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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake [Pressure Cooker]

Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake

I have the 6 qt IP-60DUO Instant Pot Pressure Cooker - I cannot tell you how much I love this machine! It has made my life so much easier. When I got it, I never imagined I would make CHEESECAKE in it. I was of the mindset that some things are better left for the oven.

Baking in a pressure cooker? I don’t know… Well, now that I have made this Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake, my Pumpkin Pie Bread and Banana Cake Bread, even Perfect Semi-homemade Cornbread in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker… I have changed my mind!

Please DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED by making cheesecake. I hear that so many people are. OK - I admit it, I was, too.

To be HONEST with you, making my Pumpkin Pie Bread or Banana Cake Bread is harder than this cheesecake (although I would consider none of them difficult, truly)!

Personal opinion here: I am not a huge fan of the over-the-top cheesecakes that have peanut butter cups or cookies or drizzles of whatever toppings. Cheesecake is divine. It is rich and delicious, creamy and sweet. Do you really need chopped chocolate candies, cookies and all that other jazz? Personally, I think it totally takes away the simple, rich, pure deliciousness I LOVE about cheesecake. To Each His Own

This Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake is the perfect balance of adding flavor, but not taking away from the innate divinity that is Cheesecake!

Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake
[Pressure Cooker]


16 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup milk*
1/2 cup sugar
2 t packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch salt
1/4 cup cinnamon chips*

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, about 8 full crackers, grind to fine crumbs
4 T butter, melted
1 T sugar
1/4 t cinnamon (if using cinnamon graham crackers, can omit)
2 T cinnamon chips

*some recipes call for heavy cream, but I use regular 1 or 2% milk (whatever I have in the fridge — turns out GREAT!
**cinnamon chips can sometimes be hard to find in stores, so I often buy online!

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have the 6 qt IP-60DUO Instant Pot
7 inch springform pan* I used this Nordic Ware panbut I love this Patisse springform pan, too
*can also use a push pan, but I prefer springform
Food Processor**, I have a Black & Decker - has lasted me YEARS!
**can also use hand mixer but I MUCH prefer the food processor


Process graham cracker crumbs to a fine crumb - I use my Kitchen Aid hand mixer with mini food processor attachment so I don’t get my large food processor dirty before needing to use it for the filling. You can also put the graham crackers in a zip top back and bang the mess out of them with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin!

In processor or small mixing bowl, add graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon and mix until well combined.

Pour crumbs into springform pan (or push pan if using) and evenly press it into the bottom of the pan and up the side about an inch. I use my good ole clean fingers!
Sprinkle 2 T cinnamon chips on prepared crust. I also sprinkle additional cinnamon and sugar because…why not?! Totally optional. Set prepared crust aside.

In food processor bowl, add cream cheese, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Combine very well (top 2 pictures).

Add both eggs, then mix very lightly until JUST combined. On my food processor, I pulse 5-6 times tops! Most important part of cheesecake is to NOT over-mix the eggs.

Fold in cinnamon chips to mixed batter just until combined. Pour batter over prepared crust.

Create foil “sling” using 1 long piece of foil, about 1 1/2 feet long. Fold edges into the center lengthwise… the point is for you to use this to put the cheesecake in the pressure cooker and take it out.

Cover cheesecake with 1 large paper towel (you can see below, I only had the small pieces so criss crossed them - don’t do this if you don’t have to because the paper towel may sort of fall into your cheesecake and leave paper marks [mine did, but whatever… taste NOT affected!].

Loosely cover paper towel with foil. 

Pour 1 cup water in bottom of pressure cooker. Place short trivet over water. Then use foil sling to place cheesecake in pressure cooker.

Close lid and close vent knob.
For Instant pot, turn vent knob to “Sealing”

Choose High Pressure option, and set cook time to 38 minutes.
For Instant Pot, press Manual (should default to High Pressure), and use +/- buttons to adjust cook time to 38 minutes.

When cook time is complete, allow pressure to naturally release (NPR) fully, this took about 20 minutes for me.

How do you know when the pressure has released? For most pressure cookers, you should have an indicator pin that drops - if you look at the picture above that shows the Instant Pot Vent Knob being turned to sealing, to the right of that knob, take note of the silver “pin” - when up, the pot in pressurized; when down, the pressure has release.

Carefully remove cheesecake with foil sling, remove foil and paper towel, then allow to cool on counter for 1 hour. 

Afterwards, cover with paper towel and plastic wrap or foil (I use the same foil I covered it with in pressure cooker, making sure to have dried it completely) and allow to cool completely in fridge, about 6-8 hours. I know, its so long to wait, but trust me it is worth it!

Unlatch your springform pan, and carefully pull up to remove side of springform pan. Transfer to dish, or serve from springform pan bottom (BUT be CAREFUL not to scratch it!).

You’ll want to eat it so fast, I know… but take a slow, thoughtful bite. It is SO DELICIOUS - it deserves to be mindfully savored!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up with a sliver for breakfast with a cup of Ready-for-Adventure coffee, too!

Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake
[Pressure Cooker]

  • You may have noticed I do not add a sour cream topping - it’s just not my thing. If you want to, do it.
    • Use 1 cup sour cream + 3 t sugar mixed well. Pour on cheesecake immediately when it comes out of pressure cooker. Follow all other steps as written above
  • If you use a smaller pan, you will need to adjust cook time
    • 6 inch springform or push pan: 40 minutes
    • mini 4 inch pans (divided into 3 pans): 12-15 minutes (I have not done this using these pans personally)
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One Pot Smokey Meat Sauce over Rice [Pressure Cooker] [21 day fix approved]

One Pot Smokey Meat Sauce over Rice

I am always looking for new ways to use ground beef or ground turkey.

And, I’m always looking for new ways to meal prep and eat something healthier.

There’s more!

I am also always looking for new ways to make a ONE POT MEAL!

This Smokey Meat Sauce is IT! It works for all the things I am looking for, and it will work for you, too!

You can use ground beef or ground turkey - totally up to you! I happen to LOVE using ground turkey in this - ground turkey is GREAT about picking up flavors you give it. This meat sauce is not short on flavor! It pairs perfectly with brown rice!

This recipe is great to fit into your 21 Day Fix or Whole30 meal plan, too! For Whole30, omit rice and/or sub with potatoes or perhaps Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash!

The recipe will show directions for pot in pot (pip) methods of making brown rice with the meat sauce. If you prefer white rice, please refer to notes at the end of the recipe to modify - there is a different cooking process if using white rice.

One Pot Smokey Meat Sauce & Rice

for sauce

1 T olive oil
1 1/4 lbs ground beef or turkey
1 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t smoked paprika (Smoked, not regular!)
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
pinch-1/2 t cayenne pepper, optional for spice (I use 1/4 t)
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with chiles (can use plain if desired)
3 T tomato paste (If using canned, freeze the rest in tupperware for later!)
1/2 cup water
1 lime, juiced
2-3 T fresh cilantro, chopped (can sub parsley if desired)

Optional add-in ingredients
totally up to your preference!

1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
hot sauce, to taste

Ingredients for Rice
1 1/4 cup brown rice
1 1/4 cup water + 4 T water
1 T butter or olive oil
1/2 t garlic salt

For brown rice, I use 1:1+2T.  ratio of Rice: water [1 cup rice : 1 cup + 2 T water]
*Learn more about my preferences for cooking rice - coming soon!

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have the 6 qt IP-60DUO Instant Pot
Trivet or rack, like this simple rack
Oven-safe bowl, like this Corningware 1 1/2 qt bowl
Large cooking spoon, or this Pampered Chef Mix-n-Chop tool


Set Pressure Cooker on Sauté or Browning mode.

Add oil, allow to heat for 30 seconds. Add ground meat, and sauté for 3-5 minutes until browned. Break up meat using spoon or this Pampered Chef Mix-n-Chop tool

Using silicone mitts or hand towel, lift & tilt inner pressure cooker pot and drain grease.

Add onion, garlic and dried seasonings. Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.
*Add optional add-in ingredients at this time as well.
I added bell pepper and mushrooms!

Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, water and lime juice.

Stir and place small trivet or rack over sauce

Place rice and water, plus butter and garlic salt if desired, in oven safe bowl on trivet.
This is considered a pot-in-pot method (pip).

Close lid to pressure cooker, and close venting knob.
For Instant Pot, turn vent knob to “Sealing”.

Choose High Pressure setting, and adjust cook time to 15 minutes.
For Instant Pot, press “Manual” and use +/- buttons to adjust cook time.

Pressure cooker will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure (mine took 13 - yep, I timed it!). When pot comes to pressure, cook time will begin.

When cook time is complete, allow pot to naturally release pressure (NPR) for 10 minutes.
For Instant pot, when cook time completes, pot will beep and display L0:00 and automatically change to keep warm setting - allow timer to count up to 10 minutes of natural pressure release time.

After 10 minutes, Quickly release remaining pressure (QPR) by opening vent knob.
For Instant Pot, turn vent knob to “Venting”.

Fluff rice with a fork, and carefully remove bowl using silicone mitts or other oven mitt.

Carefully remove trivet/rack (yessss - it will be HOT). Stir sauce.

Serve sauce over rice and Enjoy!

This should make 5 generous servings.

One Pot Smokey Meat Sauce over Rice

21 Day Fix:
1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green, 1 tsp

If you prefer to use white rice, make the following modifications:
1. Use 1:1 ratio of rice: water
2. Cook sauce without adding rice for 10 minutes on High Pressure and QPR.
3. Open lid, carefully add trivet over sauce, place bowl of rice/water on trivet, then cook an additional 3 minutes on High Pressure, followed by 10 minutes NPR.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Best Ever Collard Greens [Pressure Cooker or Stove top]

Best Ever Collard Greens

I have a husband that loves Collard Greens!

However, he is pretty picky about his Collard Greens - he wants true Southern, deep and rich flavor.

Ever been to a true Southern restaurant or even family cook out - one that serves fried chicken and all the fixin’s by the bucket, probably served home style? Their chicken is well seasoned and crispy. The cornbread is dense and thick. The corn is drenched in butter. Black eyed beans are cooked from scratch. Yams, perfectly soft. Mashed potatoes come with homemade peppered gravy. Et cetera. And their Collard Greens

Those Collard Greens, y'all - smokey, salty, rich, just the right texture
you just cannot get that true, classic comfort food flavor any other way than by using a good ole Smoked Turkey neck bone, and a couple other essential ingredients. A smoked ham hock/bone works, too, but I much prefer the turkey neck bone.

True, Southern Collard Greens usually take at least 90 minutes to slowly cook down on the stove top (some folks cook for 3 hours!). You can totally use this recipe on the stove top. However, these BEST EVER Collard Greens are made in at least 1/3 of the time in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker! And, they are SO INCREDIBLY EASY!

Directions for both Stove Top and Pressure Cooker methods included below.

Best Ever Collard Greens


16 ounces collard greens
I use the pre-cut, pre-triple-washed greens in the bag because… why not?!

1 Smoked Turkey Neck Bone (or ham hock)

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (I used my Homemade Chicken Bone Broth)
2 T apple cider vinegar (I prefer Bragg’s Organic ACV)
2 T honey
1/2 of an onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 1/2 T)
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t seasoned salt
1/4 t smoked paprika (smoked, not regular! A little goes a long way. I have this McCormick Smoked Paprika)

Essential Tools

Stovetop method: Large Stock Pot
Pressure Cooker method: I use this 6 qt 7-in-1 Instant Pot


Ready for this… ?

Throw all ingredients except collard greens in your stock pot or pressure cooker pot.
Stir until well combined.

Add Collard Greens.

Stovetop method: Stir, bring to simmer, then cook on low for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve, perhaps with some hot sauce!

Pressure Cooker method: You don’t even need to stir, y’all! Close lid, close vent knob (for Instant Pot, turn vent knob to Sealing) and Cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes (for Instant Pot, press “Manual”, then use "+/-" buttons to adjust cook time). When done, quickly release pressure (QPR), stir. Serve, perhaps with some hot sauce!

Are those the easiest directions ever or what? Don’t be fooled and think if it’s that easy it can’t be good… because man! They are freaking killer!

My husband, the picky collard green eater, said they are THE BEST EVER!

Best EVER Collard Greens
Pressure Cooker or Stove Top

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

One Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta [Pressure Cooker]

One Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta

I love pesto! Pesto has so much flavor, and it is great with pasta. It makes for a super simple dish that is full of flavor. I think its especially great with chicken! Even better, you can find a ton of pre-made pesto at your local grocery store - so no worries about making your own! If you want to, more power to ya!

I love the idea of a One Pot Pressure Cooker meal - I love even MORE the idea of a meal that only takes *5 ingredients to delicious!

*5 ingredients - not counting the water, salt and pepper - pesto, chicken, pasta, butter/oil, spinach

This meal is fast! It only takes 4-5 minutes of hands on work, and cooks in under 20 minutes total from start to serving!

Another WIN about this meal is that my super picky 7 year old daughter ate it and complimented it - I honestly didn’t think she’d eat it (simply because its got green in it!), but I was pleasantly surprised this One Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta was kid-approved!

The hubby was happy with this meal, I was thrilled & the kid ate it.

Total wife & mom win!

One Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta


2 T butter or oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken, cubed into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 box (1 pound) pasta, choose a substantial noodle like rigatoni or cavatappi
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 t salt
1 T butter or olive oil
1/2 cup pesto
3-4 cups baby spinach

Optional garnish
Parmesan cheese
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have this IP-60DUO 7-in-1 6 qt Instant Pot
Large mixing spoon


Turn on Pressure Cooker to Sauté or Browning setting, then add 2 T olive oil or butter (I used oil but either is fine). Add chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4-1/2 t each).

Sear chicken for 2-3 minutes. Do not cook through.

Add pasta, water, 1/2 t salt, plus 1 T butter cut in pieces or 1 T olive oil (I used olive oil, but either is fine).

Stir lightly. Close lid, and close vent knob - on Instant pot, turn vent knob to “Sealing”.

Set cook time to 4 minutes on High Pressure - for Instant Pot, press Manual and adjust cook time with “+/-“ buttons to 4 minutes.

Pot will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure, then cook time countdown will begin.

When cook time is complete, quickly release pressure (QPR) and remove lid.

You may have some water left in the pot - that is okay! It will help make your sauce.

Press cancel or off on your pressure cooker. Turn on sauté or browning function.

Add pesto and stir.

Then add spinach and stir. Spinach will take no time at all to wilt!

After pesto blends well and spinach is wilted, turn cooker OFF.

Serve, and garnish with parmesan cheese, cracked pepper and/or crushed red pepper, if desired.

Recipe should yield 5-6 generous servings.

One Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta

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Pumpkin Pie Bread [Pressure Cooker]

Pumpkin Pie Bread

So, I totally made this recipe up.

It’s true... I had leftover canned pumpkin in my fridge - I made my Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal the day before. I decided I’d use the leftover pumpkin to experiment! Perhaps I can make pumpkin bread in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. I had no clue how it would come out…

So now that you must have COMPLETE confidence in me, let me share the glory of my wingin’-it Pumpkin Pie Bread. I

I call it “Pumpkin PIE bread” intentionally. The texture of this “bread” is kinda like pie. Like seriously, its moist like pumpkin pie filling, but dense and bread-like enough to cut, pick up and eat with your hands. It’s not like your average pumpkin or banana bread texture - its so much more… gosh… pudding like! Its so moist. It’s so soft. It’s slightly spiced, with just enough pumpkin, and not too sweet. It’s freaking delicious…

and, I made it in my [Instant Pot] Pressure Cooker! How cool is that?

Confession: I made this Pumpkin Pie Bread 4 days ago… and I have one slice left… and I haven’t shared… with anyone. Can I blame the fact that I am 31 weeks pregnant for eating the whole thing by myself (with frosting)?
Pumpkin Pie Bread


Cooking spray
2-3 T flour

2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t all spice

1/4 cup butter, softened to room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup oil (I use vegetable or canola oil)
1 t vanilla
1 cup pure pumpkin
2 eggs

Essential Tools

6 cup Bundt Pan, I have this Nordic Ware Bundt pan
Pressure Cooker, I have the IP-DUO60 6 qt Instant Pot
Trivet aka cooking rack, like this K Steel cooking rack
Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer, I have this Kitchen Aid Pro Stand Mixer*
*passed down from my Grandma, my Nonna Maria - it is super special 😊
Measuring utensils, spoons & cups


Prepare bundt pan - lightly spray with cooking spray, then coat very lightly with flour (add about 2-3 T flour to sprayed bundt pan and tap it around so coat). Lightly tap bundt pan to loosen and remove all excess flour. Preparing the bundt pan will ensure the bread does not stick.

Prepare pressure cooker - add 1 1/2 cups water to bottom of pressure cooker pot, and place trivet / cooking rack on top of water.

In separate mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices.

In large mixing bowl with hand mixer or stand mixer, blend butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 45-60 seconds on medium high speed.

Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with spatula to ensure all is combined.

Add maple syrup, vanilla and oil. Blend well, about 15-30 second on medium high speed.

Add pumpkin. Blend well, about 15-30 seconds on medium high speed.

Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with spatula to ensure all is combined.

Add eggs 1 at a time until just combined, about 15 seconds after adding each egg on medium speed - do not over mix eggs.

Add half flour mixture, blend just until combined, about 15 seconds on low speed. Add remaining dry ingredients and blend just until combined, another 15 seconds on low speed.

It’s okay to see some flour not totally combined.

Use your spatula to gently mix in the remaining, then transfer pumpkin pie bread batter to prepared bundt pan using a spatula to evenly distribute.

Tap bundt pan on counter to get rid of larger air bubbles.

Cover bundt pan with foil and place covered bundt pan on trivet in Pressure Cooker.

Close lid and close vent knob - for Instant Pot, turn vent knob to “sealing”.

Cook for 45 minutes on High Pressure -  for Instant Pot, press manual then adjust time to 45 minutes using +/- buttons.

NOTE! If not using this bundt pan (, but using a round or springform pan, you will likely need to increase cook time from 45 mins to 50-55.

When cook time is complete, allow pot to naturally depressurize (NPR) for 10 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure (QPR).

Carefully remove bundt pan from Pressure Cooker - I tilt my inner pot slightly and use a towel to remove the bundt pan. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from bundt pan.

Allow Pumpkin Pie bread to cool completely before cutting and serving.

I like to serve after chilling it for at least an hour int he fridge with some powdered sugar and a dollop of a frosting of your choice - I like cream cheese or vanilla frosting for this! Up to you 😀

Pumpkin Pie Bread

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