Monday, May 8, 2017

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Oh wow, it has been a very long time since I shared a recipe but with so many food bloggers on the Internet nowadays, it is hard to share something!

It has been a very long time since I made these Sloppy Joes.  When my girls were in grade school, the small Catholic school that they attended did not have the means or the number of students to warrant a hot lunch program.  So about once a month a group of mothers, about 10 to 15 of us would get together and plan a hot lunch that the students could buy.  We'd decide on the menu and send out forms for the parents to fill out and send money in to cover the cost.  It didn't seem like a lot of work because we always had fun!  One time I copied down the recipe as we made it and went to work to scale it down to a family size portion!  My family liked it, so it is my go-to-recipe now.

My family does not like the Sloppy Joe stuff you get in the can, we don't like the flavor and this recipe is so easy to make.

I hope you like it as much as we do!

Sloppy Joes

2 pounds of hamburger
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon salt, optional
3/4 cup Ketchup, your favorite (Heinz's) 
1/4 cup Bar-B-Que sauce, your favorite (KC Masterpiece)
1 tablespoon prepared mustard, your favorite (Heinz's)

Brown the hamburger and the onions together; drain of any fat.  Return the hamburger to the heat and add the salt, ketchup, BBQ sauce and mustard, stir well to make sure the hamburger gets all coated well.  Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes.  Serve over buns.  Serves 4 generously.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How to Steam Fresh Broccoli in A Instant Pot

Well, well, here I'm back again to share a quick and easy way to use your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.  I know it has been awhile since I last posted, I have been using my new kitchen gadget since I got it in early June and boy is it a time saver and during the summer it doesn't heat up the kitchen, win win!!

I thought I would share with you how I recently made some fresh broccoli in the Instant pot.

I purchased a steamer basket from Amazon and removed the handles so that it would fit into the Pot liner.  I just use some chef's tongs after it is done steaming, to remove the basket.  To remove the handles on this steamer, just push back and forth until they snap off.  If you have a strong guy handy, that will work too!

You pour one cup of water or broth into the liner, place your cut-up broccoli into the steamer basket, then place it into the Pot liner.  Place the Instant Pot lid onto the pressure cooker and turn until sealed.  Make sure that the Steam Release handle is pointed to "Sealing".  Now on the front panel, press Steam, then hit the minus "-" button until it shows zero "0" on the display.  That is all you do.  It will then display "ON", which means that the Instant Pot is now heating up the liquid so that it can build pressure in the pot.  Once the little silver pin next to the Steam Release handle has popped up, it will begin the count down.  Once the Instant Pot has alerted you that it is done cooking, release the pressure by turning the Steam Release handle to the "Venting" position.  You will know when the pressure is all released when the little silver pin next to the handle drops down and you can easily open the lid.  NEVER try to force the lid open!  When you open the lid, make sure you open it away from you.  To turn off the Instant Pot, hit the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button or unplug the machine.

This makes the best tasting broccoli too and as you can see, it is still a nice bright green color!

Here is a good article for you to read on broccoli.

Thanks for stopping in to see me too!  Mary

Monday, July 6, 2015

Potato Salad with Dijon Mustard Dressing and Bacon

Hi everyone, I hope you had a great Fourth of July.  My husband had to work, so I made our Fourth of July food on Sunday for us to enjoy.

This year I wanted to try a new and different way to make my Potato Salad.  Yes, I made my potatoes and hard-boiled eggs in my Instant Pot!  Can you tell by now how much I like this new way of cooking?!

Years ago, when my husband was on a BBQ team, one of our friends brought her Potato Salad and it was so unusual and good and it had bacon in it.  Try as I might, she would not share the recipe, so I just let it go.  Fast forward about 15 years later and I thought I would try to make it.  You know what, I think I did!  Hubby had two servings and our youngest was here visiting and she could not stay out of it either!  I made a small batch, just in case we didn't really care for it, but you could easily make it larger too.  Yes, we did like it and I'm sure I'll be making it this way more often too!

So I thought I would put it here on my blog so that I can find it again!

Potato Salad with Dijon Mustard Dressing and Bacon

1-1/2 pounds small round Red potatoes, sliced in half
1/3 to 1/2 cup of chopped onions
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, reserve one slice to garnish salad
1 cup mayonnaise, not salad dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
3 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced

Put 1-1/2 cups of water in the Instant Pot.  Put a steamer basket in the pot.  Add potatoes, then lay uncooked eggs on top of the potatoes.  Place lid on pot and lock lid in place.  Select Manual, which goes to High Pressure on my pot and set timer for 4 minutes, press start.
While the potatoes and eggs are cooking, mix the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, mixing well, set aside.
When timer beeps, turn pressure cooker off or unplug and do a quick pressure release.  When pressure is released, on my pot the pin drops down, carefully remove the lid, set aside.  Remove eggs and place into ice cold water.  Remove the steamer basket from the pot and place potatoes into your serving bowl.  I immediately added my salt and pepper to potatoes at this time, you can always add more later if needed.
Add peeled, diced eggs, onions and 5 slices of bacon, stir.  Then add the dressing, I used about 3/4th of the dressing and that seemed to coat all of the ingredients well.  At serving time, stir again, if desired, you can add some more dressing.  Top with the 1 remaining slice of bacon and serve.
I would let the potato salad sit for at least 2 hours or more before serving, to develop the flavor of it.

Serves about 4 to 5 depending on serving size.

I hope you give this a try, it is very good!  Mary

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Electric Pressure Cooker Corn On The Cob

Hi everyone, I hope you are all ready for the coming holiday.  I got some food to make potato salad and brats for my gathering for one!  Hubby is still working his part-time job, but is going to "official retire" in a couple of weeks.  Oh wow, I won't know how to act when he is home all the time!!

Well I got some corn on the cob the other day at the grocery store to try in my Instant Pot, LOVE IT!!  I don't know about you but I didn't like heating a big of pot of water to boiling, during the hot summer months, to make corn on the cob.  I also didn't really know how long to cook it either.  Well now I don't have to worry about that anymore!  Once my pressure cook comes up to pressure, it only take 4 minutes to cook it!!  Oh boy was it ever so good too, with just a little snap to it when we took a bite of it, yum!

I first cleaned the corn.  Then I put 1 cup of water in the pot, placed my trivet in and laid my five pieces of corn on the trivet, two are missing from the pot!!  Place the lid on, hit Manual, then hit the minus key until you have four minutes on the panel, mine was cooked on High pressure.  All you have to do is let it come to pressure, takes about 5-10 minutes, once it reaches pressure it will start counting down.  When it beeps to let you know it's done, do a quick release of the pressure.  Carefully open the lid and be ready to eat some delicious corn!  No boiling water to worry about and no hot kitchen either!  Oh, I also made green beans in it, in four minutes too :).


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Risotto with Chicken

Hi everyone, I'm back again with another Instant Pot success and boy was it yummy too!

I belong to a Instant Pot Facebook group and it is a great place to find recipes where others have tried and had good luck in making.  One of the members posted a recipe for Risotto with mushrooms in it but we don't really like mushrooms so I substituted peas in ours.  It was so good, even though I forgot to add the grated Parmesan cheese and the salt and pepper too, doh!

The first picture is what it looked like right after I removed the lid, all nice an creamy and the second picture is what it looked like after sitting for about 10 minutes.

The lady who shared the recipe didn't add chicken to her's but I had a couple of small chicken breast that I wanted to use, so I cut them into chunks.  Kinda of reminded me of Chicken and Rice Casserole!

Here is how I made it:
1.  Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the Instant Pot.  Select Saute' and let the oil get hot, then add in 1 small chopped onion and that is when I added in my chicken too.  Saute' for about 5 minutes.
2.  Add in 2 cups of Arborio Rice, stirring for about one minute.  Turn off the Instant Pot.
3.  Add 5 cups of chicken broth ( I used 5 cups of water and added 5 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon, stirring the mixture well).
4.  Place your Instant Pot lid on, turn to lock position, press manual, then decrease the time to 6 minutes.  Once the Instant Pot comes to pressure (this takes about 5 minutes or so), the time will start counting down.
5. When timer beeps, turn the Instant Pot off and do a Quick Release, this is done by turning the steam release handle to Venting.
6. Once all of the pressure is released, the little float valve on top will drop and no more steam will come out.  You now can safely remove the Instant Pot lid.  Add in 1 to 2 cups of peas.
7.  Add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to your taste.
8. Give the food a good stirring, and you are now ready to eat!!

I'm getting to where I really am enjoying this little Pot, it will be so nice to be able to cook this summer and not heat up the whole kitchen.  I want to try a Turkey Breast in it next!!  Did you know that you can hard-boil eggs in this?!  Yep, in about 6 minutes.  Oh you can also make your potatoes in it along with your eggs and have the fix in's for Potato Salad in less time then it takes to get a pot of water boiling to cook the eggs or potatoes on the stove top!

Have a great day!!  Mary

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pie Crust From a Cake Mix

How to make a pie crust with a dry cake mix!!

Watch this video to see how easy it is!!

Just think of all the neat combos you could come up with!!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Maillard Reaction

"DID YOU KNOW? You could add a pinch of baking soda when  sauté or browning to speed up the Maillard reaction? The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between carbohydrates (sugar) and amino acids (proteins). In food, it has a profound effect on flavor, color and aroma. Maillard reactions are important in baking, frying or otherwise heating of nearly all foods. It is responsible for the savory flavor of roasted meats as well as the toasted flavor of baked breads to name a few.
During Maillard's reaction, sugar and amino acids combine to form hundreds of new and different flavor compounds. Each type of food has a very distinctive set of flavor compounds that are formed during the Maillard reaction. In fact, these same compounds have been used by flavor scientists to create artificial flavors.
One of the keys to great cooking is managing the Maillard reaction. One way to accelerate the Maillard reaction without burning food is to increase the PH by adding baking soda. Take browning onions (substitute shallots if onions bother your bladder). Adding a pinch of baking soda accelerates the browning process and greatly enhances the flavor.
Watch this video - to the end, to see the difference between 'fried' onions, and sweet 'caramelized' onions."  As written by Tamara Harden.

I found this tip on one of the Facebook Groups I belong to for Electric Pressure Cooking.  Thanks Tamara for this great cooking tip!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Split Pea Soup in the Instant Pot

Oh my goodness, time has really gotten away from me.  I've been very busy and hubby is still working his part-time job, which he is going to retire from soon!

My Mom was recently in the hospital for a couple of days, so I wanted to cook something that she and my Dad would both enjoy.  This soup recipe is one that we got from a former neighbor back in the early 1970's and we have always enjoyed it!

I just received my brand new Instant Pot, which is a electric pressure cooker and thought this would be a wonderful recipe to try.  Boy does the house smell so good today and it is also on the cool side here in my part of the world.

Instead of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of prep and cooking time, it only took one hour or even less for this soup to cook!  An yea!! it doesn't heat up the kitchen either :)  Will be great for the coming winter months.

I ordered my Instant Pot off of Amazon, I signed up for a credit card and got $30.00 off plus FREE shipping too!  So far I'm liking this new way of cooking!!  You can find hundreds of recipe on the web as well as videos too.

Split Pea Soup

1 pound dried split peas
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup diced ham (I used 1 pound smoked sausage, ring kind, sliced)
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 cups water

Select saute, add butter, olive oil, onions, celery and carrots, for about 5 minutes.  Then add garlic and cook for one more minute.  Add water, chicken bouillon cubes, salt, sugar and split peas, stir.  Put the cooker lid on and seal.  Turn Steam Release handle to Sealing.  Select High Pressure and set timer to 10 minutes cook time.  When beep sounds made after the 10 minutes are done, turn the pressure cooker off.  Wait for 10 minutes and use the Quick Pressure Release, turned to the Venting position.  I used my long handle tongs to move the button over so I wouldn't scald my hand.  When the valve drops down, remove the lid away from you.  Now add your sausage and you can either let it warm from the temperature of the soup, which is what I did, or you can select Simmer on the pot and let simmer until sausage is the desired temperature.

Makes around 6-8 servings.  Would be great to have some thick slices of French bread or saltine crackers.

If you don't have a electric pressure cooker, you can prepare this recipe in a large pot, big enough to hold all the ingredients.  Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer, for two hours.

Enjoy!  Mary

Friday, January 2, 2015

High-Humidity Cake Icing

Here is the recipe for the cake icing that I use. This icing will hold up even in 100 degree temperatures! It does not melt.

High-Humidity Icing

1 1/2 cups Crisco
1/4 cup Dream Whip, dry (I just go ahead and use the whole envelope)
1/3 cup flour, sifted

Cream the above all together. Than add alternately;

2 pounds powdered sugar
2/3 cup milk (I have always used water)

Blend well after all has been added; then add

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract (can find this at Michael's)
1 teaspoon clear butter flavoring (also at Michael's)

Blend in extract/flavoring. Now you are ready to ice your cake!

Tint as needed. Refrigerate any leftover icing. Icing on the cake does not need to be refrigerated.

Yields: 6 to 7 cups of icing

You will not be able to taste the flour.

My girls always were happy when there was leftover icing, as I would spread it on vanilla wafers or graham crackers for them, heck even the big kid in the house liked it this way too!