Sweet Onions and Peppers _lowres

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Use slow-cooked Sweet Onions and Peppers to top hot dogs.

Years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting cookbook author Lora Brody, who wrote several books on bread machines and slow cookers.

Brody talked about her love for caramelized onions and how easy it is to make in the slow cooker.

While her recipe involved just Vidalia onions and butter, she said it was the dish that made her appreciate the slow cooker for something other than stews and chili. She also added caramelized onions to other recipes, as a flavoring for stocks and soups, or as a standalone dish.

How about taking this one a step farther? Sweet onions, green and yellow bell peppers, brown sugar and soy sauce sound wonderful together and are so simple to cook down in the slow cooker.

Use the caramelized onions for a special hot dog or spread over a grilled hamburger. If your children don’t have a palate for raw onions, they may like the flavor of sweet, cooked onions. It’s a totally different taste and texture and a great way to expand young taste buds.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.