Saturday, March 31, 2018

Instant Pot Pizza Pasta

Pizza in pasta form, and with minimal effort. If only all meals could be this easy and taste this good! This one was pepperoni, but you can brown sausage in the instant pot with the sauté feature and then proceed with the recipe to make it pepperoni and sausage flavored.

1quart spaghetti sauce
1 quart water
1 lb dry pasta, I used penne
2 tsp dried garlic
1 tsp Italian seasonings

8 oz. mozzarella
20 slices pizza pepperoni

Put both spaghetti sauce, water, seasonings and pasta in the instant pot. Give a quick stir, make sure all pasta is covered in liquid.

Set on manual for 6 minutes. Naturally release 4 minutes, then release remaining pressure. 

Stir in mozzarella cheese and sliced pepperoni, reserving a third of the cheese and pepperoni to melt on top. 

That’s it. Dish up your simple, delicious meal. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

'Swig' Cookies

Locally we have 'Sips' instead of  'Swig', but either way, these cookies are amazing.  A soft, flavorful sugar cookie.  We liked ours with flavors added to the cookie dough and the frosting.  My kids loved all of the fun flavor combinations.  My favorite was cream cheese flavored cookie with strawberry flavored frosting, although the coconut flavor cookie with coconut frosting topped with a slice of lime is also amazing!

1 c. butter softened
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. water
2 eggs
5 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
Flavoring extracts...2-3 tsp per batch.  I divided the dough and made different flavors.
*extra sugar for pressing cookies
For the Frosting:
1/2 c. butter softened
3/4 c. sour cream
dash of salt
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk or as needed, to taste
Flavoring extracts...2-3 tsp per batch.  I divided the frosting and made different flavors.

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. In a stand-mixer or large mixing bowl, combine butter, oil, sugar, powdered sugar, and water. Cream together and slowly add in eggs.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix well and slowly add to the butter/sugar mixture until combined and doughy.
  4. Roll dough into golf-ball sized balls and place on non-stick cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.
  5. Dip the bottom of a glass into excess sugar and press on to each dough ball (re-dipping in sugar each time) to flatten the cookie. Press lightly because you don't want your cookie to be too thin.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottom is lightly golden-brown. Do not over-bake. Set aside to cool.
For the frosting:
  1. Cream together butter, sour cream, and salt. 
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until desired consistency (you may not need it all). 
  3. Add milk to thin if needed. 
  4. Mix in food coloring to desired hue. 
  5. Spread over cooled cookies and serve!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Instant Pot Brown Rice


2 cups brown rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt 

 Use the sauté setting to heat the olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds. Add water and salt. Use the manual setting to cook for 22 high pressure then allow the pressure to release naturally for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bread Bowls

As winter comes to an end, I decided to make some bread bowls.  They were so good and I was sad I didn't try them earlier in the winter, but that's ok.  I'm ready for some warmer weather.  I can enjoy these next winter...

2 cups warm water + 4 Tbsp
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup butter , melted
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tsp salt
 6 1/2 cups bread flour

Proof yeast in warm water and sugar.  Add remaining ingredients in bosch and knead for 5 minutes. 
Let dough rest 5 minutes, then divide and shape dough.(6-8)  Let rise 30 minutes.  Bake 350 for 25 minutes.  Serve warm with soup. 

Instant Pot Alfredo

This is Kyla's favorite.  Making it in the instant pot is a breeze.  (You can also cut this recipe in half, same cook times.)

Recipe from: Cooking with Karli

3 cups chicken broth
3 cups heavy cream
2 tsp minced garlic dried
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb dry noodles, linguine pictured, we also really like penne
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded 


  1. Add the broth, cream, garlic, salt, pepper and noodles to the instant pot in that order. DO NOT STIR, but make sure all noodles are covered.
  2. Set your Instant Pot to Manual for 6 minutes and then let it naturally release its pressure for an additional 8 minutes then quick release.
  3. Let the noodles and sauce sit for a minute or so. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Your cheese will not melt into the sauce if it doesn't cool for a minute or two.
  4. Gradually stir in the parmesan cheese.
  5. It's ready to eat, Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Banana Caramel Cream Dessert

A little twist on Banana Cream Pie...

Recipe from:Glorious Treats

Vanilla Pastry Cream (recipe below)
Bananas (two bananas for 6 small dessert servings)
Good quality caramel sauce, or dulce de leche.
Fresh whipped cream
Graham Cracker crumble (recipe below)

Vanilla Pastry Cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk ( I used 1%)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

In a medium bowl,  beat eggs with a fork to combine.  Set aside.
Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan.  Gradually pour in milk, while whisking, to make a smooth mixture.  Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils.  Continue to cook and stir one minute.
Pour several tablespoons of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs and immediately stir well.  Pour warmed egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the hot milk mixture.  Return to a slow boil, and cook one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Set aside to cool.  When the pan has cooled, place in the refrigerator to fully cool.  If desired, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the top surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.

Graham Cracker Crumble
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sized crackers)
1/3 cup butter, melted

Crush crackers in a large ziplock type bag.  Pour crumbs and melted butter into a bowl and , stir until fully combined. 

Dessert assembly~
1.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumble into individual serving dishes.  Use a small glass to press the crumble into a firm layer.
2.  Add a layer of pastry cream into each dish. 
3.  Add a few slices of banana and a drizzle of caramel.
4.  Top bananas with a layer of whipped cream.
5.  Add some graham cracker crumble and a drizzle of caramel.
Repeat layers 2-5

Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 hours.  Top with a slice of fresh banana just before serving.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Apple Pie Smoothie

We love smoothies at our house.  I decided to give this one a whirl one morning for breakfast.  I was craving something sweet, but wanted to have something healthy that would stick with me for a while.  I was surprised how much it reminded me of apple pie, and after a small glass, I was ready to go.  My kids were not impressed, but they don't like apple pie, either...their loss.  :)

Recipe from: The Cookin' Chicks

5 raw almonds
1 red apple
1 banana
3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk, any type works)
1/4 tsp cinnamon


Place all ingredients into the blender container. Place lid on top and blend on high for about 20-30 seconds, or until smooth! Serve