Hi! I’m Melissa

I started this li’l blog in 2019 at 55 years old when I found the courage to be unapologetically myself. I am creating the second half of my life and redefining what it means to be middle-aged. Get healthy recipes, health and wellness, lifestyle and aging topics along with inspiration for being the best YOU at any age. Click here for my About Page.

Cioppino (Instant Pot)

Cioppino (Instant Pot)

No matter how badly you pronounce this seafood stew, (chop-PEE-noh), it does not affect the simple, seafoody goodness. Cioppino is so easy to make, thanks to the Instant Pot, your family will be slurping this restaurant-quality dish in just minutes. On a weeknight, no less.

Cioppino recipe from the midlife food and lifestyle blog, SoufflesandSawdust.com

Cioppino is an Italian-American tomato-based soup originating in San Francisco filled with fish, shellfish, shrimp and even calamari if you want to throw some in. I did NOT use calamari for this recipe because tentacles , but feel free to add some and why not toss in a few scallops while you’re at it. Load ‘er up ya’ll, this soup is a treat!

Eat well and respect your body. Your life depends on it!

Tah Ya’ll,


CIOPPINO (in an Instant Pot)

Serves 6
WW Points: 2


1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne (or less for less heat)
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine
One 28oz can diced, fire roasted tomatoes with their liquid
1 1/2 pounds seafood (I used mussels, shrimp and crab)
1 pound fish (I used cod), cut into 2-inch chunks
Fresh Italian parsley (flat leaves) chopped for garnish
Crusty bread for serving (optional and not included in points)


  1. Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add garlic and shallot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add oregano, salt, cayenne, bay leaves and wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes and add tomatoes and return to a simmer.

  2. Stir in seafood and fish. Press the cancel button. Secure the lid and set the pressure release valve to sealing and press the manual (or pressure cook) program and set cooking time to 0 (zero) minutes at low pressure.

  3. When the timer goes off, immediately move the pressure release valve to venting and when the steam is released, open the pot and serve the Cioppino in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley with a basket of crusty bread close by.

These are items I use and recommend. I participate in the Amazon Affiliates program so if you make a purchase using my links, I could make a small commission to help fund the cost of running this blog. Thank you!

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Instant Pot Jalapeno Cheese Grits

Instant Pot Jalapeno Cheese Grits