Instant Pot Apple Cider

Instant Pot Apple Cider

I cannot believe that October is almost over! I’ve got a super easy drink recipe for you today that is perfect for Halloween or for the upcoming holiday season! Homemade apple cider made right in the Instant Pot. It’s so easy and so delicious! And what could be better than sipping on some apple cider on a cool and crisp fall night?!

Instant Pot Apple Cider

Slicing up the fruit and waiting for the pot to come to pressure is the longest part of making this as it only needs about 15 minutes to cook.

I actually made this recipe twice as I wasn’t happy with it the first time around. The first time, I threw the oranges and lemons in with the peels included. The cider ended up having a bitter taste from the rinds so I made it a second time, but this time, peeling the orange and lemon and discarding the peel and rind and the cider was much better. Definitely peel the orange and lemon first!

Instant Pot Apple Cider

I like to use a mix of apples for this recipe as they each add a slightly different flavor. I used honey crisp, golden delicious, and gala apples. You can use whatever combination you’d like to use, but I recommend giving a good mix of apples a try and see what you think!

I used maple syrup to sweeten, but brown sugar or granulated sugar works too! You can make this in advance if you’d like. The cider keeps for about a week in the fridge. You can also serve it hot or cold. I like to garnish it with more sliced apples and orange slices!

Instant Pot Apple Cider

Freezer Bean Burritos

Freezer Bean Burritos

Raise your hand if burritos are totally your jam? Yeah, me too. I actually don’t eat them very often from restaurants since they are so filling and oversized. But, I like to sometimes eat those mini frozen ones for quick lunches. They seemed simple enough to make on my own so I gave them a try!

These are a total win for both me and Sean. We have been eating them for lunch whenever we are home.

Freezer Bean Burritos

Let’s talk about the filling! I use a mixture of both black beans and pinto beans. If you prefer, you can just use two cans of one type. After the beans, I add some fresh lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and a couple of other basic spices.

I used my mini food processor to blend everything up. If you want to make a double batch, I recommend using a regular-sized food processor. And if you do not have a food processor, you can still make these! Just throw everything in a bowl and mash as best you can with a fork!

One important thing to note before you make these – you don’t want to completely mash the beans up to the point where they get really liquidy if that makes sense. You want it to be mostly smooth, but with some larger chunks of beans intact. And you want it to be thick enough to spread so be careful not to overmix. It may help to stick a fork or spoon in and mix it up between pulses if it seems like the mixture closest to the bottom is getting over blended.

After you blend up the beans, you just need some shredded cheese and some tortillas! Keep in mind that these are not those big restaurant-style burritos. I used 8-inch tortillas which are great for lighter lunches or even snacks.

Freezer Bean Burritos

After you roll them up, stick them in the freezer and that’s it! These were ready and in the freezer in about 15 minutes. To heat them, I wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for up to 2 minutes and lunch is ready!

Freezer Bean Burritos

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I don’t typically bake a lot of cookies this time of year as I’m usually focused on Halloween stuff and then Thanksgiving, but these Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are the perfect fall cookie for the fall and the holidays!

My classic snickerdoodles are one of my most favorite cookies ever, especially during the holidays (and they have even won some cookie competitions!). I wanted to make a pumpkin version of this classic cookie favorite and these pumpkin snickerdoodles did not disappoint!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I took my regular snickerdoodle recipe and made some tweaks to include pumpkin. Like the original, these snickerdoodles are so perfectly sweet, soft, and thick! In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than a hard and crunchy snickerdoodle!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I brought these into my office to share with the lab and they were gone in about a minute!

A couple of things to note – first, I do recommend chilling the dough. It prevents the cookies from spreading as much which gives them more thickness. I have made them without chilling and while they are still okay, I prefer chilling the dough. You only have to chill the dough for about 30 minutes, but you could also make it it in advance and chill overnight if needed. Oh, and these cookies freeze really well too!

Goat Cheese Ball Spiders

Goat Cheese Ball Spiders

I can’t believe October is already halfway over. It always just flies by, probably because it’s my favorite month of the year!

We are thoroughly soaking up every minute of Halloween fun that we can on the weekends and have some fun parties coming up. I’ve got another savory Halloween appetizer for you guys today! These little Goat Cheese Ball Spiders!

Maddie said they kind of look like Minions and I think she’s totally right, haha. It’s the color of the pistachios and olive “goggles”. But, they are yummy and cute and so we are going to go with it!

Goat Cheese Ball Spiders

I was first thinking about just rolling these in poppy seeds to make the spiders black, but I feel like they would leave you and your guests with a bunch of black tiny seeds stuck in your teeth. So I went with crushed green pistachios instead!

The cheese balls are made with goat cheese and cream cheese as a base along with some seasoning. Super simple and I was pleasantly surprised that these guys actually came together pretty quickly!

For the legs, you just need a small handful of pretzel sticks and sliced olives for the eyes!

I think this appetizer is good for everyone, but the goat cheese definitely makes it a bit more adult-friendly as I know a lot of kiddos don’t like goat cheese.

One tip – You can prep the cheese balls the night before if desired, however, I don’t recommend rolling them into the pistachios or inserting the pretzel stick legs until it’s closer to when you want to serve them. The cheese mixture softens the pistachios and pretzel sticks the longer they sit.

Goat Cheese Ball Spiders

Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

It recently occurred to me that there’s a serious lack of chai recipes on my blog. I LOVE chai. Chai Tea Lattes are my jam. I adore all of the spices like cardamom and cinnamon. And I feel like chai spices definitely give off more of a fall/winter comfort vibe.

And what else gives off a comfort vibe? Homemade banana bread obviously! So homemade banana bread spiced with chai spices? Hello cozy! Just the thought of this bread makes me long for a cold rainy day so I can snuggle up on the couch with a cup of tea and a slice of this chai-spiced banana bread!

Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

This banana bread may seem kind of basic, but the chai spices make it seem a bit more special. Cardamom can be a bit expensive, but if you are a chai fan, it’s worth having a bottle in your spice cabinet!

I didn’t expect the girls to like the cardamom flavors in this bread, but Maddie loves it and keeps asking for a little slice with her breakfast or for a snack. I also froze some and it reheats easily. This bread would be great to have on hand for guests over the fall and holiday season to serve with tea or coffee!

Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta

The Instant Pot has been my favorite kitchen appliance for two years now, but I always make the same three or four recipes with it and have been wanting to try some new ideas. Plus, I use my IP much more often during the fall and winter as it gets cooler outside.

This Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta is total comfort food. Simply cut up some chicken breasts, pour in some broth and seasonings, and then pasta and cook for just 6 minutes in your pressure cooker! At the very end, you just need to stir in some cream cheese, fresh spinach, and some Parmesan and dinner is ready so quickly!

Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Truth is that I don’t usually love sundried tomatoes. I don’t hate them, but I don’t typically love them. I loved them in this pasta though! You could add them in at the very end, but I added them into the pot before cooking and maybe that helped them get softer. Either way, they add a great punch of flavor to the recipe!

A lot of pressure cooker pasta recipes use all broth when cooking, but I feel like too much of it makes things taste a bit saltier than I normally prefer so I used half low sodium chicken broth and water in this recipe. You can use all broth if you prefer it that way!

Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta