I seem to have misplaced a whole day. It’s very disconcerting. There are times when I feel as if I’m stumbling through my days and it’s only a matter of time before I fall.
I forget to do things I should do, I become attached to what should be passing fancies, and I am incapable of being kind when it’s expected. I do not like being told what to do–though I don’t understand why it distresses me so.
I ordered an Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker from Amazon. I need a new rice cooker and I’ve always wanted a pressure cooker/crockpot. This thing does everything. I’m super excited.
It slow cooks, pressure cooks, sautes, and it has a bunch of preset cooking functions. It even has a yogur function, how cool is that? I’m excited about making yogurt with the Kid, and I’ve even heard there’s a way to turn the yogurt into Greek yogurt in the fridge.
It cost $134.95, so I hope it works well. That might not be a super lot of money to some people, but to me it’s enough that I’m going to be very upset if the Instant Pot doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Though I’m not too worried about being disappointed–there’s so many reviews calling it a great slow cooker, that I tend to believe them.
What really interested me about the Instant Pot was the claim that it can be used for small-batch canning. I would love to save the extras from my garden, but there’s not enough for a big ordeal. Plus I have a glass cooktop, which is terrible for conventional pressure cooking.
I was dreaming of canning some of my soups. But there’s so many people pooh-poohing the idea of the Instant Pot being able to get the psi necessary to can low-acid foods.
I don’t want to breed a bunch of botulism. I just want to make my own jams and clear out some of the space in the freezer.
Still, watching someone make stew in the Instant Pot… It’s like magic.
You just chop everything up and throw it in the pot. Hit the button. And 30-minutes later you’ve got dinner and some lunches. This thing is 6-quarts–that’s 3 jars of homemade chicken chili (dinner for 1, or lunch for 2)–and you can buy extra cook bowls, so you can switch them out as needed. (Make a whole batch of yogurt. Stir in strawberry gelatin to add flavor. Use the yogurt for yogurt, granola/graham cracker, raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries, and whipped cream parfaits. Or if the bowl’s freezeable, make frozen yogurt.)
I can imagine making a spicy soup, switching out the bowl’s to make rice, then right before serving putting the soup bowl back on and heating it back up. FOR THE SOUP: I’d make a base of bonito, miso, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, vinegar, white onion and crushed red pepper, and I’d throw in different ingredients. Good things would be: tofu, brussel sprouts halved, sliced zucchini, chopped onion, potato chunks, udon noodles, green onion, sliced carrot, bean sprouts, chicken, beef, pork, potstickers, sliced rice cake, kimchi, bok choy, spinach, clams, mussels, fish, seaweed, sliced mushrooms, daikon radish.
I found this recipe for pressure cooker pho — Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker — from Steamy Kitchen. I can’t wait to try it. I love pho. Though I’m a little worried about where I’m supposed to get the spices. (Someone needs to value bundle the ingredients together for easy purchasing. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, but I have the potential to be a valuable customer.)
I also love oxtail soup, and the Instant Pot seems perfect for it. Delicious oxtail soup served over rice and topped with chopped green onion and served with kimchi. Mm, I can’t hardly wait.
Recipes I’m planning for my Instant Pot:
*whole chicken with potatoes, carrots, and miscellaneous vegetables
*Italian wedding soup
*navy bean soup
*red beans and rice
*roast beef with carrots, potatoes, and radish
*ham with sweet potato chunks and pineapple rings
*cornish game hen
*chicken noodle soup with bok choy
*gumbo (no okra!)
*fresh jam (I figure I can pressure cook/slow cook/simmer my way to some awesome fresh fruit jam. I’ll pack it in jars and make batches whenever we run out.)
My mouth can’t wait for the Instant Pot to come. I will be cooking the hell out of everything. It’s going to be great. And I’m sure it’s going to save the family a lot of grocery money.
When you can throw a bunch of ingredients into a big pot, put on the lid, and pressure cook your way into deliciousness… why wouldn’t you do it all the time?
My next kitchen appliance: a small blender.
I’ve been buying different sized regular-mouthed mason jars. They’re great to cook in and store things in, plus the blender blade should fit on the mouth of the jar. This allows personal blending directly in the jar. That’s super cool to me.
I’ve also been grabbing up mason jars for single servings of salad, pasta, all kinds of stuff. I’m probably going to buy more jars tomorrow.
Mason jar recipes:
*chicken chili and a glob of cornbread mix — microwave to heat chili and cook cornbread
*cubes of cookie dough, cubes of fruit — microwave or bake, then top with vanilla ice cream
*cake or muffin mix, cubes of fruit, dark chocolate chunks — microwave or bake
*layered salad — lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, carrot, black olives, mushrooms, croutons
*lasagna jar with sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and spinach — bake to cook
*parfait of yogurt, granola/graham cracker crumbs, fruit, whipped cream, syrup
*smoothie ingredients cubed (frozen yogurt cubes, frozen berries, frozen fruit or vegetable juice cubes, frozen milk cubes) and layered — blend in jar
I like the idea of being able to store ingredients in a jar and either freeze it, fridge it, or shelf it. I mean, it seems amazing to me that I can pull a jar off the shelf, add egg, vegetable oil, or milk and shake it up to blend, then I can bake a cake/giant muffin/big cookie/fudge brownie right in the jar. It ends up being me, a jar, and a spoon; it’s perfect.
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