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Pandemic experiments with the Instant Pot

I got an Instant Pot as a Christmas gift last year and must admit it was intimidating. Our first few tries were not exactly "wow" and we debated re: what all the initial fuss was about. So...we reverted back to our regular kitchen routines.

Then Covid came and our quarantine saga began with a LOT more meals for our whole crew at home. We stocked up on ingredients and made a lot of our favorite things. And made them again. And then we got tired of cooking and the endless parade of dishes. Oy, the dishes!

At some point the same-old rut got tiresome and I rallied to try some new recipes, including pulling out that still-shiny Instant Pot which had been sheltering in its own isolation quarters.

We started with some basics, selecting some recipes off Pinterest.

We made rice, chicken & potatoes, steamed broccoli, sweet & spicy carrots, and boiled eggs.

I was skeptical about the rave reviews of how eggs steamed in the Instant Pot would be so easy-to-peel. After the first batch, I was convinced....and got to making deviled eggs!

I gradually got bolder in my ventures with the Instant Pot, ordering a spring-form pan and a silicone steamer basket to try some additional recipes from a cookbook I had received as a gift.

Although Pinterest is a great resource, sometimes my family just needs the consistency of a go-to recipe in a cookbook that's readily available in our kitchen. I like to add notes about what worked - or didn't - along with measurement adjustments or other variations to try next time.

It's a bit of an adventure, pioneering our way through new recipes and cooking techniques. My hope is that our experimentation broadens our palates and creates some family memories during these pandemic days. If we discover some new favorite dishes along the way, then that is a happy bonus!!


Homemade Hummus

During my pantry stock-up with pastas and beans, I got some dried garbanzo beans. Also known as chickpeas, this legume is a great source of plant-based protein. I intended to add them to soups, but that didn't ever happen.

In this wintry season of dips and hearty snacks, we've been nibbling on crackers and carrots dipped in store-bought hummus, so we decided to try our own homemade version.

We didn't realize how much one batch would make, so we divided it up and added different flavorings to have more variety.

Served up with veggies and crackers, it was fresh & yummy!

Tip: You can freeze hummus in ziploc bags. When you're ready to serve, simply thaw and stir in additional seasonings to rekindle the flavor and even out the consistency.


We're still experimenting with our lil Instant Pot and getting used to its steamy quirks.

We became instant fans of Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Topping. We need a little more practice to get our Sweet & Spicy Carrots just right for our preferred taste...


The Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal was a hit. My boys loved the Sausage & Cheese Frittata and several variations of it since. (Sometimes we have to finish it off in the oven to firm it up.) The Cinnamon-Raisin Baked French Toast was tasty, but again we had to finish it off in the oven under the broiler.

That's kinda what cooking is all about, isn't it? Adjusting things as we go and putting our own spin on dishes to make them "ours."

Do you have one of these nifty kitchen gadgets? Have you overcome your intimidation of it? What recipes have you tried and would recommend? Red rover, red rover. Send those hit recipes right over!!


*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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Apr 29, 2021

For a twist on dyeing our Easter eggs, I did them in the Instant Pot this year. The colors were quite vibrant (using vinegar helps). It was a fun little experiment for a small batch of hard-boiled eggs.

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Wow! They are very pretty!

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