Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2017:
* Use the Spiralizer at least once per week for healthy veggie-rich meals
* Continue to spin from the Wheel of Meals for recipe inspiration

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Instant Pot Chili Mac and Cheese


I saw this recipe posted on a Facebook Instant Pot Group, and it looked good, so I gave it a try.  It was tasty, but I didn't get as much chili flavor as I expected.  It was more like "chili-inspired" mac and cheese--or fancy Hamburger Helper.  Also, I'm not sure if the Instant Pot really saved much time.  I guess it was nice to use just one pot and dump it all in and go do something else for a few minutes.  Instead of a can of tomatoes, I used garden tomatoes.  I'm thinking I should have stirred some more in at the end along with the cheese.

Instant Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups beef broth
1 lb dried macaroni pasta
1-2 cups grated or shredded cheddar cheese
fresh chopped parsley (for garnish)

Directions:
Add ground beef to instant pot and use Saute mode for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned.  Add onion, celery, pepper, and garlic, and saute for a couple more minutes.  Then add spices and stir.  Turn off Saute mode.  Add broth, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and pasta. Stir to make sure pasta is covered in liquid.

Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes (it will need ~10 minutes to preheat).  When finished, quick release pressure before removing lid.

Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with parsley if desired.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Creamy Lemon Thyme Chicken


I wanted to use some of my fresh garden thyme before it's time to dry it, so I made this recipe.  It's simple and uses ingredients already on hand.  It was delicious.  The creamy sauce was like a lemon-flavored gravy, but it added a lot of flavor and I liked it.  I don't think I really tasted the thyme though.  I served the chicken with roasted Parmesan asparagus and couscous.

Creamy Lemon Thyme Chicken

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon flour
1&1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Rub the chicken evenly with garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Let sit to marinate for 15-20 minutes.   Heat oil in a large skillet and add the chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through (thicker breasts will require more time).  Remove chicken and place on a plate, covered with foil.

In the same skillet, heat butter and add flour. stirring to combine.  Slowly whisk in the milk and stir until there are no lumps.  Simmer until it starts to thicken a bit.  Stir in the lemon zest, thyme, and salt.  Add the chicken back to the skillet, spooning the sauce over the top.  Simmer for a couple minutes.  Serve.