Online Cooking School – Caramelized Onions

The Kitchn is offering an online 20 day (FREE) cooking course.  Of course, I signed up for it.  The first class was yesterday and focused on knife skills.  Today was onions and garlic.  One of the homework options was making caramelized onions.  Since I have never made it, I decided to go with that one 🙂

I started off with some normal yellow onions and sliced them
CO_CutOnions

All in the pan and I checked them at 10 minute intervals.
CO_AllInThePan

It is supposed to take about an hour to make them, but, for me, it took a bit longer.  I don’t know if the onions were too thick or if the heat was too low, but I had nowhere to go, so it wasn’t a big deal too me.  One thing I do agree with is that you cannot rush the procedure.  If you try to rush the process, I don’t think it would turn out very well.

I made a collage for you of all the cooking snaps I took
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Last two ingredients were salt and a liquid for deglazing the pan.  I chose Balsamic Vinegar this time.  I think next time, I will use chicken broth.  Th ingredient list showed 2 tbsp, but the actual recipe said 1/4 cup.  I poured it into a measuring cup and added slowly.  It actually ended up being 2 tbsp before I decided to stop.  Taste and salt accordingly.
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Finished product
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I am still trying to figure out what to do with them.  Maybe some potatoes or a tart or quiche of some sort     .  If I don’t use it, everything I read says that they will freeze well, so there is nothing to worry about if I can’t find anything right away.  Of course my boyfriend has now graciously offered to take them off my hands if I need – lol

Twice Baked Potatoes

I have never made these before, but I love them.  I stupidly decided to make these on a weeknight.  I was so hungry when I finally got to eat, I am not quite sure I remembered to chew – lol.

Ingredients.  I didn’t have any shallots, but I did have the freeze dried ones, so I went with that.
TBP_Ingredients

Hallowed out potato skins.  I used a combination of a spoon and a melon baller to get as much potatoey goodness out as I could
TBP_HollowedOut

Filling all mixed up
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Used that to fill the potatoes while giggling since one potato had a crack in it and continuously made fart noises.  Yes, I am an adult, why do you ask?
TBP_FillingPotatoes

I went back over them and filled them even more with the filling that was left, then topped with the little pile of cheese and bacon there.  Why was there a little pile of cheese and bacon?  Because I didn’t follow the recipe exactly and thought the bacon went into the filling with the cheese.  Nope
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Baked!
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These were so good.  Here’s a little cross cut action for you.  Can you see where the potato ends and the filling begins?  I have dreams about that now
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I loved these.  Definitely not effortless, probably better made on a weekend when you have time, but definitely worth being made.  They were so filling, that one of them was good enough for a meal.  I even had some for breakfast.  If you think about it, all that’s missing is eggs – it has potatoes, cheese and bacon.  Sounds like a perfect fit to me!

I tried so hard!

Today was the day I decided to start tracking my calories again – after two and a half days of slacking off.  I was originally going to just start on Sunday, but had an epiphany and tracked today…..too bad I didn’t make the decision until AFTER I drank the 20 oz of regular coke.  I had to get creative, so I got an idea and did something I used to eat with my parents on New Year’s Eve and other holidays.

I took these
05022013_Ingredients

And made them into a nice little dinner that looked like this (ignore the debris on the counter)
05022013_Done

Now, the sad part is that I actually thought I only had 250 calories to use for dinner.  Then I realized I had a bit more, but then I realized that I wasn’t supposed to have the gouda today (facepalm).  So much for staying within my calories – only over about 60, though.  Oh well, it was still good and refreshing.  I am actually going to have the same thing for lunch tomorrow….but replace the crackers with pita chips and tzatziki 🙂 – I did notice one weird thing…..I finished the peanut butter and I can still smell it.  I don’t see it anywhere, but that is all I can smell!!  Does this happen to anyone else??

Baked Potato for Dinner? Yes, Please!

This is how smart I am – I made a baked potato on the HOTTEST day of the week.  We’re talking 85-88 degrees.  Yea, I’m smart, right?  But, it was in the schedule, so it happened.  I know you guys probably don’t need pictures, but I got them any way.

Ingredients
BP_Ingredients

Then, take your ingredients and prep them – I will explain the wood later (That’s what HE said – HA! )
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After the potato is done, or in my case almost done, Mix in the butter, then top with sour cream, cheese and bacon.  Then, throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Realize your microwave is a piece of crap and nuke for 15 more seconds.  Sigh when the cheese is still not all melted.  Then, take a picture and eat
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(I couldn’t decide which one was best)
BP_Plated

Ok, so the wood?  It’s a wooden skewer.  I read somewhere that this one guy put a skewer in the raw potatoes so he could tell when it was done by how easy it was to remove from the potato.  Maybe he wasn’t using a gargantuan potato like me, but my potato wasn’t quite done.  It was enough that I figured I could smoosh it up enough to make it edible.  It was actually only noticeable in two bites.  The royal we were very happy.  I love having a baked potato for dinner.  It’s so filling and almost decadent because of the toppings.  In case you’re wondering, it was only 521 calories.  If I had gotten the butter right and only used a half a tablespoon, it’s under 500 calories.  For an entire meal with bacon and cheese?  Yes please!!