Buttered Side Up

How to Make Croutons Over the Stove

How to Make Croutons Over the Stove
Let's be honest: croutons really elevate a salad. Those crunchy little cubes of bread are just satisfying.

But I have a conundrum surrounding croutons. First, most store-bought croutons are full of junk: icky oils and flavorings and chemicals. Second, I don't want to heat up my oven in the summer to make my own croutons.

So of course I devised a method of toasting croutons over the stove. It's really easy - let me show you how!

Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
I used to believe that ranch dressing was one of those things that was too difficult to reproduce at home. I mean, if you take a look at a bottle of store-bought ranch dressing, the list of ingredients is long and complicated: MSG, artificial flavors, calcium disodium EDTA...what?!

I threw up my hands at the idea of a homemade ranch dressing and opted for homemade vinaigrettes and the like. But, having grown up on ranch dressing, of course I still loved it.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
But then I saw recipes online for homemade ranch dressing. Still skeptical, I decided to experiment. I threw some ingredients together, and to my surprise, it actually tasted quite a bit like the commercial stuff! And the list of ingredients wasn't super long and unpronounceable. Cha-ching!

My recipe only contains 10 ingredients, and you most likely have all of them in your kitchen already! And if you're missing an ingredient or two, you can always make a substitute (more on that in a bit).

Creamy Green Smoothie

It took me a loooong time to hop on the green smoothie band wagon. For some reason I imagined that it would taste like a wilty salad all blended together. Not too appealing.

Then along came Jim, who absolutely refused to eat his green vegetables. Not wanting him to miss out on all the nutrients from eating greens, I devised a way to incorporate them into some of the foods that he eats every day.

My kids adore smoothies, so it was a no-brainer to add some pureed greens. Helen was a bit taken aback with the color of the smoothie at first (not her usual pretty pink strawberry smoothie), but now she's used to it.

How to Prep Your Greens for the Week (and get your kids/husband to eat them)

As I've discussed before, green leafy vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Most of us know that it's important to incorporate them into our diets.

But convincing your kids or husband to eat them can be a bit of a challenge.

I can coerce Helen into eating greens by having her finish them before she gets a favorite food (such as fruit). But James is another matter: he spits out greens as soon as they hit his tongue. I don't feel like fighting that battle with him every day. So I came up with a way to sneak them into his food in a way that he can't spit them out. 

Let me show you what's working for us:

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