Instant Pot Asian Inspired Beef Short Ribs

Instant Pot Asian Inspired Beef Short Ribs

Maybe it is just me, but the title alone has my mouth drooling a bit already! You too? Keep reading! Bone in beef short ribs are one of the cuts of beef that mystified me for a long time. I did not grow up eating…

Homemade Stovetop Popcorn (NO Microwave Needed!)

Homemade Stovetop Popcorn (NO Microwave Needed!)

We all enjoy a good movie night or binge watch our current favorite TV show from time to time. The best movie snack (in my opinion) is a hot/big/fresh bowl of popcorn, and homemade is thee way to go 🙂 I grew up with microwave…

Can you make Chocolate Ice Cream with JUST Chocolate Milk?

Can you make Chocolate Ice Cream with JUST Chocolate Milk?

Could it really be that easy, to pour a quart of your favorite store bought chocolate milk directly into an ice cream machine?

In preparation, I actually spent a LOT of time thinking about this video and how to compare chocolate milk against a chocolate ice cream custard for you in a straightforward and clear fashion. I initially considered making the batches two days in a row and splicing the video together. I considered many recipes for the chocolate ice creams–including adding an egg to the chocolate milk and cooking it similar to a custard (I decided that wouldn’t be the truest test of my question).

I also somewhat impulsively bought a second ice cream maker for $20 on Facebook Marketplace a day before beginning this video!

Hear me out! I had good reason! With the basic/inexpensive ice cream makers I have, I am essentially limited to one opportunity to churn a batch every 24 to 30 ish hours (the ice cream bowl needs lots of time to re freeze after cleaning). I also wasn’t sure with the ambient lighting in my kitchen how the comparisons might be impacted by being churned different days.

Also not important reason at all: dueling ice cream makers sounded fun!

I will not posting the chocolate (custard) ice cream recipe today 🙁 as this was literally the first time I made chocolate ice cream. I would rather try a few alternatives to make sure I give you the VERY best recipe when I do! 🙂

Without giving away too much from the video, Here is my pre experiment prediction: The Chocolate milk will make a Wendy’s style Frosty just fine, but will not harden appropriately in the freezer to become a delicious scoop-able ice cream due to a lower fat percentage when compared to a typical custard based ice cream. Let us find out if I predicted correctly!

I hope you stuck with me to the very end to see what happened! Please sign up for my email subscription so you can be among the first to know about my new posts and comment below to let me know what questions you have for me!

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Bacon Jerky !!!

Bacon Jerky !!!

OMG Bacon!!! Bacon is so diverse with so many amazing preparations. This is everyone’s favorite part of pork, and if anyone says differently, there is a good chance they are lying. I honestly had to seriously edit down my intro in my video because I…

Lemon Zucchini Quinoa

Lemon Zucchini Quinoa

I am sure I am not the only person that hates the super hot, humid, muggy days of Ohio summers. I am also sure that I am not the only gardener that has had too many zucchini ripen at the exact same time and needs…

Strawberry Basil Salsa and Sweet Chips

Strawberry Basil Salsa and Sweet Chips

Spring has Sprung!

This also means grocery stores and farmers markets everywhere are again able to stock super fresh and seasonal and local produce. I can never seem to fully appreciate the extra sweetness and flavor of the ripe berries when they come in season each spring. The difference of a strawberry in May (vs January) is astounding!

And of course my love of basil is still so real! Anyone that has checked out my basil pesto recipe knows how much I love basil! The early spring, when all the garden stores give me plant envy is always tempting because my six week seedlings look nothing like the much bigger and robust basil plants that have popped up in stores seemingly overnight.

When it comes to spring recipes, what could be better than the combination of two of my favorite produces? Strawberry and Basil!!! These are two ingredients that I have randomly noticed frequent menus together, most often in sweet tooth settings 🙂

It wasn’t until a month or so ago I actually had the inspiration to try them together. I had made a quick WFM stop for fresh basil (the day I made the Italian Sausage Pizza Burgers) and impulse bought some amazingly fresh strawberries on a great sale. Because of my love of all things basil, I naturally had to smell it as I walked to my car. For some reason I did this with the strawberries too. The smell of the basil was still fresh in mind when I smelled the strawberries, and this really got me thinking. They smelled amazing separate, but smelled somehow even better together?!?!

Any onlookers in the parking lot must have been thinking I was nuts.

Anyway, this recipe came to be with a few taste tests and some experimentations (pro tip: salt does not help this recipe!) I was originally thinking the strawberry basil salsa would go super well with a sugar cookie or shortbread cookie (and I totally think they would flavor wise!) but chips and salsa are like peanut butter and jelly. This salsa needed a chip.

During one of my self cooking/learning phases, I went on a bit of a Chipotle copycat recipe bender. During this delicious stage of my life I learned a super great way to make fresh chips at home. I adapted (only slightly) that method to make the crunchy sweet chips included here! Basically, I swapped the salt and lime juice in my chipotle copycat chip for sugar and cinnamon 🙂 Yummy!

My pro-tip for serving this delicious recipe? Wait to combine the strawberry sauce with the fresh strawberries and basil until right before serving! You can totally pre dice the produce and pre mix the sauce and pre make the chips for ease of recipe prep. Waiting to mix the sauce until serving time really helps keep this fruit salsa feeling super fresh and keep the natural texture of the fresh strawberries. In my opinion, this recipe is best the day it is made 🙂

I really hope this delicious, sweet, fresh, fruity combo is something you and your friends and family will enjoy again and again! Please like, share, comment, and subscribe for more delicious recipes to come!

Strawberry Basil Salsa and Sweet Chips

  • 1 Pound Strawberries, small dice
  • 1/2 ounce Basil, chiffonade/dice
  • 12 pack Uncooked Tortillas, cut into 1/8 ths
  • Olive Oil (or other oil of your choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • Granulated Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Powdered Sugar, 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon Strawberry Preserve/Jam/Jelly
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lime
  1. Chips
    1. Separate and cut uncooked tortillas into ‘chip shaped pieces’ or 1/8 ths
    2. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon
    3. Layer tortillas in bowl with cinnamon-sugar mixture and splashes of oil
    4. MIX! This may take a few minutes with tongs or slightly less time if you get your hands messy
    5. Single layer chips onto parchment paper and bake at 350 for about ten minutes, flipping after fiveish minutes
  2. Strawberry and Basil Prep
    1. Strawberries require a simple cleaning/removal of the greens and a small dice. You want the dice small enough to be easily scoopable with the chips
    2. Basil is easiest to dice if you first roll it into a cigar like shape to chiffonade it (ribbon like pieces) then cross cut it to make a quick dice. See video at 3:20 for visual details
  3. Sauce
    1. Combine strawberry preserves, powdered sugar, and lime juice with a wisk until well combined
  4. Combine sauce with diced strawberries and basil just before serving
  5. Dip that Chip and ENJOY!!!

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Italian Sausage Pizza Burger

Italian Sausage Pizza Burger

So Pizza Friday is basically a rule at my house. In some fashion, we are having pizza on Friday. Sometimes we make pizza, sometimes we have Stromboli filled with many meats, and sometimes the dirty dishes have overflowed the kitchen and we go out for…

Potato Bacon Soup

Potato Bacon Soup

What can be better? Warm creamy soup, soft bites of potatoes, and bacon. SO MUCH BACON! Potato soup is something that makes me think of spending time in the kitchen with my parents, specifically with my Dad. I don’t know where DOD (Dear ‘Ol Dad)…

Hearty Midwestern Pot Roast

Hearty Midwestern Pot Roast

Cold and snowy Ohio mornings always make me crave warm comfort food. Beef Pot Roast is probably the meal my mom made most frequently when I was growing up and something about it always reminds me of my childhood home. The mere thought of a warm, rich, hearty bowl of pot roast is practically nostalgia at its core.

I am Ohio born and raised. I spent the majority of my childhood in a small town with lots of farms and livestock fields nearby. My sister were 4H members and I showed our pygmy goats in the local fair. We didn’t have quite the farm experience where there were lawnmower races (as seen in The Prince and Me starring Julia Stiles) but I think it is the closest movie example to some of my childhood midwestern experiences.

Beef Pot roast is a classic slow cooker meal that offers a super easy prep. The real rock star is the slow cooker itself.  It works magic over a number of hours and transforms the inexpensive piece of meat into a tender fall apart dinnertime meal. I like to prep this recipe before work then set it to low on the slow cooker so it is ready and waiting when I get home.

Today I am sharing my moms homemade pot roast recipe with two updates of my own 🙂 

To get started, you really only need a few ingredients:

  • Beef Chuck Roast
  • POTATOES! This is a meat and potato meal! It needs the potatoes to be a great pot roast!
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Onion (my addition–my dad hates onions so my mom never cooks with them)
  • Beef Broth (my mom uses a can of premade gravy in her pot roast)
  • Salt and Pepper

Making a pot roast really is that easy! Note: I forgot to show where I added the salt and pepper! (I accidentally took a picture instead of the video I intended) No salt and this is a really bland meal. I recommend you season all the sides of your beef roast with salt and pepper, then season the veggies with salt as you add them into the slow cooker.

OOPS! I thought I was taking a video!

The first non optional ingredient is obviously the beef itself. Bonus, you basically cant buy the wrong beef for this recipe. Today I used a beef chuck roast (it was on sale recently) but over the years we have used shoulder roast, rump roast, or pretty much any inexpensive beef roast (that has not been sliced in steaks) and still ended up with a great pot roast. Using a slow cooker to easily tenderize a less expensive, tough cut of beef can also be a great budget stretcher!

As I said in the video, you cannot have a good pot roast without the potatoes. I actually had to run to the store this morning for more potatoes because I forgot why I had the potatoes set aside and made potato soup yesterday with the ones originally intended for todays dinner. OOPS! I am not a morning person but the potatoes are exactly that necessary if you want the perfect pot roast. I used red potatoes today, but most potatoes will work well in this dish. Russet or Idaho potatoes are great, and I think my dad even made this for us a few times with the yellow Yukon gold potatoes.

What is optional (in my opinion) is if you are missing one of the following: the onion, the carrots, or the celery. Notice I said OR. I think each of these veggies bring something to the table. Traditionally, these three aromatic veggies are called a mirepoix when paired together. While I recommend using all three, you will still end up with a good pot roast if you omit one of the three (remember–my mom never cooks with onion because my dad hates them!)

Also optional is a finishing dash of fresh chopped parsley added as you dish up each serving. I forget which guest cook on Rachael Ray said it a few years back, but it is true–finishing slow cooker meals with a touch of something fresh brightens the entire meal. Plus since we all eat with our eyes first, this tiny addition makes the whole meal look even better!

Hearty Midwestern Pot Roast!


  • Beef Chuck Roast, I used 2 pounds as I am cooking for 2 and I did not want leftovers, Use up to a 5 pound beef roast to feed more people or to have leftovers
  • 2 pounds of Potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 pound Carrots, sliced
  • 6 stalks or 1/2 a bunch of Celery, sliced
  • Onion, rough chop
  • Beef Broth, I used just less than 1.5 cups, a bigger roast will benefit from a full 16 ounce container
  • Generous seasoning of Salt and Pepper
  1. Layout and prep ingredients, see video for visual suggestions on how to cut veggies (rough chop/quarter)
  2. Generously salt and pepper outside of beef roast
  3. Layer bottom of Slow Cooker with some of each veggie (potato, carrot, celery, onion) and add salt
  4. Place S&P Beef roast in middle of Slow Cooker, surround with remaining vegetables, add another pinch of salt to vegetables only
  5. Turn on Slow Cooker
    1. Use Low if you have six to eight hours
    2. Use High is you have only four or five hours
  6. Go to work/clean house/take a nap while the Slow Cooker is working its magic for you
  7. Optional: Add fresh cut parsley when plating
  8. Enjoy!

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Semi-Homemade Stromboli

Semi-Homemade Stromboli

Friday nights at my house are almost always deemed Pizza Night. We love this one consistency in our weekly meal planning. And also at the end of a long work week, my husband and I usually find ourselves looking for a simple, no decision making…