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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Instant Pot Pork Sirloin Tip Roast

This is the very first meal I prepared in my new Instant Pot and I was very happy with the end result. I had prepared one of these pork roasts from Costco the traditional way and ended up with a tough and dry piece of meat. The one prepared in the Instant Pot turned out tender and juicy. You can season the roast anyway that you prefer, the following is what I did.
Pork Sirloin Tip Roast
Season a 2 pound Pork Sirloin Tip Roast with Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and Horseradish Powder . Set the pot to Saute and add a Tbsp of Cooking Oil and when it is shimmering,  brown the pork on all sides and remove from pot. Add 1 chopped Onion, 4 or 5 chopped Sweet Baby Bell peppers and stir until soft. Add  1/4 cup Hard Apple Cider and deglaze the pot. Return Roast to pot and add remaining 12 Oz. Bottle of Hard Apple Cider. Close and lock the lid, hit the cancel button. Press the Manuel button and set for 45 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own.
We went for a walk and it was waiting for us.  It actually went to the warm setting and it turned out tender and delicious.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

I finally joined the Instant Pot bandwagon and am very happy with the results so far. The machine can be a little intimidating, but I think it will be worth the time to figure out. One of the first things I prepared were Steel Cut Oats and they turned out perfect. They were creamy and very favorable. I used Penzey's Vanilla Sugar to sweeten mine, although brown sugar, honey or agave would have worked just as well.

Steel Cut Oats

Add 2 cups Water, 1 cup Almond Milk, pinch of Salt, Vanilla Bean and 1 cup of Steel Cut oats into the pot, locked lid into place, set Manuel function to cook for 5 minutes and let the pressure come down. Removed bean, sprinkle with Ground Cinnamon and add sweetener of choice.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Taco Soup

This recipe comes from Dan's mom and it's one that Dan likes to make. It's pretty simple and foolproof. You can use whatever ground meat that you want and any type of taco seasoning.

Taco Soup

Brown 1 lb. Hamburger, drain fat. Add 1 Envelope Taco Seasoning, 1-15 oz. can Corn, 1-15 oz. can Chopped Tomatoes, 1-15 oz. can Tomato Sauce and 1-15 oz. can Pinto Beans. Use the liquid in the cans. Add a pinch of Sugar and a pinch of Soda before serving.
Top with crushed corn chips, sour cream and grated cheese.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Herby Chicken and Butter Bean Soup


I came across this recipe in the February 2014 edition of BBC Good Food. I made a few changes to the recipe, but I'm sure it's pretty close to the original. I know I complained some about how hard it was finding ingredients for my recipes while in England, but the same thing happens here. When I went to my local Price Chopper, there were no butter beans! If you need black beans, pinto beans, baked beans or pork and beans, then Price Chopper is the place to shop. I ended up at Hy-Vee where they actually carry butter beans and I was able to make the soup. This is a good soup, especially when the weather is so cold. Serve it up with a nice green salad and some warm bread.

Herby Chicken & Butter Bean Soup

4 chicken thighs
1.5 liters chicken stock
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
3-4 sprigs each rosemary, sage and thyme, leaves picked and chopped
2 tsp. each ground cumin and coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. anise seeds
400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper, place on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, remove meat from bones and shred.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large sauce pan. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes until starting to carmelize. Add carrots, herbs and spices and stir for 2 minutes to toast the spices. Add the stock, shredded chicken and butter beans, cook, covered for 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender and blitz the soup, leaving partly chunky. Add thawed peas, heat through and serve.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Proper Pancakes w/Caramelized Apples


Dan and I said while we were in England, a person could make a lot of money by opening up a pancake house there. Of course the English love their traditional breakfast, but some proper pancakes every once in while wouldn't kill you. We actually found a place that served pancakes on Sundays the last weekend we were there, but they were served on ice cold plates and cold by the time they reached us. The flavor was good, but how hard is it to warm a plate? I came across a recipe for pancakes while we were in England, but the serviced apartment we stayed in did not have all the proper tools for cooking. I bought certain things, which we then donated to a thrift shop on our departure, but I knew I could not keep buying kitchen items for a 3 month stay. I decided to work on the recipe and this is what I came up with. They are really good! No need for butter or syrup to top these because the caramelized apples are perfect as a topper.

Proper Pancakes w/Caramelized Apples

for the pancakes:
135g/ 4 3/4 oz. plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. caster sugar
130ml/ 4 1/2 fluid oz. milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla paste
Cooking spray

for the apples:
1 apple, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Turn the oven on to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Lightly whisk milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla paste in medium bowl. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and beat with a fork until batter is smooth. Let stand a few minutes. Heat a non-stick skillet that has been sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat. When the pan is heated ladle batter into pan and flip when the top bubbles. The batter may seem thick, but that is what you want. Place finished pancakes in warm oven until ready to serve. (Also warm plates in the oven.)
When the pancakes are prepared, add butter, apples and brown sugar to same pan. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Serve apples on top of pancakes.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Perfect Roast Beef w/ Tomato Gravy





This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver's website, www.jamieoliver.com. I changed it up just a bit, but pretty much followed the recipe to a tee. Jamie's my favorite, so I don't mess around too much with his recipes. Anyway, I made this meal last night from ingredients that I bought at Kirkgate Market Leeds.


Perfect Roast Beef
  • 1 kg quality topside of beef
  • 1 medium onion        
  • 2 carrots     
  • 1 red chilli
  • 3 bay leaves       
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme        
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 pint cream sherry



To prepare your beef:
Take your beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/ gas 9. There's no need to peel the vegetables – just give them a wash and roughly chop them. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled.

Pile all the veg, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the beef with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper and fresh thyme leaves, rubbing it all over the meat. Place the beef on top of the vegetables and add the sherry to pan.

To cook your beef:
Place the roasting tray in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for 1 hour for medium beef. If you prefer it medium-rare, take it out 5 to 10 minutes earlier. For well done, leave it in for another 10 to 15 minutes.

When the beef is cooked to your liking, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the beef to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tinfoil and put aside while you make your gravy. Slice the beef thinly for best results.


Tomato Gravy

1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup cream sherry
2 Tbsp. English mustard (I used Colemans)
Juices from beef dish

Add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer 10 minutes. Pour over sliced beef.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Matt's Sherry Cake



This incredibly easy and tasty cake comes from Delicious Magazine's November 2013 edition. Of course, I do not have any of the proper tools in this flat for baking, but I have been trying. This one was done by hand since there is no mixer. If I can do it by hand as easily as I did with such great results, anyone can do it. The flavor is so rich and the sherry gives it an incredible taste. I could not find any proper vanilla extract so I used vanilla paste instead. It's a lovely little goo filled with hundreds of vanilla seeds, no more extract for me. My favorite ingredient was the bicarbonate of soda for bubbly batters. Enjoy this recipe, it's a good company cake!

Matt's Sherry Cake

125g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing cake tin
225g self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting cake tin
125g caster sugar
2 medium free-range eggs
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. vanilla paste
200ml sweet sherry

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Grease 23cm cake tin with butter, then dust with flour.
Beat together butter and sugar in a stand mixer or by hand until fluffy and pale. Beat in the eggs, one by one, then, using a metal spoon, gently fold in half of flour, the bicarbonate and vanilla. Add the sherry and fold in along with remaining flour.
Pour into cake tin and bake 35-45 minutes until risen and cooked through. Allow cake to cool in tin, then turn out onto wire rack to cool fully.