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A Love Letter to My Instant Pot

Dear Instant Pot,

Our relationship is still in its’ honeymoon phase, but it’s safe to say that I’m quite in love with you. I’d been hearing about your splendors for some time now, but was reluctant to fully commit. And then my mother meddled and forced us together (as a good Jewish mother often does.) But just like many good meddling mothers, she was absolutely right.

I knew it was love at first sight when you fit perfectly into my cabinet. It was like it was meant to be. And then we had our first relationship test: could you really make a perfectly baked sweet potato in less than fifteen minutes? The answer was yes. I wish I could remember the exact settings and circumstances because I haven’t been able to recapture the magic of that first bake, much to my chagrin. But even still, that hasn’t deterred my love for you.

It became serious when I realized I could cook an entire meal of chicken and carrots in less than 20 minutes. Healthy, flavorful, and quick… everything I could ever want out of a kitchen cooking device. And you kept my food warm for when my husband was working late, absolving me of my wifely guilt of seeing my husband eat cold food after a long day on set. You were the answer to my weeknight dinner dreams.

In time we began to experiment more: brown rice, steel cut oats, hardboiled eggs; they all cooked perfectly and conveniently in your care. Who knows, maybe we’ll even make our own yogurt some day. A girl can dream. But those weeknight dinners, the thing I was truly looking for out of our relationship, became a cinch. Now every night at 6pm, I know I’ll be filling you with delicious meat and veggies that will be ready to eat by 6.30pm. It’s a new mom’s dream. And my Sunday meal prep? What used to take me hours and leave my kitchen a mess of multiple pots and pans, is down to less than an hour and all I have to do is pop your pot in my dishwasher after. It’s heaven.

Is our relationship perfect? No, but what great relationship ever is? When a recipe says it’ll take four minutes to cook, it really means ten minutes to pressurize and another ten to de-pressurize, for a grand total of twenty-four minutes. And I still haven’t been able to cook that perfect sweet potato since that first time, but that’s okay. I hear it happens to everybody. And then of course there are the times I accidentally burn my fingers when I release your steam valve, but I’ll chalk that up to my own impatience and not you, my dear instant pot.

So, thank you for everything you do for me. You’ve made my life simpler and tastier, and I am so grateful.

Here’s some of my favorite instant pot recipes:

Perfectly Cooked Beets

1) Grab some gloves (unless you don’t mind your hands getting stained pink), and use a peeler to peel the beet

2) Add 1 cup water and steamer rack to Instant Pot

3) Set instant pot to pressure cook for 12 mins

4) Let it manually depressurize for 10 mins, then hit the steam release button

5) Slice or dice your beets

Honey Garlic Chicken and Carrots

  1. Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper

  2. Set Instant Pot to “Saute” mode and saute the chicken for 2 mins on each side (4 minutes if the chicken is frozen)

  3. Meanwhile, prep your sauce by mixing 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, lemon juice squeeze, paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper with a whisk until smooth

  4. Cut and peel your carrots into quarter-size

  5. Set Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” and cook for 12 minutes

  6. Hit the instant steam release button when it’s finished cooking

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