Carrot Puree in Onion Cups

For a while now, Matt and I have been talking about selling our condo.  It’s a lovely little place in a fun location — but we just want more space.

We know we are ready to move, but have been floundering about we should go.  I work in Boulder, which is 30 miles north of Denver, and would love to reduce the length of my commute by moving up there.  It’s a great area with a wonderful quality of life.  But Boulder real estate is pricey and we would probably not be able to afford the type of home we want.  Plus, Matt works – and now goes to school – in Denver.  And we both belong to gyms in Denver that we adore and would be sad to leave.  Most of our friends are in Denver.

To say we have been conflicted would be an understatement.  I have pondered and researched and reflected and talked to people for more than two years, but still don’t know what we should do.

This weekend, I decided we just needed to make a decision.  So Saturday morning, Matt and I sat down at coffee shop with our cups of java.   By 8:30, I had a plan – we should move to Boulder.

At 8:42, I had a new plan.  We should buy a house in east Denver.

At 8:55, the plan was to move to a suburb between Denver and Boulder.

When 9:08 arrived, we had decided our future home would be in west Denver.

When we left the coffee shop at 10am, we agreed we should stay in our current place until Matt was done school.

And by Saturday night, we had concluded we should just sell our place and rent for a while until we figure out where we want to live.

Whew!  I’d moved all over the Front Range in my mind in one day.  I was exhausted and not much closer to a real plan.

Luckily, I am way more decisive about my cooking.  When my mom told me about this simple and delicious dish a friend served her at a dinner party, I said, “I HAVE to make that.”

I mean, seriously, who would not be immediately charmed by onion cups?   Well, I guess if you don’t like onions, this may not be a hit.  But I like the subtle sweetness of onions when they are cooked, almost caramelized.  Plus they make such a simple and unique side dish at a dinner party.

Now, Matt and I just need to decide if we want to host our dinner parties at a home in Denver or Boulder.   If you have any magic approaches to making tough decisions, I’d love to hear them!

Carrot Puree in Onion Cups

Yellow onions, 4

Carrots, 4

Coconut oil or lard, 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon

Ginger powder,  ½ teaspoon

Garlic powder, ½ teaspoon

Dill, ½ teaspoon

Pepper, ½ teaspoon

Salt to taste

Water or chicken broth or coconut milk, 2-4 tablespoons

To garnish: Olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Leaving skin on, cut the top one inch off of each onion.  Then cut bottom ½ inch or so from bottom of each onion, so the onions sit flat.
  3. Remove skin from the pieces of onion that were cut off (tops and bottoms) and dice.  Set aside.
  4. Place onions in baking pan.  Top each onion with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil (or lard.) Place onions in oven for 1 ½ hours.
  5. While onions are cooking, chop or shred carrots.
  6. Add remaining tablespoon of oil, shredded carrots, diced onions, ginger powder, garlic powder, dill, pepper and salt to pan over medium heat.  Saute until carrots are soft, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  7. Puree the carrot mixture until smooth, adding liquid (water, chicken broth or coconut milk) until puree is desired texture.
  8. When onion cups are done, remove them from oven and let cool enough that you can touch them.  Peel off a few layers on onion skin, but don’t worry about getting them all off.  You can push them aside later as you eat them.
  9. Using paring knife, cut out inner layers of onion, leaving about ½ inch of onion to create onion cup.  (You won’t use the onion you cut out in this recipe, but toss it with other veggies for a quick veggie dish.)
  10. Spoon carrot puree into onion bowl.  Return to oven to reheat, about 10-15 minutes.
  11. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.