30 minute Coq au Vin

As a lover of French food, I was so excited to find this Coq au Vin recipe from Half Baked Harvest. The fact that it’s a 30 minute meal for the instant pot made it even better. As an instant pot newbie, this was the perfect choice for my first pressure cooked meal. Especially since I had always been skeptical of the instant pot before.

Of course pressure cooking isn’t new, but over the past few years the instant pot has gained some serious traction. It seems like everyone has one these days so I finally gave in and joined the club. Last Christmas my in-laws bought us the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 6 qt. Programmable Pressure Cooker and we finally broke it out a few weeks ago.

For months it’s been in its box giving me some serious side eye, but I was just too intimidated to use it. If you’ve ever read through the manual on one of these cookers you know how overwhelming it can feel. I kept putting it off because learning how to use it felt like going back to college. Once I broke it out and used it, however, I fell in love.

The Instant Pot isn’t just a fad, it’s a surprisingly useful
tool that every kitchen would benefit from.

Thankfully my husband tackled the IP beast with me for this Coq au Vin recipe and it was really fun. It was a daunting task at first with fears of being burned by the steam, but everything came together perfectly. I was in denial about it being done because how could it cook a meal like this so quickly? Most Coq au Vin recipes take 1.5 to 2 hours so to have the same flavor in 30 minutes is mind blowing.

This Coq au Vin has a great depth of flavor and is every bit as
decadent as more involved recipes. So delicious!

instant pot coq au vinI hadn’t expected something so initially overwhelming to also be this rewarding, but it really was. This recipe is simple enough for an IP newbie and is definitely going into the dinner rotation. We made these HBH Sage Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes to go with it. *chef’s kiss*

For more Half Baked Harvest, check out my review of the Super Simple cookbook here.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gotlieb is a bit different for me than my typical reads, in such a fun way. I absolutely loved reading from a therapist’s perspective about her patients and interactions with her own therapist.

I loved getting to peak into the day-to-day life of the person on the other side of the couch. The entire premise of this book is fascinating with my favorite insights coming from Lori’s own personal life. Her interactions with her own therapist, Wendell are particularly entertaining. Their sessions were so comical and her willingness to share her own need for help was refreshing. These on-the-couch moments reminded me of Rory’s breakdown with the Yale counselor on Gilmore Girls. Frazzled and hilarious and real.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone shows us that therapists are as messed up as the next person.
That is just so refreshing to see.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is 432 pages, but the length allows her to give the full scope of each story. The chapters alternate between Lori’s personal sessions and then sessions with a few of her patients. Each patient gave permission to be included with their identity altered so that was pretty cool. Admittedly I switched over to Audible about halfway through and liked that much better. The narrator was excellent and really added something extra that my own inner voice couldn’t.

This brief glimpse into the mind of a therapist was so fun, intellectually stimulating, and surprising. I highly recommend it, even if you don’t normally read books like this.Have you read this book? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you have any favorite reads so far this year? Tell me below!

Super simple cookbook dreams

Years ago I stumbled across my now favorite food blogger, Tieghan Gerard, the face (and genius) behind Half Baked Harvest. What drew me in immediately were her drool-worthy food photos. Then I tried some of her recipes and I was hooked. This girl is fire.

Since then I’ve made countless recipes from her blog and have purchased both of her incredible cookbooks. The newest book being Super Simple and it definitely lives up to its name. The recipes on HBH never disappoint, but what keeps me coming back every day isn’t the food, it’s Tieghan herself. From the way she engages with her followers to her content, you can just feel how genuine she is. (Can you tell I’m a major fan yet?)

Both cookbooks are wonderful and I love having a bit of HBH at home, but Super Simple is my favorite. It quickly surpassed the first book because of the simplicity. I mean, who doesn’t love a quick recipe with minimal ingredients? I use it so much that there are post-its sticking out from practically every page. The best part? My picky husband loves everything I’ve made from her too. WINNING! 😀

So, with that said, and because my guy is a major chocoholic, I have to talk about the hazelnut brownies. This is the first recipe I made from Super Simple and it quickly became our favorite. With only six ingredients these brownies are ridiculously simple to make and oh so delicious. You can whip them up in no time at all (and eat the whole pan 😉 ) in no time.

Did someone say Nutella?
Yes ma’am! Sign me up!

Some other favorites from the cookbook are:
– blueberry lemon pull-apart bread
– the best pressure cooker mashed potatoes
– sun-dried tomato and avocado salad
– 15-minute garlic butter ramen
– browned sage-butter chicken pot pie
– swirled banana bundt cake

 

Grab a copy for yourself here: Half Baked Harvest: Super Simple Cookbook

Baker’s paradise

There’s a magical little bakery in Lakeland, Florida called Born & Bread Bakehouse that is every baker’s dream come true. It took years to get there, but last week I drove 2.5 hours with my bestie, and it was amazing.

Born & Bread isn’t just a bakery where you run in and choose from an assortment of pastries and breads. I mean, yes they have those things, BUT they also have something that other bakeries don’t. Something magical – an infectious buzz that makes you want to apply for a job, or at least emulate it somehow.

The massive crowd wrapped around the building waiting for some delectable treat is also a testament to the magic within.

bakery menu

I chose bananas foster and brownie batter cruffins, chocolate chip cookies, and a bag of granola. What struck me most after ordering was watching the owner and her enormous staff as they moved around each other. This bakery is such a well-oiled machine and is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen.

bakery

After we clawed our way to a table, I finally dug into the bananas foster cruffin and it was incredible. It was messy as the flaky pastry fell to pieces in my hands, but this thing was culinary magic. I finally understood the hype.

I brought the rest home to my husband to enjoy together the next morning. After reheating them in the oven, the brownie batter cruffins were to die for. The mascarpone and brownie batter filling oozed out, dripping down our chins, making the most delicious mess ever.

It. was. glorious.

Driving up super early, waiting in the long line, and embracing all the luscious crumbs everywhere was so worth it. I can’t wait to go back. So, if you’re ever in Lakeland, FL check this bakery out and thank me later. 😉