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How to Make Perfectly Sweet Caramelized Onions

caramelized onions on a white platter

I am smitten with caramelized onions, and this is coming from a girl who despises raw onion.

One of my earliest childhood memories is requesting that my raw onions would be scraped from my fast-food burger. I would watch my Dad sacrifice a perfectly good french fry and use it as a scraper to get those raw onions off!

Caramelized onions are a whole different food from raw onion. They are soft and oh so sweet!

They add amazing flavor to many dishes and are great for topping sandwiches, burgers, and salads.

They are so popular in our home that they rarely get past the skillet without fingers in them…my Teagan has been known to make a whole pan disappear.

 

Why You Need Sweet Caramelized Onions

I am not only smitten because of how delicious caramelized onions are but also because they are one of the most healthful foods you can eat!

Research has shown that people with the highest consumption of onions (and other alliums) have a lower risk of several types of cancer, as onions contain several anti-cancer compounds. {referrence}

Quercetin is one of these compounds which has been found to decrease cancer tumor formation and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Onions are antibacterial, antifungal, contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties–so don’t be anti-onion–at least until you try them caramelized.

They help maintain gastrointestinal health by creating and sustaining beneficial bacteria.

They reduce symptoms associated with diabetes, improve the absorption of minerals (like calcium and my favorite calming mineral – magnesium) due to the fructans they contain.

With my cancer history and my Todd using a healthy diet to keep blood sugar levels down, getting onions in on a daily basis is a priority to both of us.

I use chopped onions as a foundation of just about every recipe I make, and also am just as happy making them caramelized as a yummy vegetable side to any dish.

 

skillet of caramelized onions

What I Do To Make My Onions Perfectly Sweet

The key to making caramelized onions perfectly sweet is patience and a wide, flat-bottomed high sided heavy pan. A well-seasoned cast iron pan is my favorite pan to use.

The caramelization process takes a little patience, and as you will see in the video I share below, they soften and sweeten in stages.

For caramelization, it can take 15-20 minutes of cooking time.

This usually is not a big deal for me, as I just get them going at the beginning of my meal-making, and they cook away and are done by the time the rest of the meal our meal is cooked, and only need a little attention with just a bit of stirring.

There are several different ways to make caramelized onions, and many cooks will just use oil, salt and pepper.

Some swear by adding a bit of sugar at the end to help speed up the process, but I believe we get quite enough sugar in the typical American diet and don’t need to be adding it to our healthy onions!

I let the onions sweeten themselves, and sometimes add a splash or two of balsamic vinegar at the end for even more darkened sweetness. Delish!

 

dish of caramelized onions

Perfectly Sweet Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

There is nothing like a perfectly sweet caramelized onion! Even if you are not an onion lover, you may just become one after trying them cooked in this way. 

Recipe Type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: onions
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter (avocado oil, coconut oil or grass-fed butter)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • water (or chicken broth)
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
Instructions
Prep onions & pan
  1. Peel and halve onions through root end and slice into 1/4" - 1/8" thick slices, using the onions natural grain to make strips for you.

  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter or oil in a large flat-bottomed heavy pan on medium heat. 

    Note: The video in the post shows a saucepan, but a larger, heavy pan is much preferred. Using a wide base gives water room to evaporate, allowing onions to caramelize rather than steam.

Cook onions
  1. Add onions to the pan and stir. Then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the onions begin to soften and turn translucent.

Reduce heat, stir & add liquid if necessary
  1. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook onions, stirring often to prevent them from getting too much color in one place or sticking.

     If onions stick or get too brown in one place, reduce heat.

Add cooking liquid if necessary
  1. If you see bare, browned spots in the pan, add a bit of cooking liquid and stir. The liquid will help scrape the cooked-on bits and will season the onions. 

Keep and eye and keep stirring
  1. Once the onions began to take on a caramel color, keep a close eye on them. For extra-dark onions, this is when you add balsamic. 

  2. This is the point when your onions need constant attention. Keep stirring until they are the desired color. I like mine a caramel color with a few dark edges.

Let cool & store
  1. Let onions cool, then transfer to an airtight container OR you can do what I do and eat them right from the pan! 

  2. Chill any leftover onions. They will keep up to one week and can be eaten warmed or chilled right from the refrigerator. They also freeze well!

 

Have you over caramelized onions? Do you have your own tried and true method?

If you have not, and even if you are not a big onion fan, making them this way may just change your mind.

 

Watch this video on The Scene.

{the video uses a saucepan, but I prefer a wide, heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet!}

 

Grab a bag of onions next time you are at the grocery store and get those health-filled onions into you and your loved ones!

Make sure to comment below and let me know if you do, and what your favorite process toward caramelization is.

How-Tos/ Nutrition/ RECIPES

How To Eat More Seeds Every Day [+ A Super Seed No Recipe Recipe]

bowl of oats topped with super seeds

Last week I wrote ‘5 Reasons to Eat SuperSeeds Every Day’, and today I am going to share some ideas on HOW to eat more seeds every day.

When it comes to getting into the rhythm of doing something every day, it helps to make it as accessible as possible and as easy as possible.

 

tablespoon and seeds in a jar

My superseed no recipe recipe below is the best way I have found to make everyday seed-eating most accessible and efficient. I eat them almost mindlessly and rarely skip a day.

The glass jar I keep them in is always front and center in my refrigerator. By making a mix, you avoid having to grab different individual bags of seeds each day, but still get all the amazing benefits of eating multiple types of seeds each day.

Let’s face it, those bags can get lost in the pantry and sit lonely and unused, and an empty jar waiting to be refilled can solve that problem.

A glass jar is key. You can see what is in it, and it is easy to grab and use while making breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

I use a mason jar, and have been eyeing this glass jar clip and spoon that fits around the lip of a wide mouth mason jar would be perfect for scooping seeds efficiently. It’s only $3.99!

It would eliminate that one more step of searching for a spoon, and it is cute to boot. I also keep my ground coffee in mason jars, so I may have to buy 2! I just put it on my Amazon Wish List. 

 

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Beauty/ FUN/DIY/ HEALTH/ How-Tos/ Natural Products/ RECIPES

2 Ingredient Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub

DIY 2 Ingredient Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub

I make this simple homemade 2 ingredient lemon sugar facial scrub about once a week.  It is so easy to throw together, and it leaves my skin very soft, smooth, & exfoliated.

Start by juicing a half of a lemon.  I like to use the lemons in my refrigerator that are on the verge of being too ripe to eat.  This is a great way to use those lemons up!

DIY 2 Ingredient Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub

AN EASY WAY TO JUICE YOUR LEMON

Don’t underestimate the power of a simple fork!  I have several fancy lemon squeezing gadgets, but when I am just doing a lemon half, I grab a fork.  It is amazing how much juice a simple fork can extract! Just stick it in the lemon half and give it a twist while squeezing the lemon with the other hand. Rotate the lemon and repeat.

It is amazing how much juice a simple fork can extract! Just stick it in the lemon half and give it a twist while squeezing the lemon with the other hand. Rotate the lemon and repeat.

This lemon facial scrub has organic sugar and organic lemon juice in it. That is it! I squeeze 1/2 a lemon right into the jar, add about 1/8-1/4 cup of organic sugar and stir.

I like to use organic pure cane sugar. Regular white sugar has been bleached and I don’t want that in my body or on my face!

This makes enough for several applications, but in time the sugar dissolves, so I usually let my girls know that I have homemade lemon facial sugar scrub. I’ve been making this since they were young and loved doing “facials” with it.

I remember when they were little they would end up putting lots around their lips so they could lick it off.  Tastes just like lemonade!

It is delicious and ends up being a great lip scrub, too!  You could also take leftovers in the bath with you for a great body scrub.

DIY 2 Ingredient Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub

HOW TO USE LEMON SUGAR FACIAL SCRUB

I put some of the mixture into my palm, and rub in circular motions all over my face.  It feels so good!  I love a good scrub!  I then let it sit on my skin a few minutes until it gets sticky and feels a bit hard.  Then I get a washcloth nice and hot and just lay it on my face for a few seconds.  The steam opens the pores and softens the sugar mixture.  I then wipe off and rinse well.  I will often follow with a dab of coconut oil for moisture.

I let it sit on my skin a few minutes until it gets sticky and feels a bit hard.  Then I get a wet microfiber facial washcloth — nice and hot — and just lay it on my face for a few seconds.  The steam opens the pores and softens the sugar mixture.  I then wipe off and rinse well.  I follow with moisturizer.

Lemons do have a lightening quality about them and I notice it has faded sun damage that I have on my forehead.  It is also great for breakouts.  It seems to really help with blackheads and just clearing the junk out of my pores.  I love it!

DIY Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub

2 INGREDIENT LEMON SUGAR FACIAL SCRUB

1/2 organic lemon
1/8-1/4 cup organic sugar

Juice 1/2 lemon using a fork into a mason jar. Add the organic sugar and stir.  Apply to face in circular motions and gently allow the sugar to scrub your skin.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Use a hot washcloth (I love a microfiber facial cloth–it is great for gently wiping away smudged mascara under the eyes) and lay on the face to steam for a minute, then use it to wipe of scrub.  Rinse well & moisturize.  Use the lemon sugar facial scrub once a week.


DIY 2 Ingredient Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub

{For Your Pinning Pleasure}

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DIY/Crafts/ Frugal/ FUN/DIY/ HEALTH/ HOME/ Homemaking/ How-Tos/ Natural Products/ RECIPES

DIY Daily Sink Scrub

DIY Daily Sink Scrub for Shiny Sinks

 

This DIY Daily Sink Scrub could easily be called twice a day sink scrub because I use it at least twice a day— if not every chance I get! I can’t tell you the satisfaction I feel making such a simple, inexpensive but effective DIY cleaning product. Yes, satisfaction, and JOY!

I know, it is a stretch to use the word joy with a cleaning product but this sink scrub makes me so happy. I’ve learned that scent is a very powerful way to experience emotions, especially when the scent is essential oil –pure and from nature!

Sprinkle on DIY Daily Sink Scrub

DIY DAILY SINK SCRUB – JUST TWO INGREDIENTS

DIY Daily Sink Scrub has just two ingredients—baking soda and essential oil. The essential oil not only makes it a powerhouse when it comes to disinfecting and cleaning your sink but can also be a powerhouse when it comes to affecting your mood!

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How-Tos/ RECIPES

Getting Started With The Instant Pot

instant-pot-pin

I (like many of YOU!) took the plunge on Black Friday and purchased the Instant Pot. I just couldn’t pass it up after hearing so many rave about it! I was curious and intrigued by the fact that it wasn’t just a safe and easy-to-use electric pressure cooker, but actually several appliances in one. It seemed to be a whole new way of getting a healthy homemade dinner on the table in record time.  I’m all about simple and efficient cooking, and the Instant Pot is both of those things, so I was giddy about adding it to our kitchen.

I have had the Instant Pot a little over a week, and I’ve used it to make 7 things so far.  I AM HOOKED. I cannot believe the versatility of the Instant Pot, and I can’t wait to make more with it.  I could use it almost daily because it has so many different uses!

instant-pot-carrots-2

Different Uses of the Instant Pot

You can saute in it, use it as a slow cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker, a rice maker, or simply as a safe and easy-to-use pressure cooker. You can make homemade beans, all types of meats, stews, and soups. You can make hard-boiled eggs or steel-cut oats in just minutes. I even saw a recipe for cheesecake made in it!

I am new to pressure cooking, but there is a surge in popularity thanks to electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, which means there is an abundance of resources.

I was not intimidated like I had been in the past with using a stove-top pressure cooker.  Thanks to the manual, Pinterest and YouTube, any questions I’ve had have been answered.

 

Dishwasher Safe Insert + Steamer Basket

The Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel insert that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It also comes with a steamer basket, which I’ve already used to hold hard- boiled eggs, a sweet potato, and carrots.

For perfectly cooked ‘baked’ potatoes, you simply put a cup of water in the instant pot, insert the steamer basket, pile on the potatoes, and cook for 12 minutes. Just push a button and walk away! No heating up the oven. No more hockey puck potatoes that over-cooked in the microwave. No more waiting over an hour for them to bake. There is a new instant potato in town and it is a whole potato in an Instant Pot, not those dried up potato flakes!

 

Sauteing In The Instant Pot

Unlike the Crockpot, you can saute your aromatics (garlic, onions and herbs) and brown your meat right in the pot with the touch of a button, then add your liquid, and with the push of another button start pressure cooking or slow cooking. Dinner is served in minutes. Sure beats hours that the oven can take to roast meat!

 

Pressure Cooked Flavor

Pressure cooking is done all in one pot, and the flavors are pressed right into the food which makes it extra flavorful. I made beef stew and could not believe how great the flavor was. It tasted like it had slow simmered all day, but only took 45 minutes. The recipe I used had red wine in it, and after pushing the pressure button I walked away with a glass of the leftover wine in hand and sipped while reading a book while dinner cooked! It was the most delicious and easiest beef stew I have ever made!

instant-pot-hard-boiled-eggs

Foods I’ve Made So Far

“Hard Boiled” Eggs – 8 minutes, manual release

How? Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of the cooker. Place steam basket in pot. Add however many eggs you want to cook. Place the lid on and hit the ‘Manual’ button, set it for 8 minutes. Right after the 8 minutes of cooking time, depressurize the cooker and add the eggs to a bowl of cold water. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE how easy your eggs are to peel. The pressure cooking causes the shell to slide right off!

 Instant Pot Apple Sauce – 3 minutes, manual release

This was so delicious and made the perfect after school snack for my girls. It was so much better than store-bought applesauce!

Macaroni n Cheese – 20 minutes

Delicious and creamy Mac n Cheese made in minutes. Made my teenagers happy! *Update: I like this Mac n Cheese recipe the MOST. It has great flavor!

Getting Started With The Instant Pot

Balsamic Beets – 20 minutes, natural release

I am a newbie when it comes to liking beets. I can’t get over how good they are for the body, especially for cancer survivors, so I have worked hard at liking them. This recipe was easy to make and quite delicious! The skin rubs right off after steaming and running the beets under cold water. Beets are such a beautiful color, and the balsamic dressing gives them such great flavor and shine!

Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe

 

Beef Stew – 45 minutes

1 T oil

2 lbs round beef cubes

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 T butter

1 can tomato paste

4 carrots, chopped

2 Yukon potatoes, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 T ground mustard

3 cups beef broth

3 cups red wine

salt

pepper

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Put flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Toss beef cubes in the flour. Set Instant Pot to Saute. Add oil. When hot add seasoned meat and brown. Once browned, add a bit of beef broth to deglaze the pan. Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the peas. Make sure to include the excess seasoned flour left on the plate. Pressure Cook High for 45 minutes. Manual release. When finished stir in the peas while on the keep warm setting, they will cook in just a couple of minutes in the hot stew. Serve with crusty bread to dip and enjoy!

Glazed Carrots – 4 minutes

Peel and cut up your carrots. Add 1 T. butter to pot, 1 T honey, S & P, 1/4 t. baking soda. Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Manual Release. Stir and enjoy.

Baked Sweet Potatoes – 13 minutes

Add a cup of water to the bottom of Instant Pot. Add the steamer rack. Add whole sweet potatoes. Set using Manual for 13 minutes. Pressure cook on high.

——————-

 


Above is a great video introduction to the Instant Pot and how to do the initial water test.

I will continue sharing my Instant Pot recipes, and have also started an Instant Pot Pinterest Board!

Do you want to purchase an Instant Pot of your own? Use this link and I will receive a small percentage with no extra cost to you!

DIY/Crafts/ Frugal/ HEALTH/ How-Tos/ Natural Products

DIY Ring Cleaner Avoid Ring Finger Rash

DIY Ring Cleaner

Oh how I love my wedding ring that was chosen so carefully 20 years ago by my Todd, and oh how happy I am that this DIY Ring Cleaner works! I recently started getting a rash under my ring and it was driving me crazy! It was just underneath the area that my diamond sits and it was red, dry and had itchy little bumps. I had a feeling it was from gunk that had collected under my ring, as on each side of my diamond on the underneath part there are hollow areas in my wedding band. It is the perfect area for grime to accumulate. I was right. After using this DIY Ring Cleaner, I have been rash free.

DIY Wedding Ring Cleaner

diy ring cleaner using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide

I wanted to make my own cleaner for several reasons:

  1. I didn’t want to go run an extra errand to pick up store-bought cleaner
  2. I didn’t want to use harsh chemicals
  3. I didn’t want to store it
  4. I didn’t want to spend the money

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How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Uncategorized

How To Make The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

I have been on the hunt for the perfect way to make a hard-boiled egg, and finally found a method that works for me!

I have been on the hunt for the perfect way to make a hard-boiled egg, and finally think I found something that works for me!

I sheepishly confess I have been purchasing organic, peeled hard-boiled eggs from my local coo-op, at a price that is WAY too high. I do have to say, it was nice to have someone else boil and peel the eggs, but at $2.99 for 4 eggs, it is something that I need to do myself!  I remember telling a friend that I paid this for my hard-boiled eggs and she just chuckled at me, and thought it was hilarious that I was willing to pay way too much for something that could so easily be done at home. I knew it was time to change up my method and find something that worked for me.

The method I used to use was this: eggs go in a pan, fill pan with water, turn heat on to boil, once it comes to a boil turn the heat off and set timer for 12 minutes. That SHOULD work, but it didn’t for me. The above method takes an eye on boiling water, making sure to set the timer the minute the water comes to a boil. I am not one that is patient enough to watch for water to boil, so I would either set the timer too late or too early, and my eggs would either be undercooked or overcooked with that dreaded dark ring around the yolk.

My new method is similar, (keep scrolling for detailed instructions) except you bring the water to a boil FIRST, then carefully lower each egg into the boiling water with a large spoon, then immediately set the timer. When the timer goes off, you rinse and soak in cold water until the eggs feel cool to the touch. I like this so much better, as I don’t have to keep an eye on the water and set the timer the minute it boils.

carton of eggs

Hard boiled eggs make the perfect protein snack. I love storing them in large mason jars in my refrigerator, the clear glass makes them easy to see and grab, but the jar seals and the oder does not permeate my entire refrigerator.

My girls will grab an egg to have with toast for breakfast, or as a quick afternoon snack. They also love egg salad sandwiches and I recently used it in my favorite chicken salad recipe as one of the ingredients that makes my chicken salad to die for! The other ingredient is sliced grapes…try hard boiled egg and sliced grapes in your favorite chicken salad recipe…you will love it!

 

How To Make The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

Step 1: The Boiling Stage

Put up a pot of water to boil — you’ll need one big enough for water to flow freely around the number of eggs you’ll be cooking. Once the water’s boiling, use a large spoon to gently lower the eggs into the water. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and set a timer for 12 minutes.

Step 2: The Cooling Stage

After 12 minutes, take the pot off the heat, drain the hot water out, place the pot in the sink and run cold water over the eggs until the shells are cold to the touch. Yes, that’s it!

If you plan to shell them to serve and enjoy, tap them gently against the pot (or your sink) once they’re cool — the shells will shatter and slip right off.


Want an easy way to chop your egg into perfect little matchstick-like pieces? Here you go!

chop-egg

Here is a fun way to chop your hard-boiled eggs.

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