Road Trip: A Michigan Onion Field

Buckle up!  We’re about to share details of a blogger and her family’s cross country road trip that started in a Michigan onion field.

Meet Heather McCurdy from Real: The Kitchen and Beyond.

Heather’s notion to do a cross country road trip was part family vacation, but it also fulfilled Heather’s desire to see where and how our food is grown – and to share those experiences with her family.

The National Onion Association and  Michigan Onion Committee were excited to sponsor Heather’s first stop, a Michigan onion field!

On an Onion Farm in Michigan

On the farm in Michigan.

Heather, pictured above in an onion field at Bruce Klamer, of V & W Farms, Inc. Bruce is the current President of the Michigan Onion Committee and active member of the National Onion Association.

When the McCurdy family got home from their travels we had a little question and answer with Heather to find out all about their experiences.

Like many trips, they have memorable moments.  We asked Heather what their most memorable moment was.

  • Heather said, “We got to Custer State Park late in the evening and there was a brutal storm so we went to eat near Mount Rushmore hoping it would move on and we could still see “the Presidents” that evening. It did and we made it around 10:15 PM and walked up toward it. Everything was silent and dark – the path of the flags and the mountain lit up, and after we stood and looked at the stonework for a few minutes my daughter wrapped her arm around my waist and said, “Mom, I’ve always wanted to see this.” It goes without saying that when she wanted to see them in the morning we went back. When we arrived they were covered in a thick fog so we didn’t think it would happen. In the time we were in the gift shop it cleared enough for this shot.”

 

Mt. Rushmore, foggy, but memorable.

Mt. Rushmore

Next, we asked Heather what her big ‘take away’ was from the time she spent with Bruce (what she learned about onions that she didn’t know or that surprised her).

  • “What surprised me most may seem oddly small, but it was how the onions were growing partially out of the soil. I always envisioned onions buried deep in the ground. That and the way you know they are ready to be harvested when the green tops dry out and fall over.”

Bruce is a busy grower, but enjoys sharing what he does with other people.  We knew the time Heather and family spent with him would be insightful. We asked what they enjoyed most about their time on the farm with him.

  • Heather:  “I have to choose a favorite?! All of it? Truly, this was such an amazing experience. From bouncing along the fields in his truck, to seeing his love for the land and onions, it was such a great time. I think my absolute favorite part, aside from the “let’s get real with it getting the van stuck in the mud in the field”, was interviewing Bruce so my readers could get a glimpse of life in the field and sharing his story.

Final thoughts from Heather about her road trip this summer.

  • I am just so grateful to the National Onion Association and Michigan Onion Committee, especially Bruce, for inviting our family and my readers into the field and the time  he took out of his busy schedule to haul us through the fields and explain everything to us – including the kids. I always tell people this was one of the highlights of the trip.”

Heather, we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed your cross country adventure and we’re especially glad you had a wonderful time with our friend Bruce.

To learn more about Heather’s road trip be sure to stop by her blog for a visit Real: The Kitchen and Beyond.

 

 

 

 

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Pickled Vegetables & Pickled Onion Recipes

Possibly one of the most versatile condiments, pickled vegetables find a way into nearly every cuisine. When it comes to vegetables – onions are one of the most versatile vegetables and found in nearly every cuisine. 

No wonder the pairing of onions and pickling is so tasty and . . . increasingly popular! 

Pickled Vegetables & Pickled Onion Recipes

 

Pickled Ginger onions recipe

Pickled onions are incredibly easy to make and with their tangy flavor and tender, yet crisp crunch they bring a totally new dimension to nearly every taco, tostada, burger, sandwich or salad they come in contact with. One word explains their role, magic!  When you make your first batch, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make them sooner. 

Colors and Sizes 

Red onions are the most colorful, and most noticeable in photos, but honestly, whatever color you choose, yellow, red, or white, they all pickle really well.  Their texture will be similar, although their flavor will vary slightly. Sliced into slivers or rings, full size onions are the best choice for most uses. 

Perfect sized pearl onions are great for pickling too – common as part of a cured meat and cheese board or relish tray for snacking, and for garnishing cocktails or mocktails. They can just as easily be tossed in a salad, stir-fried or tucked inside sandwiches whole, or sliced. 

The Basic Formula 

Pickling requires acidic liquid like vinegar, water (or not), a sweetener (i.e. sugar), and a combination of dry and/or fresh spices, seasonings, and herbs.  You’ll find a variety of flavor combinations to give you plenty of options depending on your preferences and what you serve them with.  

Turkey Burger with pickled onions

How to Enjoy 

Here’s a few ways to enjoy pickled onions.  

We’re sure you’ll find some of your own we haven’t mentioned. 

Tacos, Tostadas (don’t forget to add radishes too) 

Pulled Pork Sandwiches or shredded chicken or roast beef sandwiches, and how about Grilled Steaks with Red Chile Sauce.  Or, go with an Asian flare with Pickled Ginger Onion Relish (you’ll find out how to make this below) on Tuna Steak Buns. Oh, yum! 

Burgers – more interesting than raw, with a similar texture. Check out our Grilled Turkey Burger (you’ll find this delicious recipe below), but think of adding them to black bean burgers, game like Elk or Buffalo, and be sure to try them with on a lamb burger with feta! 

Hot Dogs and Brats – jazz up those meat and bun combos with tangy pickled onions as the perfect substitute to a sweet or dill style relish. Traditional (link to our recipe) or off-the-beaten-path (think chicken brats), the flavor and texture is perfect for pairing with savory meat and stone ground mustards. 

Salads – kale, cabbage slaw and grain salads get a flavor boost with pickled onions. 

Indian food – pickled onions with chili adds a little heat, along with flavor and texture to Naan sandwiches, chicken tikka, or panner curry 

Cocktails/Mocktails – Bloody Mary’s Martini’s and Gibsons!

Here’s a few or our recipes for you to try. 

Experiment for yourself, see what you like. 

Pickled Vegetables & Pickled Onion Recipes

Pickled Ginger Onion Relish

Yields: 3 cups

Ingredients: 

Onions, red, sliced 1/8-inch thick 3 cups

Rice wine vinegar 3/4 cup

Honey 2 tablespoons

Sea salt 1 teaspoon

Ground red pepper 1/8 teaspoon

Pickled ginger with juices 1/2 cup

Directions:  

Place onions into a bowl and cover with icy water for 10 minutes.

Drain when ready to use. In a saucepan, heat vinegar, honey, salt and pepper over low heat just until boiling.

Remove from heat. Pour over drained onions and mix well. Stir in ginger with juices and mix.

Cover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Place in a cove red container and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using.

Pickled Vegetables & Pickled Onion Recipes

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pickled Onion

serves 4

Pickled Onions:

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

Turkey Burger:

1 pound ground turkey

1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

2 tablespoon milk

2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

4 slices Havarti cheese

1/2 cup frisée lettuce

4 whole wheat hamburger buns split in half

3 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise

Directions For Pickled Onions:

Whisk together vinegar, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Cover

and microwave on high for 3 minutes until it boils.

Add onions and toss to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes or up to 3 days for a more concentrated flavor.

For Burgers:

In a bowl gently combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper.

Shape into four patties.

Coat the grill grate with nonstick cooking spray and pre-heat the grill. Place patties on grill over medium, ash-covered coals and grill, uncovered for 4 to 6 minutes per side or until no longer pink on the inside.

Top each burger with cheese and grill for an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

If desired, arrange buns cut side down on the grill to toast.

Spread bottom bun with a thin layer of mayonnaise, frisée lettuce and the turkey patty. Top with the pickled onions. Cap with remaining bun and serve immediately.

Per serving: about 377 cal, 35 g pro, 26 g carb, 15 g fat, 4% cal from fat, 89 mg chol, 738 mg sod, 2.5 g fiber.

Recipes and images provided by the National Onion Association

Posted in Appetizer Recipe, Dinner Recipes, General, How to's, Sandwich, Snacks | Leave a comment

Tempting Tarts to Fall Into

It’s the end of August and Fall is quickly approaching.  What better way to bring in cooler weather than with some delicious and Tempting Tarts with Onions.

Fall is the perfect time for snacks and entertaining.  Here's an array of amazing and Tempting Tarts with Onions everyone will love.

This is the time of year where we are busy on the go and want small bites to munch on or we’re heading to a fantastic get together and want some amazing appetizers to serve or bring along.  One of our favorite dishes for entertaining during the Fall is the very versatile Tarts.  Especially, when they are loaded and full of flavor featuring onions.

Tempting Tarts with Onions Tempting Tarts to fall into

What a delicious way to showcase onions in this Upside Down Potato and Onion Tart from Good Dinner Mom.  Perfect for entertaining or an amazing Fall side dish. 

What a tasty dish Simply Recipes has put together in this Caramelized Onion Tart with Gorgonzola and Brie.

Can you imagine your taste buds eating up this Onion Black olive and Thyme Tart from Kitchen to Nirvana?

Tempting Tarts to Fall Into

Have you tried our Cranberry Onion Tarts yet?  These are fun to bring to any party, or you can just keep them for yourself.  They are that good.  A collection of Amazing Tarts with Onions

What a beautiful Vegan Tomato & Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Tart from the folks over at The Veg Life. This tart will be the talk of the party.

What is one of our favorite combinations? Bacon and Onions!  Treat Yourself Sweeter has packed this Easy Bacon and Caramelised Onion Tart with tons of flavor.

Find a ton of delicious Tarts with Onions These Red Wine Caramelised Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets are not only adorable they are simply amazing.  Drizzle and Dip has outdone themselves.

 

Fun and entertaining Tarts with Onions

You know how much we love anything French Onion.  Joy Filled Eats has brought and healthy and scrumptious combination together with their French Onion Tartlets.

Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets

Our flaky and super easy Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets are divine.  A light snack or appetizer perfect for any occasion.

There are so many ways to enjoy tarts and Fall is the perfect time to make one of these Tempting Tarts with Onions.

 

 

 

 

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Small Bites: Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets

With summer wrapping up and the holidays quickly approaching there are lots of opportunities for potlucks and entertaining. One of our favorite things to bring are appetizers and small bites.  These Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets are perfect for any gathering.

Small Bites: Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets

Small Bites: Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets

Getting together with co-workers, friends and family are great opportunities for fun and relaxation. This is also a great time to try out new recipes and introduce a few of your favorites to others.  Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets are not only easy to make using already prepared pastry sheets but they are amazingly delicious.

These tartlets make for a light and delicious snack while not holding back in flavor.  Talk about a savory bite of yum! This is a great vegetarian appetizer that can be changed up a bit by adding your favorite ingredients.  You can go as bold as you like and really cater to your preferred tastes.  The sweet onions have a beautiful roasted flavor that will compliment anything.

Makes about 18 tartlets

Ingredients 

3 cups grape tomatoes

1 sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

Manchego cheese shavings

Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets

Preparation 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick tomatoes with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife. In an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan, combine tomatoes, onion, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with vinegar, cool.

Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut pastry into rounds. Place rounds on the prepared baking sheet.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the roasted tomato mixture onto each pastry round. Place onion first, then tomatoes and then top with more onion. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are puffed and golden brown. Let stand on baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with cheese.

These Sweet Onion Tomato Tartlets are adorable and taste scrumptious, they’ll be sure to be conversation starters.

What are your favorite appetizers and small bites?

 

 

Posted in Appetizer Recipe, Events and Celebrations, Snacks | Leave a comment

Barbecue Your Breakfast Contest and Recipes

It’s still Barbecue season and it’s not all about lunch and dinner! The folks over at Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association have some great recipes to put on the grill for breakfast as well as a fantastic giveaway.

Head on over to HPBA to find out about their fun Recipe Contest, who doesn’t love a great giveaway.  You’ll also find some amazing grilling tips and breakfast recipes.  While you’re there be sure to look for some of our fabulous Barbecue Breakfast using our favorite onions.

Like this Onion Egg Hash

This Frittata with Onion, Basil and Tomato

Or this Chipotle Egg Sandwich

You can find HPBA on their Website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Be sure to enter their fun contest while you’re there.

 

 

Posted in Events and Celebrations, General | Leave a comment