Archive for the ‘Kid Eats’ Category

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

 

Did you know that you can make enough shredded chicken for a week of recipes with your pressure cooker? This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe can be meal prepped for your week or frozen for future meals. Don’t miss this post filled with ideas for ways to put pressure cooked chicken to work in your kitchen!

I hope you all are as in love with your Instant Pot as much as me. Our pressure cooker continues to be my favorite gadget and I’m excited to share more family recipes with you.

Today I wanted to show you how to meal prep shredded chicken in your Instant Pot.

This technique is super simple and straightforward.

In your pressure cooker, you will add one cup of chicken stock to the bottom of your pressure cooker. Add your chicken breasts and season well with salt and pepper.

Cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).

These chicken breasts, for example, required fifteen minutes to fully cook.

Allow your pressure to release naturally (instead of quick releasing the valve). A good amount of time is ten minutes!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Once the chicken is cooked, you can shred it with two forks. If you are feeling fancy, break out your hand mixer to make quick work of this task.

Reserve half the liquid in the pot for storage and to reduce the chances of your chicken drying out.

I looked up some frequently asked questions, on pressure cooked chicken, and thought I would share more about my technique here.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Do I need to add more chicken broth (or stock) if I decide to cook more than four chicken breasts?

If I’m meal prepping for my family, I always double our recipes. I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same.

Can I use this pressure cooker shredded chicken technique with frozen chicken breasts?

Cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot can be a real budget-saver and help you avoid ordering takeout.

Once again, cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes.

Can I Use this Shredded Chicken Recipe for Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breasts?

Personally, I prefer thigh meat over chicken breasts because they don’t easily dry out and get overcooked.

I’ve had great success with cooking chicken thighs for 15 minutes on high pressure.

I love to toss my thigh meat with salsa and a little chicken broth for taco night or burrito bowls.

My Shredded Chicken Didn’t Fully Cook, Can I Restart My Instant Pot?

Do you find that your dishes seem inconsistent with cooking times? I discovered a really important solution…getting a new Instant Pot seal. If the seal is stretched out, it will take much longer to come to pressure.

For chicken to be fully cooked, you want to make sure it has come to 165 degrees. Since the size of the breasts is so different, it is hard to always nail the length of time.

If you find that your chicken is not fully cooked, simply cook it for 2 more minutes of High Pressure.

Since the liquid is already hot, it won’t take that long to come to pressure again.

What Other Seasoning Can I Use on My Shredded Chicken?

I try to really map out what I’m making with it before deciding on seasoning. This basic idea of just salt & pepper is always appealing to me though because it can be used in any recipe.

Free Spice Label Printables

That said, you can always make your own flavor combo! This Mrs. Dash seasoning, for example, is a family favorite. I also love to season my chicken with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or dried rosemary.

Feeling inspired to get your pantry organized? Here are some free printable pantry labels to get you started.

I Don’t Have a Pressure Cooker. How Do I Make This Shredded Chicken In My Slow Cooker Instead?

For many years, I just did the shredded chicken in my slow cooker. You will follow the exact same recipe, but you will cook the chicken in your slow cooker for six hours instead.

I hate dry chicken though so I usually do the six hours of cooking time with frozen breasts instead.

I find today’s slow cookers are so much faster than they used to be.

For me, six hours is as long as I’m willing to let my chicken cook in one of those.

If you are on the hunt for a new slow cooker, I can’t recommend this model enough. I use it weekly and love that I can brown our meat before slow cooking it.

Are There Any Other Ways to Prepare Chicken For My Week?

I can’t recommend this roasted chicken technique enough.

In fact, I got stopped three times at a family cookout to ask how I prepared my meat.

It is perfectly seasoned, tastes like it has been grilled, and is perfectly tender.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Meal Prep From MomAdvice.com

What Recipes Can I Make With Shredded Chicken?

Shredded chicken can be stuffed into wraps with spinach, tomatoes, and ranch.

Shredded chicken can be tossed with salsa, and reserved liquid, to make chicken tacos.

Shredded chicken can be added to a delicious frittata, like this one.

Shredded chicken can be made into chicken salad. I love to skip the mayo and toss it with pesto and a little creamy Greek Yogurt.

Shredded chicken makes the perfect pizza topper with a pesto base, spinach, and tomatoes.

Shredded chicken is a great addition to any salad (here is one of my faves!).

Shredded chicken can be tossed with barbecue sauce and stuffed in sweet potatoes or in buns.

Shredded chicken can be added to soup or chili.

Shredded chicken be made into delicious enchiladas (this is our family’s favorite recipe).

Shredded chicken is great in homemade lo mein, fried rice, or stir fry.

You get the idea.

There is SO much you can do with this. Just think of how you can use shredded chicken in your favorite casseroles, pasta dishes, or rice bowls.

What if I Can’t Eat All This Shredded Chicken?

One of the best things about having this prepared is that you can freeze it. Freeze your pressure cooked chicken in freezer bags, with a little of the reserved broth. Make sure to take out as much air as possible and label. This should keep for 3-6 months in your freezer.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

 

Yield: 4-6 servings

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Did you know that you can make enough shredded chicken for a week of recipes with your pressure cooker? This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe can be meal prepped for your week or frozen for future meals. Don’t miss this post filled with ideas for ways to put pressure cooked chicken to work in your kitchen!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour one cup of chicken broth or stock in the bottom of your Instant Pot.
  2. Add fresh chicken breasts to Instant Pot, seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the lid on your Instant Pot and cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).  
  4. Once the Instant Pot beeps, make sure your instant pot turns off (and doesn't start the, "keep warm," setting. Allow it to naturally release for ten minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks or a hand mixer.
  6. Add half the liquid from the pot to your shredded chicken and toss to make sure it is fully incorporated.
  7. Use the chicken right away for your recipes (see post for fun ways to put this to work in your kitchen) or freeze for 3-6 months in an airtight freezer bag with a little additional liquid.Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Notes

Doubling the chicken? I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same. 

Using frozen chicken breasts? Cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes. Still follow the steps above for natural releasing the pressure. 

This post contains affiliate links


Love this recipe? Here are three other great pressure cooker recipes to check out!

3 Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com 3 ingredient instant pot ribs

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork from MomAdvice.com 3-ingredient instant pot pulled pork

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from MomAdvice.com 3 ingredient instant pot wings

Let us know what you think about today’s recipe in the comments below!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

 

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com These freezer-friendly sandwiches are the perfect item to keep on hand for busy mornings. Although this recipe contains bacon, this can easily be omitted for a vegetarian freezer dish too. If you ask me, you just can’t go wrong with eggs and cheese on a toasted english muffin. Follow this easy tutorial for a healthy breakfast that is ready in minutes!

I’ll be honest, freezer cooking has saved our family tons of money over the years. The freezer breakfast sandwiches I am sharing today are my new secret weapon for busy mornings (or evenings) at our house.

I started to really become a fan of freezer recipes for breakfast when I put together my favorite make-ahead breakfast burrito recipe. These were filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, and bell pepper and are a cinch to whip up.

I loved them so much, in fact, that I hosted a sleepover buffet for my daughter with a make-your-own breakfast breakfast burrito bar.

In case you were wondering, it was a total hit!

Today’s breakfast sandwich preparation is a little different than the way we prepared our breakfast burritos. Instead of scrambling our eggs, we will be baking a sheet pan of our egg mixture and cutting them into circles for our breakfast sandwiches. With the addition of bacon (totally optional!!) and a slice of cheese you have the PERFECT frugal ingredients for a breakfast that your whole family will love.

How to Make Breakfast Sandwiches

The eggs are scrambled together with milk, salt, and peper and are poured into a prepared pan (sprayed with cooking spray) for baking.

Please don’t think you have to stop at just eggs though. This is a great recipe to add in other ingredients, like spinach or cooked veggies that you might want to put to work.

A good way to think about it is, if you would add it to a frittata, it is probably a delicious addition to these sandwiches.

Whatever combo you pick, just remember that salt and pepper are key to great flavor.

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

As you can see with my first pan, the darker nonstick yielded a browner crust on the bottom.

If you have a dark nonstick pan too, keep an eye on it. I also adjusted the cooking time and length on my second batch so I could make sure I nailed the right length of time. 

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

As these eggs are baking, it is time to prepare your bacon for baking.

Have you baked bacon before? Personally, I think it is the only way to go because it cuts down a lot on the mess and cleanup that can be required with stove top preparation.

For this recipe, all you will need to do is to line a cookie sheet with tin foil. On top of your tin foil, you will place your cooling rack. A cooling rack really helps the bacon gets crispy on all sides. 

As you know, crispy bacon is just what we are looking for, amiright?

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Once the eggs are done cooking, remove them to cool while you slide in your bacon. Once cool enough to handle, cut them into circles for your muffins.

I didn’t have a biscuit cutter, but you don’t need one for this recipe. I found a cup that cut these perfectly for our sandwiches.

Don’t worry, the cup isn’t dusty (well….it *could* be) and is just filled with a little steam from our warm eggs.

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Do you have a lot of egg scraps from your sandwiches? The frugal chef in me encourages you to find a way to repurpose those. For our family, I just plan to mix them into our shrimp fried rice and save a tiny bit of effort on the scrambling.

Once your eggs are cut, split your english muffins for toasting. Toasting insures that they don’t get soggy rolls, especially since we plan to reheat these for another day.

Are you gluten-free? They do make gluten-free English muffins that are available in the freezer section of many stores.

Udi’s and Glutino, for example, are two well-known brands that offer this as an option.

As with all things gluten-free though, these can be quite a bit more expensive.

With that in mind, if you really want to keep this recipe frugal, this gluten-free english muffin recipe looks like it is a winner!

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

How Do I Store My Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches?

Wrap each breakfast sandwich in a square of tin foil and then place these inside a freezer bag. I don’t add a layer of plastic wrap because they seem to hold up well with just the foil and freezer bag combination.
Now that you have your sandwiches, here are some tips for preparing them.

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Bake and Eat Your Breakfast Sandwiches Right Away or Save Them For Up to 5 Days in the Refrigerator

By the way, don’t you think these would make a great breakfast for tailgating?

If you are making and preparing them for a crowd, wrap them in tin foil and cook them at 425 for 8-10 minutes.

I think they are awfully delicious topped with a little pesto or siracha to brighten up those flavors. These can be refrigerated overnight for the morning or even kept in your fridge for up to 5 days.

As fast as these went at my house, I’m not sure freezing them ended up even being worth it! 

Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches In the Microwave Right From the Freezer

If you are planning to reheat right from the freezer, remove the tin foil and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I do like to flip these halfway through and find that they benefit from being wrapped in a paper towel to help the muffin keep its consistency and absorb the moisture.

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches in the Toaster Oven Right From the Freezer

Do you have a toaster oven? This is a wonderful avenue for reheating your sandwiches. Keep your sandwich in the tin foil and toast for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted.

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches Step-By-Step Picture Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

 


 
Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe
 
Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe Recipe Type : Breakfast Author: MomAdvice.com Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 40 mins Total time: 55 mins Serves: 6 breakfast sandwiches These freezer-friendly sandwiches are the perfect item to keep on hand for busy mornings. Although this recipe contains bacon, this can easily be omitted for a vegetarian freezer dish too. If you ask me, you just can't go wrong with eggs and cheese on a toasted english muffin (regular or gluten-free). Follow this easy tutorial for a healthy breakfast that is ready in minutes!
Ingredients
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim or low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 6 slices of cheese
  • 6 english muffins
  • sriracha or pesto for topping (optional)
  • cooking spray
  • biscuit cutter, glass, or mason jar lid for cutting the egg rounds
  • 9x13 pan
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • metal cooling rack
  • mixing bowl & whisk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your 9x13 with some cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Be sure to keep your eye on it to make sure the bottom does not get dark.
  3. While the eggs cook, prepare your bacon and english muffins. Split your muffins and place them on a cookie sheet (see picture above). Set aside. Cover the bottom of another cookie sheet with tin foil. Place metal cooling rack on top and spread the bacon, making sure there is space around each piece so the bacon is properly crisp.
  4. Once the eggs are done, remove and set aside to cool. Raise the temperature on the oven to 400 degrees and slide your tray of bacon in. Cook the bacon for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Using a biscuit cutter (or glass), cut out circles of egg. Set aside scraps for another recipe.
  6. Next, slide in your sliced english muffins for toasting for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Make an assembly line and assemble the sandwiches: muffin, egg, bacon, and cheese. Wrap in tin foil and and then store the sandwiches in a freezer bag.
  8. Follow instructions for warming, in the notes section of this recipe card
Notes
Bake and Eat Your Breakfast Sandwiches Right Away or Save Them For Up to 5 Days in the Refrigerator
If you are making and preparing them for a crowd, wrap them in tin foil and cook them at 425 for 8-10 minutes. These can be refrigerated overnight for the morning or even kept in your fridge for up to 5 days.
How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches In the Microwave Right From the Freezer
If you are planning to reheat right from the freezer, remove the tin foil and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I do like to flip these halfway through and find that they benefit from being wrapped in a paper towel to help the muffin keep its consistency and absorb the moisture.

How to Reheat Your Breakfast Sandwiches in the Toaster Oven Right From the Freezer
Do you have a toaster oven? This is a wonderful avenue for reheating your sandwiches. Keep your sandwich in the tin foil and toast for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is warm and the cheese is melted.

Love this breakfast recipe? Here are a few other breakfast dishe we love at our house!

Slow Cooked Honeycrisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com

slow cooked honeycrisp apple oatmeal

Easy Sausage & Vegetable Frittata from MomAdvice.com easy sausage and vegetable frittata (dairy free/gluten free)

Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs for Your Freezer from MomAdvice.com

make ahead smoothie packets for your freezer

this post contains affiliate links

 

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast

No need to break out your slow cooker for a great chuck roast. This Instant Pot recipe is ready in a fraction of the time, compared to a slow cooker roast. Dressed with a simple marinara sauce, this shredded beef recipe is perfect to serve over pasta or to stuff in a sub bun for an italian beef sandwich. Let me show you how with this pressure cooker recipe.

I am back again with another family meal idea that you can create in your pressure cooker.

Those of you that have my book may recognize this easy recipe that I had originally made for my crock pot. This pot roast recipe was formerly known as my, “Pot Roast Italiano,” and I thought it would be a fun one to adapt for the pressure cooker.

The exciting news is that this recipe DOES NOT DISAPPOINT AT ALL. I have a feeling that this might be in your regular recipe rotation.

If you haven’t used the sauté function on your pressure cooker, you are going to love the ability to brown your meats before you pressure cook them.
Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

A three pound chuck roast can be difficult to flip so feel free to cut your roast in half, like I have demonstrated in the photo.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

After mixing these seasonings, you can spoon them on and press them into both sides of your roast, while you wait for your Instant Pot to warm up.

Not sure when it is warm? Your Instant Pot will say HOT when it is ready to go and also will sound a little beep so you can get your meat started.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

 

Add olive oil to the bottom of the pan and then brown the roast beef on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes each.

Once you have this done, pull the beef out of the Instant Pot and cancel the sauté function.

Using a whisk, whisk in your tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and salt. Don’t put in the tomato paste- we aren’t ready for that thickener just yet.

Be sure to use the whisk to lift up an of those delicious brown bits, that may have been left behind by your roast, and any of those italian seasonings that may be resting on the bottom.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

Set your Instant Pot to high pressure and program it for 80 minutes cooking time. I usually just press the meat button on the IP since I have that set to MORE on the settings. 

Once it is done, try to give it some time to come to a natural release (maybe ten minutes or so), but if you are in a rush a quick release won’t hurt it either.

If you are unclear about the difference between the natural release pressure and the quick release pressure, be sure to check out my post with a diagram that explains this more fully.

After releasing the lid, remove the meat from the pressure cooker and shred the meat. Thanks to the effectiveness of the Instant Pot, this should be an absolute breeze.

Your final step, to complete the accompanying sauce, is to whisk in a can of tomato paste. Be sure to give your sauce a taste and sprinkle in additional salt, onion powder, or garlic powder (as needed).

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

This meat can be placed into a sub roll with a layer of sauce and melted provolone cheese. If you are wanting a more formal meal, this pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes or spooned over a big pile of pasta and sprinkled with a healthy grate of parmesan cheese.

Unlike the traditional shredded beef recipe with pepperoncini peppers and beef broth, this recipe is always a bit of a surprise to our guests with the uniqueness of the sauce and the delicious Italian flavors.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe and look forward to sharing even more pressure cooker recipes with you this month.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast Recipe

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
No need to break out your slow cooker for a great chuck roast. This Instant Pot recipe is ready in a fraction of the time, compared to a slow cooker roast. Dressed with a simple marinara sauce, this shredded beef recipe is perfect to serve over pasta or to stuff in a sub bun for an italian beef sandwich. Let me show you how with this pressure cooker recipe.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (with their juice)
  • 1 can tomato sauce – 16 oz
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut your beef chuck roast into two or three pieces so that it can fit and be flipped in your pressure cooker.
  2. Turn on your pressure cooker and set it to the sauté function on HIGH.
  3. On a piece of wax paper, take a paper towel and dry out the meat on both sides so that you can get a nice sear on your roast.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and basil.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of your roast and push the seasoning in with your hands to make sure that it sticks well.
  6. Add your olive oil to the hot pan and then sear the roast on both sides for two to three minutes, until your roast has developed a nice crust. Be sure to do this in batches so you get a nice sear on your roast. Set your roast aside.
  7. Turn off the Instant Pot and then add your diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, and more salt & pepper. Whisk this in and use your whisk to loosen any of the browned bits on the bottom into your sauce. Give it a taste and make sure you have the right amount of seasoning.
  8. Lock your lid and set it to HIGH pressure for 80 minutes (you can also use your Meat setting if you just want to press a button).
  9. Once it is done, allow it to come to Natural Release Pressure (or if you are in a hurry, you can just do a Quick Release- it won't hurt it!)
  10. Transfer your meat to a cutting board to shred.
  11. Meanwhile, whisk tomato paste into your gravy and check your seasonings one more time.
  12. Spoon a bit of the sauce on your roast and mix it well.
  13. Serve the additional sauce in a bowl or gravy boat. Serve the roast with mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice. Leftovers can be packaged and used later in Italian beef sandwiches, toasted with sauce and provolone.

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

This post contains affiliate links.

Love this recipe? Here are a few more meal ideas for your Instant Pot!

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from MomAdvice.com

best instant pot wings

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork from MomAdvice.com 3-ingredient pulled pork recipe

3-ingredient instant pot ribs 3-ingredient instant pot ribs (the most popular and viral recipe on the blog)

 

 

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com

Let us know what you think about today’s recipe in the comments below! 

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

 

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from MomAdvice.com

These Instant Pot chicken wings only require three ingredients and five minutes of pressure cooking until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. Try this Instant Pot Recipe today!

I am so excited to start showcasing more recipes on the site and one BIG request I got from readers was for more easy Instant Pot recipes. 

It seems I talked many of you into buying one of these appliances on a Black Friday sale and then dropped the ball on giving you ideas for ways to use it. 

That’s really nice, huh?

In all honesty, three ingredient recipes have been on repeat in our house especially these easy ribs (one of our most pinned recipes on the site) and these pulled pork sandwiches

It seems when I get a formula down, with my cooking, I just keep repeating it. 

As tailgating season is approaching, I wanted to show how you can cook the chicken wings in your Instant Pot in just about 30 minutes or so. 

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe

Best Steamer Basket for the Instant Pot

xoxo steamer basket for instant pot shop this steamer basket for your Instant Pot- you will love the handle on this for removal!

Although I don’t get sucked into the gadget game very often, I have found this steamer basket to be invaluable for cooking both my meat and my eggs. The basket fully holds what is inside and then can be lifted out by the center handle. I use it about once a week so I can confidently recommend this is a great addition to your kitchen arsenal.

When I first started blogging, I created a Honey Bourbon Chicken Wing recipe that I prepared in my slow cooker and I was so proud of my styling.
It was after this photo was posted that someone commented that they were surprised I didn’t, “trim my chicken wings.” 

How do I Trim Chicken Wings for My Instant Pot?

Trim the wings? 

I had no clue what that even meant. 

Wings weren’t something we ate in our house and I’m not the kind of girl who eats wings at a restaurant. It’s because I had no experience eating these that I didn’t know how to trim them for our family or what the wing was supposed to look like.

If you are still learning in the kitchen, I just want you to know that I’ve been learning right along with you. This wasn’t the first time I was wrong about the best way to prepare a dish and I really doubt that it will be the last. 

If you are looking for guidance on how to trim your wings for cooking, I found this tutorial very helpful for getting started. 

Best Instant Pot Wings from MomAdvice.com Once you have trimmed your wings, you are ready to toss them with salt and pepper. 

Next, you will add one cup of water to the bottom of your Instant Pot and rest your rack on top. Although I used water, I have also used chicken stock that has been leftover in my fridge. 

If you don’t have my rack, you can also use the rack that your pressure cooker came with. 

Rest the seasoned chicken on top of the rack, seal your Instant Pot, and then set the Instant Pot for High Pressure for 5 minutes. You will allow the Instant Pot to do a Natural Release for 5-10 minutes. 

natural pressure versus quick release diagram

What the Heck is Natural Release?

Not sure what the difference is between Natural Release and Quick Release? That’s okay! This appliance definitely comes with a learning curve. 

I found this diagram that should help visually explain the big differences between these two types of venting. 

When we are told to Quick Release our pressure cooker, that just means that you are going to turn that steam release handle (located on your lid) to the Vent position on top. This allows all the steam to come out fast and at once. 

When we do Natural Release though, we just allow our pot to cool a bit on its own and then after 10 minutes, the steam that is released will be much less and the float valve will drop naturally over time.

Keep in mind, this does not adjust cook times, but only the length of time you are waiting to start working on the next step in the recipe (our broiler finish!).

Remove wings from the pressure cooker and place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with tin foil and has a baking rack on top to allow the circulate underneath. 

With a basting brush, you can apply your favorite barbecue sauce or you can really spice them up with buffalo sauce or hot sauce. Since our family is wimpy-wimpy-wimpy, we stick to our Sweet Baby Ray’s.

Since the chicken wings are fully cooked, you will not need to bake chicken wings ahead of time. Instead of deep frying these, we rely on the less messy and lower calorie option of just broiling the wings for about five minutes on each side.

I also love any dish that doesn’t require me to shred the chicken for preparation. Once you slide these out of the broiler, you are ready for dipping and eating these.

Please do keep your eyes on the oven though because they can burn on top if they aren’t carefully watched and may need adjusting during the broiling.  

Best Instant Pot Wings from MomAdvice.com Best Instant Pot Wings from MomAdvice.com

 

Once these are done, slide them into a serving bowl and pair with your favorite dipping sauce. 

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do and I’m thinking it is going to be the perfect recipe to tailgate with. I can imagine preparing a batch of these in my pressure cooker and then throwing them into my slow cooker to keep warm for game days.  

This isn’t the only Instant Pot recipe that I’ll be sharing this month though. I’m also looking forward to sharing a pot roast pressure cooker recipe that I perfected that I just know you will want to add it to your menu planner too. 

Best Instant Pot Wings from MomAdvice.com

 

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 pounds
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 cup water (or chicken broth)
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Trim your chicken wings by following the instructions that I linked to above. Once trimmed, toss with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour water (or chicken broth) in the bottom, place the steaming rack inside, and finish by putting your chicken wings within the rack.
  3. Lock the lid, select High Pressure and adjust to 5 minutes.
  4. While the wings are cooking, prepare a baking sheet with tin foil and a baking rack that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Pour your sauce you will be using into a bowl, to baste on your chicken.
  5. Allow the pressure cooker to come to a natural release (I give it about 10 minutes) after the timer beeps, release the steam valve and then place the wings on foil-lined baking sheet.
  6. Broil the wings for 4-5 minutes (watching carefully to prevent charring). Flip the chicken wings over and brush the other side with barbecue sauce. Broil that side again for 3-4 minutes. Place on platter and serve with your favorite dipping sauce or additional barbecue sauce.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Looking for more fun tailgate ideas? Check these posts out!

Gluten-Free Meatball Sub Bites from MomAdvice.com try these gluten-free meatball sub bites

this slow cooker pumpkin chili is always a tailgate winner

you can’t go wrong with these sweet potato fries with a lemon meringue dipping sauce

this diy bar cart was made from a tool cart and a coat of spray paint. go, team!

 

 

 

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Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Do you love pumpkin recipes and are on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free recipe to share for the holidays? Add this spiced pumpkin bread to your cooking agenda today! 

It has been surprisingly cool already here in the Midwest. As soon as those temperatures dip, this girl is ready with a few cans of pumpkin. If you are as excited as I am, you are really going to enjoy the blog this month because I tend to go ALL THINGS PUMPKIN in the kitchen.

Last Fall, I finally perfected a gluten-free pumpkin bread that I have held on to share with you until this year. I have tested this recipe on friends and family and NO ONE ever suspects that this quick bread doesn’t contain gluten.

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe buy this pan for an impressive loaf

To spice up my infatuation for pumpkin  even more, I decided to snag this beautiful pumpkin bread pan for my holiday baking. This  created such a beautiful loaf that my family, honestly, hesitated to eat it. 

They never suspected that it requires exactly the same amount of effort as a regular standard loaf. 

I was, in fact,  so tired from making this beautiful artisan loaf that they volunteered to clean the dishes. 

I love the trickery that I get away with around here.

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe flashback to our pumpkin patch days- how did my kids get so big?

Back in my early days of blogging, I helped write food and craft content for Kenmore for over eight years. There were many intimidating things I had to try as their spokesperson that really pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Filming a YouTube contest for them (and receiving the YouTube feedback- OUCH!) was one of those challenging things I did for the brand. 

The other? 

It was working their kitchen booth at an American Baby convention.

I was asked to create and share a few of our family recipes, to be created for the thousands of attendees that would be at the event. 

Not only would I be making food for thousands, I also was supposed to hand out recipe cards with my picture and website on them to let them know who I was.

Those weeks leading up to the event had me in an absolute panic. 

You see, I thought they were asking ME if I would make all the bread for everyone and I had never cooked for more than twenty people. 

I laid awake all night trying to think about how this would be done in their kitchen booth space and how awful it would be if my recipe didn’t turn out. 

I am not kidding that I was CRYING about PUMPKIN BREAD for weeks.

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe I, nervously, arrived that morning, prepared to give all the attendees food poisoning and bad bread.  

As we prepared the booth space, I admitted to someone in marketing that this would be my first time cooking for so many people and that is when she started giggling.

“Amy, you aren’t making the bread for everyone. You couldn’t possibly make that much, not to mention, we don’t want anyone to get sick.” 

Hahaha. LOL. 

To my surprise, they had sent all my recipes to be prepared in a commercial kitchen by legit chefs. 

My REAL role was just to stand there, show them how to mix the ingredients, give samples, and distribute recipe cards.

Now that’s something that I could do. 

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

You know that whole, “Fake it until you make it,” stuff that they say you should do in business? 

It just goes to show that maybe you shouldn’t always sell something you can’t really do.

They did allow me to bake a couple of loaves though to hopefully lure people down to our booth space. It was amazing  how many people started traveling to our booth because the smell of the pumpkin and spices were so darn enticing in that huge space.

I’m not sure if milkshakes really do bring all the boys to the yard.

It could just be this pumpkin bread.

Now that you have heard my horrifyingly embarrassing story, let’s talk about some frequently asked questions that you might have about making your first batch of gluten-free pumpkin bread.

Don’t worry, this recipe is so much easier than you think!

How to Make My Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Best Gluten-Free Flour for Baking the gluten-free flour mix that I swear by

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

How Do You Make Gluten-Free Quick Breads?

In all seriousness, I swear by this baking flour as the perfect cup-for-cup substitution for your all-purpose flour. Typically, I find the texture of many flours to be gritty and a little off-putting. 

Can you mix up your own gluten-free flour mix?

Of course, you can.

I have to admit that I’m one of those moms that just hasn’t made time for it, especially since discovering how good this flour works in many of my recipes. 

I have not had a recipe fail on me yet with this flour blend.

The best part is that it does not contain the xanthan gum so you have more control over this addition when tackling all of your baking.

This dairy-free loaf gets its brown hue from the combination of pumpkin pie spice and ground cloves. 

You may notice the loaf in the fancy pan looks darker than the standard loaf. This is simply because the loaf has been inverted and you are seeing the bottom on the decorative loaf! 

Don’t have any pumpkin pie spice in the pantry? No worries at all! You can snag a recipe to mix up your own pumpkin pie spice from the spices you have in your cabinet

The bread has been sweetened with granulated sugar (rather than brown sugar) although you could sweeten it up with a handful of chocolate chips or some coarsely chopped walnuts to try out different flavors. 

Pour your batter into prepared loaf pans (sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment paper so you can remove them from the pan easily). 

Be sure to allow these to cool completely (room temperature) so that your loaf holds together. Gluten-free baked goods have a tendency to fall apart easily if they haven’t been allowed to cool completely. 

Despite these two loaves being in entirely different pans, they both took the same amount of time to cook.

If you are concerned if the middle is done though, be sure to test it. The best way to check (without damaging your loaf) is to have a toothpick inserted to poke the center. If it comes out with batter on it, you will need to cook it a little longer! 

What Type of Pumpkin Do I Use- I Get Confused at the Grocery Store?

One of the biggest mistakes I made, when first starting to cook with pumpkin, is picking up the wrong type of pumpkin at the grocery store. If you see a can that says, “Pumpkin Pie Mix,” (it looks like this), you do not want this type of pumpkin for your baking. 

Pumpkin Pie Mix is intended to just be mixed with milk and eggs to create pumpkin pies really fast. Lucky for you, you don’t need anything like that because you have this recipe in your back pocket.

Instead, you are looking for canned pumpkin (that will look like this) because it is ONLY pumpkin and allows you to add in your own sugar and spices to create your dishes. 

As you can see, the labels are almost identical and this can really throw people off when they are shopping for their recipes. 

What Else Can I Use Canned Pumpkin For?

I mean, what *can’t* you use pumpkin for? Our family loves pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin chili, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin lattes, and even pumpkin pasta.

If that isn’t enough recipes for you? I can’t wait to share more this month!

Why Is It Even Called a Quick Bread?

Quick breads come together…well, quickly. The reason they are called this though is because these batters can be mixed up and then baked immediately, thanks to the addition of ingredients like baking soda and baking powder. 

Basically, if the ingredients don’t include yeast and a rise time, they are often referred to as quick breads. It’s not limited to bread recipes like banana, zucchini, or pumpkin breads though. It can also include muffins, cornbread, or quick rolls (like drop biscuits). 

Erin Waynick

I Don’t Need to Be Gluten-Free. How Can I Make This Bread and Retain That Gluten?

Well, aren’t you lucky?

This recipe is so easy to convert because the only gluten-free substitution we are making is the cup-for-cup flour substitution. If you don’t need to make this substitution, just make it with regular ol’ all-purpose flour. 

What is the Best Way to Store My Quick Breads?

Do you need to store the loaf if you ate the whole thing in one sitting?

I’m asking for a friend.

Should you have any pumpkin bread leftover, I have found a good airtight container is good to have in your arsenal. I found mine at our local Home Goods. These discount retail shops are a great place to shop for food storage solutions.

Remember, this does yield two loaves so you can always store your second loaf (or share it with a friend) 

What is the Best Way to Freeze Quick Breads?

You can freeze your loaves after they have cooled, to be enjoyed later. If you want to freeze them, I like to wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap, a layer of tin foil, and then place these loaves in an airtight freezer bag. 

Make sure to clearly label the bread as well as the date that you froze it. These loaves can be frozen for up to six months! It makes this recipe a perfect one to prepare and share for the holidays. 

How Long Should I Cook it If I Do This Pumpkin Bread in Mini Loaves?

Mini loaves are such a great way to share bread with others. Just look at how many loaves you can make with this pan!  They also make great hostess gifts. Although there is no “perfect” amount of time necessarily (because it depends on the type/size of the pans), I did find this advice very helpful for making time adjustments.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of today’s recipe and am looking forward to sharing more fun pumpkin recipes in the upcoming weeks! 

 

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
 
Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe from MomAdvice.com. This gluten-free flour makes gluten-free baking a cinch. Learn how you can spice up this loaf with chocolate chips or nuts for your own unique pumpkin combination. Storage tips for quick breads, how to pick the right canned pumpkin, and ideas for making creative loaves with bakeware are all included in this step-by-step post.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin (read which pumpkin to buy at your local grocer in the post above)
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour (I recommend this brand for best results- I am always sad to hear when people attempt substituting and don't achieve the best results)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (I have even been known to throw in 3 if I’m wanting those spices to be a little bolder)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans (I recommend this pan for best results or this pan to make the pretty loaf I have featured).
  2. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend.
  3. Mix in eggs and pumpkin.
  4. Sift flour, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts or mini-chocolate chips (1 cup) if desired.
  5. Divide batter equally between prepared pans.
  6. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes.
  8. Using sharp knife, cut around the edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
 

 

Here are 3 of your favorite gluten-free recipes on the site!

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe 5-ingredient gluten-free pizza dough recipe

gluten-free meatloaf recipe gluten-free meatloaf recipe

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken gluten-free orange chicken recipe

This post contains affiliate links.

Herb Baked Tilapia Sheet Pan Meal

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

 

Try this easy sheet pan meal for your next family dinner! This herb baked tilapia & asparagus bakes in under 15 minutes!

I don’t know about you, but I can never get enough sheet pan meal recipes! Today I wanted to share one of our tried-and-true family favorites  that I think you will love as much as I do. This herb baked tilapia sheet pan meal is gluten-free and can be prepared with a side of asparagus, all on one pan. This is an affordable meal that can serve a crowd and is simple enough that you could even get your kids in the kitchen to help you assemble these cheesy and crunchy toppings.

The preparation is pretty similar to my 5-Ingredient Salmon Sheet Pan recipe, but this time we will be preparing a crunchy gluten-free topping for the fish instead of a simple seasoning. If you don’t need to watch the gluten, you can substitute this ingredient with your favorite Panko or breadcrumb topping.  After trying several brands of crunchy coating, this is my favorite recommendation, if you end up needing the gluten-free version (like me!).

I also recommend splurging for the fresh tilapia, if you can swing it, because the fish is typically thicker than the frozen variety. It helps the fish to retain its moisture, while it is baking, and is also a little more filling.

If you have teenagers, you know that filling these kids up is a full-time job! #mamaisbroke

If you are trying to stay under budget though, the frozen fish does well, but will just cook up a bit quicker in your oven!

Here is what the dish looks like when it is prepared on the sheet pan. I lined my pan with nonstick foil, to help make clean-up a little easier! Underneath that layer of herbs & panko, you will find a cheesy layer that is prepared with just cheese and mayo.

Have issues with mayo?

I bet you will get over it when you mix that with cheese.

I mean, it is CHEESE!

You can also use your own substitution for mayo that works for your diet plan.

I have heard great things about this one!

Although, I know you aren’t here for my TED talk on this recipe, I have a pretty funny story about this dish.

When I was working for Kenmore, they asked me to share some of my favorite family recipes and they had them all printed up on gorgeous recipe cards to hand out at the Chicago Baby Show. Not only did they want to hand them out, but they told me that they wanted these dishes prepared for the attendees so people could eat samples as they walked through the different booths.

When I read how many people normally attend the Chicago Baby Show, I started to get spicy armpits.

I pride myself on my ability to feed many people, but what was this going to look like feeding THOUSANDS.

Also, why exactly did that think I was capable to cater this event?

The weeks leading up to the event were agonizing, but I couldn’t tell them that I couldn’t possibly do this. Our family was on the struggle bus financially so I had to do my best with this incredible job that I had been tasked with.

When I showed up, I put on my apron and was ready to go, spicy armpits and all!

That’s when they told me that the food was being prepared by someone else and I was just supposed to hand out my recipe cards.

Moral of the story?

Get the specifics on your jobs before you agree to do them and get ready to fake it until you make it!

I hope you enjoyed my TED talk on this fabulous dish.

In the end, I would prepare it for you, but not for thousands.

I hope you can give this one a spin at your house and can’t wait to hear what you think!

Herb Baked Tilapia Sheet Pan Meal
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Try this easy sheet pan meal for your next family dinner! This herb baked tilapia & asparagus bakes in under 15 minutes! If you are using a thicker cut of tilapia, you can double the topping for double the crunch!
Ingredients
  • 4 (4 to 6 ounce) tilapia fillets
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup gluten-free panko crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • olive oil (for drizzingling on vegetables)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Adjust your oven rack to the second one from the top.
  2. Using a paper towel, blot the tilapia to soak up any moisture. Place tilapia on a sheet pan lined with nonstick foil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cheese and mayonnaise. Spread evenly over fish.
  4. In another bowl, combine panko, Italian seasoning mix, salt, & pepper. Sprinkle over fish.
  5. Trim the asparagus ends. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt. Arrange the asparagus next to the tilapia.
  6. Bake 12-15 minutes
  7. Turn your broiler on high and finish with 2 minutes of broiling to get a pretty golden hue on your fish and to make sure the cheese coating is cooked all the way through. Make sure you keep an eye on it so your topping does not burn.
  8. Serve immediately with a little chopped parsley on top.

Looking for more easy dinner ideas? Here are a few of our favorites!

5-ingredient sheet pan salmon meal

5-ingredient caprese pork chops

gluten-free orange chicken

3-ingredient instant pot ribs

3-ingredient instant pot pulled pork

one pot gluten-free mac & cheese

5-ingredient gluten-free pizza crust recipe

This post contains affiliate links! Thank you!

 

 

 

Simplifying Your Holiday Gatherings

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

You will love these strategies for hosting memorable gatherings without the stress.

I’ve got everything from cooking shortcuts to decorations that transition through the seasons to your perfect playlist! 

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

Now that Halloween is behind us, it is time to start thinking about all of those upcoming holiday gatherings. Hostess duties can often feel stressful and overwhelming, don’t they? That is why I’m excited to be partnering today with Honeysuckle White to share some fresh ideas for hosting your next gathering without the stress.

I learned that if I wanted to connect with my friends and family that I often had to be the one to step up to bat and offer to host. I have discovered, over the years, that so many people feel intimidated by hosting and are often self-conscious of things like undone house projects, their limited cooking abilities, or not feeling like they have that perfectly sized space for the ideal gathering.

The thing is, our own intimidations rob us of precious moments with those we love and the people that REALLY and GENUINELY love us will always, always be thankful to you for creating space in your home and day for them.

That is, truly, why I am excited to share that Honeysuckle White recognizes how precious our time is and wanted to take out that intimidation factor by providing a brilliantly easy turkey product that will make gatherings so much easier on busy moms.

Even better?

You can order it right through Amazon.

And, ladies, I KNOW we all have Amazon ordering down pat! (*ahem*)

Say hello to the world’s easiest holiday dish, the NEWS Honeysuckle White Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast “Turketta”, inspired by the flavor profile of porchetta!

I gave ordering one of these a spin and really was surprised how well-seasoned and easy this was to execute for my Friendsgiving gathering this week.

In your package (that arrives right on your doorstep!)  you will get one of these beautiful roasts that serve approximately 4-6 people.  The packages arrive frozen and you can thaw it for an ASAP gathering or you can tuck this in the freezer for a future meal.

The bird is perfectly seasoned, boneless (no carving- woot, woot!), and requires just a simple quick sear on the bottom and baking.

This isn’t the only option you can have delivered. They also are offering Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast, a Honeysuckle White Fresh Traceable Whole Bird Turkey, & the Honest Turkey Whole Turkey.

Even better, for a limited time offer, MomAdvice readers can get 15% off using my coupon code 15MOMADVICE.

I can really get behind this company and the work they do with farmers, especially after having the opportunity to tour one of the farms.

The company is committed to raising their turkeys without growth-promoting antibiotics and no added hormones or steroids.

They also are committed to supporting independent family farmers to provide family farm-raised turkeys.

I don’t know if you know this, but my great-grandpa was a farmer and that is why that commitment and their true love for these families really warms my heart.

Now that you have the turkey covered, here are a few other ideas for a simple gathering of great friends and great food!

Send Out a Small Invite

I have done loads of large gatherings, but I find the best gatherings are often the intimate ones with just a couple of close friends so you can really catch up.

A friendsgiving need not be a large gathering and the invitation does not need to be a formal one.

Text invitations are perfectly acceptable, especially during such a busy season.

Also, allowing mamas to bring kids is a blessing to the mom (who won’t have to cook) and to you (to get to love on your friend’s beautiful kiddos especially since your kids are tweens/teens and you now have to FORCE YOUR LOVE on them).

 

Keep the Sides Simple

Roasted vegetables are an easy side that can be prepared a day in advance.

In fact, storing your carrots and potatoes in water overnight will yield a much crisper roast than if you cut them up immediately.

Toss your prepared vegetables in olive oil, kosher salt, and your favorite dried seasoning (I’m a thyme girl!) and roast them at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

Love perfectly roasted potatoes?

Cut baby potatoes in half and put the cut side down on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with aluminum foil and is lightly greased. You will get a perfect roast every time AND they are so good that my kids call them mom’s french fries.

It goes without saying, but lining the cookie sheets with tin foil or parchment paper squares is also an excellent way to cut down on dishes!

Skip the Baking

Thankfully, there is no need to bake since we have so many delicious options for desserts that are already made and available for purchase at our local markets.

You can still make these purchased desserts feel really special though with quick homemade touches.

Spicing up your whipped cream, adding crunchy toppings, or adding details with pie cutters or an embossing rolling pin (made from refrigerated pie dough) are all fun ways to make pies feel special and more homemade.

This post offers 5 strategies for making store-bought pies feel special that I think you will find REALLY helpful for the holidays and even an idea for packaging up mini pies as a parting gift at the end of the night.

replicate my table with this easy tutorial

Think Evergreen When It Comes to Home Decorating

In the blog world, evergreen content is king. It means that we really focus on creating timeless pieces that can be shared over and over again and always feel relevant.

This is the SAME WAY we can approach our decorating. Purchase or DIY things that are neutral and can be used over and over again throughout the seasons. A bit of faux greenery, a roll of kraft paper (DO buy this– it’s such a affordable investment for decorating and gift wrapping), white plates, and loads of candles are perfect for ANY occasion.

Adding simple seasonal touches, like the small bundles of sage I gathered with cotton twine feel very Martha-y, but cost only a couple of bucks to pull off.

Stop pulling out and storing seasonal bins and buy a few items that you can use over and over and over again.

You can’t imagine the stress you will relieve yourself of!

Set the Mood

Before I go, I have one more fun fact for you…I used to be a glorified D.J. for my college’s radio station.

Music is essential to me like breathing and food.

Growing up, I played the violin, sang in the choir, did musical theater, and had parents who were crazy about music too.

I am also the one that hogs the microphone if you karaoke with me.

To me, a solid playlist for special occasions is oh-so-necessary.

Don’t have time to make one?

How about if I shared mine with you!

Also, as a thoughtful introvert, I have included three goodbye songs at the end that you can feel free to boot those up after the meal when you just need to retreat to your Snuggie and Netflix.

Hopefully they catch on..I know, “CLOSING TIME,” is a very, very subtle exit song!

I have embedded it here for you so be sure to bookmark this awesome post and give me a follow for more fabulous dinner music.

Now hurry on over to order your turkey and don’t forget to use my coupon code 15MOMADVICE to snag your 15% off!

this post contains affiliate links

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup will fulfill all those Panera cravings MINUS the gluten!

One of my absolute favorite soups is Broccoli Cheddar Soup and it is my ultimate Panera weakness. Unfortunately, their version isn’t gluten-free so this week I decided to break out my Instant Pot and do a little recipe-testing.  Broccoli cheddar soup is one of those cheesy comfort foods that a gluten-free girl can REALLY get behind.

Oh, I should say, if you haven’t hopped on the Instant Pot game yet, I encourage you to JUST GO FOR IT.

Seriously.

It is the best gadget ever and is relied heavily on throughout our week to make fast work of soups, sauces, and tender meat.

If soups are going to be in your Instant Pot rotation too, I highly recommend two tools that will REALLY improve your enjoyment HIGHLY of this gadget.

The first is this type of lid that will make it easier to serve and reheat your soups for family meals.

There is nothing more awkward than trying to open and shut the sealing lid, amiright?

The other thing I absolutely love is this gadget that allows you to store your soup right in the pot in your fridge without any messes or spills.

If you can’t wait to get your pot back for the next meal though, many people also purchase additional inserts so that they can store a soup for their week as well as continue keeping the Instant Pot dishes in their rotation.

You can bet that an additional insert is on MY Christmas list this year.

And while we are on the topic of gadgets, if you haven’t bought one of these yet, it is a workhorse in our kitchen.

I, honestly, can’t imagine making soups or sauces without it…not to mention all that frothing of milk for my lattes at home.

I promise, I only recommend what I really love and TRULY use in our kitchen.

Making gluten-free soups that are thick and creamy can be a challenge. If I can offer any advice, adding this flour to our pantry has replaced a lot of my difficulties with modifying recipes to make them gluten-free. It’s an affordable solution that doesn’t require any master mixing or extra effort. Who couldn’t get behind that?

You will want to take your time though, once you add the flour to your pot, and really work hard to keep stirring and adding that liquid gradually to prevent your soup from being riddled with clumps.  It helps to take your time with this element and, remember, you will get that time back thanks to how quickly this cooks in your pressure cooker.

I’m sure it goes without saying that freshly grated cheese will always yield a better dish, but I also live in that whole “ain’t nobody got time for that” mindset on most weeknights.

GUYS.

It’s survival mode over here most days.

Can I get an amen?

I hope you love this recipe as much as our family did! We paired it with my easy make-ahead chicken in bulk recipe in gluten-free wraps with a drizzle of ranch.

If you are trying to do more meat-free nights, it also goes great with a little bread for dipping and some apple slices to round out this satisfying bowl of soup.

Be sure to scroll down for some more of our family favorites after the soup recipe!

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Break out that Instant Pot for this satisfyingly filling Instant Pot Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Not gluten-free? No problem! Replace the gluten-free flour with your gluten-y version.
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup gluten-free flour (this is the brand our family prefers)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • 1½ cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Plug in and turn on your Instant Pot. Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot (you want to make sure it is set to Normal) and give it a few minutes to warm up. Add the butter. Once melted, add diced carrots and cook three minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and flour. Allow the flour to cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Next add a small amount of your vegetable stock, incorporating this in bit by bit while stirring constantly and eliminating any lumps in your soup base.
  3. Hit cancel on your Instant Pot to turn off Sauté function. Add your broccoli in the pot, seal with the lid, and set your Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 8 minutes.
  4. At the end of your cooking time, do a quick release of pressure and open the lid. Add in your paprika, pinch of nutmeg, and salt to taste.
  5. Stir in cheeses and mix well until it has melted. Add in milk and cream. Taste again to double check your final seasonings.
  6. If you have an immersion blender, you can use it to blend the soup or you can carefully pour half of the soup in a blender and blend it well and add it back to the soup pot.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. When reheating, you can add additional vegetable stock or milk to thin the soup back out.

 

Looking for more great dinner recipes? Here are a few others that are a big hit with our family (AND READERS!) You can also visit our RECIPE section of the site!

3-ingredient instant pot ribs

instant pot korean tacos

instant pot indian vegetable rice

asian turkey and green bean saute

gluten-free meatloaf recipe

 

gluten-free chicken noodle soup

shrimp fried rice

baked orange chicken meatballs

balsamic pork loin sheet pan meal 5-ingredient gluten-free pizza dough

one pot gluten-free mac & cheese

What is your favorite way to use your Instant Pot? Have any questions about this gadget? Leave them below and I will answer them in a future post!

this post contains affiliate links

How to Make Pumpkin Hand Pies

Monday, October 8th, 2018

When I was a kid one of my favorite treats in the world was an apple pie that they served at a fast food restaurant in town.

The flaky crust in a pocket filled with the warm apple filling was the perfect comfort food to me and it always seemed to be the perfect amount to satisfy my sweet tooth craving.

Clearly, I am no food snob when it comes to the humble pie whether it is from a box in the grocery store or a local diner.

Just give me ALL THE PIE.

It should come as no surprise that my children adore pie like their mother so I wanted to create a treat for them that would be deemed one of the coolest after school snacks I have made to date.

Of course, we are creating the only pie worth making, at least according to our household.

For us, it is the incredible pumpkin pie that truly brings together the flavors of fall in every delicious bite and makes it feel like Thanksgiving… even if it really is just another boring Monday.

Of course, I have a little secret in the refrigerator now that I am a busy mom.

These little treats couldn’t be easier to prepare thanks to store-bought pie crust that saves me a lot of time on treats (and dishes).

With a little pumpkin shape placed on top of each delicate pie and dusted with cinnamon and sugar, this treat looks impressive, but can be pulled together in a matter of minutes.

These would be just perfect for a fun Halloween lunchbox treat or to celebrate the season any other day of the week! Best of all, since the filling calls for just a cup of pumpkin puree, it is the perfect way to use up a leftover can that might be taking up space in your refrigerator.

If you haven’t made a hand pie before, it couldn’t be easier. You can use a floured cup as a circle cutter or a biscuit cutter to cut out your circles. Add a tablespoon of your filling to the tops of each of your circles and then add an identical circle on top to pull the pie together. To make sure everything is secure, I seal and add pretty scores with a fork.

Want to make it even easier? Can I recommend this handy gadget?

It’s amazing for making lunchbox sandwiches too! I promise, you will get a lot out of it!

shop seasonal pie cutters HERE (SO many fun ones!!)

To add a little decoration, I love to buy seasonal decorative pie cutters that add a little detail to the edge of my pies, decorative edible touches to a dessert table for the holidays, and happen to add the perfect detail to these hand pies.

To secure these adorable pumpkins, I brushed the pies with an egg wash and then rested this on top, brushing again lightly with the egg wash.

It adds a beautiful touch and shine to the crust and makes these pretty pies into a little work of art.

I hope you can share these treats with someone you love this month and I look forward to sharing more fun fall ideas with you on the blog. Looking for a traditional pumpkin pie for the whole gang? I can’t recommend this tried-and-true recipe enough!

Don’t want to make pie at all?

I feel you.

Check out these ideas for decorating those store-bought pies!

Speaking of more fun fall projects, scroll below the recipe for a few of my ABSOLUTE FAVES!!

Pumpkin Hand Pies Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This fun semi-homemade treat has all of your favorite pumpkin pie flavors in a single size version. Be sure to snag some fun pie cutters to really make these festive! Need to make these gluten-free? No problem! Simply switch your prepared pie crust to a gluten-free version!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅜ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 packages prepared pie crust (make sure to bring this to room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon and sugar to garnish
  • Optional: This handy tool and decorative pie cutters
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and heavy cream. Set aside. Unroll your room temperature pie crusts. Using a 2½ inch biscuit cutter or the opening of a drinking glass as your guide, cut out your circles. Remember, however many you can cut out of your first pie crust, you will want to try to do the same amount on the next pie crust to create your toppers. The amount you can get will depend on your circle size that you are punching out.
  3. Place your first half of your circles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  4. Add in about a tablespoon pie filling, then place a dough circle on top. Press together with your fingers to seal them. Then use your fork to seal and create a pretty edge to the pie.
  5. Whisk one egg in a small bowl and then brush on top of the dough.
  6. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a big glass of milk or a dollop of whipped cream for a sweet treat!

here are a few of our most popular fall projects on the site right now!

autumn burlap wreath tutorial

doughnut hole ghost cake (no baking necessary!)

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this post contains affiliate links!

How to Make Pumpkin Hand Pies from MomAdvice.com

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Meal Prep Idea: Shrimp Fried Rice

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Shrimp Fried Rice from MomAdvice.com

Do you love fried rice as much as I do? Shrimp Fried Rice is a fantastically frugal dish that allows you to use up leftover odds and ends in your fridge and transforms them into incredible lunches for your busy week.

Last year was my first time making fried rice, if you can believe it. Somehow I managed to mess up this easy-to-prepare dish with a poorly scrambled egg. Instead of breaking it apart, like you would a scrambled egg, I whipped the eggs into the rice and created a carbonara fried rice. Not terrible, but not awesome either.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com If you haven’t made this dish before, a great way to insure that you don’t end up with the carbonara mess that I created, is to shift your veggies to the side and make space for your eggs to scramble. Once fully scrambled, then you fold them into your rice, yielding a dish that tastes a heck of a lot like one of my favorite takeout classics (minus the heavy grease).

Fried rice is known as a frugal chef’s dream recipe because you can use leftover rice and give it new life with a little sesame oil, soy sauce, veggies, and your favorite protein.  This is a great dish to clear out those odds and ends in your fridge and can even be prepared with alternative rice options, like cauliflower rice, if you are watching your carb intake.

One of my most used appliances is my inexpensive rice cooker because I don’t have to babysit my rice while it cooks. You can learn how to make great brown rice in your rice cooker in this handy tutorial.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

My daughter said that she doesn’t know a kid that doesn’t love fried rice and begged for me to put this on our menu more regularly.  As we make an effort to eat less meat, this is a filling and fun way to enjoy a meat-free night at your house.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com shrimp-fried-rice-recipe-meal-prep (7 of 9) Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

This dish is so perfect for meal prepping for your lunches. I filled these shallow sandwich containers with a bag of green grapes and some prepared edamame for a delicious lunch. I can’t tell you how fast these went in our house and I plan to make this more regularly, now that I have finally mastered the art of the egg scramble.

Shrimp Fried Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
A frugal chef's dream dish made from leftover rice and veggies. Try this shrimp version for a meat-free night at your house!
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound medium prepared fresh shrimp
  • 2 cups veggies (I use a frozen mixture of green beans, peas, and carrots)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt to taste (keep in mind the soy sauce is salty so go lightly!)
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat sesame and canola oil. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes or until pink and done (careful not to overcook!!). With a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add your choice of veggies and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one more minute.
  3. Scoot your veggies to one side and add your scrambled eggs to the other side (see the picture in this post for guidance). Scramble the eggs well.
  4. Finish by adding the cooked rice, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Add the shrimp and toss well.

 Looking for more meal prep ideas? Here are a couple that might also help!

Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs from MomAdvice.com baked orange chicken meatballs

Back to School Meal Prep Ideas from MomAdvice.com back to school meal prep ideas

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com

I hope you loved today’s dish and looking forward to sharing loads more meal prep ideas with you!

This post contains affiliate links.

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