Monday, April 16, 2018

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

From Mel's Kitchen Cafe

These were easy and tasty but maybe a little heavy. Next time I might try 2 full eggs or a little less flour - or maybe a touch of baking powder. I really like the ease of bar cookies for Sunday dinners.



  • 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 (3 1/2 ounces) cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (10 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (semisweet, bittersweet, milk, white, peanut butter…the options are endless!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch so you can grab those edges and pull the brownies from the pan after they have baked. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, salt and baking soda together until well combined. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until evenly combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add the flour. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon start folding the flour into the wet ingredients. After a few stirs (with streaks of flour remaining), add the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks and mix until combined. Don’t overmix, just stir until no dry streaks remain (sometimes I use my hands as the dough gets thick).
  4. Press the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until the bars are light golden brown on the edges, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, 24-28 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the foil overhang and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve.

Barbara's Red Cabbage - Instant Pot

We have German heritage. My mom didn't cook often - this was one of her dishes. It's originally form the Betty Crocker Cookbook - now available here.
I modified the instructions to work with Instant Pot


medium head red cabbage (1 1/2 lb), thinly sliced
slices bacon, diced
small onion, sliced
cup packed brown sugar
cup water (or chicken stock)
tablespoons white vinegar
teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper

I like to add 2 sliced apples
Set Instant Pot to Saute and cook bacon. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add all other ingredients.

Set Manual pressure to 10 minutes

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Waikiki Meatballs

An old family favorite - from Allrecipes

Waikiki Meatballs

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In

"Beef meatballs flavored with ground ginger, simmered in a sweet pineapple sauce."


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2/3 cup crushed saltine cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks - drained, with juice reserved
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, milk, ginger and salt. Shape mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into meatballs.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place meatballs in skillet and cook until evenly brown, and meat is no longer pink. Drain excess fat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Mix until smooth, then pour into the skillet with meatballs. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and pineapple chunks. Heat through.

Pot Roast - Instant Pot

I like this recipe because the veggies are added at the end so they don't get mushie.

From Bread Booze Bacon


Instant Pot Old-Fashioned Pot Roast with Gravy & Vegetables is the best pot roast I've ever made. This easy, one-pot dinner is a family favorite!
 Course Main Dish
 Cuisine American
 Prep Time 35 minutes
 Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
 Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
 Servings 4
 Calories 939 kcal
 Author Julie


  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown or yellow onion diced
  • 14.5 ounces low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (If I don't want to open a can of tomato paste, I ass a squirt of ketchup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 red potatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Remove roast from package and pat dry with a paper towel. Season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. Turn your Instant Pot on to saute. Once hot, add the vegetable oil to the vessel. Place the roast in the hot pan and sear on each side for 5 minutes until browned. Remove the roast to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add onions to the vessel. Cook for 3 minutes until softened. Stir occasionally, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, and bay leaves to the onions. Stir until the tomato paste is incorporated. Add the roast back to the pan. Cover and lock the lid in place. With the valve on sealing, use the manual option to set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 75 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking is done. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Then do a quick release of the remaining pressure. (I use a kitchen towel when moving the valve to prevent steam burns.) Take the roast out of the pan and place it on a plate or cutting board. Cover with foil and set aside.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and add the carrots and potatoes to the vessel. Cover and lock the lid in place. With the valve on sealing, use the manual option to set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 3 minutes. After the cooking has finished, do a quick release of the pressure. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and gently toss.
  7. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and water until smooth. Then, pour the liquid from the Instant Pot vessel through a strainer. Discard any solids. Pour the cooking liquid into a fat separator. Pour 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into the flour mixture and the rest into the vessel. DO NOT pour the fat back in. Stir the flour mixture until it form a slurry and is well combined. Pour the slurry into the vessel. 
  8. Turn the Instant Pot to saute and bring the gravy to a boil, whisking often. Cook until boiling and thickened. Turn off the pressure cooker. Transfer the gravy to a gravy boat.
  9. Uncover the pot roast and cut into large serving pieces. (I discarded any big pieces of fat that were on their own.) Plate the pot roast on a serving platter. If desired, plate the carrots and potatoes around the edge of the serving platter around the pot roast, or serving the vegetables in their own serving bowl. Pour some of the gravy over the pot roast and reserve the rest for diners. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Salmon 2 Ways

I made this last night - very tasty
From Natasha's Kitchen

Baked Salmon with Garlic and Dijon

1 1/2 lb salmon fillet (this was wild sockeye)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (we used grey poupon brand)
1/2 tsp salt (we use sea salt)
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp light olive oil (not extra virgin, use oil with a higher smoke point)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Lemon slices, for effect 🙂
1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line rimmed baking sheet with silpat or foil. If you don’t line the dish, you will later regret it as you scrub the pan fiercely for a day and a half (speaking from experience).
2. In a small bowl, combine: 2 Tbsp parsley, 3 pressed cloves garlic, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Smell the mixture – it’s simply amazing!

I've heard this one is good - haven't tried it yet. 6 servings



  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • Salt for sprinkling
  • Fresh lemon wedges for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and ground mustard. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is warmed through, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. While the marinade is cooling, pour the pecans into a dry skillet and heat over medium heat, tossing frequently, until golden and toasted. Remove from heat; let the pecans cool to room temperature and then chop finely.
  3. Place the salmon fillets in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Pour the maple marinade over the salmon, coating the salmon pieces evenly. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Place the toasted, chopped pecans on a plate or shallow pie dish. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator. Dip the top side of each salmon fillet in the pecan crumbs pressing the salmon lightly into the pecans so they adhere to the top of the salmon. Place the fillets pecan-side up on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle the salmon with a pinch of salt.
  7. Bake the salmon for 20-22 minutes until cooked through but still tender inside (not overcooked). The salmon should flake easily with a fork but still be soft and not dry.
  8. Serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

I haven't tried these yet - but want to
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe



  • 6 ounces pitted Medjool or other soft dates (about 1 cup or 10-12 dates)
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) unsalted, whole almonds (roasted is fine)
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 to 2 ounces) shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) natural, unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder (I use half of each)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil (no need to melt)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt (optional)


  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a food processor and process until the ingredients are finely chopped and the mixture is crumbly (the exact amount of mixing depends on how coarse or fine you want the mixture). The mixture should hold together when a small amount is pressed or rolled. If it’s too crumbly, add a tablespoon of water (or melted coconut oil) and process again until it comes together more easily.
  2. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-size balls (I use a #60 cookie scoop for easy portions). Enjoy immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.


I always use unsweetened shredded coconut in these little bites (from Trader Joe’s or this brand online). You could definitely sub sweetened, shredded coconut (obviously they will be a bit sweeter when all is said and done).
Also, you could probably use slivered or sliced almonds in place of the whole almonds – reduce the amount slightly if measuring by volume since they’ll compact in the cup more than whole almonds (weight measure would stay the same no matter the type of almonds used). 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Spinach Frittata

Quick, easy, delicious

From Food Network



Preheat the oven to broil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until smooth. Fold in the cheese and tomatoes and set aside.
In a 9-inch, oven-safe nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach, and cook until almost set, 2 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the pan to the oven and broil until golden brown on top, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a serving plate.