Getting Started with My New Toy, the Instant Pot

On Friday I turned 35 and one of the awesome gifts I got was an Instant Pot.  Garen got it for me.  He also got me a new diamond bracelet so he’s officially the best husband EVER.  He knew that I’d never buy one of these myself.  Plus, he also knew that I’d never get it out of the box and going on my own.  Technology and I have a love-hate relationship.  I love it but hate how intimidating it is to me.

We got it going yesterday afternoon with the water test and I cooked my first frozen chicken last night.  It worked like a charm.  And just like that, I was hooked…. just like everyone else that has one and has tried it.

Getting Started with my Instant PotToday I took advantage of the day at home and cooked up a round of food to get us started including:

Click on the links above to check out the recipes, all of which turned out great!  I’m just getting started so stay tuned to check out my experiments with my newest toy.

Happy Instant Potting!


Sweet Sunday: Easy Banana Bread

Today I had a few very ripe bananas and decided to make a little tasty treat for the family. My Grammy mailed this recipe to me when I was in college, along with $5 to buy a pound of butter and a loaf pan. Great memories and pretty great recipe too. It seems like we never end up eating all of our bananas before they get too ripe to eat, so this makes me feel better than wasting food. Waste not, want not, right?!? Plus, it makes for a great easy breakfast or snack for the kiddos. 

I cherish the note on the back. Grammy cracked and shelled thousands of pounds of pecans by hand in her lifetime. Almost every single recipe made with pecans was made with “her” pecans- she’d bag pounds each year to keep in the freezer. 

Enough reminiscing. You want the recipe, right?!? Here it is:

Easy Banana Bread


  • 3 Medium ripe bananas
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/2 Cup flour
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 Cup pecans (I’ve omitted them in these photos because the kids prefer it without- personally, I think it’s better WITH the pecans)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Prepare loaf pan or mini loaf pan (this is what I usually use- 3 out of 4 loafs) using spray of your choice. I like Bakers Choice (or something like that with flour included)
  • I put my ripe bananas in first and turn on my mixer until they’re well beaten. You could mash if you want. 
  • Add sugar, egg, and melted butter. Mix well. 
  • Add salt and baking soda. Mix. 
  • Slowly add flour. 
  • Mix and scrape bottom of bowl to be sure it’s all mixed in. 
  • Pour into either your loaf pan or 3 mini-loaf pans. 
  • If using a loaf pan, bake 40-45 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. If using mini-loaf pans (like my Wilton one pictured above) bake 30 mins. 
  • Cool slightly before removing. 

Enjoy- maybe with a little butter- because everything is better with butter!Yes, I got to enjoy my coffee for about twenty minutes today. It was AMAZING! And the mug…that’s from a Disney trip and my daddy bought it for me because I will always be his princess! Are you hungry yet? I’m trying not to go eat another slice… I keep telling myself, “It’s for the kids. It’s for the kids.” I’m not sure how long that will last. I will say that this is a very kid-approved recipe. Look at that smirk. She almost looks like she got caught in the cookie jar. Truth is- she ate Will’s slice before he had a chance. 

I hope your Sunday was as sweet as ours!

Sunday Sweets: Blonde Brownies

UPDATE: So I guess I really am blonde (pun soooo intended).  I just realized that I’ve already posted this recipe. I guess I thought it was just that good. The post is pretty much the same thing but maybe a little better photos if you want to check it out. Sorry ’bout that folks! Happy baking anyway!

This is one of my very favorite recipes. Here’s why:

  • Super easy
  • I almost always have everything that it calls for
  • Everyone loves them
  • Quick prep and cooking
  • Taste great
  • Who doesn’t like chocolate chips?!?
  • It was a recipe my Grammy made very often and it’s in one of my handwritten cookbooks from her. It originally was from Marty Henkes, a dear family friend.

Enough about why. You probably want to know how to make them. You won’t regret it.


  • 2 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 C Butter
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 small pckg semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream sugar and butter.
  • Add other ingredients except flour and chocolate chips.
  • Once blended, slowly add flour and mix.
  • Spread batter into greased pan. It will be very thick and it’s ok if it doesn’t go all the way to the side on the pan- it will expand as it bakes.
  • Top the batter with chocolate chips- try to spread them evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool slightly before cutting into squares.

Enjoy. You better taste one before you serve them because they won’t last long and you may not get one! But beware…it may be hard to stop with just one. I actually think I may let Garen cut them next time just so I don’t sneak too many!