Fancy Italian Croutons, To Impress Other People

What goes with bread? Butter. What goes with stale bread? Soup.

Here in Colorado, loaves of bread don’t go far since they dry out in what feels like a matter of hours post purchase, which is probably a huge blessing for me in the long run. Since it’s impossible (totally possible, I do it) to eat an entire loaf in one sitting and being the wasteful girl that I am not, I now like to turn my stale bead into delicious homemade croutons. I make soup weekly, but have never made croutons until last Sunday when I found myself less than one hundred percent (hungover) and staring at a stale loaf of bread, wondering how I was going to make it edible. Water to soften it up? Sick, this was no hot dog eating contest. Oven to warm it? Still stale and crunchy. And then…I thought of croutons, perfect.

What’s hilarious is croutons are the easiest and cheapest thing you could ever make, but you’ll look so fancy when you have friends over and they see you made your own croutons, “Ugh, she does EVERYTHING”, they’ll whisper.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you…

Fancy Italian Croutons, To Impress Other People

  • 1 Loaf Day Old Bread (Colorado, just buy fresh, you guys I’m kiddding)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning-Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic

I don’t advise measurements on seasoning as I’m a total over-seasoner…ask my poor aunt who had to share popcorn with me last Christmas. I decided to use my secret popcorn seasoning recipe and I started showing off and went absolutely crazy. I ruined the popcorn and the movie because she got sick.

  • Cut the loaf into one inch cubes
  • Toss with olive oil and seasoning in medium bowl, make sure the cubes are evenly coated 
  • Put the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and place in the oven 
  • Bake approximately 15 minutes, size determines bake time (bake on all sides)
  • Sprinkle lavishly on soups, salads, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, pizza, ice cream, etc. 

The great thing about making croutons is you can use any seasoning you wish such as garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, lemon salt, or just salt and pepper.

Enjoy being a cook.
Enjoy being fancy.
Enjoy being a NON waster of bread.

Bon Appetit!

Leggings for Days

Leggings…so many feelings towards them. So many love them (moi), so many hate them (my grandmother), so many abuse them (no comment), and so many are unsure of how to incorporate them into their own personal wardrobe. I’m trying really hard to be more balanced and not wear them 6 days out of the week, but I love them. All of them. Standard, patterned, leather, stirrup, thermal, I own them all. My mother thinks I need more variety on my bottom half, but this post isn’t about her opinion of my wardrobe. It’s about you, because you need to get these leggings.

I’ve had a number of lady friends reach out over the years asking for suggestions on leggings and I’m here to share my secret… I don’t have suggestions, I have one brand of leggings that I’ve been wearing for the past six years. I wear (drumroll) Zella, “Live In” leggings to both barre and yoga, but mostly everyday wear. They are the most comfortable, tight fitting, thick, durable, incredible leggings I’ve ever worn. They are thick enough that you don’t look (or feel) terrible if your butt isn’t completely covered (when working out, otherwise keep that tush covered), they aren’t see through, and they’re double sided (I like the shinier finish with the  Zella label on the inside, against my hip). A quick way to ruin your look or confidence is by wearing leggings that are made with thin material. Zellas, no matter where my weight stands, always make me feel confident because they’re thick and tight which makes my legs appear much more toned. They’re simply the best for casual, everyday wear.

How I style my leggings:

On Top: Always cover the butt. Poncho. Oversized Sweater. Long Fitted Tee. Oversized Scarf. Leather Jacket. Chambray. Any and All Sweaters. Layer. Layer. Layer.

On Bottom: Sneakers, Any Boot (Tall, Short, Rain), Ballet Flats, Any Flats. Do not wear heels with these leggings…keep it casual.

 I’ve had so many people tell me they can’t pull off leggings and that couldn’t be less accurate..for anyone. I’ve seen women of all sizes, shapes, and ages look great in leggings so go to Nordstrom and treat yourself a pair of Live Ins and get to layering, ladies!

Hello, November

Call me basic, but I love the fall. While I don’t enjoy pumpkin spiced lattes, I’m completely guilty of uploading photos to  Instagram of my standard order (venti unsweetened, iced coffee with soy), ballet flats, and vibrant red, yellow, and orange leaves that cover the ground (it’s pretty…why wouldn’t you?). I proudly light my pumpkin candle in the early morning as I watch the news and drink my coffee and in the late (who am I kidding, super early) evening as I flip through Food &Wine and Food Network magazine in search of new holiday recipes. Yes, my choice of nail polish is indicative of the time of year (Lincoln Park After Dark, September-November) and yes, I got a LOB (long bob) at the start of the season to go with my infinity scarves and endless layers. I’ve also gone to a pumpkin patch, had a bonfire, and baked spiced bread.  ILIKETHENEWTAYLORSWIFTSONG. There…I said it. It’s simply the best time of year and here is why November First is so warmly received in my home each and every year, before basic bitches were a thing and long after the new basic bitches are all about the spring:

  • Halloween is Behind Us- Do not get me wrong. I repeat, do not get me wrong, I love October, it’s a top three favorite month of mine. In fact, I love 30 out of the 31 days in October,  I just don’t like the 31st of October. I gave one last ditch effort to get into the holiday this year and woke up on November 1st certain that next year will be less house parties, uncomfortable costumes, and devastating Uber wait times and more chili, wine, and scary (somewhat suspenseful) movies.
  • The Holidays are Upon Us-Alas, the holidays are around the corner and rapidly approaching, it’s time to start preparing and if you give yourself enough time, this time of year can be very enjoyable. The preparation (which is most the fun-shopping, recipe planning, decorating), reuniting with family and friends, continuing traditions, and of course the food. What could be better than cooking, eating, and being surrounded by friends and family? Nothing. In my family we have a tradition of going to see The Nutcracker ballet each December. It’s GREAT inspiration (there’s a very good chance you’re heavier than every single person on stage) to not let yourself go entirely over the holiday season. Sometimes I need a gentle, but firm, reminder that I don’t always not need a third round of pie sampler. I think it’s important to taste each pie on the table, not all pies tastes the same, but it’s also important to have practice self control and tasting twelve slices of pie is not control…in fact, it’s out of control. 
  • No More Force- It’s no secret that I’m an FOF (forcer of fall). The first day of fall is each year at the end of September, but for me, fall starts one month prior at the end of August since it’s close to September (and September is one hundred percent fall), and everyone knows that the “first day” of anything never really matters. I know all you summer lovers aren’t waiting until the end of June to get your party started so leave your judgement at the pool. Being an FOF and living in Denver, where it’s not unusual to have warm afternoon temps until late October which means that between August and October, I sweat a lot. Come November, I force no more.
Happy November. Happy Sweater Weather. Happy Looking Your Best Time of the Year. Happy Fall. Happy Shopping. Happy Layering. Happy Decorating. Happy Eating. Happy Parties. Happy Drinking. Happy Reunions. Happy Holidays. 
‘Tis The Season, ladies and gents. Now lift your mulled wine mugs to that beautiful cloudy sky and cheers to the best time of the year. #blessed