Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Sandwiches

Chicken Cacciatore Sandwich in the Pressure Cooker

I’ve been trying to experiment with the pressure cooker more lately. As I’ve said before, the decision to use a pressure cooker or slow cooker is entirely dependent on your timing. If you would rather get your prep done early in the day and/or you want to eat as soon as you walk in the door in the evening, the slow cooker is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you have 30-40 minutes before dinner and/or you forgot to load the slow cooker in the morning, drag out the pressure cooker.

Recipes often state the cook time for the pressure cooker to be mere minutes. While this is true, it isn’t the whole truth. The cook time doesn’t take into account the amount of time for the cooker to reach full pressure or how long the pressure release takes.

This recipe for Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Sandwiches is based on the Slow Cooker version. Instead of serving it with pasta, I decided to make a sandwich out of it. We love hot sandwiches, and this was no exception. Sandwich meals are great if you need to eat in shifts or if you’re in a hurry. Sides can be kept simple and it’s easy to pile the filling on a bun.

The ingredients are all very basic, but I failed to snap a photo of them this time.

Chicken Cacciatore Sandwich

I started this with frozen chicken tenders and it worked great.

Ingredients

2 lb. frozen chicken tenders
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine, broth or water
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. basil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Sandwich buns
Sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese

Instructions

Place all ingredients in order listed in pressure cooker, except cheese and buns.
Cook on high pressure for 14 minutes.
Do a quick pressure release.
Remove lid and shred chicken with two forks.
Serve meat on buns topped with cheese.

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – What I’m listening to and more

3 Things that work in the kitchen

Grocery Pick Up is the best

Last week I ordered groceries online for pick up on Saturday morning. This week I’m going to order on Friday for pick up on Sunday afternoon. We’ve got an out of town soccer tournament and will be gone Friday afternoon through late Saturday. That leaves Sunday for groceries, but I don’t want to spend the afternoon in the store. I love being able to order and not even have to go in! And this week I’m determined to remember the toilet paper in the order. Ha!

I’ve tried both Walmart and Kroger pick up. Both are great. Kroger gives more options for leaving notes about things in their online ordering system. However, last week I called Walmart after placing my order because I wanted to have the deli ham shaved very thin. They made a note of it and it was exactly as I requested when I picked it up the next day.

Kroger gives you three free pickups, plus sends other free pick up or free item offers. Walmart doesn’t charge for pickup. In fact, you can use this code to get $10 off your order. That’s my affiliate code. They’ll give you one too, so you can share with friends. I will say, I never could get the code from my friend to work. I tried several times, so maybe it will work for you and maybe not. Ten bucks is worth a try though.

2. Individual Naan Pizzas

I wish I had pictures for you, but I didn’t think about it the other night. I’d been painting Mia’s room (good bye little-girl purple paint and hello white walls!) and making an elaborate dinner wasn’t something I was interested in. Of course, I very rarely make an elaborate dinner anyway!

We’ve been using naan to make pizza for a while now. I browned Italian sausage and sliced red onion for the toppings. We raided the garden for basil. Everyone made their own pizza the way they liked. Minimal work and a wonderful dinner!

3. Podcast listening

Do you listen to podcasts while you cook or do dishes? I do if I’m alone, which is rare around dinner time. I usually listen in the car and while I walk. But I have some good ones I wanted to share with you.
If you love books and reading, you’ll love What Should I Read Next from Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. I got to be a guest on the latest WSIRN podcast! Anne and I talk about comfort reading, books with great food scenes and more. I shared three books I love and one I hate, then Anne recommended three books for me to read.

Sorta Awesome is my favorite way to start every Friday morning. Megan and her co-hosts are fun, informative and make you feel like you’re having coffee with a friend.

The Healthy Moving Podcast from Jen Hoffman is short and always thought provoking and helpful. You can hear me as a guest on episode 41. I talk about my favorite Healthy Moving exercise for headaches. I also really appreciated episode 38 on how to talk about body image with kids.

This week a new podcast launched called The Smartest Person in the Room with Laura Tremaine. The first episode is an interview with Phil Johnston, who is one of the creators of Zootopia and Wreck It Ralph.

Another short podcast I’ve been enjoying lately is That’s the Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame). His podcast reminds me a lot of the old Paul Harvey radio shows that my mom used to listen to. The storytelling is very similar to those Rest of the Story shows.

What’s working in your kitchen this week and what are you listening to?

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Puff Pastry Waffles with Nutella and Strawberries

Puff pastry meets waffle iron

That picture says it all!  Puff pastry.  Waffle iron.  Nutella and Strawberries.  Go make it!

Even though no more words are necessary, I’ll add a few anyway.  Puff pastry cooked in a waffle iron is like a waffle-croissant.  Wafflesant.  Croiwaffle.

Basically, it’s flaky perfection!  Crisp, thin layers on the outside and tender inside.

This dessert couldn’t be easier.  Place squares of thawed puff pastry dough on the hot waffle iron and cook, just like you’re making a waffle.

Spread thick layers of Nutella on the Wafflesants, stack and top with strawberries.

Take a bite and love yourself forever for making such an easy, amazing dessert!

Puff pastry waffles with Nutella and Strawberries

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Eat at Home Tonight! Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe and Quick Shopping List

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice EaHTonight

Did you know you can sign up to get a new easy recipe + shopping list each week?  It’s free!

These are designed for those days when you look up and it’s 4:00 or 5:00pm and you have no idea what to fix for dinner.  Print off the recipe and list.  Hit the store on the way home from work (or grab the items from your pantry – they’re all common ingredients) and have dinner on the table in short order.

There are currently eight weeks in the series.  Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice with Edamame is the meal for the second week.  Each week you can choose to download the recipe for a large family of 6-8 people or small family of 3-4 people.

Admittedly, this is a bit of a teaser, since this recipe won’t come to you until Week 2 after you sign up.  To make it up to you, I’ll add the small and large recipes below.  But be sure to click below to sign up with your email so you can have all the recipes + easy shopping lists sent to you!

Click here to sign up for Eat at Home Tonight!  It’s Free!

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice ingr EaHTonight

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice Large Family Size

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 cups diced ham
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS soy sauce (plus extra to taste)
  • 20 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained and reserve juice
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Cook the onion and garlic in oil in a large skillet till soft.
  3. Add the ham, 2 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 Tbs. pineapple juice.
  4. Cook for several minutes till the ham is hot.
  5. Pour the eggs into the skillet and cook, stirring frequently.
  6. Add the peas and carrots and heat through.
  7. Stir in the drained pineapple.
  8. Add the cooked rice, stirring to combine.
  9. Add soy sauce, pineapple juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Eat at Home Tonight! Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe and Quick Shopping List

Serves: 3-4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 cups white rice
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 cups diced ham
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS soy sauce (plus extra to taste)
  • 8 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained and reserve juice
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Cook the onion and garlic in oil in a large skillet till soft.
  3. Add the ham, 1 Tbs. soy sauce, ½ Tbs. pineapple juice.
  4. Cook for several minutes till the ham is hot.
  5. Pour the eggs into the skillet and cook, stirring frequently.
  6. Add the peas and carrots and heat through.
  7. Stir in the drained pineapple.
  8. Add the cooked rice, stirring to combine.
  9. Add soy sauce, pineapple juice, salt and pepper to taste.

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – I waffled something new!

3 Things that work in the kitchen

1.  We finally got a new cabinet!

We’ve been living without a cabinet and dishwasher since the end of June.  This was due to a terrible dishwasher leak that ruined the cabinet next to it.  It took a while for the replacement cabinet to come in, but it finally did and Jim installed it.

It’s not a perfect match, but it’s so close to the others that I don’t think anyone would notice the difference.

utility dishwasher box

Next up is to get a new dishwasher.  Of course, that means parting with this excellent water jug storage system, which is actually pretty handy.

The arrow in the photo is pointing to an electric (I think) box that is installed in a very inconvenient spot.  Because of the placement of that box, we have to buy a dishwasher based on how it’s made in the back.  Some dishwashers are built all the way to the ground in the back, but those won’t work in this spot.

I know this, because the last time we bought a dishwasher it had to be returned.  I’d chosen a Bosch that I was so excited about, but it couldn’t be installed.  Instead, I went back to the store and picked out the Maytag that ended up leaking all over the place after only a couple years.

If you have suggestions for a great dishwasher, let me know!

2.  My favorite cooking spoon is missing

While we were in Paris, my oldest daughter and her husband stayed at our house to hold down the fort.  When I came back, I couldn’t find my favorite cooking spoon.  (Please say you have a favorite spoon to cook with too!)

It turns out, she had taken the spoon to a potluck and it didn’t make it back home.  I’m pretty sure it’s in the utensil drawer at church.  I just need to remember to check.  This spoon is not a nice looking spoon.  No one would recognize its value. It was a wedding gift that has been cooked with nearly every day for the last 28 years.  Even when it was brand new, it was nothing special.  I just love the way it feels and the way it’s shaped.

Security spoon, anyone?

3.  Puff pastry is great in a waffle iron!

waffled puff pastry

I’ve got a post planned on this for later in the week, but what you see is what you get.  Place squares of puff pastry in a hot waffle iron. Slather with Nutella and top with sliced strawberries.

No regrets!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

 

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Last Day to Get Weekly Meal Plans at a Great Price!

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The Weekly Meal Plans sale has been going on for a week and so many people have taken advantage of it.  This is the tool I use to make shopping and cooking easy to fit into my life.  I love the ease of printing off a color-coded grocery list and menu.  It’s great to know what I need to buy at the store, as well as what I’m going to make for dinners in a week.  Such a time saver!

Today’s the last day you can get Weekly Meal Plans for a great price (use code SUMMERSALE):

Monthly – $10 $8/month recurring

3 Month – $21 $17/3 months recurring

12 Month – $60 $49 one time payment

Click here and use the code SUMMERSALE!

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Paris Trip – What We Ate and More

Paris us in front of love wall

Jim and I recently got to take a trip to Paris together.  It was our first time to go to Europe and the longest trip we’ve ever taken with just the two of us.  It was wonderful!

I wrote about my apprehensions about taking the trip in this post.  Like so many of the things we worry about, it all turned out fine.  More than fine, actually!  We are so grateful that we booked the trip and went, even when there were many reasons to keep us at home.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about a memory making trip or another event, but something is stopping you.  I know that there are times it just doesn’t make sense to follow through, but often we put things off for small reasons.  We hold ourselves back, making up excuses to not follow through, building up false barriers.  If that sounds familiar to you, let this post be your encouragement to follow through!  You’ll be so glad you did.

Our Tour Group

Instead of going it alone, we decided to take a Rick Steves Tour.  I never would have considered a tour, if not for this post from Amy at MomAdvice on the tour they took in Italy.  We loved being part of the tour group.  Our guide was phenomenal.  On the first day, she taught us all how to use the metro and equipped us with metro tickets just like the locals use.  We rode the metro all over the city by ourselves and never felt uncomfortable about it, thanks to her instructions.

The tour gave us plenty of time to explore the city on our own in addition to group times.  We also had local guides at the Louvre, Versailles and in the Marais district.  These guides were fantastic in helping us really understand what we were seeing.

As for our times together as a group, we really enjoyed that as well.  We met a lot of interesting people and had a great time getting to know them.  We toured together in the mornings and also had three dinners together.  The rest of the time was ours to spend in any way we liked.

Sainte Chappelle

It’s impossible to pick a favorite out of everything we saw, but Sainte Chappelle would at or near the top for me.  We toured here one morning with the group and had to leave far too soon.  Lucky for us though, there was a violin concert that night and our guide offered to arrange tickets for us.  Jim and I took her up on the offer, used the metro to get back to the oldest part of the city where Sainte Chappelle is located and paid for our tickets at the table our guide told us about.  We chose the cheap seats at the back, which was perfect because could see all the windows during the concert.  What an amazing experience to listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in that beautiful place!

The Food

Rue Cler fruit market

Food in Paris is everywhere and it’s all so good!  Fruit and vegetable stands line the streets, there are boulangeries on every corner and most restaurants have seating outside.  Often the chairs face the street at these cafes.  I guess French people take their people watching seriously.

I had put a number of things on my Paris food bucket list before we left:

A picnic style meal

We had an unintentional picnic on a bench near the Abbesses Metro Station in Montmartre.  We saw tables at the place we chose to eat and also a line to get food to go. We got in line and chose our food, then realized that since we’d gotten it to go, we couldn’t sit at the tables.  Had we sat down to begin with, we could have ordered food brought to us.  For some reason this concept threw us a couple of times.  It turned out fine though, because we found a place to sit on a nearby bench, the drizzly rain paused for a while and the warm baguette we bought was the best of the whole trip.  We also picnicked near Notre Dame with these eclairs for dessert:

Paris eclairs

  Onion Soup

This was served at our first group dinner and it was delicious!

Onion soup

 Macarons

I wanted to try macarons, because the only time I’d had them at home I wasn’t impressed.  We had macarons from a small bakery in Montmartre and again at the famous Laduree.

Laduree box

It was fun to go to Laduree on the Champs Elysees.  We chose a box of six macarons in six different flavors.

Laduree macarons

They are beautiful.  We liked them all except the Rose flavored one.  I thought that tasted like my grandma’s bathroom!  Overall though, macarons are not my thing.  There are so many, many other sweet treats to eat that are much better.  They’re very photogenic, but I’d rather feast on croissants, pain du chocolat, creme brulee, eclairs …

Fallafels in the Jewish Quarter

L'as du fallafel

I’d heard about this fallafel place and seen photos on Instagram.  I really hoped we’d get to eat here and we did!  If you look closely at the crates in the left of the photo, you can see they are full of eggplants.

This meal was fantastic.  We shared it with two people from our tour group.  It was fun to get to know them while we ate messy, delicious fallafels.

The best meal

The best meal I had was at our second group dinner at Bistro de Gaspard.  I had duck with potatoes and roasted onions.  The menu gave it a longer, more appetizing name, but I can’t remember that.  I only remember how amazing it tasted!  The picture doesn’t look like much, but trust me this was wonderful.

Paris duck dinner

The caramel dessert topped the meal perfectly.  Every spoonful carried the most intense caramel flavor without being too sweet.  Perfection!

Paris caramel dessert

The biggest surprise

At our first group meal, we were served coffee.  In France this means a shot of espresso.  I don’t care for espresso, but I decided to try it anyway.  Oh my!  Un cafe in Paris is not the same thing as an espresso in the States.  Instead, it’s an intense coffee flavor without any hint of bitterness or harshness.  I could have downed several of these a day easily.

Paris un cafe

If anyone knows how we can make coffee like this at home, please let me know.  I did try a Starbucks espresso when we got back and yuck!  Not the same at all.

What we brought home

I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in our group to bring home salt as a souvenir.

french sea salt

This type of salt is very expensive here in the States, but at the grocery store in Paris it was under three Euros a bag.  It adds a lot of flavor to recipes and it’s a fun way to remember the trip while doing an everyday task like cooking.

chocolate bars assorted

We also brought home a fantastic chocolate haul.  Visiting a chocolate shop was on my Paris bucket list, but I didn’t have a specific shop in mind.  One afternoon we asked the young lady working the desk at our hotel and she gave us the name of a great little shop on Rue Cler.

Chocolate with pistachio

This is the pistachio filled bar.  In the words of the young man who let us sample a bite in the chocolate shop, “it’s crazy”!  The color is reminiscent of guacamole, but the taste is pure pistachio.  So good!

Chocolate block stack

We also bought this stack of single origin chocolate.  We haven’t unwrapped these yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them all.

Paris was everything I imagined and more!  I’m so, so grateful Jim and I were able to go together.  To top it all off, we got bumped up to first class on the way home.  Those seats that fully recline to a bed are no joke.  That’s the way to travel!

New Motto – Take the Trip!

I hope reading about our trip has been an encouragement to you to follow through with your dreams.  Don’t let little worries get in the way of living life.  I’m not just talking about big trips to Europe.  There have been plenty of times in the past when I’ve let small worries get in the way of date nights, short get-aways, etc.

My new motto is “Take the trip!”  Whether it’s a small trip to take a walk in a new part of town or a larger opportunity, it’s worth it to stretch myself and do something new.

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22 Ways to Cook Pork in the Slow Cooker

I don’t know why, but I feel like I get stuck in a rut a lot with pork. It’s not that there aren’t dozens of ways to cook it, it’s just that I draw a blank on what to make with it. Sometimes I see recipes that look so good, but so seem a bit complicated and time-consuming. But, thanks to the slow cooker, it’s really not that hard.

PorkFb

I love the way that pork works with sweet, tangy flavors. As a sweeter meat, you can put sweeter sauces and fruits with it that you can’t with other kinds of protein. This makes it a great choice for sweet bbq style sandwiches, and sweet and sour Asian dishes. But Pork can hold its own with spicy flavors too.  Pulled pork is one of my favorite things. You can make it sweet or you can make it spicy. It’s good in a hot sandwich. It’s good in a taco. It’s amazing on top of sweet potatoes. But there are so many other pork dinners that we enjoy. From spicy tacos, to Mediterranean flair, to that delicious asian flavors. Making pork in the slow cooker is easy because you can cook it long and slow and get the meat tender and flavorful without drying it out. And with so many ways to make it, you are sure to find a meal that your family loves!

22 Ways to Cook Pork in the Slow Cooker

  1. Peach Pork BBQ Sliders
  2. Pork Gravy Sandwiches
  3. Teriyaki Pork Chops
  4. Tany Sweet Pork Chops
  5. BBQ Peach Pulled Pork
  6. Pork Carnitas
  7. Apple BBQ Pork Chops
  8. Honey Dijon Pork Chops &  Apples
  9. Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
  10. Pork Chops and Baked Beans
  11. Italian Herb Salt Pork Roast and Potatoes

Other Bloggers

  1. Cumin Pork Roast and Beans
  2. Mediterranean Pork with Couscous
  3. Brazillian Feijoada Pork and Black Beans
  4. Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  5. Thai Style Pork
  6. Mexi Style Pulled Pork
  7. Shredded Pork Tostadas
  8. Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  9. Pulled Pork & Mexican Coleslaw Tacos
  10. Asian Pork Tenderloin
  11. Jerk Pork

 

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Delegating Dinner Planning (and a sale!)

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Once the calendar flips to August, I begin to feel the crush of the school and soccer schedules.  I work from home and we homeschool, so I don’t quite get the benefit of my work hours increasing.  Rather, the available hours for work decrease once school starts.

The schedule crush has me searching for ways to streamline tasks.  One way I do that is by using Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plans.  In fact, these are pretty much designed based on what I find helpful.  It turns out that a lot of other people find it helpful too!

Whether I use the grocery list for a shopping trip in the store, or order online (thanks, Kroger and Walmart for providing this great service!), it is so much easier to do the shopping when I know what I need.  And once I’ve shopped the list, the pantry is full.  I can make the meals on the menu or make something else.  I usually stick to the meals, because we make sure there’s at least one 15 minute meal and one slow cooker meal each week.  Fast and easy!

If you want to delegate dinner planning too, I’ve got a sale for you!  

Now through August 16 you can get Weekly Meal Plans for a great price (use code SUMMERSALE):

Monthly – $10 $8/month recurring

3 Month – $21 $17/3 months recurring

12 Month – $60 $49 one time payment

Click here and use the code SUMMERSALE!

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16 Italian Style Slow Cooker Meals

When it comes to delicious, the Italians know how to put up a good plate of food.  With lots of herbs and that perfect savory tomato sauce, it’s pasta’s perfect match.

Copy of Asian Style

 

When it comes to Italian food, the slow cooker once again is a wonderful tool for getting lot of flavor into the meal. All sixteen of these meals are really easy to put together. Just a few minutes of prep, and then the slow cooker does the rest. I love great the house smells when Italian is on the slow cooker menu, and my family always is ready for dinner after being tempted all day by the delicious smells.
Serving a quick salad with your meal is a great way to round it out. You can easily spiff up a plain old salad in so many ways, but if you are take a look at my post on what to serve with Italian Food. It might give you some fresh inspiration on the perfect side dish to pair with these easy slow cooker Italian dinners. Of course, don’t forget a good, hearty bread and this delicious and easy dipping oil.

What’s your favorite Italian meal in the slow cooker?

16 Delicious Italian Style Slow Cooker Meals

  1. Italian Sausage Subs
  2. Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce
  3. Italian Herb Salted Pork Roast and Potatoes
  4. Italian Chicken and Tomatoes
  5. Meatballs and Spaghetti
  6. Sausage and Eggplant Pasta Sauce
  7. Italian Parm Herb Chicken and Potatoes
  8. Garlic Chicken
  9. Ravioli
  10. Italian Beef Sandwiches
  11. Italian Seasoned Salt Chicken
  12. Chicken and Gnocchi

Other Bloggers

  1. Zucchini Italiano
  2. Chicken and Zucchini Pasta
  3. Eggplant Parm
  4. Chicken Roll-ups

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