House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Crock pot OR Instant Pot Challenge Week #1

Today is the first of the month, and this week's challenge runs from November 1 - 7. Let the sharing begin, and the eating, and getting those dusty recipes out you wanted to try but haven't. You don't have to do it everyday, but try to get one done at least once a week. I will post my pictures and recipes for this week here, after I make them. I kind of have a menu plan, but it doesn't mean I stick to it.

November 1st: Spaghetti Sauce

2 TBS of olive oil, bacon grease or butter
2 bay leaves
1medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. can tomato paste
2 - 16 oz. cans tomato sauce
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 to 2 palmfuls of sugar

Caramelize onions in fat over med-low heat. Then stir in garlic to cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. . Add everything to crock pot, stir and cook on high 3 hours or low 6 hours. Or simmer on low for 1.5 hours in stock pot on stove.

I will brown up some hamburger or other ground meat and add a palmful of italian seasoning to it while it browns in a little water. When meat is cooked through I add a few ladles of finished sauce to desired consistency for spaghetti and sauce, or lasagna in a bun or pizza.

***I usually double the recipe and use a #10 can of tomato sauce instead of the other tomato products. Regular recipe uses 66 oz of tomato product, a #10 can is 105 to 110 oz. of tomato sauce. Still comes out good.

November 3rd: APPLESAUCE
The one on the right has cinnamon on it, the other one is plain, for now. I did applesauce back in 2012 too. Hubby bought a bushel of apples last week, and they were not crisp or juicy. So I decided to make applesauce with them. I peeled, quartered, cored, and then put the apples through the vidalia chop wizard, the BIG dice. And filled two 5-qt crock pots. Added a few splashes of lemon juice, then added cinnamon. I love the flavor of cinnamon in my applesauce. These will cook on low all night, and I will Water Bath Can (WBC) them in the morning, most likely in pints.
If you click on the title for this date, it will take you to my post about applesauce.

November 4th: EGGS, Carne Asada and "Mud" ! !

I LOVE how hard boiled eggs come out in the instant pot. They peel easily, and so simple. I prefer using large eggs, and I just put 1 cup of cold water into the inner pot, put in a flying saucer.
This is a flying saucer, aka steamer.
So put this shiny flying saucer into the inner liner of the instant pot.Add at least 1 cup of water.

Now it is ready for your eggs. I put in 18 large eggs today. These are not farm fresh eggs, although we all prefer those. Put the lid on, seal, and set to STEAM for 3 minutes. Then let natural pressure release for 10 minutes. I then take off the lid and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.

My little guy likes to help in the kitchen, he was making sure all the eggs were under the ice.

They were, and once they were cold, we dried them, placed them in a plastic bag and put into the fridge.. I did snitch a hot egg, so yummy with a touch of salt.
If you do FRESH farm eggs from heavy breeds, then steam for 4 minutes. If they are bantam eggs, then steam for 2 or 3 minutes. I am not really sure, as I didn't have any bantam eggs when I had the instant pot. Duck eggs are a minimum of 4 minutes, possible 5 it really depends on how large they are. 

Next I had put some Carne Asada into my other instant pot. I am not sure which recipe I used, I found it in a google search, but it used juice from one orange, one lime and one lemon, and some chili powders, onion, garlic... It was not well received. We so wanted it to be yummy, but instead it just tasted like beef that was acid cooked, and the texture was just off. We still ate it as beef is $$$, but not a recipe we will be keeping.This is what was left.

After the eggs were done, I quickly used that instant pot again to make a "mud" cake. Again, not impressed, so not sharing the recipe. It was tough, too sweet yet bland, and blah. Nobody really liked it, and we all love a true mud cake.
Here it is, the "mud" in the instant pot before I put the lid on.  Next I put the lid on and cooked it for the 25 minutes on manual.

When it was fresh out it was softer, but looked rubbery. We let it sit a few minutes as it was so very hot.
We served the "mud" with some ice cream, as it needed it, but what I think it really needed was just some half and half. Again, NOT IMPRESSED. We will stick with the crock pot mud, that we love.
All in all this Sunday dinner was... not to be repeated. EVER.

November 6th: Loaded Southwestern Roasted Cauliflower Bisque

Honestly, when this was done I did not like the smell. But I took that first bite, and WOW, YUMMY.
If you click on the name, it is a link to the recipe. I am so glad I found this, it was good.
My changes. I used my Saratoga Jack Thermal Cooker, and made this at lunch time. Then at dinner time, heated up a little more, and pureed, then stirred in sour cream as I did not have half and half or heavy cream.

My girls and my little man did not love this. But they ate it. Everyone older than 18 had more than one bowl. It was yummy. And I am having the leftovers for lunches..

November 7th: More hard boiled eggs in the instant pot.
Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week!!

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