Friday, September 26, 2014

Easy Homemade Croutons

By Meg Hodson

Aren't the best part of salad croutons? Okay, I do like lots of the components of salad, but croutons are definitely an important part.  

There are two things I don't like about store-bought croutons. First, they tend to be very expensive for what you get. The bag seems to be gone at one family sitting! Second, they are almost always filled with preservatives, ingredients you can't pronounce, and too much sodium.  

The easy solution to this problem is to make croutons at home. It is very easy, doesn't take much time, and you can make a HUGE batch that will last a long time.  

Homemade Croutons Recipe


Ingredients:

1 loaf of fresh French bread (buy it fresh, let it sit for a day)
1/4 cup oil of your choice (I do an even mix of olive, coconut, and avocado oil)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. basil
1/2 tbl. granulated garlic
2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Cut and dice French bread into 1 inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients and whisk together well. Add cubed bread to a large bowl and toss with the oil mixture. Mix well to evenly coat the bread cubes. Transfer to cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Croutons will harden up as they cool. Transfer to an airtight container for storage. 

Serve over salad or your favorite soup.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bloglovin' Blog Hop #89




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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Papa Murphy's Behind-The-Counter

By Meg Hodson

Papa Murphy's asked me to visit their store for a special behind-the-scenes look at their kitchen and service area. While I received free pizza and coupons, all opinions and writing remain my own.

It should come as no surprise that in a household with three young kids, pizza is a mainstay. In fact, I am pretty passionate about pizza and have written about it in the past on my blog. 

But let's face it. Feeding a family of  5 with pizza today is expensive. That is why I have always loved Papa Murphy's as our main go-to choice for pizza night. Since it is a take and bake restaurant, that cuts significantly down on the cost. With numerous menu options, new choices like thin crust and gluten free crust, and their willingness to make the pizza to your specifications, it's a win-win for your family on pizza night.

I visited one of the busiest stores in Portland. It was beautifully maintained, very clean, and very well organized. The managers were more than gracious in taking us behind the counter to really see just what goes into making a Papa Murphy's pizza. Here are some key things I observed on my visit:

1. Fresh Toppings. The service bar where the pizza is assembled is a well-kept counter with every topping imaginable. Each ingredient is carefully marked, with measuring cups for easy assembly and portion control. All of their produce is freshly cut and prepared on site (with a few exceptions, like black olives). Nothing is frozen; I can confirm that they only have a walk-in refrigerator on site. 

Papa Murphy's Pizza #papamurphysmoms

Papa Murphy's Pizza #papamurphysmoms

Papa Murphy's Pizza fresh tomatoes #papamurphysmoms

2. Fresh Dough. The pizza dough is made fresh daily on site. It's made from scratch, rolled, and sheeted by the employees. 

Papa Murphy's Pizza fresh dough #papamurphysmoms

Papa Murphy's Pizza fresh dough #papamurphysmoms




3. Great Coupons. In addition to the already great prices on Papa Murphy's pizza, they have amazing coupons, too. They are readily available in local papers, by subscribing to their newsletter, or through local fundraising efforts. If you're still having trouble finding coupons, that's okay! You can enter my giveaway below for a chance to win a valuable coupon card. 

The 10 coupon cards being given away contain the following coupons (approximate value $35): free cookie dough, free cheesy bread, large pepperoni pizza for $7, large perfect pizza for $8, large Hawaiian for $9, any large gourmet for $10, large Murphy's combo for $11, any large stuffed $12, any pizza $2 off (x2), any pizza any size for $10 (x2). Coupons are not redeemable for cash. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



If you like what you're reading, I invite you to follow my blog.  Cheers!
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