Ultimate Friday-night Scrounge

So last Friday night I was in the mood to drink wine and have friends over for dinner.  At this stage in my life, though, “having friends over” can mean quite a crowd.  One girlfriend now comes attached to at least two kiddos and even one of those husbands.  It can be challenging to find the time and money to provide a meal for even smaller gatherings on a regular basis.  But it’s poor form to drink wine alone.
 
So I called my girlfriend, Lisa, and asked what she had in her fridge.  (I told you I do this.)  She has a three daughters, including a baby so I figured she may have the goods but no time to whip them into din-din.  I was spot-on.  I grabbed (with her permission!) a bunch of great stuff: spinach, onion, carrots, celery.  What a find!  I chopped it all up, threw it in a pan with some mushrooms, dash a wine and tomato sauce, boilin’ pot ‘a pasta, and wah-lah!  Dinner is on its way!
 
Here’s the really great part: while this is simmering I’m on the phone with my friend Denise who happens to mention that for her family’s dinner she’s defrosting some meatballs she made a while ago…  It was like a sign from heaven.
 
I turned on the charm and invited Denise’s family and meatballs over to join the dinner party.  Would you believe she even threw together a salad for us all to share?
 
These friends of mine also happen to be neighbors which is great because when you drink as much wine as we do, it’s nice to be able to walk on home.

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Here I go!

Welcome to my little corner of the world!  Thank you, Noeleen, for setting up my stellar blog and BIG gracias, amigas, for reading my entries, nodding politely while I shamelessly promote my workshops, and telling everyone you know (please, please, please…) about how cool it is to “kick it in the kitchen” with me!

After 8 1/2 years of dedicating most waking moments to raising my three amazing kiddos, I’m using some new-found time to realize the vision of sharing a few tricks, promoting a good-food life with family and hanging out a lot more with fun mamas.  Woo-hoo!

I hope ya’ll can find some inspiration from what pops up on this page, and if you like, from my workshops and future endeavors.  Ideally this blog will soon provide a path toward connecting with the many new friends I haven’t yet met!

I’ll do my best to write clever, unique entries, and share some of my favorite recipes.  Overall my mission is to offer something useful to the lives of busy mamas.  And so for my first trick, I’d love to warm up with something simple and savory: a simple recipe for homemade croutons…

Tasty Croutons

Ingredients:

Bread.  Any kind.  Old is better than new.  Crusty is better than not.
Olive oil
Garlic salt

Directions:

Set oven to broil on high and place rack at highest spot.
Slice bread into long slices, about an inch or two wide.
Lay slices on a cookie sheet close together.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.
Broil bread for 2 mins and check.  (your broiler may be stronger than mine, so you may need to check sooner)
When bread is toasted, remove tray and flip pieces over to toast other side.  You’ll save time flipping by having cut the bread in strips rather than smaller cubes.  Place back in oven for 2 or so more minutes. 
That’s it!

Croutons can be frozen in plastic freezer bags for a couple of months.  These little honeys are great with soups, red sauces, salads, as incentive for someone little to finish his beets…  It’s a great way to use up old bread!