Nothing says lovin’ like something from the…top of the stove. I hope you’re skipping the long wait and perhaps not-so-great-service at the restaurants on Valentine’s Day. Go to your favorite spot some other time and give your best servers a break… Instead, stay home and fix this luscious meal for you and your happiest partner, you and a friend, or just for yourself.
When you’re looking for food to fit specific diets or food preferences and you’re not used to cooking or baking those profiles, it’s best or easiest, anyway, to pick dishes that are naturally gluten free, for instance, or come perfectly vegan all by themselves, for another. Silky Chocolate Pots de Crème is a simple, happy dessert for a gluten free eater. No flour to replace there. Sumptuous summer strawberries and raspberries glistening with finely minced mint fills the bill for vegans, I’m thinking, because who doesn’t like strawberries and raspberries?
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.
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.)
Later in the evening one night last week, Dave (better know as “the hub”) and I decided to go out for a light dinner and drink. If you wait until 9:00 in Colorado Springs, or maybe in many smaller cities, your choices are often pizza or burgers… or a hop over to one of the all-night breakfast places. One large brewery nearby stays open until midnight and we ran over there, ordering a glass of white wine for me and a beer for Dave, perusing the menu while we nursed our drinks. This particular food list came equipped with calorie counts and, reading through the long list of available food, I was again flabbergasted by the calories involved in meat dishes versus vegetable and grain meals–especially given the holiday time of year.
I spent a good deal of my life working for cash and life fulfillment as 1. a librarian and 2. a church music director. (I taught piano, too, on the side.) Both jobs, and I sometimes held them at the same time to make ends meet, helped fuel my love of cooking because libraries have cookbooks and church choirs love to eat.
I really love, love what I have thought of as my best green bean dish, which is Lemon Green Beans. There’s little to it and I make this A LOT. It’s probably my most used “recipe” because people memorize it at my dinner table: “Cooked green beans stirred up with lots of salt, pepper, and grated lemon rind with a little crushed red pepper and olive oil.” Great summer snack, too. I just leave a bowl on the counter. Keeps me from raiding the chips. Sometimes. ALL ABOUT COOKING GREEN BEANS HERE.
If you’re lucky enough to live in places where spring vegetables were planted weeks ago, you could already have a crop of spinach or green onions or asparagus. Our past-frost date in Colorado Springs hasn’t yet arrived; it’s June 1 – June 10. For the first time, I’ve snuck a few things in early, but am nightly ready to rush out to bring pots in or run into the yard like a crazy woman throwing blankets over newly-planted beds. (We have upcoming lows of 32 F this week, for instance.)