Avocado Tomato Bread Cube Salad

Avocado Tomato Bread Cube Salad

Who’s looking for a side salad that is not mainly greens? I know, I know, green leafy things are healthy, but sometimes you want something a little different. Although, you could easily top your greens with this Avocado Tomato Bread Cube Salad!

Avocado Tomato Bread Cub Salad Ingredients

This easy salad is a great side for a light lunch or dinner. Pair the salad with a hot sandwich and yum! Honestly, sometimes this salad IS my lunch.

The thing to keep in mind is when you first make the salad, the bread cubes will be really crunchy. The leftovers (if there are any) will yield soggier bread cubes as they soak up the dressing and juice from the tomatoes. I kind of like those soggier bread crumbs for lunch the next day.

Look at the gorgeous colors from the fresh ingredients. How do you not want to eat that?

Gather your ingredients and let’s get to it!

 

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Avocado Tomato Bread Cube Salad
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 cups toasted French bread cubes
  • 3 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped avocado
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Instructions
Make Toasted Bread Cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
    Using a bread (or serrated) knife, cut the bread lengthwise into 1/2" strips.
    Cut the strips crosswise into 1/2" cubes.
    Arrange the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
    Stirring once or twice, bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp.

Dressing
  1. Whisk the water, mayonnaise, lemon juice and hot sauce togther.

Salad
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the bread cubes, tomatoes, parsley, red onion, avocado and salt.
    Add the dressing and toss well.

 

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Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #wistfullywarped.

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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.

Print
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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Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #wistfullywarped.

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What’s A Swap? Joining A Valentine’s Swap

Valentine Swap

Have you ever participated in a Link Party? It’s when bloggers get together to “link” their ideas and creations through a gracious blogger host. It’s a great way to network and share ideas and creations. Or, maybe you’ve been part of a Blog Hop? Another great way to connect. But, have you ever craved for more? More of a personal connection? More of a physical experience? There’s a way to remedy that – it’s participating in a swap!

Recently,  I was lucky enough to stumble upon a blog by Viv  who was hosting a Valentine’s Swap. Her blog is a perfect match for me – her love of vintage and paper crafting. Being ever the introvert, I gathered up the courage to contact Viv. Heck yeah, I wanted to be included in this swap!

Now, let me tell you, I absolutely LOVE Valentine’s Day. Not to celebrate that gushy, romantic love – that’s just too much pressure. As I teach my 3 year old’s, should we show love and kindness to everyone everyday? Yes!

However, if there’s a day dedicated to love, I’m all in!

Viv paired me up with Joyce. Connecting with Joyce and sharing our social media and blogging information to learn more about each other was great.

Then reality set in. What, oh what, was I going to send Joyce? I know, some heart shaped bird feeders with a vintage inspired tag. Some mini royal iced sugar cookies (I really must post the sugar cookie recipe) in a decorated can. How to you not love an upcycled gift in a can? I started creating. . .

This is what I ended up sending Joyce:

Valentine Swap Infographic

Valentine Swap 2

 

Oh my, what Joyce sent me was a joy to receive! She made a lovely banner (which I hung on the bulletin board in my class), a personalized notebook, candies, and more stash for my stash (bakers ribbon, buttons, stickers, etc.) Everything was wrapped beautifully. For someone you don’t really know to send a package of items crafted from their heart is a joyful experience.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this experience. Regardless of the outcome, the swap challenged me to make new personal connections,  exercise my creativity and (my favorite) spread love.

To see what others in Viv’s group shared, click here. Will I seek out and participate in swaps in the future? You bet! I look forward to having the opportunity to host a swap myself some day!

Peace to all

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Let’s Make Chicks Cupcakes!

Chick Cupcakes

Have you ever seen the cutest cupcake on the internet and wondered, “Wow, how did they do that?” Me too! Recently, I saw this awesome picture of chicks cupcakes on Pinterest, but could find no other information. Well, I’m always up for a challenge and became obsessed with how to create them.

Want to make some too? I’ll take you step by step how I created mine. (This tutorial will yield 12 cupcakes.) This might look a little overwhelming, but I wanted to give you specific details so you can make fantastic cupcakes!

First, start with a chocolate cupcake (my favorite recipe is here) and bake in a brown cupcake liner. If you don’t have time to complete this project at one time – no problem! You can bake the cupcakes ahead of time and freeze in an airtight container. When you are ready to decorate, take the cupcakes out of the freezer and let them thaw as you get the decorating ingredients together.

The supplies you’ll need to create the chicks are:

  • Buttercream frosting
  • Wilton Colors: orange, buttercup yellow and black
  • Fondant
  • Wilton Tips #235 and #1
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rolling pin
  • Pizza cutter

Supplies For Chicks

Put on those rubber gloves and blend the buttercup yellow coloring into approximately 3/4 cup of fondant. Break off 36 pieces of fondant and roll into egg shapes.

Chick Bodies

Using approximately 1/4 cup of fondant, blend in the orange color. Roll out the fondant to about 1/8″ thickness. You’re going to have to eyeball this. Don’t make it too thick, but don’t make too thin or the fondant won’t hold it’s shape

Cut the fondant in diamond shapes. Mine were too big. I ended up cutting them all down even smaller so they were the right proportion.

Time to make the Buttercream frostings:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound butter (2 sticks) softened
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tbls. vanilla extract
  • Heavy cream or milk
  • Baking cocoa

Method:

  1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy with an electric mixer on high.
  2. Set the mixer to slow and slowly add one cup of sugar at a time, scrapping down the bowl often.
  3. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  4. Slowly add a splash of cream or milk until the frosting is the desired consistency. The frosting should be on the stiffer side so it will hold it’s shape when piped.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: One batch of buttercream is all you need for this project. Half of the buttercream will be used for the base of white and half for the chocolate nest. So, scoop out half of the buttercream and reserve. Scoop out a couple of tablespoons of the white buttercream and add the black color. Cover with a damp towel for later. Now, add 1 Tbls. cocoa to the buttercream still in the mixer and mix until incorporated. Not dark enough? Add another tablespoon of cocoa.

Using a piping bag fitted with a #235 tip and white buttercream, pipe the base. (Short, upward movements.)

Pipe Nest 1

Using a piping bag fitted with a #235 tip and chocolate buttercream, pipe the nest. (Swirl the icing in a circle around the top of the white buttercream.)

Pipe Nest 2

Add three egg shapes to the nest. Using a dab of water, adhere the beaks to the egg shapes. (Too much water and the fondant will slide right off!)

Using a piping bag fitted with a #1 tip and the black frosting, pipe two tiny eyes onto each yellow egg shape. Chicks! You’ve now got little chicks in a nest.

Pipe Eyes

 

Ready to try this, share this or save it for later? Save it to Pinterest!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

Happy baking!

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Did you try this project?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #wistfullywarped.

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