Sunday, January 29, 2017

Creamy Potato Soup in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

My hubby gave me an Instant Pot pressure cooker for Christmas.  I stared at the box for 2 weeks before I even opened it because I didn't know what to do with it.  All I really needed to do was look online because when I did, I found tons of recipes to make using my pressure cooker.  And then I started finding friends who swear that it is the only way they cook now.  This recipe came from one of those friends.  The soup was incredibly flavorful, which is one of the things that people say about cooking with a pressure cooker.  I would be curious to try it in a slow cooker, or on the stove to see if it had as good of a flavor.  My entire family ate it and liked it!  Winner! 

Creamy Potato Soup
adapted from:

1 onion, diced
2 slices bacon
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp. oil
1 c. chicken broth
2 1/2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes (I guessed on the amount)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
a dash of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. heavy cream (or use evaporated milk)
salt and pepper to taste

I am going to give the instructions just as my friend gave them to me.  If you make this using a slow cooker or on the stove, I'm sure you can figure it out.
1.  Press Saute on Instant Pot.  Add onion, bacon, garlic and oil.  Stir while sauteing for 3-4 minutes.  Do not walk away or this will burn.
2.  Add 1 c. of chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, celery, parsley, red pepper flakes, and Italian Seasoning.  Stir.  Place the lid on the pot, press Steam button and set minutes to 10.  (It takes about 10 minutes to come to pressure and then cooks for 10 minutes)
3.  When it beeps, do a quick pressure release.  Remove the bacon and discard (I didn't discard it. We just cut it into bite-sized pieces, then put it back in at the end).  Add 2 cups of chicken broth and the heavy cream.  Insert a handheld blender and run it on short bursts until it has a creamy consistency that you like, but make sure to leave chunks of potatoes.  Don't puree it all.  Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring gently to incorporate.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chili Lime Taquitos

I found this recipe on my friend, Michele's, food blog the other day.  I gave it a try, and my family loved it!  In fact, we made it again a few days later because they liked it so much.  And it is so quick and easy if you prepare the chicken in advance, shred it and freeze it in one cup amounts, like I did.  Doing it that way, it probably only took 5-10 minutes to prepare.  Love an easy meal!

Chili Lime Taquitos

2 c. cooked, shredded chicken
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice (or the juice of one lime)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
6-8 tortillas

In a skillet, stir together the shredded chicken, chili powder and lime juice.  Add the cilantro and cheese and stir it all together.  Remove it from the heat, and put 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture on one end of a tortilla.  Roll it tightly, starting from that end, and then place it seam side down on a baking sheet.  Repeat with all of the tortillas and chicken mixture.  Leave a little space between each taquito on the baking sheet, so that they will cook all around.  Using a pastry brush, lightly brush a little oil over the top and sides of each taquito.  Bake at 425 degrees, for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Serve with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Peanut Butter Pie

This was Avery's choice for pie this year.  It sounded so rich and sweet that I thought it would be too rich, and too sweet.  But, I was wrong!  It was just enough.  So delicious!  It was the favorite pie of all that we made.

Peanut Butter Pie
adapted from:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. container of Cool Whip
24 crushed Nutter Butter cookies
4 Tbsp. melted butter
chocolate fudge ice cream topping

In a small bowl, stir together the Nutter Butter crumbs and melted butter and press into the bottom and sides of a pie plate.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until it begins to look golden brown.  Set it aside and let it cool down.  In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar and beat it with an electric mixer until it is smooth and creamy.  Add the peanut butter and vanilla and do the same.  Stir in the cool whip until it is well combined (also, smooth and creamy) and spread the whole mixture over the cooled Nutter Butter crust.  Squirt a little of the chocolate fudge ice cream topping over the top of the pie and refrigerate until you are ready to eat it.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Creamy Ranch Chicken Bake

The other day I needed something new that I could prepare and bake while I worked on other things.  I thought that something creamy and ranchy and chicken-y sounded good, so I googled those three words and found all sorts of recipes titled "Creamy Ranch Chicken".  I guess there are many other people that also thought that sounded good.  I looked at a couple of the recipes, and they were all about the same as what was going on in my head, except for being cooked in a crockpot instead of baked.  So, my guess is that in the future, if I want to make this same recipe in the crockpot, it would work out just fine.

Creamy Ranch Chicken Bake
by: Carolyn

1/2 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 ranch packet
bacon bits
salt and pepper
chicken breasts

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a 9X13 dish with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, ranch packet and bacon bits.  Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on your chicken breasts and place them in the pan (the ranch and bacon make this a salty recipe already, so you could omit this if you wanted).  Spread the creamy mixture over the top of your chicken.  Cover it with tinfoil and bake it for 20 minutes.  Remove the tinfoil and bake it another 5 minutes, or until it is no longer pink in the center.  I served it with baked potatoes and steamed carrots.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Now that we are in the full swing of Fall, I am really loving things like soup, for dinner.  I have made this recipe a couple of times now, and we loved it both times.  I use the egg noodles from Costco, and cook it in my slow cooker, so that makes it especially easy.  One of the times I made it I got ambitious and also made my easy rolls to go with it.  It was a super delicious, cozy Fall meal!

Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
by: Carolyn

2 tsp. minced garlic
1 onion, sliced
4 c. chicken broth
4 c. water
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped carrots
3 potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 chicken breast
3-4 handfuls of uncooked, wide egg noodles (or as many as you want-just be aware that they will swell as they soak up the water, and if it doesn't seem like you have enough in there, you probably really do)

In your slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients, except the egg noodles.  Cook it on high for 4-6 hours, or on low for 8 hours.  Remove the chicken breast, shred it, and put it back in the crock pot.  Add the egg noodles, recover the crock pot, and cook for 15-20 minutes more, or until the noodles are tender.  

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fish Tacos with Lime Cilantro Crema

Ahh, fish tacos.  This is a new food choice for me, and I really love them!  I have made this recipe a couple of times, and both times I was so happy with how they turned out.  The fish is delicious, but the lime crema adds so much to them!  The only thing I wish I had been able to add was some cabbage to the taco.  We didn't have any, so lettuce had to do.  

Fish Tacos
adapted from: Cooking Light

1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 tilapia fillets

Lime Cilantro Crema
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. grated lime rind
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. minced garlic

In a small dish, combine the cumin, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and garlic powder.  Sprinkle the spices evenly over both sides of the fish.  Bake the fish at 425 degrees for 9 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.  I think that the second time I made this, I actually fried the fish in a small amount of oil on the stove.  I say, try it either way!  While the fish is cooking, combine all the ingredients for the crema in a small bowl.  Chill it in the fridge until you are ready for it.  When the fish is cooked, break it into small pieces and then serve it on a soft taco shell (we used corn tortillas) with the lime cilantro crema and cabbage.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Massaman Curry

My hubby has been asking me to make Massaman Curry for a while now, and I could never get around to it.  I finally made it happen this week and I'm so glad that I did!  This was a delicious, easy, curry recipe, and it was just enough of a change from our other favorite curry recipes, that it was refreshing.

Massaman Curry
adapted from:

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. curry paste (mine was red)
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground ginger 
2 chicken breasts, cubed
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 of 1/3 c. of chunky peanut butter (did that make sense?)
2 peeled, cubed potatoes
2 peeled, sliced carrots
1/2  of an onion, sliced
1 can of coconut milk
1 Tbsp. lime juice

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Stir in the curry paste and ginger and cook it for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken breast cubes and cook for about 3 minutes.  Stir in the brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, peanut butter, potatoes, carrots, onions and coconut milk.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender.  Add the lime juice and cook it for 5 more minutes.  Serve it over rice or rice noodles.