Instant Pot Butter Chicken


A delicious and simple dish with loads of flavour from aromatic spices!


  • 8-12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp Garam Masala (most grocery stores carry this!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger (grated or puree)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or you can use a larger can if you like it saucier!)
  • 14 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch (dissolved in cold water)


  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the first amount of garam masala, salt and pepper.
  2. Set Instant Pot to saute (more) setting and melt butter.
  3. Brown chicken thighs in instant pot, working in batches if needed. Remove from pot.
  4. Add onions to butter and cook until they start to soften. Add garlic and ginger and saute for a couple minutes longer. Add the cumin, second quantity of garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, and brown sugar. Saute for a few minutes to bring out the flavour in the spices.
  5. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Scrape it clean so there are no burnt on pieces on the bottom. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  6. Sit the chicken thighs on top of the sauce and add any juices back.
  7. Seal the instant pot and set to cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  8. When complete, let it naturally release for about 10 minutes, before releasing the remainder of the pressure.
  9. Remove the top once pressure is released. Add the cream and corn starch.
  10. Allow sauce to thicken.
  11. Season with salt and additional brown sugar to taste.
  12. Serve with basmati rice, roasted cauliflower, and naan bread or papadams.



Hoisin Pork & Slow Roasted Onions


Here’s an easy recipe you can make any day! A little work the night before makes it easy. Onions can be cooked ahead of time and reheated!


  • 2 Pork Tenderloins
  • 300 ml Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce

Combine marinade ingredients and put half of marinade and the tenderloins in a plastic bag. Place in the fridge overnight. Store the other half of the marinade in a container to use as a sauce.


  • 4 – 5 Yellow Onions, whole, skins removed
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp whole Cumin Seeds
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

Put onions, oil, cumin, salt and pepper in a separate plastic bag over night.



Roast onions at 300*F for 3 hours.

When onions are ready, heat grill. Grill tenderloins for 6-7 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches approx 140*F. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Heat remaining marinade in a pot until boiling. If you want it a little thicker, combine 1 tsp corn starch with a splash of cold water and stir it in to thicken.

Slice tenderloins with a sharp knife into thick slices and serve with extra sauce, rice, and vegetables.

Andouille Sausage (Gluten Free!)

It all started when I needed Andouille sausage during the Christmas holiday and the local butcher had none. They usually make it fresh, but their order of pork wasn’t due for another day or two.

I decided – I have a Kitchenaid Mixer with the meat grinder, I’ll just make my own!

I was in luck – the grocery store had pork shoulder on half price, and the recipe seemed easy. The result? AMAZING. I don’t think I’ll ever buy it again.

Note: For this recipe, you need a meat grinder. Mine is the attachment that goes on the Kitchenaid Mixer. 




  • 5 lbs Pork (I used a pork shoulder and 1/2 pound of pork belly)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 cloves Fresh Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Sage
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Bay Leaf (I did this from dried Bay Leaves in my spice grinder, but you can do it in a mortar & pestle)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke (I used Hickory!)
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  1. Remove the skin from the pork shoulder, leaving on as much fat as you can.
  2. Chop the meat in small cubes, removing as much connective tissue as possible but leaving on as much fat as you can. The pork belly, provided it’s sliced in strips, should be ready to add to the grinder.
  3. Toss meat with the spices and chopped garlic.
  4. Run the mixture through the meat grinder using the coarse setting. If the grinder gets jammed up, shut off the motor and take it apart, removing the connective tissue that is jamming it.
  5. Once all of the meat is ground, add the liquid smoke.
  6. Grind the mixture using the fine setting.
  7. Add cold water

You will now have an andouille sausage blend! You can use it to stuff casings (that’s also a Kitchenaid attachments) or you can leave it loose and use it in chili. I like pan fried patties with scrambled eggs!

Gluten Free Coconut Cream Pie



  • 1 Mi-Del Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust

For the Toasted Coconut Topping

  • 1/3 cup flaked, sweetened coconut


  • 1½ cups coconut milk (whisked together to make sure it’s evenly incorporated)
  • 1½ cups 10% Cream (Blend or Half-and-Half)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1½ cups flaked, sweetened coconut
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla

Whipped topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  2. In a dry frying pan, toast the coconut topping, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the milks and egg yolks.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Add the coconut extract. Boil for one minute.
  5. Remove from the heat, add butter, coconut, salt, and vanilla.
  6. Pour filling into shell and refrigerate. There will be extra filling, which works great as a pudding!
  7. Whip the cream with a hand mixer using a whisk attachment until it’s half whipped. Add sugar and vanilla, beat until stiff.
  8. Top the pie and sprinkle with toasted coconut.



Italian Sausage Soup with Kale

After lots of heavy foods over the holidays, I’ve been craving something light. I had a package of sweet italian sausages in the fridge that needed to be used, so here is what ended up happening.



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded or finely chopped cabbage
  • 2 x 19 oz cans diced peeled tomatoes with juice (I used the ones with onions, celery,etc in them)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 4 handfuls baby kale or chopped kale
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups bow tie pasta, cooked separately to al dente and set aside


  1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Squeeze sausage out of the casings into small meatballs.
  3. Cook sausage over medium heat until browned, adding in onions, celery, garlic and carrots part way through.
  4. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, or until onions are soft.
  5. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, cabbage, and basil. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer until carrots are almost done, then add kale.
  7. Cook until carrots and cabbage are cooked through. Check seasoning again.
  8. To serve, put some cooked pasta in the bottom of the bowl, add soup, stir to combine.

PSP (Pumpkin Spice Penne)


I know you’re thinking…what?

But it’s that time of year when everything is Pumpkin Spice, isn’t it? So why not something savory?

Here’s a great meal when you get that Pasta craving…

Makes 4 Servings


  • 1 lb sweet italian sausage
  • 1 large sweet vidalia onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups pure canned pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 sage leaves, chopped
  • Penne, cooked
  • Fresh grated parmesan



In a deep frying pan, melt the butter. Add the sliced onion and cook over med-low heat until it begins to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Take the sausage and squeeze out the meat from the casing into small meatballs directly into the pan. Fry with the onions and garlic until the meat is mostly cooked and the meatballs have some browning on them, and the onions are very soft and caramelized.

Add the chicken stock, cream, and pumpkin. Combine well. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Sauté for a few minutes until everything is well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the sage leaves and sauté for another 3 minutes. You want to add them late in the cooking so they stay fresh, but cook long enough that they infuse their flavor.

Add the cooked pasta and serve topped with a dusting of grated Parmesan.

Red Pepper Serrano or Green Pepper Jalapeno Jelly

One thing my family has always loved to make is preserves.

Lately, my newest preserve obsession is pepper jellies – especially those with hot peppers in them. These delightful jellies are sweet, tangy, and with just a little heat (I found the jalapeno variation a little spicier). They go great with cream cheese for a simple appetizer if company shows up. Just take out a block of cream cheese, spoon some jelly on top, and serve with crackers.

For this recipe, you’ll need what’s called a “Boiling Water Canner”. An explanation is below, but here’s what it looks like:


I’ve added some tips at the bottom of the recipe for preparing your jars and lids, but you can find a step by step tutorial on canning, as well as other recipes here.

Finally, here’s the recipe.

Red Pepper Serrano or Green Pepper Jalapeno Jelly



  • 2 cups finely chopped bell pepper (red or green)
  • 2 hot peppers (serrano or jalapeno), mostly seeded and chopped very finely (NOTE: For the serrano version, I used 2 red serrano peppers and half of a red finger chili)
  • A couple shakes of hot pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups Cider Vinegar
  • 6 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 pouches Certo liquid pectin
  • Food coloring (red or green)
  • 5 250ml/8 oz mason jars with 2-piece lids



  1. Combine the peppers, vinegar and sugar in a large pot.wpid-20151028_210035.jpg
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in a few drops of either red or green food coloring, depending which variation you’re making, and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Return to the heat and bring back to a high boil on med-high heat.
  5. Add pectin and boil for 1 full minute.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Skim off any foam on the top of the mixture.
  8. Stir frequently for 5 – 10 minutes while the mixture starts to cool. This helps to distribute the peppers in the liquid and make sure they don’t all float to the top. If you find they’re still floating, keep stirring.
  9. Pour into prepared jars* and leave 1/4″ of space to the top of the jar.
  10. Wipe edges of jars to make sure they’re clean.
  11. Put on the heated flat lid** in place and screw on the ring to “fingertip tight”. Don’t over tighten, because they’ll need to breathe when you do the next step.
  12. Put all the jars in a canner*** and cover with water. Bring to a boil and “process” (or wpid-20151028_212744.jpgboil) for 10 solid minutes.
  13. Remove jars from the canner carefully and place on a flat surface covered with a towel. Do not tip the jars as you transfer them.
  14. Let jars cool to room temperature naturally.
  15. Remove the screw rings and check that all lids have sealed and that the “button” in the middle of each lid has clicked down in place.
  16. Use within one year.

* To prepare jars, run them through the sterilize cycle in the dishwasher and make sure to keep them warm until you’re ready to use them. Alternatively, you can put them in your canner and bring them to a boil for 5 – 10 minutes.
** To prepare lids, put them in a pot of water and bring almost to a boil until water is hot, but not bubbling. Use lids directly out of the hot water.
***You can buy a canner (which is a very large pot with a rack in it) or you can use a very large pot and buy just the rack. Canadian Tire sells the whole canning kit for around $50 with the pot, rack, lid magnet, jar lifter, proper sized funnel, gapping tool for the tops of jars. It’s well worth it!

TIP: Don’t put cold jars in already boiling water – it’ll shock them too much. Make sure your jars are warm to start, fill them with the warm jelly, and then put them in somewhat hot water that isn’t boiling and bring to a boil gently. Processing time starts when the pot has a full boil, so keep an eye on it.


Stuffed Tomatoes with Feta

I was on a kick of Greek-inspired flavours this week. It started with some homemade Spanakopita, and continued with this dish – one of my favorites. It’s my take on a greek classic – Yemista.


  • tomato8 – 10 large ripe tomatoes, tops cut off and scooped out well into a bowl. Keep insides for later – I use a grapefruit spoon to do this scooping!
  • 1lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


Drizzle tomatoes inside and out with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Set aside in a baking dish.

wpid-20150901_183007.jpgIn a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute onion. When half cooked, add ground beef, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Brown the beef. Chop up the pulp removed from the tomatoes. Add it to the beef. Add the rice. Add ½ cup feta cheese. Add tomato sauce. Adjust seasoning as needed. Saute for 2 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates/gets absorbed.


Scoop into tomatoes and top with remaining crumbled feta. Bake at 400 for 30 min.



Ain’t Muffin Wrong with That

I grew up in a household where we followed Weight Watchers and regularly had many of the recipes from that plan. Here are a few of the muffin recipes I had regularly when growing up – guilt free!


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ½ bag chocolate chips

Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in one bowl. In another bowl, combine the bananas, milk, water, butter, and egg. Add the chocolate chips to the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Cook @ 400F for 20-25 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.


Cheddar Muffins

  • 1 cup + 2 tsp flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  •  1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (5 oz)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the shredded cheese to the dry ingredients. Mix together the milk, egg, and butter in another bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. The mixture will be very thick and lumpy.

Cook @ 400F for 15 min or until batter is set. Makes 6 – 7 muffins.


Cranberry Banana Bread/Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda in a bowl. Add cranberries. In another bowl, mix together banana, sugar, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

This can either be done as a cake/bread, or as muffins. If making it as a cake or bread, cook at 350F for 35 min. If making in muffin tins, bake for less time, until the mixture is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Gluten Free Lemon Sour Cream Pie

First off, there is no picture of this pie….because we ate it all before I could take one.

One of my best friends can’t have gluten, but that has never stopped us from having a top notch meal together. I have gotten very used to making recipes gluten free or coming up with ideas that are ALREADY gluten free.

This pie is great when you want something not too sweet, and it’s easily made gluten free by using a graham cracker crust.

Yield: 8 servings.


This is where I kind of wing it. I had an extra large pie plate so I used a whole box of Gluten Free Graham-Style crumbs. You can gauge it based on the size of your pie plate.


  • Gluten free graham style crumbs
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • Approx 1/4 cup melted butter (just enough to make it have the texture of wet sand)


Mix together in a bowl and press with your hands into a pie plate until it forms a nice crust. Bake in the oven @ 350 for 10 – 12 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.



For my large pie plate, I made 1.5 times the recipe to fill the shell. This is for a normal sized pie plate.


  • 1 cup turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped with 2 tbsp white sugar and 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a large heavy saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Whisk in milk and lemon juice until smooth.
  3. Add lemon zest and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
  4. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, whisking constantly.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Stir in butter and sour cream.
  10. Add filling to crust and cool completely in the refrigerator.
  11. Top with whipped cream. Store in the refrigerator.