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

Easy to make, 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
Author Craig Smith

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.

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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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Zesty Pot Roast

I learned about Mississippi pot roast a few years ago and that is the only way I cook my roast. What is a Mississippi pot roast? Mississippi pot roast is a roast that is slow cooked in a crock pot along with a stick of butter, a packet of ranch mix, a packet of au jus gravy and pepperoncini. Its a meal that you can easily drop into the crock pot on the way to work and when you get home cook some noodles and add some carrots, celery and onions.

This recipe came about because the wife bought a pack of zesty ranch seasoning mix. I really did not know what to do with it since I am not a big fan of dip mixes and I make and sell my own ranch seasoning which is so much better (yes that was a shameless plug). So instead of using my ranch mix I decided to use the zesty ranch mix and it really kicked up the flavor. It got me thinking about making a Habanero Ranch mix (another plug).

Zesty Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 3-5 lbs chuck roast
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 packet Fiesta Ranch dip mix
  • 1 packet au jus gravy mix
  • 5-6 pepperoncini peppers

Instructions

  1. Turn crock pot on low and add the roast. Sprinkle the fiesta ranch and au jus gravy mixes on the top of the roast add the peppers on top along with the stick of butter.

  2. Cook on low for 8 hours and serve on top of mashed potatoes or noodles

I like to add some carrots, celery and onions to my roast. If you do add the vegetables add them about two hours prior to serving. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Homemade Vegetable Broth

It’s always a good idea to have some type of broth in your pantry. Chicken, beef, vegetable or seafood broth can be the base of so many amazing dishes but have you ever went into your pantry and realized there was no broth to be found? I have and it stinks. But what if I told you that making your own broth is not only simple but also tastes 100 times better than the stuff you get in the box? It is and today we are making vegetable broth.

The broth will take about 3 hours but most of that time you will be sitting back drinking a beer or a glass of wine. Don’t worry, I don’t judge. You will spend under 10 minutes chopping up your vegetables and sautéing them and then you can sit back while the stove does the rest of the work. Once done and cooled strain the broth and its all done.

Vegetable Broth

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 3 carrots roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 tomato quartered
  • 10 parsley sprigs
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast omit if you don’t have any
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes stirring often

  2. Add water and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

  3. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and partially cover with lid

  4. Allow to simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Once done allow the broth to cool and then using a strainer pour into another pot.

There you go. Easy vegetable broth that can be the base for so many different recipes. I think I’ll use this for vegetable soup. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

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Medicine Ball Tea

I have been stuck with a wonderful cold for the past two weeks (thanks better half). You know what I mean… coughing, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat etc. I am finally beginning to feel better but my throat is still a little sore and you can only drink so many Hot Toddies, or can you?

While searching the inter webs for a new concoction that would help my throat and maybe just make me feel a bit better I came across the medicine ball. The medicine ball is a drink from Starbucks that many people have been ordering to help alleviate cold symptoms. Once learning of this medicine ball drink I knew I had to make one at home immediately.

This is not a copy cat of what Starbucks serves. This is similar but I choose not to use lemonade and use a lemon wedge instead. I just don’t want all that sugar that comes with the lemonade especially when I’m not feeling well.

I must say this drink soothed my throat and did help my symptoms. I felt a little bit more alive after having one of these so I did what anyone else would do. I made another. Enjoy

Medicine Ball Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 sachet Teavana Peach Tranquility
  • 1 sachet Teavana Jade Citrus Mint
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 lemon wedge

Instructions

  1. Once your water is heated add the honey and squeeze the lemon wedge into the water

  2. Add the two sachets of tea and allow to steep

Thanks for stopping by Life 44… live, laugh, love & learn

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Za’atar Pork Loin

Lately I have been spending a lot of time working with spices and spice mixes. I really love trying new spices, spice combinations and seeing what works with what. Thats where Za’atar came along.

Za’atar is used throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean on meats, breads and vegetables. It is made with sumac, toasted sesame seeds, thyme and some versions even add oregano.

For this recipe I mixed a tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of Za’atar, rubbed the mixture over the pork loin and marinated the pork loin in the Za’atar mixture for a few hours.

This pork loin turned out so moist and flavorful thanks to the Za’atar. The teens wolfed down the pork loin and I almost lost a finger while they were getting seconds.

Za’atar Pork Loin

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork loin roast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Za’atar

Instructions

  1. Mix the Za’atar and olive oil and rub the Za’atar mixture all over the pork loin. Allow to marinade for an hour or longer. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking

  2. Preheat oven to 375º

  3. Place pork loin into a roasting pan and cook for about 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145º.

  4. Wrap the cooked pork loin in aluminum foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes

This pork loin goes great with a side of roasted sweet potatoes. I even sprinkled more Za’atar on the potatoes before roasting them and they turned out amazing. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

Here are a couple items that I recommend to make this recipe.

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Instant Pot Buffalo Mac-n-cheese

Lately I have been working on recipes using the new Instant Pot that we picked up a few months ago. I have tried a few different things with the Instant Pot and I must say that this recipe for Buffalo Mac and cheese is amazing. The Instant Pot also makes it a breeze to make. Clean up is also so easy that the teens fought over who would do dishes that night.

You can easily customize this recipe to your tastes. Add more buffalo sauce or add less. I also used mozzarella, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses but you can use what you have laying around.

With pre-cooked chicken this Mac and cheese can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Just what you need after a long day at work and then chauffeuring the kids all over town.

Instant Pot Buffalo Mac and Cheese

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Buffalo Chicken, Buffalo Mac & Cheese, Instant Pot, Mac & Cheese
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 16 oz dry elbow or shell macaroni
  • 1/2 cup milk you may need to use up to a cup of milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozarella
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • additional salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce to shredded chicken and set aside.

  2. Add noodles, broth and 1 tsp salt to Instant Pot. Set manual timer for 5 minutes.

  3. Once completed release the pressure according to the manufacturer's directions.

  4. Add the cheeses, ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and 1/2 cup of milk. Stir to combine. Once cheese has melted add the buffalo chicken and fold to combine.

This is a great way to up the flavor of Mac and Cheese and really takes no time at all to make. Thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe came to be because I put a whole chicken in a crockpot, left to go hiking and came home hours later without going to the grocery store. Yes I forgot a few needed ingredients to finish making chicken noodle soup and there was no way I was heading to the store.

Digging through the refrigerator I found some corn tortillas, sour cream, chipotles in adobo sauce and cilantro. When I picked up the cilantro I knew what must be done. Chicken Tortilla Soup. It must have been years since I last had this amazing and flavorful soup.

You can make this soup as simple or complex as you wish. You can use rotisserie chicken and just shred it at home, or you can roast a chicken at home and use the leftover chicken for chicken quesadillas the next night.

I recommend cooking this soup in a dutch oven. If you don’t have one, you need to buy one right away. You can use either an enameled cast iron or a traditional cast iron. Either one will do the job. The links below are a couple that I recommend.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained
  • 1 tbsp diced chipotles in Adobo sauce
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 15 oz can corn
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers roughly chopped
  • tortilla chips
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a dutch oven and add the onions. Cook for about 4-5 minutes  add the  garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes

  2. Add all the remains ingredients except for the shredded chicken and tortilla chips. Mix and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

  3. Add the shredded chicken and stir to mix and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

  4. Add any additional toppings of your choice

To make this soup even better add toppings you like. Such as cheese, avocado, sour cream or cilantro. The sky is the limit. Thanks for stopping by Life44…live, laugh, love & learn.

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Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls rank right up there with chocolate as one of the greatest treats ever. The husband will say bacon but as always he’s wrong. There is nothing better than starting your day with a hot cup of coffee (or a London Fog) and a warm gooey cinnamon roll.

This cinnamon roll recipe has been a family favorite during the cold weather months and the teens always ask for it once the leaves start to turn color. This year I thought I would share the recipe and even have the husband help. After taking about twice as long, drinking half a bottle of wine and telling him repeatedly that bacon does not go in cinnamon rolls we were finally finished and blessed with amazing cinnamon rolls. Quick reminder to myself… do not under any circumstances bake with the husband. I feel like I shaved two years of my life.

This KitchenAid made mixing the dough for this recipe so much easier than mixing by hand. It saved so much time and so much complaining from there husband. It really is a lifesaver.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 Rolls
Author Katie Smith

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 Cups Hot Water 105-115˚
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter Melted
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 Cup Powdered Milk
  • 1 Cup Mashed Potato Flakes
  • 1 Tbs Instant Dry Yeast
  • 8-9 Cups Flour This amount may vary

Instructions

  1. This is much easier to make in a KitchenAid. You will get a good arm workout if you make it by hand. You will want to make sure you are using the kneading hook on the KitchenAid when you start to add the flour.

  2. Make sure your water is between 105-115˚. If not, your yeast may not activate correctly. 

  3. Mix all ingredients together without the flour until moist. 

  4. Add 3 cups of flour

  5. Slowly start to add more flour to your dough. Continue to add more flour until the dough pulls off of the sides. It should start to ball up in the mixer.

  6. Flour your counter and continue to hand knead your dough for about 5 more minutes. Continue to add more flower if the dough is still sticky. You should have a nice ball of dough at this point. 

  7. Let your dough rest for 15 minutes on either an oiled counter space or a greased bowl. 

  8. After the dough has rested, punch down and roll out a rectangle of about 18’X15″.

  9. Spread softened butter across the entire rectangle. 

  10. Cover dough with brown sugar and cinnamon. We also added fresh grated nutmeg. You can add raisins and nuts if you prefer at this point as well. 

  11. Roll up the dough. 

  12. Slice the roll evenly across. You should get about 15-18 rolls.

  13. Place evenly on a large greased pan. (Glass not preferred) Rolls will fill in as they rise. If you want to bake the rolls the next day for breakfast, this is the point where you could cover them and refrigerate until the morning. 

  14. Let Rolls rise for 30-45 minutes. 

  15. Bake at 325˚ for 20 minutes (you don’t want them to be too brown). 

    Let cool for about 10 minutes before frosting. 

Top the cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Try this recipes to make your own frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe (click here)

These quarter sheet pans work great to bake these cinnamon rolls. Click the image below to order.

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Hope your family enjoys these cinnamon rolls as much as mine and stay tuned… I think the husband is going to make bacon cinnamon rolls soon. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

Cream Cheese Frosting

This cream cheese frosting recipe is so easy. All you have to do is combine all the ingredients and beat together until creamy. This frosting is perfect on cinnamon rolls or cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Author Katie Smith

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter Softened
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 4 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended. 

  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy. 

So easy to make in a KitchenAid. This is a must have for your kitchen. Click the picture below to order your KitchenAid asap!

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Hot Toddy

Winter is a great time for trying new recipes that warm you from head to toe and they don’t have to be just soups or stews. A hot toddy is the perfect adult beverage for a cold winter night.  There are plenty of rumors out there that a hot toddy will even cure what’s ailing you. I will not make any claims that a hot toddy can cure a cold but many times through the years I have sat down and sipped on a hot toddy while I had a cold and I sure felt better after.

The biggest point to remember with this recipe is adjust to your own tastes. If you want it sweeter add more honey. If you want it with a bit more tang add some more lemon juice. Play around with it until you have it just right for your tastes.

Hot Toddy

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 tbsp whiskey or bourbon

Instructions

  1. Heat water using a kettle or on the stove top

  2. Add heated water to your mug and add the whiskey, honey and lemon juice. Stir to dissolve the honey.

  3. Add cinnamon stick and star anise and enjoy

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

Below are two of the kitchen tools I used for making this hot toddy. Check them out.

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London Fog

 Winter is upon us and there is nothing better than a warm cup of tea. It has been many many years since I last had a London Fog,  not the coat but the amazing Earl Grey tea and milk. There are many variations of this drink but for ours we will just be adding vanilla extract and sugar. Yeah that is all, just five ingredients.

Start by boiling some water.  I love the Hamilton Beach electric kettle to boil the water. This kettle will bring the water to a boil in no time. If you do not have a kettle you can use a pot on your stovetop. Pour the hot water into a mug and add an Earl Grey tea bag. Allow to steep for five minutes.

While the tea is steeping begin heating your milk, vanilla extract and sugar over medium heat. Do not allow the milk to come to a boil. Did I say not to bring the milk to a boil? Don’t do it. I love using this hand frother for the  milk and it works like a wonder. It just takes a little bit of elbow grease.

Remove the tea bag then add the milk mixture and there you go. You just made a London Fog tea and saved 7 dollars if you would have went to a high priced coffee shop.

Remember that you can always adjust the sweetness of this drink. More or less…it’s up to you. Heck, if you have had a really hard day you could even add a bit of bourbon. I’m not going to judge.

London Fog

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Earl Gray tea bag
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag after steeping

  2. While the tea is steeping heat the milk over medium low heat. Do not bring milk to a boil. Add sugar and vanilla extract

  3. Using your frother mix the milk, sugar and vanilla and froth until the milk is very foamy

  4. Add milk to tea and top with the milk foam.

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

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Blue Cheese Bacon Steak Salad

Sometimes you just need a good steak but you want the appearance that you are eating healthier. That’s where this recipe comes in. We make our own blue cheese dressing and let me tell you. It is amazing. I may never buy bottled blue cheese dressing again and it is so simple to make.  Bacon is also added to this salad because…well we know why.

Due to the issue of E. coli with Romaine lettuce at the time of making this salad I choose to use iceberg lettuce. Hopefully we will all be able to enjoy Romaine again without the nasty side effects of E. coli because iceberg lettuce just isn’t Romaine.

For this recipe I’m not putting in amounts for the salad. Add more onions or cherry tomatoes or add less. It is completely up to you. A ten ounce ribeye fed myself, the wife and those three pesky teenagers. So one steak will go a long way. Especially when you add more lettuce to trick those kids.

Blue Cheese Bacon Steak Salad

Ingredients

Salad

  • lettuce
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onions sliced into half rings

Blue Cheese

  • 4 oz blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Bacon

  • 4 slices bacon cooked and diced

Steak

  • 10 oz ribeye
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Blue Cheese Dressing

  1. Add all the blue cheese dressing ingredients together and whisk. Refrigerate for two hours.

Steak

  1. Salt and pepper both sides of the steak

  2. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high and add the steak. Cook on one side for 4 minutes then flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes for a medium rare to medium doneness. Wrap in foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then slice.

Salad

  1. Add lettuce, onions, tomatoes, steak and bacon. Pour desired amount of blue cheese dressing and enjoy.

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

Product Recommendations:

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Bacon Poutine

Not many Americans know about poutine and I have to say we are missing out. Poutine is a dish consisting of French fries and cheese curds then smothered with gravy. Yes I did say lip smacking gravy. Poutine originated in Quebec around the 1950s and I believe it is finally gaining traction in the US. There’s a great debate over which restaurant first served poutine but for this post it doesn’t really matter. We just get to eat it.

For our poutine recipe we are going to stray a bit from the authentic version and top ours with bacon, because bacon just makes life better. We are going to hand cut the fries and then double fry them to ensure they are crispy outside and tender inside. Then we will make the most important part of this recipe… the gravy. The gravy brings it all together and we will not use canned gravy or a gravy seasoning packet.

The bacon is baked in the oven at 375 for approximately 20 minutes. If you have not baked bacon before it really is the way to go. No grease splattering all over you and the bacon doesn’t curl. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet and add your bacon. Make sure to start keeping an eye on the bacon after about 12 minutes to ensure even cooking and that it’s not burning.

I like to keep the skin on the potatoes, cut them into fries and then presoak them in a mixing bowl for a few hours. Presoaking the potatoes helps remove the starch and allows us to get the fries really crisp. This is important because pouring gravy over the fries will get them soggy and the crisper the fries are the less soggy they will turn out when the gravy is added. Just remember to dry the fries before adding to the hot oil.

I like a mixture of chicken and beef broth but if you only have one or the other that will work too. Ok, lets get to cooking.

Bacon Poutine

Ingredients

Gravy

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt & pepper to taste

French fries

  • 5 Russet potatoes
  • oil for frying

Cheese curds

Bacon

  • 5 slices cooked and diced

Instructions

  1. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch sticks, cover with water and let sit for 20 minutes

  2. Add 3 inches oil to a dutch oven and heat to 325. Drain potatoes and dry. Working in small batches fry for approximately 5 minutes until slightly crisp. Remove and drain and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Heat oil to 375

  3. Heat butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Once melted add flour and whisk for about 3 minutes or until smooth. Add beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Continue stirring until thickened for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and turn heat to low

  4. Working in batches fry the fries again until golden brown and delicious, about 3 minutes. Remove from oil and drain.

  5. To serve place fries in serving bowls and add gravy. Mix the fries and gravy then add cheese curds and bacon.

There you have it. Enjoy this Canadian dish of goodness and try your own spin.  Next time I may top the poutine with pulled pork. Or maybe even braised pork belly. The options are almost endless. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

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If you liked this recipe, you must try this one as well:

Sausage & Tortellini Soup

It’s that time of the year… turkey, ham, cake, pie and trying to figure out what to get the wife for Christmas. I think this year’s presents will be a home run. I mean after last year’s fiasco which included gifts such as a book she already read, a hair dryer and Toe Tunes I can only go up from there. If you can keep a secret I will let you all in on what she is getting this year. Are you sitting down? Great it’s a… you know after thinking about it I’m going to take it back and start over. I’m fairly sure she already has a snow shovel and a Bacon Bath Kit.

This recipe for sausage and tortellini soup is so much easier than trying to figure out what to get your significant other for the holidays. I used dry tortellini for this soup but you can (and should) use frozen or fresh if you have the time. I don’t because I’m too busy returning gifts that I thought at the time were a good idea such as the Chatty Patty and the Potty Putter for Landon.

Sausage & Tortellini Soup

Ingredients

  • 1
    lb
    Italian sausage
  • 2
    carrots
    peeled and diced
  • 1
    onion
    diced
  • 1
    celery rib
    diced
  • 2
    tsp
    Italian seasoning
  • 3
    cloves
    garlic
    minced
  • 3
    cups
    chicken broth
  • 1
    15 oz can
    tomato sauce
  • 1
    14.5 oz can
    diced tomatoes
  • 2
    handfuls
    spinach
  • 1
    tsp
    crushed red chilis
  • 8
    oz
    tortellini
  • 1
    tbsp
    olive oil
  • S&P to taste

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven brown sausage. Remove sausage once browned and drain.

  2. Heat Dutch oven to medium and add olive oil. Once oil is heated add carrots, onions and celery for 5 minutes

  3. Add garlic and crushed red chilis and cook for another minute

  4. Add Italian seasoning, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and sausage and bring to a boil

  5. Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on

  6. Add tortellini and cook for another 10 minutes. Once tortellini is cooked turn off the heat and add spinach and mix.

  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan 

This is a hearty soup that will please any of the pickiest eaters. As for me…I’m off to the store to try to figure out this gift issue I have. Thanks for stopping by Life44…Live, laugh, love & learn.

This is a must have for your kitchen

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If you liked this post, take a look at this recipe for Bacon Cannoli

 

Spaghetti and Meatball Bake

Growing up as a kid spaghetti and meatballs was served about once a week. Along with meatloaf, oh my mother’s meatloaf. Half ground beef, half bread crumbs. Anyways my mother’s spaghetti and meatballs tasted like mushy pasta with ketchup sauce along with partially frozen meatball like substances. It really wasn’t that much different than the schools’ spaghetti. Most of us kids had some form of a surprise sickness on spaghetti day.

Spaghetti and meatballs do not have to be a mushy ketchup tasting mess like my school years. In fact, spaghetti and meatballs can be an easy enjoyable meal with just a few simple changes from those 70’s recipes.

To up the taste, we make our own sauce and meatballs with a ground beef and ground pork mixture. We also will not fully cook the pasta allowing it to finish in the sauce absorbing that wonderful homemade taste.

The sauce is from the must have Italian cook book “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan. If there is any cookbook that covers Italian cooking this is the book. I use her basic tomato sauce using an onion and butter and add a little bit of the flavors I enjoy.

This is a great recipe that combines great sauce and pasta baked with some handmade meatballs and covered in cheese. Enjoy, the teenagers did and then some. This may be our new number one comfort food.

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



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Spaghetti Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Spaghetti Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1 can 29oz tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion cut in half
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp red chilis
  • salt to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer and maintain the simmer for 30 minutes

Meatballs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 People

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmasean cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp red chilis
  • nutmeg pinch
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a skillet heated to medium add the olive oil

  2. Mix the remains ingredients together by hand

  3. Roll the meat mixture into one inch balls

  4. Place the meatballs in the heated skillet and brown on each side. Cook in batches

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Every Thanksgiving we head to my wife’s family for a big dinner. I love it because I don’t have to do all the cooking and only need to come up with a side dish. So after getting an Instant Pot not too long ago, I figured why not try the mashed potatoes in the Instant pot? So off to work I went.

I used five pounds of potatoes for this Thanksgiving feast but you can cut the recipe in half. Also, for Thanksgiving I really like to butter up my potatoes and use whole cream. You can cut the amount of butter and use milk instead. Just adjust to your tastes and/or any dietary restrictions you may have.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 5
    lbs
    Russet Potatoes
    peeled and cubed
  • 4
    tbsp
    butter
  • 1/2
    cup
    heavy cream
  • 1
    tsp
    salt
  • 1
    tsp
    pepper
  • 3
    cups
    water
    just enough to cover the potatoes

Instructions

  1. Add the cubed potatoes to your instant pot, season with salt and add water to cover. I needed 3 cups. You may need more or less.

  2. Cover and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. 

  3. After 10 minutes, quick release the instant pot. Check potatoes for doneness. A fork should easily be inserted into the potatoes.

  4. Drain the potatoes and save about 1/4 cup of the potatoes water

  5. Add cream, butter, potato water, and salt and pepper. Mash all ingredients with a potato masher.

  6. Adjust salt to taste and enjoy. If not eating right away you may need to add some milk to keep the potatoes from getting dry.

That is all there is to it. The Instant Pot made quick work of these mashed potatoes. Once I finished mashing I replaced the lid and off we went to grandma’s house. Once there I put the pot on heat and they did not need any milk added because the potatoes were still moist. I really love my instant pot and will be coming up with many more recipes using it soon. Thanks for stopping by Life 44… Live, laugh, love & learn.

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Lemon Poached Pears with Salted Caramel

When we head to the Seattle area, on the way back to Idaho we always stop at this neat produce store just outside of Yakima, Washington. They have some of the best produce around and this time was no different. The wife found some amazing pears and as usual her eyes were bigger than her stomach which left us with a lot of leftover pears. So to the test kitchen I went. Wow, rereading that last sentence makes me want to have a test kitchen. If I didn’t have to feed those teens a test kitchen could be a possibility.

Lemon Poached Pears

Ingredients

  • 4 Pears peeled with stems left on
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Have a pot big enough to hold the pears and add the water, sugar, lemon juice, lemon slices and lemon zest. Bring to a boil.

  2. Once boiling add the peeled pears and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. To check for doneness, use the tip of a knife and pierce the bottom of the pear

  3. Allow pears to cool and then drizzle with the salted caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium heat stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Once sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to high and bring sugar mixture to a boil.

  3. Allow to boil until the mixture turns an amber color. This took about 8 minutes with my stove. Yours may take less or more but when it turns amber remove from the heat

  4. Whisk in the cream slowly. The sugar mixture will boil up so be careful

  5. Once the cream has been mixed add the butter, salt and vanilla and incorporate. 

  6. Pour the caramel sauce into a mason jar or a bowl, cover and then store in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

I went to my trusty bible… The Flavor Bible and looked up pears. I immediately saw caramel and lemon. Caramel and lemon sounded like the perfect match for these wonderful pears. I have also been on a poaching kick lately so I figured I would poach the pears with lemon juice and water, then finish it off with a homemade caramel sauce.  Oh yeah… salted caramel sauce I had my taste testers, Landon and Colton, come down and try it out. They loved it so much. Landon would not stop eating them and I thought Cole was going to get into a fight with him right there in the kitchen. You just have to love brothers… how many more years until they move out? Thanks for stopping by Life44… Live, laugh, love & learn. Products Used for this recipe. Help support our site! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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