Cozy Day at Home + Caramelized Apples and Onions

Caramelized Apples + Onions |

The first time I met Tim, he said something in passing about how he’d much prefer a night in, at home, to endless social activity, one party and get-together after another, and I couldn’t believe how much he sounded like me. They say it’s the opposites who are the ones to attract, but, almost one year into marriage, all I have to say is that it sure is nice to share life with someone who also finds pleasure in picking a new Netflix movie or testing orangettes or reading side by side, before falling asleep at night.

Making Tea | FoodLovesWriting.comfall day at home |

If it weren’t for the great enjoyment we both also find in hosting big dinner parties and attending outdoor gatherings and making meaningful connections with other human beings, and mostly the growing desire we both have to stretch outside our comfort zones and love, I wonder just how easy it would be for us to settle in at home, something brewing on the stove and, stay there, content.

Kinfolk and Tea |

It’s something we’ve thought so deliberately about recently that, in an effort to find ways to love other people besides each other, we’ve been filling our social calendar fuller than it’s ever been in our married life. We’ve been hosting and attending and gathering and joining, and it’s been good, all of it, delighting in conversations with friends new and old, hearing how people are doing, laughing and crying and learning, seeing how much there is yet to know.

But still, in the midst of it, I have to say there remains something equally special about those quiet, cozy days (or even hours) at home, the kind where there’s nothing much on the agenda besides laundry and reading and making dinner—and the more rare these chunks of time become, the more precious they feel.

Pound of Apples |

Fall is good at reminding us of this. As the days darken and chill and we turn on our heaters for the first time in months, there’s an unspoken push towards blankets and cocoa and the comfort of a warm kitchen.

Caramelized Apples + Onions |

October beckons us to roast and to caramelize, to slow-cook and to stew. There’s nothing quite like coming in from the cold to the smell of something brewing, and that’s never more true than with today’s easy apples and onions dish.

Bowl of Apples + Onions |

By the time the onions are soft and translucent, your home will smell as good as Thanksgiving dinner; and, standing above the stove, your hair pulled back and your house slippers on, the house quiet and still, save for sizzling, that right there will be so good, so rich, all you can do is give thanks for such a moment and, enjoy.

Caramelized Onions and Apples
Adapted from Rachael Ray Mag
Serves two as dinner (what, you don’t eat onions and apples for dinner?); four as a side dish

Let’s talk about the size of the pan for this dish: use a large pan but don’t panic if it seems too small! I went with a moderately large skillet, which at first the sliced onions completely overwhelmed (and when I added the apples, yikes!), but by the end of cooking, once everything had nicely dwarfed in size, it was like they were made for each other.

Coconut oil or butter
1 1/4 pounds onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Around a pound of apples, peeled and sliced

Warm oil or butter in a large saucepan (see headnote above) over medium heat, and then add onions. Dash a little salt and pepper all over. Let them warm for a while, until they’re soft and transparent, and add thyme. Add apple slices. Turn heat down a little (not simmer, just medium-low) and stir every five minutes or so, it doesn’t need to be exact, just to keep everybody seeing skillet action, and cook until everything’s golden and caramelized, which for me was about 45 minutes total. Cooking time will vary greatly based on what you feel “low heat” to mean, and I assume that based on Rachael Ray’s site saying 10 more minutes when mine took almost an hour. Either way though, it’s very low-effort work, and you end up with practically candied goodness at the end, so overall I’d say that’s a win.


  1. says

    My soon-to-be hubby and I are also “homebodies”, where we love to sit and enjoy a meal together, or watch a movie cuddled on the couch on a Friday night. Sometimes we even sit in the comforts of our own silence, deep in our own thoughts, reading, doing homework, etc.–but sharing the space together, without a word exchanged, and that is sometimes the most comforting thing of all. I love apples and onions together. The restaurant where I work serves apples and onions over roasted pork chops around Thanksgiving every year. Yum!

  2. says

    This looks so good. Bet it would be marvelous with roast pork! I can’t wait to try this. I’ve discovered I like caramelized onion with just about anything! I just discovered this week what magic it does for sauteed kale!

    • says

      Loving how both you and Rachel (above) thought of porkchops with this recipe. We don’t eat pork and I didn’t grow up eating it either, but I have to say this dish had it on my mind, too!

  3. says

    Perfect. If I hadn’t spent my cozy home-day yesterday making French Onion Soup, thereby using up all my onions (need to add those to the market list!) I’d be making this for dinner tonight.

  4. says

    Hi Shanna! I got your question about gluten-free grains.. which you’re right, would be things like buckwheat and amaranth, also rice, corn, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff. I mostly just have a lot of rice and quinoa right now :)

    Oh my your blog is gorge-ous. Why have I not been here before?!!

  5. says

    Oh! I almost forgot- if you ever want to talk GAPS with me, just let me know :) It was super helpful and healing!

    • says

      You’re awesome. Thank you so much for responding over here! As soon as you started naming them, I was like, oooooh! I get it! Super helpful!

  6. says

    Lovely writing, Shanna. Such an admirable thing, to be in love, yet intent on staying open to the outside world… I don’t know for sure, but I would bet that’s one of the secrets of a long lasting marriage… As for the recipe… onions and apples, talk about opposites attracting! I am intrigued!

  7. says

    I’ve not been able to get this recipe out of my head since reading it. Finally got the chance to make it tonight – SO GOOD! Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *