I've joined the Instant Pot lovers club! I got one this week and have already used it a couple of times. The first time was just to make baked potatoes, second was to "hard boil" eggs. Today...I stepped it up a notch. I made a real meal...hahaha.
From start to finish, prep to plate....less than 40 minutes.
This cookie tastes like a combination between a shortbread and a sugar cookie, and the best part about them is no rolling! That's right, I said it! NO ROLLING!
I got this recipe from someone on a Facebook recipe group to which I also belong. I changed it just slightly and am now ready to share with you...
Work, Christmas and potlucks...they go hand in hand, don't they? It's the best excuse ever for trying all kinds of different foods. Also, best setting for testing out a new recipes!
So...we had a Christmas potluck at work yesterday. There was only one person slated to bring a dessert item (and it turned out to be a very tasty apple crisp..yum!), so I decided to bring something for dessert as well. Of course, it was getting kind of late the night before, so I needed something that would be quick and easy and not have to bake in the oven for an hour or more.
I did an ingredient check in my cupboards and found peanut butter and chocolate chips and icing sugar....and voila....the peanut butter bar was the logical thing to make.
Peanut Butter Bars
Directions for base:
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and a side of peas...boy does that bring back memories! Total comfort food meal right there!
There are so many variations of meatloaf, but that tried and true version with cracker crumbs soaked in milk is one that I have never used before. Since I have been trying to eat healthier, I decided to try making a meatloaf using that version, but with whole wheat instead of regular soda crackers and sugar free ketchup.
Sadly, I will not be eating this meatloaf with wonderful mashed potatoes...but a nice healthy salad will be a great accompaniment too!
While shopping a few days ago, I bought a huge bag of carrots. There were more carrots than I could possibly use before they go bad, but it was too good a deal to pass up. I gave away some to a neighbor who shares with me sometimes. Then I cooked up some carrots as a side dish with dinner that night, ate leftover carrots with dinner the next night and put some away for the following weekend (Thanksgiving Dinner). But now I still have a whole lot of carrots to use up.
After looking to see what else I had, to maybe combine and make something different...I found some zucchini in the crisper. I have used carrot and zucchini together before in baked goods, so I decided to see if I could find a recipe where I could use them together. This is what I found...pancakes! YUM!
I reviewed a few different recipes and sort of combined ideas and ingredients and came up with something I liked.
Carrot Zucchini Pancakes
Makes about 16 small pancakes.
A few weeks ago, some of my coworkers from Costa Rica were here on a work trip. I remember that when I had traveled there for work, the hotel I stayed at greeted me with a chocolate chip cookie and I thought that was such a nice touch.
I was pretty sure the hotel they were staying at here wouldn't be doing that....so I baked a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies to greet them with!
And then, just before my buddies headed back home, I whipped up another batch of the cookies for them to bring back with them. My baking has finally gone international..hahaha. Everyone sent me thanks and said they really enjoyed the cookies.
Here's the recipe in case you feel like making some soft, yummy chocolate chip cookies.
Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
The a/c is blowing and it's so hot outside that I don't want to turn on the stove or oven and heat up the inside too. It's time for some summer salads.
Today I made a tuna pasta salad and a broccoli and cauliflower salad.
Tuna Pasta Salad
This can be prepared a day in advance, but don't mix in the Miracle Whip until an hour or two before serving.
1 box tricolored pasta
4 hard boiled eggs (peeled and mashed or chopped)
2 sticks of celery finely diced
1/2 small onion finely diced (you can use green onion if you want a milder onion flavor)
1 1/2 to 2 cans of flaked light tuna
1 cup of Miracle Whip with a squirt of mustard mixed in (just enough to give the MW a yellowy color)
Salt and pepper to taste
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Honey Lemon Dressing
This can be prepared a day in advance as long as it's stored in the fridge.
1 medium head of broccoli
1 medium head of cauliflower
3/4 cup dried cranberries craisins
1/2 cup pine nuts or almond slices toasted on a dry skillet until golden
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
Tea Biscuits....what can I say about "tea biscuits". Well, I can start with the fact that I have always struggled with making tea biscuits. They always, always turned out like "hockey pucks". My grandmother made amazing tea biscuits but unfortunately, that was one skill she didn't pass along to me. I tried different recipes over the years but never found one that worked for me. I totally wrote myself off as a tea biscuit maker. My go to "recipe" became opening a tube of Pilsbury biscuits and popping them in the oven. They served the purpose, but they weren't the "real thing"......
And then last week, I asked one of my Facebook recipe/cooking groups for some ideas for a breakfast potluck. I was given a recipe for tea biscuits. I decided to try it just one more time. I followed the recipe, cut out the biscuits, gently added them to the cookie sheet and slowly slid them into the hot oven. I said a little prayer to the cooking gods....and set my timer. I wanted to peek in the oven halfway through the cooking time, but didn't want to jinx it. I draped a tea towel over the handle so I couldn't see in. Finally...the buzzer went off. I grabbed my oven mitts, opened that door and pulled out the tray...
Wow, they looked like my Grandmother's tea biscuits and they smelled amazing...but what were they going to taste like? It was killing me to wait for them to cool enough to test, but I did....well...mostly....
I picked up that biscuit and broke it in two. It looked soft and flaky, smelled good enough to eat, so I did. I ate it...then I ate another one! Oh my goodness, warm from the oven tea biscuits like my Grandmother used to make. I did it, I finally did it!
Now you can too! Give it a try!
2 cups flour
2 tbsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (chilled)
1 cup 2% milk
Note: if you want to use these as a base for strawberry shortcake or other berry dessert items, increase the sugar to taste.
***Recipe credit goes to Jil Evans. Thanks Jil for sharing this with me!***
We are having a breakfast meeting at work tomorrow via Webex. My team members are spread across the world yet we can all sit in individual rooms and enjoy a breakfast together as we have our meeting. OK, alright...I may be exaggerating a slight bit. We've got some team members in Minnesota, Texas, Australia and then there are three of us here in Toronto. So, technically...not ALL over the world, but spread far and wide.
Since I don't usually eat much of a breakfast, just some yogurt and fruit, or cereal maybe, I wasn't sure what to bring for this meeting. I was thinking scrambled eggs or omelets, but I wasn't sure if they would reheat well. Staying with the egg theme, I finally decided to try a quiche. I had all the ingredients except the pie shell. I guess I could have tried to make pie crust from scratch, but that seemed like a whole lot of work to me...hahaha. I made a quick trip to the grocery store on my lunch break and grabbed a frozen pie shell.
So....I mixed up all the ingredients, poured them in the pie shell and slid it into a hot oven to bake.
And then there was quiche!
Easy Ham & Cheese Quiche
I needed one sweet potato, just one...but of course I bought a whole bag. It was on sale! Who can resist a sale? Not me, that's for sure. AND...I got PC Points for it! BONUS!!
Hey, I know. I have a frozen pie crust. (Yes...I'm a cheater. I buy frozen pie crusts. They are quick and easy in a pinch...plus, I suck at making pie crust. There you have it.)
So, an excess of sweet potatoes + pie crust = sweet potato pie. Let's do it!!
Sweet Potato Pie
This sweet potato pie has a rich texture and delicate blend of spices. This southern delicacy is easy enough for beginners to make.
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled til soft
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp grated orange rind (optional - I didn't have it, so didn't use it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
I was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and spent the first half my life there. I became a mom just after I turned 20 and within a couple of years, decided to moved to Ontario to take advantage of better job opportunities. After a few great jobs, I finally settled in at a legal publishing company. 12 years later, I'm still there.
Cut brownies without the crumbs:
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