the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350F until crisp, 10 minutes or so. Cool on a wire rack.

Pita-Chips-3

How easy was that? Now, I know it’s a healthy snack, but try not to eat it all in one sitting!

Good eating!

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Pico De Gallo And Rosemary Parmesan Pita Chips
Servings: 4
Calories: 78 kcal
Ingredients
Pica De Gallo
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 Tbls. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
Rosemary Parmeson Pita Chips
  • 1 Package pita bread, halved
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Instructions
Pico De Gallo
  1. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients. Chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator,

Rosemary Parmesan Pita Chips
  1. Mix the minced rosemary with the olive oil. Brush the inside of the pita half with the oil mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

  2. Add the next pita half on top of the first and repeat brushing the inside of the pita until all halves are in a stack.

  3. Cut the stack in half. Then cut crosswise. Then cut diagonally in 2 directions. The stack should now consist of 8 small, triangular stacks.

  4. Spread the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes or until crisp.

  5. Cool on a wire rack.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Rosemary, Garlic and Parmesan

It’s Pumpkin Time!  Whether you’re carving pumpkins or using pumpkin for delicious treats – don’t discard the seeds. Within an hour, you can turn those seeds into a tasty snack.

Remember when your Mom would roast the seeds with a bit of oil and salt? There are so many more options. One of my favorite flavor combinations is rosemary, garlic and Parmesan cheese. I used this flavor pairing with pumpkin seeds and they got the thumbs up!

There are a few tricks to making crispy, crunchy pumpkin seeds:

  1. Clean the seeds immediately after carving/cutting the pumpkin. The seeds will separate more easily from the pulp.
  2. Place the seeds into a large bowl filled with water and use your hands to rub off the pulp. The seeds will float, so use a slotted spoon to scoop out the clean seeds. Pat the seeds dry with a paper towel.
  3. Boiling the seeds for 10 minutes in salted water will help break down the fibers (and add in digestion).
  4. To check if the seeds are fully roasted, break open a seed. Is the inside still green? Green insides will produce chewy snacks. For crispy seeds, the inside needs to be brown. If green, add 5-10 minutes to the roasting time.

Good eating!

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds With Rosemary, Garlic And Parmesan
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Instructions
  1. Clean the pumpkin seeds by soaking in a large bowl of water. Rub the seeds with your hands to remove the pulp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the seeds and pat dry with a paper towel.

  2. Place the seeds in a medium sized pot full of water and 1/2 tsp salt. Boil for 10 minutes.

  3. Drain the seeds and place in a bowl. Add the garlic, rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt and Parmesan and toss to coat.

  4. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking pan.

  5. Roast at 325°F for 10 minutes. Stir and roast for another 10 minutes. Test for doneness. Crack open a seed and look at the inside. It should be brown. If the inside is still green, roast for another 5-10 minutes and check again.

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Red, White and Blue Cheese Ball

Whether it’s Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Veteran’s Day – it’s all about the Red, White and Blue in America. Loving cheese balls, I HAD to create a patriotic one. Even though everyone ate and took home a chunk for after the party, I have decided the best Red, White and Blue foods are desserts, drinks and treats (just ask my neighbors – the deviled eggs last year were horrendous!) Nevertheless, we’re going to make a Patriotic Smokey Cheese Ball and your guests will eat it up! It’s super easy to make, but takes time to chill.

Gather your ingredients.

4th-of-July-cheese-ball-ingredients

Mix and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Shape the cheese ball into a star and wrap with plastic wrap for at least 4 – 24 hours.

4th-of-July-cheese-ball-shape

Before serving, gather ingredients to create a patriotic star. It’s like decorating a cake. You can do it!

4th-of-July-cheese-ball-decor

Follow the recipe below for the complete list of ingredients and instructions.

Happy eating!

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Red White And Blue Cheese Ball

This recipe is for a SMOKEY CHEESE BALL decorated to serve at any US themed holiday calling for a red, white and blue theme - perfect for Memorial Day or the 4th of July.

Ingredients
Smokey Cheese Ball
  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. steak sauce 1
  • 1 cup toasted almonds, finely choppeed
Toppings
  • 1 bag blue corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter. Add shredded Gouda and steak sauce and beat until fluffy. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

    Shape the mixture into a star and wrap in plastic wrap for at least 4 (to 24) hours.

    Spread the whipped cream cheese to cover half the star and sides.

    Crush some of the blue corn chips (put the chips into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush.) Start with a small amount and crush more as needed. Reserve the remaining chips to serve with the cheese ball.

    Press the crushed tortilla chips into the other half of the star.

    Using the diced red pepper, create stripes arranging the pepper onto the whipped cream cheese side.

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