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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Instant Pot - Best Amazon Prime Deals on accessories and more!

Amazon Prime Day has arrived - Instant Pot lovers (and anyone & everyone else) rejoice!

If you’re still in need of an Instant Pot, or want a second, you’re in luck today!

If you’re looking for some appliances as a perfect match with your Instant Pot, you’re in luck today, too!

These are my favorite Amazon Prime Day deals to go with the Instant Pot or your Kitchen in general!

HURRY - the deals do NOT last all day and are prone to selling out FAST!

IP DUO60 7-in-1 8 quart Instant Pot - on sale today ONLY for $89! This is the lowest price ever!

A great accompaniment to the Instant Pot, or just a great add to your kitchen appliance stash, is this Ninja Professional Blender — Today ONLY, at the amazingly low price of $69. I have never seen it priced this low, ever!

Sous Vide is a trendy and absolutely delicious way to cook foods at a precise temperature, in it’s own juices for flavor and tenderness maximization! Today ONLY, this Anova Sous Vide is only $129 marked down from $199!

Cooking soups, sauces, or utilizes those flavorful juices after cooking meats or other foods in your Instant Pot is great! Make it easier to transform soups and sauces into a smooth, luscious consistency right in your pot with this Royal 5 piece Hand Blender, today ONLY priced at $19.97, marked down from $50!

Want a cook book to go along with your Pressure Cooker? This one is marked down 50% OFF!

Tongs are a must have in the kitchen and something I use almost everytime I use my Instant Pot! This DRAGONN Stainless Steel & silicone Set is on sale at almost 50% OFF, and an even better deal is coming on them today!

One of the hardest things about using the pressure cooker is removing the Inner Pot when hot, or removing accessories from inside the pot after cooking. These Extreme Heat Resistant gloves will make it a breeze, and a great deal is coming soon on them today!

The Instant Pot is GREAT for meal prep. Check out the Amazon Prime deal on these tupperware sets later today!

There are SO MANY other deals out there for Amazon Prime members! Check out their website for more deals and sign up for your Amazon Prime membership today!

Happy Amazon Prime Day, all!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

Jambalaya - such a fun word! (just me?)

I love rice dishes. Well, actually, I LOVE pasta dishes - I am Italian after all and I have to make Nonna proud. Nothing beats a good bowl of pasta, especially homemade & surprisingly perhaps, the more simple the better! However, a great rice dish comes in a VERY close 2nd to my beloved pasta.

With rice dishes, I love to add a TON of flavor. Don’t get intimidated… adding a ton of flavor doesn’t mean you have to have magical powers, just be creative with your ingredients and don’t be stingy with those seasonings! If a rice dish is going to be my MEAL, I don’t want just a bowl of mostly plain rice. I want meat and veggies and FLAVOR in every bite.

Chinese Fried Rice from a local takeout place usually disappoints me. Why? Because the ratio of rice to other ingredients is far too big. I want meat, I want veggies, I want flavor, not just a mouthful of rice. My Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice is a big hit in my house!

My husband loves smoked sausage and cajun spice. So, when I had these ingredients on hand recently and needed to get a good dinner on the table ASAP, I decided to go for an easy (and SUPER FAST) Jambalaya

Good news, it was a HIT! Better news, it took just a few minutes of prep and I cooked everything in one pot - the Instant Pot! Hip Hip HOORAY for only one dirty pot! Gotta love a good one pot meal!

Speaking of one pot meals, my Pesto Chicken Pasta is another one pot winner in the Instant Pot!

Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya


1 lb smoked sausage, sliced on a bias
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed
1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp cajun seasoning, like Old Bay
1/2 t seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, optional for spice
3-6 dashes tabasco, optional for spice

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I love my Instant Pot!
Fine mesh strainer, like this one
Heat safe gloves, like the Instant Pot silicone mitts


Prepare all ingredients

Turn your Pressure Cooker on Sauté or Browning setting, and allow it to heat.

For Instant Pot, press “Sauté button. Display will show as ON until Sauté heats, then display will show as HOT.

Add onion, celery, red pepper and garlic as well as sausage and seasonings, sauté 3-4 minutes.

Add rice, sauté another 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, shrimp and water. Stir gently.

Place lid on pressure cooker and close vent.

For Instant Pot, close lid and turn Vent knob to “Sealing”

Cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes.

For Instant Pot, Press “Manual” [High Pressure] setting, and adjust time using “+/-“ buttons.

When cook time is complete, allow pot to naturally release pressure (NPR) for 5 minutes. Then, quickly release remaining pressure (QPR) manually by carefully opening your vent knob.

For Instant Pot, turn vent knob to “Venting”.

Open lid, and enjoy the yummy view!


Fluff with large fork, then serve immediately with scallion and perhaps more tabasco as garnish.

Easy Instant Pot Jambalaya

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Italian Shredded Beef [Pressure Cooker]

Italian Shredded Beef

My husband LOVES beef. Ground beef, steak, roast beef, deli roast beef, brisket, beef ribs… he likes it grilled, seared, roasted, braised, BBQ’d, taco-fied, burger-fied, et cetera. I swear he could eat beef everyday.

So naturally, as a GREAT wife, I am determined to find more ways to make beef.

This Italian Shredded Beef is a WINNER!

Not only is this Shredded Beef a winner, it is EASY and made pressure darn FAST using my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker in just over an hour (if slow roasted in the oven or slow cooker, this would take hours).

I’ve made other “hubby approved” beef in my Instant Pot, too — check out my Barbacoa Shredded Beef and Umami Mongolian Beef & Broccoli.

This Italian Shredded Beef has lots of Italian style herbs and spices. It is FULL of savory flavor, tender & juicy. It would be delicious served in a variety of ways!

The KEY ingredient is the amazing mildly spicy Pepperoncini — not just the peppers, but the tangy, briny pickling liquid they are jarred in. Don’t throw that liquid away!

Italian Shredded Beef


2.5-3 pound Beef Chuck Roast, cut in half (recommended for even cooking - not pictured)
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried rosemary
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper, optional for spice
2 T olive oil
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup pepperoncini brining liquid from jar
8-10 pepperoncini
1 small onion, quartered
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have the Instant Pot
pair of Tongs


Mix seasoning blend. Set aside.

Cut roast in half 9recommended for more even cooking, but not pictured below). Rub roast with seasoning blend on all sides.

Turn on Pressure Cooker, and set to browning or sauté mode. Allow to heat, then add olive oil and roast. 

*Recommendation is to cut roast in half for more even cooking (not pictured below)

Sear well on all sides, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove roast from pressure cooker using tongs. Set aside.

IMPORTANT: You MUST DEGLAZE the bottom of your pressure cooker insert — if you do not, your cooker may not come to pressure and will continue to burn.

Add cooking liquid: beef broth & pepperoncini brining liquid. Carefully, but thoroughly deglaze using tongs.

Use Tongs to return seared roast to pressure cooker directly into cooking liquid.  Add pepperoncini, onion and garlic.

Close lid of pressure cooker and set cook option to Manual High Pressure. Adjust cook time to 50 minutes.

When cook time completes, allow pressure cooker to naturally release pressure (NPR) for 15 minutes, then quickly release remaining pressure (QPR).

Remove lid, and remove roast to plate or cutting board. 

Shred beef using shredder tool, then return to cooking liquid.

Serve in a variety of ways!

Tonight we had our beef over parmesan grits with a spoonful of jus (cooking liquid).


You could also serve over polenta, mashed potatoes, rice, your choice of bread, flour tortillas, out of a shoe… no matter how you serve, it will be DELISH!

Italian Shredded Beef

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Pressure Cooker Chicken Fried Rice

Pressure Cooker Chicken Fried Rice

I love Chinese Food. Salty, savory, satisfying, UMAMI-good. I especially love the classic Chicken Fried Rice - yum! What’s not to love about Chinese food?

What’s NOT to love is the calories and who knows what you’re bound to find in a take out box of Chinese food. 

I am all about convenience now a days. I have a newborn boy who loves Mommy’s attention, a 7 1/2 going on 13 year old step daughter, a hubby whom when he’s hungry wants to eat NOW, not a minute from now. The days of having plenty of time to prep and cook a meal are mostly over. And, please Lord whatever saves me from having to clean a bunch of pots and pans.. yes, please. It’s easy to mentally resort to considering take out or delivery these days, but meals like this keep me WILLING and able to make a home cooked meal for my family.

This ONE POT wonder, Pressure Cooker Chicken Fried Rice, is made right in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. It’s super FAST; faster than ordering and picking up that Chinese takeout! Best of all, it’s delicious - all that salty, savory, satisfying Umami goodness you hope for in Chinese style food.

OPTIONAL: If you dont want to use chicken, you can sub fresh, raw large shrimp or partially sautéed pork loin, diced.

This recipe calls for previously cooked chicken. HOWEVER, If you have raw chicken, dice and sauté in pressure cooker as your first step until chicken is partially cooked (3-4 minutes).

Once you have the right ingredients on hand, stocked in your pantry and/or fridge, you can be well on your way to making delicious Chinese style food at home, including this Pressure Cooker Chicken Fried Rice, my Umami Mongolian Beef & Broccoli or Honey Sesame Chicken.

A few of my favorite ingredients to stock for that distinct Umami-rich flavor are:

Fish Sauce

Sesame Oil

Sesame Seeds

Sambal Oelek

Rice Vinegar

Soy Sauce (of course) - I prefer the “Lite” version

Ginger, jarred

Pressure Cooker Chicken Fried Rice


1 T canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup carrots, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (white ends)
1 T garlic, minced
2 T ginger, minced (fresh or jarred - I use jarred ginger!)
2 eggs (not pictured)
1-2 T Sambal Oelek, optional for spice
1 t cilantro
1/2 t salt
1/2-1 t black pepper
1 lb cooked chicken (I used leftover Pressure Cooker Chicken!)
1 1/4 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 T lime juice, freshly squeezed (not pictured)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (green ends) - optional for garnish
toasted sesame seeds, optional for garnish
additional soy sauce, optional for individual portions
additional Sambal Oelek, optional for individual portions
lime slices, optional for individual portions

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
fine mesh strainer, I love this Bellemain mesh Strainer
citrus juicer, like this Bellemain Citrus Juicer


Prepare all ingredients and set aside - this is key to making this as simple as possible!

Turn on Pressure Cooker to browning or sauté setting. For Instant Pot, press “Sauté” button and press “Adjust” to set Sauté to highest setting (find out more about the Instant Pot Buttons here).

Add canola or vegetable oil to pressure cooker insert. Add carrot, pepper, scallions, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add egg and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

Add all seasonings, fish sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice, sambal oelek, chicken, rice, soy sauce and water. Stir.

Close lid of Pressure Cooker. Close vent knob. Choose Manual High Pressure setting, and set cook time to 6 minutes. 

Once cook time is complete, quickly release pressure (QPR).

Open lid, fluff rice gently.

Serve immediately with optional garnishes.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Fried Rice

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

One Pot (Frozen) Chicken & Sweet Potatoes [Pressure Cooker]

One Pot (Frozen) Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Ever have those times when you need to get something ready for dinner, but you have limited time - ya know… perhaps you got home from work late, your kids are screaming for dinner, there was an after school practice or event and the kids are home later than usual - and to boot, you forgot to take something out of the freezer that morning.

Never happens to you, right?

You’re staring at a package of frozen solid chicken breast & rock hard whole sweet potatoes.

A pizza delivery could get on the table faster than that, right? There goes the healthy, money saving weeknight dinner goal. Ugh...

Guess what? Think again!

With your Pressure Cooker, you CAN get that healthy meal to the table! And, you can get it there dirtying only one pot, without thawing anything, without turning on the oven, and you can do it in about 35 minutes TOTAL - including prep, cook time and pressure release time!

One Pot (Frozen) Chicken & Sweet Potatoes


about 1.5 lbs frozen, boneless chicken breast (about 3 large)
seasonings of choice
4 medium sweet potatoes, whole
2-3 T olive oil
1 cup cooking liquid, water or chicken broth

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker - I love my IP-DUO Instant Pot
short, wide diameter trivet or cooking rack
a pair of Tongs


Pour 1 cup cooking liquid, water or broth, in bottom of pressure cooker insert. Place short trivet over cooking liquid.

Remove frozen chicken breast from packaging and place on trivet. Drizzle with 1-2 T olive oil and seasoning liberally with seasonings of your choice.
I used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and dried thyme, & plenty of it, on BOTH sides of my frozen chicken breast - season well!

Clean sweet potatoes well. Do not puncture skin. 
Rub skin with 1-2 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place around pressure cooker insert, directly over chicken.

Close lid to pressure cooker & close vent knob. Select High Pressure cook setting and adjust cook time to 16 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for your pressure cooker to come to pressure then cook time countdown will begin.

For Instant Pot, close lid, turn vent knob to Sealing, Press “Manual” button and use “+/-“ buttons to adjust cook time to 16 minutes. Display will show as “On” until pot comes to pressure, then cook time countdown will begin. 

Using thawed Chicken breast? Cut cook time down to 10-12 minutes and cut sweet potatoes in half for even cooking.

When cook time is complete, allow pot to naturally release pressure (NPR) for 5 then quickly release remaining pressure (QPR).

For Instant Pot, when cook time completes, pot will beep and automatically turn on Keep Warm while natural pressure release takes place. Display will show as L0:00 and time will count up, i.e. L0:01, L0:02 - this will allow you to keep track of how long pressure has been releasing.

Open lid of pressure cooker and feast your eyes on your just-in-time, healthy, FAST, from FROZEN Chicken and Sweet Potatoes!

Carefully remove sweet potatoes and chicken with tongs.

Serve immediately, perhaps along with an easy salad or quickly steamed veggies.

If desired, top sweet potato with butter & a sprinkle of cinnamon - I like mine plain!

One Pot (Frozen) Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Barbacoa Shredded Beef [Instant Pot Pressure Cooker]

Barbacoa Shredded Beef

This Barbacoa Shredded Beef is the bomb!

I don’t even care how lame that sounds - it seriously is the bomb. My husband LOVED it.

My Instant Pot Pressure Cooker has become my bestie / BFF / best friend! This Barbacoa Shredded Beef is ready to eat in half the time it takes in an oven, and a fraction of the time it would take in a slow cooker. You do not sacrifice anything (flavor, quality, tenderness) with this “short cut” via Pressure Cooker, I promise!

There are many uses for this delicious, full flavor Barbacoa Shredded Beef - meat for tacos, burritos or enchiladas, on a salad, stuffed into a potato, over rice in a rice bowl, in a hash with eggs, between a few slices of bread for a yummy sandwich… the gift of beef that keeps on giving! 

This would be GREAT for a party, especially if sports are involved. Set out some accompaniments and tongs to serve up the Barbacoa Shredded Beef right out of the pot!

Perhaps on that note, you may want to double this recipe for ample supply if you’re serving for a large party, or if you want lots of yummy leftovers!

Barbacoa Shredded Beef


2.5-3 lb chuck roast, thawed and cut in 2 equal pieces

Barbacoa Seasoning Blend:
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1/4 - 1/2 t ground chipotle pepper, based on heat preference
1/2 t paprika
1 t dried cilantro
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/4 t clove, can substitute all spice
1 1/2-2 t salt, based on salt preference
1/2-1 t pepper, based on heat preference
zest only, 1 lime
1/4 t cayenne pepper, optional for extra spice

Cooking Liquid:
3/4 cup beef broth or water
1 T worcestershire
1 T apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1-2 chipotle peppers in Adobo, chopped, optional (can be spicy for some people)

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I LOVE the 7-in-1 Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Zester, I have this Dragonn Stainless Steel zester
Meat Shredding tool, like these Meat Shredder claws, or 2 large forks


In small mixing bowl, mix Barbacoa Seasoning blend.

Cut chuck roast into two equal pieces.

Evenly distribute and rub in Barbacoa Seasoning on all sides

If you have the time, cover with plastic wrap and allow meat to marinate for 1-12 hours in the fridge (if you’re really in a time crunch, you can skip).

If you had the time to do so, remove marinated chuck roast from fridge and allow to come closer to room temperature for about 20 minutes (again, you can skip this is you’re in a time crunch - allowing the meat to come closer to room temperature allows it to cook evenly).

Turn Pressure Cooker on Sauté or Browning mode. 
For Instant Pot, press Sauté button then press Adjust button and turn on High.

Brown both pieces of chuck roast on all sides, about 5 minutes total.

Remove meat from pressure cooker, set aside. 

Add cooking liquid (broth/water, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar and lime juice) and deglaze, aka scrape all bits off, bottom of pressure cooker insert.

Don’t skip this step! Your pot may not come to pressure with burnt buts on the bottom.

Add garlic and chipotle in adobe, stir. Return chuck roast to pressure cooker, directly into cooking liquid.

Place lid on pressure cooker. Close vent knob. Select High Pressure cooking setting and adjust cook time to 60 minutes. Once cooker comes to pressure, cook time countdown will begin.
If using a different cut of meat, cook time will vary.

For Instant Pot, place lid on pressure cooker, turn vent knob to “Sealing”, press Manual button, then use “+/-“ buttons to adjust cook time to 60 minutes. Display will show as “On” until Pot comes to pressure, then cook time countdown will display.

Once cook time is complete, allow pressure cooker to naturally release pressure (NPR) for 15-20 minutes. Quickly release any remaining pressure (QPR) by opening vent knob, then remove lid.

Remove chuck roast to cutting board or plate.

Turn Pressure Cooker on Sauté or browning mode. Allow cooking liquid to reduce while you shred the beef.

Shred Barbacoa Beef with meat shredding tool (or 2 large forks). Remove any chunks of fat, as desired.

Return Barbacoa Shredded Beef to cooking liquid.

Turn off pressure cooker or if you need to keep your beef warm for a while, turn pressure cooker on it’s warming setting.
For Instant Pot, press Keep Warm button and use “+/-“ buttons to adjust time you want pot to remain on Keep Warm.

Serve as desired - there are so many options!

I love making tacos, quesadillas, burritos, taco salad or enchiladas with this Barbacoa Shredded Beef. 

Today, we made Barbacoa Beef Rice bowls - yellow rice, sautéed peppers and onion, corn and of course the Barbacoa Shredded Beef.

Barbacoa Shredded Beef

If desired, top with your choice of toppings - perhaps salsa, cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce, jalapeños, extra lime… whatever floats your Barbacoa boat! 


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