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Make Your Own Tauntaun Cookies

Imagine you’re stranded on the ice planet Hoth, blinded by snow, surrounded by ice. Alone, afraid, you only have one option to survive and that’s to cut open a tauntaun and eat its candy innards!

Tauntauns aren’t really filled with candy, but it would be amazing if they were. These sugar cookie snow lizards are stacked and filled with candy entrails that will surely save your hunger in a pinch.

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My Top 10 Paleo Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Recipes

After reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and joining the cult of KonMari, I was determined to dump or donate all of my kitchen appliances that no longer spark joy. I happily rounded up the bread machine, toaster, and panini maker that have been languishing in my appliance graveyard (a.k.a. our garage), and dropped them off at Goodwill. From now on, I’m keeping only those kitchen gadgets that I actually use on a regular basis. Believe it or not, there are only a handful that are making the cut—and even though I don’t like to play favorites, the one appliance that clearly deserves a permanent place on the counter (and in my heart) is my Instant Pot. My excuse is that it’s a 7-in-1 appliance, so it’s replacing a bunch of other appliances—but to be honest with you, I pretty much use my Instant Pot only for one thing—pressure cooking.

You’ve heard me say it before: pressure cooking is a gamechanger—especially for home cooks with hectic schedules like mine. When I’m pressed for time but craving foods that usually take forever to prepare (like bone broth, tough cuts of meat, braised winter vegetables), I turn to my pressure cooker. Plus, there’s the added bonus of saving money because I can turn cheaper braising cuts like brisket and shanks into simple weeknight meals. In fact, even when I do have enough time to use a slow cooker, I’ll whip out my Instant Pot ’cause when it’s done cooking, this smart little appliance naturally depressurizes and keeps my food warm until I’m ready to eat. No fuss, no muss!

Although I also own a stovetop pressure cooker, my electric Instant Pot gets the most use. It’s basically foolproof, and I never have to babysit it. Even if it’s sweltering hot, I can quickly whip together a savory stew without heating up my kitchen, which means it’s perfect for year-round cooking.

[One thing to note: The Instant Pot cooks at a slightly lower pressure (11.6 psi) than my stove top pressure cooker (15 psi), but that just means adding a few minutes to the cooking time. My general rule of thumb is to increase cooking times by 7 to 15% when using my Instant Pot for a pressure cooker recipe.]

My three favorite time-saving pressure cooker hacks:

  1. When our family is about to sit down to dinner, I start cooking another meal—usually a stew—in the Instant Pot. By the time we’re done eating, the stew is finished cooking, which means I can store it in the fridge for later—and do the dishes just once.
  2. Tired of waiting for bone broth to cook? Throw the ingredients for bone broth into your Instant Pot before heading off to bed. By the time you wake up, you can strain and store the broth for later. Bonus: no stink!
  3. Before tossing it into your Instant Pot, make sure to cut your meat into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. Also, it goes without saying that smaller cubes cook faster than bigger chunks (so I’m totally not going to say it). 

Many of my readers have asked that I write an Instant Pot FAQ, but why re-invent the wheel? If you have questions about cooking times, turn to these charts by Hip Pressure Cooking. Got more questions about the Instant Pot? This helpful post on Dad Cooks Dinner should answer all of ’em. 

Ready to start pressure cooking? Then roll up your sleeves and test drive my Top 10 Favorite Whole30-Friendly Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot recipes:

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How to make Chnafa in a few easy steps!

First you need to make the sugar topping (Qater). 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups of sugar 
  • 1 ½ cup of water 
  • 3 drops of lemon juice

How to:

  • Place the sugar and water and lemon juice into a sauce pan on the stove.
  • Let it boil for about 15 min-ish or till you see all the sugar diluted and let it boil a bit when it’s all gone. 
  • Then take it off the stove and let it sit so it gets a bit heavy. 

Once it’s heavy just put it into a cup/bottle/can what ever is available.

Next start making the Chnafa. 

Ingredients: 

  • One bag of normal white toast 
  • One Queso Fresco cheese (I get from Aldi)
  • A small plate of Mozzarella cheese (I get the already shredded) 
  • 1 teaspoon of Chnafa dye (Get from an Araby store) 
  • 2 tablespoon of Butter - (I use the country side cream, because it’s easy to spread)
  • A round tray 

How to: 

  • Take the toast and remove all the crust off and keep the white bread. 
  • Then take it and use the food processes to make the bread all crumbly and soft, set that aside.
  • Next take the Fresco cheese and use the cheese shredder to shred it, use the small side, set that aside. 

Now you will need to put everything together. 

First take the 2 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of Chnafa dye and put them in the middle of the tray and spread them. Make sure the dye gets all over the butter and spread it well, as shown here,

Then spread the bread crumbs on top of that and make sure you cover it all and put all the bread, even if it looks too much, it should be a lot and thick, as shown here, 

Once you cover it you will need to add the cheeses, mix both cheeses together so they are distributed well and then spread it on top of the bread crumbs as shown here, 

now that you’re done putting it together you will turn your stove on to medium and put this on top of the stove and keep turning it. YOU HAVE TO KEEP SPINNING IT, DON’T STOP OR IT COULD BURN KEEP SPINNING. 

It should take 30 mins if you have a good tray, but i didn’t have a good tray so i had to do one step a bit early, which is take it off the stove and put a pot full of water and let it boil and put aluminum foil on the tray and place the tray on top of the pot and let it cook on top of it, leave it for a while on medium, let it take it’s time while it cooks, 

Finally, check up on it, once all the cheese is melted you can bring a spatula or something and remove if off the tray for a bit to see and you can tell if its ready of it comes off all as one piece! 

Don’t try and flip it cause you cant, so you made it upside down haha but when you’re ready to eat it, cut your piece and when you put it on your plate flip it then add the topping (Qater) (Also add the topping on piece by piece not the whole thing or it gets really damp and weird if it’s on it for too long and not eaten) and tadaaaa, it will look like this!