Onion Soup

I'm standing in my kitchen in front of the cutting board and crying. It's not one or two tiny tears slowly sliding down my cheek. No, my face is streaked with tears. Sobbing, I am looking at my husband. He's staring at me with a blank expression on his face. Finally, after a few long seconds he's shaking his head and silently going away. I'm wiping my tears, sighing and turning back to my cutting board... 

...continuing slicing the onions.

I cry when I slice and dice onions. Almost every single time. It doesn't matter if the onions are yellow, sweet or purple, I still cry and yet, I love onions. The aroma of freshly diced white cubes hitting bubbling and foamy melted butter on the pan, starting to crackle and sizzle and talk to me is intoxicating. It's my favourite smell in the world. Well, that is until I smell garlic swimming in the smoking oil; or until I smell the spicy cinnamon meddling with apples in an apple pie; or bacon frying; or... 

There's a funny story behind this soup. We had a department lunch at work and there were burgers served - lots of meat patties, buns, and platters of condiments and fixings. Big bowls of relish, hot peppers, plates of lettuce, tomatoes and thinly sliced onions. After the lunch we wrapped the plates in plastic wrap and put in the fridge. For the next few days, every time we opened the fridge, we were met with the pungent onion aroma. Finally, after a few days my colleague and I decided it was time for the onions to go. We got the plate out, unwrapped it and saw all those thin, translucent white arches. "Oh," she said, "you could make an Onion Soup with that." And just like that, I got a container and packed all those onions to take home.

If you have sliced onions, the soup is actually pretty easy to make. I don't want to call it French Onion Soup since I did not follow any particular recipe. The idea is that the onions are caramelized in a large pot for a very long time, maybe 30-40 minutes and when you think that the onions are fully done, then cook them another 10-15 minutes. Trust me, the soup will be better! Then add some stock and cook until all the flavours meld together. Season with salt, pepper and serve with Cheese Toasts. 

Onion Soup with Cheese Toasts is a comforting fall and winter dish with very few ingredients.

Onion Soup

Butter - 1 tablespoon
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon + more if needed
Onion, halved and then thinly sliced - 5 cups
Dry thyme - 1 tablespoon
Bay leaves - 2
Vermouth - 1/2 cup (optional)
Chicken stock - 8 cups
Salt, pepper to taste
  • Add butter and oil into a large heavy pot and melt.
  • Add onion and cook on medium or medium-low speed for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally and making sure that the onion doesn't burn.
  • You may want to add a bit more oil if the mixture starts to dry.
  • Add thyme and cook for another 15 minutes or until the onion is extremely soft, brown and sweet.
  • Add vermouth if using and cook for 2-3 minutes until it evaporates.
  • Add the stock, bay leaves, salt, pepper and cook for another 15 minutes on medium-low until all the flavours come together.
  • Serve with cheese toasts.


- I found the soup a bit too thin for my liking, so I mixed 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with half a cup of hot broth to form a slurry and then added it back to the soup. It does not affect flavour, but it makes the texture slightly thicker.

- Onions are sweet naturally, so the soup will be pretty sweet unless you salt and pepper according to your taste.

- Please, please cook onions for a very long time! 

- You can make this soup vegan by using only oil to cook the onions and vegetable stock.

Onion Soup with Cheese Toasts is a comforting fall and winter dish with very few ingredients.

Posted on October 5, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by REESE as part of their #DoYouSpoon campaign, however all opinions are my own.

There is time for elaborate cakes with frostings and syrups and fillings. There's time for triple layer bars and swirl brownies. There's time for double baked biscotti with drizzles and sprinkles. And there's time for simple cookies. Cookies that don't require softened and creamed butter. Dough that doesn't need to be chilled and rolled and cut. Dessert that comes together in five minutes while drinking your first cup of coffee at 7 o'clock on a weekend morning while struggling to keep your eyes open.

And when it's gloomy outside and the coffee hasn't kicked in yet, there's no need for precise measuring and whisking and folding and rolling. It's time for something simple. Something that comes together in a few minutes and fills your kitchen and your soul with warm smells of sugar and chocolate.

Time for Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies.

I've made these cookies twice while experimenting with exact measurements. Both recipes turned out delicious, and the only difference between versions is the amount of flour. The first time I made the cookies I used one whole cup of flour, which made soft and cakey cookies that didn't spread while baking and were really similar to bite-size cakes.

Second version that I'm posting here used only half a cup of flour, which resulted in thin and chewy cookies. The texture was quite unique and reminded me of soft butterscotch candy, just a little bit sticky. The peanut butter flavour is understated, but still there. It's not overwhelming, it lingers in the aftertaste of the cookies and makes the cookies extremely satisfying yet not overpowering.

Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies have only 3 ingredients and take 5 minutes to mix. Great for a weeknight dessert!

Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

makes 2 dozens

Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate spread - 1 cup
Egg - 1 extra-large or large
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate spread and an egg.
  • Add baking powder and flour. Mix until flour disappears.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 13 minutes.
  • Transfer to wire rack and cool.


- Spray or swirl a measuring cup with oil before adding the spread, this way it'll come out easier and won't stick.

- It'll seem like there's not enough flour, but half a cup is enough. However, you can add more flour. The more flour you add, the less it'll spread and the less chewy it'll be.

- Cookies were pretty soft after 13 minutes of baking, but they harden once they cool. Don't over bake!

Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies have only 3 ingredients and take 5 minutes to mix. Great for a weeknight dessert!
Posted on September 28, 2015 and filed under Recipe.

Cheese and Thyme Scones

These are my Coincidental Scones. This past Saturday I got up very early in the morning to feed our meowing and demanding cats and then tried to go back to sleep. While drifting away, I, for some reason, started thinking about scones. I love scones and I love making them, but our kitchen has been scone-less for the past eight or more months.

Cheese and Thyme Scones - cheesy, salty, savoury, satisfying. Perfect for breakfast, snack or dinner

I woke up refreshed a couple of hours later. A. was already up, so I went to talk to him. After telling me how he got up about an hour ago to feed the cats and realizing that they now tricked us into having two breakfasts, he asked if I could make scones for breakfast. What a strange and cool coincidence! And hence, Coincidental Scones.

This is how last weekend I made two kinds of scones. First I made my Classic Scones that A. loves so much - buttery, fluffy, flaky and just a little bit sweet. Then I decided to make a few twists to the original recipe and ended up with Cheese and Thyme Scones.

These scones are smoky from the double smoked cheddar, buttery from the butter and cream cheese added into the dough and savoury from the addition of fresh thyme. Salty. Soft. Satisfying. They were great in the morning or as a snack, and I swear, I moaned when I had my last scone with my first of this season sweet, cinnamon-ey and creamy Pumpkin Spice Latte. The combination of salty cheese flavour and sweet pumpkin was explosive in my mouth.

Cheese and Thyme Scones - cheesy, salty, savoury, satisfying. Perfect for breakfast, snack or dinner

Cheese and Thyme Scones

makes 12 wedges

Flour - 1 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Baking powder - 2 1/2 teaspoons
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Butter, cold, cubed - 3 tablespoons
Cream cheese, cold, cubed - 60 g (about 4 tablespoons or 1/4 of 250 g package)
Sharp cheddar, grated - 150 g
Double smoked cheddar, grated - 100 g
Fresh thyme - 1 or 2 tablespoons
Egg - 1 extra large
Half and half cream - 100 ml (see note) + 1 tablespoon for brushing
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt if using and mix a few times.
  • Add cold butter, cream cheese and pulse a until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Alternatively, you could cut in butter and cream cheese into the flour mix by using a pastry knife.
  • Add both cheeses, thyme and pulse a couple more to mix it in or mix it in by hand.
  • Add the egg, mix it in.
  • Add cream and mix until mixture starts to come together. If using food processor, it may still look like crumbs, but if the mixture is pinched between fingers, it should stick together.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead a few times until a ball forms.
  • Now for the interesting part: fold the dough toward you, flatten it a little bit with your hands, move the dough quarter turn and fold again. Repeat 10 times. This will make the scones slightly flakey.
  • Place the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and flatten into 9-10 inch circle.
  • Cut into 12 wedges and slightly separate.
  • Brush the wedges with cream.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until scones are baked through, springy to the touch and golden brown.

- I've made scones with heavy cream, half and half, milk or yogurt. This particular version was made with half and half, but any dairy could be used. You may also need a bit less, so add a little bit at a time.

- I recommend using smoked cheese as it gives the scones a very unique flavour, but it's not required. You can just use all one cheese.

- My oven always takes longer to bake, but these could be done in as little as 30 minutes. My oven took 40.

- I added only 1 tablespoon of thyme and it was a bit lost and overwhelmed by the smoked cheese. Next time I'll add more. You can also use chives instead.

Cheese and Thyme Scones - cheesy, salty, savoury, satisfying. Perfect for breakfast, snack or dinner
Posted on September 23, 2015 and filed under Recipe.