My kids’ spring break was last week. Instead of going somewhere we decided to stay back and do some stuff around the house. And have kind of a staycation.
It was a nice mix of spring cleaning and going places like the ice rink, Balboa Park, and a Padre game. Now we feel ready to start the week. We cleaned out the kids’ room and I went through my kitchen cabinets, fridge, and freezer. To do your own kitchen spring cleaning, see this post.
In this Spring Rotation, I’m adding some new meals with my new Instant Pot in mind (see below). Thursdays will be one-pot/dish meals. I love when I can put everything in one place and basically be done (except a salad and fruit).
And this is why I’m enjoying my InstantPot so much.
I finally got an Instant Pot
I remember when everyone was talking about Instant Pot and a friend was trying to sell me on one. I didn’t get one because I was content with my cooking appliances at the time.
But last year I started to realize the shortcomings of the slow cooker. I like it for some things, but soups left in too long seem to get mushy. When I make soup over the stove the veggies are still a bit crunchy. I do love chili in the slow cooker (or stove) but found I wasn’t making soup as often. I started to get intrigued with the pressure cooker part of the InstantPot. Plus, I was in desperate need of a new slow cooker. And since the Instant Pot is all in one (a slow cooker and pressure cooker), I asked Santa for one.
Problem is Santa brought me the wrong InstantPot so we had to take that back. I finally got the right one and started using it recently.
I started off slow using the slow cooker first. I like how it has a sauté function so I don’t have to use up extra pans. Unlike my old slow cooker, you can set the time and it will instantly switch to warm which is nice. Then I tried the pressure cooker. Luckily, my mom was with me and she has one too. I made barbeque chicken legs in there and they turned out fine. I didn’t realize you have to add the time the Instant Pot takes to come to pressure (5-10 minutes) so it took a bit longer than I thought.
Then I moved on to soups, starting with lentil soup. The carrots were soft and the lentils were just the right texture. Then I tried black bean soup with sweet potatoes. What’s amazing is you don’t have to soak the beans ahead of time, something I forget to do 50% of the time. This recipe was 1 hour on high pressure taking about 15 minutes to come to pressure. I let it naturally release the pressure which took another 25 minutes or so. It turned out really good — so filling to have with a sandwich at lunch.
Then I tried my pinto beans I make for burritos and they took less than an hour compared to my usual 3-hour routine. I also cooked pork tenderloin and it overcooked a bit so I’ll decrease the time next time. It’s a trial and error thing.
Needless to say, I’m excited about my new cooking tool. It saves me time and dishes and I think it’s really helpful for busy families. Instead of having to choose between an all-day or 3-4 hour crock pot meal, you have meals that can take 1 hour or less. Great for running home after work before taking kids to an activity, throwing everything the instant pot, and coming home to a cooked meal!
If you have an InstantPot, how do you like it? Let me know your favorite recipe too!
Update on my book
Like always, my book for girls on puberty is taking more time than planned. But rushing is never worth it. I’m still adding my list of beta readers so if you have a 9-14 year old that you think would want to read it and offer feedback, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you would like to share a story of “something you wish you knew” during puberty, email me as well. Do you wish you knew how it’s normal to gain weight, change emotionally, be challenged with making friends? What tidbit of information do you think would have helped you make it through puberty more confident and healthy? Names can be changed.
I don’t think most people realize how hard we are on ourselves and the stress it creates. This is especially true for tweens/teens (even when parents provide little to no pressure). These two articles touch on the benefits of self-compassion.
Don’t miss this GMA segment on why parents shouldn’t encourage dieting in the teen.
American College of Sports Medicine is now recommending energy drinks not be consumed by children or adolescents
Got a baby? Don’t forget new guidelines for introducing little ones to peanuts
That’s it for now. Have a great week!
Want to make your own dinner rotation? Check out Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.