Friday, January 22, 2021

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Heyo! Popping back on to the blog to share my youngest's current favorite thing: oatmeal for breakfast. She loves hot meals in the morning, but she's been given a mother that doesn't function so well at that time. Enter the Instant Pot. I can make a batch of oatmeal on Sunday (or, quickly in the morning before she gets up if I forgot over the I tend to do) that can be portioned out, popped in the microwave, and presented to a very happy 8 year old each morning. 

I am posting what I put in to make this, but this can be easily modified for special diets. My mother enjoyed sharing the oatmeal with Christiane when she stayed with us over the holidays...but the sugar content was too much for her diabetic needs. The beauty of this (aside from the ease) is you can lessen a lot of the pre-cooking flavoring, and add it at the table instead. This recipe is my current go-to, but I'm still waiting to remember I want to try apple cinnamon with real apples. This thought generally pops up at 7 am on a weekday morning when this gal hasn't had enough coffee to wield a knife and chop up apples. I'll keep you posted if I get myself together and give it a try some weekend.'s what you'll need, and how to make maple brown sugar oatmeal. This is a doubled recipe, semi modified from some other blog I found it on. I'm writing here instead of just sharing that link because it is one of those maddening video-popping up, millions of pictures, etc. to get to the good part. Here you only had to read a little of my ramblings. Or, you know, just scroll down to find the recipe since I'm not adept enough to figure out that whole "jump to recipe" button thingy.

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Cinnamon

2 cups rolled oats (we like Bob's Red Mill)
2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil if you're dairy free)
1-3 tablespoons real maple syrup (to taste / to dietary concerns)
1-3 tablespoons brown sugar (same as the syrup)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (going to be honest here, I don't actually measure the cinnamon. Sometimes it is a lot, and probably closer to 3 teaspoons if I'm not paying good attention)
Pinch of kosher salt (a GOOD pinch)
5 cups water

Put everything in in the order listed above. Give it a gentle stir. Lock the instant pot lid and set knob to sealing. Press manual, set for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes are up, give it about 10 minutes on low before venting, opening, and stirring it up. Heads up - I like to stir it up and get it the heck out of the pot into a Tupperware pretty darn quickly to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pot. 


Monday, October 12, 2020

Lost Time and Roast Chicken

Wait. How did we go from March to October? Hi! Remember me? The person who said she was re-upping her blogging because she'd have SO. MUCH. TIME. DURING. QUARANTINE? Yeah. I'm sob-laughing too. Let's be clear. The lack of blogging isn't just because of being busy. I'm so addled, stressed, and quarantine-tired, that I spend way more time on my phone than I should when I have downtime. Read a book? Was over that noise in June or July. Puzzles? Haven't done one in months (although, to be fair, summer time is usually outside time). Lose an hour to social media or a stupid game on my phone? Yes! Let's do that!

With Fall finally arriving (hallelujah), I am endeavoring to enjoy that, and, get out of the phone habit. Not going well so far, but, I'll count sitting here blogging as a win. Another win? Meal planning at least is back on track, and has been since the apocalypse in March. Cooler temperatures mean long braises and roasting things. Baking too, but that's another post. I currently spend from 9:00am to 3:30pm in virtual second grade these days. Between zoom breaks I have the chance to get dinner started early if necessary. And grab another cup of coffee. Always more coffee. I honestly do not know how teachers are managing. My heart goes out to all of them. I'm generally out of patience within minutes of the first day's zoom, and yet my kids' teachers remain cheerful with them, helpful, and full of support and good wishes. All while spending free time planning more content, answering parent's emails, and managing their own lives. Meanwhile, I'm over here thinking about that glass of wine at 5pm. the roast chicken. I probably have another roast chicken recipe somewhere in this blog. However, this one comes from Bon Appetit, and we haven't looked back after trying it. You'll need a cast iron pan or enameled cookware to pull it off. I love this recipe because while it takes a little planning, it is basically a one pan/pot meal, and pretty easy once you get it down. We most often do this with potatoes and carrots, but sometimes we do just onions for flavor, and roast cauliflower separately to be covered in an aioli and capers. It comes from here, I've never tried it with romanesco, but I'll bet it is just as tasty. I also cannot make this chicken recipe without Penzeys Lemon Pepper seasoning. It is one of my favorite spices, and I make sure I always have a backup container. It is amazing on a tomato sandwich too. But, I digress. Here's how I make these recipes:


1 whole chicken, pat dry at least one hour before oven time, cover in kosher salt (inside and out), let sit out at room temp.

2-3 carrots, rinsed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2-3 potatoes, rinsed and cut into wedges (think wedge fries)

Olive oil

Kosher Salt

Penzeys Lemon Pepper Seasoning 

White wine, sherry, or light beer for the pan gravy

Heavy Cream

Sometimes I pat the chicken dry, sometimes I just throw it in a dish and cover it in salt. Either way, let it sit out at least an hour. Then, put your enameled pot or cast iron pan in the oven and pre-heat to 425°. While the oven is preheating, clean and cut your carrots and potatoes. Put them in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, a good pinch of salt, and lemon pepper seasoning, stir (or throw it around with your hands like I do) to cover all veg in yumminess. Pat the chicken again (or, for the first time), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning all over. DO NOT add more salt, you're already good at this point. Once the oven is heated, remove the pan, drizzle some more olive oil in the bottom, and place the chicken in the center. Sprinkle the veg all around, and put it all back in the oven, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes. Once the internal temp of the chicken reaches 155, pull the pan/pot out and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. At this point, if you were doing the separate cauliflower recipe, here's where you'd put that in the already heated oven while your chicken rests.

Once the chicken has rested, remove from pan along with the vegetables and place on a platter. Skim out any remaining small pieces from the pot, leaving the pan drippings. Bring the pot/pan juices to a simmer over medium/high heat and add white wine, sherry, or a light beer (about 1/2 cup? I don't know, we eyeball these things) and simmer until reduced and starting to thicken. Pull off heat and add about 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream. You won't need to season the gravy.


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

Olive oil

Kosher Salt

1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup - 1 cup mayonnaise

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place cauliflower florets in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt. Pour onto a prepared sheet pan (I put parchment paper or foil down first, easier to clean up later). Roast in oven at 425° for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce: mix mayonnaise, pinch of salt, lemon juice, and garlic. Fry the capers in 1/2 of oil for about 2 minutes. Be careful, they pop and spit. Remove from oil, drain on a towel. Place roasted cauliflower on a plater, drizzle aioli over, sprinkle with capers. Little note, sometimes I'm not up for the frying bit. Raw capers are just as good in my opinion, and less work.

Once we've eaten, we pick the chicken, save any leftover for chicken salad, a pizza topping, or any other myriad of things you can do with roasted chicken. Then we make a stock. Into the pot goes: a carrot, some celery, half a garlic bulb, an onion cut in half, some peppercorns, and a few thin slices of lemon rounds. Cover it all with water, bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. We generally let that simmer, adding more water as necessary, for 24-ish hours. 

Only downfall to all of this is while that stock is simmering, the whole house smells amazing, but I'm constantly hungry because of it. Our local farm where we get our meat stopped having chickens a while ago, so I'm working on finding a good local source for that again. For now, I try to get the Bell & Evans chickens at the grocery store, or shop one of our local places like Radish and Rye. At any rate, wherever you get your chicken from, I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family does!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Social Distancing - first and into second week musings

Well friends, one week down, and we've begun the second. I cannot say we've found our new normal, but we're rolling with it and taking what we can in stride. Here are some of the things we're dealing with, how we're dealing, and some fun things we've done and plan to do.

Family planning meeting at the end of week one. That's ROOT BEER in front of the girls.

First, food. If you know me, you know how much I love to cook. You also know that one of my primary drives in life is to feed those I love. About a year an a half ago, we added to our family through adoption. You take household food management + social distancing and proper shelter in place food planning + a little girl who cannot feel food insecurity (I can't stress this one enough)...and that all equals quite the balancing act on my end. My pantry is generally full of shelf stable staples like dried beans, boxes of pasta, packets of rice, and some canned goods. The freezer is well stocked with our CSA meats. What I lack are frozen vegetables since we either get fresh at the grocery store or Broad Street Market. Most of the family meals are meat, starch, veg...because the PA Dutch gal here rolls that way. Back to the food insecurity: meals are interesting. Some are fine for awhile, then turn into battles, others she'll eat just because her big sister is setting a good example. Regardless, not only is it important for her to know there is always food for her, it is equally important I feed her the right things. We have come a long way on catching her up, but there are some things that will never go away, and if I don't have a good balance of nutrition in the day...we're all screwed, to put it bluntly - her most especially. Even though we were released from monthly "failure to thrive" pediatrician visits, I never want to put this kiddo in a position where she feels insecure or lacking in nutrition. In fairness, we have an embarrassing amount of candy in this house from Halloween, school parties and events, and other stuff...and we rarely eat it, so so much is hanging around. So much in fact that my husband wants to declare a day "eat all the candy you want day." I wonder if divorce attorneys are considered "essential personnel?" KIDDING. SO, I had a good amount of what we needed in this house as of two days before restrictions were suggested. We took those suggestions and hunkered down. As of yesterday, some things were running low / I had an inkling more stringent shelter-in-place was coming. Mind you, we had been sheltering-in-place, but when I checked for grocery delivery, we were looking at another week and a half until I could refill. The plan was hatched that Sunday night we'd make a well thought out list, and shortly after the special hours for the elderly were over, I would arrive at the grocery store Monday morning. I had my gloves, but no mask because I haven't bought any, I'm leaving them for those who need them. The trip was largely uneventful, everyone kept their distance, and I can happily breath a sigh of relief that we're good now for about two weeks...and even more if necessary...up to and including powdered dried milk.

Two out of Four Ondos are obsessed with puzzles. 

Second, activities. Another thing you need to know about me: I'm not an entertainment Mama. You have stuff to play with to occupy your time...go find it. Now, that works in normal life (HA! WHAT IS NORMAL LIFE?) most of the time, but now we're all at home for what could be months, I guess I need to step it up. However, I'm not stressing about it. Once the schools (oh, those poor schools, my heart goes out to every Superintendent on down right now) suss out what the rest of the year will look like, I'm sure I'll have more things for the kids to "have" to do, so for now, we're taking it easy. The day starts with breakfast and then a walk, weather permitting. My youngest's elementary school has daily mystery readers at 10am. We log into a Zoom meeting and get to hear usually two to three teachers read different stories. It's so amazing and heartwarming. After that, the younger one gets an activity page and book, the older one gets onto my Facebook account to check in on her Middle School's special group page for challenges, links, and fun ways to stay connected. Have I mentioned how amazing these two schools are being? I love our schools, and the educators within. Once that runs its course, usually by 11:30, we play with puzzles set up in the dining room until lunch time. After lunch, the kids get an hour of quiet time in their room, and Mom gets a break. Sometimes that quiet time goes longer. Sometimes we do something together right after lunch, then call it a day with screen time until dinner. I'm no hero. The tv in the kid's play room is locked down so the younger one only sees appropriate content, most of it educational-ish. The older kid is trustworthy and mostly listens to spotify playlists and draws. Little by little, I'm pulling out craft supplies to lengthen non-screen time. Today we took an hour to rearrange and clean up the playroom, to give us something to do AND to give them another location to hang out in the home. We're also trying to turn the kids' activities and such into family events/entertainment. The younger kid loves having a "project", so this afternoon she had a great time explaining to us the book she's "writing." The older kid should practice her clarinet, so now that's become concert time for all of us (not so much the younger one, she's excused from that hifalutin stuff at the moment). This is all to say, I hope this helps you if you are stressed about being home with kids. Kids are resilient. They need to know they're safe, cared for, and beyond that, let them help you figure it out. I sat for 20 minutes on my older kid's bed today while she introduced me to a musical I hadn't heard before. It was pretty cool and a fun time together, and she suggested it...all because I asked her to come keep me company and talk to me while I folded my laundry. From that conversation, we came up with a nice activity together.

Novel writing is tough work.

Introducing Mama to the Percy Jackson musical

Finally, I'd love to hear from you about what you're dealing with and what you've come up with to pass the time / find a new normal. I have been seeing some neat things in InstaStories, but most of it is beyond my patience level at the moment. As for recipes, I'll get back to that, maybe tomorrow. Unless there's a new great American novel being written by my small one, or the big one has another musical to introduce me to...

Friday, March 20, 2020

Coronacation-Furlough-Stuck At Home-I'm Baaaaack

Cookin' Mama's family approves this recipe

Well folks, I felt there just wasn't enough mom-blog in the world right now, where you have to annoyingly scroll down through my random musings to get to the damn recipe.'re welcome. If nothing else, you'll have something to laugh at during your social-distancing. If you've never read my blog, here's the caveats: while I consider myself a moderately intelligent human, I make mistakes. If you're a big grammar nerd, I apologize now. If you do not give a hoot about food, kids, or ridiculous commentary, this is not the blog for you. I also have no idea how to make those pretty "recipe cards" here in Blogger, where you can jump right to the recipe, print just the recipe, etc.

What this blog has been is somewhat of a release for me, a check point, and a place to keep myself honest. And, if I am being honest, I've totally lost my cooking/home management mojo over the last year or so. My meal plans are sloppy, or non-existent. Our CSA meat is FILLING our freezers because I started just buying non-frozen meat at the grocery store out of sheer just-get-something-on-the-table panic some days. I have been tired, stressed out, out at night for work, not present even when at name it, I'm not on top of it. While some lovely people have reached out to me over my being furloughed for the foreseeable future (thanks coronavirus) - and I love them for checking in on me - I am looking forward to this break from the insanity the world had been presenting. My family is too.

Okay. Enough of are all of YOU? Still getting used to this new normal? Here is how I'm coping:


I know. Lists. Check boxes. Do they make you as happy as they make me? Or have you just learned something else about me that makes you shake your head? Join the club.

You'll see my planner page, and above that, my meal planning and grocery shopping notebook. Due to the COVID-19 insanity, I am very happy to have my North Mountain Pastures stash of meat now. I also had the foresight to give GIANT direct shopping a go last week, so for at least the next two weeks, we have the food we need. Truth be told, I could probably feed us for more than that, but there would be a revolt soon after. We've been treated to a wine braised beef roast, chicken breast and stuffing, and two nights ago...OH FRIENDS...two nights ago I did a Chinese braised pork roast that turned out AMAZING. The only special thing you'll need not generally found in the common pantry is Chinese five spice. I did not have Chinese five spice, but I did have all five ingredients to make it on my own. I have to give a shout out to Penzeys Spices for keeping my spice game on point. I will share the recipe now, but again with the caveat: I really do not cook by measuring. I'm more of an eyeball it type gal. Plus, the original recipe was from England, so I used my amazing math skills (also  known as "ask Siri for the conversion if Mark is busy on a call") to suss it all out. With that all said, I give you:

Originally found on All Recipes UK, recipe altered by me.

1 tablespoon olive oil (more like 2 tablespoons if you're me)
3 lb pork shoulder (I *think* it was 3 pounds?)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced (yeah, I scooped a big dollop out of the pre-minced jar I keep around)
1 piece ginger root (.5"), peeled and sliced (I actually had some fresh ginger from something I made the week before)
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder*
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) soy sauce
2 -2 1/2 cups water

Pre-heat oven to 300˚F

Using an oven safe dutch oven or cast iron pot, brown the pork in the oil on all sides, remove pork to a plate. Into the oil, sauté garlic and ginger. Once fragrant, add in 5-spice powder, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and water. Stir, bring to barely a boil. Add the pork back into the pot with any accumulated juices. (Here's where the water, soy sauce, and vinegar measures get tricky - the liquid for braising can't cover the pork, but it needs to be at least about half way up the roast). Cover, and place in the oven for 2-3 hours. Serve with rice and roasted broccoli. 

*I had to make my own five spice powder. I used a mix (unmeasured) of cinnamon, ground clove, fennel seeds, ground peppercorns, and two star anise pods. What you see in the bowl below also includes the brown sugar.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Guest Post: Healthier Zuppa Toscana

Hello Cookin' Mama blog readers! Once again, Mama has been slacking as of late on this blog. Thankfully, she also has friends who love to cook and share recipes! Below is another guest post for 2016 (See? not all of 2016 has been bad) from a lovely friend I met through theater. Enjoy! ~Cookin Mama

Hello all!  My name is Angela, and this is my first blog post ever.  I think Kristi must be some kind of magician, because I took my first selfie with her (see above!) and now she has me writing a blog post.  As a fan of her (and her cooking!), I am pleased to be here.

First, let me give you the nutshell bio.  I’m old enough to have seen the original Star Wars in the movie theatre. Ha!  I live with my husband, Ken, and our two cats, Binx and Xena.  I love to cook and bake; my nickname in college was Betty, for Betty Crocker.  I am also perpetually working on losing a few pounds.  We eat pretty healthy in our house, but it is a struggle.  Recently, we have cut out most white carbs and sugar.   It’s not exactly paleo, but it’s close.  This has put a damper on some of my favorite dishes (oh pasta, how I miss you), but in 2 months I have lost 16 pounds and Ken has tightened his belt two notches, so we’re motivated to stay away from the bread, etc. 

When the weather gets cold, I love to make soup.  If I had my druthers, I’d eat soup every day in the winter.  This new low-carb lifestyle of ours means some of my favorite soups need makeover, which brings me to the recipe I’m here to share.  Zuppa Toscana.  It’s a perennial favorite at the Olive Garden and in our house.  The basics of the soup are Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale.  It is hearty, stick-to-your-ribs food that is a little spicy and so comforting.  Today I was craving it, and Ken is fighting a cold, so soup seemed the ideal dinner plan.  However, we carbed out on Thanksgiving (my mom makes the best stuffing in the world and I was not going to skip it), so while I was craving zuppa, I did not want or need the heavy carb load from the potatoes.  So I got a little creative.

Cauliflower is pretty much the paleo go-to substitute vegetable for everything from rice to pizza crust.  We eat mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes, so I figured cauliflower could be swapped in for the potatoes in the soup.  My original recipe uses bacon, pork sausage, and light cream. I didn’t have any bacon in the fridge, and I bought turkey sausage instead of pork.  I also used light coconut milk instead of cream because it tempers the cauliflower flavor better.  The end result was even more delicious than the original, and it doesn’t sit quite so heavy in your belly.  I think you could easily convert this to a vegetarian/vegan soup by using vegetable broth and a sausage substitute.  I wish I had some photos to share, but we ate it all.  It was that good.

I should also add this disclaimer.  I am not a very precise cook.  I view recipes as general suggestions, and I tend to just eyeball amounts.  I’ve given what I think are the amounts here, but feel free to experiment. 

Healthier Zuppa Toscana


Approximately 1 lb. turkey Italian sausage – half sweet, half hot
            I buy this at the farmer’s market from the poultry stand.  2 griller links of each kind.  I think it’s about 1 lb.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small head cauliflower (or half a large head), chopped into small florets or pieces
1 quart chicken broth (we use the no sodium kind, but any type is fine)
½  can light coconut milk
Approximately 5 cups curly kale, deveined and chopped
            Again, this is a guesstimate.  I buy bagged kale from my favorite farm stand, and there are usually 7-8 large leaves 
               in the bag.  I cut it off the stem and then do a rough chop.
Salt, pepper, spices to taste (We use Red Robin seasoning salt)

In a large dutch oven or soup/stock pan cook the Italian sausage over medium high heat.  If purchased in link form, you need to take the sausage out of its skin and cook it loose, like ground beef.

Spoon the sausage into a bowl, add a little butter or olive oil to the drippings in the pan.  Cook the onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 mins.  Add the cauliflower and the chicken broth.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 mins or so until the cauliflower is very soft. 

Using an immersion blender, puree the cauliflower mixture.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a real blender or food processor.  Just be careful of steam burns. 

When mixture is fully pureed, throw the cooked sausage back in.  Add the coconut milk and the chopped kale.  Stir until fully incorporated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Makes 4 bowls.

That’s it!  Super easy, super tasty, and chock full of veggies.  The hot Italian sausage gives it some zing.  The coconut milk adds just a smidge of sweetness to the cauliflower, which makes the whole thing taste very rich.  Ken declared he liked it better than the original version, which is good, since it will be one of my go-to soups this winter.  Maybe next time I’ll double the recipe so we can have guests over for soup and conversation.  Yes, Kristi, I am referring to you and your family!  J

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

One-Pot Moroccan Pasta

My biggest helper for finding recipes these days is Facebook. I kid you not. I subscribe to a couple of different sites that share all sorts of fun recipes. Current favorites are Tasting Table and Bon Appetit.  If a recipe they share looks interesting, it gets pinned to the appropriate board on Pinterest. Believe it or not, I actually do go back to those boards when meal planning. If a recipe works out well (like this one did), it's kept and maybe notes are made. If it was not good, it gets deleted.

This past week I was feeling more in the mood for vegetarian and vegan options for meals. Monday night was vegetable coconut curry. For Tuesday, I chose a recipe from Tasting Table for Moroccan Linguini. The tag line was "turn a fragrant chickpea stew into a one-pot pasta meal." Um, okay. Sold.

This recipe had me purchasing freekeh for the first time. Freekeh (free-kah) is an ancient grain, and it is young, green wheat. Therefore gluten free friends, this is not the grain for you. However, diabetic friends, it is low on the glycemic index. When I looked this grain up, I found out I'm on trend! What?! When does THAT happen? Turns out, that aside from the non-gluten-free part of freekeh, it is poised to knock quinoa off the top spot for good-for-you-grains! Who knew?! I will say it added a great texture to this dish, and I look forward to finding new ways to use it. One of my fellow health-conscious Mamas said she uses it as a side, much like rice.

Now, one note about this dish. The "one-pot" got me all excited. Who doesn't love an easy one-pot meal during the week? Full disclosure: it took me about 45 minutes from start to stock in the pot to get the stew going. The stew needs to cook about 1 1/2 hours before you add the lemon juice and pasta. Therefore, either make the stew ahead, or do this on a night where you can get started pretty early. The house smelled AMAZING while this was cooking, and the end dish was delicious. We've also all decided that we will no longer be purchasing canned chickpeas as the result when making them in their dried state was delicious. Having all ingredients prepped and ready is the way to go here, and part of what took me a little longer. Of course, stopping to take pictures might have added a few minutes...

The ingredients are pretty straight forward, other than finding freekeh (organic aisle at my local super market chain), everything else I either had, or knew where to find. You need one 6 quart pot, although that pot was VERY full. Next time I might go up a size. As mentioned above, start by getting your ingredients gathered and prepped. 

This dish will go best when your mis en place game is on point.

What I failed to say so far is that your chickpeas and freekeh need to soak overnight. The packaging for the freekeh didn't say so, but the recipe did, so into the pot with the chickpeas it went! Before adding these to the stew, I rinsed them through a fine mesh strainer. 

Soaked freekeh and chickpeas

The stew starts with a lot of oil (1/2 cup), fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and one jalapeño. Right away the smell is fabulous. After they've cooked a bit, you add tumeric and cumin. Next, into the pot go the waiting and prepped vegetables. 

That cooks for about 15 minutes until everything is fragrant and cooked down a bit, then you add the chickpeas and freekeh, along with 8 cups of stock and 4 cups of water. It didn't say in the recipe, but here is where I added a good bit of kosher salt and some black pepper.

Once the stew cooks for about 1 1/2 hours, check a chickpea to make sure they're done, add 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 pound linguini. This next part is a bit of a workout. The linguini is not going to cook as fast as normal, the stew and pasta water will thicken, making a delicious and yet hard to stir pot of pasta! Hang in there though, the result is very worth it!

Moroccan Linguini

Recipe adapted from Nir Mesika, Timna, New York, NY, found on Tasting  Table

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

½ cup canola oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper—stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ cup celery leaves, roughly chopped
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup freekeh, soaked overnight and drained
8 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound dry linguini pasta
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

1. In a 6-quart pot, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic, jalapeño and ginger, and cook until lightly golden, 2 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and cumin, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the celery leaves, tomatoes, carrot, and white and red onions. Sauté the vegetables until tender and lightly golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

2. Add the soaked chickpeas and freekeh, and cover with the vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the chickpeas and freekeh are tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the lemon juice and dried linguini to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 14 to 16 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls and garnish with more cilantro, then serve.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Guest Post: Instant Pot Potato Salad!

Recently I posted about my newly purchased Instant Pot, and how much I already enjoy having it in my kitchen. Below is a guest post from the woman who is mostly responsible for me purchasing one of these time saving and delicious food making devices! I hope you enjoy Brigitta's post, let us know what you think! ~Cookin' Mama

Please welcome my friend Brigitta!
It is true that the Instant Pot can make your life easier. My story started with an infomercial.  About a year ago I was sitting in a restaurant when the story about an electronic pressure cooker came on the television.  I was mesmerized by the claims.  I subsequently did a ton of research and found that the Instant Pot received many of the best ratings and reviews.  Flash forward to today and I own 2 Instant Pots!
Just this weekend my pot came in handy for a family barbecue. The perfect deli potato salad was a must on my menu but I really dislike the messy task of boiling a large amount potatoes.  I can never get them quite right and am usually left with an overflowing pot, unevenly cooked potatoes and starch residue everywhere. Cue the pot! I hastily peeled about 3.5 lbs. of large potatoes and put them in the pot on a trivet. I added 1.5 cups of water and set the pot to steam for 25 minutes.  After it cooked, I allowed about 10 minutes to pass before I released the pressure. I opened the pot to unbelievably perfect potatoes!  As soon as I could touch them, I easily sliced them for the salad.

Here is the recipe I used with the only changes being increasing the recipe to accommodate for the large amount of potatoes I cooked, the addition of some garlic powder and adding fresh chives instead of parsley.

The pot did take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure so complete cooking time was about 50 minutes total.  During that time I was able to chop and prep all of the other ingredients and make another recipe to boot.  I didn’t have anything to check or stir and only non-messy pot to clean afterwards.  Brilliant!  

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Heyo! Popping back on to the blog to share my youngest's current favorite thing: oatmeal for breakfast. She loves hot meals in the morni...