In this instant-everything, I-want-it-now world we live in, some things tend to come out tasting like fast food .. you know the kind .. the drive through where you receive a glass of chemicals and a quadruple bi-pass in a paper bag to go.
With a little care and a dash of tasty adds, your food will pass the "home-made is heaven-made"© test.
Three of my most favorite small kitchen appliances are: micro wave oven, pressure cooker and slow cooker/crock pot. (read that hurry, hurry, slow down). These three appliances are invaluable in my kitchen.
While living in the great southwest, the pressure cooker was the unchallenged champ in the kitchen. You see, at high altitude, most things take longer to cook than at sea level, a LOT longer!
A family story fondly told about my mama when we moved to New Mexico from West Virginia is that she planned to cook pinto beans for a meal to serve in just a couple of hours. Mama told the family that the beans weren't ready for that meal and she boiled those 'durn' beans forever. Truth be told, I expect the next time she probably soaked the pintos overnight. There's a little magic formula for pressure cooking beans in high altitude: Check out the Cat Food page for that bit of gold.
Try these delicious mashed potatoes: begin as usual. After thoroughly scrubbing the potatoes, to maintain vitamins, minerals and downright good flavor, do NOT peel the potatoes. While cooking the potatoes as usual, (always cover your pan to conserve energy and shorten cooking time), place butter and milk in a microwave-save 2-cup measuring cup and this "tasty add", cream cheese - one ounce for every 2 or3 medium potatoes, plus the salt and any other seasonings you prefer. Nuke these ingredients until melted and warm; mix well. Add the butter mix as usual when mashing the potatoes.
Have a country-filled life no matter where you live.