how to caramelize onions

caramelized-onion

Oh, how I love these!

The two keys to really good caramelized onions seem to be time and low temperature. High temperatures will cause the onions to cook too quickly and burn on the edges. If you don’t have much time, though, as is usually the case with me, you can raise the temperature to about medium. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, and stir them frequently.

I made these specifically for the sandwiches Brooke and I ate at our picnic, but they would be delightful in a warm pasta salad, mashed potatoes, or an omelette.

roasted bell pepper sandwiches with grilled chicken, caramelized onion, and basil

roasted-bell-pepper-sandwich

Can you really go wrong with any of these ingredients?  Brooke and I enjoyed these lovely sandwiches at our picnic alongside the roasted beet salad (glad I had air conditioning, with all the roasting, I must say).

an old fashioned picnic

summer-picnic-tx

Life has a way of lurching forward whether we stop to realize it or not.

Brooke and I had been planning this picnic for — oh, I don’t know, a million and one weeks. Amidst our crazy summer, that for some strange reason seemed to be filled with never ending days and weeks, was the hope of something fun and simple and perfect.

summer-picnic-9

But coming up with something beautiful in the midst of chaos is a tall task, one I barely had the creative energy for.

roasted beet salad with goat cheese and thyme

roasted-beet-salad

When Brooke and I were making assignments for this picnic, she said, “Ooh, you should do something with beets and goat cheese. . . If you want.”

“Oh, really?” I said.

“Yeah, but you don’t have to. But they’re so good with thyme.”

“Okay.”

“But you can do whatever you want. You’re the sophistimom.”

“No, that sounds good, do you want me to make something like that?”

“Um, sure. But you’re in charge. I know whatever you make will be great.”

After Brooke had mentioned the beet and goat cheese a third time when we ran into each other down town, I knew I could not let her highly recommended flavor combination be passed over.