Instant Pot

Last week my sweet hubby surprised me and got my an instant pot during Amazon Prime day! I have been eyeing one for a while now and the deal was so good he went for it. Needless to say I was shocked! 🙂

After searching on Pinterest I decided my first instant pot dish should be meatballs. A great family friendly meal but made easy for me. I started with my basic meatball recipe, which you can find at the bottom of this post.

After browning the meatballs in a pan, for around 3 minutes per side, I put them in the Instant Pot. Next I covered them with sauce, put the lid on (made sure the valve was set to seal) and set it for high pressure with a cook time of five minutes.

After building pressure, cooking for 5 minutes and naturally releasing pressure for 10 minutes I took off the lid. I was absolutely amazed! They were perfectly cooked through, moist and so flavorful. I will totally be making them again!

Basic Meatballs (Makes 30 large Meatballs)

  • 4lbs of ground beef/venison
  • 1lb mild breakfast or Italian sausage (no casing)
  • 2tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2-3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. After everthing is combined scoop into uniform size.

Over Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place meatballs on a sheet tray and bake for 90 minutes. When meatballs have finished baking place in a simmering pot of sauce and heat on low until ready to serve.

Instant Pot Preparation

Brown in a non-stick skillet with oil, turning after 3 minutes. When both sides are brown place meatballs in IP. Cover with sauce and lock the lid on the IP. Make sure your valve is set to seal and turn machine on. Set to high pressure and cook time 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes leave on Keep Warm for 10 minutes to let pressure naturally release.

Serve with pasta or on bread.

 

Enjoy!

Meatballs

 

You can find the Instant Pot I am using here.

Last Days of 2016

What a crazy year it’s been! I can hardly believe 2016 is almost over. We have made so many great memories this year!

Homeschooling is going great! We have a had few bumps along the way and hard days but we have learned to take a deep breath and keep going. My little man is having a great time and little sister is even starting to enjoy it. I have also noticed that we are much closer as a family now then we were. We have done some very cool things this year.

We spent most of December doing countdown to Christmas and Advent activities which the kids really enjoyed. We even had time for a family field trip day to Syracuse to go to the MoST and see the Lights on the Lake. It was a great day and we were able to get a great membership deal to a few other local museums for the coming year.

We will be starting up with home-school again on 1/2/17, I just started planning this morning! 🙂

It’s my goal in the new year to document this adventure moving forward, I know one day I will look back on these memories fondly. (So I better start writing more down!)

See everyone in 2017!

 

-T

Homeschooling Day 1

Well day one of homeschooling is in the books! And to be honest it was a lot of fun. We had a special breakfast of cinnamon rolls and took our first day pictures, which is always a little hectic.

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Then we got down to business, this weeks theme is ‘All about Me’. We are going to learn about our senses and also learn a little more about homeschooling. We started by talking about our five senses and what they do. Then we working on a few reading and writing exercises.

After that it was time to go out and play for a little bit. Then it was snack time and a little Sesame Street (also talking about our five senses). Then we did a little reading time, we read “This is my Home, This is my School” by Jonathan Bean. It is a great read for little ones. We also read “All By Myself” by Mercer Mayer. It’s a little bit of a silly book, it was a big hit.

After that we did a small craft and made an “All About Me” book where little Man told me all his favorite things and even did a self portrait. It was great!

We can’t wait to do it again tomorrow. 🙂

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Homeschooling Here We Come!

In just over a week we will begin our journey intro the world of homeschooling. I am both excited and terrified. I think that’s to be expected.

I am hoping to ease my little learners into our routines and schedule with a few fun theme weeks to start. Although the beginning may be new and at times a bit bumpy I think we will get through it.

Fingers (and toes) crossed!

-T

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Let me start out by telling you of my family’s obsession with Mac and cheese. We LOVE it! I swear my kids could eat it every night of the week if I let them. They don’t care if it is baked, on the stove top, from the microwave.. as long as it is noodles and cheese and sauce they will gladly scarf it down and ask for seconds. I joke that how I first got my husband to notice me was that I made him mac and cheese back in college. 🙂

Anyway, even though I love mac and cheese right along with the rest of my family making it in the summer is the last thing I want to do. Heck sometimes just looking at my oven in the summer is just plain mean!

So when I came across a ‘tried and true’ slow cooker mac and cheese I was rather excited. This recipe comes from Six Sisters Stuff. They have some other amazing recipes on there that I cannot wait to try.

 

Unfortunately I forgot to get pictures this time, but when I make it next I will add them in.

So here is the recipe.

 

Slow Cooker Creamy Macaroni and Cheese (originally Six Sisters Stuff )
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  2 hours
Total time:  2 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup (or cream of mushroom)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup milk 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes and drain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Heat over medium high heat and stir until the cheese melts.
  3. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine cheese mixture, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper in your slow cooker. Add the drained macaroni and stir again.
  4. Cook on low for 2 to 2½ hours, stirring occasionally (I cooked mine for about 2 hours and stirred it twice and it was perfect).

I hope you like it!

-T

 

Hello Summer!

Summer is officially here! We are about two weeks in and it has been great so far. Yes we’ve had a few rough days but with all this heat that is somewhat expected. We have fallen into a much more relaxed schedule and I must say I love it! The kids have the freedom to play both together and apart and it is so fun to watch.

One thing I could do without is all this heat and lack of rain! Let me tell you right now my plants are not very happy. But hopefully there is some rain on the way and everything will perk up and cool off.

One fun thing we did this week was our annual Fourth of July celebration with my husband’s family. It was a great time getting to see everyone and watching the kids play all day long. And the little miss got to see fireworks for the first time, she was very impressed.

I’m off to enjoy my iced coffee in a rare moment of quiet.

 

 

Basil Pesto

IMG_5690I have had a long love affair with pesto. It is something that is just so easy and versatile

 

. Luckily for me it is something my family loves to eat. And now that my basil is growing nicely in my garden there was no better time then to now to make the first basil pesto of the summer.

One of the best things about pesto is you can mix things up whenever you make it! For instance last night I realized I had no pine nuts… so I substituted roasted non-salted peanuts and it came out amazing. I have also used almonds and walnuts before and they work wonderfully as well.

  • 3/4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Any Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed.

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You can put this sauce over pasta, on bread, on pizza crust… just about anywhere!

Enjoy!