My new secret weapon in the kitchen

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(3TV/CBS 5) -

As the leaves are changing (in some parts of the country) and the temperatures are dropping, I start daydreaming about fall soups and stews I can cook up in my slow cooker. But this fall, I’m swapping out my slow cooker for my pressure cooker.

Let me say, I’ve never been much of a chef. But these days, you combine my lack of cooking skills with a busy work schedule, then throw in kids’ homework and weeknight sports practices… and you get a whole lot of takeout. 

[RELATED: DIY Week: Do it yourself dinners with the Instant Pot]

My biggest issue is that I mostly just feel lost in the kitchen. I lose patience quickly when recipes aren’t simple or ingredients are hard to find.

Then I found the Instant Pot. The new pressure cookers have a cult-like following -- and I’ve joined the cult. In the few short weeks I’ve owned my Instant Pot, I’ve used it several times a week. Because of the popularity of the appliance, there are plenty of recipes at my fingertips on Pinterest. And there are Facebook groups and pages where other “IP” users share not only recipes but also questions, solutions and tips for other wannabe Instant Pot chefs.

There was definitely a learning curve in figuring out how the IP works, but now that I’ve got the hang of it, I feel empowered in the kitchen. 

I’ve been making recipes my family loves like Joanie Simon’s Barbacoa Bowl. And homemade mac and cheese.And raspberry short ribs. And chicken cacciatore. And cilantro-lime rice.

My real secret is that I double the amounts on some of these and make enough for two meals, saving me from needing takeout on another weeknight. 

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see Joanie Simon's image of her Barbacoa Bowl

The slow cooker was great, but I feel like a world of new options has been opened up since the Instant Pot requires less than an hour for most recipes that would take 6 to 8 hours in a slow cooker. 

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the image of mac 'n cheese

I love my new Instant Pot so much, I even decided to jazz it up with this Ryan Gosling decal

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the pic of the Ryan Gosling decal

Check out the story I did recently for Good Morning Arizona about my love for my Instant Pot and let me know YOUR favorite recipes to try next! 

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