Instant Pot Applesauce

I am forever converted to Instant Pot Applesauce! IP Applesauce is thick and creamy and so much easier and quicker to make than other methods that I have tried. The best reason to try IP Applesauce is that you do not have to peel the apples. You can leave all the peels on! This saves me so much time!!

My recipe has no added sweeteners and is just simple ingredients that we all have in our pantry. Maybe you’ve been to an orchard recently and picked apples with your family or maybe, like me, you have a couple apple trees in your yard. Either way, this is the perfect way to use a lot of apples, even if they’re getting old, bruised, and a little mushy.

Instant Pot Applesauce

  • Servings: 6 to 8 cups
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This recipe is for an 8-quart Instant Pot. If you have a 6-quart Instant Pot, adjust the recipe to about 75%. If your Instant Pot will not come to pressure, add another 1/4 cup of water and try again. Homemade applesauce is a healthy snack or dessert served by itself. You can also drizzle a little heavy cream or milk on top of hot applesauce. For a sweeter treat, top it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pounds of apples, cored
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, into the Instant Pot inner pot.
  2. Place the lid on the pot and make sure the steam release handle is switched to “sealing”.
  3. Cook on manual/high pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. When the timer goes off, do NOT move the steam release handle – just allow the steam to naturally release. Once the float valve drops, take off the lid.
  5. Purée the apples – you can make the applesauce as chunky or as smooth you are prefer. Stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
  6. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Strawberry Salad

I like to make a few nice salads every week to ensure my family is getting a lot of fresh, raw veggies in their diet as well as nuts, good fats, and other things we might add to our salads. Strawberry Salad is one of our go-to salads! I always have these ingredients on hand, but you can make it your own and add the veggies your family likes or that you have on hand. I like to prepare individual bowls of salad {rather than a large bowl of salad} so that everyone gets lots of goodies with their lettuce.

Strawberry Salad

To keep this salad as healthy as possible, top it with a simple dressing that you make at home. You can also just drizzle a little Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or some balsamic vinegar on top of your salad. A fruity balsamic vinegar will also pair very nicely with this salad!

Ingredients

  • Spring Mix
  • Strawberries, chopped
  • English Cucumber, chopped
  • Red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sliced almonds, toasted
  • Dressing of your choice
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  • You will notice that I have not given quantity amounts for the ingredients. Just throw some lettuce in your bowl and add as much or as little of each ingredient as you would like. This is meant to be simple & quick.
  • Once you have built your salad, top it with a dressing, oil, or vinegar and then finish it with a little fresh, ground pepper and a good salt.

Honey Balsamic Dressing

This dressing pairs very nicely with the Strawberry Salad. For a large soup-bowl size of salad, I usually add 1-2 teaspoons of this dressing – you don’t need a lot of it!
TIP: Use local raw honey for added health benefits!

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1/8 rounded teaspoon pink salt

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar.
  2. Mix well.
  3. If you have extra dressing, it can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for a month or more. Just allow it to come to room temperature before you use it again. I often double this recipe so I do have leftovers which saves me time the next time I make a salad.

Grandma Nancy’s Brownies

Back in the day when my husband & I were dating, part of what attracted me to him was the fact that every time I showed up at his house, his mom always had a pan of freshly baked brownies in the kitchen. How could I possibly go wrong marrying this guy?!?

Shortly after we were married, my mother-in-law, Nancy, shared her brownie recipe with me and this was one of the first things I learned how to bake. I love this recipe because it’s hard to mess-up, I always have the ingredients on-hand, and everyone will sing your praises for sharing these brownies with them!

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, you can whip up a bowl of these babies in about 6 minutes and 47 seconds … or faster if you don’t have sweet little hands trying to help! I promise you will lose all desire for brownies made from a box mix after you’ve baked Nancy’s brownies. Warning! This recipe makes enough for a party, so only make this recipe when you are planning on sharing brownies with a lot of people!! Otherwise, you’ll have gooey brownies staring at you for days.

Grandma Nancy's Brownies

  • Servings: 50, depending on how big you cut your brownies
  • Difficulty: Pretty Easy
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Ingredients

     

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 7 eggs, lightly whipped to break up the yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 rounded teaspoon pink salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • Optional add-ins: nuts, Andries Mints, candy pieces, etc! Be creative!

 

 

Directions

     

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet (the common half-sheet size that is about 18×13-inches) with your favorite cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, cocoa powder, and sugar until there are no more dry pieces of cocoa powder.
  3. Add in the eggs and mix until you can no longer see any yolks and egg whites in the batter.
  4. Add in the vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt and mix together until the batter is mostly smooth and you can no longer see any dry pieces of flour, but do not over mix.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and any other mix-in that you would like to add.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes – I recommend checking the brownies at 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean, but be careful to not over bake.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature before cutting them. Brownies are best served the day they were baked, but you can store leftover brownies in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple days.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

One of my aunt’s introduced me to the idea of mixing quinoa with fruit. This is a recipe that allows versatility and creativity – you get to make it how you want! Mix and match fruit combinations and add as much or as little quinoa as you’d like. Quinoa Fruit Salad is a great way to use up a variety of fruit that is on it’s last leg & to get some quinoa into your family’s diet.

 

Quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, antioxidants, and more! Quinoa is also gluten-free, high in protein and it is one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is very easy to make – cook it the same as you cook rice. Leftover quinoa stores very well in an airtight container in the fridge and can used as a topping for salads, added to soups, combined with oatmeal, mixed into rice dishes or as a replacement for rice, and so much more! Have I convinced you to try quinoa yet?

 

When making the fruit salad, use any combination of fruits that sound good to you. I highly recommend fresh fruits that don’t have sugars & preservatives added to them. Some of our family favorites are berries, pomegranat seeds, grapes, mango, pineapple, peaches, and cherries.

 

Quinoa Fruit Salad



Make this recipe your own! Add less quinoa or more fruit to make the salad look more like a bowl of fruit.



Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 4+ cups diced fresh fruit
  • 1/4 cup honey (I recommend local & raw honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • Optional Add-In’s:

    • lime zest
    • sliced, toasted almonds
    • finely sliced mint leaves
    • finely sliced basil leaves



Directions

  1. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium size pot.  Bring the water to a boil, stir occasionally.  After the water has come to a boil, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer & cook until all the water is absorbed.  Fluff quinoa with a fork.
  2. In a large serving bowl, whisk the honey & lime juice together.
  3. Add fresh fruit and quinoa to the honey mixture and gently toss the ingredients so everything is well combined.
  4. For a little added flavor or crunch, try adding some of the optional ingredients.

 

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Did you know that you can grow large, juicy peaches in the dessert? There are a number of peaches varieties that do very well in the Phoenix area. We are blessed to have eight peach trees in our yard. Our Dwarf Bonanza peaches are ready for harvest in June and our Red Barron peaches are ready later in the summer. I look forward to ripe peaches probably more than anything else that I grow in my garden!

A few years ago I went on a hunt for the perfect peach cobbler recipe. I didn’t want the topping to be an oatmeal-y crisp and I didn’t want biscuit-looking blobs on top of my peaches. I wanted the topping to be more like a soft yellow cake with a little bit of crispy, crunchiness on top. After reading a lot of recipes and playing around with a few recipes, this has been my go-to peach cobbler recipe. I hope you & your family enjoy my yummy fresh peach cobbler as much as we do on a warm, summer night.

Fresh Peach Cobbler

I love to mix-in Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie spice with the peaches, but you can use any pumpkin pie spice or even cinnamon. Kamut flour gives the cake part of the topping a softer, more delicate texture which is a nice contrast to the very top of the cobbler which gets a little crispy, but I know most people don’t have kamut so just use regular all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on-hand.

To bake my cobbler, I use a small casserole dish that is about 7.5×12-inch or you can make 1-1/2 times the recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch casserole dish, but the 9×13-inch size is enough for a family gathering!

Ingredients

  • 6 large peaches: peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie spice or cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup organic kamut or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cornstarch. Gently stir to evenly coat the peaches. Pour the peach mixture into an oven-safe baking dish. (I use a small casseroles dish that is about 7.5″ x 12″.) Bake the peach mixture in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a clean, large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the cold butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the boiling water until just combined.
  4. Remove the peaches from oven and place small spoonfuls of topping over them. (I like to use my fingers to place and evenly distribute the topping.) Sprinkle cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  5. Bake until topping is a golden brown & the peach filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  6. Allow the cobbler to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream. Cobbler is best the same day it is baked, but leftovers the next day are great!

Corn Salad

Summers are very hot in good ol’ Gilbert, Arizona. Turning on the oven or stove to make a meal is not very desirable. My corn salad is perfect for a hot summer day or anytime you want a delicious, healthy meal.

My corn salad is so yummy! Although there are no added sweeteners, it has a sweetness to it that will continue to draw you in for more. If there happens to be any leftovers, you will find yourself looking forward to leftovers the next day for lunch.

Corn Salad

  • Servings: 6-8 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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This corn salad is delicious as a dipper for tortilla chips or on top of a bed of your favorite lettuce mix. Leftovers will store nicely in the fridge for several days. Costco carries my favorite organic frozen corn, but it is seasonal, so stock up and fill your freezer when it’s available!



Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 4 cups corn (I recommend fresh-off-the-cob or frozen)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped in 1/2 or 1/3’s
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of a lime, or approximately 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste




Directions


  1. In a serving bowl, combine the red onion, avocado, corn, and tomatoes.
  2. In a separate small bowl, make the dressing by combining the oil, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Mix well & then drizzle the oil over the corn mixture. Give the corn salad a few gentle tosses to make sure the dressing is well disturbed.
  3. Enjoy with tortilla chips, as a salad over a bed of lettuce, or eat it all by itself! Store leftovers in the fridge.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

We’ve all enjoyed cream cheese frosting on our favorite carrot cake & pumpkin bars, but have you ever tried chocolate cream cheese frosting? The tangy-ness of the cream cheese, mixed with chocolate, offers a fun and different chocolate frosting than the norm. The recipe is the perfect pair for any chocolate cake but I especially enjoyed it with this Sourdough Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened



Directions


  1. Put all frosting ingredients into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Using a hand mixer, whip ingredients until the frosting is smooth, creamy, and there are no white streaks.
  3. Frost your cake after the cake has completely cooled. If you’d like, add toasted nuts, coconut, chopped candy, berries, sprinkles, or whatever you love to top of your cake!

Dreamy Sourdough Chocolate Cake

If I add sourdough starter to my chocolate cake, does it make my chocolate cake more healthy? I’d like to think so! … or at least pretend so!!

This chocolate cake recipe is variation from fellow blogger @pinchmysalt . She posted this recipe back in 2015 before there was a pandemic and a lack of yeast in our grocery stores. The chocolate cake is moist and more on the dense side, which I’m a fan of! {It’s also very yummy right out of the fridge!} All ingredients are items I keep on hand as long as I have a sourdough starter going on the counter or stored in my fridge.

Dreamy Sourdough Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 12+
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose or kamut flour (if using kamut, use just under 1 C of flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour dough starter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions


1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan.
2. In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir & combine well.
3. In the standmixer bowl, combine the starter, eggs, sour cream, oil, milk, and vanilla using the paddle attachment on a medium speed for about 3 minutes. Once the wet ingredients are well-combined, mix in the dry ingredients.
4. Pour cake batter into the 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes. An insertedtoothpick should come out clean or with just a little bit of dry ruble. When your cake is done baking, allow it to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack & then frost or decorate however you fancy!


I highly recommend the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting as the perfect addition to this sourdough cake!

Fresh Garden Salsa

Oh boy, do we love salsa! I bet we go through over a gallon (maybe two gallons!) of homemade salsa every month. A good salsa needs nothing more than fresh produce which means salsa can be a very healthy snack or addition to any meal.

Chips & salsa is a given! My kids love salsa on their eggs, in all forms, but especially egg burritos. Mix a little salsa into your smashed avocado for a quick & easy guacamole. I meal plan for Mexican food once a week and salsa is usually part of that meal. Or throw a couple spoonfuls on top of a salad instead salad dressing.

My salsa is very simple, which translates to a recipe that is quick & easy to throw together. If you’re like me & love to garden, maybe you have all the necessary ingredients in your backyard! A few tips: with such fresh ingredients, enjoy your salsa within several days of making it & make sure you keep it in the fridge. Also, use any kind of tomatoes you have on hand, but your salsa will be more juicy or watery with most varieties of tomatoes except Roma. Romas are my favorite to use!

Fresh Garden Salsa

Ingredients

  • 12-15 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/2 or 1/4’s
  • leaves of 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, remove seeds & membranes for a mild salsa
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of pink salt, plus more to taste

Directions

    To make this much salsa in a food processor, you will need to work in batches to ensure your bowl doesn’t get too full, and I feel smaller batches help achieve a better consistency and texture of salsa.

  1. In a food processor, add the cilantro, jalapeños, and a few tomatoes. Pulse until the texture and consistency that you desire is achieved. Pour the salsa into a large serving bowl.
  2. Put the rest of the tomatoes into the food processor in 1-2 more batches and pulse until you the tomatoes are the desired size and texture that you would like for the salsa.
  3. Add in 1 heaping teaspoon of salt, but don’t worry about tasting the salsa just yet! Cover the bowl of salsa & put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Once the salsa has had time to chill in the fridge, taste a little with a tortilla chip. Add more salt, if needed.

Welcome to Sunny Farmhouse

I’m so glad that you found me! I have been married to my wonderful husband, Joel, for over 20 years. We have 5 wonderful children who are my number one priority. I’m a foodie! It is important to me to cook healthy & delicious meals for my family, but I also love to bake desserts. Dinner time is especially important to me & I love a good challenge in the kitchen. I grow a lot of our own food in our desert HOA yard. You might catch us around town performing or competing in various music events. The Beatles, pink, & bitter chocolate are some of my favorites!

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