Instant Pot Spicy Honey Sesame Chicken

Cookhacker's Instant Pot Garlic Honey ChickenI’m becoming obsessed all over again with the Instant Pot  I’m still amazed how efficient this pressure cooker can be and how it can turn out great tasting dishes in a matter of minutes (not including the time it takes to get to pressure) with minimal prep…and clean-up is so easy.

The prep time on the Honey Sesame Chicken was about ten minutes and the actual cooking time was only 3-5 minutes. All-in-all, from start to finish, this was on the table in 30 minutes…and it was as good as any take-out chicken I’ve ever had…just click the Read More below for the printable recipe.

And if you like quick and easy spicy chicken dishes with minimal clean-up, you’ll love my Easy Chicken Fajitas in Foil Packet.

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Delicious One-Pan Chicken, Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

Chicken, Italian Sausage, Brussel Sprouts and Shallots One Skillet DinnerThis amazing recipe from SeriousEats, a fantastic one-skillet dish, is reprinted exactly because there was absolutely no need to change anything…it’s perfect as-is. If it’s not an original recipe I’m writing about, and I get it from someone else, I’ll give them credit and then I’ll usually tweak it, make some changes or substitutions to try and improve it, but I can’t imagine anything that would make this any better than it is.

The prep was easy, the chicken was moist with a crispy caramelized skin, the sausages were spicy (I used hot Italian sausages), the brussel sprouts had a savory, crunchy exterior, the shallots were perfect and clean-up (one pan!) was a breeze. Give this one a try…I can pretty much guarantee it will end up as one of your go-to dishes.

And if you own an Instant Pot you will want to try my Delicious Instant Pot Chicken Adobo…it’s another awesome quick and easy chicken dish.

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Homemade Valentine’s Day Gift of Chocolate Love…Easy, Fun and Very Cool Chocolate Goody Bags

chocolate bags

This is one of the all-time great Valentine’s Day homemade gifts (and it’s not really a recipe…more like a very impressive technique). Although it might look like it’s hard to prepare, it really isn’t…and it’s a lot of fun to make.

Easy, fun and really impressive…the trifecta in homemade gift preparation!

1. Grab a few bulk coffee-bean bags from your grocery store (they are by the bulk coffee..and they’re FREE!). You need bags that are lined with a plastic coating so after being painted with chocolate, you can peel them off easily. Cut the coffee bags so they are about 3-5 inches tall.

2. Then, in a double boiler over low heat, melt 2-3 cups of semisweet chocolate morsels.

3. Lay a bag on its side, and with a pastry brush, start at the bottom and paint the melted chocolate over the entire interior of the bag. Use plenty of chocolate to get a nice thick layer coating the inside of the bag, which will make it less likely for the chocolate to break when peeling off the bag later. Repeat with additional bags.

4. Stand the bags up and place in the refrigerator to harden for at least 30 minutes.

5. When the chocolate is nice and hard, starting in one corner, gently peel away the bag. Use a scissor to cut the paper off as you slowly peel it away…it just makes it easier (if you do get a break, it’s really easy to repair with a little melted chocolate “glue”). Once it’s all peeled, what you have left is beautiful, free-standing solid chocolate, goody bag.Valentine's Day Chocolate strawberries and bags

6. Melt some more chocolate and dip strawberries, sliced bananas and whatever else your significant other loves into the melted chocolate. Lay them down on waxed paper or a silicone baking mat (to prevent sticking) and allow to dry and harden. A very cool added touch is to melt some white chocolate and use that to drizzle designs on the dipped treats.

Then just fill the bags with the chocolate-coated fruity treats and your favorite candies (nonpareils, M&Ms…etc)  and you have an incredibly impressive presentation for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. It sure sealed the deal for me!