Caramelized onion dip

caramelizedoniondip1

It is almost spring! Well, I guess it technically already is spring, but it seems like we’re only halfway there. In less-southernly places, I’m sure I would consider it winter; however, spring and fall are definitely based on what you’re accustomed to. If you live in Florida, maybe it has to be in the high 70s for you to consider leaving behind your winter coat, whereas people in Minnesota break out the shorts once the high hits 45. I’m not actually sure that any of this is the case, but I know that boys in my high school in Kentucky started wearing shorts when the high hit 60, and I had a friend at UNC who would wear shorts on sunny days in the middle of winter because she incorrectly thought that the day would warm up.

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Dressing balls

dressingballs2If you thought that I was going to say that I don’t like Thanksgiving food, share one recipe and then bow out of the turkey day food madness with one quick turn, you have predicted incorrectly. I will actually be sharing two more recipes (including this one), but none of them will be for a turkey. I have no idea when or if I’ll ever roast a whole turkey in my life–I’m sure I will for some holiday down the road– but that is way too much food for the two people (including me) that I feed. I don’t have a turkey, but I have a couple of things to go along with it.

First up is dressing balls. I was clicking through imgur yesterday and landed on a 20 year history of Thanksgiving foods for the past twenty years online, and I learned that dressing instead of stuffing is a relatively new preference. (I actually googled “20 year history of Thanksgiving foods” and found this, which is what I saw on imgur.) In 2006, a report came out declaring that stuffing in the cavity of the bird may not get hot enough to kill germs that could lead to salmonella, so cooks started to prepare dressing, which is the same as stuffing but doesn’t stuff anything but a casserole dish.

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Veggie dumplings

dumplings3It is officially fall in North Carolina now, although I thought it would never come. I had almost started complaining about the lack of cool weather, but now that it’s upon me, I deeply regret any frustration that I had about wearing shorts in October and still needing the AC sometimes during my commute. Now all I want to do is crank up the heat, curl up under a blanket on the sofa, watch Homeland and eat warm, hearty food.

My kitchen has been cranking out plenty of hearty food as of late. I recently got a Dutch oven (which I will discuss further another time), and it’s gotten quite a bit of use in the two short weeks I’ve had it: soups and stews and root vegetable purees that reminded me that obscure root vegetables are obscure for a reason. Continue reading “Veggie dumplings”

End of summer frittata

frittata2I had an ulterior motive sharing my last post; I have a recipe that uses caramelized onions. The recipe has a bit of a backstory.

When I first decided to start a blog, something that I really wanted to do was write about recipes that failed or were made of unnecessarily expensive ingredients or took way too much time for the result, and then I wanted to give you a replacement that was cheaper, easier and/or took less time with better results. It’s been almost six months, and I haven’t produced one of those “cook this, not that” articles yet.

 But now I finally have one.

I made a really bland frittata a couple of weeks ago, and it disappointed me. The recipe was one of America’s Test Kitchen‘s 30 minute recipes that I got a few years ago. I have very high expectations for ATK–their recipes are truly the best of the best, but I’ve found through trial and error that their 30 minute recipes sometimes are greatly lacking. Continue reading “End of summer frittata”

Caramelized onions

onion4Go make this! Go make this now! It doesn’t matter what you are doing– it will be worth it. If you’ve never made caramelized onions, you have no idea what you’re missing. I certainly hadn’t.

I had never made them until last week, and I’m ashamed of myself. I’m not sure why I suddenly had the idea, but a lackluster frittata needed an upgrade, and the only ideas that I had were prosciutto and caramelized onions (how could you go wrong with those two ingredients?). A week after the bland frittata disappeared, I decided to up my game and figure out how to actually make caramelized onions. Continue reading “Caramelized onions”

Melting tomatoes

melttom1The days have started getting shorter, and I’ve realized that I’m going to need to start solely cooking for the blog on the weekends. By the time that I get home currently, I have about half of an hour of daylight, and the status of the light streaming through the kitchen windows is only so-so; in January, even in a few weeks, I’ll have none, and my pictures will be shameful.

Regardless of the pictures, though, I made a frittata this week that I was planning to like a lot, but it was quite disappointing. I was going to share that, but really, it’s not worth your time–look for a reworked version of it in the not so distant future. I had tried this recipe for melting tomatoes last week, so luckily I had a backup plan.

Although of this recipe the idea is great, the original was just too much. Too much oil, too much salt, too much pepper. I adjusted the measurements, and it’s greatly improved. Continue reading “Melting tomatoes”

Veggie wrap

wrap1I had the busiest Tuesday of my life this week. I might have overscheduled a bit, and this is coming from the girl whose aunt’s family was on an episode of Oprah in the early 2000s entitled “The Overscheduled Child.” (For real. I was there; it was boring. All I got was a free book about overscheduled children.)

I woke up, did blog stuff, went to work, went to register for a culinary certificate at a community college, went to a 2+ hour meeting for the Race for the Cure, raced to JCrew before it closed to get a sweater that I’d called about and asked them to hold, and finally meandered home at about 9:15.

I know that lots of people often do much more than that every day, but for me, that’s too full.

The moral of this story is that I haven’t had much time yet to prepare food this week. I do have all of the ingredients for a summer lunch that I often prepare, so I’m going to share that with you. Continue reading “Veggie wrap”

Roasted garlic and Vidalia onion dressing

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I’ve briefly talked about my job at the gourmet deli in high school. The best thing I learned there was a ton about food. I gained my love of food and cooking from my grandma, but I cultivated what I already knew and was exposed to more culinary knowledge than I ever imagined in that little store. Although I tend to cook pretty unpretentious food, I know a lot about it.

I also know how to make a pretty good sandwich. There was this great specialty sandwich at the store that I had to make every morning, and if there were any left at the end of the day, I could take them home. I’d usually take the leftover sandwich to school for lunch the next day, and everyone at my table would be jealous. It was a smoked turkey avocado sandwich on ciabatta with a sweet onion vinaigrette. It was, is and forever shall be absolutely delicious.

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