February Travel + The Best Gift Ever (HINT: It’s a Pressure Cooker)

I started writing this post by talking about how February has been the first month in a long time where I haven’t traveled – but then I realized that’s definitely not true. I guess that’s what happens when having a whole month between trips seems like an eternity! Josh and I spent a week in Arizona with my family for the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Not familiar? See here, here, and here.) followed by three days in San Francisco for one of my best friend’s engagement party at The Commissary in the Presidio (AMAZING FOOD AND COCKTAILS) followed by an afterparty at the SF Athletic Club (BATHTUB OF BEER).

And while we had an amazing time on vacation, there’s one thing I received recently that, dare I say it, rivals the trip in terms of my enjoyment… and that thing… is… A PRESSURE COOKER! Yes, a pressure cooker, or more accurately a “Fagor Lux Multicooker” that my dad loves so much that he and my mom bought me one for Valentine’s Day (thanks $99 + free shipping Sur La Table sale!). I’ve used it almost every day since, and sometimes twice a day…


I mean come on, you can cook risotto in 7min without any stirring?! Plus, soon after I got it, GOOP sent out an email that said I just HAD to have this exact same model of multicooker, so now I’m basically Gwyneth Paltrow…

But risotto isn’t the only thing I’ve been making. If you have a pressure cooker, or are considering getting one (DO IT!!!) and need some inspiration, here are some of my favorite recipes so far!

1. Fagor’s Never Fail Risotto

Yes, I have to start with a rice dish because quickly cooking dry grains is one of the best uses for this gadget. While we were in San Francisco my friend Joan had us over to her parents’ house for a small dinner party where she made an incredible risotto. Since that day I had been craving it, and in a fantastic twist of fate, when I arrived back home I received this pressure cooker. Was it The Secret? Maybe. I was so excited to cook something that I immediately made the risotto recipe from the little booklet that came in the box. I did not regret my decision. #socreamy

2. Mexican Chicken Taco Filling 

Which I not only used for tacos but also put into this quick 30min posole. Our oven takes FOREVER to heat up and I don’t always have enough time (or patience) to bake chicken. Being able to go from raw chicken to perfectly moist poached chicken in about 30min is incredible.

3. Vegan Black Bean Chili

Yay! A fast and virtually mistake proof way to cook dried beans! Literally every other time I’ve tried to cook dried beans they’ve been pretty meh, but even my very carnivorous husband  loved this recipe. Topped with sour cream though… whoops 🙂

4. Butternut Squash Soup

I actually ended up making this because I bought an entire container of butternut squash that I intended to roast, but then I was starving and didn’t want to wait five hours for our oven to heat up (it’s a problem). So instead, I pulled out the pressure cooker and took about 20min to whip up this soup. Which turned out to be the best choice ever because right as it was finishing I realized my husband had turned the heat off and forgot to turn it back on. While the apartment was heating back up I also warmed myself up with this perfect soup!

Next I think I’ll tackle something from my Martha Stewart One Pot cookbook, which is by far my favorite cookbook. Another risotto, perhaps?



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