Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Foodie, Instant Pot, Multi-Cooker, Pasta, Recipes, Sauces, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Pasta

Last night, I made this Beef and Mushroom Ragu . We didn’t have any Spaghetti squash, so I just served it over pasta (yeah, I didn’t take any photos of the sauce over the pasta, sorry….). YUM! It was SO GOOD! Thanks again Julie for sharing this recipe link with me! It’s another great thing about knitting friends…..It’s not just knitting they know…..they know good food too!

If you’re a pasta lover like me, I’ve found some more pasta recipes that you might want to try in your Multi-cooker….

Now, that’s a YUMMY looking list of Pasta Recipes! Let me know if you try any. I LOVE to hear feedback on food!

Happy Cooking!

Lori

Advertisements
Posted in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Foodie, Instant Pot, Multi-Cooker, Multi-Pot, Recipes, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Lemon Chicken

Over the weekend, I did a little “meal prepping” by cooking a few chicken breasts. These will be great for lunches for me for a few days this week (as Mr. Muddling doesn’t care for chicken). I’ll chop these up and add them to salads or mix them with some cooked veggies and rice for a chicken rice bowl. Earlier in the week, I had seen someone on TV (not sure what I was watching Food Network?  A different cooking show? the local news’ cooking segment?)cook Lemon Chicken by roasting it on a sheet pan. That sounded SO GOOD. But. I was a little afraid that roasting the chicken breasts I had in the freezer might get a little dried out.

Since I now own an Instant Pot, and since I know I can cook frozen chicken breasts without thawing (and they come out perfect….) I decided to try Lemon Chicken in the Instant Pot. Here’s my “Recipe”….

I started by adding a little olive oil to the bottom of the pot (mostly because I was going to brown the chicken breasts a little before pressure cooking them….that was BEFORE I remembered I had FROZEN chicken breasts…..). I added 1 cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Put 4 chicken breasts (Remember, mine were frozen, but you could also use fresh, you’d just want to adjust your cooking time) into the bottom. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Squeezed the juice of one lemon over the top of the lemon breasts. Cut a second lemon into slices and layered over the chicken breasts.

I found a cooking time for chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes. Then, because my chicken breasts were frozen, I added 50% more cooking time. I set the “Manual” setting for 15 minutes. Put the lid on, making sure the lever was set to “sealing”. Then went about doing other things (maybe it was cleaning or maybe it was knitting….although, odds are, it was knitting…). After it was done cooking, I did a little taste test to make sure it was good. It was SO GOOD! Now, I wonder why you couldn’t put rice beneath the chicken breasts and make Lemon Chicken and Rice….h-m-m-m-m-m….something to try….

Happy Cooking!

Lori

Posted in Broth, Cooking, Foodie, Instant Pot, Multi-Cooker, Multi-Pot, Soups, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Beef Broth

This weekend, I made Beef Broth. For whatever reason, I did not get a photo of the finished, strained (boring?) broth. Since I purchased my Instant Pot, I have made several batches of broth. Chicken, turkey and the ham base of the Navy Beans and Ham Soup. I Love that I can dump everything in the Instant Pot , set the manual setting for about an hour and walk away to do other things (maybe a little house cleaning or maybe a little knitting…..   😉  ).

I started by browning a soup bone that I had thawed earlier in the week. It’s so great to be able to do this right in the Instant Pot by using the Saute setting.

Speaking of Saute setting, I recently learned the trick to keep things from sticking, is to make sure you let the Instant Pot’s display read “HOT” before you start trying to Saute anything. You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, but it did.

While the soup bone was browning, I roughly chopped up 3 stalks of celery.

Then, I peeled 3 carrots.

Then, I added the celery and carrot peels in with the soup bone and Sauted them for a minute or two.

I had intended to add some fresh garlic too, but….

Looks like my garlic is ready to plant!  😉

I also didn’t buy onions when I was in the grocery store last week, even though I knew I didn’t have any when I made my Navy Beans and Ham Soup, but for whatever reason, they never made it to my grocery list. Maybe next week!

I added 10 cups of water (that brought the level in my 6 quart Instant Pot up to the 1/2 full mark) over the soup bone/veggie mixture. I added roughly 1 Tbsp. of each of dried garlic and onions (that whole lack of fresh garlic and onions business….). I also added 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning and a palmful of Kosher salt. Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Made sure the dial was set to “sealing” (I’m getting better, but this still seems to be a problem for me sometimes…..). Set the “Manual” setting to 60 minutes and let the machine do it’s thing. When everything was done, I strained the broth, set about 6 cups aside for a soup I was making and froze the rest in zippered bags. I’ll use the frozen broth later for a soup base or to cook rice or vegetables in.

Happy Cooking!

Lori

Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Foodie, Instant Pot, Multi-Cooker, Multi-Pot, Rice, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Perfect Rice

When I was doing research before purchasing my Instant Pot, I read several posts about how fabulous making rice in the Instant Pot was. I have to say, I was a little skeptical. I’ve made rice in the Slow-cooker and it was less than a success. So….could making rice in a Multi-cooker make that big of a difference? I’m here to tell you, YES, it can! So far, I’ve just followed the recipes/cooking times in the recipe section that came with my Instant Pot. But every time the rice has been fluffy and perfect. The best part, I don’t have to babysit it on the stovetop either!

Want to get started making rice? I’ve rounded up some of the best recipes for you to try….

Hope you get a chance to make some rice in your Multi-cooker soon!

Happy Cooking!

Lori

Posted in Beans, Cooking, Instant Pot, Multi-Pot, Recipes, Soups, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Navy Beans and Ham

First off, I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

Now, on to today’s “recipe”. I say that because it’s really more of a cooking “method” than it is a “recipe”. My family has been making Navy beans and Ham for as long as I can remember. At Christmas we cooked a spiral -sliced ham and when the ham was gone, I decided I would put the ham bone to use making the soup base for some yummy Navy Bean and Ham soup! If you own a Multi-Cooker (this might have been one of the best purchases I’ve made….EVER!), it’s really simple to do!

I started by cooking the Beans. Now that I think about it, I’m not really sure if they’re really called “Navy” beans in the grocery store (my beans were no longer in their packaging….) or maybe that’s just what my family called them…..Anyway, they are a small, white bean. When I cooked the beans (about 3 cups of washed beans with enough water to cover the beans…about 4 cups maybe), I also added a 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper to the water (the ginger is supposed to take the “gas” out of beans and the cayenne was just to add a little “zing” to the beans! ). I set the “manual” setting to 35 minutes, made sure I had the vent lever on “sealing” (if you’ve been around the blog any length of time, you’ll find I forget to do that more often than should happen….). When the beans were done, I drained them and set them aside.

Now, on to cooking the broth. Again, super easy! I placed the ham bone (with still quite a bit of ham attached) in the Multi-Cooker. Filled the pot about halfway full of water (now that I think about it, it would have been nice to saute some onions, carrots and celery to add to the broth, but as I didn’t have any at the time and there was NO WAY I was going to town….well, you can draw your own conclusions…..). Set the “manual” setting on 60 minutes. Made sure the vent was on “sealing” (it’s a REAL thing with me for sure!) and let the Multi-cooker do it’s thing. After the broth was cooked (and while the cooker is now on the “keep warm” setting), I scraped as much ham off the bone as I could. Removed the bone and as much floating ham fat as I could. Added the beans in with the broth and let everything warm up. Then, I ladled myself up a big bowl, added a couple Tablespoonfuls of ketchup over the soup (don’t judge me, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, there’s just something about the tomato and acid flavor of the ketchup that is just SO GOOD with the beans!) and sat down to enjoy. I’ll be freezing portions of the soup to eat later this winter (Mr. Muddling won’t touch Navy beans and Ham, sometimes he doesn’t know what’s good!  😉  ).

Happy Cooking!

Lori

Posted in Candy, Christmas, Cooking, Foodie, Holidays, Instant Pot, Recipes, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Christmas Candy

Just 8 days until Christmas, but don’t panic! There’s still time to knock out some gifts from your kitchen (check out this post  and  this post for other ideas too…)! I found the Instant Pot that I purchased, is really helpful when making Christmas Candy! Here’s a couple of ways I found to use it…..

To use as a double-boiler, put 4 cups of water into the Multi-cooker (mine is an Instant Pot, but there are lots of other brands too), Place a glass or stainless steel bowl into the opening, set the dial to “Saute” . Adjust to medium. Once your almond bark or chips are melted, set to “Keep Warm” setting and it keeps the candy at the perfect consistency for dipping.

Once your pretzels (cookies, dried fruit, nuts, or whatever else you want to dip….) are coated, remove to a parchment covered sheet pan. Sprinkle with crushed candies (like peppermint….), coarse sugar, finely chopped nuts or sprinkles if desired.

You can also pour your melted almond bark (or chips…..) over popcorn (with mix-ins like pretzels, dried fruit nuts, etc….). Check out this Popcorn Crunch Bark recipe to get some ideas! YUM!

Of course, you can also make Bark with your melted candy. Here’s a few recipes to try….

Another way I found to use the Multi-Cooker, is by using the “Slow-Cooker” feature. This Crock-Pot Fudge is very easy to make (okay, I actually made my fudge in my old Slow-Cooker, that way I could make fudge at the same time as I was dipping the pretzels…..multitasking at it’s finest!). I made one batch out of these Sea Salt Caramels (and no….no-one paid me to say this, it’s just what I decided to do. Although, if someone wants to pay me, I’d be open to negotiations…. 😉  )

When I poured the fudge into the prepared pan, I sprinkled with some course Sea Salt (it just seemed like the thing to do….you can’t go wrong with Sea Salt and Caramel! ).

It tastes AMAZING!!!

The final way to use your Multi-Cooker for candy making is by using the “Saute” setting to melt/cook your ingredients. I found this Instant Pot Rice Krispy Treats recipe and she uses the Multi-Cooker to melt the butter/marshmallow mixture.

Make sure your “Saute” setting is adjusted to the normal setting.

Stir until marshmallows are melted.

I mixed in red & green M&Ms (since I had some on hand…..) with the Rice Krispies. Christmas Candy doesn’t have to be complicated! 😉

Need some other recipe ideas that the “Saute” setting could be used on (just a note – not all of the following recipes have instructions for using a Multi-Cooker, you’ll just be using your Multi-cooker and it’s “Saute: setting in place of the stovetop)..….

Oh! I almost forgot! Your Multi-Cooker’s “Saute” setting is also a great way to clean up the whole sticky mess too! When you’re ready for clean-up, fill the pot 3/4 full of water and a little dish soap. Set on “Saute” and as the water gets hot, stir to dissolve all of the stickiness…..

Let the water cool and finish the cleaning! YAY! ANOTHER reason to LOVE your Multi-Cooker!

What Candy are you making first?

Happy Candy making!

Lori

Posted in Beans, Cooking, Foodie, Instant Pot, Ravellenics, Soups, Winter

Foodie Friday – Beans!

I’ve found ANOTHER reason to LOVE my Instant Pot……Beans! Dried (Red) Beans that is. They cook up quicker and better in the Instant Pot! Believe me, I’ve tried the other ways….Slow-cooker, nope! Even if you soak the beans ahead of cooking and cook for 2 days the beans will still not be cooked (if you have had luck with the Slow-cooker, how DID you do it?). Stovetop….it works….and it takes ALL DAY LONG! Plus, constant watching to make sure your beans have enough (hot) liquid so they don’t boil dry…..

Here’s what I did for beans in the Instant Pot….

  • Measured 2 cups of dried beans and rinsed the beans. Put them into the Instant Pot.
  • Measured 2 cups of water (or enough to cover the beans). Poured over the beans.
  • Put the lid on.
  • Set the dial to “sealing” (I think we’ve discussed my forgetting this step sometimes…..)
  • Chose the “Manual” setting and set the time for 30 minutes (there was some debate about the done-ness of the beans as Mr. Muddling thought they weren’t done enough and I thought they were just right. If you don’t like your beans “firm”, you might want to set the time to 35 minutes….)

While the beans were cooking, I browned one pound each of ground country sausage and hamburger. When the beans were done, I added the hamburger to the Instant pot. Added two large cans of diced tomatoes, about a Tbsp. of Kosher salt and some Chili Seasoning Mix. Changed the setting to the “Slow-Cooker” setting, adjusted to high and 2 hours and let everything simmer for a couple of hours before we ate it. The easiest Chili I’ve ever made with dried beans! You can be sure I’ll be making this again! BUT. Because it’s almost Winter, here’s some other recipes using beans I’d also like to try….

Don’t these look YUMMY?!?!

Happy Cooking!

Lori