Five Friday Faves 01.12.18

Happy Friday! Only one more week until we’re off to Belize, I’m so excited! Ready for some sun and relaxation!

With that, here are this week’s faves! I like to post favorites from my week or old favorites that I use regularly. Hope you enjoy and Happy Friday! TGIF!!

#1 – My Instant Pots!

Yes, you read that right, Instant Pots – I have two Instant Pots, lol. After hearing so many people talk about how they love their Instant Pots, I decided to take the plunge and bought an 8 quart. I did some research on what size to get and almost everyone suggested to get the largest possible. We have four people that I cook for daily and I also like to prepare food for family functions. Well, after purchasing it, it sat on the counter for a few weeks because I was a bit overwhelmed (which I hear happens quite a bit). Finally, I decided to start out small with rice and potatoes. I googled around for timing and everyone also suggested to throw out the manual – so I did. I joined a Facebook group and watched some Youtube videos and now I’m hooked! I’m definitely still a newbie, but starting to branch out into soups, stews, and batch cooking veggie stock/refried beans. My boyfriend also surprised me with a 3 quart for my birthday which is perfect for a small batch of soup/stew, sides, and my lunches!

#2 – Vegan Under Pressure by Jill Nussinow

You might see a theme here 🙂 This has been BY FAR the most helpful resource when cooking in my Instant Pots. The time charts alone for grains, beans, vegetables, etc. are extremely helpful! It’s becoming much easier to convert a stove top or slow cooker recipe into an instant pot one by using her recipes or the time charts for the most prominent/longest cooking ingredient. For example, I cooked this recipe in my 3 quart last night and used the timing for lentil soup in her book. I also figured out that I was overcooking my basmati rice by three minutes and didn’t even realize it, lol. I highly recommend it (even if you aren’t vegan)!

#3 Homemade Vegetable Stock

I use vegetable stock weekly, along with a lot of fresh vegetables. So it only made sense to start saving my veggie scraps in the freezer to start making my own stock. I save leftover onions (skin and all), celery, carrots, a few potato skins (not too many as they can make the stock cloudy), and mushrooms. It’s a great way to save veggies that are on their last leg in your fridge too! Here’s a great resource on which vegetables are good to use in your stock. I add all of the veggies into my 8 quart Instant Pot and fill it with between 10-12 cups of water (careful to not go past the max line), add a few cloves of garlic, and a couple bay leaves. Set to high pressure for five minutes and natural release. I open it and let it cool for a bit, put it through a fine mesh strainer (pressing on the veggies gently to get all of the flavors out) and separate it into canning jars. I keep one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. Note – I don’t salt my stock until I add it to a recipe.

#4 Snickerdoodles

This will be my new go-to cookie recipe! I love anything cinnamon and these were so delicious! If you like snickerdoodles, I highly recommend trying this recipe.

#5 Target Stackable Crates

I posted about these on my Instagram and I still love them! They are perfect for produce and stack great on the kitchen counter. I even have a couple in our living room to hide our router and game controllers 🙂

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