Planet Sonia

Where Everything Makes Sense — Thoughts, Musings and Tidbits

Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas in Red Sauce


I saw several recipes people raved about for enchiladas on the Instant Pot Facebook group.

The first, a creamy recipe, looked great but would be better suited to a party where each person would consume a small amount since it looked pretty high calorie.

Since I was feeding it to my family, and we’d probably eat it again as leftovers, I decided to go with a red sauce enchilada.

I liked elements of the following two recipes, so I took parts from both.

I didn’t have any canned enchilada sauce on hand so I used the number two pencil recipe for the sauce. It uses tomato sauce and spices for the sauce.

However I didn’t want to take the time to roll up an entire casserole dish of enchiladas, so I used the wonder mom wanna be recipe concept. I also added black olives as described in this recipe. If I do it again, I think I would add black beans even though I know that is not true to enchiladas.

I lined a casserole dish with tortillas, added the meat and sauce mixture, layered in some cheese, and topped it with tortilla slices and cheese. Then I broiled it in the oven for about 10 minutes. It was yummy. However we discovered that the tortillas got slimy, so I think I would leave them out next time. I will probably serve this like tacos if I do it again.

I say if I do it again, because my husband still likes tacos better. And tacos are less work.

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Instant pot Veggie Soup


I was running out of time for dinner tonight. My munchkin had a runny nose so I wanted to cook something healthy with vegetables. And I wanted this toddler to also eat those vegetables, which can be a challenge.

So I looked through some of the recipes I’d saved from the Instant Pot Facebook group. I found one for a vegetable soup that looked pretty easy.

The remaining vegetable soup after dinner

I gave it a whirl. I had a few challenges with the Instant Pot where it wasn’t coming to pressure properly. I think it was just too full of soup. However, it eventually came to pressure. Yet the timer didn’t start counting. After waiting for 30 minutes (it usually takes 15 minutes to come to pressure), I did a quick release. Thankfully, the soup was done so no big deal. Next time I think I’ll probably make slightly less of this so that it all fits in the Instant Pot.

The biggest win was that my toddler and my husband both ate and liked the soup… a soup full of veggies!

Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

  • 1 (46 oz) can tomato juice
  • 2 quarts water
  • 6 tsp “Better Thank Boullion” beef base
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Dash black pepper
  • 2 (1 lb) bags frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1.5 cups small shell pasta

Combine all ingredients in Instant Pot, cook on manual for 6 minutes, quick release. So yummy!

My modifications to the IP veggie soup

  • Substituted tomato sauce in the can for the tomato juice. Used one part sauce + one part water to equal the juice. (Didn’t have tomato juice on hand). I used 2 15 oz cans + 30 oz water. This made 15 oz too much, so I saved that for a different recipe. Next time I will try just one 15 oz can + 15 oz water and reduce the other water to 43 oz if I did my math right. This would help with the Instant Pot being too full.
  • Substituted powdered beef bouillon for the better than beef bouillon. I only used 4 teaspoons instead of six.
  • Poured in about a cup or 2 of frozen corn, frozen peas and baby carrots
  • Used one can of green beans
  • Diced one large Idaho potato
  • Threw in 5-6 frozen meatballs from Costco
  • Used half a box of spiral noodles from Aldi (probably 1-2 cups)
  • Two handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of diced garlic from the jar
  • Served it with hot pepper flakes for myself and hubby, because we like it spicy.

I made buttered multigrain toast broiled in the toaster oven to go with the soup. I tried out my new garlic seasoning from Johnny’s that I recently got from Costco. It was good.

My toddler liked it better if I removed the noodles and meatballs “separate.” I helped her eat the soup part because she spilled once and was very bothered by the stain on her heart sequined sweater.

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Breakfast burritos the Instant Pot way


I belong to the Instant Pot community’s Facebook group. I found it to be extremely helpful in finding real world, easy recipes that I can cook and feed my family without ripping my hair out.

The best part about it is that people share details on how they adapt their recipes and create some yummy stuff. Many recipes are just a paragraph long, which is awesome.

The worst part about Facebook is trying to find the post again. It now has a save post feature, but it’s still a hassle.

Breakfast burritos… in bulk

I recently came across a post where a woman named Tracey was sharing how she had created over 30 breakfast burritos. I’m married to a man who loves Mexican, and I’m not a morning person. This seemed like a godsend.

So I found followed her directions and assembled my own 20+ breakfast burritos. In the morning, I was looking at an extremely happy man. And I was happy because I wasn’t rushing around trying to create some food to feed these people.

It didn’t take long before my initial batch of breakfast burritos were gone. So I made another batch.

I decided to copy and paste all the instructions so the next time will be easier. Here’s the recipe for homemade IP breakfast burritos in bulk from Tracey (in her words with my 2 cents).

IP Breakfast Burritos Recipe

Note about spicy breakfast burritos

The original recipe is not spicy. However, my man loves hot and spicy. So I added some awesome habanero cheese that I got at Costco and hot spicy breakfast sausage. I wish I could remember what brand of sausage I had the first time I made them, because it was really spicy, but I’ll just have to keep trying until I figure out which sausage is the spiciest.

Bulk Scrambled Eggs in Instant Pot

(recipe adapted from another Instant Pot group person named Heather)

  • 30 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 stick melted butter (I put in about 1/4 stick)
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

(spice choices & amounts all to taste)

I used 6qt IP.

Spray the liner with cooking spray. Pour in egg mixture. Manual, low pressure for 12 minutes. QR then stir making sure to get across the bottom.

Then put on for a second 10 minutes manual, low pressure, QR.

Then cook out any leftover liquid on sauté if needed.

Cooking Frozen Sausage in IP

Place 2 lbs breakfast sausage (frozen) side by side on trivet with 1 cup of water below.

Set for 30 minutes, manual, NPR.

The sausage stays whole & funky looking but after removal; just break apart with a fork, and it crumbles up fine.

We like sausage so I made all my burritos with the sausage & egg base. Therefore, I mixed in the crumbled sausage with the egg. I placed this mixture in fridge overnight.

I should add that if you slice in & there’s still pink, score both 4 times to allow more access of the steam. Set 5 minutes then QR. Repeat as necessary then write down how long it took. Mine were cooked in 30 but I’ve seen others for sausage containing recipes take 40-45. I used 6 qt. IP for mine.

Peppers & Potatoes in IP

I totally cheated! I bought a bag of pictsweet peppers and onions from the frozen section. I saluted them with some grape seed oil and let them cool to room temp.

I also cheated on the potatoes & bought 1 bag of breakfast potatoes that are in perfect size squares. The instructions said to fry them but I baked them on a cookie sheet until golden brown. Removed from oven & let cool to room temp. (While these were baking is when I sautéed peppers.)

Sonia’s comments: I have used both fresh peppers and fresh potatoes with this with good results. However I like Tracie’s idea of buying the pre-bought frozen peppers, so I’ve done that for next time. I also think you could add vegetables like spinach or asparagus, but haven’t tried yet.

Breakfast Burrito Assembly

You can use foil or parchment paper. I’ve done both. If you use foil, the pre-cut foil sheets from Cosco work great. However you can’t microwave it. That’s why I chose to use parchment paper the second time I made the burritos.

Whatever you use, prep by tearing off pieces that are about the size of the tortilla.

Place foil under tortilla and build starting with cheese first (keeps tortilla from getting soggy from egg), then I did potatoes next, eggs & sausage mixture, then peppers.

I watched a few YouTube videos to become an expert on folding burritos, and it was very helpful.

Tips: I like the taco size flour tortillas for this. Fajita is too small & burrito is too big. I wanted a true to size breakfast burrito that could be easily held to dip into salsa.

For cheese, I normally shred my own to avoid the preservatives but in this case with freezing, the preservative actually helps the cheese from clunking up and heats up with less moisture.


If you used foil, carefully remove from foil so you can re-wrap if you’re taking them or eating them on the go. If you use parchment paper, just leave it alone when you microwave it.

Loosely wrap in paper towel and microwave approximately 90 seconds. If you have less ingredients (mine are thick) you could check it after 60 seconds & see. Also if you take them to go & microwave after slight thaw, 60 seconds does it. Again, these are my microwaves & my altitude so you’re going need to experiment.

I have not done this yet, but Heather who originally posted said they’re good reheated in toaster oven for about 10 minutes. Makes a crunchier tortilla which might be nice, plus you can leave in the foil to heat.

Dip these babies in salsa or open up and slather salsa inside then roll back up.


Others put them single layer on a sheet pan in freezer, but I skipped that step and put mine directly in freezer bags.

This made 34 burritos

Here’s the cost breakdown from Tracey:

  1. Peppers & onion – $2.76 (22 oz bag pictsweet)
  1. Potatoes- 2.96 (diced oreida breakfast potatoes 32 oz bag)
  1. Cheeses- 8.44 (16 oz sharp, 16 oz Colby jack)
  1. Eggs- 1.36 (.68 for 18)
  1. Sausage- 5.96 (2.98 each Jimmy Dean)
  1. Tortillas – 7.94 (1.76/10 pk -had some leftover)

Total -$ 29.42

made 34 burritos

87 cents each!!

For anyone wanting to reduce eggs or wanting to cook a different way, there are PIP methods for the eggs. Search this group for scrambled eggs. I just adapted the big recipe from someone else & it has worked for me. It did make a brown “crust” of egg on the bottom of the pan which I discarded but mine never burnt. I’m generous with the cooking spray too. You could just cook the eggs on sauté in the pot or pressure cook on low pressure for 5-6 minutes then sauté to finish. Lots of ways to adapt this to a smaller recipe.

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Praise focus


I wanted to think about a verse this morning. I went to Bible Gateway and decided to focus on their verse of the day.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

I am chosen and God’s special possession. While others may be concerned for #1 only, God is concerned with me. But my purpose isn’t to follow rules or point to my performance, my purpose to to declare the praises of the Lord who called me out of darkness into his wonderful light. How I love the warmth and uplifting power of light – and his light is even better!

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Watermelon Love


This is what I’ve been waiting for all summer! Homegrown watermelons from the farmer’s market. I almost bought two.


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Red Gold!


Yum! BLTs and homemade salsa here we come.


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Great article on perspective


Today I took a few minutes from my crammed schedule and read something I wanted to… a luxury I’ve rarely partaken of since 2011 started.

It was an article shared by our friend Annie Mueller. It was beautiful. It mirrored my own experience in some ways, especially telling mom it was ok to go to sleep… and never wake up.

Tough stuff. Only now am I beginning to regain my perspective. I found myself glued to news and Facebook searches with the tornado in Joplin. I knew what it felt like to be helpless and watch a loved one ripped away from me. I wanted so badly for some of the missing to be found alive… but instead it was just bodies that were found. I ached for those families.

And yet, like Annie, after an initial angry tempter tantrum at God, I’m realizing He has it all under his control, even when it doesn’t make any sense to me.

Thanks to Annie for sharing her experience. Read the article at:

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Missing Mom


For some reason I have really missed my mom this week.
Maybe it’s because spring is here and the sunshine has returned, and I want to tell her about my flowers.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been stressed out, and I know she would listen.
Maybe it’s because I know how excited she’d be that my brother is having a baby.
Maybe it’s just because I love her.

I wanted to hear her voice, so I found some old voicemails of her that I had saved when she died. I didn’t want to listen to them then, but I have to admit, I love to hear her voice now. Happy. Cheerful. Asking about how I’m doing. Talking about every day things. And always telling me that she loves me.

I’m really glad I was able to save those audio slices of our lives. I didn’t want to ever forget how her voice sounds. When I knew she was dying, I found myself taking pictures of her fingers. I wanted to stop time and capture it in some way that I could never lose it. I couldn’t stop time, and I can’t pick up the phone and hear her voice right now. But I can stop for a moment and be glad that she was my mom and she loved me.

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Grateful for my new computer bag!


I got a new snazzy bronze computer bag today… And I’m grateful for it. Brett found it for me, and it is perfect for those onsite visits where I need a bigger bag.

Looking forward to trying it out tomorrow.

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Funny typo


I was writing on my iPhone. It has an auto spell feature.

I was typing, “Lord, help me to meditate on the right things.” I misspelled “meditate,” so when I got done writing, the autospeller had turned my sentence into, “Lord, help me to medicate on the right things.”

It gave me a giggle!!!

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