Thursday, July 6, 2017

Some Mean Ol’ Baked Beans

Oh my god, y’all.

I got on this Instant Pot train. My mommy got me one after giving birth to this bebe.

I think half of her felt bad for me, watching me walk around all zombified and crying the emotional hormone roller coaster. The other half heard about the greatness we shall refer to as IP, and she was curious. Lucky for me.

I need to make an IP video. I am obsessed with this thing, and I. HATE. GADGETS.
I’m constantly purging and donating things away, get them out of my house.

But this thing is the real deal. Legit.
YOU. NEED. ONE.

I want to make an infomercial.
I was obsessed with infomercials as a kid. I used to take bubble baths with my Granny, and we would play Mary Kay, and I would give her facials and masks while I sold it on QVC. In the tub.
I was a real go-getter.

Anyhow, just to be sure I really needed this thing – my mom and I even played with real pressure cookers first. She gave me her new hand-me-down stovetop pressure cooker as she began to upgrade.

I used it a lot. And was pretty happy with it.
But it did require a lot of babysitting. You had to wait for it to build pressure, then start the timer, regulate the heat, turn the heat off, the kitchen got hot, lots of steam came out, I was hot, the baby is crying, I’m crying.

Just kidding, I actually broke it before the baby was born.
I had made steel cut oats a couple times in it, and one time the pressure built up and blew the valve off.
Wait no, the baby was here! I remember I picked him up and we went in the other room until I heard it stop.

It’s ok, you can laugh, I’m laughing.
That must’ve been when my mom felt bad for me.
Lucky me.

Anyhow, she ordered me one, and her and I played with it a lot. She was here daily with me and the baby for the first few months. We were impressed. Here’s my two cents.

  1. It doesn’t heat up the kitchen like the stove.
  2. It only lets out a small burst of steam as it first builds pressure, and most recipes I naturally release, although it does cook under slightly less pressure than a conventional cooker, so it’s always been less noisy in my opinion. Point – less noise.
  3. NOTHING HAS STUCK TO THE BOTTOM. I burnt plenty of things trying to regulate the heat in the old one. Everything I have made in this just glides right out. EQUALS EASY CLEAN UP. And I got a baby, y’all. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
  4. No babysitting! I set the time, push the button, it cooks, and naturally releases and turns off. I literally walk away and come back 30-60 min later, depending on what I’m cooking, and it’s perfection.
  5. Frozen chicken breasts = 30 minutes (plus build-up time)
  6. EGGS!! Hardboiled eggs!! I HATE PEELING EGGS. I’m terrible at it! The magic of the IP beholds us yet again, the peels slide right off. Seriously.

And this could all be yours for the low price….!! Are you ready? I’m serious, YOU NEED ONE OF THESE IN YOUR LIFE.

Meal prep central. The slow cooker is so 90’s.

Alrighty, all this inner QVC brings me back to my beans.
I love baked beans.
Here in Texas, BBQ is big. Most people’s standard is some type of ranch style beans, charro beans, cowboy beans, whatever you fancy to call it.

But I always like me some sweet Molasses BBQ baked beans, just like my granny would make.
We would take family picnics to the Redwoods in Northern California, and Grandma would pack up the cold BBQed chicken, and bake these beans in her Corningware dish, wrap the whole thing in layers upon layers of newspaper and masking tape.

It leaked every time. Every. Time.
But layers upon layers of newspaper and masking tape there were.

We would run around the forest, I would pretend I lived in Bridge to Terabithia, and my grandpa would take a nap on the picnic table. We’d spend a few hours relaxing, then pack it all up and head home, and my grandma would tell me stories of the Native American lovers Falling Rock and Running Deer on the way home.

 

…. So, I’ve been obsessed with these beans in the Instant Pot.

No need to soak, 40 minutes cooking time, plus pressure build-up and release, no babysitting, no mess, no spilling in the oven, no soaking dishes.

Just good ol’ sweet, thick, tangy, baked beans y’all.

Get you some.

~ Peace, Love, and Insta-Beans Y’all.

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Granny's Mean Ol' Baked Beans

Yield: 10

Ingredients:

16 oz dry Navy beans
1 diced medium yellow onion
1 T Worcestershire
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
2 T tomato paste
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 ham hock

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the Instant Pot, making sure there is enough liquid to cover the beans.

Set cook function to bean/chili, and increase cooking time to 40 minutes.
Naturally release pressure for at least 15 minutes, before releasing remaining pressure and opening lid.

Serve warm.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Earthquake Cake

 

Good Evening.
Tonight’s post is brought to you by late night cravings.
Ooey, gooey, cream cheese and chocolate cake, with toasted pecans, warm halfway melted chocolate chips, and coconut.

Funny thing is, I had saved this recipe as a draft over a year ago. February of Two Thousand and Sixteen.
Before my sweet little bebe was even a twinkle in my eye.

I had even shot photographs of the cake back before I was like *OMG I don’t have time to get out my DSLR (sob, sob), how am I supposed to take pictures?*

And then, with the magic of a forward facing baby carrier, 10 minutes in the bouncer, and a helping husband who may or may not have been covered in sweat from getting our camping gear down from the attic –

ANYWAYS. I got it done! I baked a cake!

Everything with a kid takes ten times as long now.
And for someone like me who runs a million miles an hour 20 hours of the day, it’s taught me a lot about patience.

We are *not* running on my schedule anymore.

So it’s like, sprinkle the coconut, check on the baby.
Sprinkle the nuts and chocolate chips, wash hands.
Tell the dog to stop licking the baby.
Stir the cake mix.
Holler at husband in the attic and ask him to hold said baby because it’s almost bed time and you just need 5 more minutes to throw the cake in the oven.

But, through the power of teamwork, and a little grace and serendipity from the universe, it got done.

And boy was it good.

I’ll take shortcuts where I can get them.

Back when we were DINKs, I may have made the cake from scratch.
Heck, if bebe is at Nonna’s house, I’ll make a cake from scratch.

But tonight, it’s cake mix, and gooey add-ins.

This cake is so terrible, you probably don’t even want to bother making it.
Go ahead, swallow the drool in your mouth. It’s a real waste of time.

I shall NOT eat a piece for breakfast tomorrow with my coffee.

You know – my mom helped me lose all my baby weight. She made me eat a loootttt of spinach. Like we basically toss it into every recipe, except this one.

I’d better save a couple pieces and give the rest away – STAT.

So, go gently and lovingly ask your husband to run to the store real quick to get you some cream cheese, because I know you have all the other ingredients.

Stir it all up. The coconuts and pecans get this caramelized glazed chewy thing going on.
OHMUHGAWSH it’s good.

The cream cheese does it’s seismic thing and mixes all up in there and keeps the whole thing moist as all get out.

The chocolate chips stay all halfway melted. Ugh, hold please.
I’m fighting a craving.

Just go and make it and tell me what you think, k?
Also, I’m loving this snapchat thing, come find me.

~Peace, Love, and Seismic Cakes Y’all

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Earthquake Cake

Yield: 10-12

Cook Time: 45 min

Ingredients:

1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray 9x13 glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
(glass baking dish works best)
Sprinkle coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips on bottom of the baking dish.

Prepare cake mix according to directions on box. Mix cake mix, 3 eggs, water, and vegetable oil in a bowl. Mix well, some lumps may remain.

Pour cake mix over the coconut mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer. Once creamy, add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Once fully combined and creamy, spoon the cream cheese mixture into 6 or 8 large spoonfuls on top of the chocolate cake mix. Using a knife, swirl the cream cheese mixture into the cake, creating a marbled appearance. Do not over mix.

Bake for 45 minutes, check for doneness with a toothpick. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving with an ice cold glass of milk.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Well, Hello.

Hey all.

Funny thing happened.

I miss blogging. So very much.
And then, like, the universe kept sending me all these signs that I needed to pick it up again.
People kept asking me about my blog. I received a few comments, private messages… that notification where google tells me my site views spiked for a day.

Little moments of synchronicity.

Oh, this other thing happened.
We had a BABY.
That’s a pretty big deal. But my blogging heart was calling me…. I’ve spent the past months trying to work through details in my head.

For example, I have no time to use my DSLR, edit pictures, and upload them while having a bebe. So, I decided, I’ll figure out how to use my phone. Lots of bloggers do it. In the meantime, be prepared to put up with some really awkward photos while I figure out angles from my phone. It doesn’t sound like it should be hard, but I know there will be a learning curve.

So I’m going to ignore all the negative talk in my head, and stop worrying about how overwhelming it is to keep up with social media.

I’m just going to write a few minutes a day, and let my heart lead the way.

The good news is, no one is reading my blog nowadays any-who. *heh*
I’ll stop freaking out about what I should bake and do I have the ingredients and what am I going to do with all this food and is it healthy and what if the baby starts crying.

See where my head goes? Hey, real talk here.
Heart to heart.
I’m being vulnerable.

 

So wish me luck, pop in when you feel like, and let’s see where this thing goes.

 

~ Peace, love, and life changes y’all
xoxo