Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad (no mayo!)

I cannot eat mayo. I am not sure what causes the intolerance, but I have been that way since I was a kid. If I eat it, I get a rather queasy stomach. So I often look for ways to substitute sour cream or cream cheese in recipes instead. Today for lunch I made chicken salad. My son had a friend over and they both had some. I can say this has the thirteen (well almost) year old boy seal of approval.


  • Large Spoon
  • Bowl Scrapper
  • Measuring Cup


  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 16 oz Cream Cheese block
  • 1/4 cup Craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 1/8 minced Onion
  • Crackers (optional)


  1. Cook your chicken and broth in your Instant Pot. Mine was frozen, so I cooked it on Poultry on High for 20min. NPR…actually I forgot I was making it, so it naturally depressurized because it was out of sight out of mind.
  2. Place your chicken in your mixer bowl. Turn on low setting. Let your mixer do the work of shredding your chicken (I wish I took a picture of this! It was the first time I tried, but it worked perfectly).
  3. Add your sour cream, cream cheese, and seasonings. Turn mixer on low setting. Scrape sides if needed to make sure it is mixed evenly.
  4. Add your fruit and nuts. Fold in.
  5. Enjoy with crackers or alone.

This turned out so well. Like I said, the boys enjoyed it too. I have extra in the fridge so lunch for tomorrow is taken care of as well. You can add more seasonings or extras as you want. I think next time, I will add some diced celery for some extra crunch.

Faux-tisserie Chicken via the Instant Pot

I love getting creative with food. It is one of my go to small “c” everyday types of creativity. I have not really been discussing my blog much with friends, but I shared my beef stew recipe with a friend who wanted to know what my favorite goto recipes were for the Instant Pot. She didn’t realize at first that the link I sent her for this blog was actually my blog. When I told her that you can also use the IP to make rotisserie style chicken, she requested that for the next post. So here is my Faux-tisserie Chicken recipe. Enjoy!


  • Instant Pot 6qt Duo
  • Instant Pot Trivet
  • Tongs
  • Knife
  • Small bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Cutting Board
  • Paper Towel


  • Whole Chicken (small enough to fit in your inner pot)
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Parsley
  • 1/4 tsp crushed dried Rosemary
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • Olive Oil ( see instructions for amount)


  1. Remove the gizzards from the inside of your chicken. Depending on the brand, you might not have this in yours, but don’t forget to check!
  2. Pour a small amount of Olive Oil onto a paper towel. Use this to rub the skin of the chicken with oil. The amount of oil used depends on the size of your bird. Don’t skip this step though or you will have trouble with the next step!
  3. Turn your IP onto Sauté mode. When heated, place your chicken in the inner pot for 3-4 minutes. Then flip the bird over and repeat for the other side. Be careful not to burn the skin! See this is why I told you to grease up that bird…did you skip that part and now have your chicken stuck to the bottom of your pot?
  4. Turn off your IP and carefully remove the chicken from the IP inner pot using tongs. Place on cutting board.
  5. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze juice onto the chicken. Stuff the squeezed rinds inside the chicken.
  6. Cut the onion into fourths. Stuff the inside of the chicken with the onion.
  7. Stuff Rosemary sprigs inside the chicken.
  8. Mix your dry spices together in a small bowl. Rub this spice mixture all over your chicken.
  9. Pour chicken broth into the IP inner pot. Place your trivet inside the pot.
  10. Return the chicken to the inner pot, breast side up on top of the trivet.
  11. Close lid and seal the vent. Set on Manual on High for 25 minutes. NPR for 15 minutes.
  12. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the IP to a serving dish.
  13. Let rest before serving. —You could also place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes if you want crispier skin. As you can see, we thought it was good as is…


You will have liquid leftover in the pot. Turn your IP back to Sauté. Mix water with cornstarch. When boiling, pour the cornstarch mixture into the liquid while stirring with a whisk. This makes a great gravy. Adjust the amount of cornstarch depending on how thick you want your gravy. The thicker the mixture, the thicker your gravy. I used 1/4 cup cornstarch to one cup water.

Paprikás Csirke Hack with the Instant Pot

I am a quarter Hungarian and grew up on Paprikás Csirke with Nokedli …basically Hungarian chicken and dumplings with lots of paprika and served with sour cream. Somehow time got away from me yesterday, so I decided to make a hacked version via the Instant Pot. I say hacked because I started with frozen chicken breasts and instead of making the nokedli (i.e. the dumplings) from scratch, I made a pot of Mrs. T’s Cheddar and Potato Pirogies.


  • 6qt Instant Pot
  • Stock pot
  • Plate
  • Large spoon
  • Tongs
  • 2 forks ( to shred chicken)


  • Three frozen Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 bag frozen pierogis
  • Sour cream (to taste)


1. Place chicken stock, garlic, butter, and seasonings in Instant Pot. Stir together.

2. Place three frozen chicken breasts in pot. Be careful not to overlap as this will affect the cooking. No one wants raw chicken.

3. Set Instant Pot on Poultry on High for 15 minutes. Let NPR for 15 minutes.

4. While your Instant Pot is heating up and getting ready to count down, start a pot of boiling water for the pirogies. Cook per instructions on the bag (usually 5-7 minutes once water starts boiling).

5. When your Instant Pot is done, pull chicken out and shred. Place shredded chicken back in pot and mix with the broth.

6. Dish out some pirogies and top with chicken mixture. Make sure to get some of that broth.

7. Top with sour cream.

Personally, I think I could have used more paprika in this dish, but the guys really liked it. It was quick and easy and very filling. You could of course swap out the pirogies with egg noodles or even your own nokedli (I have even used canned biscuits dropped in boiling water before).


Sweet and Sour Chicken from Scratch

So I didn’t actually take any step by step pictures for this one, but the other night, my son said he wanted to eat Chinese food. He really just wanted to eat white rice. I admit that there is something very soothing about not only eating white rice, but also the smell of a fresh pot from the rice cooker. In our house, the rice of choice is Jasmine. So even better.

I think I am getting a little off topic…

Well, I happened to be on my way to Aldi to pick up some groceries and there was no way I was going to go to the store and then order out (though, yes, we have done drive thru with a full trunk of groceries before. It happens). So instead I decided that we would make Chinese food. He said he was fine with that as long as there was rice. Nice of him, huh? So I picked up a package of chicken tenders which may have been a little more in price than the breasts, but you are paying for the convenience.

When I got home, I told him that he would be helping me make dinner. So we looked up several recipes on the internet before we found a combination that we liked and oh my goodness was it good. We made sweet and sour chicken all from scratch. I hope you enjoy because this is now a new favorite in our house.



For the Rice:

*consult your rice cooker for exact amounts. Mine uses a special scoop to measure.

For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb Chicken
  • 3/4 cup Corn Starch
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Flavored Seltzer
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil

For the Sauce:

  • 3 Tbs Ketchup
  • 1 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Water
  • 1Tbs Cornstarch


For the Rice:

  1. Measure out the amount of rice that you wish to cook. For example, I typically use three scoops of Jasmine Rice using the special cup that came with my rice cooker. This scoop does not exactly measure to equal one cup exactly, so make sure to follow the instructions on how to measure out rice based on your rice cooker.
  2. Rinse rice in water until water is clear. This rinses the starch off the rice which make for a nice sticky rice like you would get in a Chinese restaurant. I like to use a strainer and use a back and forth method under the faucet until the water is clear and no longer cloudy from the starch. It also helps to swish it around in the pot as you are rinsing it.
  3. Measure water to the level specified for your rice cooker for the amount of scoops you added.
  4. Place in rice cooker and set cooking selection of White Rice. You could also do this in your Instant Pot, but I admit that I have not tried this yet. Same instructions would apply though.

For the chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cube chicken into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
  3. Add flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and baking powder to medium size bowl and use a fork to mix well together. You could also use a flour sifter to sift together the dry ingredients to make sure they are well blended.
  4. Break one egg in small cup or bowl and mix well. Add to flour mixture.
  5. Add seltzer to flour and egg mixture. This should be a mixture pretty similar to Oobleck.
  6. Dip chicken into the Oobleck-like mixture and toss well so chicken is well covered. Coat all chicken pieces. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
  7. Heat skillet to high medium heat and add approximately 2 tablespoons oil.
  8. When oil is hot, carefully add chicken to skillet. Do not overcrowd your pan as it will lose heat.
  9. Flip chicken when starts to brown. This may be approximately 2-3 minutes. Don’t worry about cooking it through as you will be finishing in the oven.
  10. Move chicken to foil covered baking sheet.
  11. Once all chicken has been partially cooked in skillet and moved to baking sheet, place baking sheet in oven. Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  12. Move to a paper towel covered plate for any residual oil.
  13. Serve with the sauce form the next section.

For the Sauce:

  1. In small saucepan, combine pineapple juice, light brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce. Whisk together.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. In small bowl, combine water and cornstarch. Add to pot and whisk in.
  4. Cook until sauce thickens, should take about one minute.
  5. Remove from heat and serve over chicken.

Please keep in mind that this is my method, you may prefer to forgo the oven and cook it completely in the pan. I have an issue with texture and just don’t really like the texture of fully skillet fried chicken. That is why I finish in the oven.