Instant Pot Mini Pumpkin Pie Pudding


This morning I hadn’t even got to my station before I heard the store manager say “Julie, could you come here for a second?  I need to talk to you.”  My heart sank.  It’s never a good thing when your boss comes to the floor and says that.  I couldn’t, for the life of me, think what I had done or said to a co-worker or a customer that would get me a talking to.  I don’t get talked to often but when I get called to the office for a talking to I usually have a pretty good idea why before I get to the office.  The store manager took me aside and told me that on Saturday a customer pulled him aside and told him how awesome Julie on lane 5 was.  I was friendly, talkative, and really good at my job.  She would come back to the store and get in my line anytime.  She appreciated how hard I work for her and the other customers.  That was so totally NOT!!! what I was expecting to hear.  It really made my day.  I don’t often hear the positive things my customers think about me so it means the world to me when I hear them.  It means as much to me that my store manager heard them too.   So today I challenge you to take a minute or so out of your day and let your favorite cashier, hair dresser, nail tech, server, or others in service to you, know they are doing a good job and you appreciate them and what they do.  You will never know how much it can mean to those in service.

This recipe is like eating the pumpkin part of a pumpkin pie.  Originally, the recipe was keto but I am not so my adaption uses cow’s milk and real sugar.  I like the recipe a little less sweet so I used 4 tablespoons of sugar.  Add the other 2 tablespoons of sugar to the filling if you like it sweeter.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Adapted from The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook (note:  My adaption is not keto)

1 egg

1/4 milk

4-6 TBS sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp vanilla

Grease a 5 inch pan well, get all the surfaces.   In a small bowl, whisk the egg.  Add the milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and vanilla.  Mix throughly.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and cover with foil.  Add water into the liner and place the trivet in the pot.  Place covered pan on the trivet.  Lock the lid.  Cook on high for 20 minutes.  Naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure. 

Mark Bittman’s Bean Patties


A little over a week ago, I found out my cockatiel, Riley, is going to need surgery.  About two months ago, Riley developed an abscess on her wing.  I took her to the vet and got it cleaned out but Dr. Dill said he thought there was damage to the feather follicle.  If there was damage to the feather follicle every feather that grew out of it would cause another abscess. The only way to prevent this from happening would be to remove the follicle. We couldn’t really be sure until it happened again.  Sure enough, it happened again so we scheduled surgery for October 15.  In 20 years of having birds, I have never had to experience surgery for one of my birds.  I have had handicapped birds, birds with behavioral problems, birds who plucked themselves,  a bird with gout, a bird who poked a hole in her beak, a bird who scalped herself and two birds with a disease the vet didn’t even have a name for but never a bird that needed surgery.  I am a total mess worrying about Riley.

To make matters worse, there was a problem with my paycheck this week.  Yeah, so it was really short and I won’t get the money until my next paycheck.  So after paying my bills and setting money aside to pay for Riley’s surgery, I don’t have much money left in the budget for anything else.  So this week all my recipes are going to be made from stuff I already have in my pantry.  One of the great things about being able to cook and having a moderately well stocked pantry is I am always able to cobble something together for a meal.  It may not be the most amazing meal I have ever made but it will keep me from going hungry.  I can usually make it taste pretty good too.

One of the things I always keep in my pantry are a couple of bags of different kinds of beans.  Beans are cheap and nutritious.  They can be made in tons of different ways.  My favorite way to make beans is into a patty to serve as a sandwich.  I like Mark Bittman’s recipe for beans patties because of all the recipes I have tried for bean patties, and I have tried dozens, his stay together best if you follow his directions.  Feel free to use any seasoning blend you like instead of the chili powder.  I have used taco seasoning and Shawarma spice blend with good results.


Bean Patties

From How To Cook Everything The Basics

2 cups beans, cooked, or from a can, drained, any type of beans can be used I like chickpeas

1 medium onion, cut into chunks

1/2 cup rolled oats, more as needed

1 TBS chili powder, or spice blend of your choice

salt and pepper, to taste

Bean liquid or water, as needed

In your food processor, add the beans, onion, oats and chili powder; sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Let the machine run, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides.  until the mixture is throughly  combined.   If you don’t have a food processor, chop your onions finely and add everything to a large bowl.  Use a potato masher to mash everything together.    Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.  You want a moist consistency that will easily form into patties.  If the mixture is too wet, add more oats 1 tablespoon at a time.  If the mixture is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of bean liquid or water at a time.  Shape the mixture into 4 patties.  Let the patties sit another 5  minutes.  Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the patties.  Cook, undisturbed, until brown and crisp on one side, 3-8 minutes.  Add more oil to the pan, if necessary.  Carefully, flip the patties and cook on the other side until the is browned and the patties feel firm, another 3-5 minutes. 

Spinach, Mushroom, Cherry Tomato Fry Up (Whole 30)


It must be getting colder.  My feed is full of recipes for  hearty soups and desserts.  Honestly, I am doing my share of baking and cooking soups too.  However,  I am trying to balance out the heavy soups and sweet desserts by trying new vegetable recipes, like this one.  Simple vegetable dishes I can throw together quickly.  Vegetable dishes that use up the bits and pieces of leftover vegetables I have in my fridge.

Spinach Mushroom and Cherry Tomato Fry Up

From Eat Drink Paleo

1 teaspoon butter or ghee (omit if can’t tolerate dairy and add a little more oil)

2 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 button mushrooms, sliced

½ red or brown onion, sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

½ teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 garlic clove, finely diced

3 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves or torn English spinach leaves

½ teaspoon sea salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

Pinch of nutmeg (optional, but nice)

Drizzle of lemon juice, right at the end


Heat ghee and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms and onions. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until translucent.   Add the tomatoes, lemon zest, garlic, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for a further 2 minutes and press tomatoes down with a spatula until lightly smashed.  Finally, add the spinach and stir through. Cook until the spinach is just wilted. Season with a little more salt, if you like, and drizzle with some lemon juice right at the end.  Serve with eggs or your choice of protein such as sausage, steak, chicken or fish.

Carrot Spice Muffins

North Dakota is in that strange time of the year where it is too warm during the day to turn on the heat and too cold at night to not have the heat on.  I have been compensating by turning on the oven in the morning and making muffins to warm up my apartment.  It’s never a struggle for me to make muffins especially when I find some interesting new flavor combinations to try and I found some in Breakfast With Beatrice by Beatrice Ojakangas.  I really like how she combines flavors I would have never thought of in all her recipes, not just her muffin recipes.  I will be buying my own copy of Breakfast With Beatrice for my cookbook collection and using it often.

I loved these Carrot Spice muffins.  They made my apartment smell so good and tasted so good, I didn’t get a picture before they where gone but take my word for it the muffins were very pretty.

Carrot Spice Muffins

Adapted From Breakfast With Beatrice

1 cup all purpose flour

6 TBS sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 tart apple, peeled and shredded

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 whole egg plus 3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla