Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sweet Onion Soup Au Gratin

This is by far my favorite recipe I've created in a while. The rich salty bacon compliments the sweetness of the onions and the slight undertone of cognac makes a perfect combination with the crunch of the bagel crisps and the ooey gooey heaven of the melted cheese. My mouth is watering just posting this! I know what's for dinner tomorrow night! Enjoy!


  • 6 medium sweet Vidalia onions quartered and then cut into 1/4" slices
  • 8 C beef broth
  • 12 Bagel Crisps (found in your deli section - plain or garlic flavor)
  • 12 slices of sliced Gouda or Gruyere cheese (sliced thick)
  • 3 pieces of center cut bacon
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 oz Cognac 
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 T fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 t dried thyme
  1. Fry three slices of center cut bacon in a large saucepan over medium high heat until the bacon is crisp.
  2. Remove bacon and add butter and onions.
  3. Cook onions for 8-10 minutes until they've browned.
  4. Add garlic and cook for an additional two minutes until garlic has browned.
  5. Add cognac to deglaze pan, being sure to scrape all bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula (there is a ton of flavor in this caramelized goodness). 
  6. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. 
  7. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours to bring the flavors together.
  8. Ladle soup into crocks and place 2 bagel crisps (I like garlic flavored, but plain will work. You may also substitute croutons, but the bagel crisps are the perfect size). 
  9. Top with two cheese slices and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and browns slightly. 
  10. Serve with your favorite sandwich (such as a B.L.T with avocado or grilled cheese with bacon and tomato). 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mini Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

We attended a neighborhood party this past weekend and were asked to bring "heavy finger foods." I wasn't familiar with the term, so I started brainstorming something that would be hearty, savory, delicious, and stand out as a perfect finger food. These mini Philly Cheese Steak stuffed peppers were a grand slam.  The flavors were perfectly balanced and it was exactly the right bite! Pairs well with any booze drink or juicebox, as evidenced at the party and the empty platter I brought home! 


  • 1 lb thin-sliced Rib eye steaks, cut into 1" pieces (this is my favorite cut for this, but you can substitute skirt steak or filet mignon)
  • 1 8 oz package of sliced white mushrooms, diced
  • 1 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 two pound bag of mini sweet peppers
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash mini peppers and cut tops off, ensuring to remove all seeds.
  3. Drizzle mini peppers with olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/2 T garlic powder.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes and remove to cool.
  5. In a large skillet, saute onions and mushrooms in 1 T canola oil until the onions become translucent (about 7- 10 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, and remaining garlic powder. Set aside.
  6. In the same skillet, brown the steak cubes in the remaining canola oil until cooked on all sides (about 5 minutes). Add back in the onions and mushrooms and add salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Top meat mixture with jack cheese and cover and set aside to cool. 
  8. Carefully spoon the mixture into the peppers ensuring not to break them (*who am I kidding? use your very clean, ring free hands. You are going to need the precision of your fingers to make sure you have meat, onion, mushroom, and cheese and that the pepper gets fully stuffed without breaking). 
  9. Drizzle with olive oil and a little more salt and pepper and bake until heated through (about 10 - 15 minutes).
  10. Serve with stone ground and yellow mustard and mayo on the side as a garnish. Enjoy!