Friday, August 18, 2017

Grandma's Rice Krispie Treats {recipe, dessert, gluten free}

The Best Rice Krispie Treats come from Grandma's recipe.  This class, simple, and easy gluten free recipe is a must after school snack, or dessert.  This recipe is the best for the perfect marshmallow to rice krispies ratio.  Grandma cooks it in the microwave, but stovetop directions are included. gluten free, dessert, classic treat, kid friendly, delicious, yummy. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

In this home Grandma's Rice Krispie Treats are known to be the very best rice krispie treats.  At several different bakeries I have purchased a rice krispie treat b/c they are an easy gluten free dessert that most bakeries have on hand. At these bakeries my kids would get cupcakes or cookies, but just like any mom I end up sharing my food.  

On more than one occasion I would hear, "Grandma's are better." after they took a bite from my purchased treat.  It's no lie.  I couldn't disagree.  Grandma's are better.  The ratio of marshmallow to rice krispies is perfect, and the touch of vanilla makes it so yum.  I honestly have never had a better rice krispie treat bar.   

Every Tuesday is Grandma Day at my house, and I am pretty sure it's my kids favorite day of the week.  Grandma comes over that day so I can go to work.  She usually makes pancakes for breakfast, and sometime during the day she makes rice krispie treats with them.  I have the best Mother in Law, and my kids have such an amazing relationship with her.  They are incredibly lucky.  I am incredibly lucky.   

I also can't complain about coming home from work and having the best rice krispie treats to enjoy while I try and figure out what to make for dinner.  

Grandma's Rice Krispie Treats
Recipe: Elaine
Active Time:  10 minutes
Inactive Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8x8 inch pan

Ingredients: 
1/4 c. butter
4 c. mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
5 c. Rice Krispies

Directions:

  1. Place the butter in a medium microwaveable dish. Cook it in the microwave for 1 minute. Grandma makes these treats in the microwave, but you can do this one the stove top as well.  If you are doing it on the stove add the items one at a time like the directions below, and cook over medium to low heat.  
  2. When the butter is melted add the marshmallows to the dish and microwave it at 50% power for about 3 minutes or until the marshmallows are melted.  If you are doing this on the stove remove the pan from the heat when the marshmallows are melted.  
  3. Stir the marshmallows and add the vanilla. Stir until mostly combined. 
  4. Finally, add the rice krispies and stir until everything is combined.  
  5. Pour or spoon the rice krispies mixture into an 8x8 inch pan. 
  6. Using wax paper or saran wrap sprayed with butter spray, gently press to evenly distribute the rice krispies. 
  7. Enjoy! 
  8. We store our 8x8 inch pan of rice krispies in a gallon ziploc bag to keep the treats fresh. 

Happy Classic and Simple Gluten Free Treats eating!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Sandcastle Empire gets 4 stars {ya lit, dystopia/sci-fi, 9th grade +}

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson is a sci-fi/dystopia young adult (ya) novel.  This book is fast paced and has some cool science aspects, but the story line is a bit predictable in a cheesy way.  This book came in myJune Owl Crate YA Lit subscription box. Book review. 4 out of 5 stars. Dystopia. Fun Girl power, main girl character saves the day, single day, orphan, water shortage. TV show Lost meets Hunger Games. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Owl Crate's June box came with two books. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! 

The main book, The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson, is a sci-fi dystopia young adult novel and I was anxious to move it up on my To Be Read pile.

I enjoy dystopian books, and I did enjoy The Sandcastle Empire. It was a fun read even though it was quite predictable.

The Sandcastle Empire gets 4 out of 5 stars in my book review.  I liked the science and geeky things the scientist came up with.  I thought the concept behind the book, or the reason for this dystopia world, was unique; the idea of there being a water shortage b/c there is too much salt water.  The idea of HoloWolves being controlled was freaky, but to be honest it was too far fetched for me to believe.  I liked Eden as a character for the most part, and I could see where she was coming from.  I'm glad Eden had a little love story even if it was incredibly cheesy at times. 

My major issue with the book was how predictable it was, however the choppiness of the writing at some of the major action points was frustrating and sometimes left me confused.  I also felt the beginning was a little slow.  

Though, back to this predictability.  If you are okay with the spoilers or if you have read the book then go ahead and read the next paragraph where I highlight the areas that were most predictable b/c this aspect of the story has been written in other books many times.  



*** SPOILER ALERT***
Of course Eden was the only one capable of saving the day and obviously the entire world.  Of course she gets the boy even when they go to a deserted island. Of course her dad is still alive and part of it all.  Of course, her boy turns HoloWolf on her and subconsciously tries to kill her.  Of course, the kingpin doesn't hurt her and she is successfully able to pass off the vial.  I'm not saying the entire book was predictable, but a lot of it was predictable in a cheesy yet enjoyable way.  
*** SPOILER OVER***



All in all it is a fun read, but don't be surprised if there is little that surprises you in it.   

For those of you who have already read it, what did you think?  As I looked at Goodreads, I noticed the reviews were quite polar so you may be feeling exactly opposite of me.    

Happy Fun Dystopia reading! 

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
Rating: 4/5 stars
Best For: 14 and up, 9th grade and up. 
Worth a Check Out: Yes.
Buy It or Not: You should buy it if you love dystopia books, but not a must purchase book.  
Read Aloud: I think it's too long to be a classroom read aloud, but it could be a fun book to read with your son or daughter.    
Lesson Ideas: Inventions. Science. Water shortage. Survival. 


  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Make It Out Alive- Owlcrate June 2017 {dystopian, ya, subscription box}

Owlcrate's June 2017 Make It Out Alive YA Literature subscription box had a dystopian theme, 2 books, author's signature, bath bom, magnets, patches, a zombie sleep mask, and more fun. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

I've been getting an Owl Crate, a young adult literature subscription box, almost every month for over a year now.  I always get a good book, and fun fandom items in every box.

I'm the only one to read the books, but the whole family enjoys many of the fandom items.   We've increased our Pop Funko collection since getting Owl Crates, and my oldest has a piano bag, my son has a wallet, and my youngest has a dance bag all thanks to the Owl Crate boxes.  

I usually wait to share the boxes contents with you until after I read the book.  Hence, this box is from June.  However, I have such a long TBR pile that I sometimes don't get to the books as quickly as I'd like.  I may change that decision, and share them with you right after getting them.  Any opinions?  

"Make It Out Alive" was the theme for June's Owl Crate.  Basically, it is a dystopia theme.  In my past I have enjoyed many dystopian books like Hunger Games, Divergent, Flawed (from a previous Owl Crate box), Legend, and more.  Hence, why I was quicker to pick this box's book up. 

Owlcrate's June 2017 Make It Out Alive YA Literature subscription box had a dystopian theme, 2 books, author's signature, bath bom, magnets, patches, a zombie sleep mask, and more fun. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Factions... Can you name that dystopian book?  If you said Divergent, well done! This box came with a Determine Your Faction Bath Bomb by Fizzy Fairy Apothecary.  Personally, I think it is super fun, but I am a nerd, to determine your faction.  This bath bomb is the sorting hat for Divergent. So fun!  

Fizzy Fairy Apothecary has some other amazing bath bombs; definitely go check them out.  They would make a great gift for a bath lover.   The Chocolate Frog bath bomb and the Patronus bath bombs are probably some of my favorites. HP Love!   


Owlcrate's June 2017 Make It Out Alive YA Literature subscription box had a dystopian theme, 2 books, author's signature, bath bom, magnets, patches, a zombie sleep mask, and more fun. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

The strong An Ember in the Ashes magnet, The Giver patch, and the fun pin all shown above were great additions to the box.  I love the magnet by Little Inklings Design; the quote speaks to my soul.  I also love the patch b/c The Giver was the original Dystopian book.   

Every Owl Crate box comes with a pin related to that month's theme.  I always add the pins to my work lanyard, and my co-worker refers to such pins as my bling. Book related pins are totally acceptable bling for librarians.  

Owlcrate's June 2017 Make It Out Alive YA Literature subscription box had a dystopian theme, 2 books, author's signature, bath bom, magnets, patches, a zombie sleep mask, and more fun. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

This Zombie sleep mask from Archie McPhee is totally random and not something I would ever buy for myself.  I'm not really a sleep mask kind of girl, but I am a girl that loves pranks.  When my daughter saw this mask she knew exactly what she wanted to do.  She hid the mask under her pillow, and then put it on when she laid down that night. She wanted to scare Daddy with it, and I thought that was awesome. 

She obviously didn't scare him, but it was definitely fun.  The 5 and 2 year old had plenty of fun with the mask too. Who wouldn't want a little zombie fun in their life?! ;) 

Owlcrate's June 2017 Make It Out Alive YA Literature subscription box had a dystopian theme, 2 books, author's signature, bath bom, magnets, patches, a zombie sleep mask, and more fun. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Overall, the Make It Out Alive Owl Crate box is a fun one.  Not only did I get some fun fandom items, but this box came with not just one but two books.  Plus, the hardcover book always come with a letter from the author and the author's signature on a nameplate which is fun too!

Check the blog tomorrow fro my book review of The Sandcastle Empire.  

Owlcrate's June 2017 Make It Out Alive YA Literature subscription box had a dystopian theme, 2 books, author's signature, bath bom, magnets, patches, a zombie sleep mask, and more fun. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Overall, I wouldn't say an Owl Crate subscription box, or any subscription box, is something I or anyone NEEDS.  However, it is a lot of fun, and sometimes I need some fun.  

I personally have looked at a few different literature subscription boxes.  So far, I've always been most impressed with Owl Crate b/c of the books they select and the variety of the fandom items.  If you decide to go with Owl Crate I wouldn't mind if you used the link above.  Apparently, I could maybe get a free box, but I'm not holding my breath for that to ever happen for me.  ;)

I have looked at Lit Joy Crate for the picture book box, but I haven't been sold on them yet.  Though, if you know of any awesome literature subscription boxes send them my way.


   

Monday, August 7, 2017

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute gets 4 Stars {graphic novel, 2nd-5th grade}

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka is fun graphic novel series for fans of Babymouse or reluctant readers, aka kids who don't like to read, in 2nd through 5th grade. 4 out of 5 stars in my book review from a librarian.  Fast read. Easy. Fun. Relatable. Lunch. Cafeteria. Spy. Funny. What to read. Alohamoraopenabook Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Lunch Tray Laptop. Spatu-Copter. Cyborg Teachers. A cafeteria worker that fights crime. 

That is just a small glimpse into the fun and creativity that can be found in Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

This Lunch Lady is the first book in a fun graphic novel series perfect for 2nd through 5th grade.  Fans of Babymouse will enjoy this series, and reluctant readers, aka kids who don't like to read, will love how easy and quick this book is to read.  To be honest, everyone will find enjoyment reading this book.    

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka is fun graphic novel series for fans of Babymouse or reluctant readers, aka kids who don't like to read, in 2nd through 5th grade.  Fast read. Easy. Fun. Relatable. Lunch. Cafeteria. Spy. Funny. What to read. Alohamoraopenabook Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Lunch Lady gets 4 out of 5 stars in my book review.  I love graphic novels.  I love that the pictures and the words tell the story.  I love that graphic novels, like this one, are books even the kids who hate reading will pick up.  I was one of those kids, and I wish there were more books like this when I was a kid. 

This book did a great job artistically and creatively.  I love the black, white, gray, and yellow color scheme found in this book.  The pictures/illustrations in Lunch Lady are simple enough, but yet they have plenty of detail.  I felt the ingenuity with the spy gadgets that can be found in the a school cafeteria to be really fun.  Things like a Spatula and a droid helicopter becoming a Spatu-Copter or a lunch tray that is a laptop made me smile, laugh, and thoroughly enjoy reading this book even as an an adult.  If I found it to be a fun read, I am pretty sure kids in early to middle elementary will enjoy this book as well. 

Do you know any kid who doesn't think about what their teachers and school personnel do outside of school? When I was in elementary school, I was sure the Music Teacher and the PE Teacher were married.  They weren't, but we were all 100% sure they were.  Lunch Lady brings to life, and then adds a lot of creativity and fun, to what kids already think.  I really love that this spy Lunch Lady is fighting crime.  It's fun and out there, and yet it is completely relatable to kids as well.  

The writing in Lunch Lady is good.  The story is funny.   This great book doesn't get the full 5 stars just b/c it wasn't amazing, but I think it is definitely needed in any library collection, and a good book to check-out if you have a kid (especially a girl) in 2nd through 5th grade. 

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka is fun graphic novel series for fans of Babymouse or reluctant readers, aka kids who don't like to read, in 2nd through 5th grade.  Fast read. Easy. Fun. Relatable. Lunch. Cafeteria. Spy. Funny. What to read. Alohamoraopenabook Alohamora Open a Book http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Happy Fun and Adventurous Spy Graphic Novel reading! 

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett Krosoczka
Rating: 4/5 stars
Best For: 7 - 10 year olds, 2nd - 5th grade. 
Worth a Check Out: Yes.
Buy It or Not: No, unless it's what your reluctant reader will read over and over again. 
Read Aloud: Graphic novels rarely make good read alouds, but for a literature group or small reading group/circle this could work perfectly. 
Lesson Ideas: Spies. School Life. Color Scheme. Creativity. Inventions. 



Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lemon Custard {instant pot, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, dessert}

Instant Pot Lemon Custard.  Quick and easy to make, healthy, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, simple, delicious. Pressure Cooker Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

Happy Harry Potter Week!  

So far you've received recipes for:  


After a brief HP birthday cake recipe yesterday, I'm back to my muggle version of magic.  Magic with an Instant Pot.  Today, you get an Instant Pot recipe, and a paleo version at that.  Though, I'm giving you a break with the lemon and hooking you up with a cold, tart, and so very yummy dessert recipe.   

This Lemon Custard may be paleo aka dairy free and gluten free, yet it is delicious.  I love that this custard takes me 5 minutes to mix and only 10 minutes in the pressure cooker.  I love that the best compliment to custard is fresh fruit; I love that I don't feel heavy and gross after eating this healthier dessert.


Basically, I'm a big fan of this Instant Pot Paleo Lemon Custard, and you should most definitely make this deliciousness to taste it for yourself.   

If you don't have an Instant Pot, what are you waiting for? 

Instant Pot Lemon Custard.  Quick and easy to make. A healthier dessert using honey and coconut cream. healthy, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, simple, delicious. Pressure Cooker Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

About a month ago, my good friend Emma took me to an international market here in Arizona.  She is Chinese, and wanted to show me some of the fun Chinese items that could be found in that store.  We got Mochi balls, a plethora of snacks for our family road trip, purple yams, coconut milk, and this canned coconut cream.  I had never seen coconut cream before, but I also have never looked for it.  I picked it up b/c I figured there'd be more than a few things I could make with it.  

I'm so glad I picked it up, b/c I came across this recipe soon after and immediately knew what I would make Lemon Custard with it.  The whole family loved the custard and agreed it was the perfect dessert to make with it.


What's your favorite thing to make with coconut milk or coconut cream? 

Instant Pot Paleo Lemon Custard
Recipe: Alohamora slightly adapted from Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot
Active Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: 10 minutes + chill time
Servings: 3 to 4 servings

Ingredients: 
1 c. coconut cream
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 c. honey or 100% maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. water
fruit of your choice for topping. 

Directions: 

  1. Add the coconut cream, egg yolks, lemon juice, honey/maple syrup, and vanilla to a small/medium bowl or a blender.  I use an immersion blender briefly to get the mixture free of lumps, but a quick moving whisk will do the same. 
  2. Divide the mixture between 3 small ramekins or glass/ceramic bowls that can all fit in your instant pot. 
  3. Pour the cup of water into the bottom of your Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker and place the 3 bowls of custard mixture into the pot. 
  4. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and set the pot to manual, high pressure and 10 minutes. 
  5. Once the cooking is complete quick release the valve, aka move the pressure valve towards you and it will let all of the pressure out.  
  6. When safe, remove the custards from the pot and place the ramekins/bowls to the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill.  
  7. Serve the custard cold and garnish them with a fruit of your choice and some lemon zest if you are feeling especially fancy. 
  8. Enjoy!  
  9. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  

Happy Harry Potter Lemon Custard Eating! 

If you are wondering the Harry Potter connection to custard, it is most accurately connected to the Chamber of Secrets.  Though, you do read about custard creams in the Goblet of Fire.  However, those custard creams is in reference to an Oreo like cookie sandwich with cream in the middle. 

In the 2nd book, after Harry and Ron had rescued Ginny, they were enjoying trifle when Hagrid came in after being in Azkaban.  Trifle is usually layers of custard and fruit with cake and biscuit.  However, I wanted a more simple and gluten free recipe.  Hence the paleo custard version without cake and biscuit.  Cookies are where it's at for me.  
  

Enjoy!  So yummy! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Naked Harry Potter Birthday Cake {chocolate, gluten free}

Naked Harry Potter Chocolate Birthday Cake. Gluten Free. 6 inch or 9 inch cake. Recipe. Delicious. From Scratch. Easy. Harry Potter Fan. Baking with kids! Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

We're big Harry Potter fans over here.  If you've been following me on Instagram, you may have seen that I've read the first 2 Harry Potter books, illustrated edition (they are amazing!) with my kiddos.

They ask me if I knew Harry Potter when I was a kid, and then they run around spouting HP spells.  They are becoming quite the Potter fans, and I couldn't be happier. I feel like I'm doing at least one thing right with this whole parenting thing.  

Every year I make a birthday cake for Harry Potter.  It's always fun to have a reason to bake and eat cake.  This year the kids helped me, so, of course, they had to get in on the picture.  They are excellent quality control taste testers.  


Naked Harry Potter Chocolate Birthday Cake. Gluten Free. 6 inch or 9 inch cake. Recipe. Delicious. From Scratch. Easy. Harry Potter Fan. Baking with kids! Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook http://alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com/

Naked cakes are all the rage right now, and I'm not the biggest frosting fan.  Therefore, I attempted a naked chocolate cake.  Let me just say, I am a BIG naked cake fan!  

Since, I've been strictly gluten free for almost 8 months now, I can say this is the Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.  Seriously, so yum!  

If you are one of the lucky ones that don't need to worry about gluten, try one of these chocolate cake recipes.  

Happy Harry Potter Week!  Happy Baking! 

Gluten Free Naked Chocolate Cake
Active Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 50 minutes + cooling time
Servings: 1- 6 inch double layer cake, or 1- 9 inch double layer cake

Ingredients: 
Cake
1 c. sunflower oil or vegetable oil
2/3 c. cocoa powder
4 eggs, large
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1 1/3 c. and 1/4 c. gluten free flour with xanthan gum (or add 1 tsp of xanthan gum)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Frosting
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. cocoa powder
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1-3 Tbsp milk

Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray two 6 inch round cake pans (you can do 9 inch pans it just won't be as tall of a cake) with coconut oil or another gluten free oil.  Then line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and spray the paper with coconut oil. 
  2. In a small to medium microwaveable dish combine the oil, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder.  Microwave the dish at 50% power for about 2 minutes, but be sure to stir it every 30 seconds or so.  When finished stir the chocolate until smooth and well combined.  
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer mix the eggs and vanilla together. 
  4. Add the sugar and mix until well combined. 
  5. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and the milk to the large bowl and stir to combine everything with a spoon.  You need to mix it all with a spoon before using a mixer here to prevent a mess in your kitchen. 
  6. Add the remaining cake ingredients in the order listed and mix until combined and smooth.  
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  The 6-inch pans will be 3/4 or 7/8 full, but that is how you get a thick cake layer.  
  8. Bake the cake at 325 for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I started at 35 minutes and added time as needed.  If you are cooking a 9-inch layered cake cook it between 25 and 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.   
  9. Let the cakes cool on a trivet or a cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans.  You may need to run a knife around the edges depending on how well you sprayed the pans.  Remove the pans and let the cakes cool completely on a cooling rack.
  10. For your frosting, in a medium to large bowl or a stand mixer mix the butter and the cocoa powder together until smooth.  
  11. Add the powdered sugar and mix until just combined. 
  12. Add the vanilla and mix until it's just mixed in.
  13. While the mixer is on low slowly pour in the milk until the frosting reaches your desired consistency.  I usually start with 1 tablespoon, scrape the sides of the bowl, and mix again before deciding to add a little more milk.  
  14. After you reach the consistency you want mix the frosting for 1-2 minutes more until it it is smooth, light, and fluffy. 
  15. When assembling the cake be sure to level the cakes (aka cut off the round tops and enjoy snacking on those scraps).  Place one layer on your cake plate, and using a pastry bag and a large 1A tip spiral the frosting on top of the bottom layer.  
  16. Place your second cake layer on top of the first.  I've found having my two cut cake layer ends of your cake on the inside of the cake makes for a neater/cleaner look.  
  17. I then use a minimum amount of frosting on the top and sides of the cake and give your cake a scraped look using an icing spatula or a scraper
  18. For the Harry Potter look (aka when enjoying this for his birthday on 7/31), use green icing to write on the top.
  19. Enjoy!
  20. Store leftovers on your counter for a day or two, or store in an airtight container in the fridge. 


Happy Gluten Free HP Cake Baking and Eating! 

  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Instant Pot Fudge Cake {dessert, lite, pressure cooker, gluten free}

Fudge Cake- individual servings easily and quickly done in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker.  This dessert is lite and healthier and an easy gluten free option.  Two of these in the picture are gluten free. Delicious. Dessert. Treat. Yummy. Healthier. Chocolate Decadence Fudge Cake. Recipe. Alohamora Open a Book alohamoraopenabook www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com
Happy Birthday Harry Potter!  Every year I celebrate HP's birthday.  I know I am a nerd, but let's be honest, were any of you doubting my nerdiness?! 

I personally like to celebrate my birthday for longer than 24 hours.  So, I obviously must celebrate HP's birthday with you longer as well.   To celebrate his birthday I always make a cake.  To check out my HP cake baking helpers and the cake we made, head to my Instagram account

I have been celebrating Harry Potter's Birthday for a few years now, and I've made a few recipes.  ;)

This year I've decided to make some magical recipes for you.  We'll, they are magical for a muggle.  All week, I'll be sharing Instant Pot recipes b/c Instant Pots or other pressure cookers work some serious magic.  Instant Pot's get meals on the table almost as quickly as the Hogwart elves. 

I've had my Instant Pot for about a year.  I am loving it, and my family does too.  The instant pot has made busy evenings (whether I'm working or kids have activities) a lot easier.  If you've been on the fence for an IP, give it a try. 

Todays, Fudge Cake made in the Instant Pot is exactly what the name says, it is a perfect balance of fudge and cake. It's delicious! My husband is not a chocolate fan, but he had to taste the regular flour cakes for me while I enjoyed the gluten free ones.  It is easy and simple, and oh so yummy!

My husband, who doesn't love chocolate, responded that this chocolate cake was so good he wanted to eat the entire serving rather than tasting it out of obligation (b/c I can't eat gluten) for me.  That is a definite compliment to the greatness of this simple, easy, and lite recipe. 

Instant Pot Fudge Cake
Recipe: Alohamora inspired by this recipe
Active Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients: 
1/2 c. and 2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 c. milk
2 Tbsp and 2 tsp cocoa
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 c. flour (gluten free or all purpose)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg white
Toppings: chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, caramel nibs, mint chips, etc.
1 c. water

Directions: 
  1. Grease, butter, or spray with a baking spray four 4 oz ramekins.  I actually used a coconut oil spray to grease the gluten free cakes. 
  2. In a small pot/saucepan over medium heat combine the sugar, milk, and cocoa with a whisk or fork, and bring the pan to a boil. Constantly stirring the mixture cook it for 30 seconds or until the sugar dissolves. 
  3. Turn off the heat to the stove and add the butter and chocolate to the pan.  Constantly stir the mixture until both the butter and chocolate melt.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for a couple minutes while you get everything else ready.
  4. Add the flour and salt to the mixture and stir it with a whisk or fork until it is combined. 
  5. Add the vanilla and egg white to the mixture and combine it with a fork or a whisk.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 4 prepared ramekins. 
  7. Top the batter with chocolate chips, caramel nibs, or whatever chips you prefer.  I like to do a straight up milk chocolate chip addition as well as caramel nibs with course sea salt.  
  8. Add the cup of water to the bottom of your Instant Pot and place the trivet that came with the pressure cooker in the bottom.  
  9. Place the ramekins in the Instant Pot, sealed the lid, and cook the cakes on Manual for 9 minutes with a quick release.  
  10. When the cakes are done remove them from the Instant Pot and let them cool for 5-10 minutes. 
  11. Invert the cakes on a dessert plate, or you can eat straight out of the ramekins.  
  12. Top the cakes with ice cream, powder sugar, whipping cream, or more. 
  13. Enjoy! 
  14. Store leftovers, if there are any, covered in the fridge.