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.
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.
You can find the Instant Pot I am using here.
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.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 15 mins
- 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
- Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes and drain.
- In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Heat over medium high heat and stir until the cheese melts.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
I 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.
You can put this sauce over pasta, on bread, on pizza crust… just about anywhere!
Homeschooling is something my husband and I have talked about on and off for a few years now. Sadly the public education system in our state is not what it used to be. It’s no longer about the kids but more about the dollar signs and the bottom line. And to me that’s just not good enough. I don’t want to send my children somewhere for 40 hours a week where they are going to be treated like a number or a test score rather then a person.
I hold the utmost respect for educators, they have a sometimes thank-less job. In which they are expected to work long hours for little pay. I know that it is not their choice to teach only for the test or lose track of the student in the back of the class. But I also know the reality that this is sadly what happens today.
After doing a good deal of research as well as looking into local homeschooling groups in our area my husband and I have decided to homeschool our son next year for Kindergarten. We are planning to use the Timberdoodle homeschool cirriculum and supplement with different trips, crafts and homeschool co-op activities in our area.
To be honest I have no idea how this is really going to go, I am hoping for the best outcome and keeping my fingers crossed. I plan to document this journey here and I hope any and all those interesting will follow along and take part in this adventure with us.
I found this recipe a long time ago and fell in love with how easy it was. It does not disappoint, there are never any left overs and I think I could make it twice a week and never get tired of it!
- 8 bone in skin on chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2-3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine brown sugar and vinegar on a small pot, heat until the sugar has dissolved and remove from heat. Add garlic.
Place chicken thighs in a baking pan and pour vinegar mixture over chicken and cover.
Bake in oven for 60 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Goes great with any side; rice, butter noodles, veggies.. the options are endless!