Thursday, March 17, 2011

Caramelized Onions

I find happy people to be bothersome and untrustworthy. By happy people, I'm not talking about well adjusted normal folks with pleasant dispositions and an optimistic outlook on life like you (and me??). Oh no, I'm talking about the type of  person who insists on being impossibly happy all. the. time. The type of person that obviously subscribes to an alternate reality where every one's a pony, and you can eat rainbows and poop butterflies. The type of person that just doesn't seem to know any emotion but up. I once knew a girl exactly like this who was in my college dance group. Hillary, you know who I'm talking about! She was the sweetest and happiest person I think I've ever known--and honestly, I wanted to slap her more often than not. It was just unnatural how happy and peppy she was. I'm convinced she was on uppers. True Story.

My problem with these "happy" people, is that they're extremists, and I think we all know that extremism is no bueno. They refuse to publicly acknowledge that feeling sad is part of the human experience, and would rather project some absurd facade of perpetual joy, than appropriately cope with the inevitable downs of life. I'm convinced these "happy" people are delusional, chemically dependent, and are definitely crazier than a barrel of monkeys. However, I also believe that bacon literally makes the world a better place, so I advise you to take my musings on the behaviors of others with a grain of salt. Preferably on the rim of a margarita glass. Ole!

I employ several coping methods to deal with the peaks and valleys in my life. They include, but are not limited to the egregious use profanity, cynicism, stalking TJ Holmes on Twitter (follow me!), pole classes, and of course, creating in the kitchen.  The weekend before last, it felt like fate had taken on dump on my hopes and dreams, and I was in a tailspin. That Sunday it rained buckets on the entire east coast, and in the wake of such an awful weekend and horrible weather, it made perfect sense to stink up my apartment by making caramelized onions.

I know I practically vowed I would never caramelized onions in my small and poorly ventilated apartment again after the onion tart fiasco. But I say a lot things that I don't really mean.

This time, however, I was serious about reducing the impact of the smell. I put a fan in my kitchen window, opened my bathroom window to ventilate my bedroom, and stuffed a towel under my bedroom door. I also put a an old comforter over the doorway to the kitchen--which Kona promptly slept on. It made a big difference, and I no longer fear the onion.

Harvesting the sweetness of onions takes an hour and half! And balsamic vinegar and brown sugar don't hurt. And a "knob of butter for good measure. I'm pretty sure that's more than a "knob" of butter, but I wasn't about to google it to find out the exact measurement. I don't like measuring things.

And when I get my new fancy schmancy camera, I'll take another picture of caramelized onions, and submit them to the Pioneer Woman's "beauty" photography contest. And I'll loose. But that's beside the point.

Caramelized Onions (adapted from Cherry on a Cake)

6 small yellow onions, sliced thinly
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet on a high flame. Once the oil is hot, add onions and toss to coat with oil. Reduce flame to low, and let the onions cook slowly, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning. Let cook for about an hour.

When the onions become a pale golden color, add butter, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and a good dose of salt. The balsamic and sugar will darken and further sweeten the onions onions, stir constantly to prevent from burning. Cook on low flame for about 20 additional minutes. When the onions are dark brown, remove from heat. Store in an air tight jar in the refrigerator and use on...well...everything. But especially pita pizza! YUM!

I tweeted about this pizza. It was pretty awesome.
Goat cheese, spinach/arugula, sundried tomatoes, Greek yogurt, fresh parm, caramelized onions, and a fried egg.
gratuitous and effin' awesome


  1. So you know I'm sick. And when I read your happy comment, particularly about Hillary, I laughed so hard that I sent myself into a coughing fit. I could visualize her at practice all extra happy and peppy. And don't give her some tap!

  2. Mmmm! I loooove onions, but I don't know if I could deal with the smell, even if I took all the precautions. I made chicken fried rice last night and I woke up and swore my pillow smelled like onions.

  3. Im not the biggest fan of onion (my husband loves them) but i do like carmelized onions. The pizza looks tasty, I love that you cook real food for yourself

  4. I love ya, girl! But I think I barfed a little looking at all those onions! I'm not a fan of carmelized onions AT ALL! It's the texture as it slides down your throat...ick! Maybe it's passable in a pizza, but it's definitely not my thing...sorry! I can't wait to try your brownies :)

  5. lol, poor thing. tell that baby inside to quit messing with your immune system! Oh and I wasn't talking about Hillary, even though she was a little sugary the first year, I never wanted to slap her, and now we all know she isn't really that nice anyway. I was talking about Mamawa--I really wanted to slap her, omg. she was definitely on uppers

  6. Yeah, you have an open kitchen, which makes it impossible to control for ventilation. I'm pretty sure your pillow did smell like onions, omg, last time, it took 2 weeks for that smell to clear from my apartment. Maybe I'll just have to bring you a jar :)

  7. I'm like you Chavonne, I much prefer my onions caramelized. That pizza was pretty awesome, funny enough, I scrimped together that pizza with the last bit of vegtables I had in my fridge. It turned out way better than I could've imagined.

  8. LOL!! ok, so no onions for you, I'll keep that in mind. I totally understand, I'm very texturally fixated too, there are so many things I hate because of their texture-like mayo-actually I just hate everything about mayo, but ricotta cheese is just gross to me, ugh!

  9. You just managed to make me starving at 3 AM!

  10. Fellow Baltimorean here, via Life on A Plate.

    I love onions, but hate the way bacon makes my house smell. It's fine while it's actually cooking, but I can't stand coming down the steps the next day and still smelling it. That and seafood. My husband got oyster juice all over the table and it took days of scrubbing to get rid of it. Ick!

    Great blog you have here, I'll definitely be back!

  11. Hi there fellow charm city resident! So glad you found me! I haven't had too much of an issue with the bacon smell, I find that if I bake in the oven the smell clears much faster, and I rarely cook seafood mostly b/c it's expensive and requires immediate cooking. But welcome to the blog, glad to have you :)



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