Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Caramel Icing

We talk a lot about eating healthy, but I always love a good homemade cake recipe. Plank editor Mandy recently traveled back to her hometown and returned with an favorite old recipe for a Southern style pound cake with caramel icing … yum! So I asked her to share that here!

“My aunt used to make this cake when I was a kid, and it was always a favorite. I hadn’t had it in years, but she surprised me with one while I was home. And, I finally got her to share the recipe! What out, there’s a lot of butter in this … but it’s so worth it!” – Mandy

Instant Pot Discoveries Continue with Short Ribs

From rich, delicious broths to quick, tasty desserts, the Instant Pot continues to exceed my every expectation! Last week, I decided to try something a little different. We typically have a piece of fish or chicken with vegetables for dinner, but I wanted to spice it up, so I tried these braised short ribs. And they were delicious! Give them a try — they take a little longer than other Instant Pot recipes, but they are so worth it!

Instant Pot Short Ribs

Instant Pot Short Ribs


  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed ghee
  • 1 lb. grass-fed short ribs (4 ribs)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1/2 lb. baby carrots (or 2 whole carrots cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 small celery sticks (peeled and diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 1/2 cup organic beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. On the Instant Pot, select the sauté option and click the adjust button to select normal.
  2. Pat the ribs dry and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add 1 tablespoon of ghee.
  4. Sear the ribs for 5-7 minutes on one side. Flip and sear for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and set aside.
  6. Add the other tablespoon of ghee and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and rosemary until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add the salt, paprika, chili powder and cumin.
  8. Stir and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
  9. Now, deglaze the pan with the cranberry juice (scrape up all the delicious bits and pieces from the bottom of the pot).
  10. Add beef broth and bay leaf and then stir to combine and return the short ribs to Instant Pot.
  11. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, select “Meat/Stew”, and adjust the cook time to 25 minutes.
  12. When the time is up, let the instant go into “keep warm” for 10 minutes.
  13. Open the valve, remove the rest of the steam and carefully remove the lid.
  14. Transfer the ribs to a serving dish and tent with foil.
  15. Skim off some of the fat from the top of the braising liquid.
  16. Turn the instant pot back on to “Sauté” and simmer the sauce until it reduces to about half.
  17. Serve over rice, riced cauliflower or alongside roasted potatoes/vegetables.

More Play with My Instant Pot

I’ve seen the recent news about some Instant Pot recalls, but thankfully the news doesn’t apply to mine! Whew, because I am loving my Instant Pot and have been having a great time exploring new recipes. Last week I was excited to discover a delicious Turkey Bean Chili that is super easy and extra healthy!

But my best discovery to date is vegetable broth! For years I’ve tried to make a good vegetable broth, but have never been able to make one that really tasted like anything … until now! I found a few recipes online, added a few modifications of my own, and with the help of the Instant Pot, was finally able to create a rich, dark and flavorful vegetable broth (I just wish i yielded more actually broth!).

Carrot Cake in an Instant

I understand the irony of this week’s post, given Hilary’s inspiring post about her weight loss last week. But, I think a little treat every now and then is good … and I was excited to try baking a cake in my Instant Pot. 

My husband’s favorite is carrot cake, so I decided to try my hand at a fast carrot cake. This was easy and quick, and while it was shorter than I expected, it was delicious. Now, when I’m crunched for time and need to make a cake in a pinch, this will be my go to.

Trying Something New in the Kitchen: Instant Pot Carrot Parsnip Soup

Everyone is talking about the Instant Pot. A pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker and vegetable steamer all in one, this was evidently one of Amazon’s best selling items this holiday season … and it’s the best-selling kitchen item in the U.S. and worldwide! 

As you know, I love to cook, so after hearing all the talk, I was intrigued. I gave one to PLANK editor Mandy for Christmas, and crossed my fingers that Santa would have one for me under the tree. Thankfully, he read my list!

Apple Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Pie isn’t the only way I use apples …

There aren’t many cold days here in Southern California, but when we are lucky enough to have an appropriately cold holiday or special occasion, I love to make a warm bread pudding. And this is one of my favorite recipes. It’s long and looks harder than it is … but give it a try, it’s relatively easy and it is so amazing!