Just gotta utilize my Instant Pot

Yepp that title really said it all. That’s what I always think whenever I read a recipe or want to make something. How can I do that in Instant Pot. Not that I hate my stove,  no no no. Don’t want to let the stove heard that. I still need her for my baking, or baking. But she is a look hot, not in a good way I guess, that every time I turn her on my AC decided to work harder to compete with her.

So this Saturday, me and my friends decided to join a cooking class which were organized by the Indonesian Community of Dallas. There were 50 people came. The house was packed as all of us ladies gather around the kitchen island to watch how to make 3 Indonesian delicacies. 

We started with meatball known as baso sapi. Made of a mixture or ground beef, seasonings, tapioca starch,  egg white. They mix them by hand.  I, the lazy me, on the other hand, every time I make this I utilize my gadgets. So I am making the meatball today using my own way of making it. 

The only different I notice was I added nutmeg and fried garlic to my mixture.  

First started.

After a couple minutes 

See my tools in action.

Ready to be rolled 

You can squeeze it in between you thumb and fingers to form the ball before dropping them into hot water. Or use 2 teaspoons to form the balls. The last ia my preferred way. 

Here is the meatballs. It is done when it start to float, give it a couple more minutes before strained them. At this point, they can be serve with broth and noodles or freeze for later use.  Since I have made this last week, I am going to juat freeze them.

How do I use Instant Pot? Well I boiled the water in the pot and using sautee function.  All meatballs done is less than 1 hour. I used 2 lbs ground beef. 

The other dish I decided to make after class was kue lapis pepe or tapioca starch layer cake. My childhood sweets that I like. I used to eat them layer by layer, pulling each chewy layer until the last part. This delicacies are available in so many different names from each countries in Asia. I learned that Vietnames, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysian, Indonesian and some others have a very similar dishes. And this is one of them.

It is so pretty, translucent looking layer cake made of coconut milk, sugar, tapioca starch, rice flour, water and vanilla. 

I mix all ingredients in my vitamix so that I don’t have to whipped them by hand. And steamed them layer by layer in my Instant Pot. 3 minutes per layer. I tried using high pressure 3 minutes it was looking like a bubble when I open the lid. So I decided to use the steaming function, but changed to a sautee method and using a rack to put the pan and glass lid covered with kitchen towel so that nothing will drip on the cake. I made it in 3 colors, white, green and the top layer is red. Just like I remember this cake growing up.

It was so good, not too sweet, chewy and fun to eat.

The mixture

After steaming, cooling down.

Here is the cake.

My Instant pot or should I say pots? They are busy this weekend.  I also made chicken porridge for dinner. Another dumped and walked away kind of meal. 20 Minutes, done and keep warm until we were ready to eat. And had a little bowl leftover for my breakfast. 


Minus the Chinese crullers, cakwe for the topping.

Well now I have to figure out what we are going to eat for lunch.  I better go and get busy with my kitchen tools and make a quick late lunch for my boys.

Happy new year! Welcome 2017!

Happy new year! Cheers to a better year!

Tradition ia we have to have some blacked eyed pea for the new year. So we went ti Walmart last night to grabbed some. Whilst we were there, B overheard a couple where the wife got pretty upset with her husband as they could not find any canned black eyed pea on the shelf. He could not believe that she got pretty mad about it. Not to worry when you have Instant Pot as your secret weapon. Who needs canned stuffs when you can make it from those hard raw beans fast. We grabbed a bag of the beans. I presoaked my beans since we have the time. Cooked them in with my ham, onion, oregano, bayleaf, salt, pepper for 30 minutes. Then let the pressure down naturally. Add carrots and kale, cook again for 3 minutes and we are done.


So many traditions. We had one which I believe was passed on as my Chinese descent tradition. On December 22, which is mother’s day in indonesia, where I was born and raised, we have to eat these cute little balls made if glutinous rice flour boiled and them served with a lemon gingery syrup. It usually comes in white, red and green color. Though these days people are so crafty. What was told before not to play with your food is no longer apply. I saw people make this glutinous dough into fun animal shapes instead of just a simple little balls. Which what I decided to do. Been over 10 years since I moved to Texas, I have never try to even make this. But last year, 2016, I decided to give it a try. Thought my boys not gonna like it. I made just a little. I was wrong,  they actually enjoyed that as well.


Busy month December through February. Another thing that we always have for special days is the layer cake. We call it lapis legit. There’s also a three layers one, lapis surabaya. They both made of 30 to 45 egg yolks and tons of butter with very little flour and some sugar. The lapis legit has some spices added to it, speculas made of a mixture of cinnamon, clove,  cardamom,  nutmeg and allspice. It’s  made by baking layer by layer, 2 -4 tablespoonfuls batter for each layer. The baking process could take 3 to 4 hours. Hideous it is. But it worth all the works. People sell this lapis legit a lot of bucks. The good one could sold for 2 million Indonesian rupiah or like $200 for an 8″ size cake. Since it is so rich, we served thin slices of this cake. Trust me, it is good. This kind of cake that taste even better after few days.


The 3 layers one originally made by sandwiching the chocolate layer in between the vanilla. Though the creative bakers make so many different variance to this cake. There’s green tea or pandan flavor instead of chocolate, there’s the lapis legit in between the vanilla layers. There’s orange flavor. The sky is the limit actually. If it’s not because the amount of yolks being use to make this cake, I would be slaving in my kitchen making and testing different variations.

It is very common in Indonesia to use this 3 layers lapis surabaya as the base for birthday or wedding cake, like the birthday cake I made last night for one of my friend’s son.


I love traditions. Don’t you?

Bbbrrrrreeerrryyyy cold today in Texas

It is 17° here today. It is like on the scale for Texas, Extremely cold. For us here it’s like the minus degree. got the picture. It’s freezing! Pssttt…me and my boys love it though.

And for me and my boys, cold weather means soup day. You guess it right…Instant Pot to the rescue.

Soup potatoes it is. I still have lots of potatoes and bought more yesterday.

So I started with peeling those potatoes, cut it up in cube, throw them in the pot along with 1 celery, chopped and 1 small onion, diced plus 3 cloves of garlic chopped.  That’s the vegetable part.

Then you go to the seasonings stage..salt, pepper, chicken bouillon.


Fat, we need fat or course, half a stick of butter into the pot. And 6 pieces of bacon, crisp them up and chopped. I like to do mine in the microwave using my Pampered Chef Ridge Baker, works everytime. Crispy bacon the way I like..err love it.


OK last, liquid! As you all know without liquid the Instant Pot won’t get the pressure up. So 4 cups water or chicken broth in the pot. Closed the lid and vent. Press manual 6 minutes and continue watching my Quantico on Netflix.

Quiet morning here so far. Right when the Instant Pot beeped, I heard my son’s bedroom door open. Start to get busy. Quick release the Instant Pot carefully, making sure it won’t squirter hot mess as it is potatoes inside. Starch sometimes make unwanted mess. No we don’t want that.

Mashed them a little bit with leaving a bit chunks. Add 1 1/2 cups milk and 8 oz cream cheese cut up in cube. Switch the pot into low simmer and stir until the cheeses melted.






Served with  cheddar cheese and green onion.  Some people like sour cream on top. But we, well me and my son, don’t like it. It’s so good…so perfect.


3 lbs potatoes peeled, cubed

1 small onion chopped or diced

1 celery chopped

3 cloves garlic chopped

6 slices of bacon crisped and chopped

1/2 stick of butter

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

4 cups water or chicken broth.

1 1/2 cups milk

8 oz cream cheese.

Add all 1st 8 ingredients into the pot.

Closed the lid and vent, press manual 6 minutes.

Quick release when it beeped.

Mashed some of the potatoes. Switch the Instant pot to sautee low heat. You can adjust it by pressing ADJUST until it gets to low.

Add in the milk and cubed creamcheese. Stir until cheese melted. Served warm with cheddar cheese and green onion and sour cream if you like sour cream.

The judge, my 10 years old, said it is so good I can’t stop eating this. He actually had 2 bowls.

If you have not get one of those Instant Pot, get it today. It’s on sale for $99:



Zuppa de Toscana in Instant Pot

It started to get cooler here in Texas. It’s perfect for soup and stew.

One of my son’s, well my family’s, favorite is zuppa de toscana. We love it so much that we can eat this anytime. That actually comes out from the mouth of my 10 years old. He literally doesn’t mind eating this everyday lol.


I was going to make beef stew tonight but my kale had been calling my name. So, zuppa de toscana it is for dinner.

It is one of the easiest soup to make. Specially when making them in instant pot. One pot to clean and 3 bowls and 3 spoons.

The ingredients are

1 lbs regular or Italian sausage

3 slices bacon ,  cut into small pieces

1/2 medium onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 small red potatoes, sliced into 1/4″ thickness


1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 cups beef or chicken broth

1/2 bags of chopped kale

Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

This is how I make them in instant pot.

With the Sautee function on, sautee the bacon, onion and garlic until the onions are translucent, the bacon cooked through.


Add the sausage, break them apart. Cook until it changed color.


Add in the broth a little first to deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add the seasonings. Throw in the potatoes. Closed the lid and the vent, press manual 10 minutes.



Once beeped,  release the pressure, open the lid once the metal button is down.



Press cancel, then press sautee. Pour in 9the heavy cream, stir. Last, add in the kale, continue stirring for 5 minutes just until the kale is cooked through.


Served warm with parmesan cheese on top. 


Everytime we make this, my son always have second or third. Never a leftover. And everytime, he’d say that he can eat this soup everyday. 😉