Electric Pressure Cooker

Over the summer I purchased an electric pressure cooker, I have used it from time to time, but never really ventured into testing out the abilities of it.

Over time I’ve made applesauce, pulled pork, bbq beef, shredded beef, and salsa chicken. I have recently tried making rice in it as well. I typically just make rice on the stove top.

This week I purchased chicken thighs. I made this in two batches. The first time I put half the chicken thighs in with spaghetti sauce. I added garlic powder, onion flakes, dried parsley, oregano and Italian seasoning. I serve it over cavatappi pasta. I was concerned the boys wouldn’t like this, but they loved it. Colby who doesn’t always like to have any kind of protein in his red sauce ate multiple servings.

Yesterday, I took the other half of the chicken thighs and decided to make them chicken teriyaki. I added about 1/4 cup of chicken stock, chopped onion, chopped green pepper, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, dried ginger, onion flakes, cumin, and garlic powder. I added  a cornstarch slurry before serving to thicken up the sauce a bit. I served this over rice (jasmine or brown).  While it was cook correctly and the texture was perfect it didn’t have a true teriyaki taste. It didn’t taste bad, it just didn’t taste like we expected it to taste. Blake ate two servings of chicken and Colby barely finished his first serving.

I need to do some more searching for recipes that can be created and made with the electric pressure cooker. I like the prep and set aspect and that I don’t have to have it sit all day like you do with a slow cooker. The two recipes I mentioned about took 40 minutes after it came to pressure. Simple easy and quick.

Do you have an electric pressure cooker? Share a recipe you like to cook in your pressure cooker! I’m looking for new ones.

***This post contains links to products. Please read my disclosure


statement. Thanks***



family · life

Valentine Box, Monster Jam and Visiting the Mall

Today was a busy fun filled family day. I knew we were going to have brunch and linner today so I made breakfast burritos. They turned out really good. I made a batch of scramblers with ham and cheddar cheese. We then wrapped it in tortillas and baked it in the oven for about 5 min.

After breakfast, we decided to work on Colby’s Valentine box. This will probably be the last box we make. His teacher is running a decorating contest before they give out their valentines. We went back and forth between a few different box decorations and he settled on Cut the Rope.

Then we headed into the city to go see Monster Jam. We went to see Monster Jam many times in Orlando. When we went to Monster Jam in Orlando it took place outside in a football stadium. This time it was inside the PPG Paints Arena which is where the Pittsburgh Penguins play. Needless to say it wasn’t as big of a show. I don’t think we will be back to see it, but if we didn’t know what it was like to see the big shows it probably would have seemed like a lot more fun.

When we were done, we decided to go to Chili’s for dinner. Then went to the mall. We had yet to visit this mall and decided since we were right there we would. Colby didn’t like his meal at Chili’s… I’m not sure I blame him. He ordered kids chicken and pasta and the sauce was spicy. When I was putting it into the to go box we saw pieces of jalapenos. I wonder if they put the wrong sauce on it? So we decided to stop at the food court and he decided to get a burger from Five Guys. Blake ended up getting a hot dog even though he ate his quesadilla at Chili’s.

It was a fun day for the four of us. Now to play a game before bedtime. Hope your Saturday was fun for you as well.

Education · Uncategorized

I have/Who has short vowels kit for TPT!

I finished another product for my Teachers Pay Teachers store. This one is a game. The game is called I have/ Who has.

I Have/ Who Has Short Vowel GameI Have/ Who Has Short Vowel Game

To play the game, you pass out cards to each child. You then pick one child to start reading his/her card. The cards says I have_____. Who has ____. Each child looks at their card and looks to see if they have the card mentioned by the first player. The player with the correct card then reads their card.

This is a quick and fun game that is great for reviewing skills. The kit that I made has 5 games that practice reading CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. I made one game set for each of the short vowels.

You can find this product here. I hope you enjoy playing it with your class!.

food · through my camera lens

Baking Fail!

I post a lot about the recipes that I cook, but cooking is not my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoy cooking, it’s just not my favorite… Baking now that is my true kitchen love.

Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom again I find myself baking more. Baking is very relaxing to me. I love the chemistry of it. Cooking is creative, but baking taps into the scientific side of my brain. I really wish I could create my own baking recipes, but I don’t know enough about the chemistry of baking to try. I do enjoy tweaking the recipes that I bake.


Right now, as I’m typing this post, I’m waiting for a batch of Cara Cara orange muffins to come out of the oven. I discovered Cara Cara oranges after reading about them in a comment on Maureen Gets Real. I’ve puchased them the last few weeks. This week the bag was on sale for $3.99 or I could buy them individually for 10/$1..,. umm I’ll get the bag! So had Cara Cara oranges to use.


I found a recipe for Cara Cara orange muffins. I was intrigued and decided to try it out. I did make a few changes! I did 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar. I used 1/4 cup cara cara juice and 1/4 cup of cranberry juice. I found this mixture VERY soupy. I went with it and said… we will see what happens.

The muffins smelled yummy while they were baking. When the timer went off, they were obviously not done. I gave them 3 more minutes and they looked so much better at that time.

I was being lazy and didn’t use muffin wrappers… this may have been part of my downfall, but hey that’s what spray in a can is for… right?

When I tried to get the muffins out of the pan they totally fell apart. I knew that batter looked way too wet. So now I have a cooling rack covered in falling apart muffins. They taste… ok. I’m going to wait until the finish cooling and see if they taste better then.


Oh well… a baking fail from time to time keeps you on your toes. Or something like that!

family · life

Special Blog Post by Blake: Pop Goes the Tooth

I remember losing a couple of my baby teeth, back in 20-something. See, I’ve just added a new tooth just a while ago. Turns out it’s one of my molars. Why, do you ask, am I writing about teeth? Well, if you ask, it’s one of my first peaks: First molar EVER!!! The crazy thing is: I found out two days ago that I had a loose tooth at school during (when else?) lunch. Soooo….. Today after dinner (meatloaf muffins,which were actually pretty good),  I decided to have Starburst for dessert, with my Starburst Sandwich, which is all the original flavors in one ‘sandwich’ of goodness(my own idea). On trying to soften and chew up the third piece, which happened to be strawberry, the tooth got stuck in the Starburst and went POP or something, and there the tooth goes. I say, “There goes my tooth.” I take the Starburst and the tooth (it didn’t stick, it just caught onto the piece) out of my mouth and take a look. There’s a little blood but that’s it, and my adult tooth is already coming in. Mom said when she felt the adult, “No wonder the tooth fell out.” Here’s a couple of pics of my mouth now and me holding the tooth in my hand:


book · food · life · Uncategorized

Food on my mind

Yesterday found me making two batches of soup. For lunch, I made a hearty tomato soup. I cooked up 1/2 a chopped onion, added in crushed tomato, tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce… the canned thick tomato base), beef stock, leftover hamburger, Parmesan cheese and seasonings. It was really good. Neither of the boys wanted any for lunch, but I enjoyed two bowls topped with cheddar cheese.

For dinner, I made baked potato soup with homemade rolls. I looked at two different baked potato soup recipes and then sort of combined the ideas into my own mix. The only issue cooking like this I can almost never replicate what I make exactly. It was really yummy. It needed a bit more seasoning. When I reheat the leftovers I’m going to add a bit more chicken stock, milk, garlic and pepper. I think that will help bump up the flavors.

The boys weren’t 100% sold on the potato soup and rolls, but they ate enough to call it dinner. My boys aren’t used to eating soups. When we lived in Florida, they ate very little, if any soup, there wasn’t a need for it as much as here. I keep trying to get them to see the deliciousness of soups on a cold day.

Tonight we are having another type of comfort food for me… meatloaf. This recipe is from my childhood. It is such a simple, yet delicious way to make meatloaf. My kids tolerate this meal, but Richard and I both really enjoy it.

Today it snowed all day long, but never amounted to anything. I went and did a bit of shopping at Costco. I found a book there from an author that I really enjoy, Adriana Trigiani. I have been debating putting aside The Lilac Girls and reading this book instead for a bit. The Lilac Girls is a pretty intense book. It’s not that I don’t like the book, it’s just got a lot going on and I feel like I haven’t been able to give it enough attention to really enjoy it the way I should. I’ll decide tonight when I head upstairs to read.

Well, the boys are home. Time to put on my mom hat and make dinner while I supervise homework completion. Hope you have some type of yummy food on your plate tonight. I know I will!




family · life · through my camera lens

Snow day!

Today the phone rang at 5:15am. I actually didn’t hear it ring, but I heard the message as Richard listen to it… no school for the boys. We sort of knew this was coming since we were under a winter storm warning from 2am to 6pm. I got up and turned both of the boys alarm clocks off and went back to bed.

Richard and I got up around 7:30am and started our morning. Richard jumped in the Image may contain: one or more people, snow, tree, outdoor and natureshower and I headed down to shovel. The snow was HEAVY today. We had about 5 inches of snow already. While I was out shoveling it started a wintry mix with more rain than anything else… oh joy! Richard ended up coming out and helping me shovel the snow since I was no where near done when he was done with his routine.

We got the driveway done and moved on with our day. The boys and I played two rounds of Family Edition Trivial Pursuit. I said that we need to get another version of this game as they are really good at answering the kids questions and are probably ready for a full on adult version. I’ll have to go searching for the best version to purchase.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, tree, snow, outdoor and natureWhen that was done the three of us went outside. The boys who live across the street were outside shoveling their driveway. My boys decided to go help them out… hey why don’t they ever offer to help me? Well I didn’t give up my shovel because I still needed to shovel where the truck was, the sidewalk and the walkway.

While we were outside it switched from a wintry mix to snow. I couldn’t keep up with the snow while I was shoveling, not that I expected to, but it was crazy how muchImage may contain: one or more people, snow, outdoor and nature snow was falling.

The boys then decided to head out back and go sledding. It was really good sledding cine there was a layer of ice on top of the snow. They were able to get in quite a few good runs down the hill. They will certainly be disappointed when there is a house on the lot next door next year since that is their favorite spot to sled.

While they were out there, I cleaned off the back steps and snapped some pictures. I loved the look of the icicles on the bird feeder. I did go over and clean off the feeder so the birds could get to the seeds.

Image may contain: tree, bird, sky, snow and outdoor

** this post contains links to products, please read my disclosure statement**


Blog Party. join the fun

I decided to join this blog party on Cranny’s Cove.  Click here to join the fun:

I know, it’s Monday, and most people work on Mondays!

But, as Lacey from Big and Pinky Toes pointed out after my first Meet & Greet party, some people stay out of the Bloggosphere during the weekend. Good point, Lacey!! So, I thought we could throw a week party, and just be very carefull with the booze, so no one has to call in sick just because of my silly idea!



So here are the “rules”…

  1. Introduce yourself and your blog a little, for people who wouldn’t know you already.
  2. Share links to your blog, and/or to friends of yours’ in the comment box!
  3. Reblog this link in your blog, if you don’t mind of course! The more the merrier… And I’d love to see tons of new faces around!
  4. Stay around to chit chat a little… If you are a regular in The Cove, you know I love to fool around!


I’ll let the party go on until Thursday around noon. Come as often as you like, mingle with friends, make new ones, share and enjoy yourself! I’ll make sure to keep the fridge full of snacks and drinks, just help yourself!

I’ll even leave the light on at night… Hey! It’s always 5 O’clock somewhere!

I’m waiting for you, don’t be shy, and spread the word…


Read / Write the Room ABC for TPT

And just like that… I’ve completed my newest kit for my Teachers Pay Teacher’s site.

Read / Write the Room ABC

This kit is geared towards kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students. It is an activity where the teacher posts pictures, words or the combination of both around the room. Typically the students then go around with a clipboard and read and write the room.

In the kit, I included a variety of worksheets that the teachers can use depending upon the needs of the students. The sheets allow everything from writing the word and illustrating it to writing sentences for each of the words.

Read / Write the Room ABCRead / Write the Room ABC

I added eight pictures to go with each letter of the alphabet. These words are more complex words which will build the students vocabulary for reading and writing.

You can check it out here.

Now to start working on my next kit!


Today’s rambling thoughts

The last two mornings I’ve had to get up on shovel. Neither day had a lot of snow. Monday probably had 2-3 inches and today had a dusting to an inch. But, I am one of those people who has to have a clear driveway. I am obsessed with being able to see the blacktop!

Typically I go out and shovel the driveway before Richard leaves for work and then after he leaves I go out and clean off where his truck is in the driveway, the walkway, the sidewalk and the back steps. Yesterday, Richard took my car to work so the snow around the truck never got shoveled. This meant there was more snow there. Also, the snow melted yesterday and refroze under the truck. I found that ice today and manage to slip on it.  Oh well… I didn’t hurt anything but my ego.

Today I left the house for the first time in a while. Last week I wasn’t feeling well so there were quite a few days that I didn’t go anywhere. Today I went to the grocery store. This meant that I needed to make a grocery list and menu plan yesterday. I hate going to the store without a plan. I’ve lived here since June and I still am trying to figure out the grocery store.

I’ve been wanting to make something new, but I didn’t figure out something new to try this week. I did come up with a few meals that we haven’t had in a while, but I’m going to search for new meals, I need a change. We are having FFY (fend for yourself), baked potato soup and homemade bread/rolls, meatloaf muffins, chicken cordon bleu, and pork tenderloin. Saturday we are going to go out to eat since we are going to see Monster Jam.

The other thing I’m planning to make today is oatmeal raisin cookies. Colby has been asking for these the last few weeks. The last few things I baked have been something peanut butter so oatmeal raisin is a good change. I do have another peanut butter cookie recipe in my head, maybe next week.

Yesterday I spent some time working on a new kit for my Teachers Pay Teacher’s store. I love that I have the time to work on these kits that I can sell at a reasonable price for other teachers. I am almost done with the one I started yesterday and I have a few more ideas brewing for the next ones I’ll make.

I’m glad that I’m feeling more human again. My head is still stuffed, but it’s not slowing me down anymore. Yesterday I felt productive as I got the house cleaned, two blog posts, made dinner and worked on the TPT kit. And, that was after shoveling. Today I am having another productive day. Yep, I feel like me again.

Hope your week is going smoothly.

Do you meal plan before going to the grocery store? Did I list any meals you’d like me to post about for next week’s Tasty Tuesday? Is it snowing in your neck of the world?