Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions and Easy Weeknight Mini Pizzas

Mini Pizza with caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, and mozzarrella

Mini Pizza with caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, and mozzarrella



I recently completed another Skillshare class (Character Illustration from Concept to Final Artwork)!  I almost didn’t take this one because I felt character development is something I’m pretty capable of doing.  But it also has an Illustrator and Photoshop component, and I felt I can always learn more about creating digital art.  I’m really glad I did take it, because I was introduced to some key things that I will definitely use in my work — for example, importing layers into Photoshop from Illustrator (who knew!!?).  I don’t know if I will end up working exactly this way in the future, but going through the process was really valuable and a great learning experience!  And I did learn things I am using now that I didn’t before. :) Here is my work process for this assignment: I first did sketches of pirates and chose a final one to take to final: roughs

This is the one I decided to work with.

This is the one I decided to work with.

This is my pirate after I drew every shape in Illustrator.  it was WAY tedious!

This is my pirate after I drew every shape in Illustrator. it was WAY tedious!

This is the pirate after rendering it in Photoshop -- I realm I am a lot more comfortable in!

This is the pirate after rendering it in Photoshop — a realm I am a lot more comfortable in!

This is a full illustration incorporating the character.  I will use this as a promotional piece.  I used a lot of techniques I learned in the Skillshare class, so I'm really happy I took it.

This is a full illustration incorporating the character. I will use this as a promotional piece with my artist rep. I used a lot of techniques I learned in the Skillshare class, so I’m really happy I took the class!

With these various projects going on, the slow cooker has been my friend.

My bestie!

My bestie!

Our favorite dish is Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.  It’s so great to throw everything in the cooker and forget about it.   In 6-8 hours, you’ll have tender, tasty meat. Ooey and gooey, and yummy I tend to avoid chicken in the slow cooker, unless it’s dark meat though.  White meat tends to dry out. Recently, I knew I wanted to saute some onions for easy Mini Pizzas I was planning for a quickie dinner.  That morning, I had the brainstorm of throwing some sliced onions in the slow cooker and letting it cook all afternoon while I was out.  That cut down on about 20 minutes of sauteing later in the evening– 20 minutes of precious time I could be working!  I just used one onion and drizzled it with some olive oil.  It cooked on low for 4 hours.  But next time, I will buy a bag of onions and a bunch at one time.  This might take closer to 6 hours to cook. onions 2
You end up with soft, sweet, meltingly tender onions.  They can be store in the refrigerator and used throughout the week in omelets, fritattas, quesadillas, burritos… I’ve even put them on my salads.  They are soo good!

For this batch, though, I put them on our mini pizzas for a FAST week night meal!

How about you all– what are some slow cooker recipes you can’t live without that make life easier?

onions 1

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Some onions, sliced vertically in to 1/4 inch slices

Drizzle of olive oil to coat

Pinch of kosher salt

1.  Put sliced onions in slow cooker and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt.  Stir.
2.  Cook on low for about 4-6 hours.

pizza 2

Mini Pizzas

Mini or Regular sized whole wheat pitas

Your favorite marinara sauce (or homemade!)

Shredded cheese

Slow cooker onions

Chopped artichoke hearts

Any other topping you would like!

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (I use our toaster oven).

2. Spoon some sauce on each of the pitas.  Top with toppings.

3.  Cook in oven about 8-10 minutes depending on how crunchy you like it (place directly on rack).

4.  Slice into wedges and eat! :)

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19 Comments

Filed under Art Related, Dinner, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

19 responses to “Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions and Easy Weeknight Mini Pizzas

  1. Reblogged this on thesuperbusywoman and commented:
    My family would love this dish. Check it out!

  2. I loved your illustrations and what cute title…where there is water, there will be pirates :). Is this your new book, you are working on? Let me know when it comes out :). Those onions look gorgeously golden. Oh my. I am tempted to Ray the onion soup, vegetarian version in the crock pot now.
    That was a smart idea of doing mini pizzas for busy nights.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love your Pirate and his expression and his pet! Love the soft onions too. I appreciate all the hard work using all the Adobe software.. I wish I could take some tutorials from you! :)

  4. Oh! Can’t believe I didn’t know you could export AI layers to PSD. I have only ever done it by selecting each individual component and copying and pasting, which is one of the main things that has stopped me exploring using PSD to add texture. I really want to go and try this now, but have to get on with work instead. First thing this evening, though…

    Also, love the idea of slow cooking a whole bunch of onions. I can actually smell them now.

    And your pirate is fabulous – really love your characters.

  5. Lovely lovely illustration and a lovelier mini pizzas

  6. How fun to see your sketching process. So did the onions taste as good as the ones that take twenty minutes on the stove top?

  7. Peter Tolan

    I’m starting to like the artwork more than the recipes. Is that bad?

    At least the artwork isn’t FATTENING!

  8. Oh boy, these slow-cooker caramelized onions look great! On a pizza, priceless! :P

  9. Oh my, I’ve never seen a pirate this adorable; you are incredibly talented!!!
    On another note, thanks for the slow cooker tip! I never had any patience caramelising onions! This will work a treat – thanks for the tip!

  10. Ooh, I love caramelized onions and making them in the crockpot is so smart! Thanks for the tip! The pizzas look yummy, too. :)

  11. Your illustrations are adorable!

  12. Lovely illustrations you are incredibly talented and the pizza is making me hungry your caramelized onions look great.XX

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