Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares

 

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares are made with a quick bread batter that’s spiced with parsley or caraway seeds and topped with caramelized Vidalia onions and sour cream before baking. A great side with which to accompany meat, poultry, or seafood entrees, Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares are even great with cheeseburgers for a change from the traditional hamburger buns!

The Recipe

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares
Serves 6
A quick bread topped with caramelized onions and sour cream which makes a delicious side with meats, poultry and/or seafood.
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups sliced onions
  2. 2 tablespoons butter
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 cup butter (or vegetable shortening)
  8. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley OR 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 1/3 cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cook the onions, covered in butter and olive oil until tender and lightly browned. Cool.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter (or shortening) until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  4. Add the parsley (or caraway seeds) and milk and stir until all the flour is moistened.
  5. Turn into a well-greased 8" square pan. Spread onions over the top and cover with sour cream.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot.
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How to Caramelize Onions 

Caramelized onions add so much flavor to any dish to which they are added such as pizza, sandwiches and hamburgers. I still remember the first time I ate caramelized onions on a hamburger as I was so impressed with the great flavor provided by them. After enjoying that burger so much I had to learn how to make caramelized onions myself!

The process of caramelizing onions isn’t difficult but it does take time and a little patience as it can take  30 minutes or more to caramelize onions. It’s interesting that it takes 2 cups of sliced onions to make enough caramelized onions for the Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares recipe because onions “cook down” into a lesser amount. They “sweat” and lose some of their water content while cooking.

To caramelize onions, add butter and olive oil to a skillet over medium low heat. Add some salt to your taste. Some people add a teaspoon of sugar to help the caramelization process but sugar is optional. Cover the pan for 15 to 20 minutes and allow the onions to sweat, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown. I don’t allow the onions to get any darker than golden brown because they will be in the oven for 20 minutes on top of the Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares. Caramelized onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to one month.

Vidalia Onions

The most praised and prized Southern onion is the Vidalia onion. Vidalia onions are mild, sweet and delicious – raw or cooked. The onions are named for the area in which they are grown, around Vidalia, Georgia. Due to the low amount of sulfur in the soil in which Vidalia onions are grown this variety is unusually sweet.

Over the years as the popularity of Vidalia onions continued to increase, local support soared also. Vidalia onions have their own annual festivals – one in Glennville, Georgia which started in 1977 and one in Vidalia, Georgia that began in 1978 – traditions that continue to this day! In 1990 Vidalia onions were named the official vegetable of the State of Georgia.

Another interesting fact is that the Piggly-Wiggly Supermarket chain was headquartered in Vidalia, Georgia. Piggly-Wiggly Supermarkets recognized the potential of the mild, sweet Vidalia onions and helped local farmers get their well-favored onions onto the supermarket shelves.

The popularity of Vidalia onions continues to grow. No longer just a “Southern thing” vidalias are available across the US and Canada today.

In conclusion, Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares could also be used at brunch or cut into smaller squares to be offered as appetizers. Stews, chili and soups may be enhanced with a serving of delicious, savory Caramelized Vidalia Onion Squares. Make some caramelized onions and try this quick bread soon!

If you don’t have access to Vidalia Onions any other mild, sweet onion will work well in this recipe.

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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Winning Snacks to Eat While Watching the Olympics

 

The 2016 Summer Olympics

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games have begun and many of us are watching Team USA’s efforts to bring home the gold! What a great opportunity the Olympics provide for family and friends to come together to watch our super elite athletes! Team USA has already started collecting gold medals! These super elite athletes inspire us to try harder and push farther to follow our own dreams! 

Olympic Nutrition Requirements

Do you have any idea how many calories Olympians eat while competing? I was quite amazed when I recently read about the quantity of food as well as the specific foods that the super elite athletes eat in order to be in top form. Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer who has already captured a gold medal in 2016, is reported to consume 12000 calories per day as his workouts can burn 4000-6000 calories per day! That’s a tremendous amount of food!

To stay in shape and maintain their energy during long workout sessions, these strong competitors need constant fuel. Protein is the key ingredient super elite athletes need in their diet. Their food needs to be nutrient dense, that is, to provide a variety of nutrients in large amounts as possible in the foods consumed.


Eating right allows athletes to delay fatigue, work harder and recover faster, possibly giving them the edge they need to set a personal record as well as winning a medal! Protein prevents muscle wasting during exercise and prevents the athletes from feeling hungry during exercise. In addition to protein, athletes need carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and plenty of fluids to be properly fueled for exercise.

One of the most popular sources of protein among Olympic athletes is peanut butter! One athlete has said that “peanut butter is the lifeblood of every athlete.” Peanut butter is often spread on bagels, toast or used in smoothies. Other popular foods enjoyed by the super elite athletes are turkey sandwiches, eggs, fish, grilled chicken, green vegetables, yogurt and fruit. Here’s a chart from the USDA National Nutrient Database listing some good sources of protein:

 Food Serving Size Protein (grams)
Lentils 1 cup 18
Greek yogurt, plain, nonfat      4 ounces                        17
Kidney Beans 1 cup 15
Protein Snack Bars 1 bar 6.5 – 15
 Low-fat Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup 12
Low-sodium Beef Jerky 1 ounce 9
Edamame 1 cup 8
Almonds 1/4 cup 8
Sim Milk 8 ounces 8
Boiled Egg 1 6
Cashew Butter 2 tablespoons 5

 

Now let’s look at two recipes for dips to enjoy while we’re watching the Olympics!

Championship Bean Dip Recipe

While cheering and yelling for Team USA snacks and treats are in order to keep our energy levels up. Championship Bean Dip is a winner in its own right! Championship Bean Dip is an appetizing combination of refried beans, three cheeses, sour cream, picante sauce and spices heated on high in a slow cooker for two hours then served with chips, crackers, salsa or whatever you desire. In the unlikely event that there is leftover Championship Bean Dip, make some tasty Bean and Cheese Burritos the next day!

Championship Bean Dip
Yields 4
An irresistible bean dip made with refried beans, sour cream, three cheese, picante sauce and spices.
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Cook Time
2 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 (16 ounce can) refried beans
  2. 1 cup picante sauce
  3. 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  4. 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  5. 3/4 cup sour cream
  6. 1 3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  7. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. Tortilla chips and salsa
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well, and transfer to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until heated through, stirring once or twice. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.
Notes
  1. In the rare case there is any leftover bean dip, use it to make bean and cheese burritos!
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 Championship Bean Dip is a savory dip while Gold Medal Peanut Butter Dip is a sweet one! Peanut butter is combined with cream cheese, vanilla, and honey, brown sugar or maple syrup to create a dip that’s great with apple slices, celery sticks, pretzels, vanilla wafers and chunks of banana. After I made this I thought about making a sandwich with bananas as I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches!

Gold Medal Peanut Butter Dip

 

 

Gold Medal Peanut Butter Dip
Yields 2
A delicious dip made from peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla, milk and sweetener of your choice.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup peanut butter
  2. 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 cup milk
  5. 1/4 cup honey OR 1/4 cup brown sugar OR 1/4 cup maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix until mixture is smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until chilled.
  3. Serve with pretzels, vanilla wafers, banana chunks, celery sticks, sliced apples or whatever you would like!
Adapted from allrecipes.com
Adapted from allrecipes.com
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Closing Comments

When the Olympics are over, the super elite athletes look forward to having the treats they give up during training to keep their performance at optimal levels. Their commitment to working out and eating right is hopefully rewarded with a winning performance! Enjoy the 2016 Olympic Games and try one or both of these winning dips while you’re watching the games!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

*If you’d like to receive new Silver Foodie posts automatically, please enter your e-mail address in the space under “Silver Foodie Updates” on the right side bar, then click “Sign up.” Thank you!

For a list of link parties in which I participate weekly, please click on “Link Parties” on the header menu bar or scroll down the right sidebar.

 

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