O, Onion Dip

Some things we eat are not noble. They are just astonishingly, lip-smacking good. Onion dip is one such item. Inspired from the packets of french onion dip mix and prepared dip eaten at gatherings, this retro-inspired dip purloined and adapted from Southern Living magazine is an admittedly guilty pleasure. Some virtuous people have been known dip raw vegetables in this concoction, others simply go for the classic standby, potato chips. It can be used as a salad dressing and bread spread. Image

 I have seen people swoon over this. Hide some in the back of the fridge for yourself when you make it. You can make it as tangy or creamy or oniony as you like. Just don’t try it with reduced fat sour cream and mayonnaise. I did once and it was the only time the onion dip remained uneaten. Caramelized onions are one of the best investments a cook can make. They are great on focaccia or pizza, and this dip. Make some today and keep on hand.


Informal Recipe:

caramelized onions: chop as many onions as you wish into dice. Put in a hot pan with oil and butter. Salt, pepper, and stir, tending to occasionally and keeping heat low enough so they don’t burn form the natural sugars. Add more oil as needed. Keep tending for 20-30 minutes. Caramelized onions like to be stirred occasionally, left alone, and on low heat. Kind of like some people.


caramelized onions


sour cream


chopped parsley

salt and pepper

1 part mayo, 2 parts sour cream, 1 part buttermilk is the dairy ratio I prefer in this recipe. Tangy but mellow. Perfect after blending but even better the next day after the flavors blend and the caramelized onion bathes in dairy goodness.





The word certainly has different connotations depending on where you are from. Where I grew up, buns are soft, white, puffy…bread. A bun is not a slice of bread, it is your own, individual round with lots of golden crust and a tender interior. Buns are best the first day they are made, slightly warm with fresh unsalted butter, but I usually keep some in the freezer just in case. They make wonderful sandwich buns- meatloaf, or chicken salad are a beautiful complement to the tender, yielding crumb. Buns are a staple in my family, and though we aren’t in Midwest anymore, buns are the bread that brings us back to the wheat plains of Minnesota. My mother still talks about the ethereal yeast buns her Scandinavian grandma Cora made. I’ll never match Cora’s- no one could- but just as my grandma and mother made this version of buns, so do I. The recipe is my mother’s…but each bun-maker will add their own touch.I have made this recipe so many times that I always think I know it by heart…until I forget a key ingredient. So now I always look at this deceptively simple recipe before I start.

The Buns…Pre-Oven

The Buns…Pre-Oven


IMG_1383 In a gluten-free, sugar-free, reduced sodium, and trans-fat policed nation, these white flour buns may be the most sinful carbohydrate to ever meet your mouth. Mmmm. Those Northlanders know what they’re doing.

1 1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. shortening
1 egg
2 tsp kosher salt
4 cups (approximately) flour
1 packet active dry yeast

Mix ingredients together as for a standard yeast bread; proof yeast in water. Mix to make a soft, pliant dough. Let proof covered for 2 hours.Form into buns, lightly rolling in flour if too sticky. Place on greased pan and let rise covered with saran wrap or tea towel until light finger imprint no longer remains on risen bun. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.