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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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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lemon Pepper Whole Pressure Cooker Chicken & Potatoes [One Pot meal]

Lemon Pepper Whole Pressure Cooker Chicken & Potatoes

I LOVE making Whole Chicken in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker!

I previously posted making a Whole Chicken in my Pressure Cooker using a Bundt Pan - I am TELLING YOU, the bundt pan is SO clutch. Is it NECESSARY? No. But it is GENIUS? Yes. 

This One Pot Chicken and Potatoes is the same concept as my previous recipe for Whole Pressure Cooker Bundt Pan Chicken - but this time, I added potatoes to make a complete meal and it worked PERFECTLY!

There are 2 secrets to my Whole Pressure Cooker Chicken:

1. A Bundt Pan

2. Compound Butter

The Bundt Pan allows the chicken to keep its shape, and it also allows you to capture the juices rather than them running into your cooking liquid at the bottom of your pressure cooker. Capturing the juices makes for a KILLER gravy.

The Compound Butter allows the chicken to stay incredibly moist and gives it so much flavor - compound butters are full of seasonings of your choice. You can really add anything you want to softened butter, mix it up, and call it compound - compound will flavor!

For this recipe, I use my Lemon Pepper Compound Butter. I also love my Citrus Herb Compound Butter!

Lemon Pepper Whole Pressure Cooker Chicken & Potatoes
[One Pot Meal]


4.5-5 lb. Whole Roaster Chicken, thawed, cleaned & giblets removed
5-6 medium Idaho potatoes
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups water

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have the 6 qt IP-60DUO 7-in-1 Instant Pot
6 cup Bundt Pan, I have the Nordic Ware 6 cup Bundt Pan - Perfect for the Instant Pot!
Short trivet, like this 6 inch round baking rack
Tongs, I like these Oxo Good Grip tongs
Aluminum Foil, small square


Remove Chicken from packaging, and inspect for any feathers; they should be easy to remove if any remain. Trim some excess fatty skin, if desired.

Place small square of foil over hole in Bundt pan.

Prepare potatoes - clean and cut in half lengthwise.

Prepare chicken, and dry the skin as best as you can with paper towels. Place chicken in bundt pan, placing hole of chicken around foiled center of bundt pan.

Rub 2-3 T Lemon Pepper compound butter all over chicken and let some fall inside chicken, and under the skin… everywhere you can get it.
Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper (I use about 1/4 t of each)

Pour 1 1/2 cups water in bottom of pressure cooker insert, then place trivet over water. Place bundt pan with chicken in pressure cooker on top of trivet.

Spread remaining Lemon Pepper compound butter on cut potatoes. Scatter them around chicken in your pressure cooker pot.

From lemon you zested and juiced for butter, squeeze remaining juice over chicken and potatoes and stuff the chicken with the lemon peels.

Close lid of pressure cooker, close vent knob and choose High Pressure cooking option. Adjust cook time to 6 minutes per pound of chicken - I used a 4.5 lb chicken, so I set my cook time to 26 minutes.

For Instant pot, close lid and turn vent knob to “Sealing”, press Manual button, then use “+/-“ buttons to adjust cook time to 26 minutes.

When cook time is complete, allow pressure cooker to naturally release pressure (NPR) for 15 minutes - quickly release any remaining pressure (QPR). 

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

Open lid of pressure cooker.

Prepare a baking sheet with foil.

Use tongs to carefully remove potatoes, and place on foil skin side up.

Carefully remove chicken and place it on baking sheet breast side up.

Place chicken and potatoes in oven under broiler for 5-10 minutes to crisp skin of chicken and potatoes. Look at the beauty - Yum!

Carve that juicy, scrumptious chicken.

Serve with potatoes - they will have the wonderful lemon pepper flavor and will be cooking to tender perfections.

Add some quick steamed green veggies or a salad on the side, if desired.

DO NOT FORGET about the amazing juice you captured in your bundt pan!

Carefully remove bundt pan from pressure cooker insert - this juice is MAGICAL.

Use as a simple drizzle over chicken and potatoes, thicken with slurry of 1-2 T cornstarch plus 1-2 T water over medium heat in sauce pan if desired, or just reserve the liquid for cooking soup, rice, etc!

When chilled, just look at this cooking juice — it turns into an amazing, gelatinous broth.

Lemon Pepper Whole Pressure Cooker Chicken & Potatoes
[One Pot Meal]

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Lemon Pepper Compound Butter

Lemon Pepper Compound Butter

Like my Citrus Herb Compound Butter, this compound Lemon Pepper Compound Butter is good on so many things.

It’s good on chicken, pork, turkey, potatoes, broccoli, green beans, carrots… you could use it to cook eggs, toss with pasta or rice, spread on toast (add extra garlic to make kicked up lemon pepper garlic bread!). 

This Lemon Pepper Compound Butter could be good on anything really.

It’s easy to put together, and it stores in the fridge for a couple weeks. 

Lemon Pepper Compound Butter is the STAR ingredient in my Lemon Pepper Whole Pressure Cooker Chicken & Potatoes made in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Lemon Pepper Compound Butter


4 T butter, softened
lemon zest, from 1 whole lemon, about 1 T
1 T lemon juice
3/4 t salt
3/4 t black pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t onion powder
1 t dried thyme


Add all ingredients to small mixing bowl and mix well. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

You can absolutely double, triple, quadruple this recipe! 

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pressure Cooker Quinoa [Instant Pot]

Pressure Cooker Quinoa

Quinoa - pronounced “KEEN-wah”.

Here’s some nutrition facts about Quinoa, which is technically a seed & considered a whole food, according to Authority Nutrition:

  • non-GMO, gluten-free
  • high in protein - 8 grams per 1 cup
  • contains all nine essential amino acids
  • high in fiber - 5 grams per 1 cup
  • contains antioxidents
  • contains manganese (58% RDA) magnesium (30% RDA), B-vitamins (10%+ RDA), iron (15% RDA), potassium (9% RDA), calcium, phosphorus (28% RDA), copper (18% RDA), zinc (13% RDA), folate (19% RDA), vitamin E & Omega 3 fatty acids

If you’ve never tried it, you really should! It is a great alternative to rice. It is a great addition to any food repertoire, whether your aim is healthy eating or not!

Quinoa is great simply dressed with seasonings of your choice, and it also makes a great base for a salad.

Even better than all that - it cooks in only 1 minute in your pressure cooker!

Pressure Cooker Quinoa


1 cup Quinoa
1 cup water or broth
1/4-1/2 t garlic salt, optional
1/4 t black pepper, optional

Essential Tools

Pressure Cooker, I have & LOVE the 6 qt 7-in-1 IP-60DUO Instant Pot


Rinse Quinoa for about 30 seconds under cold water in mesh or micro-perforated strainer.

Place quinoa, water and optional seasonings in pressure cooker insert.

Place lid on pressure cooker, and turn vent knob to sealing position.

Using high pressure setting, adjust cook time to 1 minute.

For Instant Pot, press “Manual” then use “+/-“ buttons to adjust cook time.

When pressure cooker comes to pressure, cook time countdown will begin.

When cook time is complete, allow pressure to naturally release (NPR) for 5-10 minutes - release remaining pressure manually (QPR).

Fluff with a fork, and serve!

 OR use for a base for an awesome salad!

Mix in anything you like - onion, peppers, artichokes, hearts of palm, walnuts, slivered almonds, cheese (blue, feta, goat), spinach, chick peas, edamame, chicken, fresh herbs, dried cranberries, raisins, beets - toss with vinaigrette, hot sauce, olive oil & vinegar or citrus juice — the possibilities are literally endless & can be completely up to YOUR taste!

Quinoa salad pictured: quinoa, artichokes, red onion, beets, yellow/orange peppers, dried cranberries & blue cheese crumbles tossed in vinaigrette - literally whatever I had available in my fridge!

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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, room temperature
1/4 cup milk*, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 t packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch salt
2 eggs, room temperature
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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