Below is a nice, easy spice blend chart from Woman’s Day.
The nine spice blends:
- Pumpkin Pie
- Lemon Pepper
- Indian Sweet
I love corn on the cob. Done right it is a delight. Grilling out in summer time is accentuated by a bowl of steaming hot, golden yellow corn. I find it a bit of a pain to make, however. In the past, I’ve either soaked it while in the husk and put it on the grill (tasty) or boiled it in a bowl of water. The latter is my least favorite way to prepare it, adding humidity and heat to a house that’s already struggling to keep cool.
Enter the Instant Pot. I ordered mine during some internet sale event (Black Friday/Cyber Monday-ish?), after hearing that it was the next best thing since bread was sliced. I love my crockpots, and wasn’t thinking I’d be getting rid of them, or replacing them. Instead I thought this might be another helpful appliance to add to my arsenal.
Without writing an essay on it, I’ll just say it’s like a crockpot microwave. At least that’s what I use it for — its ability to speed things up when time is of the essence. But this isn’t about the Instant Pot, it’s about making some delicious corn quickly.
Here’s how it goes:
12 Cobs of corn (this will depend on what size pot you have, I have 8 qt.)
1 Can of beer
2 tsp. Seasoning (you can use seasoning salt, Old Bay, Tony Chachere’s, seasoning salt…)
1 Stick of butter
Shuck corn and break cobs in half; stack on top of the trivet in your IP. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of seasoning and pour 1 can of beer over (you can sub with stock or water if you don’t want beer). Set your IP on high pressure for 5 minutes. Use quick release at the end.
When it starts to cook (you have 5 minutes, if you’re paying attention), melt the stick of butter in a pot and add the other teaspoon of seasoning. Once the lid is ready for removal on the IP, pour the butter over top of the cobs.
Play around with the seasonings to your liking.
IF YOU WANT TO ADD SHRIMP… Do everything the same, but set the IP for 4 minutes, QR, open and add uncooked frozen shrimp, set IP for 1 minute, QR.
PS: Again… did anyone else think Instant Pots were called Insta-Pots?
I got an 8 qt Instant Pot right after Thanksgiving on a cyber Monday sale. I chose the largest one because I’m generally cooking for a crowd, or at least trying to have some leftovers. I realized they were an exciting new kitchen appliance, but I did not know they were like the new breadmaker. The closer it got the Christmas, the more I heard people talk about how there was a shortage, and where could they find one? Meanwhile, mine was sitting happily in its box.
Without dragging you through paragraphs of pictures and text you don’t want to read, I’ll just say that it’s a decent appliance, but I’m not getting rid of my crockpots. If you go into the purchase with the idea in mind that you will be able to make things a bit faster, but not perform miracles, you’ll be OK. But if you think this thing turns water into wine, you’re overestimating the power of an Instant Pot. Also, did anyone else think it was Instapot?
So I’ve used this bad boy a few times now. My first victim was chili, and I will say that was ho hum. Nothing spectacular. Pork butt. OK, faster than usual. Nice. Chicken wings… again, faster, but had to broil them after so I wouldn’t gag on slippery wings. I made macaroni and cheese, and that was a success. Instead of boiling, draining, adding, throwing in a crockpot, I could do it all (and faster) in the Instant Pot.
After a couple tries, I settled on a recipe that I like pretty well. I shared it in a Facebook group, and will share it here. It’s your basic pressure cooker M&C recipe, just tailored to how I like it. I’m not too big on measuring, but I think this is pretty close. Try it and tweak it. I think you’ll be happy with it. If you’re making a smaller batch, you’ll have to do the math.
Creamy Dreamy Pressure Cooker Macaroni And Cheese For A Crowd
Mix in pot:
1 stick butter (cut into chunks/tablespoons – doesn’t need to be melted or anything – frozen is even fine)
15 shakes Tabasco (or whatever hot sauce, depending on your desired flavor, I went heavy)
1 T. ground mustard
2-3 T salt (depending on your desire for saltiness, I added more at the end)
1 T. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
12 c. H20
Pressure cook on HIGH for 4 minutes, use quick release. No need to drain, the pasta absorbs it all. At this point I gave it a little stir. Then…
2 cups heavy cream & 2 cups milk (or 4 cups half and half… possibly more, depending on consistency)
2 pounds freshly shredded sharp cheddar
1 pound freshly shredded Muenster (or other soft cheese)
~ 1 pound freshly shredded parmesan
(Mix cheeses in slooooowly. I kept mine on sauté and dug deep to make sure that cheese was getting melted in real nice.)
Mangia! It’s delicious!
All this fuss over a fruity-looking drink with way too many calories. If you’re going to Starbucks and ordering anything that comes with a straw inserted and whipped cream on top, you’ve already blown your “eat healthy” goal for the day. But kudos to SB for raising that hype bar. People won’t shut up about it. Hilarious and sad.
Here’s my review: Didn’t try it. No appeal.
I tried another Pinterest pin.
Everybody sees them – the Facebook posts, the food. Scrolling down through your feed, the eye catches on one recipe or another. The MUST SHARE or IT IS SOOOO GOOD recipe. Most of them have junk in them that I just don’t buy – “Take one pre-packaged this, add it to the other chemical-laden that, add some more chemicals…”
I did decide to try two recipes yesterday, though, because our menu has gotten a little boring. I have no idea of the original source, but found the exact recipe below. It’s all over the ‘net. That’s the problem with the Facebook recipes. Unless you do share them, they’re lost in your feed. I copy/pasted the recipe, but don’t know where it came from. The recipe below is the exact one.
ONE POT WONDER TOMATO BASIL PASTA
Serves 4 to 6 as an entree
12 ounces linguine pasta (I used 16 – why use 3/4 of a box?)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth – it’s all I had)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired . Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with parmesan cheese.
This didn’t get the raves I was hoping for. It was eaten, but there was no call for me to throw it into regular rotation. We eat a lot of spaghetti around these parts, and they are fickle.
I do love sitting around the table with my family, though. It’s a little slice of heaven on earth. I completely relish every day we are able to. With one moved out, one home for the summer for college – our family dinners are few and far between, and not a daily event like the were years ago. Meal planning helps me get the family around the dinner table. I’m glad I took the time to do it this week.
For dessert: Honey Bun Cake
I didn’t get to try any of this, but it seemed to be a hit. My family seems to really like Honey Buns (they taste like cardboard and chemical sugar to me), so I thought it would be fun to try this. They said it didn’t quite taste like a Honey Bun, more like a coffee cake, but it was good. I made it using a make-your-own boxed cake recipe, since I didn’t have a boxed one on hand.
Honey Bun Cake
1 – package white cake mix, (reserve ½ cup dry cake mix)
2 – sticks butter, softened
1 – cup plain Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
4 – eggs
½ – teaspoon vanilla extract
½ – cup reserved dry cake mix
½ – cup packed brown sugar
1/3 – cup chopped nuts, optional
2 – teaspoons cinnamon
3 – cups powdered sugar
1 – teaspoon vanilla extract
6 – 8 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees grease bottom only of 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Remove ½ cup dry cake mix and set aside. Add remaining cake mix to a large bowl: add butter, yogurt, eggs and vanilla; beat at medium speed. Spread half of the batter in the pan. Stir together reserved dry cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts if using. Sprinkle over batter. Spread remaining cake batter on top. To make spreading easier drop batter by dollops over cinnamon mixture then spread using an offset spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown and cake springs back when touched. Remove from oven and let cake cool.
Prepare the glaze by stirring together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. If the glaze is too thick keep adding a bit of milk until it’s to the consistency you want. Poke the top of warm cake with a fork. Drizzle and spread the glaze completely over the cake.
Cook’s Note: I pour half of the glaze over the cake and let it seep into the cake and then wait about 15 – 20 minutes and add the remaining glaze mixture. (This was a good tip – worked well.) Cool for one hour before slicing.
OK, so here’s the recipe I’ve been using. Clearly I’m slightly obsessed, but when you’re trying to do a lower-carb/higher fat/moderate protein (LCHF) diet, there are some things you miss, and I miss pizza.
But not so much anymore. Really. This works pretty darn well for me.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
For a low-carb (gluten free?) pizza, this one is the best I’ve found so far.
1/3 – 1/2 head cauliflower (I used about 1/2 for this one – it’s a forgiving recipe)
3.5 oz. grated parmesan, asiago, romano or other hard cheese
1.5 oz. shredded mozzarella
(spices of your choosing – garlic, italian seasoning – skip salt, the cheese is salty)
Preheat oven to 400. Wash and dry the cauliflower (I use florets and stems) and chop it up in processor or chopper until resembles crumbs – then microwave for 3 minutes. Let it sit in microwave for about 5 minutes, then take it out and drain the cauliflower in cheesecloth or squeeze out excess water with paper towels. Add egg and cheese, and seasonings; mix in well.
Line a pizza pan or cookie sheet with parchment (I haven’t tried it without parchment, so I can’t tell you what would happen if you omit it) then place the “dough” on and form into a circle. Pat well with your hands to make a nice shape. I make mine about 1/4 inch thick and then pat it again with paper towels once it is formed to get a little more moisture out. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden.
Remove the crust, turn oven to BROIL While the oven is heating, and add your sauce and a tiny bit more cheese (like an ounce – too much an it will be too cheesy), and any toppings you like. Place the pizza back in the oven to broil and watch it carefully. It only will take about 5 minutes for it to get toasty. If you don’t want to babysit it, you could skip the broiling part and just bake it for a bit more time.
Remove and enjoy.
It seems difficult, but it really isn’t once you do it a couple times. I haven’t gotten a crisp crust yet, but I’ve gotten a nice brown and a delicious flavor. Today I made sauce with 1 tomato and 1 can of tomato sauce (4oz) and some basil from my garden. Yum.
I’m going to add some flax or almond flour to my next pizza and see how that flies. This is pretty bare bones and works well.
I’m slowly perfecting this. So far, I’m not really missing my regular pizzas.
This one I baked the crust for about 20 minutes first, then added toppings and broiled. I also dabbed the uncooked crust with a paper towel to remove moisture.
Years ago when I was lowcarbing I made this lowcarb pancake (I really kept up on that site, eh?). It was pretty tasty, but I don’t really carry ricotta cheese around the house often.
This morning we had a couple kids over at our house for a sleepover, and usually on the weekends I make some sort of breakfast (pancakes, waffles, etc.). It’s hot, and I really didn’t feel like heating up the oven, or standing over a skillet flipping pancakes, so I opted for waffles.
I made a mega batch, the boys ate like a wild pack of horses.
I’m not eating the traditional pancakes and waffles (wheat), but wanted to try making something different (yet clearly similar). This is what I came up with on the fly, with the ingredients I had on hand. I could have thrown in some flax or almond flour, but… just didn’t.
Low Carb Waffles (makes 4)
4 oz Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Combine all and blend with hand blender until frothy. Pour into a pre-heated waffle iron sprayed with non-stick spray.
Super simple, huh?
They turned out quite well. The only mishap was that the batter makes a little more than my iron can hold in one batch and I was not patient or careful. It over-flowed.
I don’t have any sugar-free pancake syrup, and didn’t really want to put DaVinci’s on top of it, so I went for some semi-whipped cream instead.
1.5 oz. heavy whipping cream, dash of cinnamon, 4 drops of liquid stevia. I used my handy frother again. It was such a small amount that a hand-blender, though it would probably do a better job, was really too big for the task.
It was pretty good. Eggy, naturally. But so many low-carb creations are eggy. It hit the spot, though, for me. Kind of a semi-waffle. I’m sure it would be improved with some almond flour or flax, but in a pinch, this was a nice change up from the regular old egg breakfast.
Hello stranger! Maybe I’m the stranger. I don’t get to post here often, even though I like to. I guess I should make it a priority if it is something I enjoy, eh? I take all these pictures, and they sit. And wait. For the day that I remember to post them.
Have you heard of Bulletproof Coffee?
It will probably strike most people as kind of (very) weird. But I’m eating a lower carb/higher fat diet, and it fits in with that. It would fit in with any way of eating as a treat, but with this one (and maybe paleo), it is an OK normal.
Basically you take your cup of coffee, plop 14g of some good, grass-fed, unsalted butter in it.
Then you add coconut oil to it (I used 8g).
Then you whip it, or emulsify it. I used a stick blender.
It turns into a frothy substance that tastes delightful.
If using butter ooks you out, try cream. That is mighty tasty, too. Real cream, not half and half. I’ve taken my stick blender to my mug of coffee and cream, and it turns into something a tad more delightful. Kicks it up a notch. It’s like a coffee house drink without the coffee house prices.
I normally take a mug of tea or coffee to work, but I got up a half hour earlier and had my mug-o-goodness at home. I don’t know if I’ll be missing that at work, now, but it’s just one day. In addition to watching my food intake, I’ve been noting my water as well. I don’t always do well with water intake. So today I’ll have a little extra emphasis on water.
I’m already missing my warm mug at work and I’m not even there yet. Not a good sign.
I also had this for breakfast:
Yeah, it’s empty. It was Trader Joe’s Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus with celery sticks. I just wasn’t feeling a complicated breakfast today. I could eat that hummus with a spoon, it’s that good.
Before Carlito left, he showed me his most recent creation in Arts Medals class. They’re taking a field trip today.
He’s made a necklace and a ring so far, too. He seems to like the class. Dante took it, too, but I don’t remember getting anything home from him. Strange. He’s more of a perfectionist, and would just leave his things at school. Kids don’t know how much moms like to get that stuff, even if it isn’t perfect.