Tuesday, January 30, 2007


52 recipes in 2007!

52 recipes in 2007??


The original plan was going to be a series of phenomenal culinary achievements. I was going to test recipes, then tinker with them and present my own artful, tasty creations – accompanied by witty commentary to both dazzle and entertain! But…oh, how does the old Top Gun saying go?

“[Girl], your ego is writing checks your body can't cash”

So, we’re embarking upon a new chapter here at Ye Old Better Bitter Blonde. Its called, “What-went-wrong-and-what-would-you-do?”

Here’s how it works: I attempt to make a new recipe. I tell you how I made it and more than likely – what went wrong. Afterwards, you tell me what you would do differently. Sounds like fun, right?

Here goes!

Recipe 1 of 52: Savory Caramelized Onion Tart

I’ve attempted savory tarts before, with some success. I’ve wanted to try it out again for some time, but just haven’t had a chance.

olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1 heaped tablespoon sugar
1 big splash balsamic vinegar
1 defrosted ready-made pie crust
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté the red onion in olive oil until just barely beginning to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and stir for another few minutes, then the balsamic vinegar. Stir and cover. The onions will cook down and take on a dark, caramel color after approximately 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.

In the meantime, mix the Dijon mustard and sour cream together and season with salt and pepper. Roll out the dough onto a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and spread the mustard-sour cream mixture onto the center in a circle approximately 5 inches in diameter. Top with the cooled onions and fold the edges of the dough over, pinching it together towards the middle.

Brush the outer edge of the dough with an egg wash, top with the grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Bake until firm and light golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The verdict: OK, but a bit on the bland side. I realize now that I forgot to salt the onions, and I probably would have added fresh thyme had I not killed off the plant over the holidays. The ready-made dough leaves much to be desired as well. I’ve never attempted crust before and I’m slightly (as in, majorly) intimidated.

So… What would you do differently?

Thursday, January 18, 2007


“They” say that the way you wake up on New Year’s Day is indicative of how the whole year will go. For every January 1 of my adult life that I can remember (and every New Year’s Eve that I can’t) I’ve awoken with a hangover tantamount to a pile-driver boring a hole in my skull. Every year I’ve swallowed my own personal Breakfast of Champions – three candy-coated Advil and a glass of water and walked into that year with my hopes high and the sour taste of bile lapping at the back of my throat.

But this year…this year… This year I woke up well-rested after a lengthy, romantic meal in front of the fire with the man I love.

No Jell-O shots.

No mysterious phone calls in (or out) of my cell phone.

No sequins, sparkly eyeshadow nor fake eyelashes.

And you know what? I am sooooo over 2007.

I had big plans when originally composing my 2007 blog manifesto. I was going to jovially count up my 2006 accomplishments in a manner not unlike Bridget Jones. Optimism, enthusiasm and excitement were going to jump off the screen and smack you readers right upside the head. Oh, it was going to be inspiring! You were going to love it!

A lot of things went right in 2006: I proved myself professionally, saw cities I’d never seen before and met a great guy. It was all sunshine and puppies for awhile, but after a holiday season full of cranky customers, long hours and chapped lips I would have kicked any puppy that crossed my path. Compiled with just a few short weeks of visiting family members brimming with snarky comments and poof! Like ex-lovers, bad shrimp and cropped leggings – the bitterness is back.

So, what’s a gal to do? Here’s my plan:

1) I will make, and document, 52 recipes in 2007. (Who do you think I am, Julie Powell?)
2) I will read the 5 ½ books I didn’t read in 2006.
3) I will take a class of some sort that is purely for my own personal benefit, and is not work-related in any way.

And I will, once again, try to be a better, bitter blonde.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

2006 Re-Cap

Total number of "new-to-me" restaurants visited: 40 (approximately)

Total number of new recipes tried: 14

Total number of “culturally enriching events” attended: 12

Total number of movies seen (in a theater): 7

Total number of books read: 6 ½

Total number of men dated: 4

Total number of times I’ve joined (and quit) Weight Watchers: 3

Total number of gyms joined: 3

Total number of foreign countries visited: 2

Total number of visits to Tennesee: 2

Total number of airport Chili’s To-Go restaurants visited: 2

Total number of men still dating: 1