About a month ago, my mom treated my little sister, Kristy and I to a cooking course at our local Williams and Sonoma. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE going to cooking courses…. mainly, because they feed you all sorts of delicious foods WHILE you learn how to make them. Cooking courses, when done right, are the ultimate in multi-tasking! The night we went, they were teaching us how to make a 35 minute Red Beans and Rice. My grandma is from Lake Charles, Louisiana, so I love a good Red Beans and Rice, but there’s a reason they’re called Laundry Red Beans and Rice in most Cajun French households… It’s because it takes ALL DAY to make them, so most French wives would put them on in the morning and cook them all day while doing the laundry, normally on a Sunday. This 35 minute idea had me skeptical…. I couldn’t imagine how they could possibly infuse the flavors, much less cook the beans in that amount of time…. They were using an Electric Pressure Cooker to make this “miracle” recipe. Slowly, I raised my hand, sheepishly asking what a pressure cooker was exactly and if I should be concerned that it could blow up…. The instructor laughed, but humored me. Hey…. the ONLY thing I had ever heard about a pressure cooker is how dangerous they were and how they’d blow up. I wanted nothing to do with explosive appliances in my kitchen…. no sir. She explained that stove pressure cookers were different from the electric pressure cooker we were using in this class. This pressure cooker could NOT blow up… and the pressure is regulated perfectly, so that it took the guess work out of what appeared to be a quite complicated process with it’s explosive predecessor. I became more and more interested as she explained that I could brown, sauté and cook all in the same pot. Less dishes? Fast food? Sounding better and better, I anticipated the “miracle Red Beans” and borderline prayed they were decent. As I took a bite, I was stunned! The flavor of these beans was better than any I’d ever tasted (sorry, Na Na)… They were perfect…. It was if they’d cooked and flavored all day… in 35 minutes. I HAD to have this appliance!!!! When I brought it home, I was skeptical as to if I’d actually use it, but I have used it more than anything else in my kitchen. To be honest, EVERYTHING I’ve tried has been amazing!!! This brings me to our Mac and Cheese recipe. Kailey wanted Mac and Cheese one night and I was short on time, so I began browsing the web and came across this recipe on squidoo that took only 7 minutes (once you got to pressure, but that was only about 3 minutes, so 10… ). It was an instant hit with everyone! Today, I even brought the pressure cooker into the office for a pot luck lunch and it worked like a charm!