Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Lifesaver!

It is almost fall!! This is one of my favorite cooking seasons of the year. One pot meals, crockpot meals and most of all INSTANT POT meals abound in this season!

I purchased my 1st Instant Pot last year. I've had some really epic crockpot fails that ended with a flavorless and mushy meal. I was nervous to try the electric pressure cooker. Well, time and again it has proven to be a winner. Even a simple meal of spaghetti is made so much better by this baby! It's like the flavor infuses into every part of the dish and plain pasta with marinara has never tasted so good! I always considered pasta to be a very simple meal but now I don't even have to wait for water to boil and keep on eye on it or even stir.

I wanted to share with you some recipes I've been collecting.

If you look in the description and comments of each "pin" I will share my notes for each. For now I will leave you with my top 3 and also, one I can't wait to try!

Top 3 - Put these into your menu this week!

Balsamic Shredded Beef  - A classic!

30 Minutes Beef Chili  - It tastes like it's been simmering away all day!

Tomato Basil Soup - Can I get an amen! Add an extra splash of half and half while no ones looking. ;)

I can't wait to try this! *There are so many fun IP "tricks". This is one of the popular ones. Cooking your potatoes and hard cooked eggs at the same time! 
Potato Salad 

Are you still holding out? Do you think this whole Instant Pot craze is a fad?! Come on. You know you want one. Click my affiliate link in the sidebar to order yours. I appreciate you using my link. Thank you!

Pressure cookers have been around forever. This is not a fad! Our grandmothers knew how amazing these things are. They did have drawbacks and could be messy/dangerous. Now with this amazing electric model they are very safe and take the guess work out of measuring the pressure gauge. The Instant Pot has lots of great settings to help you out. It also comes with a cookbook and another guide with charts of cooking times.

Alright, it's a crisp day here in the Pacific Northwest and I'm off to throw some chili into mine!

Spaghetti squash made easy - Place the whole squash on top of the trivet. Add 1 C of water. Cook on high pressure (HP) for 20 minutes. Quick release (QR) the pressure and remove. Now just peel the shell away! So easy and no hacking thru a tough squash!
This video will help you de-code some of the IP language.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Annual Valentine's Tea Party!

Today was our annual Valentine's Tea Party! 

Abby was thrilled to have her friends playing in her 

 Dane, Elizabeth, Shelby, Brielle and Emma

 The spread- 2 delicious homemade treats that I can't recall, handmade chocolates and caramels, raspberries, grapes, fruit salad, apple slices, crusts off (of course) pb&j and turkey/cheese sandwiches, chocolate dipped strawberries and tea!
 Shelby picked out the adorable plush Valentine emoji's to give to her guests.

 The table setting 
 Selfie stick, fun props and "pearl" necklaces

 Yummy treats - mint chocolate hearts, chocolate dipped strawberries 
and white chocolate raspberry cookies
 Homemade chocolates!

 Dane with her puppy craft
 Rough housing!

 Silly girls! Abby was thrilled to have her friends playing in her room.
 Abby was so lady like and careful having tea on china!
 She loved her peppermint tea with one lump of sugar and cream.
 See the phone...Noma, Angela, was enjoying the party via FaceTime!
 Emma had fun spinning in the egg chair!
 Abby enjoyed coloring.

Abby helping me clean up after the party...
by standing next to me at the sink eating grapes.

The party was a huge success! The girls started by doing crafts, then played upstairs in the girls rooms for a while, then photos with the selfie stick. Next was the highly anticipated tea time! I reminded the girls to act lady like and place their napkins into their laps. Every year they get bigger and bigger and more grown up! This year I didn't have anyone blowing out the candles :) They sipped tea with sugar cubes and cream. They are delicious treats and chatted. The ladies and I also had some wonderful time to sit and visit. Suci and Jen stayed the whole time. Rachel and Liisa also came by to pick up their kiddos and chatted a while. Such a fun day!

Monday, February 6, 2017

King & I!

For Christmas 2016 I asked for one to the "King and I"! That's just what I go! My parent's surprised me with wonderful tickets on the floor!
We went last week to the Paramount in Seattle to see the show. Everything was just wonderful! I loved the set, the costuming, the story is just beautiful and Laura Michelle Kelly was amazing as Anna! 

We enjoyed happy our food and drinks at Ruth's Chris before the show. We had seared tuna, prime rib sliders, flatbread tomato basil pizza, a manhattan cocktail and red wine for me. 
Here we are before the show. So excited!

A wonderful surprise when we walked out of the theatre...snow! 
The drive home was beautiful and the perfect end to the night. 

Snow Day!

It's always very exciting to have a snow day! All the school districts around us had cancelled school and our homeschool co-op was cancelled as well.

Shelby's friend, Olivia, came over to play. We built a snowman, went to the park with the biggest hill around for some awesome sledding, drank hot cocoa, and made snow ice cream!

Snowman building - &
Sledding -

The news station was at the park taking lots of video and interviewing sledders. We watched the 5pm news and saw the segment! Olivia made it on the news....whizzing by on her sled!

Olivia's boots! :) She's famous!
After 1.5hrs of sledding they earned their hot cocoa!

Warming up 

Snow Ice Cream! 
Fresh snow drizzled with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate syrup. YUM!
The snow was perfect and easy to pack! 
They built this guy in no time. 

Abby was so excited about her snow ice cream. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Family Day

We spent the afternoon together at Sea World San Antonio. We saw the Azule and One Ocean Shamu shows. Jason took Shelby on the Shamu roller coaster. We also visited the dolphins. Tons of fun!