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Creamy Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

March 8, 2017


This poor food blog is so neglected you may be wondering, does she even care about us anymore? Does she even care about food?

The answer is yes, and yes. But if you haven’t heard yet, I’ve been distracted by a certain book release next month and some other news that I will share soon! We also went north for New Hampshire’s February break to go skiing and I forgot my laptop. Turns out the break was really needed – I’ve been glued to it and it was nice to take a real break, and to connect with family and friends in the flesh after we’ve been hibernating all winter.

Since the last time we’ve chatted, Lent snuck up on us, as it always does (except for the Mardi Gras part, which totally gets our attention because hello, party). The one thing I do every Lent that I usually stick with 100% is giving up meat on Friday. Because of this, I thought I would come up with a few recipes that use meatless ingredients but still feel like a meal. Today I am giving you my favorite new recipe: Creamy Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms.

I love portabella mushrooms. In the summer, I soak them in some balsamic, olive oil, s&p and diced garlic clove in a zip lock bag, and then grill them. Inside two hamburger buns, with some blue cheese or lettuce and tomato, you hardly even notice you don’t have meat in your meal.

But this recipe – I’ve made it a few times, and every time I love it more. You know how good stuffed mushrooms are as hors d’oeuvres? Well, imagine sitting down with a knife and fork to a plate of these all your own.

You start by roasting the portabellas with garlic, salt and pepper. Then you start make the filling by sautéing smaller mushrooms with garlic and butter.

You add these dairy beauties:

The ideas is to create a thick creamy sauce, and ricotta does that in a jiffy, along with the melted fontina. You can use milk to thin it out but the cream (I have made it with half and half but this time I had whipping cream) is what gives this dish its decadence, I think.  If you don’t have ricotta, you can easily make a sauce starting with a roux, which is roughly whisking 2 T. butter + 2 T. flour  for a few minutes, then mixing in 2 cups of milk, plus the cheese but it takes longer and I think the flavor is much better with the ricotta. Also this sauce would be amazing mixed with some pasta for another meal idea.

Then, you add the remaining cheese and broil it until the cheese is browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Creamy Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms (printer version here): 
Creamy Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms:

4 Mushroom Caps
2 T. olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 T. butter
½ t. tarragon
2 cloves diced garlic, divided
½ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cream or half and half (or milk)
1 cup grated fontina, gruyere, or monterey jack (good melting cheese), divided
2 sprigs of thyme (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place Portabella caps on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, 1 t. salt and ¼ t. pepper and 1 diced garlic clove. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

While those cook, heat large frying pan on medium high heat. Add butter and melt. Add mushrooms, garlic and ½ t. salt, ¼ t. Pepper, being careful not to crowd pan or they will steam – use two pans if needed. Saute until fragrant and soft, about 10 minutes.

Add ricotta, cream, and ½ cup shredded cheese, and stir until combined and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Take mushroom caps out of oven and let cool for 1 minute.

Add creamy mixture to mushroom caps, then cover with remaining ½ cup cheese and a few thyme leaves. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is browned to preferrence. (I love the cheese when it is very cooked).

(Serve with pasta or wild rice and peas.)

6 Ingredient Zucchini Tart

August 17, 2016


It’s that time of year again, when gardeners and CSA members ask themselves: what else can I do with zucchini?

If your garden is anything like ours, then you might have blinked and then looked down to see one laying on the ground that is roughly the size of a baseball bat:


^ An offering to grandpa. I love how Andrew looks like he is paying homage with all his might.

I’ve seen a ton of recipes around for zucchini (I’ve added my favorites at the end of this post!), but in true Humble Onion philosophy that simple ingredients make the best food, I wanted to make a light zucchini tart with simple ingredients. So I gathered up these:


My number one way to use up garden veggies is just to sautee them with a bit of garlic and either serve them as a side dish or toss with sausage, ground beef and tomato sauce to serve on top of pasta. But zucchini is such a special ingredient I wanted to come up with a recipe that really showcased it’s simple goodness.

Enter puff pastry, which just makes everything special. I usually keep some in my freezer (it is so great for party apps on the fly). I rolled it out, then scored a one-inch boarder around the edge and pricked the middle with a fork so it wouldn’t puff up.


I sautéed some onions with thyme that is over flowing in my herb pot, and then sprinkled some gruyere cheese over that. In case we didn’t all need a reminder that sautéed onions make anything delicious, here is Exhibit A:



Then coat the top with a little olive oil and sprinkle the whole thing with salt, pepper, and cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until crust is brown. And of course, I added more cheese on top, because why not?


Whatever you do, don’t announce that you’re bringing this to something like, say, your final tennis league round robin and then taste it with your husband when it comes out of the oven and is warm and gooey, because if you do, you will have to bring some cheese and crackers and fruit instead since you will have eaten it all. Hypothetically speaking, of course!

The next time I made this (which was 2 days after the first time because it is so good it hurts) we dolloped goat cheese all over the top and it was AH-mazing. It was for my best friend’s house warming party and I honestly don’t think there is a better way to welcome people into your house then cutting up a piece of this tart and giving it to them.


(Cook’s Note: I did try to get the water out of the zucchini the first time by salting it and letting it sit in a colander for an hour and rinsing it, which I usually do for eggplant and zucchini, but I suspected this was unnecessary and the second tart proved me right when I omitted this step and it was a perfect velvet texture. Just in case you thought about it, I thought I would save you the angst.)

I’m going to layer my next one with tomato/zucchini, just waiting on some tomatoes to turn red. The bottom line is you really can’t mess up something so simple, but you can add whatever you want to it – summer squash, eggplant, all the ingredients for ratatouille – and it will still be amazing. Have fun with it.

So if you have any late summer bounty laying around, you know what to do with it! Just call me when it comes out of the oven and I’ll be right over.

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Other Zucchini Recipes I love:

{Tomato and Zucchini Gratin: if you can handle the old blog post pics, this is still my favorite}

Zucchini Parmesan from Alexandra Cooks (she has a ton of links on this for more zucchini recipes too).}

{Baked Zucchini Fries: these are next on my list to make! Or these crisps which are a close variation.}

{We make this zucchini salad with pine nuts when we go to Maine every year}

{Ina’s Zucchini Pancakes – my daughter loves these!}

Even as I added these, this tart remains my favorite. No bias here, obviously.

6-Ingredient Zucchini Tart (printer directions here): 

1 large zucchini, cut into circles or sliced lengthwise

1 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, diced

1 sprig of thyme, about 3-4 sticks

1 package puff pastry

2 oz. grated gruyere cheese

Olive oil, salt and pepper (since they are staples, not counting them as ingredients)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Let puff pastry thaw according to package (1 hour at room temperature when fully opened, or overnight in the fridge).

Put saute pan over med-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions with a pinch of salt and cook, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, stir frequently, cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add thyme and pepper, and cook till onions are browned a little, about 5-8 more minutes.

While onions cook, roll out one piece of puff pastry on clean surface with a rolling pin. (One sheet makes 3-4 servings, for 6-8 servings use two sheets and add more cheese).

Add cooked onions in even layer to pastry. Then add gruyere cheese to cover. Finally add zucchini in co-centric layers, and coat with olive oil using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Alternate Variations:

//  Add dollops of goat cheese to top of tart

//  Use tomatoes, summer squash or eggplant in any combination with zucchini


Summer Inspiration

July 10, 2013


One of the things I love about cooking and writing is there is always, always more to learn, and new ways to be inspired.

We just took a trip to visit my husband’s college friends on Cape Cod, Matt and Heather, and they are super smart scientists who used to live in Oregon.  They love good food and they are wonderfully healthy, very inspirational. Case in point: I turned around to see Matt straining what looked like cheese or yogurt from one jar to another.  “Are you making your own mozzarella?” I asked (a dream of mine to try one day for the record). “Kefir,” replied Matt. He was making his own kefir. 

That is a first for me, but if you are reading this and have made some yourself, complete with your own colony of bacteria in a little cartalidge-y ball that you talk about like they are house guests, color me impressed. And when Heather was laying on the hammock one morning I thanked her for the amazing breakfast of whole grain waffles and mangos, and she said “Oh, you’re welcome. I was actually just lying here thinking about dinner.” Girl after my own heart. Love those kinds of people.

Maybe it was vacation, maybe it was the people we were visiting, or maybe it was just summer itself, but I left feeling very inspired. Here is a short list of what is making me so happy right now:

1. Time With Family – I know it is cheesy, but nothing fills you up like each other. We had an overnight in Boston before we left for the Cape, and since that is where my husband and I worked and met and dated and fell in love, it was surprisingly moving and connected us to our old selves, so nice after baby.  We took the kids to the Children’s Museum and Fanueil Hall, and showed them where we worked, then to the Aquarium.  Going to try to drink in my kids, at these ages, and my husband, who gets to slow down a bit in the summer.

2.  Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist – I have been reading this author’s blog and this book while I feed the baby.  It is about how food connects us in a deep way, not only because it nourishes us but the act of sharing it creates some of our most intimate and sacred times with the people we love. I love thinking about it in this way, it puts words to my impulses about food and family, and I understand more why feeding the people I love calls me and others so much. She also wrote Bittersweet, about enjoying the pain in life along with the good, and Cold Tangerines, about celebrating life. Her blog is filled with so many great book recommendations too, my Amazon shopping cart grows each time I sit down to feed the baby.  But I am so happy I have so much good reading for this summer, and will fill you in on what is great!

 3. First Summer Tomato from our garden –


I am so grateful to my father in law, who has planted us a garden for the last few years.  Such an amazing gift from such a wise and stoic guy. He knows what it means to us and doesn’t do it for the thank yous but for how it will literally nourish our family, physically and spiritually.  And with pregnancies and babies it wouldn’t have happened on my own. He is my model for selfless giving.  I ate it with a big bowl of quina, chicken sausages, fresh corn and smoked gouda:

4. This pizza: It is from Stone L’Oven in East Falmouth, MA. It is (are you ready), sweet potato, spinach, goat cheese and balsamic pizza. I die. Cannot wait to recreate at home and hope you do the same.  They diced the sweet potatoes really small.

5. The Farmer’s Market – Along with the other 300 million people in the US, I love my town’s farmer’s market. I don’t take any claim for originality for this topic, but my little town just started one. It was hard getting to the one in the town next to us, so it is the first time I have been in a while and I went with the kids and it felt super special. They had maple soft serve ice cream, chocolate samples, and a guy in the gazebo playing Paul Simon. Love it all.  I picked up some wonderful margarita flat bread pizzas to take to book club, and some yummy breads.  I did not, however, buy any greens.  Don’t we always leave with wine and cheese and chocolate when we intend to get vegetables? Next time I will, I promise.

6. Instagram – I know, I am WAY behind on this one.  I finally set up my account and it has been crazy fun capturing moments from our trip.


7. My Book Club – we just had our annual meeting on the beach with a bonfire, really heavenly. It was also the first time I have been back since I had the baby.  The combination felt really special as did the warmth of all those lovely ladies, asking to see pictures of Andrew and just laughing a ton.  Maybe it was the beach or my lack of adult interaction, but it filled me up in a big way.  We also make a ton of food at these, and I left with two take away must-make dishes:

***Bacon Tomato Dip: Stir together cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, tomatoes and onion or scallions. Serve with grilled or toasted buttered bread. Really really good, thanks Martha!

***Campfire Cones: Take waffle cones, fill them with mini marshmellows, and mini chocolates like rolos and peanut butter cups, wrap it all in tin foil and stick in/near the logs of a camp fire. Be careful to wrap tightly so cone doesn’t burn. Then take out and all the gooey chocolate mess is SO good.

8. Andrew –  this is such a fleeting, special time when you have a young baby.  I can’t even believe how happy this little man makes me.  His smiles and his coos and his great personality make me excited even for night time feedings.  And he always goes right back to sleep.

What is inspiring you this summer?  I would love to hear it!!


What Can I Bring?

September 5, 2012

Quick Trivia for you:


What do Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, Julia Child, and Ina Garten all have in common (besides being inspiring cooks)??



Wait for it…..



Wait for it………………



Answer:  They all had/have NO ‘families’ to cook for. None.  The only ones coming to their dinner table are a well-fed husband or friends (Martha has the only child in the bunch, a well-fed adult daughter, but no husband).  This fact makes me laugh when I think about home cooks that try to be perfect or hold themselves up to some bar that is just not possible for us mommies. (Please no complaints about how a married couple are a family or friends are our families. I easily concur. My point here is opening your 40th jar of play dough while you are cooking can slow things down a bit.)

In order for good food to get made at my house, it needs to be simple (or a weekend).  It also doesn’t mean we have to eat frozen meals either. Or frozen appetizers (ok, sometimes, I am thankful for them. But often they are kinda gross).

But now that I know how easy these are to make, I am never bringing their frozen counter part again!


Consider this a road-tested appetizer…I just brought them to a Labor Day party and people were grabbing them off the tray as my husband walked in with them.  Kids and adults both dug in. Michael from Germany told me in very good English how much he loved them four times.  AND they were super easy! They took me exactly 30 min. from pulling out fridge ingredients to walking out the door.

I don’t know about you but I sometimes leave parties hungry lately! I vow to bring something substantial from now on because chips and salsa and cold grill meat aren’t doing it for me.  Thus was my thought process when I settled on bacon and onion egg quiches.

It is the same as large quiches (which are also one of my favorite make ahead meals. I made 8 for our post-wedding brunch).

You saute bacon and onions:


Make an egg and cream and cheese mixture, plus parsley (it counts as a veggie right?):


I cut out circles from store bought pie crust, and placed them into a mini muffin pan.


I cooked the crust for 5-7 min first, then added the egg mixture. But you know what? I had extra filling and cooked about 10 of these with no crust, just some cooking spray in first. They were delicious! So if you are on a cave man/Paleo/low carb diet, or just forgot crusts at the store, these can be made with no crust.

Bacon & Onion Mini Quiches:

(adapted from a recipe found here)


    • 1 package pie crust (2 crusts)
    • 6 slices bacon, diced
    • 1 onions, finely diced
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 cup cream (or use milk or fat free cream to go lighter)
    • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (fresh is best!)
    • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook the onion and bacon over a low heat until the onion is softened.
  3. Allow to cool a little.
  4. Mix together with the eggs, cream, cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.
  5. Using a pastry cutter or glass, cut 12 circles from each pastry sheet.
  6. Use these to line a mini muffin pan.
  7. Cook for 5 min. in 375 degree oven.
  8. Place about 2 teaspoons of the egg and bacon mix in each pastry base.
  9. Bake in a moderate oven for about 12 minutes per tray (or until puffed, golden and set).
  10. repeat with remaining pastry sheets and mix.

FYI:  The green leaves on the tray are Hydrangea leaves. I love this time of year when they are so big!