Month: January 2018

INSTANT POT  Winter Vegetable Barley Soup

INSTANT POT Winter Vegetable Barley Soup

Some nights it doesn’t have to be anything fancy-schmancy. We’re not talking a New Year’s Eve buffet or grandma’s Easter brunch. Just a warm, filling dinner that didn’t take forever to make or clean out the bank account. Something all in one pot; something all in one warm bowl. Maybe a little cheese or crackers on the side.  A container left for lunch the next day or to take to a neighbor–my favorite solutions for leftovers.

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INSTANT POT Curried Cauliflower-Coconut Soup

INSTANT POT Curried Cauliflower-Coconut Soup

Whether or not I’ll stick to it, I don’t know. My goal is to use the Instant Pot (IP) for more than testing recipes for other people’s upcoming cookbooks. It’s not that I’m not a gadget person; I am–sort of. It’s not that I’m out of room…well, I almost am. If another pot this size arrives in my house, it’ll need to be stored in the trunk of my car.  In other words, to buy anything new and large will require a trip to Goodwill carrying a piece of equipment of equal size.   

                                 No IP? Stovetop directions included below recipe.

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Lemon Polenta with Braised Beef Ragù

Lemon Polenta with Braised Beef Ragù

By this time of the year, pot roast (boneless beef chuck roast, in this case) has lost the patina or excitement it so raptly held last fall. It’s been cold awhile and we’ve been eating “comfort food” for months. While the price hasn’t dropped much over all, there was a twofer sale at our local grocery and of course I still stocked up. The list for meat in the big garage freezer boasts way too many possibilities, but 4 pot roasts was still scratched onto its bottom. What to do with the first one for a special weekend meal? (Stay tuned about what fate awaits the rest of them.)

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INSTANT POT Butternut and Yellow Squash Soup

INSTANT POT Butternut and Yellow Squash Soup

Need a little basic Instant Pot (IP) info? Scroll down to bottom of post.

I not long ago had a chat with a fellow food writer. No need to mention names and you’ll see why.  The subject of Instant Pots came up. This person pointed out the box that had been sitting for weeks, maybe months, in his/her closet. And, yes, you know what was in that box:  an Instant Pot. (IP).  A slow shake of the head, a flutter of the eyelashes, and a tiny slide of the mouth to one side indicated distaste with even touching that parcel, much less figuring out how to cook with it. “Someday,” s/he shrugged.

What is an Instant Pot anyway? (People ask this regularly in the winter of 2018.)

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Broccoli Soup with Sour Cream and Toasted Almonds

Broccoli Soup with Sour Cream and Toasted Almonds

Between Wednesday and Friday of last week, I’d cooked three separate and distinct meals (one of which was the Coconut Pork Salad below)… and so had various and sundry little containers of meat and vegetables I knew I’d make into a hefty salad come Saturday night when we had planned to splurge a little on an amazon prime movie to belatedly catch “Victoria and Abdul.” (Don’t miss it if you haven’t seen it!) When I visually weighed those leftovers, an accompanying bowl of soup was an obvious necessity.

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“Chocolate Covered Cherry” Oatmeal Cookies

“Chocolate Covered Cherry” Oatmeal Cookies

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While I love to bake, it was once much more of a passion than it is today.  I think baking provided a sense of accomplishment — a finished product, if you will — that cooking didn’t seem to. (But does now.) Do you consider yourself a baker or a cook? Or both?

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Slow Cooker Turkey and Green Chile Soup with Barley

Slow Cooker Turkey and Green Chile Soup with Barley

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If you spent too much time watching the Alabama-Georgia game last night, and neglected to take anything out of the freezer, you, like me, might be wondering what’s for supper Tuesday night.  Slow cooker to the rescue and read on…

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