Avocado Deviled Eggs

I really love using an instant pot for something like hard boiling eggs. It really does take the guess work and timing of making the perfect hard boiled eggs and that leaves you with time to come up with unique ways to devil them.

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Eggs, Instant Pot, Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6-12 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Water

Instructions

  1. Add water to the Instant Pot and place the metal trivet inside. 

  2. Place the eggs on top of the trivet and seal the Instant Pot. 

  3. Press the manual button and set the timer for 5 minutes. Wait for the cooking process to finish and then wait another 5 minutes. After the five minutes are up vent the Instant Pot and allow the steam to escape. Be carful during this and don’t stick your face over the valve. I learned that the hard way. 

  4. Remove the eggs from the Instant Potand place in an ice water bath for five minutes.

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Easter Side Dish, Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs hard boiled
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp mashed avocado
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • salt to taste
  • fish ground pepper for garnish
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Sliced peeled hard boil egg and slice in half and remove the yolks. Place the yolks in a mixing bowl and mash.

  2. Mix all the other ingredients (other than ones listed as garnish) into the mashed yolks. Mix well.

  3. Place the mixture into a Ziplock back and cut the corner of a the bag with scissors. Pipe the mixture into the egg yolks.

  4. Sprinkle the eggs with the garnish.

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Baked Ziti

This baked ziti recipe is a family favorite. It’s quick to make, budget friendly and gets on the dinner table in no time at all. This recipe has been around since I was knee high to a grasshopper and my mother passed it down to me. Of course, I could not leave it alone with out making a tweak or two. Sorry mom.

It’s been a while since I made baked ziti because I have been working on other new dishes. But the teens have been bugging the heck out of me to make it again. So I decided to make it and share it with all of you. As with all my recipes make it your own. Leave out pepperoni if you don’t have it. It will still taste amazing.

Baked Ziti

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Baked Ziti, Paste
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Ziti
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 jar Spaghetti sauce
  • 3 oz Pepperoni
  • 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan shredded
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350.

  2. Cook ziti according to package directions and drain

  3. While water is boiling for ziti, over medium heat add olive oil and brown sausage, onion and garlic.

  4. Once sausage has been cooked add spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning and bring to a boil, lower heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes

  5. Add ziti to sausage and sauce mixture and fold to incorporate. 

  6. Place ziti into a 9×13 backing dish and top with mozzarella and the top with pepperoni. Cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray

  7. Place into preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes.

It is really that simple. A inexpensive, homemade dinner on the table in no time that even the sickest kids will enjoy and may even want seconds. Thanks for stopping by Life44… live, laugh, love & learn.

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Spam Pineapple Sandwich

Recently I have been introducing the teenagers to the wonders of Spam. All the amazing dishes you can make with just a can of Spam. There’s spam and eggs, spam fried rice, spam hash… ok I need to stop because I’m sounding a little like Bubba from Forrest Gump.

One of my favorite Spam combos is a spam and pineapple sandwich. The teens and myself cannot get enough of the sweet pineapple along with the crispy salty spam on a bed of cabbage topped with Ono sauce. This is the perfect recipe for a busy weeknight. You know what I’m talking about. One of those nights were one kid is at band practice, the other is at basketball practice and the other you left at the store and now have to rush back to pick him or her up.

Spam and Pineapple Sandwich

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • 1 can Spam cut into 5 slices
  • Shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 can Pineapple slices or chunks
  • 5 Hamburger buns toasted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Ono Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp garlic chili paste
  • 1/4 tsp sesame sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once heated place spam slices down and brown for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip spam over and brown for another 2-3 minutes.

  2. Grab a bun and spread some Ono sauce on the top and bottom buns. Top bottom bun with a handful of cabbage, a slice of spam and pineapple.

  3. Enjoy

Ono sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients together.

This is a really simple recipe. Heck I don’t even know if you can call this a recipe. Anyways, when you feel like you have been running around all day and need a simple meal idea, give these Spam Pineapple Sandwiches a try. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Habanero Mango Shrimp Bowl

Sometimes you want to make a healthy meal with as little mess as possible and this habanero mango rubbed shrimp bowl hits on both requirements. You can use white rice, brown rice, black beans or quinoa as the base of this bowl. Heck I used rice and black beans. The combinations are almost limitless. Well…I don’t know about limitless, because numbers hurt my head but there are a lot of different combinations.

I used my homemade habanero mango rub (which you can purchase here) for the shrimp. You can control the amount of heat with the amount of rub that you apply. I like mine hot so of course I added more. The rub hits you with a pleasant heat and then the sweetness of the mango really cools it down.

You can almost add whatever vegetables you have around. For this recipe I diced fresh tomatoes, orange bell pepper and avocado then added that to my base of rice and black beans. Topped with a little bit of homemade ranch dressing (try our ranch seasoning here) and for me some Sriracha and you have a healthy one dish meal.

Habanero Mango Shrimp Bowl

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Shrimp
  • 1 cup white rice cooked
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 can 15oz black beans heated
  • Habanero Mango Rub
  • Ranch salad dressing
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking your rice using any method your prefer… rice maker, instant pot or stovetop. Whatever method you use I love to use chicken broth instead of water. You get much more flavorful rice.

  2. Season shrimp with habanero mango rub or seasoning of your choice and set aside 

  3. Dice your vegetables and begin heating the black beans over medium low heat. Season beans with salt & pepper

  4. Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is heated add shrimp and cook 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat

  5. Plate rice in bowl and add warmed blacked beans. Add shrimp, tomatoes, bell pepper and avocado. Squirt ranch dressing over the top and if you are like me a little bit of Sriracha

For this shrimp bowl you can add whatever toppings you like. Make this bowl special for your family by adding more or taking some away. Customize it to your family’s likes or dislikes. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Hamburger Vegetable Soup

It’s starting to feel a little more like spring and boy I am so excited. Warm weather will soon be upon us but until spring finally arrives there are still some cold days and nights left to get through. Just no snow… please no more snow. This recipe is a hearty, stick to your bones type of soup that is perfect for a cold night. With ground beef, vegetables, broth and a few seasonings you can have an amazing meal on your family’s table in no time at all. Did I mention that this dish is also budget friendly?

For my vegetable soup I used whatever vegetables I had around in the refrigerator and then used some frozen vegetables. Please adapt this recipe to what vegetables you have sitting around. You know some of those vegetables you bought at the store, with the intention of using them, but have not got around to using them yet. I also added a handful of shredded cheese because…well because its cheese. This soup will also go so well with some nice crusty bread.

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4 red potatoes cut in chunks
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp red chilli peper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp gravy seasoning

Instructions

  1. Over medium high heat in a large pot, brown ground beef along with celery, onion and garlic. Once ground beef is brown remove from heat and drain the fat from the pot.

  2. Return pot to heat and add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

  3. Simmer for 20 minutes, taste and add more salt & pepper if needed

Sprinkle some cheese on top and add some crusty bread and you have a tasty dinner on the table in about 40 minutes. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Skillet Jalapeno Corn

This summer I have the greatest honor of catering for two good friends’ wedding. I have known them both for a few years or so and they are so perfect together. Like all couples they will have ups and downs but if they love each other, half as much as I love she who must be obeyed… well they are going to be just fine. Life really is a roller coaster, you will have ups and downs but love will always find a way. Anyways, I am getting off topic this blog is about food and not love and marriage.

One of the sides that I will be serving for their wedding is skillet jalapeño corn. This side is creamy, sweat and has a little kick to it. It’s also easy to make unless you are doing it for 250 people but that’s my problem not yours. Unless you want to help? No, serious will you help me?

Skillet Jalapeno Corn

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 16 oz frozen or canned corn
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 jalapeños diced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 8 oz cream cheese cut into chunks
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, heat corn and water until corn is heated

  2. Drain water from corn and melt butter. Once butter is melted add jalapeños to skillet and cook for 4 minutes

  3. Add corn and cream cheese  and cook until cream cheese is melted.

  4. Add salt & pepper to taste and enjoy

Skillet jalapeno corn is so easy to make and I hope the soon to be married couple love it two or to or too? Really, who the hell knows. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Instant Pot Corned Beef

Corned beef and cabbage isn’t just for Saint Patrick’s Day. Using an Instant Pot makes it so easy to have corned beef weekly or even daily. Hey, I won’t judge, I know it’s good.

Using an instant pot to pressure cook your corned beef is so simple, taking only 90 minutes to cook and it really doesn’t require a lot of hands on interaction. In fact, while the corned beef is cooking you will have time to search for a leprechaun and get his pot of gold.

Instant Pot Corned Beef

Course Main Course
Keyword corned Beef, Ground Beef, Roast, St Patricks Day
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs corned beef with spice pack
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 cloves garlic yes, the wife loves garlic
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 5-6 red potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 head cabbage cut into quarters

Instructions

  1. Place corned beef, broth, water and whole garlic cloves into instant pot.

  2. Using the meat/stew option cook corned beef for 90 minutes. Once completed use the quick pressure release.

  3. Remove corned beef and cover with aluminum foil. Add carrots, potatoes and cabbage to liquid and using the high pressure cook for 4 minutes. Once complete use the quick pressure release.

Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Minecraft Steve Birthday Cake

A friend of the family asked if I could make a cake for his son’s birthday party. He is a huge Minecraft fan and wanted Steve’s head for the cake. Now I love decorating cakes, but I have never decorated one that was pixelated like this one. The Minecraft cake was a lot of fun to make, but it did take a bit of time to make. 

Ensure to give yourself enough time to work on this cake. It’s going to take a lot of time from start to finish. After some planning I decided to go with a 10″X10″ cube for Steve’s head. 

Making the Cake

The cake ended up being about 8-9 layers high to make the full 10″ cube. Steve’s head had a basic buttercream frosting for the filling and my tasty marshmallow fondant for all of the pixels. 

I counted all of the pixels that was needed for the entire cake and once counted I counted again. A roller cutter was used and set to a little over an inch. The roller cutter ensured that all the pixels were cut to the same size. I must admit that with out this roller cutter this cake may have never been completed. It was a great time saver.

After cutting out all the pixels I started to apply each pixel one by one. A little sugar glue was used to make sure the pixels stayed in place. I found that my measurements were slightly off when I got to the top of the cake. If I was to do this cake again triple checking my measurements would have been a requirement. I also started from the bottom and worked my way up (maybe starting at the top and working down would have been better??). If you attempt to make this cake, leave a comment letting us know which way you tired and if it worked better. Thanks for stopping Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Marshmallow Fondant

I love working with fondant, but I can’t stand the taste of store bought fondant. This recipe is simple to make and who doesn’t love marshmallows!!

Marshmallow Fondant

Ingredients

  • 16 Ounces Mini Marshmallows
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 2 lbs Confectioners’ Sugar (About 8 cups)
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening

Instructions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the marshmallows and the water for 30 seconds on high.

  2. Stir until mixed well. Continue to microwave 30 seconds longer, then stir again. repeat until melted (about 2 minutes).

  3. Add about half of the confectioners’ sugar to the melted marshmallows. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. You can add flavor at this point as well. 

  4. Use vegetable shortening to grease hands and counter.  Place marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading marshmallow mixture like you would dough.  

  5. You can add coloring either while mixing or when you are kneading the mixture. 

  6. Roll out fondant about 1/8 inch thick. 

    You can keep the fondant wrapped in plastic wrap in your fridge overnight if you are not going to use it immediately. 

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Buttercream Frosting

This buttercream frosting recipe is simple to make. I prefer to use my KitchenAid when making buttercream. It is my go to frosting when making cakes or cupcakes.

Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp Whipping Cream

Instructions

  1. Mix sugar and butter on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

  2. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more.  

  3. Add more cream if desired for consistency. 

  4. Add food coloring as desired. 

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