Cooking, Food, Kitchen, recipes

Cozy Instant Pot Recipes for Fall

Instant Pots are all the rage this Fall – the best season for cozy recipes.

Serious Eats has more about what an Instant Pot is used for, and we have to agree — it’s only worth it if you don’t already have a pressure cooker.

You can make some great meals (and cakes!) quickly — but the other functions that make it a multicooker can be done with regular kitchen equipment.

We think the Instant Pot is a great cooking tool since it cuts down on time and can do so many things.

As Daniel Gritzer said in Serious Eats:

As the name implies, what’s most appealing about a multi-cooker is the range of cooking options it offers. It steams! It sears! It simmers! It cooks beans! It cooks rice! It cooks stews! It cooks chili! It makes yogurt! It’s a pressure cooker! It’s a slow-cooker! It can make my bed and clean my toilet and rub my feet and sanitize my dentures! All! In! One!

Here are a few recipes we made so far this season:

IMG_1340 copySquash soup

From the Instapot recipe book (included with the pot!). This is a tasty, velvety, vegan soup!

ACS_0070Curries

Curry recipes are great because you can sub any ingredients you have on hand. The spices are what make it great, and you can adjust based on what spice level you like.

IMG_1488 copyRed Lentil Kale Curry

Lentils are cheap and healthy, so keep them on hand! You can sub in any greens you already have.

Recipe

IMG_0641 copyChickpea Curry

This recipe is one of our favorite curries. The cauliflower really makes it tasty, but you could sub broccoli or just leave it out if you hate it!

Recipe

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Cooking, Food, recipes

The Best Summer Produce Recipes

Yellow, green, blue and red: has your summer been colorful so far? Are you seeing the brightness through the rain?

We’re riding this tasty rainbow as long as possible, with our favorite recipes using summer’s best ingredients.

The good news? The ingredients alone taste so good, you barely have to do any work! The perfect recipe for summer relaxation.

What we’re eating

ACS_0121August is peak time for some of nature’s best delights. Right now our kitchens are full of corn, tomatoes, zucchini, blueberries, cherries, peaches and plums.

What we’re cooking

On days when it’s too hot (almost every day), it’s simple salads and cold soups. On more ambitious days, we start in the morning when the kitchen is at its coolest!

Here are some highlights from our summer menu:

Appetizer

Fried Zucchini Blossoms

An easy crowd pleaser and a great excuse to pretend you’re in Italy! We never need help stimulating our appetites, but if you do snack on these with a Negroni, Aperol spritz or prosecco. Saluti!

Main

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

This looks like a long ingredient list, but you probably have a lot of these things on hand. Don’t worry; no need to make your own pasta sheets (unless you want to!) Hate mushrooms? Leave them out and make the rest as is. If you want, use peeled fresh tomatoes instead of the canned ones.

Or

Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles with Chile-Lime Shrimp & Corn

Easy, breezy and a perfect summer dish. Throw the corn and shrimp on the grill to make it even easier!

Or

GZ’s Ultimate BLT

Show off summer’s finest with a classic BLT. Bonus: watch your family and friends’ eyes light up with joy when they realize they’re getting bacon for dinner. Pick up a few beautiful heirloom tomatoes for a hearty thick-cut slice on each sandwich, and buy extra avocado for any veg pals.

Side

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

Once you try Chef Tyler Florence’s trick for corn on the cob, you’ll never worry about boiling again. The easiest recipe makes delicious, slightly crispy corn. Use your favorite seasoning: simple good butter and sea salt; cayenne and sea salt; or cinnamon and sugar.

Dessert

Plum-Cardamom Crumble with Pistachios
We’ll keep saying it until the leaves fall – there’s nothing better than summer stone fruit desserts, and this plum-cardamom crumble is perfection on a plate. The leftovers are great for breakfast with Greek yogurt!

Find out what else is in season and keep your kitchen stocked!

Basics, Cooking, Essentials, Food, recipes

5 Easy Summer Salad Recipes

Panzanella_cropped

Who doesn’t love a delicious salad? Easy, healthy and heat-free, make these salads ahead and refrigerate for cool relief all week.

Plus it’s a great excuse to try your tools: tongs, olive oil bottle, garlic skin remover, garlic mincer.

Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella
Literally translated to “bread salad,” this is the easiest, and perhaps tastiest, summer salad and a fun one for kids to help with too.
Tip: You can use any dry crusty bread or toasted cornbread, as mentioned here! Skip the oven and use leftover stale bread (the traditional way!)

Grain Salad with Olives and Whole-Lemon Vinaigrette
Easy, hearty, flavorful – and great as leftovers! This actually gets better as it sits, which is true for all these salads.
Tip: Once you’re comfy making grain salads, you can add in whatever leftover ingredients (cooked meat, tofu, any veggies and even fruit!) you have to create your own recipe. You can also sub in any grain you have on hand or already cooked!

Kale, Apple and Walnut Tabbouleh
There’s probably no better go-to for salads than Philadelphia-based chef Michael Solomonov, since salads are a specialty and major part of Israeli cuisine. This is a great dish for breakfast or any time of day!
Tip: No sumac? No problem! Just omit it for a still-delicious recipe.

Cucumber Salad
This couldn’t be easier: a perfectly refreshing, 5-ingredient salad that’s a summer all-star!
Tip: The thinner you slice the cucumbers, either on a mandoline or carefully by hand, the more they’ll absorb the flavors.

Campanelle Pasta Salad
We love this version of pasta salad with pretty campanelle noodles and hearty tuna in olive oil. You can omit the tuna if you’re veg!
Tip: The secret to a great pasta salad? Don’t overcook the pasta.

Box 3, Cooking, Food, recipes, Tools

Tools 101: Silicone Baking Mat

You have new kitchen toys, hooray! Now, what the heck do you do with them?

This series features some ideas to get you cooking – and eating – asap!

Meet your silicone mat

This mat is a super handy alternative to parchment paper, perfect for baking and roasting. While you can use oil as well, the mat does its part in helping food not stick so you don’t need as much oil. Trust us, nothing sticks to these mats.

Here are some ways to use it!

Recipes

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Get crunching with this addictive snack. Spice it up with cayenne or keep it simple with sea salt. Either way, so good!
Get the recipe.

Roasted Salmon

The easiest, tastiest weeknight meal. You can adjust based on what you like on your salmon! Lemon and herbs is always a good bet.
Get the recipe.

Roasted Cauliflower

Perfect to have around to add to salads, bowls and more throughout the week! Also delicious simply seasoned with salt & pepper.
Get the recipe.

Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies

From kale chips to cookies! We never said you couldn’t treat yourself! The mat allows easy clean up because the dough won’t stick.
Get the recipe.

How to clean

Use a soft sponge with warm soap and water. Dry with a clean dish towel or air dry.

Tips

  • Limit the amount of oil you use for your recipes; you really don’t need much! A great way to cut back on your oil intake. Instead, keep your olive oil bottle on the table for dipping bread.
  • If you do use parchment paper, make sure it’s parchment, and not wax paper. Wax coating will melt and can burn in a hot oven.

More info on Food52

Happy eating!

Basics, Cooking, Essentials, Food, Grilling, recipes, Tools

You Can Grill That!

Let your grill do wonders beyond burgers and dogs.

These are easy grilled foods for a party – or just for you! Not only does the grill work its magic in these recipes, but cleanup is super easy too so you can relax and enjoy.

Tip: Keep all your essential grilling tools (tongs, squeeze bottles, pastry brush, etc.) clean and handy for when the grill calls your name!

ACS_0115 (1)

  1. Pizza
    Perfect for al fresco summer dining, especially for groups, warm grilled pizza can be equally good and often better than a sad, soggy delivery pizza. That char really works wonders, and it’s super simple! Consider making a veggie one with no cheese for vegan/dairy-free friends and as a nice lighter option for everyone. Pair with a light red (chill it if you want!) or Lambrusco. The pizza can sit out for a bit, as long as it’s not boiling hot outside, so those who arrive late can still enjoy a piece (if there’s any left!) Use your sharpened knife or kitchen shears to slice it!
    Get the recipe.
  2. Grilled Lettuce
    This is an insanely easy way to impress friends and a great side dish for pizza! Channel your inner Giada with a colorful salad of grilled lettuces. All you need is your colander, cutting board, knife, tongs and olive oil bottle. You’ll just want to make sure this hits the grill before any meats, so your veg friends can enjoy without worry!
    Get the recipe.
  3. Avocado
    A quick few minutes on the grill, a little lime juice, salt & pepper creates individual guac bowls you can eat right out of the skin! Spice it up if you want with cayenne, paprika or hot sauce. No need for a huge bowl of guac to sit outside and brown in the heat when you can have a fresh, simple solution. (Also, yahoo for portion control!) Serve with tortilla chips and veggies of your choice.
    Get the recipe.
  4. Stone Fruit
    Warm dessert with no oven action? We’re in! There’s nothing like winding down a summer night with seasonal fruit, a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream (or whatever flavor you like!) and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy the glory of peaches, plums and nectarines while they’re here!
    Get the recipe.
  5. Grilled Pound Cake
    If you have a cake-loving crowd (the best kind of crowd!) why not throw an already made cake onto the grill? This is basically impossible to mess up because most of the work is done! If you don’t have peaches, try another stone fruit or serve with any fresh berries you have on hand!
    Get the recipe.

 

Basics, Box 1, Cooking, Essentials, Food, Kitchen, recipes, Uncategorized

It’s Time! Tomato Recipes for Summer

They’re here! It’s July and we’re talking tomatoes. If you can resist eating all your ripe tomatoes with just a little salt & pepper, here are our favorite summer tomato recipes.

Grab your serrated knife and cutting board for the easiest tomato action!

  1. Tomato Peach Salad with Basil
    With all seasonal ingredients, this tasty summer treat is a show-stopping salad.
    Tip: Add burrata or mozzarella for a more substantial dish.
  2. Easy Vegan Bruschetta
    A simple go-to snack or appetizer. Kids like it too!
    Tip: Don’t have basil? Use up any fresh herbs you have on hand! Set aside a few plain ones for the kids.

  3. Tomato Margarita with Fennel Salt (or just regular salt!)
    Try this summer sipper in the backyard or on the porch. You’re welcome.
    Tip: Not feeling the fennel? Plain salt will do! Still feeling a bit fancy? Try a mix of Old Bay and salt on the rim!
  4. Easy Gazpacho
    Tip: Use your garlic tools & oil pourer from Box 1 to make this recipe even easier. This is a fun, customizable recipe, so don’t stress!
  5. Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce
    Tip: You can make this in advance and leave it either chilled or at room temp for later! It actually tastes better the longer it sits.

Continue reading “It’s Time! Tomato Recipes for Summer”

recipes

Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas

BeFunky Collage

Let’s face it there is always one thing we wish we had extra time for…for some people it’s reading, going to the gym, drawing and for others it is cooking. With only 24 hours in the day, it really gets hard to get everything on the to-do list done. And unless you are getting up at the crack of dawn – it just not always going to happen. But, what if you took an hour on Sunday to prep meals for the week to give yourself more time to do what you want later one? To me, that is the beauty of meal prepping.

As a part of my weekly meal prep, I always try to prepare some sort of breakfast item. You know, for those fridged mornings when all  I want to lay in my warm bed as long as possible. Or those mornings you know you need to be at the office early to prep for a big presentation. Whatever your morning brings, its a pretty good feeling knowing you have one less thing to do and you can enjoy your morning coffee that much longer.

Not only are you saving time and stress, but you are obviously saving money. Instead of that $12 smoothie – you can buy a ton of fresh fruit for the same price and make your own at home to last the week. The same goes for that overpriced Starbucks Oatmeal or Avocado Toast.

All you need to do is to find a few breakfast foods you like, pick up the ingredients needed, give yourself 1-hour on Sunday and you’ll be excited for breakfast all week. Here are some of my favorite go-to’s. We like to rotate them so nothing ever gets overdone.

Hard Boiled Eggs – This by far is the EASIEST route. Boil up a dozen eggs and you have Avocado Toast ready in minutes. (or you can always bring them with you for a mid-day snack). I did a blog post on perfecting hard boiled eggs – I like mine softer in the middle so I usually cook them for 4-6 minutes.

IMG_3304

Oatmeal – Oatmeal to me is the comfort food of breakfast. It is so satisfying on a chilly morning plus it is filling so you’ll find you won’t be hungry as early. But the nice thing about oats is how versatile they are, they can be eaten hot or cold. Quick/Instant Oats are tried and true, overnight oats are great during the warmer months & crockpot Oatmeal can be made Sunday night and you’ll have enough for the week.
Pancakes – Is there a more nostalgic breakfast than Pancakes? I feel like everyone can remember having Pancakes on a Saturday as a child. And they can be just as good as an adult, healthy too. There are now healthy pancake mixes floating around stores like Kodak Cakes or Bob’s Red Mill. These are great in a pinch if you don’t have the key ingredients to make from scratch. But these homemade cakes can do no wrong.
Yogurt, Granola & Berries – To me, this equals summer breakfast. Creamy Greek yogurt, crunchy toasted granola, and fresh sweet berries. I recently tried to Gimme Some Oven’s Healthy Granola recipe and OMG I am never buying store bought granola ever again! It has 9 ingredients and takes 20 minutes to make. Throw everything in a cute mason jar and you’re ready to go with breakfast in tow.
Egg Cups – Another classic breakfast in my house. The best part about egg cups is how versatile and there is never an end to the combination of add-ins. Pick your favorite veggies, throw in some bacon, ham or turkey and sprinkle in your choice of cheese and bake to perfection. But take it from me, DO NOT forget to spray the tray with cooking spray – I learned that the hard way.
Smoothies – another go to in the warmer months especially when so many good fruits are in season. I usually stock up (or steal fruit from my parent’s farm share) on our favorite fruits to use. Throw in a little spinach (for extra iron), protein, chia and flax (totally optional), ice and you’re ready to hit blend. What makes smoothies so great is there is no wrong way to make one. You only have banana, pineapple & spinach on hand – that sounds like an amazingly delicious smoothie to me. Plus it never hurts to keep frozen fruit on hand for when your running low.

 

So there you have it. These are my go-to meal prep breakfasts that I have come to love because of how stress-free they make my mornings and I hope they give you some inspiration.

Have an on the go breakfast that you love? Feel free to share I would love to hear what your go-to is!