Saturday, October 22, 2016

Winter Squash Love

Hello everyone! Happy Happy Fall. This post came about when my kids were talking about how I don't decorate for Halloween. Which, I admit, I hardly do unless it's Christmas. Because Christmas. Is. My. Favorite. To decorate for that is. Halloween, it's just not my thing. I do put out a few fall items though. What about you do you decorate for all the holidays? Certain ones?
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Bo Kho

Have you had Bo Kho? I grew up having it with French bread to dip in the spicy fragrant broth. Not hot spicy, but aromatic herbs spicy. You can make this as spicy hot as you like by adding more spicy chilies to it. This is a Vietnamese dish. I was very fortunate growing up that my parents had such a wonderful variety of friends. Their children in turn because good friends of mine. We would gather weekly for meals at someones house. Late late nights, as they shared stores. Some of the country they left behind to come America for. Other times to sing Karaoke until early morning. And they were always "Auntie" or "Uncle" if not
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Steel Cut Tropical Oats

Talk about "Throwback  Thursday", today I had a bowl of oats that was much like what I used to make for my toddlers and babies. Except of course, at the time theirs looked like this:
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Instant Pot Chicken and (Rolled) Dumplings

 Rolled Cracker Barrel style Chicken and Dumplings. We had it at night for dinner, and the girls asked me to make more for their school lunches. So the lighting in these pictures of the process is a bit off. Because it was 0 dark hundred. Not really, but six in the morning seems early to me. Making this in the Instant Pot really helps the morning go smoothly, I'm not constantly stirring or checking a pot for one. Second the cook time is reduced quite a bit! For my stove top Chicken and Dumplings please follow this link.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 School Lunches 271-280

I've been so bad about getting pictures of lunches lately. But here are the pictures I took last week.
Above is #271
Rice with Palak Paneer on top- I'll update with the paneer recipe I am using soon, I much prefer it and so do the kids 
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Freezer Tip: Flash Freezing

Hello! Just thought I would do a quick post on Flash Freezing. I'm not certain that's the correct term, but I use it a lot. I also use this method of freezing quite a bit for items I don't want to freeze stuck together. That way I can use one or two pieces at the same time, but they can all be stored together.
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Friday, October 14, 2016


Seafood Jambalaya.
 I have been making this same Jambalaya recipe for a couple years now. I got it from a friend online. It's fairly easy to make. I never posted the recipe because there is a bit of eyeballing and tweaking when doing this on the stove top for me. Sometimes I need more water, sometimes less. It's got a lot to do with how tight fitting your lid is on the pot, how much evaporation happens each time, stuff like that. It's not that it's a hard dish to make, it's that it's a hard dish to give concrete measurements for. You'll find that the more you make this the easier it is to tell just by looking in the pot how much stock or water is needed for  rice that isn't too wet. You also don't want it to be crunchy. The plate above I made on the stove top with a medium grain rice. The plate below I made in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Both methods take about the same amount of time, maybe a bit less time in the Instant Pot.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

(Winter Squash) Pumpkin Puree- Instant Pot

Instant Pot Pumpkin Puree ready for the freezer.
It's Pumpkin season y'all! Before we go any further, I mean: it's winter squash season y'all! We are huge fans of winter squash around here. So many varieties to choose from, SO yes, make pumpkin puree. But don't forget all the other wonderful varieties which are great for both savory and sweet applications!
Now, most popular is pumpkin, and for many of those pumpkin recipes, you need puree! So I thought I would try my hand at Pumpkin puree in my good old Instant Pot. I know I can do way more in my oven at once. But the Instant Pot can certainly get this done way faster than roasting for 45 or so minutes. It takes 6 minutes of cooking time, adding in maybe 5-10 minutes of the pot coming to pressure. For three pumpkins, it's amazing. I did two batches back to back. Still less time than using the oven.
Any of these winter squash can be made in the Instant Pot, oven, or slow cooker.
Initially I was worried about using this method. I think that the oven yields a more concentrated pumpkin flavor because you are roasting and it's a dry heat that evaporates the liquid and in turn concentrates the flavor. Unless I'm eating a spoonful of oven roasted and following with a spoonful of steamed/slow cooker/pressure cooker I don't think I could tell the difference. This is a method I would use again and again.
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