Friday, February 18, 2022

Instant Pot Ham and Gnocchi Soup


Do you ever get the burning notice on your Instant Pot? I did on this recipe because of two reasons….1. According to the package instructions for the Instant Pot the unit gets too hot for milk recipes, it will scald. 2. When using the sauté method make sure the bottom of the pot is clear of anything stuck to it. (Sometimes deglazing doesn’t work.), before you switch over to cooking under pressure. If you don’t, you will see the “burning” on the display. 

It states in the instructions that the unit will stop cooking once the burning notice is displayed and then continue when it cools down. Well with this recipe, knowing I did both no no’s, once it cooled down I transferred the soup to my Dutch oven. Next time I will use my Dutch oven for the sauté step in the recipe’s directions and add it to my Instant Pot with all the other ingredients. 

I also believe since I used the Instant Pot to sauté it was already very hot when I switched it over to high pressure. Would it if made any difference if I used low pressure? Thoughts? Serves 4-6 Total Time: under 30 minutes 



4 tablespoons butter 

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)

2 tablespoons minced garlic 

1/2 cup flour 

1 quart half & half

Instant Pot:

1 cup celery, chopped (3-4 stalks)

1 cup carrots, shredded or chopped (whichever you prefer)

2 cups spinach, coarsely chopped 

28 oz chicken broth or vegetable broth 

1 pkg. gnocchi 

2 cups ham, diced (you can also substitute with chicken)

1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes 

1/2 teaspoon thyme 

Salt and pepper, to taste 


To avoid burning in my Instant Pot I’m going to sauté in a Dutch oven. Melt butter on med/high then add onions, cook until translucent. Add in garlic, cook additional minute. Add in flour and stir until flour is completely combined with onion mixture. Add in the half & half and stir until thickens. 

Add onion mixture to Instant Pot with remaining ingredients. Close steam valve, high pressure for 4 minutes, then use the quick release method when done. Enjoy 

PS. If you think the soup is too thick add more broth. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

How to Make Lemon Cream Cheese Stuffed Muffins

 I usually don’t bake, but couldn’t resist these Lemon Cream Cheese Stuffed Muffins. These can be great with your cup of coffee in the morning, partner with a salad for lunch or as a replacement for bread or tortillas at dinner. I know that baking can get kinda messy and you have to unearth your entire kitchen to make something….but these are worth it. Makes 12 muffins Total Time: 45 minutes unless you have to do two batches then a little over an hour. Why two batches? I only had a 6 count cupcake/muffin pan, not 12. Yes, I could of cut the recipe in half, but I’m glad I didn’t. 


2 medium size bowls

2 small size bowls

12 count cupcake/muffin pan and 12 paper cupcake liners

Measuring cups and spoons


Hand juicer

Hand mixer



Streusel Crumb Topping:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt (unless you are using salted butter)

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter 

Lemon Muffins

1.5 cups flour 

1/4 teaspoon salt (again not if you are using salted butter)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup softened unsalted butter 

3/4 cup sugar 

2 eggs

2 tablespoons lemon zest (1 used 2 large lemons for zest, using microplane)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon lemon extract 

2/3 cup plain yogurt (I only had honey yogurt which is fine)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (I used just 1 of the lemons to juice with hand juicer)

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz. Softened cream cheese (I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds)

1/4 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 


 3/4 cup powdered sugar 

Left over lemon juice, add to preferred texture 


Preheat oven to 350. Line pan with liners, set aside. In a small bowl add the crumb topping ingredients and combine until coarse crumbs form, set aside. 

In a large bowl add the dry ingredients then the butter, mix until butter is combined with dry ingredients. Then add the rest of the lemon muffin ingredients, using your hand mixer start out slow until combined, then faster to create a smooth texture with no lumps. 

In another medium bowl softened the cream cheese then mix it with the sugar and vanilla extract using your whisk, again for a smooth texture and no lumps.

To assemble muffins add enough lemon muffin mixture to fill at least 2/3rds of paper liner. Add a dollop of the cream cheese filling in the center of the muffin. Top each muffin with the streusel crumbs. Bake 22-25 minutes in your preheated oven until topping is golden brown and center is set. 

While baking make your glaze in a small bowl. Add in the left over lemon juice until you get the texture you desire.

When muffins are done I took them out of the pan and let them cool for 10 minutes before I drizzled on the glaze. Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these for a get together, but then also ate the rest for dinner. The combination of a sweet mushroom with a spicy sausage, also stuffed with onions, garlic, spinach and croutons make a great combination and a hit at my small party. Make sure that you soften the mushrooms first and drain them before stuffing. These large white mushrooms browned up nicely in 6 minutes in my Ninja XL Foodi. Total time: 30 minutes  Serving: 3-4 mushrooms each 


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 

24 large white whole mushrooms (6 to 8 people)

14oz spicy sausage (I used a plant based sausage and no one knew the difference)

1/2 white onion, chopped 

2 cloves of garlic, halved 

Stems from the mushrooms 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

2 stalks of celery, diced 

1/2 bag of frozen spinach, thawed 

2 cups buttered stuffing 

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 


In a skillet on medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Remove to a plate cap side up to drain. 

In the same skillet add the remaining oil and the sausage, cook until browned. In your food processor or blender add in the onions, garlic, mushroom stems, celery and salt and pepper, to taste. Pulse once or twice only, then add to the sausage with the spinach, cheese and stuffing. Cook 5 - 10 minutes.

Stuff the mushrooms and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven (or ninja foodi) for 6 minutes. Serve. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Waldorf Turkey Salad


Leftover turkey?  Do you want to make something different? Try this Waldorf Turkey Salad. I wanted something on the lighter side instead of the usual Turkey Manhattan. Total time: 20 minutes Serves 2-3


2 cups of cubed turkey 

1 apple, diced 

1 cup of red seedless grapes, halved

1/2 cup chopped walnuts 

1 stalk celery, diced 

1/2 cup Mayo (I used light Hellmann’s) or to taste 

1/4th head lettuce and a handful of spinach or more if needed. 

1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella 


In a medium bowl combine the first six ingredients. On your plate add the lettuce and spinach, then the turkey mixture. Top with cheese. Serve. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

How to Make Salisbury Steaks

I loved how quick and easy this Salisbury steak recipe was. I did cheat a bit on the gravy. You can make your gravy from scratch, I used a can of mushroom gravy added some onion flakes and cooked it with my mushrooms. Serves 4 (unless there are seconds) Total Time: under 30 minutes.


20 oz ground beef

1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs 

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 

2 tablespoons dried onion flakes 

1 tablespoon ketchup 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

1 large egg, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste 

3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

6 oz sliced brown mushrooms 

1 can mushroom gravy

1 tablespoon dried onion flakes 

1 tablespoon dried parsley, to garnish 


In a large bowl combine the first 7 ingredients (through salt and pepper, to taste). I tried to use something other than my hands, but gave up. Make 4 patties. In a large skillet on med/high heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot add the 4 patties and cook until desired temperature (mine is slightly pink inside). Turn heat down to low.

In another skillet add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and on med/high heat cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add in the can of mushroom gravy and tablespoon of dried onion flakes, stir to combine. Cook a couple minutes then transfer the cooked patties on top of the gravy, but spoon some of the gravy on top of the patties and sprinkle on the parsley, cook a couple minutes then serve with your famous mashed potatoes and a side vegetable. 

Why didn’t I just pour on the gravy over the patties in the skillet the patties were cooked in? I felt there was too much grease. If you can drain the grease or remove patties and drain grease then add patties back in and top with gravy, I suppose you can do it that way too. Or transfer to a serving dish then pour on gravy. Whatever works for you. Enjoy! 


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Mama’s Goulash

 My mama's goulash was one of my favorite meals growing up. Now it's a favorite of my granddaughters. Takes only 15-20 minutes to make. Serves 4-6, but expect seconds! 


1 lb ground beef
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 15oz cans of Italian Stewed tomatoes
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
16 oz macaroni
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste


Cook the ground beef until done and set aside on a paper towel to soak up grease. Cook macaroni 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water right away to stop cooking process. In the same skillet cook the chopped vegetables until the onions are translucent. Add the meat back in then add the stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce, stir well. Let simmer 10 minutes. Fold in the macaroni then season with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Serve Yum Yum!

Monday, March 22, 2021

How to Make Beer and Bacon Mac & Cheese

Who would like beer and bacon in their Mac & cheese? Well learn how you can add beer and bacon with this Taste of Home recipe. Serves 6 Total Time 40 minutes 


2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

6 bacon strips, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups 2% milk

2/3 cup brown ale or chicken broth

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Additional green onions


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain. 
  • Meanwhile, in a 10-in. cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels. In the same pan, add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds. Stir in flour until blended; gradually whisk in milk and beer. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in cheeses until blended. Add macaroni, green onions, salt, pepper and half the bacon; stir to combine. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining bacon and additional green onions. Serve immediately.