Tag Archives: onions

The Healing Power of Onions

Hah, nice topic, huh?  I’m still battling this cough I’ve had for more than a month. I’ve tried everything except going to a doctor.  Why?  Well, it’s because I had crappy insurance with my  employer when I was still working – for sick visits, I’d have to pay for the total cost of the visit itself.  That means just the examination is going to be at least $200 or so plus whatever tests they decided to add on, knowing my crappy insurance.  So I was looking to pay maybe around $500 out of pocket just to go see a doctor who was going to say “Oh, no antibiotic will help you. You just need to rest, drink a lot of fluids and you’ll get better.”  Well, easier said than done.  So I sucked it up and didn’t go to the doctor. Ha ha.  I think I may have had bronchitis.  Or still have but I’m definitely at the end of it.  I was taking OTC medicines like Robitussin (doesn’t do diddly), Delsym (didn’t work as well as I would have liked), Dayquil (worked the first day and not so much afterwards), Nyquil (doesn’t work as well as I would have liked but at least it knocked me out), all varieties of Mucinex (just turned my cough from a dry cough to a phlegmy one).  I even tried some home remedies for cough using lemon, honey, cayenne, etc.  Didn’t work.  Just the sight of another cough drop would make me gag on the spot so no thank you.

I started out with an extremely dry and itchy cough.  Nothing would quell it.  It was so bad that the bus driver on my commute actually stopped the bus and handed me a bottle of water to stop my coughing fits.  Total embarrassment!  After two weeks of the dry cough, I took Mucinex and it turned into a phlegmy and mucus-y cough and I was spitting up boogers all the time.  I still am!  Then I caught whatever daycare colds my son would get which would include symptoms like runny nose and that transformed into a post-nasal drip that made my coughing even worse!  Ugh!  This is endless.  It’s always like this. I always get sick starting in November and I don’t get well till it starts to get warm again. Gahhh.

My mom is big on reading articles in the newspapers.  She read somewhere that if you steam an onion and drink the juices from it, it would help the cough.  I didn’t believe her but I humored her when she would chop the onion, put it into a bowl and place it inside an old-school rice cooker where you put water on the outside of the bowl.  2 cups of water on the outside, if anyone is interested.  The onion would produce a small amount of juice.  Basically after it steamed, she put the chopped onion in a sieve and squished the juice out of the onion and handed it over to me.   It’s probably about like 2 oz of  liquid, not much. I was dubious at first, drank it and it tasted like sweet onions. It wasn’t so bad.

But I still didn’t think it worked.  I stopped seeing her every day because I quit my job to stay at home so there was no one to chop the onion for me anymore but she did leave the rice cooker at my place so I could do it myself.  But I was lazy and didn’t do it.

I noticed on the days that I didn’t drink the onion juice, my cough would be so much worse.  So I started doing the onion thing every day. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t do it and then I regret it afterwards.

So I chop an onion, like a medium sized one, every day.  Today I used 4 really puny onions.  I chopped it up and put it in a bowl and steamed it with 2 cups on the outside of the onion bowl in an old school rice cooker.  After it gets steamed, it looks like this:



I then take a spoon and squish the hell out of the onions to get that precious juice that seems to work on my chronic cough:



The onions look like this post-squishing:



You can discard the onions after using this or just eat them.  I ate them the first time (I threw them in an omelet) and was pretty onion-ed out by the end.  So these days I set the cooked onion for my mom and she dumps it into a soup or something and eats them.

I know this sounds like an old wives’ tale but this is the only thing that works for me.  I find that I cough a lot less after drinking this. I don’t cough as violently.  On the days I don’t make this onion tonic, my cough is much more violent and more often.  I’m convinced this is working for me.  Try it! You will see!


Lovely, another storm is hitting us as I type this but this time it’s snow. I really hope I don’t lose power this time.  I don’t know what I’m going to do if we lose power and have no way of getting out from underneath all that snow and with two little munchkins!  We were supposed to celebrate Lunar New Year this weekend and celebrate my father’s birthday this weekend with hot pot but that’s not happening anymore because of the storm.  I just hope it won’t be as bad as they say it will be! 😦



What’s for Dinner, #2

I’ve been dabbling in new recipes here and there. I usually cook one big thing on the weekend and then we eat during the whole week, alternating with other meals my mom may bring or something else that’s lying in our fridge/freezer.  Hurricane Sandy destroyed a lot of our storage in our basement freezer and fridge.  We tried to save everything by using the generator but there just wasn’t enough gas to power up the freezer/fridge for almost 10 days straight.  So we had to throw everything out. I didn’t want to take a massive risk on my family with 2 young kids, me with the sensitive stomach and Meanie, too, with gall bladder (or lack of, I should say) issues.

I have a SUPER PICKY toddler that will graze over his meals like a cow.  If he likes it, he will say “Mmmm!” and then gobble it up right then and there.  If he doesn’t like it, he’ll take the bite and hold it into his mouth until his saliva breaks down the food and then he’s forced to swallow it. It’s absolutely disgusting and vile.  And even when we try to pry it out of his mouth or to spit it out in our hand, he gets really pissed off and throws a fit.  Ugh.  So I just need to find food that he will eat.  He is a cheese monster.  My fallback meal is a grilled cheese sandwich or Japanese soba noodles with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.

So I often make a new dish and see if he likes it and then I’ll put it in my recipe folder as a “successful” recipe.

I love Ree Drummond (aka the Pioneer Woman)’s recipes.  I have her cookbook and I try to follow her blog, her recipes and I DVR her cooking show on the Food Channel.  I just find that her recipes are usually really tasty and very easy to follow.

This weekend I made her French Onion Soup.

photo (2)

Does that look good or what?
Nice and bubbly and browned cheese on the top
with a thick slice of French baguette = Heaven!

I had to pat myself on the back this one.  It tasted like it came from a restaurant and it’s a really handsome dish, too!  I only have two of these bowls, too.  I need get more of these.  I bought them a while ago telling myself I wanted to make French Onion soup and I finally just got around to it.  The next time I make this soup, I’m going to use onions from Costco because they sell ginormous onions.  I used the ones you get from the grocery in a bag and most were small to medium sized.  I couldn’t find Swiss Gruyere cheese (cheese that Pioneer Woman specified) at Costco and I didn’t want to make a separate trip to the local grocery for just a specific kind of cheese so I just used whatever I had in my fridge.  I had just made Pioneer Woman’s Mac and Cheese (sorry, no picture taken) a week ago so I had some sharp aged cheddar and regular cheddar lying around, as well as mozzarella cheese.  So I used a combination of the sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  It was still so yummy!  You need something like mozzarella to make the cheese all ooey-gooey cuz French Onion Soup without all ooey-gooey-ness just isn’t the same thing!

I also added a large Beef Bouillon cube at the end because I think French Onion soup should taste like beef broth, not chicken broth.  This is just a matter of preference.  And I also added a little salt to the pot before I put the cheese and bread on top.

Here is the recipe from the website:

Recipe: French Onion Soup

Prep Time: 20 Minutes  |  Cook Time: 2 Hours  |  Difficulty: Easy  |  Servings: 6


  • 1 stick Butter
  • 4 whole Large (or 6 Medium) Yellow Onions, Halved Root To Tip, And Sliced Thin
  • 1 cup (generous) Dry White Wine
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Several Thick Slices Of French Bread Or Baguette
  • 5 ounces, weight (to 7 Ounces) Gruyere Cheese, Grated

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.

Remove pot from oven and place back on stovetop over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine. Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Butter one side of the bread slices and broil over low heat, allowing bread to brown and become crispy.
When soup is ready, ladle into bowl or ramekin. Place crispy bread on top, and then sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve immediately.


It’s an easy recipe to follow. I thought this soup was really complicated to make but it’s not.  Totally well worth it.  I will definitely make this again.  I’m so glad I have leftovers! And I’m pretty sure CB will definitely eat this soup.  Every time Meanie gets this from Panera, CB gobbles it all up!

My next project is Wild Mushroom Bisque! I’m still looking for a good recipe.  Please let me know if you have one! 🙂

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