Thursday, July 26, 2018

Instant Pot First Timer.

So this Instant Pot craze, y'all.  I was a holdout.  I didn't think I needed it.  I didn't think I'd use it.  I had a crockpot.  What was the big deal about the Instant Pot?  I didn't get it.

When it popped up for 50% off during the Amazon Prime Day sale, I thought about it.  But then it sold out before I could grab it so I was all "Oh well.  No biggie.".  

And then it came back.  

And the more I thought about it and the more Pinteresting I did for Instant Pot recipes, the more I decided I should just go for it while it was half off.  And if I hated it or never used it, I'd just give it to my mom or mother-in-law or whoever may want it.  

Yesterday, I asked for some of your favorite Instant Pot recipes in my FB Group and one of my best girlfriends ended up texting me a giant list of her favorites.  #thankyouDani  

I also learned that a lot of you have Instant Pots that you've either never taken out of the box or you've used it once and haven't bothered since.  ;)  Maybe this will give you the inspiration to bust it out again!

I scrolled through Dani's list and ended up choosing a recipe for chicken spaghetti for my very first Instant Pot attempt.  So here's how it went.

I pulled everything out of the box and was thankful that there weren't 4 million pieces that I had to figure out and wash.  I rinsed the actual pot with warm soapy water and attached the condensation cup thing to the back.  I made sure the switch was flipped to "sealing" (I think that's what it was called...?) and started my recipe.

I adapted this recipe from here.  I changed it a little bit but not much.

So if you've never used your IP before, here's how mine went.

The first thing I did was dump in my Rotel, chicken broth, raw chicken, and seasonings.

The recipe said to use the pressure cooker setting for 10 minutes to cook the first part.  So I set it to 10 and it just said "On".  I didn't know what that meant...there was no noise or any indication that I was doing right! The timer went off after about 10 minutes but then it immediately switched to saying "10" and started counting down.  But what did that mean?!!  Was it done or was "On" just some sort of pre-heating thing?  I had no idea so I just left it in until the actual timer went off after 10 minutes.

So technically, my chicken was in there for 20 minutes.  I'm not sure if I did this part right... Anyone?  Do I let it heat up first and THEN add my food?


But thankfully, it didn't seem to matter.  


After my timer counted down from 10 minutes for real this time, I read in my manual that I was supposed to flip the switch on top to venting so that it would release the pressure.  It only took a couple of minutes before the steam stopped.  And then I opened up the lid and took my chicken out. Perfect!!

The recipe said to then switch it to saute on "less" but when I pushed "saute" nothing happened.  So I ended up pushing Cancel and then saute.  I had to push it until that little orange light switched over to "less".  I guess I did that right?

Then I added in my spaghetti.  I used Vermicelli because it's our favorite for any kind of spaghetti dish. It's basically just really thin spaghetti. The recipe called for 8oz so I just guestimated 8oz from my 16oz box.

I let it cook for a few minutes and when it looked just about ready, I added in half a block of cream cheese and a few handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese.  When that was all melted, I stirred it together and then added in my chicken that I had chopped up.  And that was it!

I was a little nervous that it was too watery at first but it thickened up after I stirred it all together.


YUMM!

I loved it.  It took me about 25 minutes from start to finish but that's with all my starting and stopping and reading the instruction booklet and texting my girlfriends to see if I was doing it right.  Next time, it will probably take about 15.

There were just a few things I changed from the original recipe.  I had no onions so I just skipped those.  I used vermicelli instead of spaghetti.  And I may have added in one extra cup of cheddar cheese.  ;)


FULL RECIPE: (FROM 365 dAYS OF CROCKPOT)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (10 oz) can of Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilies) I used mild
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth OR 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 tsp Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • 1 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Hidden Valley ranch seasoning (not quite a whole packet)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 8 oz uncooked thin spaghetti (I used vermicelli)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (half a brick)
  • 2 cups grated medium cheddar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the entire can of Rotel into the Instant Pot. Add in the chicken broth, chicken, onion, ranch seasoning, garlic salt and paprika. Give a quick stir.
  2. Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the pressure cook button (mine says “manual”) to 10 minutes on high pressure. When the timer beeps let the pressure release on its own for at least 5 minutes. If you have time do a full natural pressure release. If not, move the valve to “venting.” Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board.
  3. Turn the pot to “saute” setting. Put it on the lowest saute setting (mine says “less”). Add in the uncooked spaghetti. Stir every minute or so. It will take about 5 minutes to cook. While the spaghetti is cooking, shred the chicken.
  4. When spaghetti is almost cooked stir in the cream cheese and the cheese until it is melted. Stir in the chicken.
  5. Serve spaghetti immediately if possible. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

We ate off paper plates because I've been crazy irritated lately at all the stinking dishes that have been in my sink at the end of the day!  I can't take it.  And I'm so over it. So unless we're eating steak, you better be using a paper plate.  ;)

So like I said, I loved the spaghetti.  It was creamy and cheesy and perfect comfort food.  However, Craig said it was good but he'd like it more with less cream cheese.  He always has issues whenever a recipe calls for cream cheese so I wasn't surprised to hear him say that.  So maybe next time I'll use 1/4 of a block of cream cheese instead of half.  I think this would also be good with Velveeta instead of cream cheese.  My mom makes a trashy, yummy chicken spaghetti with Velveeta and cream of mushroom soup.  Tastes like home.  So I may try that next time.

As for cleanup, it was a breeze!!  I took the pot out and let it soak in soapy water overnight and will either put it in the dishwasher today or handwash it.

I have to say that my first Instant Pot attempt was a raging success.  In a nutshell, these were my favorite things about the IP.

1.  EVERYTHING was done in one pot.
2.  Cleanup was a breeze.
3.  It cooked SO FAST!
4.  Even with all the buttons, it really wasn't hard if you are following a recipe.
(And I don't know how to cook without a recipe.)

I am definitely eager to find a new (slightly healthier) recipe to try next.  Anyone have any suggestions???  Please leave your favorite IP recipe in the comments!  There are so many on Pinterest that I don't even know where to start.

As for Instant Pot options, I'll add a few down here.  I have no idea what the difference is between all of these.  I thought there was one Instant Pot but apparently not.  But I've found some for as low as $49 on up to $180.  I have this one which seems to be a mid-priced option and is a 6 quart. I can't wait to use it more!

And y'all...before I go I have to mention something that is COMPLETELY off subject and I know I'll bring it up again tomorrow for Friday Favorites BUT.  If you are looking for a new bra-a perfect bra-then you HAVE to try this one.  It's in the Nordstrom Sale right now and it took a while for it to ship which I took to mean it was in high demand.  But most sizes are still available now. It's got pretty straps and molds to you so nicely!  I don't need a ton of padding but it's got just enough to keep you modest, #ifyouknowwhatImean.


I'm a 34D...and I'm 36...and my boobs are natural...and I breastfed two kids.

So a good bra is super important for me!  This one had me at hello, y'all.  The second I put it on I fell in love.  And five minutes after that, I was online ordering it in black as well.

I'll talk about it more tomorrow I'm sure but since it's part of the NSale and everything is selling out, I wanted to mention it while it was in stock, just in case! (almost $30 off!)

Find it here.  And do I also need it in that pretty blue!?  ;)

See you back here tomorrow for some fun Friday Favorites!  And if you love favorites, fun finds and great deals, you will love my FB group!!  I am constantly browsing the internet for deals and fun stuff that you may love and I post it in my FB group.  If you haven't joined it yet, please do!

If you have any advice or good recipes for this Instant Pot, please leave them below!


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9 comments

  1. I still haven't jumped on the InstaPot bandwagon, but I want to. Keep posting your recipes and tips/tricks, please!

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  2. We LOVE our instant pot! We made general tso's chicken in it the other night, and it was amazing!

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  3. I follow Weight Watchers lifestyle and I don't see an IP in my future because most of the recipes I have seen aren't really conducive to our lifestyle of healthy eating but I have a blogger for you who has posted numerous times over about her converted crockpot to IP recipes! Mel Larson....http://thelarsonlingo.blogspot.com/ she has some great recipes you might like!

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    Replies
    1. Laurie S1:59 PM

      I was going to recommend Mel's blog and recipes, too! Her food looks SO GOOD!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous7:53 PM

      Yes! I was going to recommend Mel's blog as well! You're correct - her food looks so goooood! :)

      Delete
  4. I had the exact same questions/feelings as you when I first used mine. When it says 12 minutes of cooking time, you always need to remember it will take like at least 10 minutes more for the instant pot to heat up and for the contents inside to come to pressure (this is why you have to make sure the valve is switched to closed and not vent on the lid every time.) I use mine frequently - but not all the time. I like it because it doesn't heat up the kitchen, meat is always tender and perfect in it in a short amount of time and you really can do all the things in it. I think it makes perfect rice. I love that I can cook frozen chicken breasts in it and when they're done, I drain the water, get out my hand mixer and use that to shred them right inside the pot. Super handy. I made this recipe last week and I think it's one of the best things I've ever made in the instant pot. https://www.melskitchencafe.com/instant-pot-slow-cooker-smoky-honey-chicken/

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  5. I just can not decide about the IP! So many people are split on it. Either love it or haven't ever taken it out of the box. I LOVE my crock pot but can't decide if I'd love the IP as much. I'm not on FB but wish I could see all your IP recipes and posts! Love the blog :)

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  6. I've had mine a year and still have no idea if I'm using it right. It definitely takes time to "pre-heat", I make chicken in it often and it doesn't start counting down until about 10 minutes after I put the chicken in and seal. The only recipes I've made are the same ones I've used for my slow cooker, it's just SO much faster. Frozen chicken, you can dump in barbecue sauce, buffalo sauce, salsa, or just a little salt and pepper and have shredded chicken in 20 minutes total! I also made a pot roast once in less than an hour that was super tender and delicious.

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  7. It makes the PERFECT hard boiled eggs!!

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