Instant Pot Pot Roast

This one was a big time winner! But then, every recipe I’ve found on Damn Delicious is a winner.

It tasted like it’d been cooking all day, but it only took about an hour total.  It was PHENOMENAL. I will make this all the time, seriously. It turns a weekend meal that takes a long time and makes it a weeknight meal.

The meat was tender and fell apart. The veggies were the perfect texture, and the gravy that it makes was spot on.

I made a few changes:

  • I used brisket because we had one in the freezer that needed to be used
  • I was not able to add wine to mine because I accidentally bought a cork bottle instead of screw too and I misplaced my wine opener. I used extra beef stock.
  • I added a ton of thyme and no rosemary because I didn’t have any
  • I only set my IP for 40 minutes based on other things I read about cooking brisket in the IP. If I had used the chuck roast, I would have done what the recipe says.
  • I didn’t shred it. I just cut it up as usual. It sort of falls apart itself anyway.

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pancakes

This whole not being able to cook and bake thing is really starting to get to me. TBH, it’s making me a little bit sad. I love this time of year and the foods are so great, but I can’t do anything.  I decided to easy my blues by making Pumpkin Pancakes for breakfast.  It is super easy, because it starts with a base of pancake mix.  These turned out so fluffy and packed with flavor. It was just what the doctor ordered to get my Fall baking fix in!

Start with one of those “Just add water” pancake mixes.  Use however much of the dry mix the package directions say to use, I used 2 cups.  Then add ¼ to ½ can of pumpkin puree (you can eye ball this), 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger to equal 1 tablespoon), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and finally milk of your choice. I used almond milk. Add a little at a time to get the right pancake consistency.  You can’t really use the package directions for this because of the addition of the pumpkin puree.  You’ll have to start with a little and add stir until it is right.

Melt some butter on a griddle and cook your pancakes as usual.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

I love shredded meats like chicken and beef. I love them even more when they are slathered in BBQ sauce. This is probably one of the easiest BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and it made SO MUCH FOOD so it’s good for a crowd, or you can easily portion it out and freeze it. 

Recipe from

3.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

2 cups BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s) 

1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar packed 

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

1 Tablespoon olive oil 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

½ teaspoon onion powder 

½ teaspoon smoked paprika 

¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper 

1. Combine BBQ sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper in the basin of a slow cooker

2. Place chicken breast in sauce and use a spoon to cover with sauce.

3. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours. Chicken is done when it is easily shredded with a pair of forks.

4. Shred chicken and stir well to coat with BBQ sauce. 

I served mine as sandwiches, but you can use this for so many things like pastas, quesadillas, rice bowls, pizza, etc…

Kitchen Remodel Report, part 2:


After doing a ton of demo ourselves and finding way too many things that were above our paygrade, we decided to talk to my husband’s friend who is a contractor.  Our conversation with him initially started with just the cabinets because it was determined that with what we were looking to do, pre-built was not going to work and we needed custom.  That all turned into him and his guys coming in and taking the whole thing down to the studs.

Oh boy. We thought we were finding bad stuff before! There was old termite damage (yay for California living!) in the subfloors and some of the studs in the walls. They came in and completely replaced the subfloor and fixed the studs in the walls.

Next, we had an electrician come and check it all out. Initially, my husband was going to do the electrical, but we need a whole new electrical panel (not surprised) and it’s just way more than we were expecting. It’ll be nice though because before, we could make toast or brew coffee, but not at the same time. Also, we had three light switches that all turned on different lights in the room. And there wasn’t even that much light in the room.  This will be better. And we are getting under cabinet lights, which I always thought was pretty cool. 

Stay tuned for more, which will include, but is not limited to—because this is all full of surprises—plumbing, new floors, appliance installation, actual walls, and hopefully an end in sight.

No Kitchen Dinner: Microwave Pasta

So, they make microwavable pastas and they are really good. Bird’s Eye has these veggie pastas that are really good. Perfect to keep on hand for a quick healthy meal.

I did discover though, that you can make any pasta in the microwave.  The texture wasn’t my favorite, but maybe I tried to make too much? I don’t know, but it worked and it’s worth having a new trick in your cooking arsenal.

Put your pasta in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with water. Make sure the water is higher than the pasta by about an inch. Cover with a plate and put a plate underneath in case of spillage. Add 3-4 minutes to the suggested cooking time and microwave. Check for desired doneness.  I would suggest cooking by the serving. I did the whole package and it took forever. I think there was just too much pasta.

Then add whatever sauce you want. I love this Autumn Harvest sauce from Trader Joe’s.

No Kitchen Dinner: Rotisserie Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Grocery stores have such great options for when you can’t cook! This one almost made me feel like I wasn’t drowning in clutter around my house and things were back to normal.

Chicken: Grocery story rotisserie chickens are my jam, whether I have a kitchen or not. They are so insanely versatile, I buy them all the time. My favorite is when Pavilions has their $5 Friday specials, otherwise, the ones at Costco are my go-to because they are much bigger than the other ones. 

Sweet Potatoes: Trader Joe’s to the rescue again! Seriously, if you don’t have a TJs near you, you should move to where there is one and live happily ever after. I found these in the frozen section. They are little gems of mashed sweet potatoes that you cook in the microwave. You just take out however many discs you need (12 discs is 2 servings) and heat ‘em up for a few minutes.  I then add a little ghee and a touch of maple syrup. Perfection. I’ll buy these to keep on hand anyway!

Brussels Sprouts: I’ve been using my Instant Pot a lot as a substitute for my skillet, which has been met with mixed reviews. The saute function on the IP isn’t really meant for long-term cooking; more so for browning or thickening up a sauce at the end. I’ve made it work, but it isn’t ideal because you can’t control the heat. I made my usual brussels sprouts by sauteing bacon in a little bit of olive oil and adding chopped leeks and a little minced garlic. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until softened and browned to your liking.