As promised, a few Instant Pot recipes

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As I stated in an earlier post, I gifted myself with an Instant Pot (or as some people call it, an “InstaPot” because apparently Instagram has ruined us all) and I have really enjoyed using it. I am gifting you with some of my favorite recipes because I am a giver and also I need blogging material.

Here are a few of the recipes I have tried that made me say “dayum that was delicous”.

One of the first recipes I tried was this Lentil Tacos recipe.  I was out of tomato sauce, so I just dumped in a bunch of salsa because I ALWAYS have salsa in my fridge. Please note that I did not fry my own tortillas because ain’t nobody got time for that. After dinner, I took the leftover lentils and put together a burrito bowl that I took to work with me the next day. It was super delicious! So easy and I can see how you could substitute these lentils in pretty much any Mexican dish.

Along those same flavor lines, one of my favorite things to make in the IP is Mexican Shredded Chicken. I don’t follow a recipe for this, I just dump in chicken breasts, some Rotel, and some chicken broth and using the Meat setting I let it cook for about 15-20 minutes (depending on how many and how big the chicken breasts are). I do a natural release for a few minutes then quick release. I shred the chicken and use in an whatever Mexican flavored dish I happen to whip up. It’s great for quesadillas, tacos, burrito bowls, or even on top of a salad. So versatile and I love to keep some in the fridge for a quick snack for the kids or an easy lunch.

Not long ago, I made a turkey meatloaf in my IP and while it didn’t really cut down on the cooking time, MAN did it have some good flavor!! I don’t know what it is about the IP but the food just seems to be so much tastier than other cooking methods. This is the recipe I went by – I don’t think I followed the recipe exactly but used it mainly as a guide for how long to cook the meat. I used my stainless steel vegetable steamer to place the loaf on and I was doubtful that it was going to turn out well but it actually worked great! I came out looking more like a meatloaf cake (meatcake?) but it was still delicious.

I’ll keep posting more recipes as I try them. I’ve got some lima beans and garbanzo beans that I want to cook in the IP and I’m sure I’ll find more recipes I want to try soon as well. If you have any favorite recipes, share them in the comments because sometimes I am lazy and don’t feel like searching Google very hard for a fun recipe. 🙂

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Spring Break

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Hey Howdy Hey!

I took a few days of vacation last week because my kids were on spring break, but what I didn’t realize is that I needed a spring break myself. Man, it felt good to just relax and do whatever I wanted without feeling a time crunch. I have to say, I really enjoyed not working. 🙂

But now I’m back to the grind and we are officially in the End of the School Year frenzy. My kids will be out for summer vacation in 8 short weeks and oh by the way when did it become MARCH??? Does anyone else still feel like it should be November???

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We have a few more weekend volleyball tournaments, and my youngest just made the middle school cheer squad so her practices are already starting, and I’m considering taking a creative writing course because…well just because I want to. So Busy Busy Busy around these here Pear parts.

Here are some things coming down the pike on the Pear (don’t let me forget to blog about these!):

  • I’m having fun experimenting with various aspects of my life in regards to cooking, exercising, even makeup!
  • Tasty Instant Pot recipes
  • I’ve discovered the joy and ease of a capsule wardrobe (on a budget, no less)
  • Changes from then to now – things I used to do/think/feel and how I no longer do/think/feel them

These are just a few topics that have been rolling around in the bloggy part of my brain. Now to just get them into the computer!

It’s my birthday!

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I need someone to make this magic rainbow unicorn cake for me. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I think a 46-year-old deserves the birthday cake of her 12-year-old dreams, don’t you?

Usually on my birthday, I take the day off and just go do whatever it is that I want to do. Today, however, I’ll be going to the cell phone store and spending an hour getting my daughter a new phone, then I’m going to drive 2.5 hours away so I can watch my daughter play volleyball all weekend long. Yay Parenting!!

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Anyway, so there won’t be much time for a celebration, but that’s okay because here’s what I’ve figured out: when you regularly and consistently Treat Yo’ Self, you don’t need others to do it for you when your birthday rolls around. Aaaaand there might possibly be a birthday party in the works for me next weekend anyway, so we will celebrate, oh yes, we will celebrate…it just won’t be this weekend.

Here’s to 46. Happy Birthday to me!

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I have let myself go

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It’s not that I didn’t already know this, but I’ve never really said those exact words to myself before.

I made this realization as I was standing in the dressing room of my local The Walmarts last week (and that sad fact right there should be proof enough) when I sort of caught a glimpse of myself and thought “Wow, I have really let myself go.”

It wasn’t a sad thought or a Mean Girl thought – it was just the realization of a fact. I have indeed let myself go.

When I was little, I remember looking at photographs of older family members and seeing how thin they were when they were young women and then seeing more photos of when they were older and plumper.I thought it was sad that they had once been so beautiful and young and then later they just “let themselves go”.  I vowed to myself that I would never let that happen to me because when I was a kid, fat was not something you wanted to grow up to be.

I am the perfect example of fear manifesting itself into reality.

I can laugh at this now because it’s sort of the same thing as having a friend with no kids trying to tell you how to raise yours. If I could go back to my younger self I’d laugh and say “Oh just you wait, kiddo. You have no idea. You have no idea how often you will eat your feelings or how you’ll be too exhausted from chasing toddlers to work out or how later perimenopause will screw with your metabolism. You have no idea how fast those pounds will pack on once you get a boring desk job and how lunch and snack time will be the highlight of your day for those 8 hours. And to soothe yourself after a long frustrating day at work, you’ll partake in a 1,000+ calorie binge and still eat dinner an hour and a half later. You just really have no idea.”

I let myself go. But honestly, it’s not something I could have stopped even if I wanted to (but I really, really wanted to – hello, 20 years of dieting) because I just didn’t know what I didn’t know: that an hour of talking on the phone with my best friend is way more satisfying than eating a dozen cookies; that taking a walk after work is more fulfilling than a binge; that letting my husband and kids help out does lower my stress level because ultimately it’s not “just easier to do it myself”.

Little by little, day by day, I’m learning more and reclaiming what I lost. I’m learning to love vegetables, I’m learning to cook, I’m learning to love exercise more for what it can do for my brain than my body. I’m learning that taking time for myself yields some serious dividends and that once in a while you really do just need to Treat Yo’Self.

So yeah, I let myself go, but I’m getting myself back.

I’m a Pothead now!!

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No, not this kind of pot head!!

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THIS kind of pot head!!

I bought myself an early birthday present last weekend and I’ve been having fun playing with it. I’ve had my eye on an Instant Pot for awhile now what with all the raving I’ve been hearing about it. Cooking a whole chicken in less than an hour? Throwing frozen chicken breasts in and STILL having them ready by dinnertime?? SIGN ME UP.

As the poster child for Staring Into the Fridge and Wondering What to Fix for Dinner, this thing appeals to me on a deep and personal level. It’s like the Powers That Be said, “Oh for Pete’s Sake, will someone invent something for Jill that will cook food really fast so she’ll stop sending anxious vibes into the world every day at 5:00pm?????” Cooking Dinner Anxiety, I haz it.

I got my Instant Pot for $79 at The WalMarts, but realized too late that it didn’t have the yogurt function on it. Oh well, I’ll continue to let Fage make my yogurt for me – they’ll probably do a better job than I will anyway.

The first thing I cooked in it was 6 eggs. There’s a little trivet thing that comes with it and it perfectly holds 6 eggs, so they can be steamed into hard boiled eggs. Steam-boiled eggs. Steamed eggs? Anyway, the came out of the pot cooked to perfection, but also made my kitchen smell like sweaty feet and farts. My kids were thrilled. They gagged and hacked and pretend-vomited for ten minutes after I pulled the lid off (dramatic, much?). But I didn’t care, I had EGGS.

Then my daughter wanted Lil Smokies, so I threw some of them in the IP, but honestly I could have done them in a regular pot on the stove as quick as the IP cooked them. So that was kind of a bust.

Next up was a dozen chicken legs I had bought on sale the week before. I put them (yes, all of them) in the pot and pushed the “meat” setting. I don’t remember exactly how long it was, but they were not done. And then I remembered that I failed to add any liquid before I put in the legs. DUH! Kinda hard for a steamer to work if it can’t make steam. So I added a cup of water and then 40ish minutes later – VOILA! Fall-off-the-bone tender legs. They were so tender that I ended up just shredding the meat into a bowl and making sandwiches with it.

Next up, I plan on steaming a head of cauliflower, cooking some brown rice, then some lentils just to see how they all turn out.

Oh, and I’ve also heard you can make a really good tortilla soup with the Instant Pot too. Probably will do that this weekend.

I really, really like this thing and I’m sure once I figure out the learning curve on it I’ll be using it quite often.

Any other Potheads out there? Care to share any good pressure cooker recipes with me?

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

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So…hey!

Yeah, it’s been a little bit since I last blogged…I just couldn’t seem to find any words for awhile that were worthy of jettisoning out into cyberspace. And although I would love to tell you that I have spent the last couple of months doing something important and exciting, the truth is, I’ve just been living my normal life. I have been a little busier since January 1 than normal – I took on a project at work in which I had to stay on top of things every day so as not to get behind, and also my daughter is now playing competitive volleyball which takes us out of town for tournaments on quite a few weekends (those weekend tournaments wear me out. Who knew that watching 16 hours of volleyball could be so exhausting?) and it seems to take a few days to get my energy back. Oh, and I also started a book club! We had our first official meeting not long ago and I think it was a success. I am very excited about it.

I had toyed with the idea of starting a Shiny! New! Blog! but in the end, I just decided to stick with this old gal because she’s been with me for nearly 10 years. (!!!) I started SassyPear in September of 2007, can you believe that?? What started out as a weight loss blog has evolved into so much more than that – it’s been a place of connection, a place to meet new friends, at times it has been my therapy, and other times it has been a thorn in my side, but this blog gave me confidence borne out of a skill I didn’t even really know I had. I just thought I liked good grammar, I had no idea it would make me a decent writer.

So, I’m back. I haven’t decided how often I’ll post or what exactly I’ll post about, but I’d like to post at least once or twice a week, and it’ll probably be just me rambling about my thoughts. Hope that’s good enough because it’s all I’ve got.

🙂

 

 

It’s not even officially winter yet, but I’m already ready for spring…

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because I am FREEZING all the time. Normally, I run hot, but lately, it’s All Cold All the Time. Is this how skinny people feel? You would think with this extra (extra extra) layer of fat on my bones that I’d be toasty warm, but you would be wrong. Shivery, is what I’m saying.

Also too, in addition to shivery, I’m also very DRY. My hair and skin are arid as a desert. I condition and moisturize and yet still…if you lit a match near my hands, they’d fire up like paper. Yes, I realize I need to hydrate but I don’t like drinking cold water when I’m already cold as ice, so I decided, why not drink hot water? This works like a charm for me, y’all. I seriously just grab my coffee cup, fill it with hot water (from the cooler – isn’t it ironic?) and sip away. I think I am one of those rare birds who doesn’t really care about how flavorful my beverages are – I mostly drink plain water, so drinking plain hot water doesn’t bother me a bit. I have been putting some lemon in my hot water when I get up in the mornings, but when I’m at work it’s just plain ole water. And I’ll drink 5 or 6 cups of water just while I’m at work, then I might have a couple of cups of hot tea just for fun. Having a hot drink makes me feel better during these cold days.  I should be well-hydrated soon.

The SassyPear Family is going through a Season of Crap. You know how sometimes there is a period of weeks or months when things just seem to go wrong or they feel harder than they should? Yeah, we’re going through that right now. Nothing serious or terrible, just lots of little things that keep cropping up. Just when we think we have one thing taken care of, another one pops up in its place. It gets tiring after awhile. However, I know that it’s just a season and this too shall pass. I just hope it passes quickly.