Jan 20

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Yep, another recipe using my IP! I can’t help it – it’s just too easy.

Biscuit recipe coming soon! And yes, those were made in the oven 😉

Instant Pot Beef Stew
adapted from Imperfectly Happy

2 pounds stew meat
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
2/3 cup red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound potatoes, cut into chunks
1 pound baby carrots
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
frozen peas, thawed and barely cooked (optional)

Set your Instant Pot to saute mode. Add oil, beef, salt and pepper. Cook until just browned. Add onion and garlic and continue to sauté until softened. Add remaining ingredients (except peas) and stir.

Switch Instant Pot to Meat/Stew and set for 18 minutes then use NPR (natural pressure release). **I waited 20 minutes then flipped the valve myself and it was fine!

Spoon into bowls and add peas, if desired.

Serves 4-6.

Posted in beef, freezer friendly, Instant Pot, leftovers, main dishes, make ahead, potatoes, QuickAndEasy | 1 Comment
Jan 9

Pressure Cooker Sausage, Peppers & Onions

Yep, another Instant Pot post…get used to it because I’ve been experimenting a lot! How great does this look!?! And you won’t believe how easy it is.

Pressure Cooker Sausage, Peppers & Onions
adapted from Pressure Cooking Today

Approximately 3 pounds Italian sausage (or whatever sausage you like)
4 large peppers, cut into strips
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper

Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in pressure cooker pot. Add sausages to the sauce. Place peppers, onions and garlic on top of the sausage. Do not mix.

Lock lid in place and select high pressure. Set timer for 25 minutes and press start. When beep sounds turn off pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release. Carefully remove lid. Serve over pasta or on bread for sandwiches.

Serves 4-6.

Posted in Instant Pot, Italian, peppers, pork, QuickAndEasy, tomatoes | Leave a comment
Jan 6

Minestrone in the Instant Pot

Happy New Year! 2017 is going to be a great year, I just know it! Especially when it comes to easy meals…and I have my Instant Pot to thank for that.


This minestrone was delicious and of course, super quick and easy to make. Give it a try…you won’t be disappointed!

Minestrone in the Instant Pot
slightly adapted from Don’t Mess with Mama

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup fresh spinach or kale, torn into shreds
1 cup elbow pasta
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1-2 teaspoons fresh pesto (optional)

Set Instant Pot to saute mode. Add olive oil, onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Mix until softened. Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes, bone broth, spinach or kale, bay leaf, and pasta. Close lid and set to manual high pressure (HP) for 6 minutes.
When timer goes off, remove lid and add cannellini beans.

Serve in bowls and garnish with cheese and pesto.

Serves 4-6.

Posted in Instant Pot, Italian, main dishes, make ahead, pasta, QuickAndEasy, soup | 1 Comment
Sep 14

Pressure Cooker Salsa Chicken Burrito Bowls

I love simple and easy meals that are also healthy.  This delicious dish took just minutes to make and is perfect for those living a low carb lifestyle.  Or, use tortillas and wrap away!


Add your favorite toppings, and you’ve got the perfect burrito bowl!


Pressure Cooker Salsa Chicken Burrito Bowls
adapted from Nom Nom Paleo

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
chili powder, salt and pepper
1 cup salsa – any kind of salsa you like
your favorite toppings (sour cream, scallions, cheese, etc)

Arrange chicken on bottom of pressure cooker. Season both sides with chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour salsa evenly over chicken. Lock lid, press manual and set for 7 minutes.

Once chicken is done cooking, do a quick pressure release and once steam is finished, remove chicken from pot. Shred chicken and top with cooking liquid. Stir until evenly distributed, then place in individual serving bowls. Top with your favorite ingredients.

Posted in chicken, Instant Pot, QuickAndEasy | 9 Comments
Sep 14

Quick Pressure Cooker Potato Salad

I’ve been having so much fun with my new Instant Pot! I can’t believe how much easier it’s made my life, which has become quite hectic. Doesn’t this look delicious? And it only takes 4 minutes to cook!


This was a huge hit recently with friends, and I plan on making it again this weekend to bring to a BBQ. Oh, and I didn’t have a steamer basket, so I placed tin foil balls around the rack that comes with the IP, and cut the potatoes in larger cubes so they didn’t fall underneath. Simple and delicious!

Quick Pressure Cooker Potato Salad
from Pressure Cooking Today

6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups water
4 eggs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
1 tablespoon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the steamer basket in the pressure cooker pot. Add the water, potatoes, and the eggs. Lock lid in place, select High Pressure, 4 minutes cook time and press start.
When timer beeps, turn off pressure cooker and do a quick pressure release. When pressure is released, carefully remove the lid. Remove the steamer basket and put eggs into ice cold water to cool.
In a bowl, combine onion, mayo, parsley, pickle juice, and mustard. Add cooled potatoes and gently mix the mayonnaise mixture into the potatoes. Peel and dice the cooled eggs and stir into potato salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more mayo if necessary.
Chill at least one hour before serving.

Posted in eggs, Instant Pot, potatoes, QuickAndEasy, salad | 1 Comment
Jan 25

Hot Pizza Dip

Well, now that we know who’s playing in the Super Bowl, it’s time to figure out what’s on the menu!  And this dip is the perfect addition…


It should be called “Addictive Dip”.  Because it is.

Hot Pizza Dip
adapted from Allrecipes

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup chopped onion
sliced pepperoni

In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese and Italian seasoning. Spread mixture on the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, or a shallow microwave-safe dish.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/2 cup of parmesan over cream cheese mixture. Spread sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with onion and pepperoni.

Cover and microwave for 5 minutes. Serve hot with baguette slices or bagel chips.

Posted in appetizers, cheese, dip, mozzarella, QuickAndEasy | 1 Comment
Jan 20

Hamilton Beach Stand AND Hand Mixer Giveaways!!

Well, isn’t this exciting!  Two giveaways rolled into one!  Thanks to Hamilton Beach, I’m giving away this great stand mixer (see pic!) AND this awesome hand mixer!


I love both of these products so much!  They’re easy to use and get the job done better than ever!  The stand mixer is SO light, and the hand mixer is speedy and easy to store.

You will automatically be entered to win either prize.  All you have to do is comment below, telling me what you’ll make with either mixer.  To earn an additional entry, share this giveaway on Facebook and leave the link to it in a separate comment.  Giveaway ends on Friday, January 29th at 5pm EST.  US residents only.

Thanks again, Hamilton Beach, and good luck to all!

Posted in giveaway | 56 Comments
Dec 1

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

Thanks to OXO for once again including us in Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! We love our new cupcake set, and especially love the cause it represents!

We made these delicious cupcakes with this delicious cream cheese frosting. Perfect for the holidays 🙂


Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes
from Allrecipes

2 cups AP flour
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger; set aside.

Beat butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into prepared muffin cups.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Posted in cake, cream cheese, cupcakes, pumpkin | Leave a comment
Nov 17

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

This dish screams fall!! Delicious and comforting. Acorn squash has been one of our favorites this season…if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to!


Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
adapted from Prevention RD

2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground sage, divided
1 pound pork sausage
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
handful of dried cranberries
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butter, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon sage. Brush inside and outside of each squash with the butter mix. Place the squash on a cookie sheet, cut side up, and roast for 50-60 minutes, or until fork tender.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown sausage. Remove from pan and set aside. In same pan, add onions, celery, and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add the apples and cook for another 2 minutes.

Return the sausage to the skillet then remove from heat. Season with 1/4 tsp sage, salt, and pepper. Stir in panko, cheese, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. Add the egg and stir to combine.

Divide stuffing evenly among the four squash halves. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Posted in main dishes, pork, squash | Leave a comment
Aug 24


Happy Monday! And happy (or maybe not-so-happy) end of August! Summer is flying by and before you know it, there will be all things pumpkin and apple. Until then, I’m enjoying what’s in season and plentiful.


This is one of those dishes that brings me back to my childhood. There’s nothing better than Mom’s stuffed peppers. As hard as I try, it can never be exactly duplicated! But I usually come pretty close 🙂

Staying low carb while duplicating some family recipes can be tricky. With a little help from Closet Cooking, I was able to do so, and impress my guests with a hearty, healthy meal. Paired with a Greek salad, you’ve got a delicious dinner that can be made in advance.


Can’t beat Jersey tomatoes this time of year! You can also use zucchini, eggplant, or other types of peppers in this recipe. Anything goes! I like to put grated Pecorino Romano cheese and believe it or not, Worcestershire sauce, on the table as optional toppings. Delicious 🙂

slightly adapted from Closet Cooking

8 peppers and/or tomatoes (or any other vegetable that can be stuffed)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup chopped herbs (I used mint and parsley)
1/4 cup arborio rice
1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off of the peppers and tomatoes and remove the seeds from the peppers and the insides of the tomatoes, reserving them.

Heat oil in a pan and add onions. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for about a minute or two. Add the reserved tomato guts, crushed tomatoes and oregano. Simmer until it thickens, then remove from heat.

In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce, herbs, rice, ground beef, salt and pepper. Stuff the mixture into peppers and tomatoes and place in a baking dish.
Pour the water and olive oil into the baking dish, drizzling a bit of oil on top of the peppers and tomatoes.

Bake until liquid has evaporated and the peppers and tomatoes are roasted until slightly caramelized, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Posted in beef, Greek, low carb, main dishes, make ahead, peppers, rice, tomatoes | Leave a comment