June 8

Instant Pot Chicken Veggie Pasta

This was a simple recipe that was really quick and easy to make. With Traci being pregnant, we’ve been looking for more nutrient-full meals that don’t go heavy on spice-flavors but are not bland. This recipe was definitely a winner. It’s also going to be great for meal prep as I bet that you probably already have at least half the ingredients. LOL.

The best way to describe this recipe is chicken soup without all of the broth. We both liked that it packed in so many veggies which also helped add great flavor. While its flavor was simple, it made for an easy palette to doctor up to each of our preferences. Just a few ideas that could be used to “kick it up” include ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, your favorite hot sauce, and parmesan cheese.

Instant Pot Chicken Veggie Pasta

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs Chicken breast Should be roughly 2-3 breasts
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 4 Chicken bouillon cubes
  • 8 ounces Pasta shells work great.
  • 16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
  • Parmesan cheese optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper optional
  • Crushed Red Pepper optional
  • Hot sauce optional

Instructions
 

  • Add chicken to the Instant Pot along with bouillon cubes and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Close the valve, and set Instant Pot on the poultry setting to cook for 19 minutes.
  • When finished cooking, do a quick release. Remove chicken breasts and shred with a fork, leaving the broth in your Instant Pot.
  • Add pasta into the Instant Pot and add remaining chicken stock. Be sure pasta is fully submerged so that it fully cooks. Add your shredded chicken right on top of the pasta.
  • Set instant pot to “steam” and cook for 4 minutes. Do another quick release of the steam, Add the frozen veggies, combining them with the pasta and chicken to defrost.
  • Serve immediately along with any optional toppings.
    This can be stored in sealed containers in the refrigerator to enjoy all week!

Notes

Original recipe: https://carrotsncake.com/high-protein-instant-pot-chicken-pasta/
Keyword Chicken, Instant Pot, Pasta, Vegetables
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
May 3

Garlic and Bacon Green Beans

Here’s another great dinner side dish that Traci dug up during our Corona virus quarantine. It was super quick and easy to make. As you can imagine, anything with garlic and bacon is going to taste great, and this recipe is no exception!

Garlic and Bacon Green Beans

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound green beans fresh, rinsed, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 4-6 strips bacon cooked, drained of fat, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add green beans (water should be just above the beans), and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, drain the beans.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook it, constantly stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add chopped cooked bacon (drained of fat) and green beans.
  • Saute on medium heat for about 1 minute to combine all ingredients. Remove from heat. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Notes

Original recipe: https://juliasalbum.com/garlic-and-bacon-green-beans/
Keyword Bacon, Garlic, Green Beans
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

May 3

Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

I purchased brussel sprouts on a whim while out grocery shopping. We both enjoy eating them, and for whatever reason they looked really tasty when i had walked past them at the store. Fast forward a few days, and we realized we needed to cook them up before they turned and went bad. After some googling alongside other ingredients we had, we came across this recipe. It’s delicious! In fact, we both liked it so much, we actually made it a second time only a few days later.

Well don’t let me hold you back. Here’s the recipe… Go get started cooking!

Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients
  

  • Sea salt
  • 8 ounces penne
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil more for drizzling
  • 4-6 slices Bacon, thick cut diced
  • 1 large rosemary sprig or 1 tbsp dried
  • 3-6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeño or Serrano chile thinly sliced (or substitute 1-2 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces brussels sprouts thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • Fresh lemon juice for serving
  • Parmesan cheese, grated optional (or pecorino cheese)

Instructions
 

  • Bring large pot heavily salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until pasta is just al dente (do not overcook).
  • Meanwhile, heat large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. When oil is hot, add the pancetta and rosemary, and sauté until the fat on the bacon starts to turn translucent and very lightly brown, about 1 minute.
  • Add the garlic, chile and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and sauté until garlic and bacon turn richly brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the brussels sprouts, a large pinch of salt and a splash of water to pan, and sauté until sprouts just start to soften, about 2 minutes. Spread sprouts mixture in pan and press down to flatten. Let it sear for a minute, then stir it up and repeat. This helps brown the sprouts. Add the butter, and sauté for another minute.
  • Drain penne and add it to pan with brussels sprouts mixture. Cook, tossing, until everything is well mixed. Spoon into pasta bowls and top with a drizzle of oil and lemon juice, and a little cheese if you like.

Notes

We find leftovers of this store well adding lemon juice before going into the fridge, and later adding a little butter to it when reheating, adding the cheese topping after reheating.
Original recipe: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014359-penne-with-brussels-sprouts-chile-and-pancetta
Keyword Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, Pasta, Penne
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
April 11

Chicken & Asparagus Stir-fry

We’re doing lots of cooking at home amid this Corona virus pandemic. We have ordered some pickup weekly to support local restuarants. But we spent a small fortune on groceries before the lockdown, so it’s actually quite nice to cook together and eat “healthy” meals that we put together ourselves. We hope that you too are enjoying some time cooking and eating with whomever is in your house.

Traci found this recipe while looking up ingredients we had in the house. It ended up a hit and we enjoy it for a couple of meals. We had been hitting the Italian flavors kind of frequently, so it was delightful to enjoy the Asian inspired flavors in this dish. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Chicken and Asparagus Stir-fry

Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1-inch)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds optional

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl or in a ziplock bag, combine soy sauce and honey. Add chicken, and stir to coat. Set in the refrigerator until ready.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, and saute until cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  • Remove chicken from marinade, and add to skillet. Saute until nearly cooked through (with the insides still slightly pink), about 5 minutes. Then add garlic, scallions, and the reserved marinade to the pan. Saute for an additional 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cooked asparagus and sesame oil until combined. Serve immediately with rice, garnished with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Notes

Original recipe: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/chicken-and-asparagus-stir-fry/#tasty-recipes-66019
Keyword Asparagus, Chicken, Stir-fry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
April 4

Simple Coleslaw

This is a very simple, four ingredient, coleslaw recipe. It can be a solid base recipe if you want to doctor it up to you own liking, check out some of the add-in options I list at the end of the recipe.

It only takes a few minutes to whip together, and is a perfect side to any BBQ or pool party. My favorite time to make this is whenever I cook up a batch of Instant Pot BBQ jackfruit, and to turn it into a delicious sandwich.

Simple Coleslaw

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 14oz pkg Coleslaw Mix
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1.5 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1.5 Tbsp Honey or granulated sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch or two of salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add Coleslaw mix to a medium sized bowl and slowly pour mayonnaise mixture over it. Toss all of it together until evenly coated. Can be served immediately, though we prefer to let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

Notes

Other ideas to mix include: almond slices, apples, bleu cheese, dried cranberries, fresh strawberries, or poppy seeds.
 
Original Recipe: https://www.cookingclassy.com/coleslaw-recipe/
Keyword Coleslaw, Salad, Slaw
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
April 3

Ground Beef Stroganoff

We’re doing a lot of cooking at home during this COVID pandemic. Last night Traci whipped together this fantastic beef stroganoff. It was quick and easy to make. And it helped to use up lots of stuff we already had open, like a box of pasta, so that made it even better! It was definitely a delicious warm confort meal that really hit the spot.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Russian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 package 8 oz sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground beef at least 80%
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 6 cups Egg noodles, cooked
  • Chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, if desired

Instructions
 

  • In 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove from skillet to small bowl; set aside.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. In same skillet, cook beef 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1 cup of the beef broth, the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; heat to boiling. Beat flour and remaining 1/2 cup beef broth with whisk until incorporated; stir into beef mixture. Add mushroom mixture; return to boiling, and stir constantly about 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.
  • Serve with cooked noodles. Garnish with parsley.

Notes

It’s important to create a slurry with the flour and broth so the mixture will blend in with meat mixture in the skillet without forming lumps. Bringing everything to a boil thickens the skillet dish and cooking it for a minute or two cooks away any raw flour taste.
If you don’t have egg noodles, you can substitute pasta.
A sprinkle of fresh parsley or green onion adds to the visual appeal and fresh flavor of an everyday skillet dinner.
Using ground beef speeds up a dish that usually takes much longer; stroganoff is usually made from chunks of beef that benefit from a long slow braising.
Using mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce helps boost the beefy, savory flavor .
Cook your noodles while you’re preparing the stroganoff, and your dinner will be ready to serve in 30 minutes.
 
Original Recipe: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/ground-beef-stroganoff/d6e8b87f-fbaf-4d58-a44b-ddbc1d69699d
Keyword Beef, Noodles
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
March 31

Instant Pot Perfectly Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are great! They are one of my favorites dishes. Really they are, I could them everyday. Hard boiled eggs are easy to enjoy by themselves as a meal or a snack. Or if you don’t want them that way, you can always make them into deviled eggs or a delicious egg salad. The Instant Pot makes it so easy to make perfect hard boiled eggs every time, whether you are making 1 egg or over a dozen eggs. Give it a try!

Instant Pot Perfectly Hard Boiled Eggs

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Ice Bath 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 12 Eggs
  • 1-1.5 cup Water

Instructions
 

  • Add the water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Make sure it's at least one cup, add more if it's an 8qt Instant Pot.
  • Add steamer rack or silicone egg rack into Instant Pot.
  • Carefully set as many eggs as desired onto your rack.
  • Place lid on pressure cooker and set the cook time for 5 minutes on High Pressure.
  • After the cook timer has finished, let sit for 5 minutes then do a Quick Pressure Release.
  • Carefully remove the eggs from the Instant Pot and place in an ice bath for 5 minutes to cool.
  • Remove eggs from water bath.
  • Peel eggs from shell.
  • Store in fridge for up to 7 days.

Suggestions

  • Can do 1 egg or up to 16 eggs in a 6qt Instant Pot
  • Best to peel eggs before refrigerating.
  • Lets eggs come to temp to prevent cracking.
  • Use cold water, warm or hot will change cook time
Keyword Eggs, Instant Pot
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
March 26

Easy Sweet Corn on the Cob

There’s not much to this recipe, it’s just a pot of water and corn. I only added it on here because I can never remember if I’m supposed to boil the water then add the corn, or add the corn to the pot then bring it to a boil.

Is there a right way? Or is it all preference? Either way, the way I do it can be found below…

Easy Sweet Corn on the Cob

Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 ears Corn on the Cob dehusked and silk removed

Instructions
 

  • Fill a large pot about 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in sugar and lemon juice, dissolving the sugar. Bring to a boil.
  • Gently place ears of corn into boiling water, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let the corn cook in the hot water until tender, about 10 minutes.
Keyword Corn, Sweet Corn
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
March 26

Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder

We’re currently adhering to a State of Hawaii and a City of Honolulu stay-at-home order to try to limit the spread the corona virus. That means it’s the perfect time to make a hearty soup to feed us for a few days. This Instant Pot chowder is really going to hit the spot, and it pairs deliciously with some sour dough bread toast. We stocked up on all of the ingredients we would need before the order went into effect, so we wouldn’t have to run back out needlessly to the store.

Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Instant Pot, 6qt or larger

Ingredients
  

  • 4 slices Bacon diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 4-5 Red Potatoes
  • 1 16oz bag Corn Kernels, frozen
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth chicken broth also works well
  • 1 tsp Thyme dried
  • 1 pinch Cayenee pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Chives chopped, can substitute green onion

Instructions
 

  • Set Instant Pot to saute. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes, Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add garlic and onion to the Instant Pot. Cook until onions have become transparent, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in broth, corn, bacon, potatoes, thyme, cayenne pepper, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Set Instant Pot to High for 10 minutes, and make sure to close the valve on top. When finished, open the quick-release valve on top.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and flour. Set aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute. Bring soup to a boil. Stir in the heavy cream mixture, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. If it is too thick, add more broth to reach desired consistancy.
  • Serve ganished with chives.

Notes

Original recipe: https://damndelicious.net/2018/02/17/instant-pot-potato-corn-chowder/
Keyword Instant Pot
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This was super easy to make. It tasted fantastic, and we are looking forward to having it a few dinners. Definitely worth making if you want a hearty chowder. Some sourdough toast was the perfect thing to mop it up with.

March 23

Banana Bread

Who doesn’t love banana bread? Especially when it is hot and fresh. With coffee or with ice cream, it’s one treat that is hard to say no to.

With all the ripe bananas accumulating in our freezer, we needed to make room and use them up. One of my co-workers, Tammy, often makes delicious banana bread and brings it in to share with everyone at the office. I decided it was time to ask her for her recipe so could free up some of our freezer space. Luckily enough for me, she was happy to share her recipe.

At the end of the recipe, I’ve included a few other additions/substitutions that i found recommend on a few recipes sites. I haven’t tried any of them, so I can’t attest to how good or bad they are. As we get a chance to make them, I try to come back and report how they worked out. Until then…. Enjoy!

Banana Bread

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Shortening can substitute vegetable oil
  • 4 Eggs tempered, soak in hot tap water for 5 minutes
  • 2-6 Bananas very ripe
  • 2.5 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • .5 cup Nuts optional
  • .5 cup Chocolate Chips optional

Instructions
 

  • Mix sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add well beaten eggs. Add bananas
  • In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add nuts to dry ingredients. Stir then add to the banana mixture. Mix gently – folding the flour in, only until combined.
  • Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes for muffins or 45 minutes for loaf pans. (I bake for 55 minutes for 9 x 13 pan.)

Notes

For the optional nuts and chocolate chips, can mix-and-match, use up to 1 cup total. 
Other optional additions to try: 
  • 1/2 cup plain/vanilla yogurt or sour cream to make it more decadent
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of cloves and/or cinnamon
  • substitute rolled oats for half the flour
 
Keyword Bread, Muffins
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!