Finally used the Instant Pot

I ordered an Instant Pot from Amazon last month when they had them on sale. When I received it, I took it out of the box and put it on the shelf, where it sat…until today.

While perusing some instant pot recipes on Pinterest, I came across an extremely simple cooked carrot recipe that claimed it only takes 4 minutes. Looking at the ingredients (carrots, chicken stock, butter, and salt), I had everything so I decided to give it a shot for lunch.

I was certain there’s no way the carrots could be cooked to my preference in only 4 minutes. To my surprise, in only 4 minutes, I found that not only were they cooked and extremely hot, but borderline overcooked. I’m now searching for the next thing I want to cook!




Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • 4 T Chili Powder
  • 2 T Cumin
  • 2 T Paprika
  • 2 T Dried Oregano
  • 1 T Onion Powder
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in a mason jar.


Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig - Test 3
Serves: 12-14
  • 5-6 pound pork butt roast
  • 1½ tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt (coarse sea salt)
  • 1½ tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
  1. Pierce the pork roast all over with the tip of a sharp knife. Place the roast in a large slow cooker and rub the salt all over the meat. Drizzle the liquid smoke over the meat.
  2. Cover the slow cooker and cook on Low Heat for 16 to 20 hours**, turning the roast over once half-way through the cooking time. Depending on how hot your low setting is on your slow cooker, you may or may not need the full 20 hours. When the meat easily shreds with a fork it is ready.
  3. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with two forks, adding drippings from the slow cooker as needed to moisten the meat.
Don’t be tempted to add any additional liquid–you don’t need it. The fat in the roast will provide more than enough liquid. For this size of roast, you will need a 6-qt. slow cooker. If you have a smaller slow cooker, use a smaller roast and reduce the amount of the other ingredients accordingly.


Death By Chocolate – Mixed Drink

This looks like something I should really try. Found via the Instagram user, TipsyBartender.

Death By Chocolate - Mixed Drink
Recipe type: Mixed Drink
  • ½ oz. (15ml) Vodka
  • 1 oz. (30ml) Irish Cream
  • ½ oz. (15ml) Dark Creme de Cacao
  • Large Scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate Shavings or Sprinkles
  • Oreo Cookie
  1. Mix alcohol and ice cream in blender
  2. Pour in glass and top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and an Oreo
  3. Enjoy

Screenshot 2014-05-30 10.46.50

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

This is a crock pot recipe I’ve been making for years, and love it. I don’t remember where I originally got it, but I believe a friend gave it to me. I’ve made plenty of adjustments to it over the years to get it pretty much perfect.

I usually get a 3lb roast, as that feeds 4 easily and gives me a couple of days of lunch left overs. It reheats great, and sometimes is even a little bit better.

Prepare time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cook time: Approximately 8 hours

2 1/2 – 3 1/2 lb beef roast
Olive Oil
3 cups Au Jus
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Basil Leaves
1 tbsp Parsley Flakes
1 tbsp Oregano Leaves
2 Bay Leaves
1 jar (12 – 18oz) Pepperoncinis
Rolls (I prefer French style rolls)

Optional Ingredients
Cheese (I prefer chedder or pepper jack)
Hot Giardiniera
Mushrooms (sometimes I slice up mushrooms and add them to the crock pot. They’re pretty tasty on the sandwich)

Turn the crock pot on low
Coat the bottom of the crock pot with olive oil
Place the roast in to the crock pot
Cover the roast with all the dry ingredients (salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, parsley, and oregano)
Pour the Au Jus around the roast (Usually a 1/3 to 1/2 of the roast will still be exposed and that is ok)
Add the garlic to the juice around the roast
Add the 2 bay leaves to the juice

Put the cover on the crock pot and just let it cook. In about an hour your house will start smelling awesome!
A couple of hours before it’s done (usually around the 6 hour mark) I then pour in the entire jar of pepperoncini’s, juice and all. Be sure to remove the stems of the peppers if you plan to eat them,
After around 8 hours the roast should be done and will just pull apart using some tongs.

I love to split the rolls in half and butter the insides, then I throw them under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Then just load a bunch of beef on the roll and serve. Of course be sure to add some additional toppings. Cheeses that work well are cheddar or pepper jack. Don’t forget some hot giardiniera to get that authentic hot italian beef taste.


The dry ingredients I use.

This is the Au Jus I use. It is 1 cup, but gets mixed with 2 parts water (for a total of 3 cups)

These were the pepperoncinis I used for the last beef I made.

By far my favorite rolls for the beef sandwiches. They can take a good soak’n of Au Jus without falling apart.

The raw roast covered in the dry seasonings.

After 4-6 hours I add the jar of pepperoncinis.

Beef on the toasted rolls. (Under the broiler just a tough too long)

Finished sandwich with some pepper jack cheese.

Pain Perdu – AKA French Toast

This is the most excellent french toast recipe. This recipe is from Rachel Ray of 30 Minute Meals which airs on the Food Network.

I’ve made one adjustment to the original recipe, and that is to use less sugar. Plus I usually double the recipe to make enough for my entire family.

2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar (The original calls for 1 cup)
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in a splash of water
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 slices stale white bread or 6 slices thick cut stale bread (I just buy a loaf of uncut hard crust italian bread)
Butter, for griddle pan

Preheat nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Beat eggs very well, add sugar and beat again. Add cornstarch in water and beat that in, then add milk and nutmeg. Coat bread thoroughly in egg-milk mixture. Lightly butter hot pan with butter nested in paper towels. Add bread to the pan and cook slowly, 3 or 4 minutes on each side, 2 to 3 slices at a time.

This can be topped with numerous possibilities, but is great without anything. We usually thaw out some frozen fruit for toppings.