Good morning and welcome to Coffee and Conversation #132!
Does your meal prep need a makeover, too?
I have to say that one of the things I find most wearisome is the query I get day-after-day from the kids: what’s for dinner? (My hubby, bless his heart, never asks, and also never complains about what I serve. It’s a character trait that I am most grateful for!)
have to say that one of the things that I find &
But anyway, I discovered ~ at a most inopportune occasion which I’ll save for another story ~ that my beloved crockpot/slow cooker bit the dust recently. While I was pretty annoyed at the timing, I wasn’t really surprised. That baby surely didn’t owe me a thing. It’s logged in more hours than I care to count over the year or so I’ve had it. Yeah, I go through slow cookers like nobody’s business!
Well, I read a recent post that was shared here on Coffee and Conversation about the new Instant Pot, which got me quite curious. Are you familiar with it? Apparently, it’s a new twist on the old-fashioned pressure cooker your mom and grandma may have used back in the day.
Now I have to admit that the only experience I have with pressure cookers is a memory of the time my best friend’s mom tried cooking some kind of meat in one of them. I don’t recall what kind of meat it was, but, frankly, that’s irrelevant to this story. Because the only thing I remember is the brownish spray that was all. over. the. kitchen. from the thing exploding! I think you were supposed to be very watchful of your timing of the process, and my friend’s mom apparently was not.
Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) that spooked ME out of ever using one in my own kitchen.
But in a recent newsletter from my friend Erin Chase of Grocery Budget Makeover and FreezEasy fame, I discovered that she’s offering a class on how to use this new-and-improved version of the old-school appliance.
After some investigation, here’s some of what I learned about electric pressure cookers, and why I placed an order on Amazon for one of my own:
- It’s got programming for bone broth, which I’ve been reading about lately and definitely wanting to try – the health benefits are supposed to be fabulous! A friend of mine made a batch recently and the biggest problem, as I understand it, is that it took forever on the stove… Not so with this puppy!
- It’s also got a setting for cheesecake, which is one of my family’s favorite desserts, but not one I make often because of the time demands.
- And a setting to make your own no-fail homemade yogurt! How yummy is that?!
- Today’s versions come with multiple safety features (10 separate ones in the model I ordered), so I don’t have to worry about a meat-spattered ceiling or walls.
- It also comes with saute, slow cooker, and keep warm settings, just like my old crock pot.
But here’s the best part, Erin’s class will teach me exactly how to get the most out of my purchase in four short modules! Since I have absolutely NO experience with using one, I’m thrilled to have someone walk me through my first few times using it. (You can read the full course description here.)
On top of that, she teaches how to cook groups of foods together (help with meal planning – yeah!), and suggests the first 10 meals to make (to increase your confidence level and avoid wasting time and money by cooking things incorrectly in the beginning). Included is a 2-week meal plan with a shopping list to make getting started easy-peasy!
The beauty of the Instant Pot is that it is a quick cooker! So on those days when I’ve forgotten to take something out of the freezer, or even worse, have to run out to the store because I don’t have anything even planned, I can go out and buy something healthy and good for my family, and still get it prepared and served at a decent hour.
This, in my opinion, can be a homeschooling mama’s best buddy in the kitchen. Don’t worry about having to clean up a project the kids are working on so you can start supper. Don’t worry about getting home from soccer practice right away so you can start supper. Don’t worry about cutting short a playdate or time out at the park so you can start supper. Enjoy the present and enjoy supper together!
My goal, of course, is to plan healthy meals for my family that we can enjoy together. The cherry on top is finding a way I can do that which also minimizes my stress.
The Instant Pot is another tool at my disposal to do just that. And deciding to learn how to use it (correctly) is a no-brainer. I mean, if isn’t worth a hill of beans if I don’t know how to make the most of it, right?!
This post is part of a 5-part series called Rest and Refreshment for Homeschool Moms. Each article offers a simple but unique ways for moms to find “just the thing” to recharge and take care of themselves! Here’s the complete line-up:
- Rest and Refreshment for Homeschool Moms: Worthwhile Devotionals
- Making Over Your Homeschool Day
- Coffee and Conversation: Instant Pot Solutions!
- Finding encouragement through mentoring
- Getting your (homeschool) groove on!
And now let’s party…
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