Cindee’s Instant Pot® Chili

As the name suggests, this recipe was completed using the InstantPot® pressure cooker. But you can do the same thing using conventional methods. We just like the InstantPot® because it cuts our time at the stove to a minimum.

If you have a pressure cooker other than the InstantPot may I suggest you cut the times down a bit and check in on the concoction after say, three-quarters of the time stated. In our own trials we found that we had to cook the beans another 20 minutes. We probably could have saved that time by soaking the beans overnight, but we started with dry beans, and, they are kidney beans anyway – they take a little longer to cook than softer beans.

For those of you using conventional cooking methods I strongly suggest soaking the beans overnight. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache slaving over the stove. And, going conventional allows you the opportunity to add the meat into the chili and let the flavors marry.

As for the homemade veggie stock: we used leeks, carrots, onions, mushrooms, parsley, spinach, bell peppers, and dill, thyme and oregano. We used the pressure cooker for that as well.

Without further ado,


3/4 can (15 oz. can) crushed tomato
20 ounces dry kidney beans
1 jalapeno chiles, chopped w/seeds
4 cups homemade Veggie stock
3 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 chipotle chilis, chopped
1/4 can (15 oz. can) crushed tomato (remainder of the can)
1/2 cup Eric’s Carne Asada Sauce (recipe follows)


Cook the beans, crushed tomato, jalapeno, veggie stock, water, chili powder and paprika on beans/chili  setting for 30 minutes.

Then cook on manual for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a pan cook the ground beef, onion, chipotle peppers and the rest of the can of crushed tomatoes along with 1/2 cup of Eric’s Carne Asada sauce.

When beans are done add the beef mixture to the pot and warm for a few minutes to let the flavors marry. Like most soups and chilis, it tastes better the next day.

Bon Appetite

Eric’s Carne Asada Sauce

2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 white onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 dried new mexico chile pods
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

First, take the New Mexico Chili pods and toast them in a dry frying pan on medium heat. Do that for about 7 minutes or until you can smell them starting to burn. Then, move them into a dish with water so they can soak for about half an hour

Next, take the tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and garlic and chop them coarsely. Put them on a baking pan and roast them on 400 degrees for twenty minutes. If you are using a toaster oven you may have to roast them a little longer. What you want is for them to brown around the edges. Afterwards, place them in a blender or food processor (preferably a blender) along with the chili pods that you toasted on the stove and chopped coarsely.
*Note: concerning fire – you decide how hot you want the sauce. Leaving the seeds in the jalapenos will render a spicy flavor with heat. If you are like my wife and son, you like the heat. You can always add more jalapenos to the mix. It’s all in your hands.


Classic Sauces

Many times, when I try to think of what to cook for dinner, I start by thinking of what sauces I might like to base my dinner around. I have spent a good amount of time seeking out recipes for good sauces. Anything from Asian sauces to the Classics, sauces make our meals breathtaking.

Here, I offer you a small selection of Classic Sauces to add to your recipe book.

1. Classic Alfredo Sauce – Williams/Sonoma Kitchens

2. Classic Bearnaise Sauce – Mario Battali

3. Four Seasons’ Brown Sauce – Four Seasons Restaurant, NYC

First up, Alfredo Sauce. This recipe has been adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series. It is a foolproof and delicious recipe.

Begin with the best ingredients you can find. In this case, get heavy cream that is not ultrapasteurized. You’ll want it to have some body. And the butter. Get Plugra or KerryGold butter, unsalted. These two butters are nice and creamy and have a flavor reminiscent of fine European butters. Next, get fresh off the wheel wedges of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Finish it off with freshly grated nutmeg. Finally, if you can, use a good sea salt or kosher salt and freshly cracked or ground black pepper.

It’s a simple recipe, really, but it tastes like you slaved over the stove for hours.


1 ½ cups heavy cream

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (can substitute shredded parmesan)

salt and pepper to taste

freshly grated nutmeg to taste


In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the cream and butter to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 minute. Add 6 Tbs. of the cheese and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper and a generous pinch of nutmeg. (Be judicious with the salt. Parmigiano-Reggiano is salty, so too much added salt will throw this creamy, sweet sauce out of balance.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the freshness of the pasta. Drain the pasta well.

Put the pasta in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with 6 Tbs. of the cheese and toss well. Serve immediately. Pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a first course.

2. Classic Bearnaise Sauce

This recipe comes from Mario Battali. This classic sauce is best known for adorning fine cuts of steak, but really, it can be used over almost anything. Use it over poultry or fish or vegetables to add a savory kick to any dish. It can also be used in place of hollandaise and can go so far as being used in sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.


¼ cup white wine vinegar

1 small shallot, peeled and minced

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 T. + 1 t. chopped tarragon leaves

2 egg yolks

12 T. unsalted butter, melted

kosher salt, to taste

splash of lemon juice


Put the vinegar, shallots, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of tarragon leaves into a small saucepan, and set over a medium flame. Bring just to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer until there are only a few tablespoons of liquid left, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.

Fill a small saucepan with an inch or two of water, and set over medium-high heat to boil.

Put the cooled shallot-and-tarragon mixture into a metal mixing bowl along with a tablespoon of water and the egg yolks, then whisk to combine.

Turn the heat under the saucepan of water down to its lowest setting, and put the bowl on top of the pan, making sure that it does not touch the water directly. Continue to whisk the yolks until they thicken, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. You should just about double the volume of the yolks.

Slowly beat in the butter, a tablespoon or two at a time, whisking slowly to combine and emulsify. Remove the bowl from the pan occasionally, so as not to overcook the eggs, and taste the sauce. Season with salt. If the flavor is not sharp enough, add a splash of lemon juice. If the sauce is too thick, stir in a splash of hot water. Add the remaining teaspoon of tarragon leaves, and serve.

3. Four Seasons’ Brown Sauce (Sauce Espagnole)

This sauce is a bit of work, but it goes everywhere. It also freezes well, so you can make a large batch and freeze it in individual bags so that you can have it handy anytime.


2 T. pork fatback or bacon

½ cup sliced carrots

¼ cup chopped onions

1 t. thyme

1 bay leaf

1 T. salt

1 t. pepper

1 ½ cups flour

1/3 cup butter

1 ½ quarts beef stock (or any stock you prefer)

1 pound fresh tomato, peeled and chopped

1 cup white wine


Brown carrots and onions slowly with the fatback and add the seasonings.

Mix flour and butter to form a rouix and add, mixing well.

Add a quart of stock and simmer very slowly for three hours.


Let stand overnight.

Add remaining stock, tomatoes and wine and simmer slowly for 2 hours, skimming fat and scum.

Strain again.

Use it right away or let it cool and place in the fridge for up to seven days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

14 – spice rub

As promised, here is the 14-spice rub. Following this recipe will yield about 2 cups (enough to rub three or four steaks). If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, you can always “wing it” and try something new by adding your own choice spices to the mix. I’ve found that adding lime juice gives it a nice tangy feel.

You can make a basic rub with just about any spice, but three must haves are brown sugar (dark or light); chili powder; and paprika (smoked is always good). From there you can build your own with what you have on hand.

Have some fun with it.


1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup seasoned salt
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon celery salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon rubbed dried sage
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Simply combine all of the ingredients/spices and pack onto the meat. If you are uncomfortable with that because of the spices falling off the meat you can add in a tablespoon of olive oil, or like I do, add in the juice of one lemon. That moisture will help the rub stick to the meat better. And don’t forget to let the meat come to room temperature before you cook it.

Eric and Cindee’s Steak Rub

This is a good classic rub to make your mouth water. It can be adjusted for heat depending on how spicy you like your meat. We just threw this together one afternoon with the spices we had on hand and I am pleased to say: it works well.

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons pepper steak seasoning
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
*some adjustments can be made to the amount of olive oil used.


Combine all of the dry ingredients first, then add in the olive oil and mix well. Add mixture to the butter and smather onto the steak. Its best to allow the rubbed steak to “rest” for about fifteen minutes prior to broiling or grilling.

We also have an awesome 14-spice rub that it out of this world. I’ll post that tonight or tomorrow.

Enchiladas and Homemade Sauce


We got this recipe from It is a very good recipe and so easy to make. We love the fact that we can make the sauce ahead of time (in large quantities) and let the flavors marry overnight (or longer). We also love the fact that a little food goes a long way. We can feed the three of us for just a few dollars this way and we are all full. AND, homemade is always better than store-bought.


1 pound ground beef
1 large, white onion
1 green bell pepper
10- 12 flour tortillas
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
3 cups Mexican blend cheese
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh cilantro

For the Sauce:

2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

2. Begin the sauce by heating oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and whisking in the flour. Stirring so it doesn’t burn, cook for 1 minute.

3. Add in the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, oregano, cumin and pepper, and stir it all  together.

4. Gradually pour in the chicken stock and continue whisking to get rid of lumps.

5.  Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer until thick. (about 12-15 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

6. In a large pan or skillet, brown the beef on all sides over medium-high heat. Drain and discard the fat, then season with salt and pepper and set aside.

7. In the same pan, saute the onions and bell peppers for 5-7 minutes, or until softened.

8. Create an assembly line at your workstation by lining up tortillas, sauce, beans, beef and veggies, and cheese.

9.  On a flat surface, lay out a tortilla and spread a medium amount of red sauce over the whole thing. Place beans in a line down the center of the tortilla, then top with beef, vegetables and cheese.

10. Roll up the tortilla (don’t worry about folding in the sides) and transfer it to baking dish.

11. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Once finished, cover enchiladas with remaining red sauce and cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and enchilada is warmed through.

12. Remove from the oven, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Chicken and Dumplings

There’s nothing like a little comfort food to warm you up on a cold afternoon. This recipe takes advantage of store bought prepackaged items that helps save time without losing out on flavor.

I like my homemade drop-dumplings but my loved ones prefer the Bisquick version, so Bisquick it is. The canned soup is flavorful and adds a nice creamy texture to the soup and that’s why we like it. I hope you like it too.

Ingredients list:

2 pounds chicken breast – fresh or frozen

1 large carrot

1 medium onion

3 ribs celery

1/2 bag frozen peas

3 (10 -1/2 ounce) cans of cream of chicken soup

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon rosemary

3 bay leaves

dash of salt

dash of black pepper

2 1/4 cups Original Bisquick® mix

2/3 cup milk


1. Dice the carrots, onion and celery.
2. Empty soup cans into a 6 quart pot and add water to about 3 inches from the top of pot. Turn stove on to medium-high. Stir until the soup base is liquified.
3. Cut up the chicken and add to water.
4. Add diced veggies, frozen peas and stir.
5. Add herbs and stir. Lower the temp to warm.
6.Cook 2 hours stirring occasionally. Now bring soup to boil.
7. Make dumplings as per the Bisquick box and add to soup. Boil for a few minutes then reduce heat to medium. Cook for ten minutes.




German Potato Salad

This recipe comes to us from my mother. Although, she didn’t create it. We’ve had this recipe in our house for decades and it never fails to please. It is great warm or cold and it goes well with brats or any kinds of sausage, obviously.


10 medium potatoes

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 pound bacon, diced

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup sour cream

chopped parsely



Cook potatoes, covered, in salted boiling water to cover, about 35 minutes or until tender. Peel warm potatoes, slice: add onion, in large skillet, fry bacon, removed from heat. Lift bacon out with slotted spoon. Pour off fat; return 3 tablespoons to skillet. Mix the flour into fat; add sugar, butter, salt, pepper, vinegar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat and add sour cream. Add potatoes, onions, half the bacon; toss gently. Sprinkle with rest of bacon and the parsley. Serve warm or cold.

Cindee’s Simply Fruity Chili

Cindee’s Simply Fruity Chili

This is a favorite in our house. This is so simple it’s criminal.  What this recipe lacks in preparation it makes up for in taste. We like to use fruits in our cooking as it provides a nice, sweet bite to the dish and there are many good vitamins to be had from different fruits. If you wish, you can always add some beef to the mix to give it some oomphf. We like it both ways. And to spice it up a bit, you can always add a jalapeno or two or whichever your favorite chili pepper is. No matter what you choose, you are sure to have a great meal!


1 ½ pounds of red beans

1 large red onion, diced

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 whole mangoes, diced

1 whole papaya, diced

2 cups pineapple chunks (freshly diced or from a can)

(optional: 1 pound beef, browned)

(optional: chili peppers of your choice)


Soak the beans overnight.

Place the beans in a slow cooker and set it on high. Cook for 4 hours. Add in the fruits, chili powder and, if using the beef and peppers, add them in too. Cook on medium for another 4 hours.

And that’s it! You have a sweet, hot chili! Simple, right?!

Perfect Potatoes au Gratin

Our family is a big fan of Ree Drummond – The Pioneer Woman. Her recipes are usually simple and always tasty. This Au Gratin recipe is no exception. It’s very easy to make and there is enough to feed four people. Match this with a good Salisbury Steak recipe or a nice baked ham, and you’ve got something wonderful on your plate!

Note: Cut the recipe in half if you don’t have a large casserole dish, or, if you are feeding only two people.


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes

2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar
2 green onions, sliced thin (white and light green parts only)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a large baking dish with the butter.

Slice the potatoes into sticks, and then cut the sticks to create a dice. (Note: we just slice them thin, we don’t dice and it comes out great)

Combine the cream and milk in a bowl. Add the flour, salt and some pepper. Whisk it together well so that the flour is incorporated into the milk/cream mixture. Add the diced potatoes to the prepared baking dish and pour the creamy mixture all over the top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes more. Just before serving, sprinkle on the grated cheese and return it to the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the green onions and serve it hot. Creamy, dreamy and divine.

2011 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved

CATEGORIES: Potato Side Dish Easy View All



Taqueria Style Tacos -Carne Asada

Tacos Carne Asada
This recipe is SOOOOO Good! It’s a bit of work, but it is So Very Well Worth It. And if you team it up with some Fiesta Beans. You will be so satisfied and full. Enjoy!
Prep time: PREP 25 mins COOK 10 mins READY IN 1 hr 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins (more like 30 minutes by the time you’re done with all the meat)

Servings: 16

3 pounds flank steak
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

1 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced

2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 white onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 dried new mexico chile pods
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

1 (32-ounce) package corn tortilla
2 cups grated cotija cheese (optional)
2 limes, cut into wedges


Lay the flank steak in a large glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the steak in the dish. Turn over once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1 to 8 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together 1 chopped white onion, cilantro, and the juice of 1 lime. Set aside to use as a relish for the tacos.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Toast chile pods in the skillet for a few minutes, then remove to a bowl of water to soak for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Place the tomatoes, 1 onion, jalapenos, and 4 cloves of garlic onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until toasted but not burnt. Place the roasted vegetables, and soaked chile pods into a blender or food processor, along with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the marinated flank steak into cubes or strips. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable. Tortillas may also be warmed in a microwave oven. Arrange two or three tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of beef over them. Top with a sprinkle of the onion relish and a large spoonful of the pureed salsa. Add as much cheese as you like. Garnish with lime wedges, and serve.