175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes [book review]

175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes Header

Even though I have, like, two hours between getting home and going to bed on weeknights, I’m still trying to cook well-balanced meals. My issue? I’m not a fast cook! So you can see why I’m interested in the idea of pressure cooking, and why 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes caught my eye. I LOVE my slow cooker but the everyone’s into Instant Pot’s now. What on earth is that!?

OK, so I learned it’s a pressure cooker. And you already knew that. But here’s the thing. Everyone’s saying it has changed their lives. That’s bold. And I want in on that.

Except for one thing…

I’m afraid of pressure cookers

Did you hear me? I’m afraid of pressure cookers.

They’re intimidating!

But…well everyone else says they’ll change my life, so I thought I had better at least give it a try.

Reading through 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes helped calm my pressure-cooker concerns. Author Marilyn Haugen spends the first 15 or so pages going over pressure cooker basics, walking newbies like me through best practices, what to expect, and the different types of cooking you can do in your pressure cooker. Hmm…it does seem quite liberating…keep reading….

The recipes are divided into obvious sections: breakfasts, soups, stews and chilis, main courses, side dishes, paleo dishes, vegetarian and vegan dishes, desserts, and stocks and sauces. Each recipe has between two and seven simple steps and offer tips and alterations on the recipe page. After reading through a few I felt ready to attempt my first pressure cooker recipe.

I grabbed my inherited 1970s pressure cooker from the pots and pans cupboard, set out my ingredients, and placed my 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes book on the counter for reference. And then…I panicked.

What if this pressure cooker’s too old and it explodes!?

I decided to watch a few YouTube videos before starting. Watching other people use the same pressure cooker would help my confidence right?

Well I’m happy to report it worked. Wow, there’s nothing to it. This was going to be SO easy. And then I remembered what the book said and got downright excited to get cooking.

“It’s perfect for busy people who want to get a nutritious meal on the table with little effort and minimal cleanup.”

OK, I’m convinced. Pressure cooking is for me!

For my first recipe I thought I’d start simple: Easy Weekday Creamy Steel-Cut Oatmeal. Yum. Something I eat already and can make in FIVE MINUTES. Wow. This is life-changing stuff. So I set to work, and it went AWESOME! I thought the steam from the pressure cooking was going to be crazy but it wasn’t and it also wasn’t scary. I just followed the directions.

Except for one thing.

At some point I must have flipped the recipe page, I don’t know, maybe I was flipping through looking for what I would make next or something, because I noticed I was no longer making Easy Weekday Creamy Steel-Cut Oatmeal but was instead attempting Steel-Cut Oats and Farro with Dates and Coconut. Whoops. Comparing the two recipes I realized I didn’t mess anything up, I just took it all to the next level. Jumped straight to Intermediate.

What a wonderful accident. Tasty too.

Next up? Country Sausage Scotch Eggs.

Whoa.


175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes synopsis

Delicious meals in a fraction of the time that stovetop or roasting methods take.

With their many function features (some have as many as 7), electric pressure cookers help make delicious and healthy foods that are not only easy and quick to prepare, but use much less energy. Clean up is minimal, too.

Bestselling small appliance cookbook author Marilyn Haugen uses her expertise to create rewarding recipes for this ingenious small appliance. There are recipes for every meal of the day. In a hurry? Done. Low and slow? Got it. The perfect stew or roast? No problem. Entertaining? How about Coq au Vin with Creamy Mashed Potatoes?

Haugen has created super time-friendly recipes for those frantic mornings like Sausage, Hash Browns and Pepper Casserole or Quinoa, Millet and Almond Bowls. And even on the busiest of work weeks, Beef Barbacoa Tacos with Chiles can be on the table in no time flat. Butternut Squash, Quinoa and Pomegranate Casserole made the night before can just be reheated.

These inviting recipes are sure to become family favorites that will be requested time and time again. The home chef can impress family and friends with the wide variety of satisfying dishes effortlessly created in an electric pressure cooker.

Even though I have, like, two hours between getting home and going to bed on weeknights, I'm still trying to cook well-balanced meals. My issue? I'm not a fast cook! So you can see why I'm interested in the idea of pressure cooking, and why 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes caught my eye. I LOVE my slow cooker but the everyone's into Instant Pot's now. What on earth is that!?

Spice Inventory (AKA Project Impossible)

spice-overhaul

You know how things creep up on you sometimes?

For me, it’s not figurative “things” this time. It’s quite literal, and it’s taking over my kitchen.

Spices. Spices have crept up on me.

It happened innocently enough. When I moved into my condo I bought an apartment’s worth of furniture off my grandma’s friend and with it came a fully-stocked spice rack.

Then I started cooking and stuff, you know, for the blog. And sometimes my recipes called for weird spices I didn’t have so I’d go get them.

And then of course I got married and with that came more spices, mostly barbecue and meat-related.

And most recently while we were clearing out my grandma’s condo there were a myriad of spices that would have gone to waste if I didn’t rescue them.

And I couldn’t let that happen.

spice-overhaul_1

For months now I’ve been tripping over spices. And to tell you the truth I don’t even know which spices I have. If someone says “Do you have fish sauce?” I shrug and dig around the stash half-heartedly.

So I decided to do a spice inventory. It was a good thing to do, but my goodness did it take forever.

And by the end of it all I couldn’t even find my inventory anymore.

But it didn’t matter. The worst was over. I combined the triplicates, I re-labelled the unclear bottles, and I even pulled out the old mystery spices I’m afraid to use.

mystery-spice

Although I think there’s still some work to do it now all fits into one cupboard.

And I know generally what I have.

spice-in-order

You know, more or less.

Pioneering Today [Book Review]

Pioneering Today by Melissa K. Norris

Pioneering Today by Melissa K. Norris

The first reason I was drawn to this book because of the title. I mean, it has “pioneering” in it. The whole concept of a modern pioneer intrigues me.

Of course I realize reading a book about pioneering does not a pioneer make, but I hoped it would help me envision a simpler life…in a condo in the centre of a city.

Author Melissa K. Norris leaves her heart all over the pages of this book. And she not only writes about pioneering but lives and breaths it in every aspect of her life from gardening to faith to homemade gifts. It’s quite inspiring.

However, I did have to look a lot of words up. Having no experience with preserving, farming, or really anything covered in this book the tips were a little beyond my skill level. I think this is built for someone who already has some concept of what pioneering is all about and knows how to, like, use a pressure cooker. Or at least knows what one is.

At the start of each section Norris shares a story from her life to help connect the topic to real life. Then she shares some helpful tips and follows that with her favourite recipes. All in all it’s quite a unique approach to a lifestyle book.

So far I’ve tried her tips for laundry (white vinegar, who knew!?) and have put white chocolate chips on my grocery list to attempt the amazing-sounding white chocolate popcorn. When I’m brave enough, I’m going for the five-minute bread.

Want to check it out yourself? Here’s a sample chapter.

Intrepid Pumpkining

last-slice-of-pumpkin-pie

This year for Thanksgiving I felt intrepid. In the baking sense of the word.

I attempted nearly-from-scratch pumpkin pie—a definite first. I call it intrepid pumpkining.

Deciding to forego the crust I opted for store-bought but the actual pumpkin filling I went for it and pureed a pumpkin from my mom’s garden.

baked-pumpkin

It took forever.

pumpkin-pure

To keep me accountable I told both sides of the family I would be bringing pumpkin pie with me to Thanksgiving dinner…but when it came to actual baking time I was having second thoughts. I clearly recall threatening more than five times to bring store-bought pumpkin pies to the gatherings, not even bothering to hide the fact.

Yes, I was desperate.

But, well, my husband baked the pumpkin for me while I was at work and so I couldn’t very well give up before giving it a fair shot.

As per usual I didn’t know what I was doing so I looked up a few recipes and chose one based on two factors:

  1. It called for ingredients I already had
  2. It had less than five instructions

Hey, I’m a picky pie maker.

pumpkin-filling

A problem arose when I doubled the recipe to make two pies and wound up with enough filling for three pies. Because I only had two shells (and still wasn’t willing to make more). So I thought, hey why not muffins—pumpkin muffins.

pumpkin-muffins

They totally flopped.

But the pies were good!

Unfortunately I was so relieved when they finally cooked and, you know, looked like pumpkin pies I stopped there and never took a photo. But trust me, they tasted right. And stuff.

And since I was still feeling intrepid I also tried baking pumpkin seeds, which were awesome.

roasted-seasoned-pumpkin-seeds

Who knew seasoning salt, margarine, and Worcestershire sauce could combine to create something so tasty.

David Rocco Saved My Marriage

If you know anything about me it’s I love a challenge. So when the pitch to “take the Cascade and Dawn Challenge” came across my desk how could I refuse?

Also…why wouldn’t I take up the challenge? It’s so simple.

The challenge: Visit the Cascade and Dawn Facebook page and cook one of the recipes demonstrated by TV chef David Rocco, clean up with Dawn Power Lift and Cascade All-in-1 ActionPacs…and write about it.

This is all to celebrate the release of Rocco’s cookbook Made in Italy, which comes out in October.

For the past two weeks I’ve read through the cookbook and can’t believe how much I have learned. And how confident I feel!

A few of my favourite parts…

  • Learning about “quanto basta,” which means “use as much as you need/want.” How liberating!
  • The section intros are well-written and also interesting. They help you understand now only what to do, but why certain foods/ways of cooking are special. You feel a part of the club.
  • The recipes themselves are so easy to follow—and even if you don’t know how to cook Rocco says you can do it! The goal is not to perfect the recipe but to make it your own. To draw upon his recipes as inspiration for your own life.

Mostly based on what I already had on hand I opted to try a recipe called pasta con pomodorini (pasta with cherry tomatoes).

In the intro Rocco explains this is a mid-summer dish but my deck tomatoes are only just ripening so I figured I was safe.

Also I’m sorry for the photo of my ingredients. No matter how hard I try I can’t make my poor basil happy. Sad.

Anyway, this is literally all you need to make a really delicious dish and it takes as long as the pasta needs to cook (also Rocco explains how he likes to cook pasta—a revelation!).



The clean-up was pretty much no big deal. My husband pointed out there is so much olive oil in the recipes everything pretty much falls off the plates anyway.

Hah.


But it also clears up an ongoing argument we’ve been having. I keep saying you don’t need to rinse (pre-wash in my opinion, silly!) dishes before they go into the dishwasher but he says you do. This was an excellent test of Cascade to prove once and for all, I am right about everything in life.

So, thank you David Rocco!