Cheap 'n Easy Mac 'n Cheese with the InstantPot

Previously we experimented with steaming rice in the InstantPot for just 1 minute and letting the residual heat and pressure cook the rice. It turns out, you can do the same with pasta! And then make it mac 'n cheese by adding cheese at the end. Put your pasta in a bowl with just enough water to cover the pasta. Add water to the InstantPot, then sit the bowl in this water bath. Use Steam setting for 1 minute. As soon as the float valve has popped up you can turn off the power. This of course indicates there is dangerously hot pressured steam in the InstantPot. You don't actually need to wait for the 1 minute Steam program to run. Wait 10 minutes then release the pressure. Or, just wait for the pressure to naturally release. If you didn't use an excessive amount of water, it's fine to leave it in the InstantPot for a long time because there won't be a lot of water left over to absorb and become soggy, and the steam in the InstantPot will ensure it doesn't dry ou

Rice Setting on the InstantPot? Wrong!

Previously, we showed you how WRONG it is to make rice directly in the InstantPot . Further experimentation has show how WRONG it is to use the "Rice" setting on the InstantPot. The InstantPot "rice" setting basically sets it to start boiling the water at a low heat, then it counts down 12 minutes on the Rice setting, then shuts off. At that point you can use the switch for rapid pressure release to open the InstantPot safely sooner and get at the rice. But is there an easier way? Absolutely. And save electricity doing it too. Of course everyone knows you can pre-soak rice. That's certainly one way to speed things up but what you don't even have to do that. Prepare the raw rice and water in the InstantPot. Either directly or using our pot-in-a-pot method  for smaller portions of rice. Set the InstantPot to STEAM for 1 MINUTE. Yes, just one minute. We're actually not even going to wait for the countdown. The Keep Warm setting is not necessary. Your rice w

Trader Joes condiments - Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, Chile Lime Seasoning Blend

My friend visiting from SFO very kindly and unexpectedly brought me a very thoughtful gift: Two condiments from TraderJoe's! As you may know, we simply don't have Trader Joe's in Canada, and no doubt she was thinking of my penchant for strange things. Maybe I haven't looked too carefully hereabouts, but I certainly dont recall these condiments on the supermarket shelves. Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend I do rather like " Everything Bagels " and so I do like this seasoning blend. That said, my experience of Everything Bagels is that the predominant flavour is tasty onion, and this blend has the same. Definitely try to keep this one airtight as the onion flakes are crispy, and combined with the sesame seed, provides a fun crunch. I'm not sure I'd try to use this just to make everything a Everything Bagel, but instead for the onion flavour. And that said, maybe it would be cheaper (but less colourful) to just look for a

Japadog (McArturGlen Designer Outlet YVR)

My friend re-visiting Vancouver after many years was reminded of Japadog so we stopped by the outlet at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet -- which you can skytrain to for free from YVR airport . Just get out on the correct side of the station. Otherwise you might be confused by the map inside the station. After some agonized selection (we figured we could only try two between the two of us), she settled on the Menchikatsu Dog and the not-shown-on-the-website Okonomi. Together they came to $22.24 after tax. It was interesting to get my friend's take on the Japadogs because she's Japanese. For starters, she recommended eating the Okonomi first, because she estimated it would have a subtler flavour than the Menchikatsu Dog. Okonomi Dog Inspired by the Japanese okonomiyaki pancake, what you think of this Japadog will probably depend on your idea of what an okonomiyaki should contain. If you start with a blank slate about this, then this Japadog will simply be special for having

Make rice right in the InstantPot? Wrong! Here's why.

(UPDATED article:  Even easier and with less electricity! ) Like me, you probably make rice easily in the InstantPot : Throw in the rice, throw in the water, hit the "Rice" menu and come back when it's done. Easy, right? WRONG. Because afterwards you'll have to clean up that stainless steel base once you've scooped out all the rice. You can save yourself a bit of hassle by making soup and when it's done, scrape down the steamed-wet sides and deglaze the bottom of any rice stuck there. But you'll still have to rinse out the pot, etcetera etcetera. If you make a LOT of rice each time, that's great. But for my 8 quart InstantPot, even cooking four cups of raw rice seems like a waste -- and most especially as I'm a poor bachelor who eats one bowl at a time. What you actually want to do is make your rice in a bowl. Inside the stainless steel base of the InstantPot. (Slide 1) You can see I've put some water in the stainless steel base for steaming.

Never sign up for a Walmart Mastercard with a cashier

This Yelp Review of the Surrey City Central Walmart demonstrates just why you should never ever sign up for a Walmart Mastercard when offered to you by the cashier in the checkout aisle. You are already done with your shopping but they'll pressure you to buy even more. There are apparently various promotions for a first-time sign-up that you have to use right away, and you may not have the time to adjust your shopping cart to take advantage of it; or you just don't need anything at the moment that would add up to the required amount. You really want to just get the brochure and read it through first, especially if you really just care about the one-time sign-up promotions. Then you can properly understand the terms and conditions and ensure that you will indeed properly qualify. And since these are one-time promotions, it's not really important exactly when you sign up for the Walmart Mastercard, especially if your current credit card already has comparable or superior ben

InstantPot Bread - Bake versus Air Fry

I have an 8 quart InstantPot with the Air Fryer lid. The manual recommends the "Bake" setting for breads at 365 F for 30 minutes, but I thought why try Air Frying it? Here's how the experiment went: Dough I used the simple bread dough I always use. You can probably get away with using whatever bread dough you normally make, but here's the recipe I use in case you're stuck for one: 5 cups flour 2 cups water + 1 tablespoon quick rise yeast + 1 tablespoon sugar I let this sit for a bit to let the yeast wake up and start bubbling, or at least not still look like dry grains 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup cooking oil After mixing it into a dough, I let it sit and rise for about an hour or so till it has approximately doubled in volume. Once this has happened, I scrape it out and gently knead it into a manageable shape, then cut it into eight to sixteen buns, depending on how large you want them to be. Normally I put them in the freezer and only pop them in the InstantPot