French Onion Dip

The Super Bowl is coming up! I’d be lying you to if I said I was really into football (and we don’t lie to each other on this blog) but I AM super pumped for all of the food that I’ll get to munch on during the game. This year, I don’t think there will be a snackadium involved, but I’m ok with just eating this dip.

I’d really just like to face-plant into this french onion dip. Over and over again. There’s something wonderful about caramelized onions, and it makes me want to find caramelized onion scented candles so I can continuously smell the aroma.

Making caramelized onions also lets me practice patience. The longer you wait, the more delicious they will taste. And it’s worth it! This french onion dip (adapted from Iowa Girl Eats) is made with Greek yogurt and cream cheese, instead of mayonnaise and sour cream, which I think adds a fantastic touch. It makes a big bowl and although you can eat it right away, I recommend chilling it for a few hours in the fridge. Again, that patience thing.

You can make it the night before and it will be a fantastic addition to your Super Bowl party…or on any ol’ day, really. It’s also great served with veggies!

Homemade French Onion Dip

What are your plans for the Super Bowl?

Recipe adapted from Kristen over at Iowa Girl Eats

Homemade French Onion Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese (1 package), at room temperature
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and stir to make sure the olive oil coats all of them.
  2. When the onions become translucent (about 5-7 mins) stir in 1/2 cup beef broth.
  3. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature down to medium/medium-low heat.
  4. Continue to cook onions until they are brown and caramelized…about 45-60 minute total, stirring every few minutes. If the onions are burning, turn the heat down a bit. The onions will start to turn a caramel color and then a deep amber–this is when you know they are done.
  5. Add the Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and then cook for about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and place onions on a plate or in a bowl to cool.
  6. When the onions are cooled, mix the room temp cream cheese (i softened it in the microwave), Greek yogurt, dried thyme, and additional salt/pepper together in a medium sized bowl.
  7. Then add the onions to the cream cheese/Greek yogurt mixture and incorporate until everything is mixed together.
  8. Top off with a little extra dried thyme for garnish, and then serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

I am really excited for this year! For some reason, it feels different…but I’m not sure why. Lots of thoughts rolling around in my head right now though. I hope to do some traveling, plan a few camping trips, and I want to run another half marathon. Completing a half last year was really challenging but it was totally worth it. Perhaps I am being too ambitious but I guess only time will tell. :)

I’m also in my second week of taking a nutrition class at the City College! So far, it’s really fun and interesting. We’ve learned a lot about the 6 classes of nutrients, the difference between calories from fat vs. calories from carbohydrates, and a few types of studies that are commonly used for nutritional research.

You might be thinking…Duh, Steph, everyone knows this stuff. LAME. Well, not meeee! I read a lot about nutrition in my free time but I really wanted to start from the basics and dig deeper into the subject. The science behind what we eat and how it effects ours bodies is just fascinating.

Which brings me to….peanut butter + cookie dough = magical. Scientific research says Trust me.

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

Good ol’ fashioned peanut butter cookies are. simply. the best. They are crispy on the outside and super chewy once you take a bite. This recipe makes a large batch but you can easily cut it in half if needed.

Let’s start 2014 off with a full batch, shall we?

If you have any fun goals/plans for 2014 that you’d like to share, please do!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
 
Serves: 3.5 dozen

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temp
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt

Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter using a hand held mixer. Then mix in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet batter a little bit at a time while mixing in between.
  3. Once all of the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, put the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. When the dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I usually use two sheets so that i can switch them out of the oven more quickly).
  5. Roll dough into 1.5 inch balls. Place the dough balls on the lined baking sheet. Using a fork, flatten the dough ball by forming a criss cross. make sure there are about 2 inches between each cookie.
  6. Bake cookies for 10-12 mins or until the edges and bottom of the cookie are golden brown.
  7. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and then move to a cookie rack to cool completely.

 

I was excited to get the opportunity to work with Kraft and create a recipe using their cheeses. I’m always overly eager to consume any and all types of cheese so this project was perfect.

I decided to make this tart because I love the combination of flavors and texture. It’s creamy, sweet, and slightly salty with a flaky crust. The trick to this dish is to get your onions fully caramelized and then to add tons of cheese! It makes a great appetizer for a party, a delicious snack, or a fun addition to a weeknight dinner. All you need is a sheet of puff pastry, some olive oil, red pepper flakes, a sheet of puff pastry, onions (plus some butter), arugula, and 3 types of cheese: mozzarella, goat, and parmesan.

I recommend making this recipe in 2 parts: 1) Caramelize the onions the night before and then 2) Assemble and bake the tart the next day. It takes about an hour to get your onions caramelized, which seems like a long time but it’s well worth it. Once you achieve that deep, sweet taste, you know you’ve got yourself some perfectly caramelized onions. This is probably the longest part. Also, I only ended up using about 3/4 of the caramelized onions on the tart so I got to save some to use in other dishes! Score. 

The rest is easy. You simply roll out the dough, add the toppings and then bake away.

Once the tart is fully baked, top everything off with some arugula. Now, I LOVE arugula and it pairs sooo well with this tart but you don’t need it. The tart is delicious on its own so if you’re not a fan of that particular green leaf, leave it out. No harm, no foul.

But since I’m a big fan of arugula, I added a ton :) What’s also wonderful about this recipe is that it can be easily doubled or tripled for big parties. You already have extra cheese, puff pastry packs come with at least two sheets, and you can just pick up a few more onions. Voila! 

 

Three Cheese Caramelized Onion Tart with Arugula Recipe

  • 2 Medium yellow onions, sliced thinly 
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 Puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil – drizzle then brush
  • 1/8 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to your liking)
  • 1/2 Cup Kraft mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Kraft parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Cup goat cheese
  • Arugula

To caramelize the onions

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the sliced onions and stir until the onions are all coated evenly with the butter and softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Then continue to let the onions cook for another 40-50 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. You don’t want to stir them too much or else they won’t brown properly–just enough so that they don’t burn and stick to the pan. Depending on how hot your stove is you also might have to turn down the heat.
  4. Once the onions start turning a deeper brown and are almost done (about 50-55 minutes), add about 1/4 cup water to deglaze the pan and then cook for another 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and salt the onions to taste.  

To assemble the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the puff pastry until it is about 13×10 inches. 
  3. Fold in each side about 1 inch to form a crust and then place the puff pastry on the baking sheet.  
  4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the entire puff pastry (crust part too) and then brush it so that it spreads evenly. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  5. Spread an even layer of Kraft mozzarella cheese on main part of the tart. Then do the same with the goat cheese. 
  6. Add a solid layer of caramelized onions over the top of the cheeses (this was about 3/4 of the onions I ended up caramelizing) and then top the tart off with an even sprinkle of Kraft parmesan cheese. 
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is cooked through and the edges are golden brown. 
  8. Let cool slightly and then top with arugula. 
  9. Cut into pieces and serve immediately. 

From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

It’s that time of the year again…cookie season! And my favorite way to kick it off is by participating in the Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by The Little Kitchen and Love and Olive Oil. This is my third year participating and I feel like it just gets better and better every year! Here are my cookies from Year 1 and Year 2 if any of you are curious.

The way it works: Food bloggers sign up online and then we receive 3 matches. We then make 3 dozen of the same cookie and send out 1 dozen to each match. In return, we get 3 different types of cookies (1 dozen each) from 3 other bloggers. It’s pretty amazing, especially when you have hundreds of bloggers participating from all over the world!

Also, this year Julie and Lindsay got some great sponsors who matched our donations, and we ended up raising over $13,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! I’d say it was a huge success!! :)

Chocolate Nutella Cookie Recipe

These cookies are chewy and chocolatey with a rich nutella undertone. Holiday baking with Nutella is a must!

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious cookie to whip up, give this recipe a try. It’s fantastic! For another twist, you could omit the powdered sugar and sprinkle on some sea salt to make it a salted nutella cookie :)

Also, does anyone have any great holiday cookie suggestions? I’d love to add them to my list!

Chocolate and Nutella Cookies

I received delicious cookies from Valentina (The Baking Fairy), Justine (Cooking & Beer), and Stacey (Treats 4 Ta-Tas). It’s always fun to get packages, and when they’re cookies, it’s even better! I had them delivered to my office so it was awesome to be able to share all the treats with my colleagues.

I hope Erin (Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts), Renee (Kudos Kitchen by Renee), and Corinne (Reverberations) enjoyed these chocolate nutella cookies! Sorry I didn’t include the powdered sugar on them…I didn’t think it would look too great when they arrived haha.

Recipe only slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Chocolate Nutella Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, gently packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Powdered Sugar for garnish

Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a hand held mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until the mixture is creamy. Then mix in the vanilla extract and nutella.
  3. Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter/nutella bowl and mix until everything is incorporated. Add the milk and then the second half of the flour mix. Mix well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and place the cookie mix in the fridge for at least 15 mins.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball.
  6. Place the balls on the sheet and press down on each one (using your hands or the bottom of a glass cup) until the balls are flat, disks aka cookie shaped :)
  7. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the the edges start to set. Remove cookies from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Once completely cooled, dust cookies with powdered sugar.

 

Homemade Mulled Wine

We haven’t seen rain in San Francisco for over 2 months. 2 months! And when it did rain 2 months ago, it only rained for one day…it’s so weird and I’m anxiously waiting for some drops so that we can get some snow up in Tahoe. Fortunately for me, I’m running away and heading to the warm beaches of Mexico for a few days this week! Muahaha. But when I get back…I expect rain. :)

However, the warm weather has not stopped my friends and I from embracing Fall and enjoying some seasonal festivities (including a Friendsgiving potluck this past Saturday and a friendly game of softball yesterday). In my opinion, the best way to celebrate the holiday season is by chowing down on some delicious food and sipping on tasty drinks.

Warm, spiced drinks scream comfort to me. It’s quite possibly my favorite part of the holiday season (besides snow!!). If you’re looking for a last minute drink to make or an item to contribute to a potluck, this is your recipe! It’s extremely quick to whip up, it will make the entire place smell like winter spices, and you can double or triple the recipe to accommodate a huge group of people. Plus, you don’t need expensive wine for this so it’s pretty cheap to make…Helloooo, 2 buck Chucks from Trader Joes.

I do love making this mulled cider with fresh fruit recipe but this mulled wine might have surpassed the cider this time around. If you already have the spices on hand, all you need to buy is wine, an orange, and some brandy.

Trust me, this recipe is a must.

Mulled Wine

You just add orange zest, sugar, and spices to a medium sized pot, pour in enough wine to juuuust cover all of the ingredients and then bring everything to a rapid boil for about 8-10 minutes to create a spiced syrup. Then you add the rest of the wine, squeeze in the juice of the orange you zested, and warm everything up over low heat.

Once your mulled wine is heated (not boiling or else you’ll burn off the alcohol), you top it off with some brandy, and that’s it! Serve and enjoy.

What’s your favorite holiday drink?

Mulled Wine
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 bottle of Cabernet Savignon (or your favorite red wine)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/4 cup brandy (more or less to your taste)

Instructions
  1. Zest the orange skin (by using a vegetable peeler or knife) into thick slices.
  2. In a medium sized pot, add the orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, and sugar together.
  3. Pour just enough wine to cover everything (in a medium pot, this was a little less than 1/4 of the bottle for me).
  4. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil for about 8-10 mins while stirring occasionally. This will thicken it a little bit and create a flavorful syrup.
  5. Bend head over mixture and smell..it smells like winter!
  6. Once the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low. Add the rest of the wine. Squeeze the juice out of the orange you zested earlier into the pot.
  7. Let the wine slowly warm up. You must do it at a low temp so that the alcohol doesn’t burn off.
  8. Once it’s warm enough, add the brandy and serve immediately.

 

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