20 February 2014

It's time for the Improv Challenge!  

The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.

This month's theme was bread and butter.  So many things you can do with that!  I looked through my archive of recipes I have photographed but haven't posted yet, and I came across my most favorite garlic bread.  I used to always buy frozen garlic bread; the kind with the orangey butter that you throw in the oven for a few minutes.  That stuff is definitely a guilty pleasure.  But I wanted to make my own.  I created this recipe to be almost as easy as the frozen stuff, because if it was complicated, I would never make it.  Not only is it almost as easy, but it is way tastier, with the addition of parmesan and herbs.  Definitely a huge improvement over the frozen stuff.

Easy Parmesan Herb Garlic Bread

1 (7”-8”) loaf Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise
6 tbsp softened butter or tub spread
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I use Penzey's Tuscan Sunset)

Turn on broiler.  Line a small pan with foil.

Combine butter, parmesan, garlic powder, and Tuscan Sunset.  Slather on the cut sides of the bread.

Broil for about 5 mins, or until browned.  Don’t walk away; keep your eye on it!

Remove from broiler and cut each half into 4 pieces.

Makes 4 servings, 2 pieces each.

Isn't it beautiful?  I just love the perfect golden color.  Using the broiler is great because it makes the bread perfectly crunchy and browned in just a few minutes.  You really need to keep your eye on it and you might need to rotate it a bit if one side is getting more brown than the other.  I also love how the bottom of the bread stays nice and soft, so you have the best of both worlds in one bite.  Perfection!

The garlic and herb flavor here is pretty intense.  I love it that way, but my husband says it's a bit much for him.  So now I usually cut back on the garlic powder and Tuscan Sunset just a bit.  Still good that way too.

I don't often have softened butter sitting around, so I love how this works well with tub spread, which I always have on hand.  Makes it really easy to mix up in a jiffy.  This is definitely my go-to garlic bread.

Be sure to check out all the other great bread and butter recipes below and come back next month to see what I make with sausage and mushrooms.


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  1. Wow! That looks so delicious! My sons would totally devour that before dinner even started...

  2. Teri @ The Freshman CookFebruary 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    My mouth is watering over your recipe! Sounds so great!

  3. Jessie@The Dinner PagesFebruary 20, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    I LOVE garlic bread so I'll have to try this method!

  4. My family pleads for garlic bread at least once a week. None of mine look as good as yours, though. What a gorgeous slice of yum!

  5. It IS beautiful! What's not to love about garlic bread? This is one lovely loaf.

  6. Karen - Cinnamon FreudFebruary 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Classic bread and butter- sounds delicious!

  7. Great minds DO think alike LOL! I can never get the bread to brown evenly as you have ... which is why I go the baked route.

  8. That's why I always make the bread last (I usually put it in as I'm serving everything else), and the rule is that my kids don't get any bread until they have eaten all of their main dish and veggie. That's good incentive for them!

  9. Yeah, I didn't get too creative this month, but sometimes you just can't beat simple!

  10. Do you think adding a little vanilla to the cool whipwould have the same effect and do you think it would taste just as good?

  11. That would probably work. The only problem I could see with that is that it might make the Cool Whip too liquidy. So I wouldn't use too much vanilla. Let me know if you try it and how it worked out for you. Thanks!