Tuesday, June 23, 2015

French onion dip

Date night. It's important. I have been married for almost 2 years. I know, right? Two, whole, crazy years. I still really like my husband. I rarely find him annoying. I want to spend all the time with him. In the scheme of the 60 years I intend to married, 2 is not much, but that doesn't make it any less important to do good things for our relationship everyday. Good things like French onion dip.

I made this dip for a surprise date night for Blake. I threw him a summer party complete with decorations, build your own mojito bar, strawberry shortcake, hot dogs, and dips! Dips was kind of the theme. For the hot dogs, we had mustard, jalapeno jam, kimchi, and homemade BBQ sauce. Then I made homemade potato chips with salsa, herbed goat cheese dip, and French onion dip. Dipping is fun.

I will argue French onion dip from the packet mixed into sour cream is pretty darn good but it has nothing and I mean nothing on this dip. Slowly caramelizing the onions bring new layers to dip you never thought possible. It's sweet and rich. It's really one of my favorite things. Perfect for BBQs or date nights.

French onion dip
Adapted from How Sweet It Is, serves 4-6

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 sweet onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8oz) block of cream cheese, softened
1 cup 2% greek yogurt

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Stir in onions, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the garlic and brown sugar and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place the onions, cream cheese, and yogurt in a food processor and pulse until combined. You can eat it immediately or let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Maple Yogurt Bread

Summer. Ah, summer. You make me so happy. The best thing about summer is all the hours of daylight. When I get home from work, I still have so much time to have fun. Blake and I's most recent version of fun involves birding. I kid you not. We are eighty years old at heart. Last night we went to a talk on the Colorado River. The average age of the group? Probably around 60. Did I mention that the photos of the Colorado River reaching the ocean after a decade choked both us up? And yes I immediately went out and hugged a tree afterwards. Judge if you will.

Back to the birding. After the 100th time of me pointing out pretty birds to Blake, we finally bought a book. Now we are spending evenings out by ponds and walking trails trying to identify any birds we can. We are made to be birders. We love the outdoors. We love animals. Blake loves cataloging things. I secretly want to be clad in a khaki Patagonia vest and wide brimmed hat as I wander amongst my fellow retiree birder brethren. If you need us, we will be sitting on a bench listening for the song of the meadowlark.

My love of summer and birds really has nothing at all to do with this bread. Who makes maple yogurt bread in the summer? Maple is a flavor of the fall. The maple trees are actually tapped this time of year so maybe that's some justification? Not that we need any justification. Maple yogurt bread is a slice of comfort. The maple flavor is subtle with a touch of lemon zest. It makes for a great breakfast. Perfect for enjoying on a quiet morning on the porch watching the blue jays flit around your trees.

Maple yogurt bread 
Adapted from Food 52, makes an 8" loaf pan

1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup 2% greek yogurt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut or olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 8" loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a spatula until just combined. Add your oil and stir until absorbed by the batter. Bake 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Cut around sides to remove and cool on a cooling rack.