Another year is done

Wow 2017 is going to be over in a few hours and I have had some time to think about the last year. I have gotten in better health! Walked not one but two 10ks this year! Went on a great vacation for Sanibel Florida! Planted a wonderful garden. Made better choices for my eating! Kept my blood pressure under control. Had family come and visit at my house for the first time ever! And my business did pretty well this last year as well! I have had a pretty blessed year really!

As 2018 comes rushing in I want to take a few minutes and share what my plans are for the new year.

Business wise I am taking a Master Class and learning more about portraits and getting more candid photos of my clients. Try and get there natural appearance. Even going to work on selling some of my work. Reading the Photographers Market 2018 book and going to get my work out there a bit! Starting January off with promo photos of a client for her new radio show…so exciting!

Still going to work on my health. The gym a few days a week and then some added stretching at home. I plan to walk the Air Force 10k again in 2018 and walk it a bit faster than in 2017. A few 5Ks I’m sure are going to happen as well. Plan to keep taking inches and weight off my body and continue to cook more at home for me and the family.

Going to spend time with friends and family in 2018. Going to try and make a schedule to see people that I have missed this last year. Even if it’s a FaceTime chat. Life is to short not too!

I am taking time for me in 2018. Whether it is a walk, a trip to the gym, some quiet time or what ever I am adding this to my life in 2018. It will help my mind to me healthier as well.

May 2018 be blessed beyond all our imaginations. May we all be healthier than we have ever been and may we be doing what makes us happy!

Bring in 2018! I’m ready!

Chicken and dumplings in the pressure cooker

I must admit I was very skeptical about making chicken and dumplings in a pressure cooker. After seeing all the new people in a Facebook group I belong to post recipes I was like…hmmmmm…I have everything I need to make that let’s try it so I did.

Pulled up the site

Got all the ingredients together

• 2 cups chicken broth

• 1 cup water

• 1 teaspoon olive oil

• 1-1/2 lbs chicken breast, cubed

• 1 tube (16oz) refrigerated biscuits

• 1 cup chopped carrots

• 2 teaspoons oregano

• 1 teaspoon onion powder

• 1 teaspoon basil

• 2 cloves minced garlic

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon pepper

The recipe on line called for a cup of peas but Im not a fan.

I also didn’t use the garlic cloves and just used garlic powder with my chicken…a teaspoon.

Then I really did follow the recipe

  1. Chopped the biscuits before I cooked the chicken so they were ready to go
  2. Cut my chicken breasts in smaller square pieces and sautéed in the olive oil till they were done
  3. While chicken is cooking throw in the spices and brown the chicken
  4. Turn off cooker and add broth and water.
  5. Add the carrots
  6. Add the biscuits
  7. Stir it all together and put the lid on.
  8. Seal the lid and set on manual for 5 minutes. It will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  9. Once 5 minutes is up so quick release
  10. Open lid, stir and serve

The flavor was really good! I think I would have liked a little more liquid so I’ll add a bit more next time but really good meal. Enough for two bowls of left overs after feeding three people!

From scratch hamburger helper in the pressure cooker

Like some of you I am addicted to Pinterest. Now that I have a pressure cooker I have been searching Pinterest for different quick meals. I came across a homemade hamburger helper recipe. Thought I would give it a shot!

Ingredients are:

1 Pound of ground beef

2 cups of broth

16 oz of cheddar cheese

4oz of American cheese

1 tbs of onion powder

1 tbs of garlic powder

16 oz of elbow macaroni

8 oz of milk

First up is to sautée the ground beef along with the garlic and onion in the pressure cooker until the hamburger isn’t pink anymore. Pour in the broth, the elbow macaroni and milk. Hit the rice/risotto button and let it come up to pressure…recipe says 4 minutes my pot says 6 left it at 6 and the results are….pasta is

Perfect! Add the cheese and serve.  I made some green beens to go with it!

And dinner is served! Could I have made this in the stove? Yes but I must say I only have one pot to wash! I also didn’t have to babysit the meal!

We will make this again!

Verde Salsa

This spring I planted tomatillos in the garden. I went out to the garden and got all the ripe tomatillos off the vine. So I gathered the ingredients I needed to try and make Verde Salsa. I got out the blender and the food processor to help chop things up. 

Here are the ingredients you need:

10 cups of tomatillos 

1 Med onion chopped 

2 teaspoons garlic

1/2 cup cilantro 

1 tbsp of lime juice 

A little bit of a jalapeño pepper

(But wait there is more)

I cut the tomatillos in half and roasted them cut side down in a pan that I covered with aluminum foil. I figured there would be juice and I was right.

I put them in the oven on broil for 7 minutes and checked them. Ended up putting another minute and a half on them.

While this was going on I sautéed some yellow onion and garlic.

Cooked till it was translucent and then sat both the tomatillos and the onions aside to cool off. I put them in a bowl. After taking the tomatillos off the pan I poured the juice into a bowl just incase I need to make the salsa more saucy.

Then I put it all in the food process (was gonna use the blender but didn’t think it was big enough.

Tasted it and it needed some help…I added 1 ripe mango, 1 medium size yellow tomato, 1/2 of a grilled peach, 1/2 a grilled nectarine, 1/2 a lime, 1&1/4 tablespoons course salt, 1 small roasted red pepper, 1/2 of a green onion, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, another small magi and another yellow tomato. Then and only them did it Taste good enough to eat.

Then I canned some of it!

We will have some for this winter!

Made vegetarian pulled pork

So I am not a vegetarian but the wife is. We thought we would give vegetarian pulled pork a  whirl. Well I cheated. I bought a bag of Morning Star pulled pork. Added a bottle of Stubbs Hickory Burbon sauce and thru it in the pressure cooker with a cup of veggie broth. Pushed the chicken button on the pressure cooker and waited for it to come up to the right pressure.  It cooked for 22 minutes. Released the pressure and…..

Smelled just like pulled pork! She ate two sandwiches:0) we will call this a keeper! What shall I make next?

Turkey in the pressure cooker

Bought a turkey breast for the pressure cooker!

I took the turkey out of the plastic back and washed her off and then but some olive oil and rosemary salt all over her. Threw her in the cooker to brown her a little.

Then I chopped up some carrots, celery and onion for the bottom of the pot. Took turkey out. Turned it off to let it cool down. Put the carrots and stuff in the bottom of the pot with 2 cup dish of broth.

Sprinkles some dried onion and garlic in there.

Turned it on for 30 min. Let it come to pressure and cook. Released the steam took it out and cut the netting off. Cut threw the turkey…..not done so back in the pot.

Cooked for 10 more minutes. Took it out and…


Another successful meal chicken broccoli and rice

Chicken broccoli & rice is what went in the pressure cooker yesterday. Mighty tasty if I do say so myself. Here are the ingredients and directions. After that is my play by play!

Now for what happened while I was cooking.

So I cubed up the chicken and cut up the onion. Put the butter in the pressure cooker and turned it on. When the butter melted I put the onions in there and let them start cooking. Added some garlic and threw in the chicken and the spices (I added rosemary salt) Mixing it all up as I go.

I used frozen broccoli this time (I forgot to get fresh at the store.) put the broth and rice in the pressure cooker and put the lid on. Put the broccoli in the microwave and about 4 minutes in I blew a fuse in the house. It turned off the pressure cooker and the microwave. Of course there is no one here so I run to the fuse box. Doesn’t look like any fuses are blown and I have no idea which fuse is the kitchen fuse so I throw them all. Good idea right…nope, set off the house alarm. Dogs go crazy. I run to go turn that off and rush back into the kitchen. Good news is pressure cooker is at pressure. The recipe says to set the pressure cooker for 5 minutes. I haven’t figured that out yet so I set mine to 15 and then stopped it after the 5 minutes. I mixed the flour and milk….oh wait I didn’t have milk so I used heavy whipping cream. I know, but it’s what I had and added a bit of water to it. It worked. After releasing the pressure I added the flour mix and stored it all up and then added the broccoli and the cheese.

It was really good! This could be a crowd favorite! Served it right away with a salad! The pot cleaned up easily as well!

Lasagna in a pressure cooker

So Pinterest will be the death of me…lol I looked through the recipes and came across several for lasagna. The pressure cooker even came with a recipe for it so…lasagna it is tonight.

I opted to brown my meat on the stove. I can cook it better that way, I think anyway, and add salt pepper and all that good stuff to it.  (I used dried because do wanted to see if that would help with the flavor)

Drained the grease……

In a bowl mix 2 cups ricotta cheese, a cup of mozzarella cheese, and  a cup of Italian cheese. 3 eggs. 3 tbsp of parsley chopped. 1 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp of sea salt and mix it together.

1 cup tomato sauce and half cup of water in the bottom of the pot.

Place 1 lasagna shells in the middle and break two and put along the sides…not pretty but I’ll figure it out I’m sure….

Add the cheese and meat

Another layer of noodles and then sauce. I did three layers. Put sause on top of last layer and added another cup of cheese 

Put the lid on close the release valve and set pressure cooker to soup/stew press time adjust button till it reaches 20 minutes and we wait. 

Release the pressure valve and let set for 10 minutes and serve!

After setting for 10 minutes I searched it with a little garlic bread!

This is now a fav! MMMMMM good!

Follow up……should add a bit more liquid to bottom on pan it got just a little burnt down there but not bad.

Pot roast in the pressure cooker xl

Hey everyone! So today I decided to make a roast in the pressure cooker.

I bought a bottom round roast 1.78 pounds some carrots, celery, onion, garlic. I raided the cupboard and didn’t find any beef broth so I used vegetable broth (just a cup) and some water

Cut up the veggies

Seared the roast on both sides with some garlic powder on it in the pressure cooker (put in a little olive oil in the bottom of the pan) and took it out. Then sautéed the onion celery and garlic for a little bit.

Turned it off and added the carrots and potatoes to the bottom of the pot. Put my meat on top of that. Put some salt and pepper on it and sealed the lid! I then hit the cook time selector and made it go to medium.

Set the pressure cooker for 40 minutes and crossed my fingers (this is only my third meal in the pressure cooker.)

Timer beeps, I slowly let the air out a few times,  then let it all out. Take off the lid and the results:

Then to plate it…..

Good stuff! We will so be having this again!

Fajitas….I can make that

The pressure cooker got another work out last night. Made steak Fajitas. Got our ingredients 

Pushed the chicken and meat button to turn on the pressure cooker so I could brown the meat a little and sautée the onions

Cut up some red peppers and some squash and threw it all in the pot.

Put some fajita seasoning in it and stirred it up a little bit. Threw the meat on top and closed up the pressure cooker. I did not put any liquid into the pot. With the veggies and the meat I was hoping it would make enough liquid to steam.

Pushed the chicken/meat button again and we waited. While this was going on I made some Mexican rice as a side and warmed some flour and corn tortillas.

When the beep happened I let out the steam.

And when that the steam stopped I took off the lid and bam….

As you can see there is liquid in the pot. It was a good call not to add liquid. Took the mix out of the pot.

And made me some fajitas 

It was really good! I didn’t put enough seasoning it it (was afraid to over season) but still good none the less. 

Give it a shot!