Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Iced Tea

Iced Tea is one of my favorites during the summer.  So cool, refreshing, and great tasting.  In this recipe, the refreshing flavors of mint, orange and lemon are combined to make one of the best tasting teas I have had in a long time.

Brew some tea and make a simple syrup.  To the syrup add some fresh mint sprigs.  In a large pitcher add some orange juice, lemon juice, water, tea, and the syrup - mint sprigs removed.  Stir and chill.  Serve over ice and you will enjoy a very tasty and refreshing summer beverage.



Summer Iced Tea

Ingredients:
4 black tea bags
8 cups water - divided
1 cup sugar
3 mint sprigs
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice

Directions:
1.  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  In 2 cups of boiling water brew the tea bags for about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
In the remaining 2 cups of water add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let set for 20 minutes.
2. In a large pitcher add the remaining 4 cup of water, orange juice and lemon juice.  Remove the mint sprigs from the simple syrup and pour into the pitcher along with the brewed tea.  Stir well and chill for about 2 hours.
3.  Pour over ice and garnish with a mint sprig if desired.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Instant Pot Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding is a wonderful comfort dessert.  A rich pudding made with milk, rice, raisins, vanilla extract and some cinnamon.   This recipe made in the Instant Pot is truly one of the best recipes for Rice Pudding I have made.  The rice is cooked perfectly, the pudding is not too runny, and has wonderful vanilla flavor.  I did not put any cinnamon in the pudding.  I let individuals sprinkle it on top of the pudding after I served it to their taste.

This is a easy tasty recipe to serve.


Instant Pot Rice Pudding
From Pressure Cooking Today

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 eggs
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
Ground cinnamon for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine rice, sugar, salt, and milk in Instant Pot. Select Saute and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, cover and lock lid in place.  Be sure the valve is set to sealing.  Select Low Pressure and set timer for 16 minutes.
2. While rice is cooking, whisk eggs with half and half and vanilla.
3. When beeps sound, turn off pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and then use a quick pressure release. Turn valve to venting setting. Carefully remove the lid. Stir the rice in pot.
4. Stir the egg mixture in to the pot. Select Saute and cook uncovered until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker. Stir in raisins.
5. Serve immediately, or put into serving dishes and chill. When serving serve with some ground cinnamon.  Note:  The pudding thickens as it cools.



Serves 8

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Another great meal in my Instant Pot.  Tonight I made Chicken and Dumplings.  A classic and very satisfying comfort meal that is ready in minutes.

Start by sautéing some chicken  with some herbs.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Place the lid on the Instant Pot and manually set time for 5 minutes.  Be sure the Instant Pot valve is on sealing.  Once the chicken was cooked, I let it  rest for about 5 minutes before I released the pressure.  I ladled into bowls and served.

A  tasty meal that was super  easy and quick to prepare.

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
From Southern Family Fun

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1/2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1 tube (16oz) refrigerated biscuits
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon basil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

1.Flatten each biscuit to about 1/8" thickness. Use a knife to cut into 1/2" strips.
Place 1 teaspoon olive oil, chicken, oregano, onion powder, basil, garlic, salt and pepper into the instant pot and mix to coat.
2.Turn instant pot to sautee and cook chicken (with the lid off) until brown on all sides, stirring frequently.
When finished, shut off instant pot by pressing cancel.
3. Add chicken broth, water, carrots and peas to instant pot and mix well.
Stir in biscuits.
4. Seal lid of instant pot and close the pressure knob.
Set instant pot to manual for 5 minutes.
It may take 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and then you will see the count down of time from 5 minutes.
5.Once cooking cycle is finished, press cancel to turn off the unit and quick release steam/pressure.
Spoon chicken and dumplings into bowls and serve.

Serves 6



Monday, June 26, 2017

Peaches and Nectarines With Rosemary Lavender Syrup

A refreshing salad for those host summer days.  Juicy, sweet peaches and nectarines  tossed in syrup flavored with rosemary and lavender.   Add some pecans and you have a perfect dish you can serve as a summer salad or dessert.


Peaches and Nectarines With Rosemary Lavender Syrup

Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
3 ripe white or yellow peaches, sliced
3 ripe white or yellow nectarines, sliced
1/2 cup pecan halves

Directions:
1. Place the honey, water, sugar, lemon juice and pinch of kosher salt  in a small saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer and swirl until sugar is dissolved.
2.  Remove saucepan from heat. Add rosemary and lavender buds.  Stir and let syrup cool. Once cool remove the sprig of rosemary.
3. Toss peaches, nectarine, and pecans with the syrup in a large bowl.  Serve.

Makes 4-6 servings





Friday, June 23, 2017

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

I found this fantastic recipe in the latest edition of Cook's Country June/July 2017.   Ropa Vieja  is  Cuba's national dish.   The legend for this dish is a man too poor to afford meat for his family stirred some old clothes  ("ropa vieja" in Spanish) into a pot of broth. He prayed over the pot and later ladled out a rich stew of beef and vegetables.

This tasty dish comes together very nicely in a slow cooker.  Start by cooking some red  bell peppers and onions in a skillet until soft.  Then you push the veggies aside and add a mixture of tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt.  You then add some white wine to the mixture.  Once the wine has evaporated pour the sauce into the slow cooker.  Add some soy sauce and bay leaves.  Next nestle the flank steak into the veggies.  Cook on low for about 6-7 hours.  When the meat is done, shred the meat, return to the slow cooker and add some sliced olives and vinegar.  Stir  - season with salt and pepper if needed and serve over rice.

Your family will have a very tasty and satisfying meal that was easy to prepare.


Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja
From Cook's Country Magazine

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, halved and sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 garlic cloves,minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut crosswise against grain into 4 equal pieces
3/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Cooked rice

Directions:
1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onions and bell peppers and cook, covered, until softened and spotty brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Push vegetables to sides of skillet.  Add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to enter and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir vegetables into tomato paste mixture.  Add wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Transfer vegetable mixture, soy sauce, and bay leaves to slow cooker.  Season steak with salt and pepper and nestle into vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook until meat is very tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high.






3. Transfer steak to cutting board.  Discard bay leaves.  Using 2 forks, shred steak into bite-size pieces, then return it to slow cooker.  Stir in olives and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over cooked rice.

Serves 4 to 6





Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pancakes

Pancakes are a wonderful meal to prepare anytime.  They are easy and you can add blueberries, pecans, chocolate chips, granola -  whatever you feel to make them a personal favorite.  I usually make a large quantity and freeze them so you can just pop them into the microwave when you need a quick breakfast or a pick-me-up.

There are so many wonderful recipes out there but my personal favorite is the one I found from the NY Times Cooking.  It is your basic recipe of flour, salt, eggs, milk, butter, and baking powder.   I like it because you can add whatever flavors you wish.



Pancakes
NYT Cooking

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
2 eggs
1 ½ to 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (optional), plus unmelted  butter for cooking, or use neutral oil

PREPARATION
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Beat eggs into 1 1/2 cups milk, then stir in 2 tablespoons melted cooled butter, if using it. Gently stir this mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten flour; don't worry about a few lumps. If batter seems thick, add a little more milk.
Place a teaspoon or 2 of butter or oil on griddle or skillet. When butter foam subsides or oil shimmers, ladle batter onto griddle or skillet, making pancakes of any size you like. Adjust heat as necessary; usually, first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. Flip pancakes after bubbles rise to surface and bottoms brown, after 2 to 4 minutes.
Cook until second side is lightly browned. Serve, or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200-degree oven for up to 15 minutes.






Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pasta Primavera

I have made this dish for years.  Fresh veggies and pasta tossed with chicken broth, butter and cheese.  A delicious and light meal that is  perfect for hot summer days.

I found this recipe in a favorite Italian Cookbook - Italian Family Cooking Like Mama Used to Make by Anne Casale.  A great cookbook loaded with lots of fantastic and easy to follow recipes.


Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
1 pound zucchini
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound gemelli (twists)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chicken broth, heated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano    cheese
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese for serving

Directions:

1. Wash asparagus several times in lukewarm water to remove sand.  Refresh in cold water, drain well in a strainer and blot dry with paper towel.  Slice off tough ends.  If asparagus are thin they will not have to be peeled; if larger, peel lower portion with a vegetable peeler.  Slice diagonally into 1-inch lengths and place tips in a separate bowl.
2. Scrub zucchini and blot dry with paper towel.  Trim both ends and cut into 2-inch lengths.  Slice each piece into 1/2-inch strips.
3. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat until haze forms, then add 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in garlic and saute until lightly golden; discard with a slotted spoon.  Add scallions and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.  Add the bottoms of the asparagus and cook until barely tender when tested with a fork, about 2 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook, stirring constantly with spoon until tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in asparagus tips, l teaspoon salt and pepper; continue stirring and cook until tips are barely tender when tested with fork, about 2 minutes (do not over cook tips or they will fall apart when tossed with pasta).
4. While you are cooking vegetables, cook pasta in 6 quarts boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt until al dente.  Drain pasta in a colander, transfer to a bowl containing 1 tablespoon softened butter and toss quickly.
5. Mix half of the vegetables, heated broth and Parmigiana cheese with pasta; toss well.  Spoon remaining vegetable mixture on top and serve with additional fresh grated Parmigiana cheese.

Serves 4 - Main course
Serves 6 - First course




Sunday, June 4, 2017

Garlic Knots

I love Garlic Knots.  They are a great bread to serve with any meal or just to eat all by themselves.  You can make your own bread dough or use pizza dough.  Just cut the dough into strips, tie a knot and bake.  Top with  butter, garlic and  parsley.

I found this recipe on Simply Recipes.  I used the dough recipe and the knots turned out delicious.  Next time I am going to try using pizza dough.


Garlic Knots
From Simply Recipes




INGREDIENTS
If you are making your own dough:
3/4 cup warm water (105°F-115°F)
1 package (2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
1 3/4 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

If you are using store-bought pizza dough:
14-ounces pizza dough

Garlic-Butter Coating:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 teaspoon salt

METHOD
If you are making your own dough, follow steps 1-3. If using store-bought pizza dough, let thaw to room temperature and proceed to step 4.
1 Proof the yeast: Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir to combine and let sit for another 5-10 minutes, until it begins to froth a bit.
2 Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil, then the yeast-water mixture.
Mix this together to form a soft dough and knead for 5-10 minutes. (Can use a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook for this step.)
3 Let the dough rise: Shape the dough into a ball and lightly coat with olive oil. Put it in a large bowl, top the bowl with plastic wrap and set it at room temperature to rise to double its size. This should take anywhere from 90 minutes to several hours.
4 Quarter the dough and flatten into rectangles: When the dough has doubled in size, cut it in half. Set out a large baking sheet and line it with a silicone pad or parchment paper. Take one half of the dough and cut it in half.
Working with one piece at a time, flatten into a rough rectangle about 5 inches long 1/2 inch thick.
5 Slice into strips and form knots: Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into strips of about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long. Cut these strips in half.
Take one piece and work it into a snake, then tie it in a knot. The dough will be sticky along the cut edges, so dust these with flour before you tie the knot.
Set each knot down on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Remember that the dough will rise, so leave some space between each knot.
6 Brush with olive oil and let sit to rise: Once all the knots are tied, paint them with a little olive oil.
Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise again until doubled in size, anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours or so. Toward the end of this rising period, preheat the oven to 400°.
7 Bake the knots: Uncover the knots and bake in the oven 12-15 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.
8 Make garlic butter parsley glaze: Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pot and cook the garlic gently in it just long enough to take off that raw garlic edge, about 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the salt and parsley and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.
9 Brush cooked knots with garlic parsley butter mixture: When the knots are done, take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Paint with the garlic-butter-parsley mixture and serve. These are best warm, but are good at room temperature, too.





Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Instant Pot Orange Ginger Chicken

I found another great Instant Pot recipe - Orange Ginger Chicken from Our Best Bites.  This was one of the best Orange Chicken recipes I have made.  It is a very easy recipe to make and one the family will ask for again and again.

Instant Pot Orange Ginger Chicken
Our Best Bites
Ingredients
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen OR thawed)
1/3 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons water, broth, or orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons cornstarch
Cooked rice

Instructions
1. Place chicken breasts in pressure cooker (see notes below for alternate cooking methods).
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together: marmelade, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, water, ginger and garlic. Pour mixture over chicken. Secure lid on pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes (15 minutes is the cooking time once under pressure.) When finished, release steam according to pressure cooker instructions and use an instant-read thermometer to make sure meat has reached 165 degrees. (If it has not reached temperature, simply return shredded chicken to sauce and simmer until cooked through.)
3. Remove chicken breasts and place on a cutting board. Bring remaining sauce in pan up to a simmer (use the saute feature on an electric cooker). Combine cornstarch with 3 teaspoons cold water and then pour mixture into pan. Simmer until sauce is thickened and the turn off heat.
4. Shred chicken and return to pot with sauce.  Serve over rice.

Yields about 4 cups shredded chicken




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Asparagus Frittata

I found the best recipe for an Asparagus Frittata on the Simply Recipes website.  It is so easy and absolutely amazing in flavor.  The only change I made was using onion powder instead of sliced scallions.  The family isn't that found of onions.

Not only is this recipe great, I love the fact it is cooked in one pan.  Yeah - hardly any clean up.  Great for busy nights or when you had a long day and you are just low on energy.

This Frittata is great for dinner - just serve it with a salad, or a nice brunch dish.

Asparagus Frittata
From Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound thin spear asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
6 large eggs
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Directions:
1. Heat butter into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium heat.
Add asparagus and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
2. Beat the eggs and cottage cheese together, stir in the chives and tarragon.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until almost set, but still runny on top. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.
3. Sprinkle Gruyere cheese over the eggs and put in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, and the center is set, about 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Remove pan from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 4







Monday, May 1, 2017

Beef Noodle Stir Fry

Stir Fry is a wonderful quick meal to make for dinner.  My family loves having Stir Fry.   You have veggies, meat or fish, all cooked together in a wonderful sauce.  You can serve it over noodles or rice.

This recipe for Beef Noodle Stir Fry has beef, mushrooms, broccoli and carrots cooked in a sauce of soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.   You then add in some cooked udon noodles and stir.

Deliciousness in every bite.   Noodles with a flavorful sauce clinging to them with tasty bites of beef, broccoli, and mushrooms.  A meal you will be proud to serve your family and friends.

Beef Noodle Stir Fry
Damn Delicious

INGREDIENTS:
2 (7-ounce) refrigerated udon noodles, seasoning sauce packets discarded
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces beef top sirloin filet, thinly sliced across the grain
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces broccoli florets
2 carrots, diced

FOR THE SAUCE:
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flake and ground black pepper; set aside.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook udon noodles according to package instructions; drain well.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add beef and cook, flipping once, until browned, about 3-4 minutes; set aside.
Stir in mushrooms, broccoli and carrots to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in udon noodles, beef and soy sauce mixture until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4









Friday, April 28, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini

I made the most amazing dinner last night in my crock pot.  Chicken Tetrazzini - so creamy, cheesy and just delicious.  This is a very easy recipe to make - just put the majority of the ingredients in your crock pot and set it on low and cook for 8 hours.  After the 8 hours, put in some cream cheese, shred the chicken and add some cooked pasta.  Top with some mozzarella cheese, cover and cook about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Dinner is ready.  I served the Chicken Tetrazzini with a small salad and some French Bread.  A dinner so simply, easy and best of all delicious.



Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini
The Magical Slow Cooker

INGREDIENTS
1.5 lbs. chicken breast fillets
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
1½ tsp. dried tarragon
1 cup diced white onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, ⅓ less fat or regular
½ pound dried spaghetti noodles (1/2 a box), cook according to package directions
1 (8-oz.) pkg. mozzarella cheese, grated (reduced-fat or regular)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add the chicken, sea salt, garlic powder, pepper, tarragon, onions and mushrooms. Pour over the chicken broth. DO NOT ADD THE CREAM CHEESE OR SPAGHETTI YET. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
2. Cut the cream cheese into squares and add the slow cooker, cover. In the meantime cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
3. After the cream cheese has had some time to melt. Take 2 forks and shred the chicken. Stir the sauce and chicken together. Add the cooked and drained pasta. Stir. Add the mozzarella cheese over the pasta and sauce. Cover for about 10 more minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6









Thursday, April 20, 2017

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops are a very quick and easy dinner to prepare.  There are two types of scallops you can purchase at the market.  Wet (soaked) or dry  scallops. This recipe calls for dry scallops.   "Soaked"  scallops have been soaked in a bath of phosphates. Soaked scallops are a bright white in color.    Dry scallops have not been soaked in phosphates.  They are superior in taste and they also caramelize beautifully.

This recipe is from Alton Brown, one of my all-time favorites.    It is an easy and delicious recipe.

Seared Scallops
From Alton Brown

Ingredients

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately.



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Instant Pot: Asian Boneless Beef Short Ribs

I made another great tasting recipe in my Instant Pot.  Asian Boneless Beef Short Ribs.   They are tender, flavorful and better that you can get in any restaurant.  As with most Instant Pot recipes, this was easy and quick.

You begin by placing some oil in your Instant Pot and place on the sauté  setting.  Cook some garlic and ginger for about 1 minute.  Add some hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, scallion white and cayenne.  Stir well and then add the beef. I turned my beef so both side could be coated with the sauce.

Set your Instant Pot on high pressure and cook for 35 minutes.  Once the ribs are cooked naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes.  Vent the remaining pressure and transfer ribs to a platter and tent with foil. Strain the sauce and return to the Instant Pot.  Set on sauté and add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 1 minute.  Pour the sauce in a small bowl.

Serve the ribs with the sauce, rice and top with the scallion greens if desired.

Asian Boneless Short Ribs
From Copycat Recipes Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

Special Equipment:  Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker

Ingredients: 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 scallions, white parts coarsely chopped, green parts thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 (8 ounce) boneless beef short ribs, trimmed
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons water
Cooked rice
Directions:
1. Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting.  Add the oil to the pot.  Heat for about 1 minute and the add the garlic and the ginger.  Sauté for about 1 minute or  until fragrant.  Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, scallion whites, and the cayenne pepper.
2. Place the short ribs in the sauce and turn to coat both sides.  Place the lid on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to the Sealing setting.   Set the pressure on high and cook for 35 minutes.
3. Naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes.  Move the valve to venting position to release the remaining pressure. Once the pressure is released carefully open the lid away from you.
4. Remove the ribs and place on a platter.  Tent with foil.  Strain the sauce and return to the pot.  Place Instant Pot on Sauté setting.
5. Place the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.  Mix well and gradually add to the pot.  Stir until the mixture comes to a boil  Cook for 1 minute.  Pour the sauce in a small bowl and serve with the ribs.
6.  Place some rice on a plate.  Top with a rib and some sauce.  Sprinkle with scallion tops.

Makes 6 servings




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Crockpot: Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Peas and Bacon

Spaghetti squash is a fun squash to cook and eat.  When the squash is cooked these veggie strands of spaghetti are scooped out.  Usually, I just put my normal sauce over the squash, toss and serve.  Today's recipe is different.  It is a "cousin" to one of my favorite recipes of "Pasta With Peas and Ham."

This recipe is very easy to make.  Start by washing a spaghetti squash.  Poke it a few times with a fork and cook on high in a crockpot for 3 hours with a cup of water.  When the squash is done, scoop the spaghetti out.  In a bowl combine some bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.  Mix it well with the squash and place back in the crockpot for about 45 minutes.  After about 20 minutes, stir in the Parmesan cheese and cook for the remaining 25 minutes.  When done, serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

This is a delicious side dish or a main dish.  Enjoy.


Creamy Spaghetti Squash With Peas and Bacon
From Cooktop Cove

Special Equipment:  Crockpot

Ingredients:
1 (about 5 pounds) spaghetti squash
1 cup water
5 slices of bacon - diced
2 cups fresh or frozen petite peas
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup  powdered Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping


Directions:
1. Clean squash and poke with a fork throughout the skin.  Place the spaghetti squash and the cup of water in the crock pot. Cover and set on high and cook for 3 hours.
2. Add the bacon to a skillet and cook until soft.  Set aside.
3. Remove the squash from the crockpot when it is cooked.  Cut open with a knife lengthwise.  Carefully remove the seeds.  Scoop out the spaghetti strands.  Place the squash back in the crockpot.
4. Stir together the bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Add to the crockpot.  Stir and mix well.
5. Cover and cook for 20 minutes on high.  Add the Parmesan cheese, stir, cover and cook for another 25 minutes.  Serve and top with additional cheese if desired.  

Serves 6 main servings






Sunday, March 5, 2017

Skillet Chili Mac

I love Chili Mac.  Macaroni cooked in a nice semi spicy sauce with ground beef and beans.  A great meal for the family or for a pot luck.  It is one of my favorite quick meals to prepare.

Start by browning your ground beef in a large skillet.  Stir in the green chile and spices.  Be sure the meat is covered with the spices.  Add the liquids and bring to a boil.  Then add the pasta and cover.  Cook until the pasta is tender.  Add the beans and cook until heated through.  Top the chile mixture with cheese and cover skillet for a couple of minutes or until the cheese has melted.  Remove from the stove and serve.

Your family is in for a delicious and hearty meal that they will enjoy.


Skillet Chili Mac
From Our Best Bites adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients
1 lb. extra-lean (93%) ground beef
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chile
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups V8 juice
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
8 ounces  dry  elbow macaroni
1 can pinto beans, drained
4 ounces shredded Mexican Cheese

Instructions
1. Heat a 12" skillet that has a lid over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring frequently. Stir in  the green chile and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the chili powder, onion powder,  cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.  Mix well until the meat is throughly coated. a

2. Add the V8 juice, tomato sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and stir to combine and then cover, reduce heat, and cook for 15-ish minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Add the beans and heat through. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese, and replace the lid for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Serve.

Makes 6 servings



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Biscuits

Who can resist nice flaky tender biscuits?  I sure can't.  I love eating  them for breakfast with butter and jam,  or when I am eating a rich and hearty soup/stew.  They are great for getting the last bite of that good broth.  And how could I forget that delicious dish biscuits with gravy.  Biscuits are just great and so easy to make.

I found this easy biscuit recipe on the NYT Cooking website.  Instead of using a food processor, I combined the butter and the flour with my fingertips until the mixture resembled corn flakes.


Biscuits
From NYT COOKING

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 scant tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, preferably European style
1 cup whole milk

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 425. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Cut butter into pats and add to flour, then pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Alternatively, cut butter into flour in the mixing bowl using a fork or a pastry cutter.) Return dough to bowl, add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.
2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat it down into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
3. Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 10 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.
4. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Serves 6-8




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Another great Instant Pot recipe - Beef Stew.   Beef Stew is your classic Comfort Food.  It is great for chilly days or when you are feeding a crowd.
Tender beef, carrots, potatoes, and an assortment of veggies cooked in a delicious broth flavored with wine, thyme, and spices.   A rich, delicious, and hearty meal for your family or guest to enjoy.  I served mine with biscuits to get every drop.

Instant Pot Beef Stew
Ingredients:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless beef short ribs cut into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces sliced  white mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 stalk sliced celery
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 cup green beans cut into 1 1/2-inch length
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional Thickening:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water


Directions:
1. Combine the flour, pepper, and salt in a Ziploc bag.  Add the meat a small amount at a time to the flour mixture and shake until the meat is coated.  Shake off excess flour mixture and place meat in a bowl.  Repeat until all the meat is coated.
2. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the beef and brown on all sides.
3. Remove the beef to a bowl.  Add the remaining oil and saute the mushrooms for about 2 minutes.  Add the carrots and celery.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Remove the vegetables from the Instant Pot and place in the bowl with the beef.
4. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the red wine.  Add the meat and vegetables, the beef broth, green beans, potatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well.
5. Place the top on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to sealing.  Select the Meat/Stew setting.  When the stew is done let it rest for 10 minutes.
6. Move valve to venting.  When done venting open the lid carefully and away from you.  Stir the stew.  If the stew broth is too thin set the Instant Pot to the saute setting.   In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and the water.  Be sure it is mixed well.   Add the cornstarch mixture  to the stew and cook until thickened.
7. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings