Category Archives: Recipes

Best Pressure Cooker Recipes: Instant Pot Favorites

So you have your hands on a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, but aren’t quite sure what dish you should make next? An electronic pressure cooker is an extremely versatile kitchen appliance equally capable of roasting meats, making delicious stews, making perfect rice, or even baking breads.

And because a pressure cooker can speed cooking times greatly when compared to a standard slow cooker, you can put a huge number of delicious, healthy meals on the table in no time. Ready to get started? Below is a list of our favorite tried-and-true pressure cooker recipes that we’ve made several times in the past.

Chicken adobo made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker

Discover more than a dozen pressure cooker recipes!

Secrets to the perfect steak: Cooking sous vide

Want to make the perfect grilled steak? Sous vide is a great method to cook steak exactly how you want it, but most sous vide steak recipes on the internet lack a critical steps that make all the difference between mediocre meat and a perfectly cooked, mouth-watering masterpiece.

Many sous vide enthusiasts get frustrated when they can’t replicate the perfect steak they see on blogs, videos, or Instagram. I was in the same boat for a long time. You know what it looks like, the perfect steak has a uniform, pink color on the inside and a thin, beautifully caramelized sear on the outside. And a great sous vide steak looks so invitingly juicy and tender.

But contrary to popular belief, it’s pretty easy to mess up a steak when cooking sous vide. In my years of cooking sous vide, I’ve made all of the newbie mistakes.

Learn how to cook the perfect sous vide steak

Healthy Homemade Dog Food… Fast (with a pressure cooker)

Healthy Dog Food Pressure Cooker

When our Boston Terrier Jack turned 10, we started to think more about his health, especially with the low-quality, dangerous dog food causing illness and even death in some pets. We didn’t want to feed him mass-produced dog food, even from previously well-trusted brands.

We decided that cooking quality, human-grade food made of chicken, veggies, and grains was the best way to ensure he’s eating well. And our recipe was a hit with Jack, a notoriously picky eater. Additionally, since feeding him this fresh dog food, we get lots of compliments on how shiny his coat is and how young he looks.

When we started making the recipe below, we were cooking with a crock pot, which required 8 hours of cook time. While we were happy with the result, it was far too time consuming to make.

Healthy Dog Food Pressure Cooker

When I adapted the same recipe for my Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker, I could cook everything in 1 hour. Also, the quality of the dog food I made was much better than with a crock pot, results were more consistent (it’s easy to control precisely how long each ingredient cooks), and cleanup became much easier (no more burnt on food on the sides of a pot).

Check out our recipe for healthy dog food

Taiwanese Pork Rice Recipe ( 魯肉飯 / 滷肉飯 )

Photo by Yohmi via Flickr

When I think about childhood, I immediately remember mom’s home cooking. When I think of comfort food, I don’t think of meatloaf and fried chicken like many other Americans – I think about Taiwanese street food. One of my favorites is a savory, flavor packed pork dish that’s quite simple to make at home.

Back in the motherland you can get Taiwanese pork rice (魯肉飯 / 滷肉飯 / lu rou fan) in any street market and in many Taiwanese style restaurants. I haven’t found it here in Austin, Texas so I have to make my own using mom’s recipe.

Click through to learn how to make Taiwanese pork rice

Gadget Review – The Limebrero Promises to get Lime Juice into your Beer Faster and More Efficiently

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Let’s celebrate with sombreros, Mexican beers, and a first from the TastingBuds! Yes, we are entering the age of new media with 720p HD video!

The following post is a video review of a new product that I heard about on the Diggnation show. The guys on the show liked the Limebrero, a hybrid fruit juicer / funnel that fits a standard beer bottle, so I thought I would give it a try.

I chatted with the Limebrero guys on Twitter asking if I could do a review for our food blog, and a few days later they not only sent me a Limebrero for review, they also included another product called the Lime Funnel.

Did the Limebrero work as advertised? Is this gadget actually more convenient than the old fashioned way of squeezing a lime into your favorite Mexican beverage (Dos XX in this case)?

To find out, either watch the short 2 minute video review, or click through for the answer.

Bacon Alternative – Pork Chop Egg Sandwich

Pork Chop Egg Sandwich

As you all may have read in our Happy Birthday post, one of TastingBuds, Sondra, is pregnant. This has led to quite a change in the eating habits around the Vallejo house. The crackling smell of bacon that was once familiar, is now a distant memory. Well, I needed some bacon, or something like it, so I came up with a quick recipe that was a great “healthy” alternative to bacon!

I took a left over grilled pork chop and sliced it lengthwise so that it closely resembled bacon. Note: I’ve also done this recipe using raw thick cut pork loin, but grilling it first gives it more flavor. I then spiced each side with salt, pepper, and paprika. I heated up a little olive oil in a saute pan, placed my bacon alternative in the pan and let it sizzle away. The results? An excellent combination crispy, caramelized, smokey, spicy, and very lean. The texture was crunchy, with a slight chewiness and the perfect addition to my fried egg sandwich.



Discovering Okinawan Sweet Potatoes in Hawaii + 2 Tasty and Easy Recipes

tastingbuds_okinawan_purple_sweet_potato_hawaiian (2)

Here’s a fun and delicious ingredient that you might not have encountered before, Okinawan Sweet Potatoes, AKA Hawaiian purple potatoes, or purple sweet potatoes. They are known for their distinct purple color and unique sweet yet earthy taste, and I think they are way better than a regular sweet potato.

I discovered this culinary delight on my recent trip to Hawaii and have been hooked ever since. Because it was so delicious in all of the forms I tried, I had to experiment with this ingredient once I got home and I decided to make something from it for Thanksgiving.

Click here to read more about Okinawan Sweet Potatoes

A Tasting Buds Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Candy Turkey

  • Turkey Treats by Kaetlan

As the Tasting Bud who claims not to cook, I surprised everyone last Thanksgiving when I volunteered to bring a side dish to the feast. We were expecting more than 30 family members and friends, so I had to come up with something good. I thought about three of the essential food groups: carbs, cheese, and bacon. You really can’t go wrong with that combination, so I opted to make macaroni and cheese. I can, however, tell you a little about my process.

Click here to see the rest of the post

Guest blog from j9online – Marinara: Tomatoes…and Basil…and Squash… Oh My!

J9's Marinara Sauce

This post is courtesy of our great friend and Blogger Jeaneane McNulty from j9online!

Sometime around late July/early August, my garden gets unruly. It’s getting enough water (thanks to my handy-dandy timer-controlled drip irrigation system), an abundance of sunshine, and not enough human attention, so the things that like it hot start to get a little, um, “frisky”. One day, I noticed a pile of very ripe tomatoes where my countertop used to reside. Curious, I ventured out of the AC to check on the growing things and – gasp – the basil is bolting! The eggplant has suddenly produced a dozen ripe fruits! A mega-squash is visibly lengthening on the vine and the bell peppers, while copious, are tiny from overcrowding.

Folks, it’s time to stop the madness and make some marinara!

Click here to read about marinara mania!

Parkside x2

Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Trinchero Cabernet Sauvignon

For as long as I can remember, I have been more than willing to try any food, and really, any drink, at least once.  After all, isn’t a sense of culinary adventure the key ingredient to being a foodie?  Part of my adventurous nature is inherited from my Mexican lineage – memories of my childhood include pig slaughters, fish frys, and barbacoa for Sunday breakfast.  The other side is continually nurtured by wonderful people I meet along the path of food discovery – a motley crew of cooks, mixologists, and people who just love to eat.  Mollejas (sweetbreads)? Sure. Chicken liver pate? Bring it on. Duck rillette? Um…do you really have to ask?

Continue reading about the Tastingbuds’ Parkside adventure