Instant Pot For Two By Shon Brooks — A Review

One of the reasons I started adapting recipes for one or two is because I couldn’t find a cookbook for one or two that I actually liked. Most cookbooks for one or two suffer from the recipes either being so simple they are insulting or being full of so many expensive ingredients they are beyond the budgets of most cooks. So when I ordered this cookbook I wasn’t expecting much. I hoped I would be surprised. Unfortunately, I was surprised but not in a good way.

First, let me say, I really wanted to like this cookbook. On first look, the recipes were every thing I want in a cookbook.

1. There is a great variety of recipes.

2. The recipes used ingredients I could find at any grocery store.

3. The recipes weren’t so simple as to be insulting but not so complicated it would take all day to cook them.

When I started cooking from the cookbook I began to find many subtle problems.

1. The ingredient lists weren’t specific. The first recipe I tried was for steel cut oats. The cooking time said to cook them for 3 minutes. I have made 20 pounds or more of steel cut oats in the pressure cooker over the years so I know they take 12 -15 minutes under pressure to cook. I looked through some timing charts and saw quick cooking steel cut oats take 3 minutes to cook but nowhere in the ingredient list or directions did it say anything about quick cooking steel cut oats. This type of thing happened in many other recipes through out the book.

2. None of the recipes in the book state what kind of release to use. Since the type of release used can effect the outcome of the dish that is a major problem.

3. There are obvious typos throughout the book that should have been taken care of with careful editing before the book was ever printed.

These are just a few of the problems with this cookbook that make it unreliable for the average cook. This cookbook was a great concept but poorly executed. If you are looking for an good Instant Pot for Two cookbook this isn’t for you.

Kelly’s House Seasoning

The rain has totally zapped my energy today. I was going to run errands all over town but I took one step out in the rain, turned around and went back inside and took a nap.

The bright spot in an otherwise dreary day, was my masala dabbas came today. I wasn’t expecting them until tomorrow.

If you aren’t familar with masala dabbas, they are stainless steel spice containers used in Indian households to hold their favorite combination of spices.

Last week I went through my spice drawers and threw out anything I haven’t used regularly or had no aroma. No aroma means no taste. The clean out seriously dented my basic spice pallet. I decided to buy 2 masala dabbas, each holding 7 spices, and only replace the 14 most used spices in my home.

It was a challenge to go from over 30 spices down to 14 but I think I did it.

This recipe is for a really good general seasoning blend. It doesn’t make a huge amount but is easily doubled. I put it on a lot of things instead of just plain salt

Kelly's House Seasoning

From Kelly Hendrix Fields

4 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp caynne pepper

1/2 tsp dill

1 tsp parsley

Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Store in an airtight container. Note: If you have a spice grinder, give the mix a buzz. It helps incorporate the rosemary better which keeps it from being so strong.

Dinner Just For Two — A Review

This morning, I forgot one critical thing, I am a wimp. So when I am making a recipe for 6 muffins that calls for 1 small jalapeno I probably should cut that down just a bit. Holy Hanna, those muffins packed a punch for 5:30 am!

The recipe came from Christina Lane’s new cookbook, Dinners Just For Two. Of Christina’s four cookbooks, Dinner Just For 2 is my favorite.

Things I like:

1. There are a large variety of recipes from the fancy Steak and Scalloped Potatoes to the simple, comforting Sloppy Joes with Tater Tots, my personal favorite.

2. Very few of her recipes call for any processed ingredients.

3. The ingredients lists and cooking times are generally not excessive.

4. If you follow Christine’s instructions, the recipes always come out. They are absolutely reliable.

5. There are extensive lists if how to use leftover ingredients. I am starting to think these kind of lists are absolutely vital to a cooking for one or two cookbook.

6. There are actually things I want to eat in this cookbook.

What I didn’t like about this book: Honestly, there isn’t anything I don’t like about this book. I have cooked from it at least one meal every day this week and I am still finding recipes I want to try.

If you’re looking for a cooking for one or two cookbook you will actually use, pick up a copy of Dinner Just For Two.

In the interest of full disclosure, my copy of Dinners Just For 2 was a gift from the author but my opinions are my own. If you have been hanging around here awhile you know my love for Christina Lane and her recipes has run deep for a long time.

My Favorite Things of 2018 — Part 2

As a food blogger, I rarely make the same recipe twice. If a recipe makes into my make again pile you know it is something special. Here are a few of my personal favorite recipes of 2018.

1. BlackBerry Chocolate Muffins — Byrony Cooks. This muffin recipe is my absolute favorite thing I made in 2018. Muffins are my favorite things to bake, the stranger the flavor combinations the better. To me, the combination of BlackBerry and chocolate seemed very strange. When I tried it I discovered it was awesome. It quickly became one of my all time favorite muffins recipes of all time.

2. Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese — Dessert For Two This recipe is always going to have a special place in my heart. Not only does it make a great mac and cheese, my culinary idol and creative inspiration, Christina Lane, let me recipe test it for her. She even made a change to the recipe that I suggested.

3. Shrimp Coconut Curry — Indian Instant Pot Cookbook. Dr. Urvashi Pitre is best known for her pressure cooker butter chicken recipe but my favorite recipe from all those I have tried from her blogs and her cookbooks is her pressure cooker Coconut Shrimp Curry. It is amazing to me that something as delicate as seafood doesn’t come out of the pressure cooker all tough and over cooked but it doesn’t.

Your Favorite Recipes of 2018

January is a great time to look back at your blog and see what your readers have liked over the past year. The thing that surprised me most is none of my most popular posts of 2018 where things I posted in 2018. All of them came from the early years of A Solitary Feast.

1. Small Batch Peanutbutter Blossoms —

2. What To Do With Leftover Egg Yolks #2– Flan

3. Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Copycat

As much fun as it was to look back on 2018, I am excited to see what recipes and adventures 2019 will bring. Thank you, dear readers, for spending time with in 2018 and in the future.