Best of Intentions

I decided to pull out a recipe from my new cookbook for the Instant Pot. I picked the breakfast casserole because I had all the ingredients and it sounded yummy. Basically it’s a steamed egg casserole with spinach, bacon, sausage, cheese, hash browns and seasonings. This is what it looked like before:

I ended up having to cook it for an extra 6 minutes to get the eggs to set and then despite liberal lubrication this is how it came out of the bowl….

I dumped it onto a cookie sheet, added some extra cheese and broiled for several minutes to finish it off. Now it was extremely tasty and loved by toddler and adult alike. Just not very pretty….

The bacon helped to soothe my cooking wounds. Happy Cooking!!

My New Favorite Pork Roast

I accidentally invented a new favorite recipe. And I thought I’d drop a quick post to share with you all! The hubby and I wanted to cook up some pulled pork for our friends at out Baby-Q a few weeks back. Normally I chuck a pork butt in a crock pot with some salt and pepper and go low and slow for most of a day.  But because pork and apple go so well together and I have so much apple jelly this year and I added the two together.

Homemade Apple Jelly Pork Roast

  • 5-7 lbs pork butt/shoulder
  • 1/2 pint of homemade apple jelly
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Place the pork fat side up in a crock pot. Sprinkle dry seasonings all over the pork. Using spatula spread apple jelly all over the pork and deposit any leftover around the meat. Cook on low 8 hours or until pork is fork tender. (You can adjust your seasonings according to your own taste. I don’t always measure exactly so do what feels right.)

You can also cook this in an oven in a roasting pan. Just set your oven to 185 or 200 degrees and cook 8-9 hours. However, this method might require more frequent checking of the meat since the oven will pull out more moisture than the crock pot.

Not only did this make everyone in the house drool for hours, it was some of the best pork I’ve ever eaten. It was uber moist with just the slightest hint of apple. We literally at it so fast that I didn’t even have time to take photos for you. But I promise this won’t disappoint!

Enjoy!

A Very Expensive Lesson in Cooking

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Last Christmas my mom purchased a mandolin for my kitchen. It works great and really speeds up the chopping process…when used correctly. Some veggies are harder to slice than others I have found.

I chose to use it without all of the proper safety guards….and paid the price. While slicing green peppers I took off the tip of my right index finger. Nothing life altering but it bled something awful and I will spare you the details. The hubby had to take me to the walk in emergency clinic to get the wound closed with silver nitrate. Again I will spare you the painful gory details. All in all they took very good care of me and packed me on my way with meds and care instructions. Now I just await what I imagine will be a frightfully high doctors bill…expensive lesson indeed!

It hurts like a buggar when I accidentally hit it on something but is healing nicely. Upside…I literally finished Jellybean’s hexi-ghan the night before. AND I can still knit, albeit in a slightly modified and slower manner.

Live and learn I guess? But at least I will have a FO to show this week!

Happy Knitting!!

More Cherry Jam

Summer in Kansas is in full swing! During a recent trip to my parents house I noticed the cherry trees were ripe and ready to go. Two and a half hours later and five large ice cream buckets later, this pregnant lady was hot and tired. And, I might note, the three trees were only half picked!

As reward for my sweaty work I went home with two buckets of pitted and washed fruit. My most favorite jam of all time is cherry. So after a quick trip to the grocery store for sugar and pectin. I transformed all that fruit into jar after jar of delicious jam. Three hours and some swollen ankles I have this…

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Holy Chili Peppers Batman!

My family’s garden went nuts on peppers this year! I received a five gallon bucket of green chilies just for me…

So I took these,

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And put them on this,

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To end up with these,

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So I could ultimately make the hubs some Green Chili for his saucy needs,

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No to mention some 2 oz portions of puréed chili peppers for winter soups,

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Gotta love my vacuum sealer.

This chili pepper business literally took 8 hours on a Sunday. I’m so over peppers until next year!!! It put a serious crimp on my knitting time 😦

Now What?

Remember my apple trees? Well it’s harvest time…

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I now have two five gallon buckets of apples. And I only picked half of one tree!!! There are a few gems in there but mostly they are all covered in worm/bug/bird marks. It’s going to take a lot to dice and clean these babies up. For now they are bathed and chilling in my fridge.

My question is now what? What you guys make with all these green apples? My leading preservation options are:

– apple butter

– apple sauce

– apple pie filling

Anything else sound good?

Battle of the Buldge

In preparing for the impending huge step in our lives by buying a house, we decided some life insurance might be necessary. We are young and it’s really rather affordable right now. So off we went! There was a small matter of routine physicals….

Holy moley, were the holidays hard on our waistlines. Both of us are overweight and the hubs has high cholesterol. I knew that both of our wardrobes had been getting tight but sheesh! So we’ve decided to do something about it.

1) The hubs has started a fish oil regimen and increased his fiber intake per doctors orders

2) I’m increasing my cardio workouts and dragging the husband with me

3) Dinner time is now a no starch zone. We try to fix lean protein, steamed or raw veggies, and a high fiber fruit.

4) Cut our soda/sugar intake by half

5) Cut out alcohol consumption unless attending social events

6) Packing sack lunches before we go to bed instead of when we are bleary eyed first thing in the am.

7) Having bottled water on hand and Brita pitcher always full. We need all the hydration we can get!

We suck at dieting. We like carbs. We like sweets. We don’t need to crash diet. We need to learn to live better! I’m hoping by still getting our whole grains and bread/rice during breakfast and lunch that we won’t feel deprived! And if we have a soda or donut here and there….it’s not going to kill us. We simply makes choices and find a balance.

Disclaimer: I’m by no means an expert on health or fitness! This is just what we are going to try make work for us. Common sense and moderation…

Baby steps and positive choices! Here goes nothing!

Smothered Steak n Rice

The hubs and I have been on the road A LOT lately. This had led to eating a lot of junk and a poorly stocked kitchen at home. This week I have been absolutely craving vegetables and good home cooked food. But alas, when opening my pantry I didn’t have a lot to work with. I did manage to find:

– tenderized beef minute steak (frozen)
– cream of mushroom soup
– brown gravy mix
– half a bag of long grain white rice
– some beef stock
– frozen bag of green beans

And dinner was born! I mixed two cans of the cream of mushroom soup with the gravy mix powder and a little fresh ground black pepper and salt. I pulled out my thawed steaks and pounded them out extra thin and laid them in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. I poured the soup combo over the meat and slid into a 350 degree oven to bake.

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I put the rice in my steamer and used the stock instead of water to infuse flavor. Kinda came out looking like brown rice!?

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The meat was done in about the same time as the rice (not sure exactly how long, sorry!) I served the meat and sauce over the rice and added steamed green beans for a complete dinner. All in all this cook/prep time took less than 40 minutes!

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It was hearty and satisfying and according to my rough calculations, under 400 calories for the whole meal! I even got a thumbs up from my hubby! Not mention I made dinner without going to the store or drive through lane! The dogs were disappointed I didn’t spill…and they keep really good watch!

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Sunday At Full Tilt

I would like to say I LOVE MY HUSBAND! He has been outside ALL afternoon picking up leaves. And I really mean all afternoon!

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This has left me free in the house to do some dishes, some laundry, throw together a leftover surprise casserole for dinner, wind some yarn into cakes, and plan some drills for volleyball practice.

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And I still haven’t played with any of my birthday yarn yet either!

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Sundays are exhausting!! I hope all is well in your neck of the world 🙂