Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

My friend Lissa and her family are in town this week! So fun! We’re all about sharing recipes with each other, and we’re both definitely drawn to ones that are quick and easy but over the top tasty. As soon as I saw her this week she said she had a new one for me: macaroni and cheese cooked in a pressure cooker in six minutes. SIX MINUTES. Speaking my language, girlfriend.

The recipe originates from this bookwhich may have found its way into my Amazon shopping cart. I added some frozen mixed vegetables to it because, hey, vegetables.

By the way, this Fagor Multi Cookeris the pressure cooker I have. I’ve had it since 2009 and use it several times a week — still going strong!

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

Instructions

  1. Add pasta, chicken stock, water, butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, salt, and pepper to pressure cooker
  2. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for six minutes, then quick release
  3. Stir in cheddar and Velveeta until melty and creamy; let everything sit for five minutes before serving if you want it to thicken up a bit (I found it didn’t really need it)

Informal poll! How many of you have a pressure cooker? What’s your favorite thing to make in it?

Baked Elvis oatmeal

I’m not a stranger to baked oatmeal, but I love how Beth of Eat. Drink. Smile upped the ante with the addition of all her yummy fruit! I adapted her recipe a bit to use up what we had (super ripe bananas) and to add something both my kids are guaranteed to eat: peanut butter!

Baked Elvis oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 very ripe bananas, fork-mashed
  • 3 Tbsp butter (see instructions)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (see instructions)

Instructions

  1. Combine oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl
  2. Heat the butter and peanut butter together in the microwave till just melted, then let it cool slightly
  3. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients; add in the egg and beat well, then add in banana and butter/peanut butter mixture and stir well
  4. Pour into a buttered 8-inch square baking dish, and bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes.

 

This is such a great breakfast, and easy to keep around for snacks as well! Be sure to check out Beth’s original post for all her awesome fruit combinations, too. What fruits will you try with it?

P.S. Lost without Google reader? ME TOO. But try this: Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

With just a few weeks to go till baby girl makes her debut I am all about easy recipes and shortcuts right now. When Pillsbury asked if anyone had any simple recipes to share for the holidays I knew this was for me! (Click here to see all the cookie ideas — there are definitely more I want to make!) These cookies have one of my favorite combinations, and the colors can be changed up for any celebration. The fact that Kiddo can easily help me with them makes me love them all the more.

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 chub Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough
  • Red and green chocolate candies
  • Colored sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Sprinkle colored sugars onto plates
  3. Scoop up about an ounce of cookie dough and tuck a few chocolate into the middle. Roll the dough between your hands to make a ball with the candies hidden inside; repeat with remaining dough until you have 16 cookies, about 1 1/2” each.
  4. Roll each cookie in colored sugar so all sides are covered. Place 2” apart on parchment lined cookie sheet without flattening dough.
  5. Bake at 350° till golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips:

  • This is a great project for kids! They can poke in the candies, roll the dough, and love working with the sugar.
  • Customize the colors of the sugar for any holiday or team! What about taking these to a tailgate?
  • When baking with kids, use a pencil to mark an X on the underside of the parchment paper where each cookie should go; the mark will show through and show kids where to place cookies so they’re well spaced.
  • Colored sugar is found in the grocery store baking aisle, or can be easily made by stirring a couple drops of food coloring into 1/4 cup of white sugar (that’s what we did).

Cheeseburger macaroni

I found this recipe at KevinandAmanda.com and it is such a keeper! I’ve made it three times already, and it easily converts to a freezer meal — something I’ll be needing before too much longer with baby girl on the way. It’s got a little kick of spice to it without being overwhelming, and it’s just such a comfort food. It’s everything you wanted that supper-in-a-box to be. ;)

Cheeseburger macaroni

Ingredients

    • 1 lb lean hamburger meat
    • 1 pkg taco seasoning
    • 1 can Ro*tel
    • 2 cups beef broth or water
    • 1 cup elbow macaroni
For the sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown the hamburger meat and drain off any grease, then stir in taco seasoning, Ro*tel, broth or water and macaroni. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium/low and cover; simmer for about 12 minutes or until macaroni is tender
  2. While it’s simmering, make the cheese sauce: in a saucepan melt the butter then whisk in the flour. Cook while whisking for about five minutes until the roux turns light brown, then keep whisking while you pour in the milk and bring to a boil. Keep whisking (see a trend?) until the mixture is smooth and thick, then remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese till it’s completely melted in. Add in the salt and pepper, then pour over the hamburger mixture and stir it all together. Supper is served!

Notes

To make this a freezer meal let the macaroni cook for only about six minutes, but complete other steps as written. Pour the whole thing into a casserole dish then cover with a layer of plastic wrap then a layer of foil; when it’s cooled off, pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to heat it up, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes or so until heated through.

Yogurt, revisited (the lazy method)

I’ve been making yogurt for about three years now, and no matter how I do it one thing never changes: each and every time I am amazed that it actually turns into yogurt. Amazed.

My method has evolved a bit over the years, and my friend Vanessa pointed out recently that my super lazy method never made it to the blog; I’m here to remedy that. My sweet friend Ginger from Mars Hill (it’s huge; I’m sure you’ve heard of it) taught me this one, and it’s brilliant.

Yogurt, revisited (the lazy method)

Ingredients

  • You will need:
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. starter yogurt (1 Tbsp. of a previous batch, or of any yogurt that says live and active cultures; ideally one that does not have pectin)

Instructions

  1. Turn your oven on to 350F for one minute and turn it off, and turn the light on in the oven
  2. In a heavy saucepan (I use an enameled cast iron one) heat milk to 180F and whisk in remaining ingredients (hold milk at 180 for about 15 minutes for super thick yogurt); let it cool to 120F and plop in the tablespoon of starter yogurt
  3. Put a lid on the saucepan and stick it in the slightly warm oven for 5-8 hours or overnight

THE. END. Do you see what I’m saying? Lazy and easy. Please to enjoy.

Two step cupcakes

In the fall of 2002 we sat down in our cellblock seats at a Predators game and said hi to the couple sitting next to us.

Fast forward almost ten (!) years, and we’re still friends with that awesome couple. The fact that Tracy brings me cupcakes when she comes to visit sure doesn’t hurt that friendship. I’m just sayin.

She brought me these and I am just fascinated by them!

Two step cupcakes

Ingredients

  • One box cake mix
  • One can of soda

Instructions

  1. Mix cake mix and soda
  2. Bake according to box directions

Tracy made this particular batch with chocolate cake mix and a diet cherry Dr. Pepper. CRAZY good, and Tracy tells me that baking 24 cupcakes with the mixture makes them one point each, for those counting such things. Isn’t that insane? And there are lots of different combination, too. White cake mix and orange soda? Spice cake and Sprite? Go crazy! What else sounds good?

Pumpkin muffins

Behold: my breakfast from now till Christmas!

These are such a lovely start to the morning. Warm and comfort food-ey and delicious even without any butter on them. I’m afraid this is another one of my scrawled-on-a-piece-of-paper recipes so I’m not sure where I originally got it, but I’ve been making them forever.

 

Pumpkin muffins

Yield: 36 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients till just combined — lumps are okay — and fill prepared muffin cups 1/2 to 2/3 full; bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Some easy edits if you have the urge to health these up a bit:

  • Cut the sugar — these are lovely and sweet but would still be yummy with less sugar (although when you divide the sugar by 36 muffins it’s not so bad)
  • Replace 1/2 cup of the oil with 1/2 cup applesauce
  • Replace half the flour with whole wheat flour

These freeze wonderfully! I freeze them flat on a cookie sheet then drop them in a zip top bag; I take out one every night and it’s thawed by morning when the coffee is ready. You can also pop it in the microwave for a couple seconds to warm it up. Quick and easy comfort food!

Edited to add 11/12/10: Ooh I just found something! For a decadent version of these involving cream cheese check out these from Family Bites!