How to caramelize onions

Hey pixels!! Today I’ve caramelized onions for the first time in my life. I usually buy a jar of caramelized onions at the supermarket, but I wanted to try a home made version. I use caramelized onions as a burger top or to make soup. I love the flavour and smell.

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I’ve been looking for some recipes and I found some different versions. For example, you can use sugar or not. I think that a sugar free recipe is a bit healthier, so I’ve used this one, but I leave here the instructions about how to add the sugar if you want.

Another curiosity I’ve found is that adding a bit of baking soda can accelerate the process.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (I don’t use it)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a wide, thick-bottomed skillet, add onion slices. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Heat the skillet on medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion slices, salt and baking soda; stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.

On low heat, cook onions, stirring every few minutes. The trick is to let them alone enough to brown (if you stir them too often, they won’t brown), but not so long so that they burn. But don’t worry about this: mine are not brown enough, but the flavour is the same.

Keep cooking for about 50-55′. If you’re not eating your caramelized onions inmediately, store them in a closed container. They will be ok for 2-3 days.

Note: if you’re using brown sugar, add it to the onions after 30′. Stir and continue cooking.

Do you like caramelized onions, my happy pixels? I think they are great. How do you use them? Are you going to try this recipe? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Photo source: Unsplash

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My September, 2017

Hey pixels!! October is here. So today I want to remember all the stuff I did during last September. It was a quiet month, specially compared to August and its Summer trip

But it has been a nice month. I haven’t been posting on Instagram recently, so you’re not going to find there any of the pictures I’m using here. I’ve been lazy. Sorry.

I like to write my montly post, it helps me to know exactly where my life is and what I should do now. This happens to you, my happy pixels? I don’t know, but writing this kind of posts is helpful for me. So, thanks for reading!!

September highlights, 2017

I’ve started my crochet lessons. My skills are improving. I’m already thinking about amigurumi… I’m not ready yet…

Party!!

I celebrated my blog’s birthday. I can’t believe that my first post was two years ago. I hope that my blogging skills had improved during this time. What do you think, my happy pixels??

I gave a draft of the first part of my novel to some people. Family and friends. I haven’t received their opinions yet… I have no idea about how it will continue the plot, but I know exactly how it should finish the book. It’s weird, I know.

Writing my first book

Last beach picnics, family gatherings, some birthday parties…. The weather has been so good.

A quiet month. Just deciding which lessons I want to attend during this Winter: crochet, painting and creative writing had been the chosen ones.

leaves garland

I’ve decided my goals for Autumn. I hope I’ll be able to complete them!!

That’s all, my happy pixels!! How was your September? Did you had fun? Something special? Please, let me know in the comments below.

 

Meatless Monday: baked gnocchi

Hey pixels!! Last week I bought gnocchi for the first time in my life. I had no idea about how to cook them, what to do with them. I started looking for recipes. I found one that was similar to the first one, but with meat, so I created a meatless version of it.

baked gnocchi

Now I should say: I’ve discovered that gnocchi is not really my favourite Italian food. Not bad, but not as good as a good lassagna or a pizza. Don’t get me wrong, the recipe is yummy, but I thought that gnocchi would have a stronger potato flavour. This is the truth.

I don’t know what you think about gnocchi, but a good variation could be making the same recipe but using some kind of stuffed pasta instead. The cooking method would be exactly the same.

gnocchi closer view

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven at 175ºC.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and transfer them to an oven proof ramekin. Cover with the rest of ingredients.

Bake for about 8-9′, or until the cheese is melted. Wait a couple of minutes before start eating.

Do you like gnocchi, my happy pixels? How do you eat them? Please, let me know in the comments below.

 

DIY 43: Autumn garland

Hey pixels!! Are you decorating your house for Autumn? Or at least making some small changes? What about a DIY garland? You can hang it over your chimney, a shelf, a pegboard…. Possibilities are endless.

leaves garland

I know you can buy a garland at the store, but why buy when you can DIY? This craft is almost free if you collect some natural leaves instead of buying them. Maybe your garland won’t last as much as a bought one, and of course you can’t keep your leaves for next year, but this is not a real problem. Leaves fall from trees every year, and they will be free next year, too.

fall leaves garland

I don’t make lots of decoration changes just because we’re in another season, just a few, including this garland. I saw the idea on a shop and I found it quite interesting. I thought that making one could be a nice weekend entertainment. This happens to me a lot: I see lovely stuff and I think how I could make my own DIY version of it. I hope I am not the only one…

You’ll need:

  • leaves (I collected mine from the street but I think you can buy some fake ones from a dollar store)
  • some kind of wool or twin (I didn’t had twin at home, so I used this white wool instead)
  • tape
  • scissors

Directions:

I rolled out a long piece of white wool, tied it around the leaves, and taped the garland to my shelf!!

Are you decorating your house for Autumn? Or maybe you’re already thinking about Halloween? Are you going to make this garland? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Tangerine mug cake

Hey pixels!! How are you?? A couple of days ago I saw tangerines at a local fruit store, and I couldn’t resist the temptation. I had to buy a couple of them. I love tangerines. They are sweeter than oranges, and smaller. I love its juice and to use them in sweet recipes.

tangerine mug cake

The next one is perfect if you feel lazy to make a bigger cake. I love mug cakes for this reason. They are ready in 5′ and still yummy. The next recipe makes 2 cakes, so why not making them for a romantic Autumn date at home? Or with your best friend? Your mum? Someone you love?

tangerine mug cake 2

My plan is to use lots of Autumn fruits and veggies to make awesome recipes during the next couple of months. I love Autumn products, so I want to use them all (now are fresh). Pumkin, apple, tangerine, chestnuts… now they are better than ever. And healthier. Awesome.

Consider this one as my first Autumn recipe this year!! I hope you’ll love it!! Thanks for reading, my happy pixels!

tangerine mug cake 3

Ingredients (2 units):

  • the juice of a tangerine (juice from a real tangerine is better than store bought juice, but use it if you don’t have tangerines at home)
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 55g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 55g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • decoration: home made Nutella

Directions:

Beat tangerine juice, oil, sugar and egg.

Sift flour and baking powder; add to the liquid mixture.

Distribute in two mugs. Cook them together in the microwave for about 4′. If you cook the cakes one by one, they will be ready in just 2′ each.

Spread some home made Nutella on top as a decoration. Or just melt a piece of dark chocolate using the microwave and spread on top of your awesome cake. The combination of fruit and chocolate is amazing.

Do you like mug cakes, my happy pixels? Do you use fruit to make your desserts? Are you going to try this recipe? Please, let me know in the comments below.

 

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Hey pixels!! Autumn is here! That means new goals, colder temperatures and new recipes to try. Here is a healthy one. At least it has some fruit…

apple & cinnamon muffins

Two muffins and a kiwi, my Sunday breakfast. I pictured three, but I just ate two. And a cup of red tea. Yummy!! This is the mug I bought during my travel to Berlin, did you noticed that??

my sunday breakfast

I had a good time eating that healthy breakfast while reading a book. We had a nice weather yesterday, so I had breakfast outside, enjoying the still warm temperatures. I’ve started to look for Autumn recipes, but I think that here we’re still on Summer. At least it’s sunny and warm almost every day.

inside of a muffin

I was a bit worried about the apple cubes inside the muffins, but if you cut them really small they are perfectly baked and you won’t notice them. Just the lovely apple taste. I use red apples because they are sweeter, but feel free to choose your favourite kind of apple.

Ingredients (12 units):

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder + 1/2 teaspoon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar + 3 tablespoons
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 red apples, peeled and cubed (small cubes, please)

Note: if you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own. Mix 250ml lukewarm milk and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Wait 10-15′ before using it. It should look like a liquid yoghurt.

apple muffins & kiwi

Directions:

Preheat oven at 190ºC

Grease using butter or olive oil 12 muffin molds

Mix dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder.

Beat the egg and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Add butter, olive oil and vanilla. Add, in two times, the dry ingredients mixture. Mix well; when it’s incorporated, add buttermilk and apple cubes.

Fill the molds until 3/4.

Mix the rest of sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture all over the uncooked muffins.

Bake for 15-18′. Allow to cool completely.

Do you like muffins, my happy pixels? Are you going to try this recipe? Please, let me know in the comments below.

Guilty Reader Book Tag

Hey pixels!! My lovely friend Ann, from Ann the Bookmaster has nominated me to do this awesome tag!! Thank you!! You’re lovely, Ann! Please, visit her blog, is amazing!!

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HAVE YOU EVER REGIFTED A BOOK THAT YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

No, I ask for specific books when my birthday or Christmas are coming, so I make sure that I’m going to love my new books. The most similar thing I’ve done is donating my old school books to charity. I mean the text books, but also the novels we had to read. Most of them weren’t so good.

HAVE YOU EVER SAID YOU’VE READ A BOOK WHEN YOU HAVEN’T?

No, because this question could be followed by a conversation about that book. I would feel so embarrased if I couldn’t follow the conversation. I mean, if the other person is talking about the plot, charachters… and you don’t have a clue about what she/he is talking about.

reading at the beach

HAVE YOU EVER BORROWED A BOOK AND NOT RETURNED IT?

No, I am the person who borrows books to not see them never again. It has happened to me a couple of times. Fortunately with school books, but this is the reason why I don’t borrow my books anymore. Books are expensive and lovely; I don’t want to pay, read and fall in love with them if they are going to belong to another person in the end. Because I asked for my books but they never came back to me…

HAVE YOU EVER READ A SERIES OUT OF ORDER?

Yes. The books of Camilla Läckberg. I read one because I didn’t know it was part of a saga. When I realized my mistake, I started reading the saga from the first book. Now I’m reading the fifth book. They are great, I highly recommend them.

HAVE YOU EVER SPOILED A BOOK FOR SOMEONE?

Yes. Sometimes is because talking about books is so exciting and I don’t realize that I’m talking too much. But a couple of times I’ve been asked for information: people who are not finishing the book but they want to know how it ends….

book tag

HAVE YOU EVER DOGGY EARED A BOOK?

Yes, I am ashamed. I used to to that, even a couple of my Harry Potter books are doggy eared. Now let me sit and cry…

HAVE YOU EVER TOLD SOMEONE YOU DON’T OWN A BOOK WHEN YOU DO?

Yes. Honestly, I think is more polite to say that I don’t have the book than to say that I have it but I’m not borrowing it. I don’t borrow my books. But 99% of the times is true that I don’t have it. I’m most a library girl than a book store girl. You know, I can borrow books but I have to pay for travelling.

HAVE YOU EVER TOLD SOMEONE YOU HAVEN’T READ A BOOK WHEN YOU HAVE?

I can’t remember, but I don’t think so… Maybe if we’re talking about a really bad book…

HAVE YOU EVER SKIPPED A CHAPTER OR A SECTION OF A BOOK?

Yes. For example, in the books by Läckberg I tend to skip the sections where Anna does appear. She is the younger sister of Erika, one of the main charachters. I don’t like her so much, and her chapters are not specially important. Almost always. Sometimes I’ve had to read them.

HAVE YOU EVER BAD MOUTHED A BOOK YOU ACTUALLY LIKED?

No, books are friends. I don’t bad mouth my friends. No, I was joking. But the answer is still no.

I TAG:

I  tag everyone who is reading this post!! I think it’s a funny tag, so feel free to answer the questions if you like them.

Thanks for reading. Lots of love,

Sílvia

Photos source: Unsplash and my own photos