Instant Pot Applesauce Recipe

Instant Pot Applesauce

I love applesauce and my family eats so much of it!  I used to make small batches of it when I only had one little one but after my son came along I gave in and began buying it.  Now that my family is eating more and more applesauce (the kids eat it daily with their probiotic mixed in) I wanted to find a way to make it in bulk at home.  My friend Jennifer shared her Instant Pot Applesauce Recipe with me and I’m excited to share it with you.


  • -8 apples, chopped (she used a full 3 lb bag)
  • -1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • -1 teaspoon salt
  • -1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • -Juice of one lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • -1/2 cup water


  • -Place chopped apples in the Instant Pot and toss to coat with all ingredients except water.
  • -Secure Instant Pot lid and place on manual pressure for 10 minutes, or up to 20 if you want to really caramelize your applesauce.
  • -Mash up the cooked apples with a potato masher or blend it up in a blender to achieve your desired consistency.
  • -Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

I’m just learning to use my Instant Pot (well, mine is a different brand but same concept) for things other than the few pasta dishes I know.  What are some of your favorite Instant Pot recipes?

Double Chocolate Silk Pie

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Chocolate Pie Recipe

Double Chocolate Silk Pie

Hello Double Chocolate Silk Pie, you just became my go-to holiday dessert!

Look, I’m going to be completely honest with you, I love to experiment in the kitchen and come up with delicious and different recipe ideas! Everything that has to do with savory dishes, breakfast, desserts, and drinks inspires me, and while I love quick and easy meals just as the next person, I also love to spend time cooking with my loved ones.

Except when it comes to holidays. When it comes to holiday food, I like to stick with the tried and true recipes we all know and love. I want to make sure that I’m cooking a fail proof recipes that’s going to come out flawless (who has time for a fail when you have a ton of people over and all the expectations?). I also like to make sure I’m cooking a recipe that everyone loves, it’s party food after all so, I want all of my guests to really feel how much I love them.

But most important of all I also want to make something that’s fairly easy and quick because while I love to spend time cooking on an everyday basis, when ti comes to holidays I just want to hold a little bit tighter my family and I want to be really present during the whole celebration. This double chocolate silk pie it’s perfect because of that!

I mean it’s a quick and easy recipe, it’s extremely delicious and every single person that tries it loves it and raves about it, and it’s totally and completely fail proof. This recipe has been tested a million and one times, so it always comes out the same: flawless, delicious and ready to be served and shared.

Chocolate Silk Pie




  • -Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • -In a saucepan over medium heat melt the chocolate chips with the milk.
  • -Incorporate the cocoa powder, heavy cream, vanilla, cornstarch, nutmeg, and sugar. Stir and cook until getting a uniform mix.
  • -Aside, in a bowl beat the egg yolk and add 1 Tbsp of the milk mix to the yolk and whip it up. Repeat the process with each egg, and then pour them into the saucepan with the melted chocolate.
  • -Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • -Fill the pie crust with the chocolate batter.
  • -Bake for 20 minutes.
  • -Remove from the oven and garnish with the grated chocolate.
  • -Serve and enjoy.


For a lighter take, swap the heavy cream for Greek yogurt and the sugar for maple syrup.

Double Chocolate Silk Pie

DIY Ginger-Cantaloupe Ice Pop Recipe

Whether you’re entertaining or just trying to cool off this summer, this DIY ginger cantaloupe ice pop recipe is the delicious, refreshing treat that you need in your life.

It’s a healthy, fruit-filled snack is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth – and the best part is they are practically guilt-free!

Ginger-Cantaloupe Ice Pops

What you need:

  • – 3 slices of fresh ginger
    – 1/4 cup sugar
    – 1 ripe cantaloupe
    – Sliced strawberries (optional)
    – Ice pop molds and wooden craft sticks

What to do:

In a small sauce pan, add the sugar and 1/2 cup water over medium heat. Cook just until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and drop in ginger. Set aside until cooled. (Remove ginger when ready to use!)
Slice cantaloupe in half and scoop out seeds. Spoon cantaloupe flesh into a blender. Blend until smooth.
Add just enough of the cooled ginger syrup to sweeten as desired. Save the remaining syrup for another use.
Pour into ice pop molds and freeze overnight. For a variation, push a few sliced strawberries down into the ice pop molds before freezing.

Recipe Credit: Terra’s Kitchen

Quinoa Black Bean Chicken Burrito Bowl

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlockPartyHero #CollectiveBias

Quinoa Black Bean Chicken Burrito Bowl

Quinoa Black Bean Chicken Burrito Bowl

Summer is officially here and that means parties!  Yes, cook outs, block parties, Father’s Day celebrations, 4th of July get togethers, and one that is near and dear to my heart – birthday parties!!  My darling daughter is turning another year older and it’s time to celebrate.  {Check out my Top 5 Summer Party Planning Tips at the bottom of this post,}

Pink and Gold Party

In preparation for my little party, I went to Sam’s Club to get a few ingredients. I was able to grab a nice 32 oz 6-pack of Swanson Chicken Broth.  Chicken broth is one of my go to flavor-staples.  It’s good for mashed potatoes to soup so I was thankful to find it in bulk – but still small and usable sized containers.  For this burrito bowl I decided to swap our rice for quinoa (which I’ll get to in a minute) and instead of using water to cook my quinoa I substituted Swanson Chicken Broth instead.  Brilliant, right?  It’s delicious.

Block Party Hero

Sam’s Club also sells truRoots Quinoa which is nice for me because since I discovered quinoa I’ve been adding quinoa to just about everything I can.  Macaroni and cheese? Yes!  Muffins? Yes!  As a substitute for rice?  Yes!  It’s a protein rich ancient grain and the truRoots Quinoa is Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.

Burrito Bowl Ingredients

I already had this burrito bowl post in mind when I came across the new Pace Organic Medium Salsa.  My imagination told me to take the leap and add it to my recipe but I’m not usually much of a risk taker.  However, I’m glad I gave it a try because it is amazing and so much easier than chopping everything by hand.  The medium heat gives it just enough kick without sending me running in search of the milk.  My family grew up eating Pace salsa with chips and I’m glad to see that they now have a Certified USDA Organic option.  This won’t be the last time that I’ll be cooking with salsa to add a lot of flavor to dishes.

Quinoa Chicken Burrito Bowl

These Chicken Quinoa Chicken Burrito Bowls are easy to make with a little prep work (and I have a short cut listed here too!).  It’s naturally gluten-free, includes protein rich quinoa, and tastes delicious!



  • –  2 cups cooked truRoots Quinoa (see instructions below)
  • –  1 batch seasoned chicken (see recipe below)
  • –  2 tbs of chopped cilantro
  • –  1 can (15 oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • –  1 can (15 oz) corn (drained and rinsed)
  • –  1 cup Pace Organic Medium Salsa
  • –  ¼ cup shredded cheese (any type of cheese you prefer)


  • –  Guacamole
  • –  Sour Cream
  • –  Chopped red onions
  • –  Chopped peppers


  • –  4 lbs. chicken breasts
  • –  Juice from two fresh oranges and two fresh limes
  • –  1/2 cup olive oil
  • –  2 tsp. cumin
  • –  2 tsp. oregano
  • –  4 tsp. chili powder
  • –  4 cloves garlic minced


  • –  Make as directed but substitute Swanson Chicken Broth for the water.  It will give it an extra kick of delicious flavor!



  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl to marinate and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (we usually opt for overnight-48 hours).  {If you’re like me and you just found this recipe today for a meal tonight you can also rub the chicken with taco seasoning before cooking. 😉  Also, don’t tell anyone but I’ve even made this with leftover rotisserie chicken!}
  2. Grill the chicken OR heat a pan on medium/high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes per side.  Once cooked turn off the heat and allow chicken to “rest” for 5 minutes before dicing into smaller pieces.


After you’ve cooked the chicken and quinoa and warmed the black beans and rice, divide the quinoa evenly between your serving bowls.  Divide the chicken, black beans, corn and toppings onto the bowls.  Sprinkle each bowl with some shredded cheese and serve immediately.   Enjoy!

Pretty Party Ideas

My Top 5 Suggestions for Planning a Summer Party

  1. Grab all the party looking supplies you have in one area before making your shopping list.  There’s no reason to buy another package of napkins when you have five hidden in your home.
  2. Don’t be afraid to use things you already have that aren’t necessarily party supplies.  That golden “E” above fit our girlie party decor perfectly but it wouldn’t be found in the party section of any store.  That strip of fabric just brightens the table but it came from my craft supplies.
  3. Don’t make everything from scratch!  Besides the sandwiches for the kids above and the delicious Chicken Quinoa Chicken Burrito Bowls (which was well worth the effort!) everything was store bought…and might I add cuter than if I made it myself.  Those daisy flowers came right out of a box as did those butterfly pretzels.  Give yourself permission to focus your cooking on what matters most to you and buy or order the rest of the food.
  4. Plan, plan, plan but don’t fret when things go wrong at the party.  As long as you prepared as best you could you know you did your part.  Just relax and enjoy time with friends and family…after all, that’s why you got together in the first place!
  5. Along with number 4, you need to plan for rain.  Summers around here are notorious for five minute downpours.  It’s a good idea to have a canopy ready or a clean (enough) house that your guests can retreat to if need be.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips and recipe.  What kind of get-togethers do you have planned?  How will you be a #BlockPartyHero this summer?

Ruby Root Roast

It’s no secret that my family LOVES quick and healthy meals around here.  Although this pot roast may sound complicated or intimidating, this tender beef pot roast is easy to throw together and has mild flavors that even the pickiest kids are sure to love.  It has delicious beets, Yukon potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

Ruby Root Roast Recipe

Ruby Root Roast Ingredients:

  • –  2 medium purple beets
  • –  4-6 carrots
  • –  1 medium onion
  • –  4-6 large cloves of garlic
  • –  a few Yukon potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • –  1 piece of quality bottom round roast, this one was about 3 pounds
  • –  salt and pepper to taste
  • –  4 cups quality beef broth
  • –  2 tablespoons olive oil

Ruby root roast ingredients

Step 1.  Start by searing the meat in a hot nonstick pan. I like to add the olive oil to the pan along with the peeled garlic and a little sea salt and pepper. Brown each side and then transfer into the bottom of the crock pot.

Beet Roast

Step 2.  Wash and pat dry all of the vegetables before peeling and chopping.

Beet Roast Recipe

Step 3.  Rough chop the onion and lay it around the meat.

Roast Recipe

Step 4.  Peel and cut the carrots, beets and potatoes into larger pieces and set on top of the meat.

Pot Roast Carrots

Step 5.  Add the beef broth.

Easy Pot Roast

Step 6.  Cover and set to low. Cook for 8-12 hours depending on the size of the meat and temperature that your crock pot tends to run at. The roast will be done when the meat is fork tender and the vegetables are soft.  Alternately, if you prefer your vegetables to be a bit more firm or if you’ll be cooking on high, add them in part way through cooking.

Here’s the recipe without pictures if you’d like to copy it and save it somewhere else, like a Google doc or Plan To Eat (btw, I LOVE Plan to Eat for meal planning. My husband found it a few months ago and I’m hooked.  We eat so many more home cooked meals since we’ve discovered it.  Here’s my affiliate link if you want to check it out and get a month of it free –> Plan To Eat).  Feel free to pin it for later too and while you’re at it follow us on Pinterest for more great recipes!

Step 1.  Start by searing the meat in a hot nonstick pan. I like to add the olive oil to the pan along with the peeled garlic and a little sea salt and pepper. Brown each side and then transfer into the bottom of the crock pot.

Step 2.  Wash and pat dry all of the vegetables before peeling and chopping.

Step 3.  Rough chop the onion and lay it around the meat.

Step 4.  Peel and cut the carrots, beets and potatoes into larger pieces and set on top of the meat.

Step 5.  Add the beef broth.

Step 6.  Cover and set to low. Cook for 8-12 hours depending on the size of the meat and temperature that your crock pot tends to run at. The roast will be done when the meat is fork tender and the vegetables are soft.  Alternately, if you prefer your vegetables to be a bit more firm or if you’ll be cooking on high, add them in part way through cooking.

What are the go-to, quick, and healthy meals that your family loves?

30+ Wholesome Kid Snack Ideas

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Do you struggle finding wholesome snacks for your kiddos?  I know that I do unless I plan a head.  Feeding my kids nutritious foods is important to me so I try to make it a priority.  I don’t always succeed at this but when I plan ahead and have wholesome foods on hand it makes it easy to feed them foods that I know are good for them.  I’m going to share the list of foods I try to rotate through to offer a variety of yummy and wholesome snacks.  Please comment with foods your family enjoys so I can add to my list!

  • 1 – Sliced apples with cubed cheddar cheese
  • 2 – Cubed watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew
  • 3 – Baby carrots (or a carrot cut into strips), bell pepper strips, celery, and zucchini sticks with hummus dip
  • 4 – Watermelon strips (or wedges) with vanilla yogurt to dip it in
  • 5 – Unsweetened applesauce

Kids Trail Mix

  • 6 – Homemade trail mix – one of our favorites includes Goldfish, peanuts, Craisins, and Cheerios
  • 7 – Whole grain, low-sugar cereal with milk
  • 8 – Graham cracker sandwiches made with peanut butter and occasionally I’ll add a little hazelnut spread to it too
  • 9 – Mini rice cakes (they come in a number of flavors)
  • 10 – Rice cakes with a light vegetable cream cheese on top
  • 11 – I want to buy a dehydrator to make these colorful dehydrated rainbow snacks

Yoplait Yogurt Snack

  • 12 – Vanilla Yoplait® yogurt with sliced bananas and a few dark chocolate chips for fun

Yoplait Original

Yoplait® low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and my kids love to dress it up.  It’s available at Walmart so if we run out there’s always some close by.  There is an endless assortment of yogurt and topping combinations you can make so have fun with it.  I’ll list a few of our favorite for you.

  • 13 – Low-fat strawberry yogurt with sliced almonds on top

Yogurt Parfait

  • 14 – A Yoplait® yogurt parfait with blueberries and angle food cake
  • 15 – Low-fat vanilla yogurt with blueberries and strawberries on top (cute patriot treat!)
  • 16 – Low-fat orange yogurt with granola
  • 17 – A frozen treat made with yogurt and fruit – Check out our list of 101 Homemade Ice Pops
  • 18 – Whole wheat pretzels with peanut butter to dip them in
  • 19 – Baked tortilla chips with guacamole to dip them in (We like dips in our house)
  • 20 – Cottage cheese (Is that weird to eat it alone?  My daughter likes!)
  • 21 – Fruit and veggie pouches (think baby food but the toddler/kid versions)  It’s a great way to sneak in veggies (like spinach and rutabaga!) without them ever knowing.
  • 22 – Dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, cherries, mangoes, pineapple, apricots, plums or blueberries (We usually only have a few on hand at a time but I think it would be fun to make a trail mix of sorts with a lot of dried fruit and store in snack size baggies.  I’ll have to try that!)
  • 23 – Cheese!  We love all kinds of cheese.  My daughter calls them by their shape : ) Stick cheese (Sargento string cheese), circle cheese (individually wrapped Blue Bell), rectangle cheese (Cabot Extra Sharp block cut in slices – as a side note, Cabot’s Extra Sharp is sharper than their Seriously Sharp which seems backwards to me and took me forever to remember), square cheese (any brand of a softer cheese that we have cubed).
  • 24 – Fruit of all kinds – raspberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, kiwi, grapes, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, etc.
  • 25 – Smoothie with low-fat Yoplait® yogurt, frozen fruit, a little low-fat milk (I would add spinach and other goodies if I had a really good blender but unfortunately I don’t right now)
  • 26 – Cucumber slices, broccoli, cauliflower, baby tomatoes, carrot strips, and ranch to dip them in
  • 27 – A handful of nuts – almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, or walnuts (I make sure they are seated for this snack without any running around)

Homemade Yogurt Melts

  • 28 – Homemade yogurt melts (made with a variety of our favorite Yoplait® flavors)
  • 29 – Cherries with yogurt to dip them in
  • 30 – Whole grain crackers with cottage cheese
  • 31 – Toast with honey drizzled on top (I’ve found that cutting the toast into a butterfly {like an X} cuts down on the mess)
  • 32 – Hard boiled eggs or eggs of any kind with toast
  • 33 – Popcorn (My husband has a fabulous recipe for popcorn that I’ll have to share with you all soon! It’s a delicious cheesy, slightly spicy powder to sprinkle on top of plain popcorn.)

Kid Snack Ideas

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Blueberry Yoplait® Parfait

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Now that our family is in the beginning stages of moving, things are a little hectic around our house.  (Have I told you that we’re moving?  I did, didn’t I?  My deepest apologies if I didn’t!  I think I’ve been so busy that I may have forgotten to mention it.  Yes, we’re moving into a nearby fixer-upper.)  It’s summer so my daughter wants to play outside non-stop and I need to spend time indoors packing.  Not to mention, I could use a few extra arms to pack while wrangling the kiddos.  I remember the days where we did nothing but casually play and lounge around the house in our pj’s till noon…or later.

I miss lounging around in pj’s till noon.

Now our days are full of play dates that also double as a packing party, early mornings, and late nights.  Life is crazy right now but it’s a good kind of crazy!

When I need a little break from the chaos I reach for yogurt.  We always have some on hand because everyone in our house loves it so we buy in bulk at Walmart.  We like it all – the Original, Light, Greek, and Gogurt®.  Recently, I’ve rediscovered my love of parfaits.

Yoplait Parfait

“Hey, how could a parfait be anything less than a party waiting to happen?” – Emeril Lagasse

I agree with Emeril!  A parfait is a party waiting to happen.  If you need a little happiness, a moment to savor the silence, or just a yummy treat, try this blueberry and vanilla parfait!

Blueberry yogurt parfait

You need:

  • 1 container of vanilla Yoplait®
  • A few slices of pound cake (or angel food cake)
  • Blueberries

All you have to do us cut the pound cake, layer as you wish, and voila!

Yogurt Parfait

This recipe makes 1 homemade parfait that will sure to please anyone, especially moms that need an extra dose of sweetness.  Just multiply this recipe for a perfect after dinner treat for the whole family!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

“Fried” Ice Cream With Honey Bunches of Oats

This is a sponsored post but all yummy pictures are my own. : )

Fried Ice Cream Honey Bunches of Oats

Honey Bunches Of Oats is a cereal we often have one or two boxes of.  When I was pregnant with my son I craved the Honey Bunches of Oats with strawberries so much that I bought it in bulk.  I love the subtle sweetness, soft flakes, and the crunchy honey clusters.  Recently, I was asked by Honey Bunches of Oats to make their version of fried ice cream using their cereal.  That sounded too good to pass up so I gave it a try.  ….it’s divine!  Trust me, you want this in your life.  Here’s the recipe so you can try it for yourself!


fried ice cream

“Fried” Ice cream:

fried ice cream

Cinnamon-Chocolate Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

fried ice cream


  1. Place cereal in a medium bowl and lightly crush with your hands or the back of a wooden spoon. Add coconut and chili powder and combine.
  2. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil. Add cereal and coconut mixture and fry until it is golden brown and toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  3. Using a 1/2 cup measure, scoop ice cream and quickly form balls with your hands. Place on a small tray and immediately return to the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until the balls are firm.
  4. Remove ice cream balls from freezer and quickly roll each ball in the cereal and coconut mixture. Return to freezer for at least another 30 minutes or until the balls are firm again.
  5. When ready to serve, combine the chocolate chips, cream and cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. If the chips are not completely melted, stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
  6. Serve each fried ice cream ball with a drizzle of cinnamon-chocolate.

fried ice cream

This recipe was fabulous in taste and in the time spent preparing it!  I’ll definitely make this again and I hope you’ll give it a try.

fried ice cream

Rustic Blueberry Tart Recipe

Blueberry Tart

This Independence Day, Jill Bauer, QVC’s Home-Savvy Hostess, has the perfect patriotic recipes to help celebrate America in style and she’s allowed me to share this delicious recipe with you all.  I don’t know about you but I absolutely love blueberries and can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

Rustic Blueberry Tart



  • – 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • – 1/4 cup sugar
  • – 3 Tbsp cinnamon
  • – 1-1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • – 1/4 cup ice water
  • – Pinch of salt
  • – 1 cup sliced almonds
  • – Egg wash (one egg + 2 Tbsp water)


  • 2 (14-oz) cans blueberry pie filling
  • 1 lb fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. To prepare the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse to blend. Add the butter, a little at a time, and continue to pulse until the dough comes together in small pieces. If it looks dry, add in the cold water, and pulse. The dough has reached the perfect consistency when you can form it into a ball. Wrap the balled dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Unwrap the dough and roll it out to form a 10″ x 16″ rectangle. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and lift it onto a large rectangular baking pan.
  4. Sprinkle the dough with sliced almonds, leaving a 2″ border clear to fold over the tart.
  5. To prepare the filling, drain the canned blueberry filling, leaving about 1/2 of the syrup in the can. Combine the half-drained blueberry filling with the fresh blueberries and lemon juice. Spoon the filling onto the crust, leaving a 2″ border. Gently fold in the edges on all sides. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sliced or slivered almonds. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve, garnish with the lemon zest.

To see more yummy goodness visit Jill on QVC.

Pistachio Green Smoothie Recipe

This post contains an affiliate link.

Pistachio Green Smoothie

I can’t hardly believe it but Saint Patrick’s day is almost here! If you’re looking for a healthy way to celebrate the holiday you should try a green smoothie! Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy, Sara Siskind, has created a delicious Green Pistachio Smoothie.  She has allowed me to share her recipe and she promises that it will energize!  I know that I can’t wait to try it.  So, gather your friends around and enjoy sipping on a pistachio smoothie this St. Paddy’s day!
Oh and luck o’ the Irish, top of the mornin’ to ya, and have a whale of a time!
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Sara Siskind
Serves: 2
Perfect green smoothie for St.Patrick’s Day or any day of the year! Delicious and nutritious!
  • – 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • – 1/4 cup Setton Farms Pistachios
  • – 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • – 1 banana (frozen is best)
  • – 2 Pistachio Chewy Bites chopped into small pieces
  • – ice as needed
  1. Place all ingredients except the PCB into a high power blender.
  2. Blend until creamy.
  3. Pour into 2 glasses.
  4. Enjoy!