Monday, September 16, 2019

Instant Pot Pepper Beef

I had a skirt steak in my freezer from Aldi, and needed a recipe to use it, and I found a delicious one that I adapted to my tastes. I've been busy going to games and watching my grandchildren,  and the Instant Pot comes to the rescue.

Yield: 3-4

Instant Pot Pepper Beef

I used skirt steak that I had in the freezer, and it turned out so tender in the instant pot.


  • 1 lb stir fry beef (or skirt steak)
  • 1/2 of a  red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1/2 of a yellow bell pepper, cut in strips
  • About 4 ounces button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 4 green onions, sliced, and save the green tops
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil


How to cook Instant Pot Pepper Beef

  1. Chop bell peppers and green onions. Set aside.
  2. Place beef into the instant pot with 3/4 cup water and one tablespoon of the soy sauce. Set to high pressure for 20 minutes. Once the instant pot stops counting release the pressure after 5 minutes by quick release.
  3. Drain juice from beef.
  4. Mix together brown sugar,  remainder of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and hoisin sauce. Stir well.
  5. Add the oil to the instant pot, and place the pot in saute' mode.  Add bell peppers, mushrooms,  and green onions to the instant pot.   Stir fry vegetables for about 3 minutes with the beef, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  6. Pour in sauce and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until it caramelizes around the beef.  See NOTE at the bottom.
  7. Serve with rice with the green tops of the onions, as garnish.


If you'd like the sauce to be thicker, make a cornstarch and water slurry to stir in after the 3-5 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator

 Avery is playing volleyball on her 7th grade team, in the libero position, which is a specialized player in defensive skills, and wear a contrasting jersey color from their teammates. 

 Here's 7th cheering for 7th grade football.   Cissy plays volleyball, too, and was also chosen for the libero position.


Riley is playing 10th grade football.  My poor daughter has three games on one night, and can't be at every one. 

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, September 9, 2019

Instant Pot Cheesecake

I love to relax on my patio.  Please join me for the most delicious cheesecake from my Instant Pot!  I really couldn't believe how easy, and creamy it was.  Also, it's a much smaller size and perfect for smaller families. 

My Rose Chintz by Johnson Brothers is a favorite teacup of mine.

This cheesecake fits perfectly on a smaller size pedestal cake stand

 My sweet granddaughter, Ella, celebrated her 9th birthday, and I took her out to eat and shopping at Bath and Body, which is a favorite store of hers.  We had such a fun time, and she was as thoughtful and thankful as ever.  


 These two little cuties came and spent the night with me.  Their mom brought them these cheerleading outfits from her alma mater. 


Yield: 6-8

Instant Pot Cheesecake

I adapted this recipe from, and wow, is it ever creamy and fabulous! If you haven't tried cheesecake in your instant pot, you might want to give it a try. Using a 7" springform pan makes for a much smaller version, and perfect for a smaller crowd. I don't think I'll ever bake a cheesecake in the oven again,


  • For the crust:
  • Cooking spray, for pan
  • 1 cup graham crackers crumbs (I used vanilla wafer crumbs)
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 16 oz. (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature


How to cook Instant Pot Cheesecake

  1. Make crust: Grease a 7" springform pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs), melted butter, and salt and mix until mixture is the texture of wet sand. Spread evenly in the bottom and up the side of the pan. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  2. Make cheesecake: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, sugars, sour cream and flour until light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean paste (or vanilla) and salt and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at time, and beat until just blended. Don’t over mix. Pour batter into springform pan on top of crust.
  3. Pour 1½ cups water into Instant Pot and place trivet in the bottom. Fold a large piece of foil (about 18”) into thirds to make a long “sling,” and lower it into the pot. Put the springform pan on top and fold the sling.
  4. Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure. Set timer for 35 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the cheesecake from the pot using the sling and place on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour.
  5. Cover springform pan with foil and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.
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Monday, September 2, 2019

Raspberry Pie

It's still summertime in Texas and our weather is still hot and muggy.  Raspberry pie is in order.  I received a free sample of Downton Abbey, The Bates' Tea in my Republic of Tea catalogue. The tea as described in the catalogue is that of plum pudding...baked fruit and spices with vanilla in a black tea.  It's very tasty!  The plant in my lady head vase is called a Zamioculcas Zamiifolia...whew, that's a mouthful!!!  When I bought this at the nursery, the man told me that it doesn't need a lot of light and to only water it about every two weeks.  I keep it on my coffee table in a basket with some other plants, and it has done very well.  I do think I'll have to move it to a larger pot soon. 

I don't have a teacup with raspberries, but I thought my Strawberry Fair teacup from Johnson Brothers would fit the bill. 

My son, Tim, came over this past week to celebrate his birthday.  He wanted a strawberry pie, and we ate the whole pie.  Here he is with his wife and daughters.  

Happy Labor Day.  However,  Let's remember to keep those in the path of Hurricane Dorian in our prayers, and those families who lost loved ones in the Odessa, Texas shooting.  

Yield: 6-8

Fresh Raspberry Pie

Since raspberries are my very favorite, I used my favorite strawberry pie recipe, but used raspberries instead. It's sweet and tart!  This time instead of a regular pie crust, I used a chocolate cookie one. 


  • 4 cups fresh raspberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of slat
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry gelatin
  • 1 baked pie crust


How to cook Fresh Raspberry Pie

  1. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a  saucepan, and stir to combine.  Add the salt, corn syrup, and water, and mix together.  Cook until the mixture is thick and turns  clear .  Remove from heat and add the raspberry gelatin, and stir until it's dissolved.  Cool.   
  2. Add the raspberries to the baked pie crust.  Pour the cooled  syrup over the berries, coating all the berries.  Chill.
  3. At whipped cream if desired. 


Instead of adding the berries to the syrup, I decided that the best way to avoid breaking them apart was to add them directly to the baked pie crust, and then adding the syrup. It works out much better this way.
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Monday, August 26, 2019

Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

As summertime winds down,  it's time to enjoy the sunflowers all around us.  Please join me for some yummy cookies and a refreshing glass of black raspberry frost sparkling water, which I find at Aldi's. My lady vase has her hat topped with a giant sunflower. 

 Aren't these coasters darling?  A sweet friend painted these and sent them to me.  You can visit her Society 6 Shop here.

Another dear friend sent me this beautiful towel that I have hanging on my oven towel.   

Yes, even my front door is  sprinkled with sunflowers.  

Yield: About 24 large cookies

Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

If you love dried fruit and oatmeal cookies, I think you'll love these.


  • 3/4  cup butter flavored shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts ( I toasted these)


How to cook Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

  1. Heat  oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with no-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
  2. Beat shortening, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Stir flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl until blended. Add to shortening mixture; mix well. Stir in oats, cranberries and walnuts. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from baking sheets to wire rack to cool completely.
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Monday, August 19, 2019

Blueberry Crisp

 How about some wonderful Blueberry Crisp to enjoy this summer day?  I have a Jim Shore angel that my friend, Pat, gave me years ago, and a Norfolk Island Pine in an old crock that I've had since Christmas.

 My friend, Joy, gave this beautifully embroidered luncheon cloth that she found while shopping with her sister.  Isn't the detail so pretty?

 Both of my blue teacups were from Stephanie's teacup exchange, and we are going to have some blueberry tea.  Another friend, Pat, brought back this Canadian tea while she was on vacation, along with some maple tea, and ice wine tea, which are all very tasty.  

Yield: Around 6-8

Blueberry Crisp

I love that crisps are so easy to put together, and every bit as good as pie, in my opinion. This crisp keeps well in the fridge, and reheats well in the microwave, even though it won't be as crispy, but it's still wonderful!


  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted


How to cook Blueberry Crisp

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9" pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, add the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Toss all to combine until you no longer see any traces of cornstarch.
  3. In a separate bowl,  mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour and the melted butter. Stir together evenly, and set mixture aside for 5 minutes, and then use your fingertips to break the mixture into crumbs;  set aside. 
  4. Turn the blueberry mixture into the prepared dish, scraping out all the juices.
  5. Evenly sprinkle the crumbs over the berries.
  6. Place the pie dish onto a cookie sheet in case of bubbling over in the oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. 
  7. Cool for 15 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped cream. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Fig Preserves

My friend, Joyce, has a gorgeous fig tree in her backyard, and two years ago she asked me to make fig preserves for us.  The preserves turned out so tasty, but last year, she didn't get enough figs to make any.  However, this year she happily shared with me and I perfected the recipe to our liking. The preserves are good for a charcuterie board with crackers,  and I like them on my homemade Civil War starter bread, which is filled with lots of wholesome grains.  Joyce likes them on peanut butter bread.  

I have had this teacup planter for years, and this year I planted some succulents in it.  

On the 16th of this month, it will be the 6th Anniversary of my beloved's passing.  I keep this photo of him on the bar of my kitchen. 

You all know that I am a dish lover, and this pretty salad plate comes from a set that my hubby and I discovered when we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Wimberley, TX, that our daughter gave us as a gift.  Of course, while there, I had to peek underneath at the make and name of the dishes.  We found the Berry Delight set by Mikasa, and I have loved them ever since.  Because I like to mix and match, the teacup is from another set that we had early in our marriage, and it is called Brentwood by Adams.  I gave this set to my daughter, but kept back one teacup and one salad plate. 

 These two granddaughters, Ella on the left, and Avery on the right, came over for lunch, cooking, sketching, and school supply shopping.  We made chocolate dipped Oreo cookies and Crunchy Fudge Sandwich cookies in a short time!

Cissy celebrated her 12th birthday with a pool party at her home, with pizza, snacks, and shaved ice from Bahama Bucks!  My daughter received her first letter from Marines boot camp from Connor!  Connor also had prepared a video for Cissy to see on her birthday with wishes from him, and a gift that he had bought her ahead of time.  Of course, there were tears all around. 

Yield: 5 half pints

Fig Preserves

This a spicy, perfect fig preserve recipe. I've used figs from my friend, Joyce's, fig tree, and made some for her, too.


  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 cups fresh figs, stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 half pint canning jars, with lids and rims


How to cook Fig Preserves

  1. Dissolve the baking soda in about 2 quarts of cool water, and immerse the figs in the treated water in a large bowl. Gently stir to wash the figs, then drain off the water and rinse the figs thoroughly with fresh cool water. Place the figs into a large pot. Add 1 cup water, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Very gently stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar, keeping the figs intact as much as possible.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the figs are golden brown and coated in syrup, about 1 hour, or until the preserves are thick enough to your liking.  Stir gently a couple of times to keep the figs from burning onto the bottom of the pot. Add a pinch of salt, if desired, to tame the sweetness.
  3. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the figs into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
  4.  Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot,
  5. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area, and wait at least 2 days before opening.


I put the hot fig preserves into the sterilized jars, put the lids and rings on, tightened the ring, and placed the jars upside down on a towel for about 5-8 minutes. I then turn the jars right side up and the little button in the center, pops down to ensure the jar is sealed.
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Monday, August 5, 2019

No-Bake Granola Bars

What a perfect day to enjoy a cup of tea and a granola bar.  Please join me!

You can choose whichever strawberry teacup that you'd like to use.

Riley came over to cook this time!! 

Before we made the bars, we had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, and went backpack shopping.  I think the kids liked the granola bars that they got to sample and then take home. 

Yield: About 20

No-Bake Granola Bars

I saw this recipe in the Dallas Morning News, but we changed it up because the kids didn't want raisins.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats, we used old-fashioned, but the recipe called for quick
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or raisins)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


How to cook No-Bake Granola Bars

  1. Grease a 9 x 13" pan with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together the oats, cereal and chocolate chips (or raisins) in a large bowl.
  3. Heat butter in a small pan until melted.  Add brown sugar and honey, and stir until combined.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat,  Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and salt.  We let this mixture cool for a bit because we didn't want to melt all the chocolate chips.  If you're using raisins, pour the hot syrup over the oat/cereal mixture.  Stir well until oats are completely coated. 
  4. Pour the oat mixture into baking dish.  Place wax paper on top and press down to make a flat, even layer. 
  5. Refrigerate the bars for 1 hour to set.
  6. Invert baking pan onto a cutting board and cut into rectangle shapes. 
  7. For best texture, keep refrigerated. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


 Thank you for your visit!  xo
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Monday, July 29, 2019

My Grandson is Off to the Marine Boot Camp

 Today I'm having a bittersweet tea party for myself.  My firstborn grandchild is off to Marine Boot Camp.   The little soldier on the plate, was a reminder for everyone to take one and say a prayer for Connor when they looked at it at home. 

 I'll be praying for this child as I always have even before he was born.

 My daughter had the best farewell party for Connor!!  She has such a knack for planning parties and I think it was a very cathartic experience for her to do this for him.

 She had this beautiful prayer posted.

Guess who made the beautiful cake??  Cissy did, of course!! 


 Here's the inside of the pretty three layer cake. The canteen holder on the left belonged to my late beloved, when he was in the Army Reserves.

 Aren't these decorated cookies so pretty?

 Here's my daughter with her four kids, at the end of the evening.  Please pray for my daughter as this has been such an emotional journey for her.  She gets on scripted phone call from him when he get to boot camp, and then can't talk to him for 13 weeks.  

Now I'm crying as I type this, thinking of my grandson with pride, but also sad that he is leaving.  May God watch over this fine young man. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. 

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