Christmas at the Kiefert’s

Thought it was about time we share some of our Christmas decorations this year!  I really should make more of an effort to take more images so hopefully I’ll get a boost of energy and take some more to add. Enjoy!

 Christmas selfie with Mr. Winston.   Christmas selfie with Mr. Winston.

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My favorite “Mr. Penguin”, although shortly after taking this image he didn’t make it through the wind and his blower got damaged. RIP Mr. Penguin!

Kitchen – My dream come true.

 Christmas Tree Christmas Tree

Outside – We have since added a few things!

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

YUMMY! This was another Instant Pot success. Find the recipe below!

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken thighs cut into 2-3 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Cornstarch Slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Garnish:

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Sesame Seeds

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting the chicken into 2-3 inch chunks, I tend to leave them a bit larger as the pressure cooker tends to make the chicken very moist and this helps to avoid breaking the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat up your pressure cooker: press Sauté -> click on the Adjust button -> select More to get the Sauté More function, which means that the food will be sautéed over medium-high heat. Wait for the Instant Pot indicator to read HOT.
  3. Add the oil to the hot Instant Pot, wait one minute for the oil to heat up and add the chicken. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times. Cook until it just starts to get golden. This step can also be done on the stove if you want, as the instant pot doesn’t really brown the chicken too well.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot: ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and water.
  5. Stir well to combine.
  6. Close lid, select the Poultry function and adjust the time to 5 minutes.
  7. Use a 10 minute Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid. Gently stir not to crush the chicken.

Cornstarch Slurry:

  1. Select again the Sauté function. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the water, whisk until all combined with no lumps. Add the mixture to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook on Sauté function for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. This way you can make the sauce thicker. You can add more if you want to make the sauce even thicker, please note that it thickens as it cools too.
  2. Turn off the Instant Pot and let the General Tso Chicken stand for 5-7 minutes, the sauce will thicken more.
  3. Serve over rice with broccoli and garnish with fresh chopped green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe: http://www.kiefertshome.com

Original Recipe Posted by sweetandsavorymeals.com

Chicken Tortellini Spinach Soup

This recipe was a most definite WIN! The recipe made way more then we were able to eat though!

Chicken Tortellini Spinach Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts* (I used half thighs and half breasts)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups frozen cheese tortellini (or you can use fresh)
  • 3 cups packed spinach (you can also use kale if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup half and half, warmed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on to the saute function, on the highest setting. Heat the oil in the bottom of the pot. Add in the diced onion and stir for a couple of minutes. Add in the garlic and stir until the onions are translucent, another couple of minutes.
  2. Add in the basil, tomato paste, chicken broth, tomatoes, chicken, salt and pepper. Give a quick stir. Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to “sealing.” Press the manual pressure cook button and set the timer to 15 minutes (high pressure). Once the timer beeps let out the pressure by gently moving the valve to “venting.”
  3. Spoon the chicken out and place it on a cutting board. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and then add it back into the pot. Stir in the tortellini, spinach, Parmesan cheese, and half and half. Turn the IP to saute to heat up the tortellini quickly. Once the tortellini is warmed through ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Recipe: http://www.kiefertshome.com

Original Recipe Posted By: 365daysofcrockpot.com 

Instant Pot!

I am beyond excited and feeling more “adult” then ever. Who would have thought I would get so excited about getting a new kitchen appliance. Well, it happened! I am beyond thrilled. I’ve spent the last couple hours trying to convince myself to at least try and be a little critical of this thing but I can’t find one single thing to complain about and/or critique. It’s awesome and I already highly recommend it.

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First meal: French Dips (50 Minutes TOTAL time! – Recipe Below)

It was so delicious. Meat was tender and juicy! We did toast our buns via the oven just to add a little bit. So amazing!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. Roast
  • 1 Can French Onion Soup (I used a mix to create a can worth as Derek doesn’t like onions and I decided to be nice to him tonight. 😉 )
  • 2 Cups of Beef Broth (I used low sodium)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • Your cheese of choice.

Directions:

1. Season the roast to taste.
2. Put beef broth and onion soup into Instant Pot
3. Put the roast in the Instant Pot
4. Use manual cycle for 30 Minutes, then let slow release for 20 Minutes.
5. ENJOY!

That’s it. It truly is that simple! AMAZING!

Salted Caramel Cake

 Salted Caramel Cake Salted Caramel Cake

Another beautiful kitchen creation by Derek! It seems he is more of the baker in our home! 🙂 PS – This cake is super yummy!

Salted Caramel Cake

INGREDIENTS

CAKE

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring pan
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. whole milk

SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp. whole milk, divided
  • 3 c. sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Salted caramel sauce
  • Heath Bits ‘o Brickle Toffee Bits
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling on top

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Generously grease a 12″-x-17″ half sheet/jelly roll pan and sprinkle lightly with flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, mix butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Once smooth, add sugars and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add yogurt and mix on medium high speed until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour half of flour mixture into butter mixture and beat on low speed for 5 seconds. Pour in 1/2 cup milk; beat on low speed for 5 seconds. Repeat with remaining flour and milk until combined and smooth. Do not overmix.
  4. Spread cake batter into pan and smooth into a thin, even layer with a rubber spatula. Bake until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  5. Make the Frosting: Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in brown sugar until completely combined. Bring to a boil, then add 2 tablespoons milk and boil 1 minute more. Remove pan from heat, pour into a large heat-proof bowl, and let cool to room temperature about 45 minutes. Once cooled, add remaining milk, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat on low speed for 20 seconds, then gradually increase to high speed. Beat on high for 3 minutes. (If frosting is too thick, add 1 tablespoon milk.)
  6. Spread frosting on top of cooled cake, then drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with toffee bits and sea salt. Slice and serve. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe: http://www.kiefertshome.com

Baked Stuffed Chicken Rolls

Tried these for the first time on Saturday night and it was a big time winner! This is definitely being saved and put on the make again list! Was a lot simpler then I expected it to be as well!

I should have taken more photos of the finished product!!

Baked Stuffed Chicken Rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 4-ounce pieces)
  • 1 cup whole wheat Italian style bread crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 clove minced garlic and olive oil for sauteeing
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup beaten egg whites (I used something similar to Egg Beaters)
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • fresh basil for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prep the chicken: Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and pound the pieces until they are thin (for quick cooking) and have expanded in surface area (for more filling). Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  2. Prep the filling: Chop the spinach and saute it with the garlic and just a drizzle of olive oil for 2-3 minutes or until just barely wilted. Combine the sauteed spinach with the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and 2-3 tablespoons of the egg whites. Place the remaining egg whites in a separate shallow bowl and set aside.
  3. Assemble the chicken: Oil the bottom of a large baking dish and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place one piece of chicken on a flat working surface. Put a spoonful of ricotta-spinach filling right in the middle and roll the chicken up so that the edges meet to form a “seam”. Dip the entire chicken roll in egg whites, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place in a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat for the remaining 7 pieces of chicken. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Finishing touches: After 25 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through (white on the inside) and browned on the top. Cover the chicken with the marinara sauce and slices of fresh Mozzarella. Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melting. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

Recipe: http://www.kiefertshome.com