Using a Pressure Cooker…plus, a Recipe Book!

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Oh my gosh, you guys…I have a new love.  And he plugs into the wall and makes my dinner-hour-woes so much more manageable.  Yes, I’m talking about my pressure cooker.  Have any of you used one?  Or did you just get one recently for Christmas and haven’t jumped in and started using it yet?  Well, get ready for a new best friend.

Here’s why I call it my dinner-hour-woes.  I consistently put off even thinking about dinner time until it’s about 4:00 p.m. and I end up scrambling for what to throw together for my 4 little birdies, plus one large bird (husband) for dinner in about an hour or so.  Ugggh, it becomes such a chore.  I usually end up wishing I would have put something in my crock pot that morning because even though I don’t mind making a complicated recipe, I don’t have enough arms.  My kiddos all tend to need me most right around this time of day….so the easier the recipe, the BETTER!  But here’s why I love my pressure cooker……I can still throw things together in that pot (even as late as 4:00) and have something ready to place on the table when Steve walks in the door from work around 5:30-6.  It. Has. Been. HEAVENLY!!!!!!!!

So, what the heck is a pressure cooker?  And why does it sound like something your grandma used 700 years ago to can her peaches?  (Or was I the only one that thought that?!)  Well, this is where you’re wrong.  While, yes, it was traditionally used in many households for canning fruits and veggies, it’s actually this really cool cooking vessel that seals tightly and increases pressure inside, which speeds up the cooking process (and uses less energy).

I shared a Candied Sweet Potato recipe a few months ago that I made for Thanksgiving that takes only 4 minutes of cook time to turn raw sweet potatoes into a gloriously delicious side dish!

But, I have to admit, my favorite thing to make in my Pressure Cooker…..is MEAT!!!  Pork roast, beef roast, chicken breast, anything.  And yeah, it only takes about 75 minutes of cook time for tender shreds of generally tough meat (that takes 6+ hours in my slow cooker)!  Oh my.  (But if you want to use your pressure cooker as a crock pot and cook something all day, without the pressure, you can do that too. So cool.)

Here’s the deal.  I didn’t know much about the pressure cooker and what it could really do, until my friend Cami (blogger at Tidbits) shared with me her eBook that she and her sister Marci created, “Master the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook”…..and I learned what a magical little vessel I now had sitting on my counter!

 

After pouring over all the super cool tips and advice from the eBook (even before looking over the recipes), I was shocked.  I had no idea this machine could do so much….and create so many tender and flavor rich foods!  Seriously guys, this machine will blow your socks off.

My first recipe from the book, was this Pork Burrito Bowl meat, which we use for pork tacos and pork nachos!  But you guys…..this pulled pork is like no other flavor I’ve tried.  It has fresh orange and lime, as well as garlic and cumin and variety of other spices that blend together for a super flavorful meat, that is now our FAVORITE pulled pork recipe!!!!

 

All that flavorful and tender meat made in 75 minutes of pressure cooking (as well as a slow release)……in this beauty of machine, sitting right on top of my counter!

No stirring, no adding ingredients, no temp adjustments…….just throw all your ingredients inside and let it do its thing! 🙂

Once it’s done, and depending on your recipe, you can either do a quick release to let all of the pressure out of the top valve and take the top right off….or just wait for it to release naturally after it’s done cooking (which takes more time and continues to cook and tenderize your food, without using any additional energy).

 

—-> Oh, and wait, before I get into more about the Ebook cookbook, let me tell you a thing about my pressure cooker.  I have the 6 Qt “Fagor” Pressure Cooker (this one HERE) because Fagor sent it to me last fall to test out and I absolutely LOVE it!  However, another very common brand, is “Instant Pot” brand (here is the 6 Qt HERE), which is slightly cheaper and wildly popular right now.  I have a few friends who have both brands (because yes, once you get one…..you want about 5 more pressure cookers!), and from what I’ve heard, both brands are amazing.  Fagor is a little more intuitive and seems to reach pressure a little faster, but both seem to be really great machines and have equally amazing reviews!  Either way, I think you’ll be really happy!

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Anyway, I have a few friends who have purchased a pressure cooker recently (or received one for Christmas), and aren’t really sure where to start.  Well, first, it’s best to figure out what your pot can really do.  And I know sometimes the info out there seems pretty outdated or just scattered and confusing.  That’s where this eBook comes in……“Master the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook”.

You will be blown away by the charts, the tips, the bonus features, and even a Facebook group you can join and ask questions, share ideas, etc.  Your mind is about to be blown! 🙂

 

The book is stuffed with tons and tons of pictures of each and every recipe.  Oh, and there is a category for everything from your simple corn on the cob…..to side dishes, breakfasts, desserts, and flavorful meats of every kind!

Oh, and German Chocolate Cheesecake in the PRESSURE COOKER??  Yep! And probably the creamiest and most tender slice you’ve ever put in your mouth! 🙂

 

Each recipe is beautifully written, with pictures, tips, and a time chart….which breaks down how long each step of the process takes.  Generally the prep time doesn’t take much time at all.  Just have your pressure cooker do all the work!

 

One of my favorite tips, is how to ripen an avocado or banana for use in recipes that call for them…..but yours just aren’t quite ripe yet.  Genius! 🙂 
Something that I haven’t tried yet but have heard RAVE reviews about…..is making your own yogurt in the pressure cooker.  This book has the best tips, making the process seem very do-able!  But once it’s done, I hear you’ll never go back to store bought yogurt again. Ever!

 

Oh, and another thing…..HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT!  Cami and her sister Marci have tested and tried and tried and tested the art of homemade vanilla.  They have compiled all of their research and testing into this recipe and have shared their deliciously potent homemade vanilla!  (Which only takes about 10 minutes of prep time!!) YUM!

 

Okay, I could go on and on…..and that’s because this eBook excites me that much!  And has helped me so much with my pressure cooker!  And doesn’t feel outdated like many other resources tend to be.  Seriously, so well done Cami and Marci!!!!!

Read more about the eBook “Master the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook” —> HERE and get using that pressure cooker of yours already!

 

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Oh, and just a reminder HERE’S the 6 Qt “Fagor” brand Pressure Cooker that I use.  And HERE’S the “Instant Pot” brand Pressure Cooker that is also very popular and slightly less expensive.  (But like I explained above, the Fagor brand that I use is slightly more intuitive and seems to reach pressure a little quicker. But both are great machines!!!)

Now, excuse me while I enjoy more of our Citrus-y delicious Pulled Pork that we make in bulk and then freeze and eat for all sorts of meals that are DEEEEE-licious! 🙂

 

Hope you enjoy simplifying your meal-time-prep as much as I have!

-Ashley

 

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