Spiralizer

Recently Jeff and I were watching a cooking show and saw a machine demonstrated that made amazing vegetable noodles.  Since we downsized our home and kitchen (you can read HERE), we have been really good about not purchasing much that needs real estate space in our home.  I made homemade spaghetti sauce (recipe coming soon) and once our little machine arrived, I was peeling a sweet potato and Jeff was washing the zucchini he had picked up on the way home.  In no time at all, we had a pile of zucchini and sweet potato noodles waiting for hot sauce.  I blanched the sweet potato spirals in boiling water for about 3 minutes.   Jeff did nothing to the zucchini.  I have used other tools and machines to get this effect but the difference with this machine is (1) it grips very well to the counter top (2) the noodles can be wound around a fork like pasta and (3) it is very easy to clean (4) the noodles aren’t wet.

We are always looking for ways to add vegetables into our diet and I can see many future possibilities.

Here is the link to this kitchen helper – HERE

Sweet potato noodles blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes and strained – bring on the sauce.

I sautéed some sweet potatoes in olive oil to add a crispy crunch to a salad and also a few raw zucchini noodles.

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Orange Rice Pilaf

It’s citrus season here in the Phoenix, AZ area.  So when a friend offered me a bag of  beautiful oranges,  I said “yes and thank you.”  

This rice isn’t hard to make but it tastes as if you’ve been slaving all day.  Below you will find stovetop directions as well as making this in an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Orange Rice Pilaf
Serves 6
A delicious rice with a light orange flavor and the crunch of almonds.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chopped onions
  2. 1 Tbsp butter
  3. 1 cup long grain or jasmine rice
  4. 1 cup chicken broth
  5. 1/2 cup orange juice
  6. 1 tsp fresh orange peel
  7. 1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. STOVETOP
  2. In a skillet, saute onions and rice with butter until golden brown (3-5 minutes). Add remaining ingredients; heat to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. INSTANT POT
  4. Set to Saute. Place butter and onions and sauce until golden brown. Add remaining ingredients (except almonds). Lock lid down. Set to Manual for 4 minutes with an Instant Release. Stir in almonds.
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
 My favorite things to have on hand for this recipe:

Zester

Juicer

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Strainer

Another idea:  Adding cooked chicken or shrimp to rice takes it from side dish to main dish.

Let me know if you give this a try.  I’d enjoy hearing what you thought.

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Easy Birthday Get Together

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Today we gathered to celebrate the fall birthdays in our family. With a little planning, we were able to go to church and get back in time for everyone to have chili and of course, cake and ice cream for dessert.  It was our first family celebration together in our new house.  We all headed out to the backyard to eat.  I had saved a rug so we could lay it down for the children (and grandma).  The weather was beautiful and Maisie explored geckos and flowers with Aunt Rhiannon, Uncle Evan taught Caden how to use the bubble gun, and laughter and gentle conversation were lovely background noise – all moments I cherish.  Let me talk about the fun an inexpensive bubble gun can create with small children and keep the adults hands bubble liquid free.  Here is one similar to what we have.   The food was simple – the people were precious and the time together was priceless.

Here is how it all came about.  The weekend before I combined the the ingredients for Pumpkin Turkey Chili.  I made 2 batches and froze each batch in a ziplock bag which was placed in a bowl and frozen.  I did this so it can be placed in my Instant Pot.  However, it could be cooked on top of the stove after it was thawed.  This saved me a lot of time.  On Saturday, I set out on the counter for a few hours to thaw and then placed in refrigerator.  In the morning I placed both ziplock bags in the Instant Pot and placed on Saute for 5 minutes.  This will heat up any of the contents that may be still be frozen.  I then locked the lid down and placed on Manual for 11 minutes.  Then I headed off to church.  When I got home I opened the lid and it was perfect.  I put the lid back on and kept on warm until we were ready to eat at 11:30 a.m.  On our kitchen island were all kind of toppings:  cheddar cheese, diced green onions, diced cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, salsa and chips.

While I was putting the chili together for the freezer the week before, I also made up a Banana Cake.  It was cooled on the counter, covered with foil and placed in the freezer.  Last night I took it out and placed on the counter to thaw.  This morning before church I made up the vanilla buttercream frosting, made up the birthday banner from Lemonade Moments 

By the time I got home from church, I diced the onions and cilantro and got all the fixings ready to go.  The plastic bowls and spoons were put out and we were ready to enjoy each other’s company rather than being in the kitchen.

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