Monday, January 25, 2021

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

 I have always loved split Pea Soup.  It is a hearty soup with a wonderful flavor.  It is just a satisfying meal.  Be sure to add some bread so you can clean out the bowl.  

Usually I have made this soup on the stove top.  I adventured out and made it in my Instant Pot.  The best Split Pea soup I have eaten.  I shouldn't be surprised - soups I have made in the past in my Instant Pot have come out great.  

Try this recipe from The Country Cook and I don't believe you will be disappointed.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

From the Country Cook


2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 1 leek, thinly sliced (white part only)

1 cup leftover chopped ham

1 ½ cups dried green split peas

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp liquid smoke

1 quart chicken broth


Wash and cut all the vegetables needed and chop ham. Sort and rinse the dried split peas. Look for any little hard bits that should be removed. 

Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir.

Secure the lid in place and set the vent to sealing.

Cook on Manual high pressure for 15 minutes.

Carefully release the steam by doing a quick steam release. 

Thin the soup with water if needed to bring it to the consistency you desire. The soup will continue to thicken as it cools. 

Serves 4

Monday, November 9, 2020

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers

Usually when I suggest I have Stuffed Peppers for dinner, I get groans from the family.  I finally decided I was going to make them anyway.  There were gobbled up in no time.  This was a very tasty recipe that required little prep time. The peppers are stuffed with a ground beef, rice, cheese, Rotel mixture seasoned with onion, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. The peppers are cooked on low for about 6 hours in the crock pot.  About 15 minutes before serving they are topped with cheese.  Delicious.

The family really enjoyed this dish.  I see more Stuffed Peppers for dinner in our future.

6 bell peppers
1 lb lean ground beef (90/10)
1 cup cooked rice
1 (10 oz) can Rotel, or tomato sauce
1 cup pimiento cheese (or shredded cheese)
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
shredded cheese, for topping

1. In a large bowl combine, ground beef (uncooked), cooked rice, Rotel, Price*s Pimiento Cheese Spread, seasonings and Worcestershire sauce.
2. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds.
Add 1/4 cup water into the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Place peppers into the bottom of the slow cooker (in a single layer.)
3. Then begin stuffing them with the meat mixture. It may seem like all the meat won't fit into all the peppers but it will. Just keep packing down the meat mixture and spoon a little extra on the top.
4. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours (or high for 4 hours) until meat is completely cooked.
About 15 minutes before they are done cooking, add shredded cheese to the tops. Cover and let cheese melt.

Serves 6

Monday, November 2, 2020

Instant Pot Creamy Gnocchi Soup

Another great Instant Pot soup for the cold weather.  I loved this soup.  It had a rich velvety texture and was very hearty.  The gnocchi was a great addition.  A nice change from traditional noodles.  

Instant Pot Creamy Gnocchi Soup


6 slices Thick Cut Bacon, chopped in bite sized pieces
2 Tbsps Butter
1 Onion, chopped
3 large Carrots, chopped
1 Bay Leaf
2 ribs Celery, chopped
6 cloves Garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 sprig Fresh Rosemary, about 5 inches long
1/2 tsp Basil, dried
1/2 tsp Thyme, dried
1/4 tsp Poultry Seasoning
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
4 cups Chicken Broth, low sodium
2 to 3 Chicken Breasts, uncooked, boneless, skinless
16 oz Gnocchi (I get the refrigerated package, or the one by the dry pasta at the store.)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
5 oz Baby Spinach, fresh
1 cup Heavy Cream


1. Turn on the Sauté function (Med/Normal heat) and add the chopped bacon. Cook until mostly done.
2. Add the butter, onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onions are just starting to turn translucent.
3.Add the rosemary, basil, thyme, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and the garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
4.Add the chicken broth. Stir.
5. Add in the chicken breasts.
6. Put the lid on and lock in place. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Cancel the sauté function.
7. Press the Pressure Cook (or Manual) button or dial, and the + or - button or dial to select 9 minutes. High pressure. It will take several minutes to come to pressure.
When cooking cycle has ended, let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes (10 minute natural release).
Next, turn the steam release knob to Venting (in short bursts until you are sure no soup spews out of the vent with the steam), and let the remaining pressure out. When the pin in the lid drops down, open the lid.
Remove the chicken breasts to a bowl and discard the bay leaf.
Turn on the sauté function again.

8. Add the gnocchi and stir. Place the glass lid, if you have one, on the pot. If you place the pressure cooker's lid on the pot, make sure it is turned to Venting.
Cook the gnocchi until it floats to the top. Just a few minutes.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken breasts.
9. When the gnocchi is finished, turn off the pot. Add the parmesan cheese and stir.
Add the chicken back in, and the spinach. Stir.
Stir in the heavy cream.
Serve hot.

Serves 8

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Who doesn't love breadsticks.  Tasty pieces of bread you can dip in pizza sauce, eat with salad, soup, just about anything.  And don't forget the you can just pick one up and munch.  This recipe I found on Our Best Bites, is so easy to make and they taste delicious.


1 1/2 cup warm (105–115 degrees) water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3–4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. While the dough is rising, line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Remove from bowl and place on a surface sprayed with cooking spray. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter.

Roll out each piece of dough into a snake about 18″ long, then drape the middle of the “snake” over your forefinger and twist the dough. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. Try to space them evenly, but it’s okay if they’re close; pulling apart hot bread is one of life’s greatest pleasures!

Cover pan and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes.

When there’s about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425. When done rising, bake for 12-15 minutes (it will depend on your oven) or until golden brown. Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (just put a ziploc bag on your hand, grab some softened butter, and have at it) and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning or the powdery Parmesan cheese in a can and garlic salt.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Instant Pot Corn Chowder

I have made some of my best soups in the Instant Pot.  This recipe is no exception.  Creamy, thick, hearty, and very flavorful are just a few adjectives to describe this soup.  I have made various versions of Corn Chowder and this is hands down the best.  
The basic ingredients are placed in the Instant pot and cooked on high pressure for 15 minutes.  A quick release and then the Instant Pot is set on the saute setting.  Stir in a mixture of cornstarch and cream and cook until the soup is slightly thickened.  Then you stir in some bacon and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.  Your soup is ready to serve and enjoy.

Instant Pot Corn Chowder
Taste of Home Adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2-1/2 cups)
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
3 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup half and half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1. Place the first 10 ingredients ( stop at the cornstarch) in the Instant Pot liner.  Lock the lid and set the pressure valve too sealing.  Adjust the pressure to high for 15 minutes.  Quick-release the pressure.
2.  Open the lid carefully.  Remove the bay leaf.  Select the saute setting.  Mix the cornstarch and cream until smooth; stir in the soup.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Stir in the cheese and bacon and heat until the cheese is melted.  Serve.

Serves 6-8

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tomato Tortellini Soup

 A  delicious soup is always welcome on a chilly day.   Tomato soup is always a favorite. This recipe adds in some cheese tortellini to the soup with some fresh basil from the garden.   In addition, some balsamic vinegar is added which gives a wonderful flavor to the soup.  Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and you have a tasty soup that is rich and creamy studded with tortellini.   This recipe is very easy and takes about 30 minutes to prepare.  

Tomato Tortellini Soup


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 cups (32 ounces) lochicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 (14-ounce) package fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
Grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)


1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes.
2. Stir in the vinegar. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, cream, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tortellini and simmer until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes more (check at 3 minutes for fresh tortellini). Remove from the heat, remove and discard the bay leaves, and stir in the basil. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and more basil, if desired.

Serves 4

Friday, October 9, 2020

Slow-Cooker Zucchini Casserole

 Getting my family to eat veggies at time takes some imagination.  Veggies cannot be plain.  They need to be in a sauce, have cheese, or some other combinations.   I was excited when I found this recipe for zucchini au gratin.  It combined zucchini with cheese, Ritz crackers, and sour cream.  The ingredients were cooked in a crock pot for 2 hours on high.  Afterwards, you sprinkle the toasted cracker crumb mixture over the top of the casserole.  Cook for an additional 15 minutes and serve.  

Slow-Cooker zucchini Casserole
7 cups sliced zucchini (6 small to medium zucchini)
1/3 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons butter, melted 
2 cups crushed Ritz™ crackers 
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1 cup  chicken broth 
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, if desired


1. Grease inside of slow cooker with butter or cooking spray.
2. Place zucchini and onion in microwavable dish; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on High 7 to 8 minutes or until the zucchini is just tender and has released much of its liquid. Drain; place in slow cooker.
3. Mix 1 cup of the crushed crackers with half of the cheese, the chicken broth and sour cream. Mix in salt. Pour over zucchini; gently stir to coat. Cover; cook on High heat setting 2 hours.
4 .Toward end of cooking, toss remaining cracker crumbs with remaining melted butter. Toast cracker crumbs in skillet until just golden and crisp. Stir in remaining cheese and the parsley. At end of cook time, turn off slow cooker; remove cover, and sprinkle toasted cracker crumb mixture over top of casserole. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 10