Instapot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

I’ve been trying to make this soup for weeks and I’m so glad I finally did! Instapot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup is easy, doesn’t require a lot of work (use real bacon bits instead of cooking some and save yourself even more work) and was delicious and filling. Perfect for a cold fall or winter day. Let’s cook!

You’ll also need ground beef and half and half
Seasonings I used

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onions (I buy frozen from Kroger)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup half and half
  • 6 slices of uncooked bacon chopped (or use bacon bits)
  • Seasonings (you will season to taste)
  • Velveeta (I used a 1/4 of a 16 oz block)
  • 1 cup Colby Jack cheese shredded
  • 2 cups chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • 1 package of frozen southern style hash browns (cubes, or you can use the potatoes ‘o brien)
  • Your favorite cheeseburger toppings such as tomatoes and pickles

Directions:

Set instapot on the sauté function and spray or oil pot. Add uncooked bacon and fry til crispy. Remove bacon and bacon fat. Add grown beef and cook til almost brown. Add onions to cook with beef until completely brown. Drain fat and add seasonings. Don’t overseason as you can add more later to taste. Turn off sauté function. Add velveeta cheese, bacon (reserve a little to top your soup later) frozen hash browns and then add broth and water (if needed) making sure it’s enough to cover the ingredients. Place lid on the Instapot and set on high pressure for 10 minutes. Make sure valve is set to seal. Once done go ahead and turn valve to vent for a quick release. Once pressure is released remove lid and mash potatoes. Add more cheese and then half and half. Stir and taste to see if more seasoning is needed. Serve with cheeseburger toppings.

I made a short reel on Instagram to show exactly how I made this soup so make sure you are following me @severalpeoplesmama to watch! Also tag me there if you decide to make this recipe! I definitely think you should!

Love Ricki

Back to School Breakfast Board + Egg Muffin Recipe

My kids went back to school virtually a few weeks ago and I have realized a couple of things. First I don’t want to be a schoolteacher ever! Second I am still NOT tech savvy. And finally my kids are super hungry in the morning now that they are retired vampires and must wake up early for school. To solve that problem I decided to do what I do best and make them a breakfast board to satisfy their hunger in the morning. This board was easy to create and fun to make! The only thing I actually made for the board was the egg muffin recipe which I’m sharing below but you can totally use frozen and store bought items to make it easier on you. We are going thru enough as parents trying to navigate this new normal of virtual school!

Things you can put on your breakfast board:

  • Pancakes/waffles
  • Oatmeal packs
  • Pastries
  • Biscuits
  • Croissants/bagels
  • Hash browns
  • Breakfast meats such as bacon and sausage or if you’re feeling fancy you can add ham, steak or pork chops (we’re in the south)
  • Yogurts
  • Fruit
  • Cheeses
  • Jelly/jams/honey/spreads
  • Egg (you can add a platter of scrambled eggs or some egg muffins)
  • Granola
  • Cereal
  • Breakfast potatoes

And the list goes on and on! Use what you have but presenting it in a fun way makes the kids want to eat it!

To start your breakfast board I always place my fruit/veggies and I expensive items down first because I like for them to cover most of the board. Then I come back and fill in spaces with the more expensive meats and cheeses. Finally I add spreads, nuts, and garnishes.

Check out my breakfast board and make sure you’re following me @severalpeoplesmama on Instagram to see the video of me putting this together!

Now let’s make some easy low carb/keto friendly egg muffins to go on our board.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Seasonings- I used Tony’s creole seasoning, garlic and onion powder and black pepper
  • Veggies- you can use whichever you like. I used spinach, mushrooms and grape tomatoes
  • Meat – this is optional. I used deli ham that I needed to use up before it went bad
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese any kind, I used Mexican blend
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Cupcake liners

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a sauté pan on medium heat add oil and then butter. Follow with veggies and sauté til softened about 5 minutes. Add meat if using. I do add seasoning to taste to this mixture but that is optional. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. You want this mixture to cool prior to adding to your eggs. Beat your eggs in a bowl (I use a large measuring cup because it makes it easier to pour) add half and half and seasonings. Beat til mixed thoroughly. Add cooled veggie mixture and cheese and mix. Add cupcake liners to muffin pan, this recipe makes approximately 1 dozen. Pour mixture in cups 3/4 of the way. Bake for 25- 30 minutes. The eggs will puff up in the liner but once cooled they will fall again.

I hope you try this recipe! It’s great to prep ahead and can easily be stored in the refrigerator for about a week if they last that long! Breakfast is now necessary at this house and these egg muffins will be on the menu!

Love Ricki

Stuffed Mushrooms

Browsing thru the aisles of Aldi Saturday I found some beautiful looking Portabella mushrooms and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them…stuffed mushrooms! This was a recipe I use to make early in my keto/low carb journey and I figured I would share it with y’all because it’s easy & delicious! I used shrimp for my protein but you can use anything. I’ve even used breakfast sausage before (just prepare it separately and add to stuffing mixture). Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Portabella mushroom caps, medium to large in size. Remove stems but don’t throw away, they will be used in our filling!
  • Half a block of cream cheese
  • Half a bag of fresh spinach
  • Shrimp or protein of choice
  • 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup each of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese plus additional for sprinkling over our mushrooms
  • 1-2 tbsp of butter
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Seasonings- I used garlic salt, Italian seasoning, ranch and garlic and onion powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add softened cream cheese to bowl and set aside. Heat saucepan on medium and add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Add spinach and sauté. Chop stems from mushrooms and add to pan sautéing til cooked. Push spinach and mushrooms to cooler side of pan and add 1 tbsp of butter. Add shrimp. If using any other protein I would suggest you cook ahead and add to pan to warm, shrimp takes minutes to cook so that’s why I did it this way. Once shrimp is cooked add garlic and seasoning and mix all together. Added that mixture to the cream cheese. Add cheeses and mix thoroughly. Taste mixture and see if more seasoning is needed. Place Portabella caps in a baking dish. You don’t want to use a sheet pan because the mushrooms will release liquid while cooking and you will have a mess! Place mushrooms in dish gill side up and sprinkle with olive oil and garlic salt. Add filling and top with more shredded cheese. Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. You will have liquid in your baking dish after baking, you can take an extra step to transfer the mushrooms onto a sheet pan and place under a broiler for 3 minutes but it’s optional. We don’t mind, they still turn out yummy!

You know it’s good if the kids ask you to make this! And don’t limit yourself, this is a recipe where you can get creative and add more veggies such as peppers or different cheeses or proteins! I plan on making this more often on my keto/low carb journey!

As always if you make this tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama I enjoy looking at what y’all cook!

Love Ricki

Philly Cheesesteak Ring – Yes another Ring!

Hi y’all I am back this week with a not so original recipe but DEFINITELY a fav! Listen we love rings in this household. The crescent roll dough is delicious and easy to work with and you can take just about any filling you can think of and add it for a delicious combination. Of course I’ve made Cheesesteak sliders here and Cheesesteak egg rolls here so naturally a ring was next. This recipe was super easy and you can add chips and fruit for easy sides and dinner is done! Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • Thin sliced steak
  • 1 yellow onion sliced into half moons
  • 1 pepper sliced into strips
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1-2 tsps of minced garlic
  • Seasonings: I used Tony’s seasoning, onion and garlic powder and steak seasoning
  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 5-6 slices of provolone cheese
  • 4-5 slices of Gouda (this is optional, you can use all provolone or any cheese you like. Smoked Gouda would have bee delicious here as well)
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Add butter to skillet on medium high heat. Add peppers and then after a minute or so add onions. Sauté veggies and turn heat to medium. I add a little salt to this mixture to help it sweat and give a little flavor but that’s optional. After veggies are softened add mushrooms and minced garlic. Sauté til mushrooms are softened. Turn heat on high and add steak. I season steak while in the pan but you can season ahead of time as well and just add seasoned meat. Once cooked thru which should be 3-5 minutes, turn off burner and take pan off heat and set aside. In a round pizza pan or cookie sheet spread triangles of crescent dough around until it forms a shape resembling a sun (see pics). Add veggies and meat mixture and then add cheese on top. Bring points of the triangles to the center. Spray with cooking spray to help crust brown. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and completely baked thru. Slice and serve.

We will be making this again and believe me I am dreaming up more ring recipes to add to the blog! If you try this please tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Alice Spring Chicken – Copycat Recipe

Confession: I have never actually heard of Alice Spring Chicken before I actually made it. I have never actually ate at Outback Steakhouse either. I stumbled upon this recipe when I was searching Pinterest trying to find something different to do with boneless skinless chicken breast. It seemed like it would be delicious except the mustard part so I decided to adapt it for my family’s taste and make it keto/low carb friendly. We like mustard but only a touch on a sandwich or in our foods. Also the recipes I found called for honey but I decided to use pre made honey mustard (not the dressing) to cut the carbs. We definitely don’t like it to overpower a dish. Here is my version of Alice Spring Chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied ( I would also take an extra step and pound it thin) You should end up with 6 thin breasts
  • 1/2 tbsp of honey mustard
  • 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp of mustard
  • 1/2 packet of dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tbsp of minced onion
  • 5-6 slices of bacon
  • 1 1/2 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms (I used white)
  • 2 cups of Colby Jack Cheese
  • Seasonings: I used onion and garlic powder and Tony’s seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of fresh green onions chopped (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Mix the Dijon and honey mustard with the mayonnaise and add the dry ranch dressing mix and dry minced onion. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Spray enameled Dutch oven or oven safe pan (if you don’t have an oven safe pan that’s okay, just start with a pan and transfer to a bacon dish at the end) with oil spray and then add bacon on medium high heat. While bacon is cooking season chicken and spread mustard/mayo mixture on each side. Set aside. You can marinate the chicken ahead of time in this mixture for a few hours or o/n but again we didn’t want a strong mustard taste. After bacon is crispy remove from pan and add mushrooms. Once mushrooms are cooked removed from pan and set aside. Turn heat to high and add chicken searing on both sides. Turn heat off and top chicken with mushrooms, bacon (crumbled) and cheese. Cover with lid or foil and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until chicken is cooked thru. I was just gifted a meat thermometer so that is an internal temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Lol get a meat thermometer! It’s awesome!

Surprisingly the kids loved this meal. I enjoyed it to and was something different that we could all enjoy since I’m currently on the keto diet. The hint of mustard was just enough for us so if you’re not a big mustard fan you can try this and enjoy it.

If you do give this meal a try, make sure to tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

The Infamous Seafood Boil

If you don’t already know from looking at my past recipes WE LOVE SEAFOOD! We especially love the spicy savory seafood boils at different restaurants across Houston. But with a family of five eating at these places can get expensive so from researching different recipes I came up with my own version of a seafood boil. EXCEPT I don’t boil the seafood lol. I actually steam it in an oven bag you would use for turkeys in the oven. This seafood steams and the flavors get infused which tastes much better to us than boiling it and letting it sit and water where sometimes the flavor gets diluted. After many requests for the recipe I figured I better write this down and share on the blog so everyone would have one point of reference. So let’s make a seafood boil!

Ingredients:

  • 2 oven bags – I use the large size. We use two because we will double bag our seafood. You will also need a rectangular dish to lay the bag in.
  • Assorted seafood – we use snow crabs and shrimp but you can use what’s our family prefers- if you use frozen make sure to thaw out prior to cooking
  • 5-6 sticks of real butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 5 cloves of minced fresh garlic (don’t use the jar!)
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning
  • 2-3 tbsp of spicy crab or crawfish boil seasoning plus extra for sprinkling on the seafood
  • 2 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp of dried minced onion
  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon or you can use the juice in the bottle
  • 1 tbsp or brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of dry ranch seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of old bay
  • Hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3-4 small red potatoes (you will want to cook these in the microwave ahead of time for about 3-5 minutes
  • 3-4 small ears of corn
  • 1 sausage chopped (optional)

Directions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make sure seafood is thawed out and rinsed. Place seafood, corn, potatoes and sausage in bag and then double bag it (similar to how you do your groceries at the store). Place bagged seafood in dish and sprinkle crab boil seasoning over seafood and set aside.

Place medium sized pot on medium low and add butter. Once butter has melted add minced garlic and stir. Add the seasonings, lemon juice and stir (with a whisk or fork). Mix in the brown sugar last if using. Let mixture come to a simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool slightly (just a few minutes so it isn’t scorching hot and burn your bag). Pour a little of the mixture into a bowl for dipping later. Pour rest of the mixture in bag. Now I physically massage the seasoning into my seafood but you can just tie a knot in the bag and massage thru the bag. Place pan with bag in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove form oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. I cut open the bag and let the juices flow into the pan and sit there for a few minutes prior to serving. We serve this family style by bringing the pan directly to the table and picking the seafood out to eat.

We love to do this for our family but it would be great for parties too. I hope you make this and your family enjoys it as much as we do! And if you do try it make sure to tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Cajun Chicken Shrimp Orzo

I’m always trying to mix it up in the kitchen because we get bored EASILY! So I always think of recipes we love them and remix them in some type of way, whether it’s switching out a vegetable or protein or using a different base. This time I decided to make Cajun Shrimp & Chicken with orzo instead of the usual penne or fettuccine. I also added spinach because sneaking in green veggies never hurts. And to make it even easier I made this a one pot dish!Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 large chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 1 pound of raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or your oil of choice just make sure it can handle high heat (ex: avocado oil)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Bell peppers of choice diced (I did a combination of half a red, green & orange pepper)
  • 1-1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 3-4 cups of chicken broth or 2-3 chicken bouillon cubes with 3-4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced (optional)
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of orzo
  • Cajun seasoning- I used Tony’s, a New Orleans seasoning from Dollar Tree, garlic and onion powder and black pepper

Directions:

Season chicken and shrimp with spices (remember to go light, you can always add more spices later but it’s harder to take it away. In a heavy pot, add olive oil and butter on medium high heat. Add diced onions & peppers and sauté for 30-60 seconds. Add minced garlic and cubed chicken. Cook for 3-5 minutes or chicken is no longer pink. It may not be done but it will finish cooking throughout the meal. Add mushrooms if using and cook for 1 minute. Add orzo and let cook with mixture for 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth. Let come to a boil stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Turn heat to low, cover with lid for 10 minutes. Turn heat up to medium, stir in heavy whipping cream. Once incorporated stir in fresh spinach. Once spinach is mostly wilted stir in shrimp. Turn heat back to low and cover with lid for about 5 minutes or until pasta is al dente and shrimp is cooked.

I served this meal with the Artisan bread I made the day before. You can add a salad or steamed veggies (or not since we added spinach lol) and top with Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh basil.

As always I hope you try this recipe and if you do, tag me @severalpeoplesmama on Instagram because I love seeing your version of the recipe!

Love Ricki

Easy Artisan Bread

Hi y’all! This past weekend I purchased one of the items on my cook’s wish list – an cast iron enameled pot or Dutch oven. Of course I wanted the Le Creuset and one day I will have it but for now my new pot by Martha Stewart works just fine. And it’s pink! You can find the pot I purchased here. One thing I always wanted to try once I got this pot is baking Artisan Bread. And so I did and I am excited to share the recipe and how easy this was to make! Let’s bake!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups of flour plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp of salt (I used garlic salt and garlic bread seasoning, found at TJ Maxx)
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water (you want the water to be warm enough to stick your fingers in without burning, “baby bottle warm”, too hot and you will kill the yeast)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

In a bowl big enough for the bread to rise later, mix the flour and salt together. This is also the time of you want to flavor the bread by adding extra seasoning such as garlic powder or cinnamon. Then pour yeast on top and lightly mix in. Pour in water and mix until combined. This will form a sticky wet dough but this is what you want. Now cover bowl with plastic wrap and set on the counter for at least 8 hours but I would suggest 12-24 hours so it’s best to start this process the evening before.

Set pot or you can also use any oven safe (up to 500 degrees) pot or baking dish with lid in oven. Set oven to 450 degrees. After dough has risen for the allotted time you can punch it down and turn it into a clean surface covered with flour. I would suggest also covering your hands in flour because the dough is very very sticky but again this is what you want. Form dough into ball. After 30 minutes remove pot and spray with oil or place parchment paper in it and put in the dough. Cut 2 slits in the top with a sharp knife. Cover with lid and back 30 minutes. Then remove lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. The you will have a beautiful loaf of bread! Let cool completely and then slice with a serrated knife. Dough will be crusty in the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.

Serve with butter and enjoy! We made a garlic compound butter which you can get the recipe here.

This bread was so easy to make, I can ALMOST promise you won’t be able to mess it up! If you make it please tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Chicken Pesto Ring

Y’all know I love a good ring made with crescent rolls! Y’all seem to love them too and this one will be no different! I mean one of the things I’m most known for is the infamous Taco Ring lol. So I decided to take the Chicken Pesto Ranch recipe we enjoy so much and added to a ring and it was the bomb.com (do people still say that? well I just did). I came about this when I made pepperoni rolls and because my kids are greedy I decided to make a chicken version as well. Sometimes their greed pays off lol. Let’s make this ring!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins
  • Jarred pesto
  • 1/2 cup to Half and half or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Dry ranch dressing mix
  • Seasoning- I used Montreal Chicken, garlic powder, garlic salt
  • 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Bacon bits (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of butter

Directions:

Preheat oven on 375. Season chicken with seasoning, ranch dressing mix, and you can also add a tbsp of pesto. Cook chicken on stove or grill or in the oven until cooked thru. Set aside to cool. Don’t chop until cooled or you will dry it out. Now let’s make a sauce. Melt butter in saucepan on medium high heat, then add half and half or heavy whipping cream. Add garlic salt, 2 tbsp of pesto and bring to a simmer. Whisk in Parmesan cheese until melted. Turn off sauce and it will thicken when it cools. Chop chicken in bite size pieces. Lay out crescent rolls in star pattern in sheet pan. Add thin layer of sauce. Add layer of chicken then bacon bits of using and then cheese. Fold over crescent rolls points. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until crescent rolls are baked fully.

I paired this with Caprese salad and it was soo good. Easy to make too so it’s perfect for a Saturday meal or lunch. Make sure to tag me if you make this @severalpeoplesmama on IG!

Love Ricki

Shrimp Scampi

This is one of my quick go to meals because I know it is something my whole family loves. We love seafood especially shrimp and the pasta makes the dish filling. I also love this recipe because it doesn’t use a cream sauce which is sometimes to heavy for us particularly in the Spring and Summer seasons. Just a tip if you are making this mean use larger shrimp and use raw shrimp it helps tremendous with the flavor rather than the already cooked shrimp!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs of peeled and deveined large shrimp – can be frozen but make sure you thaw them out in cold water
  • 2 sticks of butter (yes there is lots of butter)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of minced garlic (can use the jarred but fresh does taste better as this is a light dish and every flavor counts)
  • Seasonings – Italian seasoning, garlic salt, garlic powder, pepper, dried basil or fresh (fresh is better)
  • 1 -2 lemons or ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package of angel hair pasta

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package. I add oil and salt to water so pasta doesn’t stick. Also reserve about a cup of the pasta water after cooking. Season shrimp with seasonings except fresh basil if using. Melt olive oil and butter on medium heat in saucepan. Add fresh garlic to the pan and then shrimp a few seconds after. Toss shrimp in butter and garlic and add juice from one lemon. Continue to sauté shrimp until cooked. Taste sauce to see if more seasoning is needed. Add pasta and toss with shrimp. If more liquid is needed add pasta water slowly until satisfied. Top with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.

Pair this with a salad and a good garlic bread to soak up the sauce and you have a really delicious meal!

I hope you try this and if so make sure to tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama. I will be back with some new recipes I’ve been trying soon!

Love Ricki