Cravable Crunchy Croutons

Homemade Crunchy Croutons

 

I realize some of you will see this and be like, “What? He posted how to make croutons?”. Let me preface this… I have been in a love hate relationship with croutons for years. Decades, perhaps. I suppose like any child, I wasn’t a huge salad fan. Now that I am old more mature, I love them. In my mind, you just can’t have a good salad without the perfect crouton. I’m not a rabbit. I mean, with all of that green stuff in it, you have to have some buttery carbs to balance it out. I didn’t even think about making my own croutons for the longest time. Even with all of the baking and cooking that I do, it just seemed to slip my mind.

 

From the day that I tried this, I haven’t turned back to even glance at the grocery store varieties. These are perfect in every way. You can change the seasoning to match your mood, cook them so they are crunchy on the outside and a big soft on the inside (my personal favorite), and probably the best part– you can add all of the butter you want. These Craveable Crunchy Croutons (check out that alliteration, Mom!) are the key to success in your salad future.

 

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Roasted Tomato Pepper Mayo

Roasted Tomato Mayo

Roasted Tomato Pepper Mayonnaise – SO good that it needs absolutely nothing else in the picture! Promise.

I have something to get off my chest. This may be difficult for some of you to hear, but I am told that admission is the first step to recovery. I am… Oh, geez… Ok. I am. I am a condiment queen (actually a phrase kids use these days…). There. I said it! Mac sauce on my McDouble? Duh. (seriously, y’all. TRY it.). BBQ, mayo, a dip in the ranch for my burger? You betchyuur britches!

 

To feed this ridiculously delicious obsession, I decided to venture back into the tomato world. After all, I had just overdosed on some sprightly salsa. Might as well see what else those garden-grown tomatoes could be used for, right? The latest fix is an absolutely amazing, creamy Roasted Tomato Pepper Mayonnaise –  complete with poblano peppers and garlic.

 

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Homegrown Tomato Salsa

Homemade Salsa

 

I’m that guy that visits every Mexican restaurant in town to test the margarita and salsa waters. If it doesn’t pass the good chips and salsa test, vámanos! Having just returned from Mexico, I was on a salsa kick.

 

I have a few favorite restaurants here in Nashville that pass my salsalitmus test, but really wanted to nail down a good, fresh salsa recipe to make at home. I did have an insane amount of tomatoes in my back yard, after all. On top of that, I was given a solid 10 pounds to add to it.

 

Here is the result– a fresh, simple Homegrown Tomato Salsa recipe.

 

Mexico!

Mexico, y’all!

 

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Southern Fried Okra

Southern Fried Okra

 

A prerequisite to being branded as a true Southerner is learning to properly fry. Not just anything counts. It has to be something that is on the official list of true Southern staples. The top of this list, next to fried catfish and the best chicken you will ever have, is Southern Fried Okra.

 

If you can’t make good okra, well, you might as well move to Michigan… or Florida for that matter (since everyone knows it’s not really a southern state, anyway). I’ll show you exactly how to impress the in-laws of that Southerner that you recently nabbed at the Derby with this recipe. Promise.

 

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Strawberry Almond Turnovers

Strawberry Almond Turnovers

 

Since I knooow you subscribe to the blog updates, you will remember my obsession with fresh, local strawberries that I had at the beginning of this summer. I would have thrown a tent up and picked every last one if I had been given the opportunity [noted for next year].

 

Having a ton of these little red babies around in the freezer, I decided now would be as good as ever to pull them back out to make a few Strawberry Almond Turnovers.

 

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Country Carbonara

Country Carbonara

 

A while back, I was suckered into a special at my local grocery stop. 5 pounds of country ham from a well-known local hamery (…Is that a word?  Is now.). Who would pass up 5 pounds of slow-cured, delicious country ham?! Nobody. That’s who.

 

I found myself slightly burned out of country ham and biscuits for breakfast, so I started wondering what else I could use it for. The result was a creamy Country Carbonara.

 

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Oatmeal Cranberry Cream Pies

Oatmeal Cranberry Cream Pies

 

I’ve recently become addicted to the cookies at a tiny, pop-up coffee shop on campus where I work. These cookies are perfection. Ridiculously chewy, not too sweet and of course, best of all, massive. Like the size of a baby’s head kind of massive. These have become my go-to coffee companion in the mornings (and afternoon, if we are honest).

 

I started to think… the only thing that could make these better are if it were two cookies… and frosting. Everyone enjoys those oatmeal cream snack cakes, after all. With a bit of a cranberry twist, I recreate my own version– Oatmeal Cranberry Cream Pies.

 

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Blackberry Gin Punch

Blackberry Gin Punch

 

By now, y’all know that I have a slight addiction to anything blackberry, having posted Berry Cool Ice Cream during our 4th of July roundup, Baked Blackberry Brie for a quick party treat, and then the most famous post on the blog to date– Blackberry Bourbon Cupcakes.

 

Muddling some fresh basil, blackberries and of course, gin, with a bit of lemonade will give you the most refreshing summertime libation that you’ve ever had. Add a bit of cherry juice, sugar. There you have it. A Southern FATTY exclusive– Blackberry Gin Punch.

 

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Pesto Three Ways

Pesto Three Ways

 

One of the most simple, delicious sauces is a classic pesto. Traditionally, pesto genovese, which is named after it’s originating home in Genoa, Italy, is a simple sauce made from nuts, cheese, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt. While pine nuts are usually the culprit of choice, many other nuts can be used to give a different flavor profile to this Italian staple.

 

In this post, I will show you how we transform the traditional pesto into three different options, each with their very own independent flavor but same simple technique or preparation.

Pesto Three Ways: Cashew, Pistachio and Almond.

 

 

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