Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Triple Meat Triple Bean Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1/3 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans black beans
1 small onion finely chopped
2 15(ish) oz cans tomato sauce
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
(I also like adding crushed tomatoes, in which case I use a big can of those with a can of diced and sauce).
1 cup frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's (my favorite, but no corn, or canned works too)

Seasonings (mix all together):
2 T chili powder
1 T Chili Lime seasoning from Trader Joe's (if you have it; it's amazing!)
1 T cumin
2 T brown sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne (if you like spicy; I rarely add this if the kids are eating it)

Green onion
Sour Cream
Corn Chips
Corn Bread

Cook bacon and set aside (chop up when cooled). Brown meat together until mostly cooked (in the bacon grease if you choose). Drain meat if needed and add the diced onion. Finish cooking meat with onions until cooked through. Add bacon; add tomatoes and tomato sauce and seasoning mixture; mix well. Drain and rinse beans and add them and the corn. Cook on slow for at least an hour. Then taste and add more seasoning if needed. (I usually end up adding some more chili powder, maybe sugar, and salt & pepper). I think chili is best when you make the night before and reheat on the stove or in the crockpot prior to eating. Crockpot takes about 3-4 hours; stovetop at least 30 minutes. If you like it with more liquid, you can always add some type of stock, or a can of corn with liquid.

Use what beans and meat you like; I tend to have these meats on hand and I prefer not using all beef. But any combo usually works well! This is really a double recipe; I make this amount when preparing for about 10-15 people. If it's just our family of 4, then I make half that and we still have a night's worth of leftovers.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

1 cup butter
1¾ cups sugar
2 Tbs. orange zest
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh cranberries
2½ cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp. salt

1½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. orange juice
1 Tbs. orange zest
1-2 Tbs. milk or buttermilk
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350’
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and orange zest together for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and beat an addition minute per egg.
Add vanilla and mix in.
In a separate large bowl, mix and combine dry ingredients together.
Add dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk to the butter/sugar/orange zest/egg mixture. Fold in cranberries.
Pour batter into mold of choice. I bake small loaves 20-23 at 340-350 degrees. My oven bakes hot. If using a larger mold. Bake approx 35-40 mins
Unmold, cool and pour glaze over them.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Instant Pot One Pot Pasta

This is a form of baked ziti with meat sauce, but all made in one pot. No more cooking in 2 pots on the stove and then in the oven in a third dish. The family loved this! 

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (or these amazing frozen garlic chunks)
  • italian seasoning (I just eyeball this, but I'm guessing I used 1 tsp of salt, pepper, 1 tbsp dried parsley, 2 tsp dried basil, or these fabulous frozen basil chunks)
  • 1 lb ground beef (I prefer lean just so you don't have to drain it but up to you; could also use turkey, sausage, or no meat)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I like the Trader Joe's tomato & basil marinara)
  • 1 jar of water
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (or more of the jar, but this is how I made it tonight so those are the ingredients I'm listing)
  • 1 lb your favorite tube pasta; we used penne pasta (tube just holds more stuff inside and tends to be better for this type of recipe)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, optional

  1. Select the saute function of your instant pot. Once heated, coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 2-3 mins. Then add the meat and break up as you cook it. I also added the seasoning here. I defrosted mine first to make it easier, plus then I could drain some of the fat before adding it. 
  2. Add garlic and basil if adding the frozen kind. Give it a good stir.
  3. Next layer in this order:
    1. pasta
    2. jar of sauce
    3. fill jar with warm water and pour around the sides of the IP, try not to dilute the pasta sauce on top. Just to be safe, I added the water before adding remaining tomato sauce.
    4. tomato sauce
  4. Do not stir it; you want it to cook with everything layered this way. Don't ask me why, but it worked really well this way. the meat even got a little crispy at the bottom, which we liked. Plus then the sauce isn't watery, the water cooks the pasta below and helps the bottom of the IP not burn.
  5. Secure lid on top; make sure pressure valve is on seal. Cancel the saute function and hit "manual" and adjust time to 7. Mine took about 10 minutes to build enough pressure to start the cooking time. So I would give yourself 20 minutes for this to cook.
  6. Once it is done cooking and beeps, using a towel, turn the pressure valve to release and do a Quick Release. It may overcook the pasta if you let naturally release.
  7. Once the pressure is released, take the lid off, and stir in the cheese. (Or do it after you serve it but this makes everything cheesy). Make sure to stir well as all the meat is at the bottom. 
  8. Enjoy!!

Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

I kind of copied this recipe but took ideas from multiple recipes, so here's how I made it.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or enough to coat the bottom of the IP; I added more when I added the chicken)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced (we ommitted this to make it not spicy but added sauteed anaheim pepper as a garnish and it was yummy!!)
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into chunks; you could also use chicken thighs, shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken. I also seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder before putting it in the pot. The chicken definitely needs seasoning, so use whatever kind of seasoning you like - spicy would work great here!
  • Enchilada sauce; recommended is: 1 12 oz jar red enchilada sauce (about 1.5 cups) and 1 12 oz jar/can green enchilada sauce (about 1.5 cups). I prefer Rosarita red sauce and used 1.5 of the small cans and 1 12 oz can of some mild green sauce. You could use whatever kind/style you prefer here though for sure!
  • 1 14 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (you could use any kind of beans though)
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used half though since I don't like cream cheese)
  • Garnish ideas: sour cream, chopped green onion, chopped peppers (sauteed ahead of time makes them so much better), avocado, fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, crumbled tortilla chips or even fried tortilla strips.

1. Select the saute function of your instant pot. Coat the bottom of your pot with olive oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 2-3 mins.
2. Add in diced chicken to brown/sear until most sides are browned. If you haven't seasoned the chicken, do so as you add it to the IP. If adding cooked chicken, I would add this last, with the beans.
3. Add in minced garlic, peppers if you are adding them, and corn. Saute for another 2 minutes.
4. Mix in both enchilada sauces, beans, and chicken broth. Give it a stir.
5. Secure the lid and select manual. Cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes, depending on how uncooked your chicken is.
6. Allow to natural release for a few minutes, then quick release and remove the lid. Keep the instant pot on, add in cream cheese. Stir for another 3-4 minutes, or until the cream cheese melts. I actually put the lid back on and kept it on warm for about 10 minutes because the cream cheese wasn't melting all the way. It will leave some small bits, but that's ok.
7. Serve hot, and garnish with yummy goodness!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Instant Pot Roast

I should've taken photos but did not, but this photo I found looks like what ours did (thick slices and on the verge of falling apart). This was pretty good, especially considering the cut of meat. We got Eye of Round roast in our Butcher Box and weren't sure what to do with it, so this was my first Instant Pot meal and we'd consider it a success!

1 roast (2-4 lbs) chuck would probably be best; we used eye of round which is quite lean
2 tbsp (about) seasoning, salt, and peper
1 onion cut in wedges, separated
1/2 cup red wine (whatever kind you like to drink, but not a sweet variety)
1 1/2-2 cups broth, or water (have about 2 cups of liquid, I think, using whatever you have. Beef broth and red wine add most flavor)
Sides/Veggies (extra wide egg noodles, potatoes, carrots, etc.)

1. Turn the IP on to saute and when it's ready (HOT), drizzle some EVOO or fat of some sort. I kept adding more as I browned the meat. Pat the meat dry and sprinkle liberally with your favorite seasonings, salt, and pepper. (I used the blend from Costco "Garlic Saltless spice blend" consisting of garlic, onion, pepper, lemon peel, etc. It's a great blend; we use it on everything!). Brown the meat on all sides.
2. Remove the meat and add one onion cut up, add more oil if needed and just quickly saute for a  minute
3. Add red wine, or a little of the liquid you are using, and deglaze the bottom with the onions in there. Add remaining liquid.
4. Add meat back on top of the onions.
5. Turn the IP off/warm. Put lid on the pot and turn it on to manual mode and increase the time to 70  minutes. Make sure the pressure release handle is on "sealing." (I gauged this one, and you may adjust it after trying your first roast. It was a good amount for this meal though).
6. Naturally release the pressure, so once the cooking stops, it will go into warm mode and naturally release the steam until the float valve goes down (this took about 10-15 minutes). After a few, you could probably quick release by moving the pressure release handle to release (with a towel and do NOT be anywhere close to it; that steam will burn you when it releases).
7. I took the meat out to rest and added a cornstarch slurry to thicken the juices to make gravy.
8. Serve how you like; we served it with the juices/gravy over wide egg noodles and a side of corn (because that's what we had). It would be great with potatoes and carrots too.

Now that we've officially cooked our first  IP meal successfully, we have a better idea of how to use it for this type of meal and what to do. I would use this same method to make a beef stew. I think you just add the carrots and potatoes with the onion at the bottom and place whatever meat you use on top. The juice was so good (I did not add enough red wine because I just used what was left in a bottle, but above I increased the amount).

Friday, December 2, 2016

How can you ever go wrong with these ingredients??
2 cups creamy peanut butter, divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
4 cups (roughly ½-inch pieces), broken small pretzel twists, divided
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided
Use the Flexipat or a Silpat for this. If you do not have one, then 
LINE 13 x 9-inch baking pan, or jelly roll pan, with foil leaving an overhang on two sides. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
BEAT 1 1/4 cups peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Stir in 3 cups pretzel pieces and 1/2 cup morsels. Press evenly into prepared baking pan. Smooth top with spatula.
MICROWAVE remaining 1 1/2 cups morsels and 3/4 cup peanut butter in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 45 seconds; STIR. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Spread chocolate layer evenly over powdered sugar mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining pretzel pieces, pressing down lightly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; peel off foil. Cut into 60 pieces. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Orange Tea Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 cup shortening
2⁄3 cup milk
1. Place all ingredients except milk in bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to Stir Speed and cut shortening in, about 1
minute. Stop and scrape bowl.
2. Add milk and mix on Stir Speed until dough starts to cling to beater. Avoid overbeating. Turn dough onto lightly
floured board and knead until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pat or roll to 1⁄2-inch thickness. Cut with floured 2-inch
biscuit cutter.
3. Place biscuits 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 425°F for 12 to 15 minutes. Brush with Orange Glaze
while hot.
4. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 biscuitsely.
From the KitchenAid Culinary Council