Caramelized Onion & Herb Cheese Tart Recipe

onion tart recipe ingredients: onions, pie crust, herb cheese
3 simple ingredients

 

Looking for a last minute appetizer recipe for Thanksgiving? This onion tart recipe is so easy and calls for only three main ingredients.

Caramelized Onion Tart Recipe

I served these little bites, along with my super easy Apple Pie Crescents recipe, back at my Daring Spirits event. They’ve been a big hit every time I’ve made them and in recent weeks I’ve whipped them up three times for different occasions. They’ve gotten such rave reviews, I find myself bringing them over and over again just for the accolades. These caramelized onion tarts are tasty, filling and can serve a decent crowd. A double batch is as easy to make as a single, so bring on the onions. Although I’m not a crier when it comes to cutting onions, this might be an occasion to review some tear-free onion cutting tips. Not sure that all of these work, but may be worth a shot.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 large onions (yellow are fine), sliced – once these are caramelized they reduce quite significantly so you need more than you think.
  • Garlic & herb spreadable cheese – at room temperature, really helps when spreading.
  • 1 package pie crust – cut into rounds
  • 2-3 Tablespoons oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoon butter

Directions

Add the butter and oil to a warm pan. Not too hot that it will burn the onions. Medium to medium-high should do the trick. Add onions and cook down until caramelized. This is the longest part of the process, about 15-20 minutes. Stir frequently.

Onions being prepared for onion tart recipe
Stages of the perfect caramelized onions

Meanwhile…

Roll out your prepared pie crust and cut into rounds, I use a small juice glass. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake according to instruction until rounds are lightly golden brown. Tip: I’m generally for using store brand products when possible, but I must admit that having used both store brand and Pillsbury for this recipe, I would go back to Pillsbury for all of my future tart needs. The store brand was far more fragile when bringing all the ingredients together.

steps involved in making this onion tart recipe
A few easy steps

 

Once cooked, remove and let cool.

Be sure to check on your onions and give them a stir once in a while. You want them to be a rich caramel color to bring out the sweetness and deep flavor.

Next…

Once the pie crust rounds are adequately cooled, spread the garlic and herb cheese generously on each. Here’s where letting the cheese come to room temperature will make spreading much easier. Be careful with the rounds as they are delicate.

Top with 1-2 teaspoons of the caramelized onions and return to warm oven for another 10 minutes just to help the ingredients set and come together.

Serve and enjoy this easy onion tart recipe!

Caramelized Onion tarts
Plate and sprinkle with chopped parsley for a touch of color.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone and please note:

I am taking a break from posting next week for the holiday and will return with a new post Monday, November 28. Be well!

 

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Crescent Roll Recipes – I Like Them Apples

Crescent roll recipes - Apple pie crescent with strawberries
A great bite-crescent roll recipes

 

I’m not much of a baker and as much as I love apple pie, I’ve never actually made one. Recently however, I came across an apple pie recipe, or I should say variation, that even I could handle.

Apple Pie Crescents

I’m not sure what prompted me to try these little bundles of yumminess – I must have seen a crescent roll recipes video on Facebook or a television commercial – I can’t remember which. Either way, it looked so darned easy; I decided to give it a go. With a total of five ingredients these tasty bites were calling my name.  The original recipe is from Pillsbury and is one of many clever crescent roll recipes they have available on their website. Who knew you could do so much with crescent rolls? Not me – not surprising!

My version came pretty close to the original, but I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe without having to make at least one substitution. I’m always missing something or have an alternative that I prefer to use. In this case, I already had red delicious apples so I used those, and I also had pumpkin pie spice in my rack so I used that instead of the called for, apple pie spice. Waste not want not, right?

Ingredients

  • apple (I use whatever I have), peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1, 8 oz. tube crescent rolls
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pie spice (I used pumpkin)

Next…

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Can I just say that I don’t know what I’d do without parchment paper. I use it for everything from pounding chicken breasts into the perfect cutlet to lining my cookie sheet for absolutely anything I put on them.  It just makes for a no stick, no mess, no fuss cooking scenario that always makes me glad I took the extra step to lay it down.
  • Stir your apple slices with 1 tablespoon of melted butter, set aside.
  • Mix brown sugar and pie spice.
  • Lay out your 8 individual triangles of crescent dough onto your parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Sprinkle each crescent with the brown sugar mixture. (don’t be overly generous here, otherwise you’ll end up with a oozy mess. A good, heaping tablespoon should do).
  • Place one apple on the widest end of the crescent triangle and gently roll til secure.
  • With the remaining two tablespoons of melted butter, brush each bundle.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until crescents are golden brown
  • Let cool. Do not cover until cooled as the trapped steam will render the delicious, crescent crust soggy (yes, I made that mistake.)
  • Done! So easy and so good.
apple pie crescent roll ingredients
Ingredients and the process.

 

The Review

I’ll be honest, when I first made these, I didn’t think the apple would be cooked through. I was wrong, they were perfect and it was a delicious bite.  I ended up making three batches for my Daring Spirits event last week and they received great reviews.

I have finally found a dessert recipe that I don’t mind making and with the holidays right around the corner, this is sure to be a go-to contribution for Thanksgiving and Christmas alike.

Enjoy! As far as crescent roll recipes go, this one is a keeper for sure. And try it with pumpkin pie filling too. My mom told me hers were a huge hit.

 

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A Really Good Burger Joint – UBurger

burger with onion rings from Uburger

When it comes to burgers, I know my stuff.  A burger and fries has been my go-to order for as long as I can remember. There is nothing like a good burger. When burger joints started popping up nearby, I was really excited; until I tried a few and walked away underwhelmed. Maybe I’m a tough critic, but I have not been wowed by any specialty burger restaurant – until now.

UBurger Comes to Andover

Last weekend, I stopped into UBurger in Andover with my youngest, Ally. I didn’t have particularly high expectations, but we were already in Andover center and hungry so I figured it was worth a try. It’s new to the area and I love trying new places, so why not? Well, after one bite of the UCheeseburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and house sauce, I was very pleasantly surprised. As soon as I could speak, without a mouthful, I muttered, “Oh my God – this is good.”  I don’t know what’s in that house sauce, but they should bottle it up and sell it. Ally, a lifelong food critic of 14 years, agreed without contest.

Now, this story doesn’t end here because a good burger can only be categorized as really good when I can’t get it off my mind.  When this weekend rolled around and Saturday was washed out with rain, I mentioned UBurger to Tony. What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than popping over to the newest burger joint? Tony accompanied me willingly and, as I anticipated, he was as impressed as I was. His exact words after taking a bite of his A + burger with onion rings, cheddar, tomato and A1 steak sauce were, “Wow, this really is a good burger.” He said it as if he hadn’t quite believed my initial report that this was one of the best burgers I’d had in a long time. I also had the A+ and yeah, its name is its grade on the burger report card of my life.

burger, fries and a diet coke from Uburger
Lunch for two: my dream meal – burger, fries and Diet Coke.

So, what makes a good burger in my book? I would say quality ingredients to start, a burger that’s not too greasy, but not dry, toppings that add flavor and variety but aren’t sloppy and, most importantly, it’s got to taste good. UBurger had it all.

The thing about high-end burger places is that you go in with high expectations. When the expectation falls short, there is no reason to go back because, nowadays, there’s bound to be another, better burger joint right down the road.

The fact that I couldn’t stop thinking about my first UBurger until I went back for another is a sure sign that UBurger is on a tasty track to the top of the burger revolution.

Here’s what else the Andover UBurger has going for it. They serve beer and wine – bonus! Their burgers are all natural and their frappes are delicious and come in a variety of awesome flavors.

Uburger Frappe
Tony got coffee, but I’m in for a Creamsicle next time.

Also, for those not in the mood for a burger, which makes no sense to me, but regardless, UBurger has salads, chicken sandwiches and hot dogs. But come on, you’re at a burger joint – just have the burger.

I’m pretty psyched that UBurger wound up in the next town over from mine.  With only three other locations in Boston, I consider myself lucky.  And, if I’m being honest, I’m already thinking about my next trip in. Now that’s a good sign of a really good burger.

Have you been to UBurger? Check them out if you are near Andover or one of their other locations at the BU West Campus, Kenmore Square and Northeastern.

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Red, White, Green, Yellow? Cooking with Onion

cooking with onion varieties

 

This may seem like a weird topic, but it’s been on my mind all week. I recently learned that I have no idea what’s what when it comes to cooking with onion.  In a recent conversation with a neighbor, she mentioned needing to run out for an onion because the red onion she had at home wasn’t right for what she was cooking. I said, “What are you making?” She said, “Soup.” I said, “Why not just use the red onion?” She said, “Well it’s soup; a red onion doesn’t work for soup.”

It doesn’t! I would have used the red onion without a second thought, but then I realized I’ve never really considered my choice of onion in all the years I’ve been cooking.  If a recipe calls for onion, I just throw in whatever I have on hand; which is usually a red onion (because I think they are pretty) and sometimes yellow because, somehow, I am aware that a yellow onion is pretty multi-purpose. Truthfully, if I had scallions in, I’d toss those in there too.

I give no thought whatsoever to which kind of onion would be better for a dish. Well, my neighbor was indeed correct and she piqued my curiosity.

I did a quick google search for “what onions are best…” and wouldn’t you know; all sorts of results popped up. Here’s what I learned:

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Try Something New – A Cooking Class

TasteBuds Kitchen Cooking Class
Mangia!

 

At the start of 2016, I committed to getting out more, saying yes to things I would normally say no to and trying new things. Things are going pretty well. I’ve started my first book club, I tried couples golf and, just Saturday night, Tony and I took the girls to a comedy show in Boston. I’m not going to lie; it was rainy, I was tired and a part of me didn’t feel like going. But I rallied and we all had a lot of laughs.

Taste Buds Kitchen-Cooking Class

I also just recently tried a cooking class at Taste Buds Kitchen in North Andover. It was a blast. When owner, Laurel Holmes, opened Taste Buds back in May 2016, I thought it might just be for kids. I also thought it was an independent business. Turns out, I was wrong on both counts. The North Andover location is one of several franchises from Montana to New York. The company is based in New York City and offers all types of classes, camps and parties for people of all ages.

The Adult BYOB cooking class drew in the fun group of women I joined. BYOB – enough said! There were many dates and menus options to choose from; Steakhouse, New York Pizza, Tasty Thai and Handmade Pasta are just a few of the foods we could learn to cook. We decided on Tapas Espanolas. I was excited about this choice because I love small plates and I’ve never tried my hand at Spanish cooking.

Upon arriving I was immediately taken with the open floor plan and vibrant green/orange color scheme. I adored the industrial chic ambiance inside the West Mill space on High St. I’m a huge fan of the brick, wood, stainless steel vibe.

TasteBuds Cooking Class
*Tapas *Wine and a little something to much on *Cheers ladies! *Instructors in action.

 

My party occupied about half of the cooking stations. The remainder of the cooking class was full of other students ready to whisk, mix and roll right along with us. In the course of two, fun-filled hours we prepared three delicious tapas; Butternut Squash Empanadas, Patatas Bravas (diced potatoes with spicy sauce) and Albondingas (turkey meatballs). My favorite dish was the Patatas.

TasteBuds Kitchen cooking class
A fun night with a fun group and a tray full of Albondigas!
TasteBuds Kitchen cooking class
Empanadas in the making. Nice work Valerie!
TasteBuds Kitchen Cooking Class
**Stirring it up with my fellow chefs *My knife skills are on point *Executive Chef, Andrea D’Angelo and Instructor, Chef Susan

 

Before the night ended, we sat together to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Leftovers were nicely packaged for us to take home and we were each given the recipes for what we prepared in our cooking class.

 

TasteBuds Kitchen Cooking Class
*Albondigas, Empanadas, Patatas

 

It was a great night and I would be happy go back . In fact, Karla, Sue and Susan; how about a cooking class for our next GNO?

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