Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hello Again!

I'm back. I don't have that feeling of the ceiling caving in quite as bad anymore!

After the holidays were over, my work was just so crazy and that combined with personal problems was enough to make me feel...well, let's just say 'not good!'

I haven't been doing very much cooking lately, but I've got to get out of my funk and get back to it.

My two biggest barriers are that I feel overwhelmed by recipes that are either too labor intensive because I don't feel like I have enough time and the fact that I have been dealing with chronic heartburn for quite a while, so I can't eat as much. What a bummer!

But, I think that if I stick to some simple recipes, I'll be cooking again before I know it.

Since I last posted, I have made a couple of delicious items. First, I made a wonderful, simple French Onion Soup. And last weekend I made Bacon Quiche Tarts.

French onion soup is one of my favorite soups to make because there are No Rules.

I know, I know...that can't be true, right? French onion soup is one of those items that everyone seems to think that there is a right or wrong way to make it. I disagree.

My coworker Jan told me how she made her soup and after I made her tell me a couple more times, I went home and made it - without a recipe. And it kicked butt!

So, here is the basic gist of the recipe. I usually select a white onion, a sweet onion, a brown onion, a leek, and a shallot, but any combination of those will work fine. I use about 1 1/2 tablespoons (little more or less as needed, depending on how much onion you use) of each olive oil and butter. The butter will lend that rich taste and the olive oil with raise the smoking point so that the butter doesn't burn.

Cook the very thinly sliced onions, shallot and leek in a large heavy-bottomed pot in the butter and oil mixture over low. Cooking slowly and stirring every couple of minutes, cook the onion mixture until soft and caramel brown (be careful not to burn). Add a box of your favorite beef broth to the mixture and let simmer for 10-20 minutes so that the flavors meld. Serve with gruyere, swiss, mozzarella, and/or croutons as a topping.

I hope to post on a semi-regular basis...but I am not promising anything just yet! Thanks to Michelle, Vicki, Ilva, and Kristi for your thoughts. I'll be stopping by all of your sites today to check in on you all!


Kristi said...

I'm so glad you're back to posting. Did you move yet?

My husband loves french onion soup. I'm going to take note of this recipe and use it on him sometime soon.

Dawn said...

Hi Kristi! No, we haven't moved yet. That joyful (sarcasm!) task still lies ahead. We'll be doing that after June 30.

I am always so pleased with this soup. This is one dish that has been demystified for me!

michelle said...

YAY!! You're back in action - I've missed you! I love french onion soup and I've always been a little afraid of making it - so I'm glad to know a recipe from a cook I trust that says it's simple!!