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Hungry Girl,

I made your Bloomin' Blossom recipe as a side dish last night. I tried everything to make the Fiber One stick to the onion, but it wouldn't stick, so there was hardly any "breading." The finished product was a bit of a mess. I really want this recipe to come out right. What am I doing wrong? Any tips?

A Bloomin' Mess

Dear Bloomin' Mess,

Gotta be honest... that Bloomin' Blossom is not a super-easy recipe to make. But it's a GREAT swap for those crazy deep-fried onion "contraptions" (like Outback Steakhouse's nearly 2,000-calorie Bloomin' Onion!), so it's worth perfecting.

Here are some tips for you:

1. Give the onion plenty of time to open up while soaking in the water.
The more it opens, the easier it'll be to fully coat all the "petals" with the breading.

2. Thoroughly dry the onion after soaking. If you don't, the excess water can prevent the egg substitute from sticking, which will prevent the Fiber One "crumbs" from sticking.

3. Here's a neat trick. Try using a basting brush (like the kind that comes with some grill tool kits) to coat the onion in egg substitute. The back of a spoon works as well. Just make sure all sides of all the petals are coated with the egg substitute -- otherwise the crumbs won't stick.

4. While applying the F1 crumbs, use your hands to separate the petals. The goal is to expose as much surface area as possible. Using a spoon to separate them is also helpful during this step. Just sprinkle the crumbs lightly over each and every petal while separating them.

5. Sometimes, while "faux-frying" at the HG HQ, if something isn't fully coated with crumbs, we'll dunk the partially coated item back into egg substitute (or in this case, pour more egg sub over the top), and repeat the coating process. Great little tip! And while we're on that subject, don't be afraid to dole out more egg substitute and crumbs than is called for -- you won't use it all, so it won't affect the nutritionals, but it'll make the whole coating process a bit easier.

6. Since ovens vary, you may need to bake your Bloomin' Blossom a little longer than the 40 minutes called for in the recipe. Continue to bake it until the outside is crispy and the inside is soft.

Good luck!!!! I promise, this one is worth the extra effort. And for those of you who have yet to try it, click HERE for the recipe!


Dear Hungry Girl,

I'm new to HG and want to understand your writing philosophy. When you rave about products in your emails, is that paid for by the food companies? Please explain!

Hungry Newbie

Dear Newbie,

Welcome to HG, and thanks for emailing! Even though I've answered this Q before, I like to address this topic every now and then, because it is VERY important to me that all of the subscribers understand the way Hungry Girl works and how important brand integrity is to me. The content you see every day in the HG emails -- the products featured in the News stories, Chew the Right Thing articles, Weekly Weigh-In reviews, etc. -- is all "editorial" (not advertisements), and NONE of that is paid for, bartered for, sponsored... nothin'. I name names (instead of being vague or general) because I truly enjoy some specific products more than others, and I'd rather tell you which ones are good so that you won't need to waste money on the bad ones! Hungry Girl does accept advertising, but that's completely separate from the email content, and it's ONLY for foods and products I like and would write about anyway. I have turned down many food companies that wanted to buy ads on HG because I didn't like their products. When we do run ad campaigns, they appear in several forms -- a separate "dedicated" email (with the words "Side Dish" in the title, and you'll rarely get more than one a week!), as "Guilt-Free Groceries" or a "Hungry For More..." section (those are always clearly offset from the email and say, "Brought to you by..."), "News You Can Use!", and banner ads within some of the daily emails. I try to keep all HG content -- whether it's editorial or advertising -- fun, entertaining, and useful. That's why the ads often include coupons, specials, TOP ATE lists, and/or recipes. I hope that clears up any confusion. Have a great day!

Today, August 26th, is National Cherry Popsicle Day. Celebrate with sugar-free cherry ice pops... those only have about 15 calories each!
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