My Favorite Instant Pot Recipes (So Far)

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Looking for Instant Pot Recipes? You are in the right place!

3 Amazing Instant Pot Recipes for You to Try NOW!

You know I’m addicted to my Instant Pot, right? (If you aren’t convinced, check out 5 Reasons Why I’m Addicted to My Instant Pot). I went from cooking dinner ZERO  nights a week (my husband did the dinner thing) to making dinner 5 or 6 nights a week. This meme kid face? That my face almost every day! I know I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the meals I can make in the Instant Pot, but here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot recipes so far!

Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi Paella  from Health Starts in the Kitchen

Instant Pot Recipes for Shrimp Scampi Paella

Out of all the meals I made in my Instant Pot, this is BY FAR my favorite! By cooking it with the shrimp shells on, you are creating a shrimp broth in which to cook your rice. Wowza! In terms of an impressive meal with almost zero effort, this is a huge winner among Instant Pot recipes!

The ingredients are easy to find and mostly things we had on hand. However, I did buy saffron for this, and that stuff is pricey, but I think it would still be delicious without it! The original poster has a different Electric Pressure Cooker so the Facebook group recommended lowering the time by one minute, which I did. The shrimp were a little tough, so next time I will try it for 3 minutes and see what happens!

I also love that this is a dump it, set it and forget it recipe. No extra steps!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese by Active Hip Momma

Instant Pot recipes for Mac and Cheese

This one is a super simple crowd pleaser! I’ve made it twice so far! This was one of the first Instant Pot recipes I tried…on Day 1! Since my husband has Celiac disease, nearly all our meals are 100% gluten free. I was a little afraid when I made this with gluten free pasta, it would be weird. But it wasn’t! I  used Barilla Gluten Free Elbow Macaroni. Our local grocery stores carry this and when the Barilla brand goes on sale, it often includes the Gluten Free ones, too! We totally stock up!

The first time I made this, I used chicken stock with the pasta, mostly because I had a case of chicken stock from Costco! I also used evaporated milk because we had a few leftover cans. Then I just used some shredded cheddar we had in the fridge. It was SUPER tasty and so quick! My favorite part was NO draining!! All this with 4 ingredients I usually have on hand? Yes please!!

The next time, I made it without the chicken stock, so I added salt and butter as the recipe suggests. With things that might foam up like this, it can be helpful to have butter or oil to keep the foam down. Either way was awesome.

You can make this with any melty cheese or even a combination of cheeses. If you want to get all fancy pants, you could scoop this into a casserole dish, top with cheese or some other bread crumb topping and pop it under the broiler. Oooh, lala!

Instant Pot Kalua Pig by Nom Nom Paleo

Instant Pot Recipes for Kalua Pig

One way to search for tasty Gluten Free Meals is to look for Paleo meals. In addition to my husband’s Celiac, I try to eat in sort of a keto style, or what my meal plan calls Lean and Green. In all that searching, I have fallen in love with Nom Nom Paleo. The author, Michelle Tam, is super down to earth. Her videos are a stitch, often containing cameos by her sons. This was the first of her Instant Pot recipes I tried because (little story alert) my first year of teaching was in Hawaii. My favorite school lunch was Kalua Pig. So much so that students would stop by my classroom in the morning to tell me when it was on the lunch menu!

This was one of the longest Instant Pot meal I made, but 90 minutes compared to 16 hours, the time it takes to make it in a Crock Pot? I’ll take it! This recipe is literally 3 ingredients. THREE! It can be up to five if you add the garlic and cabbage, which I did. The only unusual ingredient was Red Hawaiian Sea Salt. This is the exact one recommended at Nom Nom Paleo! I bought it in a heartbeat, because this recipe is a keeper and will be in the regular rotation.

Becuase this recipe has a blog post with step by step directions AND a YouTube video it’s a great one to start with!

Are you ready to get cooking? <tee hee…see what I did there? If so, get your Instant Pot and start making dinner! I would LOVE to know what you make and how it turns out. Do you have something you’d like me to try? Just drop a line in the comments!

If this post has inspired you to buy an Instant Pot, I would be so grateful if you clicked my Amazon link to make your purchase. I will get a little kickback to cover blog costs, or buy more salt or whatever! Thank you!

 


5 Reasons I Am Addicted to My Instant Pot

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Yep! I am addicted to my Instant Pot!

instant-pot

My husband calls me his Hobby of the Month Girl and it’s totally true! If you follow my Pinterest boards, you will see I jump from one super-obsessed subject to another and I almost never circle back. My current obsession is the Instant Pot! This is a recent image of my brain from a brain scan:

How My Brain Works on the Instant Pot

How My Brain Works

My most recent obsession is my Instant Pot. This thing is AWESOME! I can get dinner on the table without standing over the stove. This model has 7 functions:

  • Slow Cooker
  • Rice Cooker
  • Saute/Browning
  • Steamer
  • Warmer (I’m not sure this should count)
  • Yogurt Maker
  • Pressure Cooker

That last one is where the magic happens. I know next to nothing about pressure cooking, but I know it cooks things FASTER! And, when it comes to getting dinner in my mouth, faster is better!!

So far, I’ve made a delicious Gluten Free mac and cheese with 4 minutes of cook time (once the pot gets up to pressure, which is similar to bringing water to a boil on your stove top).

*delicious Gluten Free mac and cheese with 4 minutes of cook time (once the pot gets up to pressure, which is similar to bringing water to a boil on your stove top).

*Steel cut oats

*Hard boiled eggs

*Butter Chicken

*Carne Guisada, which I had never heard of but it now makes my mouth water just writing it!

*Pork Verde

*Shrimp Scampi Paella

Did I mention we’ve had it for a week? Yeah, so that’s why this is called an addiction! And I’m not the only one. There is an Instant Pot Facebook Group with over 300,000 members. Yowza! This group is super helpful and not judgemental at all, even with a HUGE influx of newbies! So let’s get to it. Why am I addicted to my Instant Pot?

With the Instant Pot, you have just one stainless steel pot to clean.

Yep, imagine having ONE pot to clean after you make your family a tasty meal. Seriously. One pot after making spaghetti and meatballs…no strainer, two pots, one for pasta and one for sauce. Just. One. Pot.

No babysitting the stove top with the Instant Pot.

Imagine making your typical blue box mac and cheese. You put your water in the pot, set it to boil, check a bunch of times to see if the water is boiling, which it isn’t because you keep checking. Then it comes to a boil, so you dump in your pasta and you stir it to make sure it doesn’t clump together. Then you sit down for a few minutes, only to jump up when the pot boils over. Only then do you realize you forgot to set the timer, so you won’t be sure when the pasta is done. After a few guess-and-checks, it’s done. You dig out your strainer, strain that stuff, put in the butter and milk and that weird orange powder. Mix and eat, feeling a little bad that this is the quality of meal you’ve grown accustomed to.

Now, picture this: measure some water or chicken stock into the Instant Pot. Dump in the noodles and maybe stir for good measure. Set it to 4 minutes and lock the lid. Anxiously check the digital display for a while, because this is your first actual meal in the Instant Pot. Wait for it to come to pressure, then count down 4 minutes. It beeps and you release the steam, which can be a tiny bit scary the first time. Dump in a can of evaporated milk and two cups of shredded cheese. Stir up the cheesy goodness and feel like June Cleaver for serving your family this ooey-gooey homemade bowl of love.

Tremendous support and a gajillion Instant Pot recipes.

To kick it off, The Facebook Group with 300,000 people. One can lurk there for hours and hours and hours. One might like so many posts that one’s Facebook feed becomes nothing but this one group and one might be seriously delighted to continue to feed the addiction before one has even ordered an Instant Pot. Or not. Maybe that’s just me.

There are other specialized Facebook groups for different interests and eating styles. My husband had Celiac, so our meals are primarily gluten free. I eat in more of a low-carb keto style and there are groups for those, too. There are tons of Pinterest Boards and lots of Kindle ebooks, mostly free. There are numerous bloggers and YouTubers that share recipes and techniques, too.

The company itself is a great resource and answers emails promptly.

But really, for me it’s all about that Facebook group!

pretty-serious about the Instant Pot

Tasty food in less time that I can make it otherwise

One of the first meals I made was Shrimp Scampi Paella. You literally dump ingredients in the pot…shrimp, rice, butter, parsley, garlic, water or broth, then you turn it on. Once it comes to pressure, which takes about as long as to get water boiling on your stove, you just wait 4 minutes. Then, dinner. Yep, dinner in 15 minutes. You can make meat from frozen without thawing, which is awesome if you are not a pre-planner. Which I am not. Tasty spaghetti squash that tastes better and takes less time than in the microwave. So awesome!

The Instant Pot has inspired me to cook more.

For me, this has been the best part. It takes a LOT for me to decide what to eat or make a meal plan, go to the grocery store, and actually make dinner. I just don’t like it. Because of this, my husband has been our head chef for the last several years. The Instant Pot has me excited to cook dinner again! I’ve collected a bunch of recipes on Pinterest, I’m putting them into an awesome meal planning website (more later) and getting to the store. I count down until I can FINALLY start making dinner. And clean up is a breeze, so that practically takes care of itself. No, I’m serious. I’ve found that cooking dinner makes me feel like a better mom and wife, and that just makes life better all around.

So what are you waiting for? Get an Instant Pot Today! You can thank me later by sharing your favorite recipes!

If this post has inspired you to buy an Instant Pot, I would be so grateful if you clicked my Amazon link to make your purchase. I will get a little kickback to cover blog costs. Thank you!


It’s Fall, Y’All!

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It's Fall Y'All

I don’t know that I’ve ever been more excited to see the calendar flip to October! I’m excited to greet the fall foliage, put on my boots, and grab a pumpkin spice…something. Anything!

You know I’m a hobby-of-the-month girl, with my interest changing WAY more often than the seasons. So what’s caught my interest lately?

*Virtual Teaching (I recently started teaching at a virtual school and I LOVE it!)

*Optimal Health (This summer, I dropped 35 lbs…I can’t wait to tell you all about it)

*CrossFit (I started last January, then took a break over the summer…I’m staring my new onRamp on Monday!)

*Free and low cost kindle ebooks (sources WILL be named!)

So, my long lost readers, what would YOU like to hear about first?

 


Coldwatercreek.com

Coldwater Creek Is My Holy Grail

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ColdWater Creek CardiganColdwatercreek.com review

Part of Finding My Fabulous has been to upgrade my wardrobe. Last year I met with a personal shopper at Nordstrom. It was a fantastic experience and I feel much more confident with my personal style and selecting outfits and pieces.

Hey, I’ve got some affiliate links in here, just so you know. 

My sister recently turned me on to Coldwater Creek. It’s a perfect blend of style and color. It’s definitely on the mature end of things, which I enjoy. I accidentally wandered into Forever 21 and I felt like a cranky octogenarian. I may or may not have plugged my ears, closed my eyes and slowly backed out of the store.

Back to Coldwater Creek. The clothes are classic and timeless, but also on-trend. The prices are moderate, about what you would expect to find at Nordstrom. However, Coldwater Creek has AMAZING sales you won’t find at any department store. Several times a year they have 40% off the entire store! This brings things right down to my price range! In May I snapped up a bunch of tank tops with lace trim for only $10.

Like I said, the style tends toward the mature, but not frumpy. To me, Chico’s is well suited to sassy grandmas in their upper 60s. I think Coldwater Creek is for women in their 30s and up who like a classic, business-casual vibe.

That might seem expensive compared to a Target sale, but these clothes are really well made, the colors don’t fade and they wash well. Read the care instructions because I narrowly avoided some Hand Wash Only items. I can barely keep up with my regular laundry, let alone hand washing and gentle cycle. If I can’t wash with like colors, it just ain’t gonna happen.

They often run sales online, too, so if you find something you like and you can bide your time, chances are good it will go on sale. As in 30% off, 40% off or even 50% off.

Today I found my holy grail…the Coldwater Creek outlet! There is only one in Washington state, up in Marysville. This was my first visit so I don’t know what the prices are usually like, but today was awesome. The entire fall line was 30% off. So a lovely teal blue sweater was originally priced at $85.99, marked down to $69.99 at the outlet. My final price was under $20 with all the markdowns and because they were giving an additional 10% off for teachers. Woot! Woot!

ColdWater Creek Cardigan

They have entire racks of sweaters, blouses, tanks, pants, cropped pants, and more.

All accessories were 70% off so I got a lovely statement necklace for under $5 and a pretty pair of earrings for $5.95, normally well over $60 each.

I sort of hate bargain shopping. Looking for clothes at Marshal’s makes my head explode. Not so at the Coldwater Creek outlet. The deeply discounted clothes were organized by type (sweaters with sweaters, blouses with blouses, etc.) then by size, then by color. It was really simple to scan through. But they also had a large selection of clothes like you would expect to find at a typical store. Each dressing room had a complete outfit hanging on each door, including jewelry. All the sales people were really friendly, too.

I know some of the clothes are late season items that have been moved out of the regular stores. I spotted a pair of my Capri pants I bought in May. But I think some of the clothes are made just for the outlets. A few tags said “compare to” or something. Plus a sales lady told me how happy they are with the new buyer.

coldwater creek capris blue

A couple of notes: I think the sizes at Coldwater Creek tend to run large. I normally wear a large and in several pieces, I ended up purchasing medium. That means they run large, right?

I’ve always wanted to have one store or one brand that was my go-to for my wardrobe. That way I would know everything went with everything, I would know what size I should buy, etc. I think I’ve found what I was looking for at Coldwater Creek!

Have you found a brand or store that completely fits your style? That personifies your signature look? Please share below!

Did you enjoy this blog post? Leave a comment at the bottom and click the button below to share it with others who may enjoy it, too. Sharing is caring!


Unmentionably Cheeky Subscription Box Review

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Unmentionably Cheeky

 

Updated: I just got my second mailing of Unmentionably Cheeky and I love it just as much as my first!

My love for subscription boxes is growing…quickly. Is this my favorite? It’s hard to say, since I’m beginning to have so many!

NOTE: This subscription box is for ladies only. If you actually know me in real life, feel free to stop reading. Please stop reading.  I really don’t want my co-workers to know about my panties, new or old.

PS-Yep, I have affiliate links here. I might get a latte with my yearly earnings. 

My newest find is Unmentionably Cheeky. This is a subscription for cheeky panties. For $6 with a coupon code (normally $9) you’ll get two pairs of cheeky undies. Each package is a surprise…you select the size (XS to XXL) and Unmentionably Cheeky picks the colors and style. These aren’t thongs, but they are pretty cheeky. So don’t expect any pictures of this subscription box!

Unmentionably Cheeky Subscription

My first two pairs arrived last week and so far I’m delighted! The first pair was a bright peach color with lace trim. I could see adding these to my daily rotation. They are surprisingly comfortable, way better than a thong.

The next pair was white and lacy. By lacy, I mean lace only. These are very delicate and will not be joining my daily rotation. They will be in the special event drawer. Everyone has one of those, right?

Unmentionably Cheeky includes free shipping to US and Canada, $5 shipping to all other countries. The package arrives in a black shipping envelope, usually within 3 days in the US. I think the address said UMC or something nondescript.

The price is normally $9 for 2 pairs of panties, which is a pretty good deal. But right now if you use the Unmentionably Cheeky coupon code FALL 13 you lock in the price of $6 per package for the however long you keep this subscription, so that’s only $3 per pair! That is darn cheap! Victoria’s Secret Cheekies start at $11 a pair, not including shipping and tax. Sure, you get to select your own style and color, but for triple the price? I’ll take a good surprise!

As you journey to Find Your Fabulous, consider Unmentionably Cheeky. Can new panties change your life? Perhaps. Having a little something special no one knows about can be a huge confidence booster. And it might even add a little spark to your love life.

Unmentionably Cheeky Panties

Just a note: I have affiliate links in this post. If you click on one of my links and end up buying something, I get a little bit of cash. Like 2-10%. I know, life changing. I will be a dollaraire in no time!


Finding My Fabulous Through Tae Kwon Do

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Image from Soldier2000 @ deviantart.com

Image from Soldier2000 @ deviantart.com

My journey to find my fabulous  has primarily focused on makeup, plus a bit on skin care and clothes. I recently realized it has also included Tae Kwon Do.

Let me give you a little background…

As a kid, I tried every sport available; t-ball, basketball, soccer, swimming, track, and cross country. I would estimate I was in the bottom 10% of every sport I participated in. I was awarded several “most improved” trophies, which basically meant, “you really sucked when you started and now you only half-suck.” I had great fun doing all these activities, but I just knew sports weren’t my thing.

7 months ago my husband decided our family would start tae kwon do. I reluctantly agreed, mostly to show our girls that even if you aren’t great at something you can still have fun. If given the choice, I would have stayed home so the rest of my family could have Daddy/Daughter time.

We signed up at our local dojang and attended class twice a week. My husband and I were the only adults most of the time. The majority of the class only came up to my *white* belt. When we ran laps to start class, I was the slowest. Those little twerps lapped me every time, including my own daughters.

When we stretched, I wasn’t even close to touching my toes. One of the teenage helpers would walk through the students and say, “John is down. Bella is down. Andrew is almost down. Danielle is trying hard.” I knew I would never get past trying hard. Why? When I was 14 years old, my cross country coach told me I had the hamstrings of a 40 year of man. Thanks, Coach!

Much to my surprise, I got better. I was able to do most of the kicks and blocks and do them well. My flexibility improved. I am now “almost down.” Some kids still lap me, but I sometimes lap a few who run all out the first three laps then peter out before lap 10.

When it was time for our first belt test, I passed with flying colors! Happily, so did the rest of my family. We now proudly wear our yellow belts!

The topper came last week. I was called to the front of class and I had no idea why. The lead instructor announced that I was the Star of the Month for our entire dojang! This doesn’t mean I’m perfect or the best, but it’s a heck of a lot better than “you did suck and now you only half-suck” awards!

Our next belt test is about a month away. If we pass, we will begin sparring. That will be my chance to really show those fast little buggers!

As you journey to Find Your Fabulous, I encourage you to try something new. Take a cooking class, join the local choir, maybe even look into Tae Kwon Do! You never know where you might Find Your Fabulous!


Nerium Review NOT from a Brand Partner

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To Nerium or Not to NeriumI do not sell Nerium. I have purchased several bottles at full price and I received one at no charge in the 3 UR Free program. There are no affiliate links in this review. It is my honest opinion after using Nerium for several months.

Nerium is a facial moisturizer distributed in a direct sales format, similar to Mary Kay.

I’ve never tried anything like Nerium. At night, after you wash your face, you apply 4 to 5 pumps of Nerium to damp skin. In the morning you splash it off and continue with your typical AM routine.That’s it! The simplicity of this product is very appealing to me!

PS-Nerium recently introduced an additional morning step.I have not tried it and I don’t know a thing about it!

When I was using the product, I never knew if I was using too much water or not enough. Too much and it’s super runny and way too much. I end up rubbing into my belly…stretch marks are like wrinkles, right? Not enough water and it’s like spreading glue.

The product itself is the color of putty. The smell is…unique. It’s not lovely, but not awful. Some people say it’s stinky.My husband says it smells exotic. I would prefer an unscented version. Either way, the scent fades pretty quickly.

My skin feels pretty tacky for several hours after I put it on. Not my-pillow-is-stuck-to-my-face tacky, but when I touch my skin it feels sticky.

So the real question: does Nerium work?

I think so. The person I bought it from took pictures before I tried it then again after 10 days of consistent use. I don’t think I have many wrinkles, but I did notice the parenthesis from my nose to my mouth seemed softened. The frown lines between my eyes seem a little less, but only in the morning, right when I take off the Nerium. By evening, they are back, probably because I’ve been frowning all day. And I never really knew how close to my eyes I could put it.

Overall the difference wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t anything others have commented on. I think it did help, but not enough to justify the price.

The price. That’s my biggest sticking point. The bottle of Nerium is about $80 plus shipping, which is a total of nearly $100 per month. When they say it lasts 5 weeks, that is pretty spot on. To me, $100 per month is pretty pricey for minor results. They do have a 3 UR Free program which means if you can get 3 people to “sign up” under you, then your bottle will be free.

Did I mention when you purchase Nerium it is a monthly subscription service? It is automatically delivered each month.

I will say, canceling was easy.

With the 3 UR Free program, they tell you right away that you qualify for a free bottle of Nerium, but there is not a whisper when one of those people cancel.

PRO: I think it really does work.
3 UR Free program

CON:Price
Scent
Tackiness
Automatic delivery
No notification when you are off the 3 UR free program

Final Verdict: Don’t buy it. If you can get 3 people to sign up under you, then maybe go for it. But keep a close eye on your account.

If you would like to give Nerium a try, just make a Facebook post that says, “Anyone sell Nerium? I want to buy some.” You’ll get a quick response, I’m sure.

Sorry for this sad sack review, but if you want honesty, this is it, Ladies!

Have you tried Nerium? What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Hurry! Stylish Surprise from ModCloth

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I am totally into Subscription Boxes right now. Pay a little bit, get some surprises worth more than you pay. Fantastic!

ModCloth is offering something similar, but it’s one time only and it’s right now!!! I hear they sell out quickly.

Direct from ModCloth:

My, what a Stylish Surprise! For just $15, you might get anything from a terrific top or sassy skirt, to a dazzling dress or cute coat. There’s a beautiful bevy of mystery items with retail values from $29.99 to $299.99! Ready for some fashion fun? Simply select your size, then add a chic secret to your shopping bag. Hurry – supplies are limited, so snag a Stylish Surprise while you still can!

ModCloth’s Famous Stylish Surprise 
And don’t forget ModCloth always has FREE US shipping on orders $50+.

I just bought one, so I’ll let you know what I get. I should have ordered several to get free shipping, but for $4, I’ll take my chances!


Zooey Deschanel Sporting a Stylish ModCloth Dress on The New Girl!

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I just found out that Zooey Deschanel will be wearing this lovely frock from ModCloth on tonight’s episode of the New Girl!


ModCloth Neyla Dress worn on Zooey Deschanel in New Girl
 Don’t know much about ModCloth? ModCloth is an American online retailer specializing in vintage, vintage-inspired and indie clothing, accessories and decor.They also have a fantastic Nerd section!


Finding My Fabulous

Find Your Fabulous

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Finding My Fabulous
I just turned 40.

I cut off my hair.

I went from shoulder length hair to a short pixie cut. Yeah, I did that.

I decided, since my face was now just “out there,” and I didn’t want to look like a man, I needed to start wearing lipstick.

If I was going to wear lipstick, I may as well start wearing makeup.

It’s sort of like the book If You Give a Moose a Muffin. It just keeps going and going.

Guess what? I am LOVING it! I am having so much fun styling my hair and trying on makeup. It’s awesome.

I am Finding My Fabulous!

Care to join me? I will be posting my trials and tribulations as I find my own fabulous. Perhaps you can find yours too!

Watch here for:

Product Reviews

Video Tutorials

Hot Products, especially for “mature” ladies, not old women

Much more!

What would you like to see? How can I help you to Find Your Fabulous?