Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pinto Beans with Jalapeno Sausage

Being from the south, we love our pinto beans. Before the Instant Pot came along, it was a long affair in the slow cooker. But no more - you can have your beans ready to eat in less than an hour for the entire family to enjoy!

Pinto Beans with Jalapeno Sausage
by Glenn Edwards

Here's what you're going to need:
1 package of Jalapeno sausage, sliced into half-inch rounds
1 medium yellow onion, cut into quarters
5 cups of water
1/2 of a 6-ounce package of Canadian bacon, cut into quarters
1/2 of a 24-ounce package of thick-cut peppered bacon (pre-cooked in the oven and torn into 1-inch pieces)
1 pound of dried pinto beans (rinsed and soaked overnight)
1/2 cup of sweet jalapenos

Start by slicing the jalapeño sausage and onion and sauté in your IP. Next add the 5 cups of water, as well as Canadian bacon, peppered bacon and pinto beans (that have been drained) and mix well. Select the Bean setting on your Instant Pot and adjust time to 20 minutes. As always, allow it to come up to pressure which may take 15-20 minutes. Once the timer expires, allow it to NR for 10 minutes, then do manual release and serve!

As a side note, if you desire, make your favorite cornbread recipe to have with it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Instant Pot Burgundy Beef

The Instant Pot is such a great tool to have in the kitchen. With so many different functions, it is nice to have one appliance that does so much. I chose to slow cook this recipe because I knew I would be home all day. Having a sauté function in the same place means less mess and cleanup. After using the Instant Pot for a while, I know for sure it now has a permanent home in my kitchen.

Instant Pot Burgundy Beef
by Sarah M.

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
2 Tablespoons beef roast seasoning (I used this Beef Roast Seasoning from The Spice House)
3/4 cup flour
6 thick slices of bacon, diced
1 heaping Tablespoon garlic paste
1 8-ounce package of white mushrooms
1 8-ounce package of cremini mushrooms
3/4 pound pearl onions (frozen works perfectly here)
1 10.5 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups burgundy wine
100 milliliters (2 shots) cognac

Add the beef roast seasoning to the flour in a large bowl. Add in the beef and toss to fully coat each piece.

Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function on the more setting. Add in the bacon and sauté until the bacon is crisp. Once the bacon is done, take it out with a slotted spoon.

Add the floured meat to the pot to let it brown on all sides. This will have to be done in batches. Make sure that all the flour is browned. Add all the meat back to the pot. Right on top, add in the garlic paste, mushrooms, onions, crisp bacon, tomato sauce, wine and cognac.

Set the Instant Pot to the slow cooker function on the less setting for 8 hours.

I chose to serve this over whole-wheat egg noodles, but it would be great over mashed potatoes as well!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blue Cheese Polenta

Polenta takes 5 minutes in the Instant Pot - five! With no stirring, that’s right, no standing over a pot at the stove. This is NOT the way I was raised making polenta. I remember standing at the stove stirring the big pot of polenta with my great-grandmother. With it popping and hot splatters on my skin. This version is quite simple with just a few ingredients, but it is full of flavor. I have made it with both broth and water. My family prefers it cooked with water by far. I know that I will make polenta much more often with my Instant Pot, hopefully you will give it a try also.

Blue Cheese Polenta
By Lindsay blogging at Kitchen Musings Today
Adapted from The New Fast Food

4 cups water
1 cup coarse polenta
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Optional toppings:
Steamed broccoli*
Toasted pine nuts
Fresh Parmesan cheese
Sliced lemons

1.  Add water, polenta and salt to your pressure cooker, give it a good whisk. Add lid to the pressure cooker and set your knob to sealing.

2. Select Porridge and use the ‘-‘ button to adjust the time to 5 minutes. Once the polenta has finished cooking, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before opening the pressure cooker. Hit the cancel button.

3. Turn the knob to venting and allow any remaining pressure to release. Remove the lid tilting it away from you.

4. Add your blue cheese to the hot polenta and whisk it in until the cheese has melted. Mix in the chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Transfer to a serving dish and top with steamed broccoli, toasted pine nuts, fresh Parmesan and lemon wedges.

*To steam broccoli in the Instant Pot, place once cup of water in the liner. Add a steamer basket and place broccoli florets on it. Replace the lid and set knob to sealing. Select steam and use the ‘-‘ to set the timer to 0. Yes zero! Once the time is up hit cancel and carefully turn knob to venting, there will be a lot of steam that will be released. Once the pressure has been released remove lid and enjoy perfectly steamed broccoli.

Monday, April 25, 2016

New England Clam “Chowda”

I live in Pennsylvania these days, but I grew up in Kennebunkport Maine. Each region in New England has their own style of clam chowder. Within those regions, each family has their own recipe for clam chowder. My family always argues about who in the family makes the best clam chowder. I have always loved my mother’s version. It is thinner chowder, not the thick “pudding” chowder I have seen where I live now. I can’t eat that! One problem I faced making this chowder for the Instant Pot challenge was meeting the richness of the milk we had delivered when I lived in Maine as a child. But, I figured a bit of a thickener would work, without changing the flavor of the chowder. If you are happy with thinner chowder, just skip it. My other challenge was not having access to my beloved “steamers”, also known as Ipswich clams. Little neck clams got the job done! I was really impressed with the Instant Pot and the cooking options to use one pot to get this wonderful chowder completed!

New England Clam “Chowda”
by Susan Ritchie-Hubbard

6 dozen little neck clams
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 ounces salt pork, finely chopped
2 ounces bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, small dice
3 celery stalks, small dice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
Fresh ground black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, washed peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Clam broth
2 Tablespoons corn starch (optional)
2 Tablespoons cold water (optional)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup light cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Soup crackers for serving

Clams can release sand when cooked. I put the clams in a bowl, covered them with cold water and gave them a scrub with my hands. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee sand-free clams. Put a steamer basket in the Instant Pot liner, add the clams and pour in 3 1/2 cups water. Cover the pot and set to Steam for 6 minutes. QR. Every clam in the Instant Pot opened! Transfer the clams to a large bowl and strain the clam broth through cheesecloth, or 2 layers of white paper towels into another bowl. Reserve the clam broth. Remove the clams from their shells and place in a small bowl. Add about 1/2 cup of strained clam broth to the clams. Letting the clams rest in the broth will remove any additional sand and keep the clams moist. Clean the liner and return to the Instant Pot.

Set the Instant Pot to Sauté, normal heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of the butter, the salt pork and bacon. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy, approximately 7-9 minutes. Add the onion, celery and white wine. Continue to sauté until the onion is soft and translucent and the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 6-8 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot. Add the bay leaf, season with pepper and add the potatoes. Pour in the strained clam broth. If there is not enough clam broth to cover the potatoes, add water as needed. Cover the pot. Set Manual pressure for 6 minutes. QR. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water together to make a “slurry”. (Optional)

The final step! Remove the bay leaf. Set to Sauté, less heat. Return the clams to the pot. Stir in the milk, cream and slurry, (if using). Stir constantly until the chowder thickens. Add the last Tablespoon of butter and stir until melted. Check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired. Ladle the chowder into bowls and top with soup crackers. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sweet Sausage and Rice Meatball Soup

If you've never used a machine like this before, like myself, this is a great beginner's recipe. It's simple and not intimidating and the soup itself is very satisfying without a lot of work.

Take your time releasing the steam so you don't burn yourself. Your family will think you worked hours on this! ENJOY!

Sweet Sausage and Rice Meatball Soup
by Holly K
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine's Pork and Rice Meatball Soup

1 cup cooked white rice, cooled
1 medium egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1 pound ground sweet pork sausage
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian panko bread crumbs
Pinch of nutmeg
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc wine (or any dry white wine you prefer)
1 14-ounce can of diced Italian tomatoes
1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
32 ounces chicken broth
2 scallions, cleaned and sliced on the diagonal
1 small bunch fresh spinach, cleaned and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crusty bread for serving

In a medium bowl combine the rice, egg, milk, sausage, Parmesan, bread crumbs and nutmeg. Form into small meatballs, about 3/4 to 1" diameter. Place on cooking sheet.

Turn your Instant Pot on to the SAUTE setting. Add the olive oil and brown the meatballs in batches and remove to a plate.

Deglaze the pot with the wine scraping up any traces of the meatballs. Add the tomatoes, garlic, broth and scallions. Carefully return the meatballs to the pot. Do not drop in, they may break.

Top and seal the pot and set to SOUP mode for 20 minutes. Manually release the steam. Be careful to keep away from cabinets and your face.

Remove lid and stir in the spinach. It will cook by the residual steam.

Serve with bread.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Instant Pot Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake with Blackberry Compote

I love my Instant Pot! I have never pressure cooked before, but now I am a believer. There are so many different things you can make in record time, plus all of the settings for many other dishes include rice, yogurt and soup. One of the greatest thing about it is that you can make cheesecake!  Rich, creamy and  delicious. The taste is just like a cheesecake you make in the oven with a water bath, but with less hassle and it is faster.  

Instant Pot Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake with Blackberry Compote
by Tracy

7-inch springform pan
Non-stick cooking spray

6 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon matcha green tea powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cups almonds, toasted and finely chopped. 

Blackberry Compote (instructions below):
6 ounces fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
1 Tablespoon sugar 
2 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch 

Spray 7-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place chocolate cookies and melted butter in a food processor and pulse until cookies are crumbs and butter is incorporated. Press cookie mixture evenly on the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

With and electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add coconut milk, flour, matcha, and vanilla. Mix until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend until smooth. Pour batter evenly over the cookie crust. Cover the top of the pan with foil.  

Pour 1.5 cups water into the Instant Pot. Note: Many recipes call for a foil sling before placing the cheesecake into the Instant Pot. I found it much easier to just make a foil handle between the handles of the trivet. Place the cheesecake on the Instant Pot trivet and gently lower into the Instant Pot.  Close the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the steam vent is closed. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes and then natural release for 10 minutes. Turn the vent to release the rest of the steam. Take off the lid and gently lift out the trivet and cheesecake. Allow to cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate. When ready to serve, gently remove the cheesecake from the pan.  Place on a serving dish. Using the chopped almonds, gently press into the sides of the cheesecake.   Top with blackberry compote and extra blackberries to serve.

Blackberry compote:
Place all ingredients into a small saucepan, stir. Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and bubbly. Let cool.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Indian Inspired Chili

I absolutely love Indian cuisine! The variety of spices used to prepare each dish makes them burst with distinct flavors and wonderfully pleasing aromas.

But, to do it right takes a lot of work...and a lot of pots. So I was thrilled to try out the Instant Pot and see how my family and I could enjoy a wonderful meal without all the clean up afterwards.

I hope you enjoy this recipe inspired from the many flavors of India. It’s quick and easy to prepare and it tastes even better the next day.

I have definitely become a big fan of the Instant Pot. To find out more about how it can help make complicated recipes quick and easy, check out the Instant Pot website.

Indian Inspired Chili
by Lori Churchill
Adapted from Chew Out Loud - Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 6-8

1 1/2 cups dried garbanzo beans (makes 3 cups cooked beans)
1 scoop quinoa (use the Instant Pot scoop)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
1 pound organic grass fed ground beef
2 28-ounce organic crushed tomatoes
1 6-ounce organic tomato paste
2 cups water
6 Tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos (I use this in place of salt)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 3/4 cups organic Greek yogurt
3/4 cups cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon corriander
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons curry
2 teaspoons tumeric
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons garam masala
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
5 Tablespoons organic salted butter
3 cups broccoli, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups spinach, chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated

Begin by cooking your garbanzo beans on high “pressure” for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, position the steam release handle to “venting” to quickly release pressure. Remove instant pot liner, rinse beans in cold water and set aside.

In Instant Pot liner, add 1 scoop quinoa and fill with 2 scoops water. Set to “manual” for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, position the steam release handle to “venting” to quickly release pressure. Remove from liner, place in covered bowl and set aside.

Using liner, set on “sauté - normal” setting. Add olive oil and onions, cook until translucent. Then, add beef and brown. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, Braggs, heavy cream, yogurt and cilantro. Do not cover. Stir gently.

Add coriander, cumin, curry, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, chili powder, cayenne powder, shriracha sauce, balsamic vinegar, butter and garbanzo beans. Gently stir.

Add broccoli, carrots, spinach and ginger. Stir

Keep instant pot setting on “sauté - normal” and continue to heat through. Once heated, place lid on instant pot and set to “slow cook” for 30 minutes.

Pair with a side of quinoa, steamed vegetables and garlic naan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Orange Infused Chocolate Cheesecake

As a professional cheesecake baker, I must admit I was skeptical about the ability of the Instant Pot to recreate the creamy denseness of my traditionally baked cheesecakes. A seven-inch cake baked in a slow oven will take 60 to 90 minutes. My research told me an Instant Pot cheesecake would take between 30 and 40 minutes. I shook my head and hoped for the best.

When I cut into the cheesecake prepared in the Instant Pot, I was dumbfounded (and delighted!) by the smooth texture and creaminess of the end product. All in 40 minutes.

Orange Infused Chocolate Cheesecake
by Louise Chiffonade Brescia

For the crust:
8 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs, about 1 1/2 sleeves finely ground

For the filling:
24 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon orange blossom water*
2 Tablespoons grated orange rind
3/4 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate, slightly cooled
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

For the ganache:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate shavings (optional)

Prepare Instant Pot:
Remove handles from trivet. Place trivet at the bottom of the Instant Pot. Pour in 2 cups water.

Prepare crust:
Cut strips of parchment paper to fit the inside of the springform pan. Spray the springform pan thoroughly with no-stick spray. Press the parchment strips onto the inside walls of the springform pan and spray again. Combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs thoroughly. Press the crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the springform pan. Wrap the bottom of the springform in a double thickness of heavy duty foil that is large enough to reach 1” above the springform sides. (This will help to remove the pan from the Instant Pot.) Set prepared springform aside.

Prepare filling:
In the bowl of a food processor, place the room temperature cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, corn starch, vanilla, orange blossom water and orange rind. Blend this mixture until thoroughly combined, a total of about 5 minutes; scraping down the sides occasionally. Add the melted chocolate and blend again, approximately 1 minute or until thoroughly combined. Mix together the eggs and cream in a cup measure and combine with a fork. Pour this mixture into the food processor and combine only long enough to blend into the cream cheese mixture. Scrape down sides and blend again about 30 seconds or 3-4 pulses. Pour filling mixture into prepared pan. Rap the pan evenly on a hard surface to dislodge any air bubbles.

Place springform into Instant Pot. Set for 40 minutes on high pressure with natural pressure release.

Gently and carefully blot any water that accumulates on top of the cake with a paper towel. Remove cake from Instant Pot using the excess foil “collar” and place on counter to cool completely, approximately one hour. Without removing the foil, wrap loosely in plastic and place in refrigerator. (Can be prepared one day in advance up to this stage. Refrigerate until ready to complete assembly.)

For service:
Blot any condensation with a paper towel. Remove foil from around cake and remove cake from springform. Carefully peel off parchment strips from sides of cake.

Prepare ganache:
Heat cream in a small saucepan until almost bubbling. Remove the pan from heat and pour in semi-sweet chips. Whisk until chocolate is melted. Allow ganache to cool slightly. Place cake on a pedestal or serving platter. Pour ganache on cake. Sprinkle chocolate shavings (if using) over cake and/or pedestal.
Use a thin, sharp knife (such as a boning knife) to cleanly slice cheesecake. Small portions are advised as the cake is intensely chocolate, intensely orange and very dense.

*Orange blossom water can be found at middle eastern groceries.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Instant Pot Challenge

Meet our current sponsor, Instant Pot! Instant Pot is probably the most popular electric pressure cooker on the market right now. It's so much more than just a pressure cooker. It is also a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, and warmer. There is a saute/browning feature, making browning meats in a separate pot before slow cooking a thing of the past. It cooks quickly, is energy efficient, and is very versatile for limitless cooking applications.

Each cook who participated in this challenge used a 6-quart Instant Pot IP-DUO. And boy, did our cooks outdo themselves! They had a ball cooking up anything and everything in their Instant Pots! There were lively Instant Pot discussions and lots of tip sharing among the participants! Needless to say, the Instant Pot was a HUGE hit with our cooks!

Enjoy our recipes over the next few weeks. We bet you'll be inspired to get an Instant Pot of your very own before too long! If you want to learn more about Instant Pot, please visit their website, which has all kinds of great information. You can also find them on the official Instant Pot Community group on Facebook and you can follow them on Twitter!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Spicy Grahams Sweet Potato

Spicy Grahams Sweet Potato
by Christine

1 large sweet potato
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup General Mills Golden Grahams, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice sweet potato into 1/2-inch slices. Place all spices, cereal and olive oil into a large zip-top bag and combine well. Add the potato and toss to coat. Place potato into a shallow pan in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes. Turn slices over and bake another 20 minutes, or until soft.

Golden Brown Betty

My sweetie loves apples...pie, crisps, or just baked in the oven. I decided on this recipe when I tasted the General Mills Golden Grahams.

I knew a typical Brown Betty used bread, so I decided it would be even better using the Golden Grahams. And I was so right. It was so tender on the inside with a beautiful texture that you would not get with bread. And the topping was crispy and inviting. I did not, but this would be so good sitting outside with someone churning some good old fashioned vanilla ice cream to top it with. I hope you try General Mills' new revamped cereals. I have already bought more for future baking.

Golden Brown Betty
by Traci
Adapted from Ree Drummond's Apple Brown Betty recipe

1/2 stick of softened butter for greasing your pan
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 Fuji Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of cinnamon
3 cups of General Mills Golden Grahams, broken into rough pieces
1 1/2 cup of General Mills Golden Grahams, whole for topping
2 sticks of room temperature butter cut into slices

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 13 x 9 pan generously with butter.

Place your apples into a bowl and add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix them well. You want them to form a little liquid. This will only take a few moments.

In your pan, place a layer of the apple mixture and top with some of the Golden Grahams that you have broken up. You will continue layering until you end with apples on top. Top them with the whole Golden Grahams. Dot with your sliced butter. Bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 20 more minutes, until the Golden Grahams are crisp.

I hope you enjoy this.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Three Chip Chocolate Cheerio Treats

Wow, what an honor it is for 37 Cooks to have such a huge sponsor, General Mills! They are so well known for their iconic cereals, such as Cheerios, Wheaties, Chex and Total, as well as many others. They have now updated several of their cereals to include no artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources. Nowadays, people have become much more health conscious than ever, so this is great news!

When this latest challenge was announced, I wished, hoped and prayed for Chocolate Cheerios. I knew exactly what recipe I would make (I had made these before and my family loved them). And one day, there they were...Chocolate Cheerios delivered to my doorstep in all their chocolatly goodness!

The chocolate lovers in your life will love these! My husband calls them "the perfect kiddo treat" but grown ups will enjoy them, too. Three different kinds of chocolate chips, chocolate hazelnut spread, marshmallows and, of course, Chocolate Cheerios! What could be better? 

Three Chip Chocolate Cheerio Treats

by Susan W.
Adapted from Quick'n Easy Recipes Peanut Butter Cheerios Treats

6 cups General Mills Chocolate Cheerios
2 Tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering parchment
1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10-ounce package mini marshmallows
1/3 cup each white, dark and semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Spray a 9" x 13" dish with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Set aside.

Spray a non-stick pot with cooking spray (also spray your spatula or me on this). Over medium-high, heat melt the butter and chocolate hazelnut spread. When melted, add vanilla and then add the marshmallows. Keep cooking and stirring until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth.

Turn the heat off and stir in Chocolate Cheerios, being careful not to crush them (make sure all of the cereal is coated…this will be really sticky and gooey).

Press cereal mixture into the prepared dish. While it’s still warm, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and press in lightly. It’s a good idea to spray all of your cooking tools and even your hands a little while doing this part (did I mention it's sticky and gooey?)

Let cool, remove from pan and cut into squares.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trix Custard Cake

This custard cake is delicious with a hint of orange and the fruity flavors of Trix Cereal by General Mills.

Trix Custard Cake
by Tracy Hersh
Inspired by Kitchen Nostalgia’s Vanilla Magic Custard Cake

8 x 3 inch round baking pan
Parchment paper

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon flour
2 cups Trix cereal
4 eggs, separated
1 Tablespoon orange extract or orange liqueur
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter melted, and cooled
3/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk, lukewarm

Confectioner's sugar
Heavy whipping cream
Maraschino cherries
Lime zest

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Place the 8 x 3 inch on a piece of parchment paper. Trace around the bottom of the pan. Cut out the circle of parchment paper and set aside. Butter the bottom of the pan and then place the round cut parchment into pan. Butter the parchment and the sides of the pan using 1 Tablespoon butter. Toss 1 Tablespoon of flour into the pan and shake around until the sides and bottom or covered. Shake out the excess. Pour the Trix into the pan. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, mix the egg yolks, orange extract water and sugar until thick and pale. Add the melted butter and mix again. Add the flour and milk and mix until incorporated. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour the mixture into the baking pan. The Trix will float to the top. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. The top should be golden brown.

Let the cake cool completely or it will fall apart when you try to remove it from the pan. Using a butter knife, gently go around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan. Gently turn the pan upside down onto a large plate. Remove the parchment paper, then using another plate turn the cake right side up again so the Trix are on the top. Dust the cake with confectioner's sugar. Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream, maraschino cherry, lime zest and Trix.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sweet and Spicy Party Mix

We entertain quite a bit and sometimes all I want to put out is a party mix to keep guests happy until dinner is served. There are plenty of party mixes out there. We all know the names. But! General Mills brings the best options for great combinations. General Mills sent the new version of their healthy alternative cereals to 37Cooks to see if we could rise to the challenge. I chose to make my version of a party mix using something sweet and something traditional with a little twist to make your party guests say “Hmmmm”.

Sweet and Spicy Party Mix
by Susan Ritchie-Hubbard
Serves: A Party!

2 cups Chocolate Cheerios cereal
2 cups Golden Grahams cereal
2 cups Wheat Chex cereal
2 cups mini pretzels
1 cup cashews, rough chop
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup good quality honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon berbere or cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 - 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable spray.

Combine the cereal, pretzels and nuts in a large heatproof bowl.

In a medium saucepan, add the coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, salt and berbere (if you want that little secret something to make your party guests say "Hmmmm….."). Over medium-low heat, stir constantly until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Slowly pour the delightful sweet liquid over the cereal mix, tossing constantly and gently with a large rubber spatula, to coat all the ingredients evenly.

Scrape the coated cereal mix onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out with the spatula as thin as possible. Please be gentle! You don’t want to crush the mixture. Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and increase the heat to 350°F. Sprinkle the coconut over the mix and using your spatula, press the coconut into the mix. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 9-11 minutes, until the coconut starts to turn a beautiful golden brown.

Allow the party mix to cool for about 20 minutes. Use the spatula to release the mix from the pan. Break into bite size pieces. Your party guests will be delighted! You can also prepare this mix and store in an air tight container for up to a week.

Monday, April 11, 2016

No-Bake Caramel Cheerio Bites

General Mills has new cereals - well, they're old favorite cereals, only better, with no artificial colors or flavors. Our challenge: Come up with new and delicious ways to use the cereals. I was drawn to the Chocolate Cheerios, and tasted them. I noticed the crunch immediately, of course - but then also a mild oaty chocolate flavor. Hm, what could I do with these?

After several false starts, I produced this simple variation on never-fail caramels. I pour the hot caramel mixture over the cereal in a prepared pan, so there's no time to soften or become soggy. These no-bake caramel bites have a pleasing crunch, and the chocolate adds depth to their flavor. Stir some up today!

No-Bake Caramel Cheerio Bites
by Maurita Plouff blogging at Get the Good Stuff!
Makes about 2 1/2 pounds caramels

2 to 3 cups Chocolate Cheerios
1 cup (2 sticks, or 1/2 pound) salted butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed (I used a combination of dark and light brown)
1 cup Karo light corn syrup
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil or crossed strips of parchment paper. Allow edges to hang over sides of pan. Liberally butter the foil or parchment. Put 2 to 3 cups of Chocolate Cheerios in the pan, shaking them so they form an even layer about three-quarters of an inch thick.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk. Cover loosely with parchment paper. Microwave on high for 4 or 5 minutes*, until the butter starts to melt. Whisk to blend.

Cover again, and microwave on high for 4 or 5* minutes more. Whisk well.

Cover again, and microwave on high a third and final time, for the same 4 or 5 minutes*. Remove parchment cover, take bowl from microwave, and set on a stable surface. Add vanilla - expect that the mixture will bubble fiercely - and whisk gently until thoroughly blended.

Pour caramel mixture over the Cheerios in the prepared pan. Chill for 1 to 3 hours or until just firm.

Using the foil or parchment that lined the pan, lift the entire block of caramel from the pan. Use a buttered knife to cut caramel into 1-inch squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or place in paper candy cups. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 pounds of caramel bites.

*NOTE ON TIMING: Microwave ovens vary; use the 4-minute timings for higher wattage microwave ovens (1100-1200 watts) and 5 minute timings for lower wattage ovens. Be careful handling the bowl full of hot caramel: Use potholders or oven mitts.

*NOTE ON QUANTITY: Of course you could cut the recipe in half - if you do, use a smaller pan - 5 by 8 would work well.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ravioli

My first thought upon reading the box of cereal is that if it is mostly whole grain, I should be able to make pasta out of it. There are more fillings that would work beautifully with this pasta, but my family loves this version with peanut butter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ravioli
by T.S. Lamb

2.5 ounces all-purpose flour
2.5 ounces finely ground Chocolate Cheerios
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Chocolate sauce for serving

Mix the flour and ground cheerios until blended. Pour out into a mound on your work surface. Make a small well in the center of the mound and put the egg and yolks into the well. Using a fork, mix the egg and yolks together, slowly bringing in the flour mixture until all the flour is incorporated and it has become a dough. At this point, use a dough scraper to gather the dough into a lump and begin kneading. Knead for 10 minutes, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest for one hour.

While your dough is resting, gently heat the peanut butter until warmed. For ease, I suggest 45 seconds at half-power in a microwave. Add the powdered sugar and blend with a fork until fully integrated. Set this aside.

Cut the rested dough into quarters and use a pasta maker (I prefer a hand-crank machine, but follow your heart) to make a thin sheet, roughly halfway down your machine's dial (on mine, it is a 4). The sheet should be long and wide enough to cover your ravioliera. If you are not using a ravioli mould, make your sheets roughly 12.5 inches by 4.5 inches. You will need two sheets (half your original dough ball) for each set of ravioli.

Lay down the first sheet and, using a half-teaspoon measure, place a small marble of the peanut-butter filling in each ravioli (every two inches if making by hand). Cover with the second sheet of dough and cut out the ravioli.

Place ravioli in boiling water for three minutes to cook. Remove from boiling water with slotted spoon and place on paper towel. pat ravioli dry with paper towel and plate immediately. Drizzle with chocolate sauce before serving.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ginger Herb Crusted Pork Loin

The nutty sweetness of General Mills’ Golden Grahams cereal blends perfectly with sharp, fresh ginger and herbs in this new version of roasted pork. Naturally lean, pork loin is the perfect protein for your healthy menu. Serve leftovers as part of a salad entrée, or repurpose as a stir-fry or frittata.

Ginger Herb Crusted Pork Loin
by Gary Gee My Cooking Blog
Serves/makes 8-10

1 pork loin roast (4-5 pound size)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided use
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided use
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup crushed Golden Grahams cereal (about 3/4 cup before crushing)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place pork loin in large, shallow dish. Season all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Place pork, fat side up, on rack on baking sheet or broiling pan. Spread mustard evenly over fat side of roast. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together panko, crushed cereal, garlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme, remaining salt and pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Press over fat side of pork loin, covering evenly.

Place roast in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, about an hour and a half. Remove from oven and tent, letting roast sit for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Trix Banana Cream Pie

A quick and easy recipe with a variation on an old favorite.

Trix Banana Cream Pie
by Willie Simmons

6 1/2 ounces Trix cereal
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Chop cereal in a food processor until fine. Mix in rest of ingredients and stir. Press mixture into 9" pie pan and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.

3 cups milk
1 4.6-ounce box banana cream pudding mix
2 bananas, pureed

Cook pudding according to instructions on the box. Add pureed bananas. Let cool until room temperature. Pour into cooled crust.

2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Whip to stiff peaks. Spread evenly on top of pie. Chill for at least 4 hours. Serve.

Monday, April 4, 2016

S'more Log

​Campfire s'mores and chocolate breakfast cereal? Two of childhood's favorite treats rolled into one delicious and easy recipe.

S'more Log
by Kate J.

5 cups Chocolate Cheerios
1 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows
3 Tablespoons butter
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
1 cup mini chocolate chips, preferably mini​

Jelly roll/baking sheet, parchment paper, knife, cutting board

Dump the cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then add the marshmallows, stirring constantly, but gently, to combine into a smooth, voluminous liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool just slightly.
Working in batches, dump the thick liquid over the cereal, using gloved hands to mix the cereal in. Try not to break the Cheerios! Continue until all the butter/marshmallow is used and the mixture is consistent.
Pour the cereal mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, pressing gently with gloved hands until the cereal creates a very thin sheet, less than a centimeter thick. Again, try not to break the Cheerios. Set aside and let set up for at least 20 minutes but not until completely firm.
Using the parchment paper, remove the cereal sheet from the baking sheet and onto a counter top. Spread the entire jar of marshmallow fluff over the sheet, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Starting at one short edge, begin to roll the sheet and its goodies into a log, using the parchment paper to keep everything to together.
Once the log is complete, wrap it in parchment paper and secure with several rubber bands. Now allow the treat to set up completely, either at room temperature or in the fridge. (A cold log will be easier to slice.)
When ready to serve, use a sharp knife and a cutting board to slice the log into circles. Enjoy!

Fruity Cheese Crackers

When I was growing up, my Grandmother would have friends over for Canasta and lunch. You would have thought they were at the Country Club because they always dressed up and she would always use her finest china. Lunch was light, normally consisting of a chicken or shrimp salad, crackers, crudité and a simple dessert.

I can easily see my Fruity Cheese Crackers along side my Grandmother’s chicken or shrimp salad. General Mills Trix Cereal adds just a pop of fruit. Interesting, colorful and tasty. Perfect for a special luncheon, party or tea.

My Grandmother and her friends had many delightful afternoons around the card table. Lots of good food, good conversation and best of all, time spent with very good friends. Those were the good old days! Makes you want to unplug and step back in time!

Fruity Cheese Crackers
by Linda Mire @ Seasons to Seasonings
Adapted from Homesick Texan Blog, Grasping at Cheese Straws

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups (8 ounces) white cheddar cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons half and half
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes (depends on how hot you want it)
2 Tablespoons dried tarragon
1 cup General Mills Trix Cereal, pulverized to dust
Whole General Mills Trix Cereal

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Place butter, cheese, flour, half and half, salt, pepper flakes, tarragon and pulverized Trix in food processor. Pulse until thoroughly mixed and dough begins to form a ball.

3. Take about 1 Tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place ball on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Using your hand, flatten the ball out to a small round cracker. Leave about an inch between each cracker. Repeat until sheet pan filled.

4. Place one whole Trix in center of each cracker.

5. Using the tines of a fork, press lightly around the edges of each cracker.

6. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

7. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Delicious with your favorite chicken salad or alone!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Mini Cereal Cheesecakes

Yum, who doesn't like cereal?! I only had a few days to get my recipe in to meet the challenge deadline and wow these turned out amazing!! Easy and beautiful, a winning combination.

Mini Cereal Cheesecakes
by Nancy Follwell
Recipe adapted from Handle the Heat's Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites

1 cup Trix
1 cup Chocolate Cheerios
1 cup Golden Grahams
5 Tablespoons butter, melted

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 Tablespoon flour

Chocolate coating:
16 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
Decorate with Trix, Chocolate Cheerios and Golden Grahams

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Grind the cereal to coarse crumbs and measure 1 1/4 cups and place in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir together. Press into prepared pan and bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the sour cream, eggs, lemon juice, lemon extract and flour, beat until combined. Pour on top of crumb mixture and bake 30-35 minutes, until puffed up and centre is set. Let cool completely and freeze for at least three hours before the next step.

Chocolate coating:
Once frozen, lift cheesecake out of the pan and peel away the foil. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the chocolate and the coconut oil in the top of a double boiler, placing water in bottom. Cook over medium heat until smooth and melted. Place a cheesecake square onto a fork and dip into the chocolate, using a spoon to pour over the pieces. Let excess drip, place on a wire rack to cool and decorate with Trix, Chocolate Cheerios and Golden Grahams. Repeat process and refrigerate until set.