My Corner of the World

My Corner of the World -

Bread Machine Bagels! Mmmmmm!

OK, so I finally decided to try making bagels.  OMG why haven’t I done this sooner????  Seriously, I’m not buying my bagels ever again! :-)  I like slightly smaller bagels than what you buy.  Those store-bought ones that I would buy were on their way to 300 calories each!  The ones I make are slighly smaller and only 88 calories!  Whaaaaaat???  That’s right, 88 ;-)  Anyhow, they’re easy to make, don’t let the boiling bath they take scare you away.  It’s easy peasy!


  • 1 c. water
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons bread machine yeast


Add the ingredients in your break maker in the order listed above.  Set to the dough setting and let the machine do all the hard work :-)  When done, on a lightly floured surface, separate the dough into 16 even clumps.

Roll into a ball and make a hole in the center with your thumb.  Place on a greased sheet.  Rub a little butter on the top of each one and let rise in a warm place for a half hour.

The bath:  Just before the bagels have finished rising, add 12 c. water to a dutch oven and 1 Tbsp. sugar.  Bring to a boil.  When the bagels are done with their rising, gently and carefully place as many that will fit into hot water bath and let them simmer for 2 min. and turn over in the water.  Let the 2nd side simmer for about a minute.  Carefully remove from water (slotted spoon works well) and place on a couple of paper towels to dry them a little.  When they’ve dried a little (about a minute), place them back on the greased sheet.

Bake in the oven for about 20 min. on the center rack at 375 F.


I sprinkled course salt on almost half of them and cinnamon on the remaining ones.  Get creative.  sprinkle things on them!  My next batches will be a little more fun as I plan to incorporate sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and some other tasty items.  I’ll also be trying them with whole wheat flour.  Enjoy!

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

I made split pea soup in the Instant Pot (IP) last night for the first time.  I’m not a big fan of pea soup but I think that’s because I usually have had it from a can and it’s been a looooong time since I’ve had any at all.  Anyhow, last night I thought I’d try it.  It was really something I came up with in my head after seeing no actual recipe that I wanted to follow.  A lot of recipes called for ingredients I didn’t have so this is what I came up with.  We all enjoyed it (my uncle even had a couple of servings!), so I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought it turned out pretty good :-)


  • About 3/4 head of celery
  • About 1 c finely sliced or chopped carrot (see note below)
  • About 9 c water
  • About 3 tbsp chicken Bovril
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 c split peas
  • 2 c cubed ham (no bigger than 1″)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 3/4 tsp savory
  • 3/4 tsp thyme


Add water and celery to the IP (it should come up to about the 10 c mark).  Pressure cook for 20 minutes (I used the meat/stew setting).  Do a quick release of the steam.  When safe to continue, carefully blend with an immersion blender to shred all the celery up (it should be very soft at that point).  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  Pressure cook on the same setting for 40 minutes.  Do a quick release and when safe to continue, stir with a large spoon to break up the clumps of peas and give it a smooth consistency.


  • This will give you a very creamy texture to the soup without any pea pieces (they get mushy), but it’s very nice.
  • I left the celery in large pieces about 4″ long and used my immersion blender on it when cooked.  If you’d prefer not to do this, just thinly slice the celery before putting it in the IP.
  • Next time I will add a good cup (maybe 2!) of sliced carrots (I didn’t think I had any but turns out I did in the basement!).

Banana Cake

I found a banana cake recipe on Canadian Living’s site but modified it somewhat.  This is what I came up with and it’s quite good.


  • 1 c baking Splenda
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c mashed banana (about 3)


Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix wet ingredients and bananas in another bowl.  Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ones and mix well (a hand blender or beater does wonders).  Pour into a greased cake dish (I used a 9″ square Pyrex dish) and bake at 350F for 50 – 60 minutes.


beans I made beans in our 6 qt Instant Pot (IP).  They turned out really well!  It didn’t make too much and 4 of us ate well from it with leftovers remaining at the end.


I now have an 8 quart IP.  You can easily make a whole bag of dry beans (about 4 cups) with it, just double the recipe.


  • 2 c pinto beans dry, rinsed
  • c water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 500 g pack of bacon (cut in 1″ slices, you can use peameal bacon, ham, or any pork really)
  • 2 medium sliced onion
  • 3/4 c molasses
  • 2 tbsp packed brown Splenda (1/4 c if using regular brown sugar)
  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preparation: Put first 3 ingredients in the Instant Pot (IP) and pressure cook for 60 min.  Slice bacon and onions, set aside.  Make mixture with remaining ingredients.  When the IP has finished its cycle, release pressure naturally or quickly, it doesn’t matter.  Drain beans (there won’t be much water left) and set aside in a big bowl (or keep them in the same insert while you use another insert for the bacon and onions).  In the IP, add bacon and onions, sautée until onions are soft and bacon is fairly cooked (not crispy).  Add beans and molasses mixture to IP, stir gently to mix everything, and pressure cook for another 20 min.   Serve hot or cold; the beans are awesome either way.

Beef Stew

Who doesn’t love stew?  Especially when it’s cold out, nothing warms and soothes quite like it.  Here’s how I do mine in our 6 qt Instant Pot (IP).


  • about 3 lbs beef, cubed, trimmed of fat
  • about 5 med. potatoes, cubed
  • 1 small bag of baby carrots
  • about 4 or 5 stalks of celery, cut up in chunks
  • 2 large onions, cut in eighths
  • Other veggies (optional, just watch your IP space limits)
  • 4 c water
  • 2 packets gravy (I usually use French’s) or make a thickening agent of water, salt, and flour


Set the IP to the sauté setting and let the beef brown while you prepare the veggies.  Turn the beef a couple of times to get both sides browned.  Add vegetables and water to the IP.  Cover and set to “Meat” setting and let it pressure cook for 45 minutes.  Everything will be so tender when it’s done.  I do a quick release when it’s done.  Remove cover and set to sauté.  Add gravy packets or thickening agent and stir well.  Let the gravy heat a little for about 10 minutes.  Give it one final stir and serve.

Apple Dumplings

Oh my, my new favourite recipe for the Instant Pot (IP)!  I love experimenting and finding out that I’m a genius in the kitchen ;-)  I didn’t take specific measurements but I’ll try to be as accurate as possible.


  • about 2 c. homemade bisquick mix (bought stuff would work too)
  • Milk, about a 1/2 cup but you’ll have to use a judgment call
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 c. white baking Splenda (or sugar if you prefer to use real sugar)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into about 8 chunks
  • 1/4 lb butter
  • about 1 tbsp brown Splenda (use real brown sugar if you prefer)
  • about 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c. water


Set the IP to the sauté setting and add butter.  As soon as it melts, add cinnamon and brown Splenda.  Mix well and turn to the “Keep Warm” setting.

Mix bisquick and baking Splenda in a mixing bowl.  Add the egg and a little milk, mix well.  Keep adding milk until the mixture reaches a doughy consistency.  You don’t want it to be thin and it’s a little easier to work with if it’s a little on the dryer side than too wet/sticky.  Once well mixed and the desired consistency is reached, add the cup of water to the IP and mix well.  Take a piece of apple and wrap it completely in a layer of dough.  It will be a messy task, don’t be afraid to use your hands.  Place in the IP.  Repeat until there’s a loose layer of dumplings in the IP.  Don’t put more than one layer in.

Place the cover on the IP and set to Manual setting and pressure cook for 15 min.  You can let it vent naturally or do a quick release.  It’s awesome with ice cream, especially maple walnut.  Enjoy!

Homemade Bisquick

This is a basic recipe I use for just about everything…  I’ve made cookies with it, dumplings (sweet ones and savory ones), biscuits…  It’s very versatile.


  • 2 c. all purpose flour (although whole wheat also works)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cold butter

Preparation: Mix all in dry ingredients.  You can either use a pastry blender to  cut the butter into it, but I prefer doing a couple of batches at a time in my food processor.  Whichever method you prefer, blend until it reaches an almost fine crumbly kind of texture.  You may want to add a bit more butter if it’s not reaching the consistency that  you like.  It should not be wet.  I put it in a Ziploc freezer bag and store in my cupboard for months at a time.

French Bread

This makes really good crusty bread!  If you like it a bit softer, once it cools, throw it into a ziplock bag and seal it a while.  I got it from Robin Hood’s web site and posting a slightly modified version here because it’s sometimes easier for me to access.  I prefer making my bread in the oven, so I’m listing the instructions for that, not for baking in the bread machine.


  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 1/4 c. All purpose flour
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast

Preparation: In order listed above, add ingredients to bread machine.  Put it on the dough cycle.  When done, split dough and place in loaf pans or cookie sheet (if you want to make rolls or baguette type bread).  Let rise in a warm draft-free area for 20-30 minutes (I like to turn the oven on for 1 minute at 350 F, then I turn it off, and place the bread inside).  Bake at 350 F for 15 min. for a regular loaf, or 10-12 min. for rolls or baguette.  Broil at 450 or 500 for a minute (set a timer because you don’t want to forget it!) until the top has browned nicely.

Leftover Turkey Chili

chiliWe bought an Instant Pot (IP) during a black Friday sale at Walmart (Canada) for just under $49 (how could I pass up a half off kind of deal??).    I’ve made a few beef stews up (just throwing this and that into it) and love it.  With Christmas just passed, I need to use up my leftover turkey so I’m attempting turkey chili.  Sure it’s not ground turkey, but I think it’ll be ok.  So here’s what I’ve done…


  • 2 med. onions, chopped
  • 2 chopped red peppers
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 bag of dried red kidney beans (you can use other kinds like pinto)
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • about 3 c. chopped turkey
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes (796 ml)

Preparation: Sauté onion and red pepper in the IP until softened. Rinse beans well and add to IP along with 4 c. water. Pressure cook for 30 min.  I used the meat/stew setting and decreased it to 30 min. from its 45 min. default. When cycle is done, carefully vent the IP.  Carefully remove lid and add remaining ingredients.  Give it a stir to mix everything up and pressure cook for another 30 min.

Green Tomato Ketchup

Nanny would always make this in the fall. I always looked forward to getting some as part of Christmas presents and sometimes just as a treat. I never came across a recipe in her collection, but I did find a recipe online for it that is pretty bang on. I cut the amount of sugar in the original recipe and will be making it this week again with leftover green tomatoes from our garden.

If you don’t have green tomatoes, this works equally well with red tomatoes. There’s really no difference in the taste, just the appearance.


  • 30 green tomatoes, chopped (about 6 pounds)
  • 15 medium onions, chopped (about 3 pounds)
  • 2/3 c coarse salt
  • 3 c white vinegar
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp mixed pickling spices, tied in cheesecloth


In a large bowl, alternate layers of tomatoes and onions, sprinkling each layer with salt.  Let stand for at least 8 hours, better overnight. Rinse; drain well.

Combine vegetables with vinegar, sugar and spice bag. In a large saucepan or stock pot, bring mixture to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir frequently until slightly thickened. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.