Chicken Pot Pie

Happy Spring Break!!!¬† We just started spring break here and the kids are SOOOO excited!¬† I was happy just to turn my alarms off this morning for the rest of the week!¬† ūüôā¬† My favorite alarm app is “Gentle Alarm” because it is very quiet and vibrates.¬† The song gets louder and louder the longer it plays – plus it has a peaceful nature background each new day.

It has been a week since Pi Day and we have been testing out Pi Pie recipes.  This new one is a twist on the chicken pot pie I grew up with Cream of Chicken and mixed vegetables.  Here in this recipe you use only one pie crust instead of two and lots of healthy sweet potatoes.  Instead of cream of chicken, a broth and cornstarch mixture is used to thicken the mixture before popping it into the oven.

I hope enjoy this pie recipe or use it for inspiration on your own Pi Pies!  I have started doubling all of our recipes since the kids are getting older and I went back to work.  I made this one and made my normal pot pie with frozen mixed veggies, cornstarch and chicken broth with some garlic powder, 21 seasoning salute, salt and pepper.  Yum yum!  Or you can freeze them in the freezer for longer storage up to 3 months.  Just be sure to keep them airtight with plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn.

Interested in Pi?  Head over to my other website and find more math info.

For email users, click on the link to see the recipe!

Sweet Potato Chicken Pot Pie


  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked
  • 1 Tb. butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots,peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tb. cornstarch
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 pie crust or puff pastry


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray and place it on top of a rimmed cookie sheet to catch any drips.
  2. Shred or dice the cooked chicken into bite size pieces. You can cook the chicken in the oven, microwave, pot of water or Instant Pot.
  3. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the onion, carrots, celery and sweet potato. Cook about 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are soft and tender. Add the garlic and dried thyme and cook 1 minute.
  4. In the measuring cup with the chicken broth, stir the cornstarch until mixed. Add the salt, pepper and chicken broth mix. Cook over medium to medium high heat until the mixture is simmering in order to thicken it.
  5. Add peas and cooked chicken. Stir until combined.
  6. Pour everything from the pot into the pie pan.
  7. Top with a pie crust or sheet of puff pastry. Add vent holes with a knife to let the steam out.
  8. Bake for 20-25 for pie crust. Bake 10-15 minutes for puff pastry.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Image result for chicken tortilla soup

Happy 2019!!

I hope everyone had¬† a safe and fun New Year’s Eve!!!¬† 2018 was a pretty good year overall.¬† I am still teaching 6th grade Gifted and Advanced Mathematics, the food blog is still running, I stopped doing paid photography, we are planning to go to Yellowstone National Park later this year, family is healthy and happy – so couldn’t ask for anything more!

I have been re-making many of our family’s favorite recipes using the Instant Pot.¬† I really do not seek out “new recipes” any longer, but re-make the meals we already love.¬† Most of the recipes on this website have been cooked 3 or more times and revised so that they come out perfect every time – so that is why I use them most of the time.¬† This recipe is an oldie but a goodie and I just knew the Instant Pot would cut the cooking time in half while keeping the flavors robust.

To make this recipe without the Instant Pot – My original recipe can be found here

I have had the Instant Pot for 5 years or so and really wish I had written a book or something before the device exploded in popularity!
Here is what I find it best for:

Beef: roasts
Yogurt making
-Cooking Hard Boiled Eggs
Chicken breast
-Dry Beans

Homemade Yogurt in the Instant Pot

I have not liked the Instant Pot for Pork roasts, pork tenderloins or any meat that is lean like those cuts of meat.¬† Chicken is good – because you can cook that in water and it doesn’t bother it.¬† Water keeps the pork a little more hydrated, but the texture is different.¬† And less water makes the meat dry.¬† And pizza.¬† It doesn’t do well with pizza ūüėČ


Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (or mix of green, red or orange)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (freeze the remaining in the can, it will last a long time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (optional)
  • 1 can (10 Oz.) Diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies, not drained
  • 32 ounces Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. per Can) black beans or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbs. cornmeal
  • Toppings: tortilla chips, shredded Cheddar cheese, lime, diced red onion, cilantro, salsa, avocado
  1. Select Saute on the Instant Pot and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion and peppers. Stir about 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add minced garlic, spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder), and tomato paste and cook 30 seconds – stirring constantly.
  2. Turn Instant Pot off. Add the salt (optional), diced tomatoes and green chiles, chicken stock, beans and chicken breast. Put on the lid to “seal” and program for “Poultry” and increase time to 18 minutes for thick chicken breast or leave it at 15 minutes for smaller size.
  3. Use Quick Release once the Instant Pot is done cooking. Add the warm water and cornmeal. While the pot keeps the soup warm, shred the chicken with forks in the pot or remove and shred (you can shred it in the mixer too!).
  4. Serve with toppings and enjoy!


Chicken Mac and Cheese

Reading now:

I finished watching part of the HBO drama “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” with Oprah since I adore the book. ¬†The book is fantastic and was a hit at our book club! ¬†I really couldn’t finish the HBO show. ¬†I was bored …. maybe because I knew what was going to happen? ¬†I’m not sure. ¬†I stopped watching after 30 minutes.

I did also start the Margaret Peterson Haddix series “The Missing, Book 1″ that was in one of our 4/5th grade classrooms. ¬†It was great! ¬†A very fast read – I think I finished in a couple of days. ¬†The plot moved along and the kids were interesting characters. ¬†I love the revelation at the end.


What kid doesn’t like chicken or mac & cheese? ¬†This dinner was a hit with kids big and small and will be for yours too! ¬†I just love the Instant Pot and use it to cook almost everything now from roasts, pasta, rice, yogurt, stew, soup and chicken. ¬†I haven’t used my slow cooker in years now unless I need to keep something warm for a pot luck. ¬†I don’t like how chicken dries out and the roasts are still not cooked all of the way by the time I get home.

I do include how to make this without a pressure cooker/instant pot in the Notes section!

**Warning** ¬†If you do use the Instant Pot or pressure cooker for the recipe, please release the vent SLOWLY. ¬†I made the mistake of releasing the valve full blast!! ¬†Pasta water and chicken stuff sprayed everywhere! ¬†But don’t worry! ¬†You can learn from my mistake. ¬†Use a towel or wooden spoon to move the vent halfway slowly and not quick like me ūüôā


Chicken Mac and Cheese
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite size pieces
  • 8 ounces dried elbow macaroni or spiral pasta (I like whole wheat)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups half and half or milk
  • 1 Tb. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces) (or use your favorite cheese)
  1. Add to you instant pot: 6 cups water, chicken and pasta. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. (No pressure cooker/instant pot? Just go to the notes section)
  2. Once finished cooking, SLOWLY open the valve HALFWAY. Allow the pressure to slowly release.
  3. Pour the chicken and pasta into a colindar.
  4. Meanwhile, put the pot back on the stove or insert back into the Instant Pot. Switch it to saute mode and keep it on normal. Add the half and half, flour, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk together! Allow the mixture to come to a boil and boil to thicken for about 2-3 minutes. Whisk while it boils to keep the bottom from getting too hot!
  5. Now, add your pasta, chicken and cheese back into the pot. Stir it all up and eat!
  6. Serve warm with a salad, peas, broccoli or any of your favorite veggies!
No Instant Pot? Fear not! Just cook the pasta and drain. Use the same pot to the saute part of the recipe where you mix the half and half, mustard, etc. Boil and thicken 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese. Stir. Add the pasta. Add in some rotisserie chicken and voila![br][br]Recipe from “The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough


Chicken Pot Pie Soup and New Job!

Good morning!

So exciting news on the horizon – I have a full time salary job again! ¬†Well, it was a little sooner than I expected… but I have been taking classes to be certified in Gifted Education. ¬†And a full time Gifted Education teaching position opened up in the adjoining school district. ¬†So I took it! ¬†It will be so exciting to be working with students every day and I am so overjoyed to be working with this special population.

Books:¬†I finished “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen this week. ¬†It is a Newberry winner and quick read if you want to beef up your Young Adult Fiction list. ¬†The reviews on Good Reads range from “I hate this book!” to “A must read for young readers.” ¬†Hmmm. ¬†I’m in the middle of the camp. ¬†I did not hate the book. ¬†I think perhaps there weren’t a whole lot of Newberry nominees that year? ¬†There is obvious symbolism and a great character study. ¬† ¬†My theory why people don’t like it is that all of the action and excitement happen in the first few pages of the book and then it moves slowly when Brian is trying to survive in the wild.


On with the show and recipe…. ¬†one of my favorite meals is chicken pot pie. ¬†If mom asks what to make on my birthday it’s chicken pot pie. ¬†But this is a soup version – and just as quick, easy and tasty!

Why is this recipe great?

-It is filling.
-You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.
-You can use chicken leftovers from another meal.
-It is inexpensive to make.
-Without a crust, it is much healthier.  But still tastes like pot pie!
-Freezer friendly!
-Great on a cold winter day with some crusty bread or beer bread

Chicken Pot Pie Soup and New Job!
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 4 cups milk (1%, skim or 2% work fine)
  • 2 teaspoons better than bullion or chicken bullion (or use 2 cups chicken stock instead of water)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables (or chopped carrots, frozen corn, peas and green beans)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, AP flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 pound chicken breast, cooked and cut into 1/2″
  • kosher or regular salt
  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, add olive oil, celery and onion. Saute over medium to medium high for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 1 and 1/2 cups water (or chicken broth) and milk. Bring this to a boil. Add bullion, pepper, thyme and frozen vegetables. Turn the heat down to medium low. Cover and simmer cook about 15-20 minutes or vegetables are cooked.
  3. In a measuring cup, mix the remaining 1/2 cup water (or chicken broth) with flour. Whisk together.
  4. Add flour mixture with the chicken into the pot. Heat through. Salt to taste.
  5. Serve while hot. Crusty bread or beer bread is great with this as well.
Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste


White Chicken Chili | Instant Pot

Hey Everyone! ¬†I’m still alive ūüôā ¬†Just took a long pause to continue my photography and teach 4th grade full-time for a few months. ¬†Next month I will be a full-time student at the University of Missouri and possibly part or full-time teacher as well… we’ll see how this goes. ¬†ūüôā

But hey, we are here for the recipes, not my opinion on the last presidential election that we missed on the blog. ¬†Whew! ¬†Maybe that’s a good thing we missed it….

Book Review: 

Rosalind Wiseman has written a comprehensive guide to helping girls through the teenage years and even the tweens. This is a must read for any parent that has a daughter! The author delivers in a conversational tone a plethora of advice from years of clinical experience. Quotations from teenage girls are scattered throughout the book giving firsthand knowledge of the world of “queen bees.”

The first section is about friendships, groups of friends and the roles friends play. Next, parents and parenting styles are discussed. Then, anger management and what to do about parties. Online communication and boys are included in the chapters as well. The book is lengthy… which is a blessing and a curse. “Queen Bees and Wannabes” has so many scenarios that it will probably have what you are dealing with or what you will be dealing with in years to come. All 412 pages will not apply to everyone. But I can guarantee that some of this book will apply to all parents and help them – and their daughters – through whatever physical or emotional hurdles they may have to face and guide them through facing it together.

I received a sample of this book to read from Blogging for books so i can give my honest and unbiased opinion/review.


My Instant Pot is still my new favorite toy!   Check out this blog post with more things to do with the Instant Pot like:  make yogurt from just milk, make a 10 hour roast in 1 hour, cook chicken without drying it out, make chili in 10 minutes, hard-boiled eggs where the shell comes off in one piece, make perfectly cooked brown or white rice.

Now to the chili… we have tons of deer meat and been eating chili like crazy the past few months. ¬†To shake things up a bit, I made white chicken chili. ¬†I have tried several ways and finally came across some ingredients that help a lot: ¬†Trader Joe’s fire roasted diced green chiles. ¬†YUM! ¬†Try to find them if you can. ¬†If not, that’s okay and find the Mexican food aisle in your store and they will have canned green chilies.

*If you want to use dried beans Рthat works too!  1/2 cup dried beans = 1 can of beans.  So, I used my Instant Pot the previous day to pressure cook the soaked beans.  They were done in 12 minutes on high pressure using natural release.

White Chicken Chili (and Instant Pot Option)
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 and 1/2 cups diced chicken breasts or tenderloin (with tendon removed)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tb. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium preferred)
  • 2 cans (3 cups) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces canned green chiles, diced
  • 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  1. For regular pot: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced chicken and onion. Cook until no longer pink – about 8 minutes. Add garlic with the spices and cook 30 seconds.
  2. Once the garlic and spices are fragrant, add the broth, beans, chiles and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste
  3. For Instant Pot: Turn on the Instant Pot to “Saute” on Normal/Medium. Add oil and once hot add the chicken and onion. Cook until no longer pink – about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook those another 30 seconds. Turn Instant Pot off.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients. Turn the Instant Pot back on to Manual mode and set for 10 minutes. Or press “Chili” and reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes. Make sure the vent is sealed of course!
  5. Release the pressure and your chili is finished! If you want it thicker, put the Instant Pot on saute with the lid off to reduce the chili.



Chicken Melts

chicken melts recipe, homemade, copycat

Good morning everyone! ¬†It has been for- EV- UH! ¬†I wish I could post more ūüôĀ

I have been working 50-60 hours per week between substitute teaching and photography while the hubby looks for a new job. ¬†The cleaning and cooking still need done… so the blog was put on the back burner. ¬†Currently, I will be working toward applying for a full-time job when the new school year 2017-2018 opens up.

I am still¬†reading Ron Chernow’s Washington and it is STILL one of the best biographies. ¬†Which probably explains that little Pulitzer Prize that it won. ¬†The most recent tidbit I did not know is that Washington really wanted to go back to Mount Vernon and be home after the Revolutionary War. ¬†He was happy to help with the Constitutional Convention and get the new government on its feet. ¬†From his personal letters, it can be deduced that he only really expected to be president a couple of years. ¬†He was there to get the ball rolling so to speak. ¬†If Washington had known¬†he was going to remain president for 8 years, he may never have volunteered in the first place.

chicken melts recipe, homemade, copycat


This recipe has a short story! ¬†So, about 6 months ago the kids and I discovered these delicious Chicken Melts at Costco. ¬†“Really….Really Tasty Sandwiches” is their motto and they are right! ¬†For the price and time, they are really good and really tasty. ¬†There are 15 chicken melts in one box and all 4 of us really like them. ¬†Plus, they are so tasty and low in calories that we want to eat one or two!! ¬†A box of 15 of them goes super fast!

So РI decided to try and make a copycat recipe.  It would taste almost exactly the same, but perhaps have more chicken so that it felt more like a meal than a snack.

The kids gave them 4 thumbs up!!

Woo hoo!  Eureka!

What do we do with this recipe??

  1.  You can freeze them like the Sandwich Bros. do!  Just seal in plastic and reheat in the microwave (out of the plastic bag of course!).  Start at 60 seconds per sandwich and wrap in a paper towel first with the cheese side UP.  Or you will have a cheesy microwave!
  2. Eat them for lunch!  The kids are in school and cannot heat up their own meal.  So, I send the sandwich cold to school and they still love it.  More like a deli type feel.
  3. Eat them for dinner!  Yum!
  4. Have the fixin’s stashed in the fridge for any time. ¬†I make a large batch and then keep the chicken with cheese in a large container in the fridge. ¬†If someone wants to make a chicken melt, they just have to add the cooked chicken to the pita pocket.
  5. Easy and cheap and tasty! ¬†My favorite triad ūüôā

Here is a photo of the whole wheat pita pockets that I purchased for making the chicken melts. ¬†You can purchase pita pockets almost everywhere now! ¬†Since Trader Joe’s avoids preservatives and such, I try there first. ¬†**IMPORTANT**¬†When opening up their pita pockets, heat them first a little. ¬†I store my bread in the fridge and the pockets would tear when I opened them up. ¬†BUT, they won’t tear if you heat them up for like 15 seconds in the microwave!


This recipe is a new staple in our household and I hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Melts
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 16 sandwiches
  • 1-2 Tb. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • (about) 1 tsp. garlic powder (add to taste, we like it and I cover the flour with a layer of garlic powder)
  • (about) 1 Tb. paprika (I used smoked paprika and increase or decrease based on how fresh it is)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices of American Cheese
  • 8 round pita pockets
  1. To start, I heat up my large 12″ cast iron skillet on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. I add more if it doesn’t cover the bottom of the skillet.
  2. While that heats up, slice the chicken in half LENGTHwise. You now have 8 chicken breasts. Now, cut those to fit you pita pocket. I cut mine in half again the other way to fit into the pita pocket. Now, I have 16 pieces of chicken.
  3. In a shallow bowl or baking dish, mix the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour mixture on both sides until coated. Repeat on all the chicken.
  4. Add chicken to the skillet one layer at a time. Mine holds 4-5 pieces of chicken. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Flip. Cook another 3 minutes and make sure the chicken is cooking nicely. About 2 minutes before it is done, add the cheese. Melt the cheese for 2-3 minutes and remove the chicken from the skillet onto a wire cooling rack over paper towels. This will keep the chicken crispy on the bottom and the top.
  5. Repeat by adding a little more oil to the skillet if necessary and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  6. Heat up the pita pockets for about 15 seconds in the microwave. This will allow them to open easier.
  7. Slice the pita pocket circle in half to get two half circles. Fill the pita pocket with the cooked chicken and eat while hot!
  8. Or assemble and freeze in the freezer. To reheat from frozen, wrap in a paper towel and place in the microwave with the cheese side on top. Heat for 60 seconds and check to see if it is done. If not, add a few more seconds until heated thoroughly.
  9. Or keep separated in the fridge and assemble any time you are hungry.



Oh Yeah – Fried Chicken … Don’t Be Scared

fried chicken breast recipe with olive oil

In five years with this blog, I don’t think I have EVER fried anything. ¬†But these chicken breast on sale were just screaming to be fried. ¬†I’m not sure how dead chicken breast can scream, but they can. ¬†So without further ado – here is one pansy who never EVER fries anything. ¬†And lived to tell the tale. ¬†So you can too.

This is better than KFC guys!!  And cheaper. And healthier. Faster?  Well by the time you get into your car, drive over to KFC, pay your bill and drive home you could have some nice juicy chicken at home.

Have a lot of chicken and can’t eat it all? ¬†Well I will eat it! ¬†Oh well… or you could freeze it. ¬†Then just reheat in an oven for a quick and easy meal. ¬†You don’t want to microwave it unless you want soggy fried chicken and… what’s the point of that? ¬†Or cold. ¬†I love it cold too.

fried chicken recipe with olive oil

Here are just some quick tips for non-greasy and yummy chicken:

  1. ¬†Use a Dutch oven. ¬†You can use a 12″ cast iron skillet. ¬†It just splatters more. ¬†I had almost no splatter with my Dutch oven.
  2.  Olive oil is healthy-er and that is what I used.  You could use any oil you like.  Traditional fried chicken in the south is fried in Crisco.  But I had olive oil and did just fine.
  3. For non-greasy chicken, pull it when it is done. ¬†Don’t let it sit in the oil past that.
  4. How you put the cooked chicken down is important! ¬†I put a cookie sheet covered in paper towels on my counter. ¬†Cover that with a wire rack. ¬†Put the cooked chicken on the wire rack. ¬†This way the bottom won’t get soggy. ¬†This is what you see at KFC as well -a wire rack to hold the chicken.
  5. I didn’t marinade my chicken. ¬†Nope. ¬†No buttermilk no nothing. ¬†Because well … I’m lazy and forgot! ¬†I’m sure it is tasty and we could do a taste test on marinaded and non-marinaded.
  6. Yup just 5 tips

fried chicken recipe with olive oil

Oh Yeah – Fried Chicken … Don’t Be Scared
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 cup whole wheat or AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika or smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (omit if you don’t like spicy!!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin if you have it)
  • about 3 pounds chicken breast (4 large chicken breast)
  1. Mix together in a shallow bowl: flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne. Add some black pepper if that floats your boat.
  2. In another shallow dish, whisk together the eggs.
  3. Put a large Dutch oven on the stove or 12″ cast iron skillet and fill 1/2″ high with olive oil. Heat on medium heat.
  4. If your chicken breasts are thick – like 1″ or more at the large end, take a knife and slice them in half horizontal to create two thinner chicken breast. You want them about 1/2″ thick.
  5. Now have your assembly line going: first chicken, then flour, then egg mixture, then plate.
  6. Dredge chicken in the flour, then egg, then back in the flour mixture again. Set on the plate. Repeat until all the chicken are ready to go.
  7. Using tongs, add the chicken breast into the oil one layer at a time. Mine could hold 2-3 pieces at once. Cook 5 minutes. Flip. Cook another 5 minutes.
  8. Set the chicken down on a wire rack over a cookie sheet and/or paper towels. Repeat with all the chicken. If you are worried about them getting too cold, then place into an oven at 170 degrees to keep warm.
  9. Serve warm with your favorite fixings. Mine are mashed potatoes, coleslaw and green beans.
If the chicken is not cooked through the middle, place in an oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or so.


Super Fast (NO Forks!) Shredded Chicken | Instant Pot

Shredded Chicken 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Good morning! ¬†This weekend we attended the 2016 St. Louis Air Show. ¬†It was quite a show!!! ¬†Wow! ¬†All the planes, helicopters and jets you could want. ¬†Here are some of my favorite photographs I took at the show. ¬† I shot these with a Nikon D7100 55-200mm lens. ¬†Why use that camera? ¬†It isn’t full frame. ¬†This cropped sensor camera makes my 200mm lens now 300mm lens. ¬†Woo hoo! ¬†It’s just the regular old lens that comes with the camera. ¬†Nothing special about it.


Air Show 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Air Show 3 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Air Show 4 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Air Show 5 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Air Show 6 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Air Show 7 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Air Show 8 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Air Show Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri



Shredded Chicken 4 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Great for all those upcoming Graduation Parties!!! ¬†This is the BESTEST, FASTEST, EASIEST way to ever make shredded chicken. ¬†I don’t know about you, but boneless skinless chicken breast does not fall apart in the crockpot. ¬†No matter how long you slow cook it. ¬†That stuff is so lean that it takes me half an hour to shred and even still – the shreds are big and chunky and uneven. ¬†But no more!

Shredded Chicken Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Today we make any kind of shredded chicken we want!  I used this chicken for:

Freezer Meals…


Taco Filling….

add per pound of chicken:  1.5 Tb. chili powder, 3/4 tsp. coriander, 3/4 tsp. cumin, 3/4 tsp. oregano, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1/2 cup chicken broth, after cooking: 2 tsp. cider vinegar and 1 tsp. brown sugar with salt and pepper to taste



BBQ Chicken Sandwiches…

add 1/2 cup chicken broth and BBQ sauce to taste

BBQ Pulled Chicken-2253 on Whisk Together

Chicken salad….

Whatever you like!

The recipe is based on the sale packages of chicken at our store.  The sales are usually packaged in 4 pound packages, so that is what I make and then freeze.

Shredded Chicken 3 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Super Fast (NO Forks!) Shredded Chicken
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 16 servings
  • 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  1. For pressure cooker: add ingredients. Turn on for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  2. For slow cooker: add ingredients. Turn on LOW for 3 hours.
  3. For oven: add ingredients to casserole dishes in one layer. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees 40 minutes or until clear.
  4. Now the magic: add half the chicken to a mixing bowl. Turn on your mixer to low. Mix until shredded – about 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat as necessary. Add some of the broth made in the pan back to the chicken for freezing, tacos or BBQ filling.
  5. For taco meat and BBQ meat, I removed the chicken stock from the pot. I added about 1/2 cup of stock back into the pot. I added my taco or bbq seasonings and cooked on saute for about 10 minutes.


Simple Chicken Enchiladas and Pressure Cookers | Instant Pot

Chicken Enchiladas-6119 copy

My friend and old neighbor Hilary posted on her Facebook page about a¬†new Instant Pot appliance. ¬†It could cook beans in 12 minutes! ¬†Chicken soup – from frozen chicken – in 30 minutes! ¬†So, yes I had to buy one. ¬†The slow cooker is great and all. ¬†But you know. ¬†It’s slow. ¬†We like fast ūüôā ¬†Ha ha. ¬†Well, more like we want options. ¬†I like the options and freedom to make an entire pot roast in 35 minutes.


So how does this pot work in the real world with kids and errands, food and budgets?

  1. My #1 reason and I think the machine will pay for itself:  dried beans.  Dried beans are super cheap.  Plus they have no added salt.  For years, I tried different methods to cook dried beans.  They never turned out right.  They never tasted as good as the canned beans.  Why?  Because canned beans are pressured cooked at the factory.  Resistance is futile.  I have been assimilated.  Chicken and beans cooked in 25 minutes.  Just plain black beans cooked in 12.
  2. ¬†You can make your own yogurt! ¬†I have not personally done it myself. ¬†I cannot go through a gallon or even half gallon that fast. ¬†But it has a yogurt setting and does everything automatically. ¬†I did research it and the pot hibernates the yogurt for 8 hours – people suggest 9 hours for thicker yogurt. ¬†Just push the + button and you’re all set.
  3. Why do I like this better than a stove top model? ¬†The warm function. ¬†The pot automatically stops and switches to “warm” to keep your food hot and avoid overcooking. ¬†If you have a stove top pressure cooker, then you must turn it off yourself. ¬†Or some people use two burners – one to heat the pot to pressure and move it to another to keep the pressure going on a lower setting.
  4. Why would you buy a stove top model instead?  If I had 5 or 6 kids, I would need the stove top model.  This instant pot holds 6 quarts.  But it is a pressure cooker.  And just like a slow cooker as well, you cannot fill it to the top.  So, larger families may want a 8 qt. stove top pressure cooker instead.
  5. You can make rice!  No more rice cooker or sticky rice or undercooked/overcooked rice.  Cooks rice perfectly.  Automatically.
  6. Healthier food:  Pressure cooking cooks food faster. The faster it cooks, the more nutritional value it can retain.  Also, the less water you need the less vitamins and minerals will go into the water and out of the food.
  7. You can make porridge! From my research, the porridge function is very popular outside the USA.  But hey, you have the option.
  8. You can steam vegetables.  Well, I usually make mine in the microwave.  But if you like your vegetables steamed, this device will do it for you automatically.
  9. The one thing I have always liked about the expensive Williams Sonoma Slow Cooker is that you can brown your meat in the same device.  The Instant Pot lets you brown your meat as well on the Saute Setting.
  10. After the cooking is finished, you can press the saute button to thicken your sauce or gravy or soup by letting it boil just like if you were using the stove.

Here is a link to the manual if you are still curious.  Instant Pot Manual.


Instant Pot

Now, once you have a pot. ¬† How do you cook with it? ¬†I found a lot of books on Amazon. ¬†The #1 book had a lot of reviews complaining that the author uses a lot of pre-made mixes, cream of somethings, etc. ¬†So I skipped that one and found “The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book”¬†by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

Pressure Cooker Book

A ton of recipes including the one on this blog post.  My one comment would be that the cooking times seem long.  The corned beef was finished cooking in 35 minutes.  The book recommended 80 minutes.  My corned beef was a little smaller than the recipe, but still.  I like their recipes and kitchen testing notes on every recipe.  The only thing I do differently is make sure that the cooking time is closer to what the Instant Pot recommends instead of the book.

*Note any and all links are not affiliated. ¬†I live in Missouri and cannot have them. ¬†So enjoy no strings attached ūüôā

Chicken Enchiladas-6116 copy


Pressure Cooked Chicken Enchiladas
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 1 tsp. dark brown sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 – (6-8 oz.) chicken breasts
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 cup (8 oz. can) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup light colored beer or chicken broth
  • 2 Tb. chili powder
  • 2 Tb. fresh lime juice
  • tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa, cheddar cheese (optional add ins)
  1. In a small bowl, mix the spices together (from brown sugar to garlic powder). Sprinkle onto the chicken and pat down.
  2. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker on the saute setting. Brown the chicken on all sides for about 5 minutes.
  3. Now add the tomato sauce, beer/broth and chili powder. Cook for 14 minutes on high pressure.
  4. Once finished, use the valve to quickly release the steam.
  5. Stir in the lime juice and shred the chicken apart. Or eat the chicken as is with the sauce. Or add the chicken to some tortillas with cheese and bake for 15 minutes or so in the oven.
  6. To make this in the slow cooker: Add all ingredients except the lime juice. Cook on high 3-4 hours. Shred and eat.
  7. To make this in the oven: Add the spiced chicken to a 9×13 pan. Mix the sauce and pour on top. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
Recipe adapted from The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book


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