Every fall, my family goes apple picking. I have a precise "type" of apple picking experience that I look for. I do not want hay rides or jumpy houses. Corn mazes are out. I just want straight-up apple picking, preferably without a million other people. I go for the really small orchards. It's a favorite tradition and as soon as the calendar turns to September, I try to scope out the perfect weekend. This year was a challenge. My teenager is running cross country, so most Saturdays are occupied by meets. Sunday is typically devoted to NFL and if there is a home game, we can't spend it at the orchard. Then, it was a bad year for apples in my area. Blossoms froze in the spring and many orchards had no apples or very limited picking. We finally found the perfect orchard and thankfully were able to get some really amazing apples. I made Easy Instant Pot® Applesauce first. It is one of the easiest things to make in an Instant Pot® and I needed it for the recipe I will be sharing very soon - APPLE BUTTER!
This time of year makes me a little sad. My kids are growing up so fast, and late August always means that a new school year is right around the corner. For some reason (and it happens every year), I tire of caring for my garden. Maybe it is because September marks the end of our summer fun. Maybe I am gearing up for busier days of school and work commitments, or maybe I am just ready for the change in seasons. That said, I usually grow an abundance of basil in my garden. I diligently water it all summer and then for some reason, I just stop. This year, I decided I was not going to kill off my basil before I could use it up. This Instant Pot® Tomato Basil Sauce uses half a cup of basil. I made a significant dent in my plant and feel so good about making something so delicious for a late-summer dinner. Tomato Basil sauce is easy, fresh, and fast and it translates really well to cooking in the Instant Pot.
Have you heard about the Quick & Carry Bag for your Instant Pot®? I hadn't either, until I was contacted by the company and sent one to test. I was so excited by this bag, that I immediately asked if I could host a giveaway for my readers. The Quick & Carry Bag is great because it not only allows you to store and organize your Instant Pot® and accessories (if you have a small kitchen like me, this is great), it also allows you to travel with your bag. If you go on road trips or camping or want to bring food to a family gathering or holiday, the insulated Quick & Carry Bag allows you to bring your pot with you. It's really well made, sturdy, and it's a great accessory for Instant Pot® owners. One lucky reader who enters our sweepstakes will receive their very own Quick & Carry Bag for their 6 or 8 quart pressure cooker. Additionally, the first 25 people that register at http://www.quickandcarry.com/InstantlyDelicious will receive a 10% off discount on a Quick & Carry Bag.
*I was given a free Quick & Carry Bag to test. I was not required to review the product and have not received any compensation from the Quick & Carry company for my honest opinion.
I first learned about millet from my friend Kim Lutz of Welcoming Kitchen. She was writing her fifth cookbook, Ancient Grains, and she needed recipe testers. I was lucky enough to be able to help her out. Her recipes are delicious, healthy, vegan, and many are gluten-free. Kim has a ton of great information about it and other ancient grains in her cookbook, which I use frequently.
I have had the bag of millet from recipe testing over two years a year ago sitting in my freezer and honestly, I had forgotten all about it. I had planned on making a rice pilaf today, but I was all out of white rice. I went looking through what I had and found the forgotten bag of millet. I am so glad I did! Millet cooks up fluffy like quinoa, couscous, or rice, and it is naturally gluten-free. It also keeps really well in the freezer, if you happen to forget about it. If you can get your hands on millet, you should definitely try it. I also suggest that you get your hands on Kim's book, because it is amazing.
Yesterday it looked like rain. I was hemming and hawing about whether or not we should grill. My plan was to make chicken and baked potatoes on the grill. Since the weather looked dicey, I decided I should choose a quicker cooking method for the potatoes, in case we had to bring it in. While I often "bake" potatoes in the Instant Pot®, I had the taste for roasted potatoes. I have probably said it a million times, but I HATE lighting my oven in the summer. Something about the design of my tiny kitchen or my crappy oven means my whole house gets really hot. No thanks. I decided I needed to use my Instant Pot® to mimic roasted potatoes. I am so glad I did. They were DELICIOUS and everyone loved them.
There are a few foods that conjure up childhood memories for me - tomato soup is one of them. I remember having a bowl of warm, creamy, tomato soup any time of year. My favorite way to enjoy it was to dip in saltines. A close second was the grilled cheese accompaniment. Even my husband, who was raised in a different country remembers his dad making him tomato soup. My kids have *gasp* never had the condensed soup of my childhood, but they all like this version that I prepare in theInstant Pot®, especially when I make grilled cheese on the side.
We have had the most glorious spring. After an unseasonably mild winter, spring came early. It's been warm and sunny and we have been grilling out more often than not. Today it's a seasonably appropriate dreary April day. My newly planted grass seed could certainly use the drink, and my husband could use a break from grill duty. I decided that I had a taste for my Easy Lentil Soup, but I was out of green lentils. However, I did have a bag of red lentils, so I created a new lentil soup recipe. This red lentil soup is just as easy to make as my other recipe. If you have never used red lentils before, they do not hold their shape like other lentils. They become creamy and delicious as they cook down. One of my favorite lentil soups uses sumac to add brightness and a little bit of sour flavor. I never have sumac, so I used fresh lemon juice after cooking the soup in the Instant Pot®. If you do have sumac, feel free to stir in a teaspoon before cooking the soup.
Today is the first day of spring break. Since we are not in a rush to head off to school, I had a bit more time to work on a cooking technique that I recently heard about. It is called the "pot-in-pot" method and it is used for cooking grains in the Instant Pot® pressure cooker. Instead of placing the grain (oats, rice, quinoa, etc.) directly in water in the Instant Pot®, you mix the grains with water in a bowl, place the bowl on a trivet, and then cook them that way. Most often this method is used to cook a grain WHILE you cook something else below it in the pressure cooker. I love this method, because it makes cleanup a breeze. If you like steel cut oats, give this method a try.
Happy New Year! I hope the New Year brings you health and happiness. In the spirit of good health, I feel like I have to make a little confession. I don't really like kale. It's too bitter, I'd rather eat a potato chip and there are other greens that I prefer in my smoothies, so why do I feel the need to keep trying to like it? It turns out that there are two ways to prepare it that I do not mind, so I guess I don't TOTALLY hate kale. If it is shredded and massaged in tasty vinaigrette, it's pretty good. I also enjoy it in a soup like this. It holds up really well pressure cooking in the Instant Pot® and seems to lose some of its bitterness as it cooks.
This recipe is not my own. Full credit goes to my 11-year-old son. He has a sudden interest in cooking and has been watching old reruns of Good Eats on Netflix. My son is the sole vegetarian in our house, and sometimes I buy him special vegetarian treats. I recently bought him frozen corn and poblano tamales, and while he liked them enough, he asked if we could try making them better. I told him yes, thinking (hoping) he would just forget about it. A week later he asked me to buy corn husks and masa. I said sure, and threw them in a cabinet - out of sight. The next day he came to the kitchen with a recipe written on graph paper and his kindle with Alton Brown's tamale episode ready to show me. I knew he would not relent.
Hi, I am Julie and welcome to Instantly Delicious. I am so glad you are here to share in my adventures with using an Instant Pot ® to make easy, nutritious, and Instantly Delicious food.
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