Sunday, May 7, 2017


After spending some time reviewing the recipes in a new cookbook I got - Moosewood Restaurant Favorites, I decided to make a caramelized onion tart for supper. The tart or pie consists of caramelized onions, eggs, milk, five thin strips of chopped cooked bacon, about 1/4 cup shredded goat and vegan cheese baked in a pie shell. I made a few adaptations from the original recipe. I added chopped cooked bacon and left out a cup of cheese. I didn't have the hard cheeses suggested in the recipe and secondly, I am trying to decrease the amount of cheese and dairy I consume. Instead of first layering the onions and cheese on the bottom of the pie shell followed by adding the egg mixture, I combined the egg mixture, onion and bit of cheese together in the mixing bowl and added it to the pie shell. 

The tart turned out well and the DH went back for seconds. 

Top photo of onions starting to cook and bottom photo of onions after 25 minutes.
Ready to be served.


one pie crust for a 9 or 10 inch pie plate

Pie Filling

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil or other oil for sautéing
4 cups thinly sliced onions
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 large eggs
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper (I use less)
1 1/4 cups of milk (I use almond milk)
1 cup shredded sharp cheese
1/4 cup shredded smoked cheese


Make the pie crust dough or use a prepared bought pie dough

In a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the onions, 1/2 tsp salt and dried thyme. If using fresh thyme, you will add it later. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes while they become translucent. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onions until they are very soft, browned and caramelized. They should cook for about 30 minutes and every few minutes stir the onions. If they are sticking add a little bit of water. Scrape the bottom of the pan if the onions are sticking. 

While the onions are cooking, mix the eggs, flour, mustard, the remaining 1/4 tsp of salt, the pepper and milk. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine the cheeses and caramelized onion.

Place the pie crust into the pie plate. Add the mixed cheeses and onions to the bottom of the pie plate. Spread over the pie crust. If you are using fresh thyme, place it on top of the cheese onion mixture. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese onion mixture. 

Place in a preheated 400 degree F oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is crusty and golden. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6. 

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


I have been reading a wonderful cookbook by Mark Bittman "How to Bake Everything". There are some many delicious recipes that it is hard to choose at times what to bake. In each of the recipes, Mark Bittman offers variations and where possible, how to make it vegan. I decided to make a recipe called 'fresh fruit and nut bread'. A number of interesting options are suggested for both the fruit and nuts. You can use fresh or dried fruit. I decided to use a fresh apple and pecans. It was also convenient that I had apple juice. I decreased the sugar and used 1/2 cup of Splenda. After mixing the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients (before I added the nuts and apple), I found the batter too dry to mix so I added about another 1/4 cup of apple juice. The batter is not supposed to be as liquid as cake since it is a bread style loaf but I thought it needed more liquid. I also added about 1 1/4 cups of chopped apple versus the 1 cup called for in the recipe. The apple I chopped was a generous size. Since I bake using a convection oven, the bread was done in 45 minutes.   

The apple and pecan loaf was scrumptious. It had chunks of apple, the pecans provided a nutty taste and the loaf was not too sweet.  The DH had to sample more than one slice. 

Chopped pecans and apple.

Top: Flour mixture with butter blended into it. Bottom: mixed batter.

Ready to bake in the oven.
Baked and ready for sampling.


2 cups of flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon 
4 tbsp cold butter
3/4 cup of apple juice or milk
1 tbsp grated orange or lemon zest
1 egg
1 medium size apple, chopped (makes about 1 cup)
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped 

Note: If you use apple juice, reduce sugar to 3/4 of a cup.  


In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Cut the cold butter into bits, add to the flour mixture and cut into the dry ingredients using a fork, 2 knives or a pastry blender. See aside.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg, add the juice or milk and zest. Continue to beat to mix the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. You don't need to overmix it. Add the apple and pecans and fold into the batter. The batter will be drier than a cake batter.

Add the batter to a greased 9 X 5 inch loaf pan and place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown. Cool on a rack before serving. After 15 minutes, you can carefully turn the loaf upside down to release it from the pan and onto the rack.  

Adapted from "How to Bake Everything" by Mark Bittman