Tag Archives: Pressure cooker

Beef in red wine

Last week I scored when I grabbed this big block of brisket for $18. I cut them up into 4 pieces that I know I can do 4 dinners. So Thursday afternoon after stopping by at Wholefoods and found some sale on merlot and sauvignon, I thought I would do my own version of beouf bourguignon. 

I cut up my beef into big chunks. Seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme and flour. I do this in a bowl and just toss them until all coated. 

Cut a medium onion into 8 pieces, chopped 4 cloves of garlic, cut up 5 slices of bacon. And let them all dancing in the Instant pot with a splash of olive oil until bacon crispy, take the bacon out and use the oilin the pan to browned the meat. Set aside, add white mushroom that I cleaned and tool the stem off. I used 1 big container of it. Add 1 cup of merlot, 1/2 cup beef broth, 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Stir well, scrape the bits on the bottom told the pan from the bacon and the meat. Add salt, pepper as needed.

I then put the meat back in the pot, toss them around and add sliced of 5 carrots. closed the lid, sealed the vent, press manual 40 minutes. 

It was a look tender but not fall apart that I can still grabbed with my girl.

I think this one is a keeper. Would be good with a toast of french baguette or mashed potatoes. I can not stop drinking the broth. So it is another less than $10 meal for us. And since hubby skipping dinner, we actually have the leftover for dinner on Friday.

Mac and cheese 4 minutes

Comfort food..when it rains outside, the dark sky and all the good stuffs that comes with the rain, all I can think of is snuggle and comfort. 

Mac and cheese is one of the food that I love. I used to grab the box because it was so easy. However, ever since I had a craved for it at work one day, and the easiest way is to walk to Walgreens and grabbed the Instant, microwaveable Mac and cheese, I never do it anymore. I got a bad headache after eating that and checked the sodium on the box, I almost fainted.  Never again. 

Then when I started my love story with Instant Pot and figured out I can make Mac and cheese in 4 minutes from scratch, no more instant boxes. This is instant and from scratch..beat That!

So, my son had been asking for mac and cheese and he got it. I like trying different kind of cheeses. This time white cheddar. 

All you need are these below. 

These group goes first in the pot:

16 oz box of elbow macaroni

4 cups broth or water

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic crushed.

These goes next:

1 – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or milk or evaporated milk, I prefer heavy cream. 

2 cups shredded cheese, we love white cheddar. Kraft has a new one smoked bacon cheddar which is good too.


4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs 

1 tablespoons dried parsley

1/4 cups grated parmesan

So here how I made ours.

Put Mac, broth, butter and seasoning in the Instant pot. Closed the lid and sealed position for the vent. Then press manual 4 minutes.

In the meantime, make the topping. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter, I like to add 1 clove garlic, crushed sometimes. Add dried parsley and Panko bread crumbs,  keep stirring until golden yellow on medium heat. When it started turn golden, add the parmesan keep stirring until all golden brown. By the time the topping is done, you will hear the beeping from the Instant pot. It is ready. Gradually release the pressure. Why Gradually? Sometimes when you cook starch, it could squirt foam so you want to watch it.  That’s why opening the vent gradually is the way to do this

Now you are done, turn it off and press sautee function. Add the next ingredients, which are heavy cream and cheeses. Stir until cheese melted. This will take less than minute. There you have it. Scoop in a bowl and topped with the bread crumb topping mixture. How easy is That?

Try it! You won’t use the box anymore or that fake cheese :).

Ham and pineapple fried rice in Instant Pot

Second round of utilizing leftover ham. Simple, easy one pot dinner. I made fried rice in instant pot before but I can’t remember what or how I did it. I browse online, and found one recipe using brown rice and Multigrain function which take 40 minutes. I am using jasmine rice so I don’t think I should use that function.

So what I did was make the scrambled egg in the pot using the Sautee function. Sautee the chopped 3 cloves of garlic in a little olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter, add the ham around 1 1/2 cups, sliced of 2 green onion. Then add 3 cups of rice with 3 cups of water. Seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt,1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2  tablespoon fish sauce, 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce. Stir and cook in the rice function, 12 minutes.


Once it beeped, add a handful of  frozen veggies anf a handful of pineapple bits. Use the sautee function to warm the frozen veggies and pineapple through.


Served warm…


I’m dreaming of a warm Christmas…

Not! White Christmas is what we want but here is Texas we got 75° Christmas. It just felt so wrong…Christmas with flip flop on and short sleeve instead of sweater and boots. Welcome to Texas!. Though, growing up in Jakarta, Indonesia where it is 80° to 95° all year long did not feel the big deal of having a warm Christmas, yet it felt wrong here yesterday.

Every year I felt like Christmas snuck up on me. Every single year. Specially this year.  I have present that I ordered and did not get in time. 2 shipments. Thank God I have enough for everyone. The good thing was they seemed to be happy with what they got.

My kind of shopping is not to pay full price. But getting a good quality items. Most of the stuffs I purchased, took a long time for me to actually made my decision to buy. I have to do research and comparing reviews and price, my husband word was I studied everything first before buying and that’s including menu at the restaurants. The results, most of the stuffs I bought last so long that make it hard for me to replace and buy a new one as long as it still works. That’s an ouch moment sometimes.

Like for example the Instant Pot. My friend had told me about it 3 years ago and I just finally got one last year. And that was the best thing ever. And when I love something that is as good as that products, I tend to sell them, not that I am selling that, but I share assn convince people to get it. I won’t do that unless I am very sure that it is good. That how I work in my 8 to 5 job too.

That being said, head on to my shop with me section. I have stuffs that I use and like in that link. As I buy stuffs, I will add it on to that link so that it will be easier for you to check the products I love.

Working in my line of work, as crazy as it is, I enjoy the benefit that I can purchase things at cost and that definitely helps my Christmas shopping. And not helping when I go out shopping at retail. Hard for me to buy stuffs as I know the cost of the products out there at retail stores. Another ouch moment.

We had a good time despite the 77° situation at my mother in law’s house. I got stuffs that I need. We can’t never have enough of spatula, measuring cups and spoons right? And the silicone holder I have been eyeing for quite some times lol and still on my considering list. My sister in law who just got and love her Instant Pot got it for me. While my hubby got me the extra rings. I am happy with what I got. I think Santa actually sees that I have been a good girl after all.

My son got what he always wanted for his room. A bigger screen TV.  He had the 19″ for years and actually it bothers me more than him. So small it’s hard for me to watch from his bed. Yeah I sometimes got booted out to watch my show in his room because my hubby watch in our bedroom and my son play games with his friend in our living room. So I personally think he needs a bigger screen. There I went searched and researched. Took me a little over a year…we finally decided to get it after I got  visa gift card from my boss for Christmas. Headed to BestBuy. Looked around and still debating in size around and brand.  Finally I grabbed the salesman and asked for the brand I want which I checked online that we wanted to get. Of course they don’t have it but can order it for us. Just not gonna be on time for Christmas. Then I asked what they have available for the open box. He took us there and there’s not many options but they do have a bigger one that we originally planned to get. Tested the TV and we are happy with the quality and paid for almost half of the regular price. Can’t beat that, plus the no hassle of opening the box as we got home literally plug and play lol. Well had to hooked up all the other stuffs like the cable and the Xbox.


It was awesome..now my lil man has his preteen cave. Yepp we made a sign for his bedroom.

Now to the belly part. We decided on ham after having turkey for Thanksgiving. Last year I killed my ham using the crock pot method. Never again using crock pot for ham. Nobody complained last year but when I mentioned it this year how I killed the ham last year, I saw nodded head lol.


This year, no more killing the ham. I am using my Instant pot for that. Wrapped the ham in brown sugar and cinnamon then in foil. Into the pot on the rack with 2 cups water. Manual high pressure for 15 minutes and let it sit while releasing the pressure naturally I did let it go in warming mode while I am finishing up with my other dishes, it was 45 minutes. Not dry, it was really moist ham we had yesterday. Unlike the crock pot version last year.

Made the mac and cheese also in my other instant pot. 4 minutes cooked my 16 oz macaroni with 4 cups of broth, salt pepper, nutmeg, 2 tablespoons butter, when it was done,  I added the milk and heavy cream and the cheeses. I like using sharp cheddar,  white cheddar and parmesan. Then pour them in the dish and topped with panko bread crumb and parsley. Dotted with butter and baked in 350° until golden brown and bubbly.

Pork and apple are best friend. So we decided on cinnamon apples for the ham. I peeled, cored and sliced, not too thick and not too thin, 6 gala apples, soaked them in lemon juice as I work with them. Toss them around making sure all coated with the lemon juice. Then add 2/3 cups brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Toss the around by flipping the bowl to distributes the dry ingredients evenly. Pour in buttered dish , dotted with 3 tablespoons of butter, baked in 350° for 30 minutes. This is good to be served with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream too. The lemon juice balanced the sweetness of the brown sugar. It was perfect.

Who doesn’t like Red Lobster cheddar biscuit? Anyone?  My family love them. So I am making them today. I used 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons sugar,  1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon garlic powder and 1 1/2 stick of butter, mix them in the food processor until crumbly or like I did yesterday, sitting on my couch binged on Netflix and used 2 knives. Then I add 2 cups grated sharp cheddar and 1 tablespoon dry parsley. Last pour in 1 1/2 cups milk and mix with spatula until just moist. Do not over mix the batter. Use ice cream scooper, drop them onto parchment lined baking pan. Baked in 350° for 15 minutes. While it is baking, melt 1/4 stick of butter, add 1 tablespoon dry parsley and a pinched of salt. Use the mixture to brush the biscuit right after it’s out from the oven. My hubby and brother in law were raving about these biscuits.


Last one I made was creamed spinach. So easy, melt 1/4 stick of butter, add chopped onion and garlic of quarter small onion and 3 cloves garlic. Sautee until onions are translucent. Add 4 teaspoons flour, cooked until it’s bubbly. Add heavy cream, I used 2 cups, keeps stirring until thicken, add salt pepper and nutmeg. Last is the spinach. Can’t be creamed spinach without it right? That would be creamed…weird. Ok a 16 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeeze the water out, dump into the pot of creamy goodness. Stir well add more seasoning if you think you need to. Last minute, I decided to threw in 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese melted and you are done


My sister in law made tamales. She made a lot of them. It was vegan tamales as she is turning japanese, no I meant turning vegan. It was bean with salsa verde. Had a little kick to it but not much. She doesn’t like spicy food. While her husband does. It’s the other way around with me and my husband.  I love love love spicy food, Sriracha is my best friend whilst it’s his enemy. Isn’t that weird? Lol not really.

Dessert was banana pudding and cherry crunch. No I didn’t make those. Oh and devil egg was on  the menu too..not for dessert though.

Went home happy and tired last night. But I still binged on a new series…like what I am doing now while typing. I am a Binger!

Merry Christmas everyone, hope you all had a a wonderful time with your family and friends.

Cranberry sauce in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Why? one of my friend asked when I mentioned I want to try to make it in Instant Pot this year. She said it’s not hard on the stove or just get the canned one. True..I have been making mine on the stove .  And tried in the oven last year. Not a big fan of the cannes ones. The oven method was good. One method to use if you do not want to stand in front of the stove stirring. So Instant Pot method also eliminating that standing ovation, well reduce to the very minimum. 

First you need a bag of good fresh cranberries. it has 12 oz in it. wash and dump the 10 oz into the pot, along with zest of 1 big orange and the juice. Add 1 large apple, cored, peeled , and diced. Throw in 1/2 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. put the pot in the base, closed the lid and vent, press manual 1 minute and walk away. 

Once it beeped, let it sit 7 minutes. I actually let it sit 12 minutes because we were discussing about adopting a puppy and got carried away and forgot about my cranberries. But turned out it was still fine. Not burn or anything like that. I open the vent and lid and it looked a little loose. Add the remaining 2 oz cranberries and another 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir until those 2 oz cranberries popped. Stir for another minute or two and I was done. Perfect consistency and not too sweet and not too tart. It is so good that I can’t stop licking the spoon after pouring them in the jars. Now they are cooling down nicely. One big jar for Thanksgiving day. One smaller one for my breakfast in the morning with the yogurt I made last night in the Instant Pot.

Now all I need to do is go to bed early so that morning comes fast and I will have my yogurt with the wonderful cranberries. Can’t wait!

10 oz cranberries, zest and juice from 1 orange, 1 large apple, 1/2 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Manual 1 minute, NPR 7 minutes

When I open the lid, it looked a little loose.

Just stir until the 2 oz cranberries popped


Perfect consistency

Cooling down

Pressure cooking

7360_10208714589011445_5310606611284334554_nMost of the time, dinner is under pressure. Under pressure to get things done right when we got home around 6 pm and get everything ready on the table within 1 hour or less. I am trying my best everyday to have a home cooked meal fast and not fast food meal for our dinner. If we can have leftover, that’d be even better ;).

Then comes the budget, I’d love to be able to serve dinner for 3 of us for less than $10 each time.

With all the limitation on type of food my husband can eat, and not spicy stuffs for my husband and son, it’s quite challenging. I personally like everything hot and spicy. My son loves his veggies cooked. My husband can’t have too much beans and gassy vegetable, which usually most of them are the one available in the frozen section for convenience.

Shopping fresh produce everyday is out of the picture. Every 3 days I have to hit my favorite grocery store to get the produce part. Fruit and vegetable for juicing also. Meat, I usually grab some when it’s on sale and freeze them.

Last year, my friends were talking about this product called Instant Pot. It’s basically an electric pressure cooker. I had an electric before and one of the part, I think the valve was missing. I tried to call support and get a replacement. Tried 2 times and each time they sent the wrong part. So I gave up and that pressure cooker been sitting in my garage, I think ended up at goodwill. Then 2 years ago my husband got me manual pressure cooker. Yes the kind that scared me to death. I managed to tackle that scary thing. Been using that with no problem until people start talking to me about this Instant Pot. I am glad Santa read my letter and sent me one this Christmas.

Took me couple days before I manage to take the brave pill and start using the pot. First with the water test as recommended. The next day after the water test then I can’t let that thing rest. I love to cook, but now I am really looking forward to actually stay home after work on our Friday dine out day.

I have made pork chop with apple sauce and steamed broccoli as our first dinner with the instant pot.Dinner in 20 minutes. All in pressure cooker.

Seasoned, floured the chops with salt, pepper and paprika then browned in the pot.
Core, peeled, cut up 3 granny smith apple. Sprinkle with lemon juice from 1 lemon. A handful brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Quartered baby red potatoes, toss with olive oil, salt pepper.
Saute 1/4 onion, sliced thinly, in the pot with a little olive oil.
Pour the apple mixture into the pot, topped with the pork chops, layered, then add the potatoes. Closed. Cook in 20 minutes in the pressure cooker.

I steamed the broccoli in the microwave then seasoned with salt and pepper.

Served by putting the broccoli, then scoop the potatoes from the pot, pork chops..then scoop some of the sauce from the bottom part of the pots.

Done 1 pot meal.


Then the next meal done in Instant pot was the ham and black eyed pea soup. Dump every ingredients in the pot with enough broth / water then cook for 10 minutes. All done, soft and tender. we served this with steamed rice. I am still cooking my rice in my rice cooker. Not sure when I will actually will try to cook my rice in the instant pot.


Braised country style pork ribs was in the menu for our quick dinner. 30 minutes..yes 30 minutes it was fall off the bone.

Braised country style pork ribs 30 minutes..
Served with steamed rice.
Dinner in less than an hour from prep to serve..and best of all..less than $10.
Got the country style pork ribs on sale for $2.50 per pack of 3-4 pieces…then cut it in half.

No leftover.

Saute the garlic, ginger, scallion. then add the seasoned and browned ribs. Pour in the sauce (1/4 cup red wine – i used Merlot, 1/4 cup apple juice – i used the apple sauce leftover sauce from the pork chop the other night, 1/4 cup water or chicken broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, pepper). closed the lid, cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.


People on the Instant Pot Facebook Community were talking about cooking spaghetti in it for 8 minutes. Some said well..it takes 8 minutes on the stove also. I can also say well..I can cook my pasta in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker in microwave for 8 minutes. But I didn’t say it. The thought about having the whole spaghetti with the sauce in 8 minutes was quite intriguing.. I usually have my homemade pasta sauce. But  I ran out and really want to try how to make the spaghetti in Instant Pot. Quick run to the store to get a jar of pasta sauce and ground beef, gave us less than $10 meal in 8 minutes. Woohoo….I could jump up and down to celebrate.  This thing works..it’s awesome.

Spaghetti 8 minutes manual pressure then qr.

I sauté some chopped onion and garlic with a little olive oil. Add 1 lbs ground beef, cook until changed color. Add my seasoning, salt pepper oregano and a little sugar. Mix well. Then to that I add 1/4 cup merlot..then add 24 oz spaghetti sauce l. Add water to jar shake well…then pour in the pot. Add 1 of 16 oz spaghetti, break in half to fit. Mix a little. Turn sautee function off. Close the lid, close the vent. Cook for 8 minutes, qr. Turned out perfect, al dente, not soupy. No scorching the bottom pan either..i took a pic with the bottom showing…♡♡♡♡♡

1 pot meal literally. .. not 2 pots…and 8 minutes to cook them all in pressure cooker. Prep to table probably 15 minutes..and another $10 meal.

1917219_10208737066133359_1137576621569991725_nCan’t beat that fast food! My son gobbled them up so fast. We did have leftover enough for 1 which he, again had them for dinner the next day. That’s a huge portion for a 9 years old. But oh my did he inhale that thing!.

Our next meal in a crunch was vegetable curry. I have butternut squash I bought to make soup and been sitting in my basket. So there..I had to use them. Dump all veggies I have…butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, tempeh. The spices: shallot, garlic, candle-nut, corriander, salt, pepper, sugar, lemongrass, galangal. All in with the coconut milk. set for 10 minutes..I thought .. ok we’ll see if it’s done or if I have to add more time. I actually think 7 or 8 minutes was enough time. The butternut squash was tenderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr soft. I gave 2 bowls to my co workers and they loved it.

Last week I grabbed pork tenderloin on sale for $4 a pack. And turned that into this dinner, Blackberry hoisin garlic sauce pork tenderloin.
Seasoned the pork with salt pepper garlic powder. Browned and set aside.
Then pour 2 cups broth. Put all potatoes in the bottom, put the trivet on top then the browned pork pieces. Covered manual 18 minutes then qr with potatoes underneath the pork. So all done at the same time.
Set the pork aside. Scoop the potato, mashed them, while add the kale to the broth let it cook for couple minutes. Then mix the the kale with the mashed potato with butter, milk, salt pepper.
Reduce the sauce with the sautee function and add the pork in to glaze them. Slice and serve. The sauce was 1/2 cup blackberry jam, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons melted butter.


Chicken thigh and drumstick another inexpensive protein which was also on sale, turned it into my mock butter fried chicken. Ayam goreng mentega.. not sure why they call it butter sauce fried chicken, the dominant part of the sauce is worchesthire sauce… oh well.

This one is mock ayam goreng mentega. Since I am making this in the pressure cooker. I modified the way I cook this. Instead of frying the chicken, I browned the chicken in the instant pot with a little olive oil. Once it’s browned I set aside, pour 2 cups water into the pot / liner and deglaze pot with the water. then put the trivet in the pot, arrange the browned chicken on top of the trivet.
Set on poultry function (15 minutes).

Meanwhile, wash and quartered the baby bella mushroom. Thinly slice 1 shallots, you can use chopped onion.

Mix the sauce in the cup. 1/2 cup worchesthire sauce, 1/4 cup ketchup, 4-5 tablespoon of sugar.

Once the chicken is done, clean the pot or just discard the broth, dry the pot then put it back on the IPot and turn on saute, add 4 tablespoon of butter. Saute the shallot / onion and mushroom until translucent, add 1/2 cup water followed by the sauce mixture. Cook until sauce reduced by around half depending on how you like the sauce .. thin or thick..I kinda like it in between… then put the chicken back in. toss with the sauce.

Served with steamed rice.


And just tonight after reading and researching online, I finally decided to try making the macaroni and cheese in the instant pot. My son had been asking for this. Not to be picky or anything but he has always have macaroni and cheese I made from scratch, on the stove, vitamix etc. He never like the one comes in the box. He actually learned how to make it from scratch with my supervision of course.

Making macaroni and cheese from scratch is not hard. Not more than using the box. So why not making it from scratch. It taste much better too. And he loves the bread crumb topping for his mac and cheese.

Mac and Cheese..cook 1 lbs macaroni with 4 cups water, salt, pepper, mustard, nutmeg in instant pot for 4 minutes. Then add 1 1/2 cups of whole milk and 16 oz sharp shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup parmesan cheese. Mix well until cheese melted. Pout in a pan 9×13, topped with bread crumb, shredded parmesan cheese and dotted with butter. Baked in preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes until it’s golden yellow and bubbly.

This below picture is the mac and cheese he made from scratch..yummy!

Imagine adding lobster on the top…oh my..


So there..all the stuffs we made for our dinner in Instant pot. Not only inexpensive, it’s fast! Fast food on a budget without sacrificing the taste!.

I don’t work for Instant Pot but I have converted so many to get them. And they are loving it. I will write more to share the recipe and ideas for the pressure cooking meal. Hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy Sunday! Hope you all have a good Monday!