Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

You know when you think you’re grabbing the paprika but you grab the cayenne by mistake, dump a whole spoonful into the pot, stir it up, and then read the label? Anyone? 

I didn’t think so. But, um, it totally happened when I was first testing this soup. Maybe you have had a similar experience, but if you haven’t, let me spell it out for you: 

S.P.I.C.Y. 

At least thats what happened with this particular mistake. HA! 

But, I made it through that bowl of extra spicy soup and thought, hey, when you taste past the cayenne this is pretty dang good. Once your mouth stops burning and all. (I love spicy food, but this just was a bit too much, something even a half cup of heavy cream stirred in didn’t calm). 

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder
Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Assuming you can read the labels on your spice jars, this corn chowder is the stuff summer evenings are made of. At least it is for me, because it reminds me of sitting on the back patio at my mom’s house as a kid, slurping on corn chowder while the sun ducks down behind the mountains and the day’s heat finally gives way to a cool evening breeze. (Hi Mom, maybe you should send me that recipe?!) 

This version is lighter that the one of my childhood (and most chowders, really) — forgoing flour and bacon, it is full of fresh corn flavor and has creaminess from yukon gold potatoes and a splash of the good stuff (half and half). And really, when it’s this hot of a summer, light is what it’s alllll about. 

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Published July 5, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 16 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed, reserve 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1-3 dashes of cayenne, to taste
  • Dash of paprika for garnish
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot (affiliate link!) on the sauté setting. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, carrot, and bell pepper until the onions are transparent.
    2. Add potatoes, corn kernels, 2 tablespoons minced parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, and broth. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to the Soup setting, setting the timer to 4 minutes with the vent in the sealed position.
    3. After the timer goes off, release the pressure. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Using an immersion blender (like this one (affiliate link!)) purée the soup, leaving a few chunks according to you preference. Stir in the half and half, and add cayenne to taste.
    4. Serve soup hot in bowls, topped with a fresh fresh corn kernels, a dash of paprika, minced parsley, and optionally, shredded cheddar.

    No-Noodle Lasagna

    No-Noodle Lasagna

    The first lasagna recipe I published on this blog called for twenty ingredients. TWENTY! That is not a typo. (I'm embarrassed to even link to that recipe, oh how much I've learned since 2015!)

    Lasagna is one of those things that just has a lot of components, but I was on a mission with this one: Simplify. Because some weeks, even just having twenty ingredients on your shopping list is stressful. Right??

    This version has less than half that number of ingredients. That said, it still needs to bake for 50 minutes, so if you are trying to serve this on a weeknight, doing all the prep ahead of time will help you out.

    No-Noodle Lasagna
    No-Noodle Lasagna

    This one is about the essentials:

    • A good marinara sauce. I used store bought, but you can also use this 20-minute recipe. I'm all for homemade but some times you have to cut yourself a break! 
    • Ricotta cheese. Any excuse to use ricotta cheese is welcome, if you ask me. But it's also the creamy layer in lasagna, and arguably the best part. 
    • Mozzarella! You might be thinking, two different kinds of cheese? Yes! (And a third, if you keep reading). Mozzarella adds the gooey, stringy cheese texture to the top of the casserole. And that third cheese? Parmesan, which I mostly added for good measure, and also it's flavor.
    • Meat. In this case, Italian Sausage. I love the flavor of hot Italian sausage, but you could easily use ground beef if you prefer. Many chefs choose to mix the two, in fact, but again simple was the name of the game here.
    • Noodles -- but in this case, actually eggplant sliced thin and used in place of noodles. Eggplant goes so well with lasagna flavors. Bring on the veggies!

    What is not essential to lasagna is the spinach layer, but I added it in because if I'm going to be cooking a lasagna, I may as well cover all of my bases instead of also making a side salad. 

    No-Noodle Lasagna
    No-Noodle Lasagna

    No-Noodle Lasagna

    Published July 12, 2018 by
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    Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 90 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce (choose one that has basil or garlic, or make your own )
  • 1-2 eggplants (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 16 ounces ricotta
  • 16 ounces hot Italian sausage, ground
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Optional: minced parsley for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F, and slice eggplants in thin, long strips — about 1/4-inch thick. Spread slices out in a single layer on a sheet pan, and brush with olive oil. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes, until eggplant begins to soften.
    2. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Once cooked, set aside.
    3. Place thawed spinach in a strainer, and squeeze out as much extra water as possible.
    4. Make the lasagna: spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x16-inch baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant strips as “noodles” in a single layer. Spread ricotta cheese over eggplant, and then top with sausage crumbles. Next, spread the spinach in a layer. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over top, and then layer the remaining eggplant in a second layer. Top with another 1/2 cup of sauce, and then top with shredded mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan.
    5. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F, and bake lasagna covered for 25 minutes, and then uncovered for 25 minutes.
    6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then top with minced parsley. Slice and serve. Top with parmesan if desired.

    Raspberry Pistachio Fool (Sweetened with honey!)

    Raspberry Pistachio Fool (Sweetened with honey!)
    Raspberry Pistachio Fool (Sweetened with honey!)

    A simple dessert such as this one hardly needs a full blog post to go with it — soft folds of whipped cream, fresh raspberries accentuated with just a touch of honey and lemon, bits of slightly salty pistachio. That ingredients list alone will do. 🤤

    The last several months have left me at a loss for words (a serious case of brain-fry). But with something as fresh and beautiful as this, there is no need to grasp at the threads of what could become a blog post: a dessert this simply good doesn’t need all of those words. It just works. And it’s perfect for this time of year, too. The raspberry bush I planted last year is producing it’s first round of berries right now (a miracle really, because the backyard is basically a jungle of weeds). There are only a few berries and they’re not quite ripe yet, so I used store bought for this recipe and they were perfectly. Use whatever you have access to! In a pinch, frozen berries would work — just thaw the berries before macerating.

    Lastly, if you're looking for something you could eat for breakfast, you could swamp the whipped cream in this recipe for your favorite Greek-style yogurt and make a parfait. (Or, you know, just treat yourself to a freakin' awesome Raspberry Fool breakfast!) 

    And now, onwards, because there’s really nothing better than tasting this one for yourself. 

    Raspberry Pistachio Fool (Sweetened with honey!)
    Raspberry Pistachio Fool (Sweetened with honey!)

    Raspberry Pistachio Fool (Sweetened with honey!)

    Published July 3, 2018 by
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    Serves: 3   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup crushed pistachios

  • Directions:

    1. In a small bowl, combine 8 ounces of raspberries with lemon juice and 1 teaspoon honey. Set remaining raspberries aside. Using a fork, mash the 8 ounces of raspberries with the lemon and honey. The mixture should resemble a jam or compote. Set aside.
    2. In a second mixing bowl, whip cream to soft peaks using an electric mixer. Add in vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of honey, depending on your tastes, and continue to whip cream for another minute to incorporate.
    3. In three serving glasses or bowls make alternating layers of whipped cream and the raspberry mixture. Place reserved fresh raspberries on top, and sprinkle with crusted pistachios. Serve immediately.