Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Quick, while it's still fall, go buy some apple cider. Now, heat it up and steep your tea in it. I tried Chai Tea first b/c apple cinnamon is classic and I didn't believe Martha that Earl Grey in apple cider was a good idea, but once I tried Earl Grey, there's seriously no going back. The apple + bergamot combination is appealingly complex and almost floral. I'm completely hooked!

P.S. How awesome is this picture?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Revelation

Tonight I made French Onion Soup for the first time. In the past I've looked at recipes and thought that it really wasn't worth spending half an hour at the stove stirring onions, but I was seriously wrong. Though time consuming, this soup is absolutely worth it! It's rich, savory, comforting, and pretty much fool proof. I combined several recipes to come up with my version of this soup- so I have to give credit to both Smitten Kitchen and Apartment Therapy. My version is as follows. 

First, roast a chicken. I'm actually not kidding at all. I really think that using homemade broth elevated my soup to a whole new level. I make my broth by saving the carcass and skin from a roast chicken, then baking them in a dutch oven full of water with the juice of half a lemon at 200-220F for 12 hours. I think you could also stick the same ingredients in a crock pot on low for the same amount of time. If you don't have your own stock, then use a good organic chicken stock (in all fairness you can also use any combination of chicken, veggie or beef stock and red or white or no wine). Once you procure your stock, here is the rest of the recipe.

2.5 red onions, chopped
1T balsamic vinegar
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
2 cups of white wine
1 quart chicken broth
2 T flour
3 T brandy
1 t pepper
2 bay leaves

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the olive oil, then the chopped onions. Splash on the vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Cook covered on medium for 15 minutes. Stir. Continue cooking, stirring frequently for 30 more minutes. The onions should become dark and jammy.

Add 1 cup of the white wine. The wine should boil off quickly but leave everything with a bit more moisture than before.Sprinkle on the 2 T flour and stir for about 1 minute. Add the additional cup of wine, the broth, the brandy, and the bay leaves and pepper and bring everything to a boil. Boil for 30 to 45 minutes. If the soup looks to thick, add 1/2 cup of water.

When the soup is almost done, toast a slice or two of bread, and top with muenster or mozzarella cheese. Melt the cheese in a toaster oven or under your oven's broiler. Spoon the soup into a bowl and stir in a bit of grated cheese.  Float the bread in the soup and enjoy!

What time consuming recipe do you think is totally worth it?