Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sensational Saturday

I was up very early with my, heat, naproxen....I was content to sit in the recliner...until Arielle came up the stairs with the announcement that there were THREE moose in the yard and one was a BULL.  That brings October's count to 11 in our yard.  I tried to get photos, but they were around by the brush pile by the RV. I thought I could go out and get a shot  as I always have....but the bulls are skittish. It took off when it saw me....and the females (are they called cows?) followed. They kept trying to come back, as they have before, but he wouldn't let them. Arielle got a couple of shots. She had snap chatted them to Cory (I guess - I don't know how this works) and he took screen shots and sent them back.  

Izaak got called in to work and came home with a yummy pizza. My pizza dough is still not working well - even though I activated the yeast first. I'm going to try sometime this week with grinding wheat - that's the only other difference. I used to be able to make bread in Alaska. ::snort:: 

Michael vacuumed the back of the fridge and cleaned out behind there before we got everything back into it. Now we keep our fingers crossed that the parts arrive before anything else goes on with the fridge. 

Michael found Stacia's sling....and just like that I'm a sling-wearing-Gemma....

 It was a treat to see Bella and Gideon today. I haven't seen them all week. That is sort of ridiculous as we live a mere driveway apart. LOL Our schedules haven't meshed. 

Stacia finished her Llama Pajamas - and they are great! Unfortunately, the photo I took of her wearing them has disappeared from the phone.

We learned why Ms. Sarah says to remove the pins before you sew over them.  Now we know how to fish twisted pins from the underside AND how to install a new needle. LOL 

There was a magic time this afternoon when life was perfect. Arielle came up and the kids were playing games.

They moved to the kitchen. I love to have people in the kitchen when I'm cooking. Christmas music played, a fire blazed in the woodstove, and I was inspired to create an instant pot 3 "cheese" broccoli chicken garlic pasta.

 All are settled into the living room reading - I'm going to go join them. Maybe they'll want to read a couple of chapters of Narnia.

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (InstantPot + Slow Cooker)

I think this was the better of the Tortilla soups. It was FANTASTIC. I found it at Peas and Crayons. 

prep: 10 mins | cook: 15 mins | inactive: 25 mins | total: 50 mins
author: jenn laughlin - peas and crayons
yield: 6 cups
I topped with cilantro, avocado, nutritional yeast, tomatoes....

1 cup diced onion
1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
1 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2.5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 can (14-15 oz) tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, extra to taste
1/2 cup salsa verde (or your favorite salsa!)
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained + rinsed
1 (15 oz) can pinto  beans, drained + rinsed
1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
3/4 cup dried red lentils
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream* (optional - see notes)
salt and pepper to taste

For a thicker soup, feel free to add some corn tortillas (torn into pieces) to the soup or simply swirl crushed tortilla chips into the soup after serving!

Pile on the toppings! crushed tortilla chips - my favorite! shredded cheddar  or mex-blend cheese sliced or diced jalapeños chopped red onion fresh pico de gallo or salsa sliced avocado fresh cilantro sour cream or greek yogurt

Below are the electric pressure cooker and slow cooker instructions.

1. Chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients.
2. Next add everything but the heavy cream your toppings.

3. This includes bell pepper, jalapeño, corn, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa verde, and all your herbs + spices. Toss them in and set IP to high pressure for 15 minutes. Walk away; FREEDOM!

4. Allow natural pressure release.

5. Stir in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

1. First chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients. This will make everything super easy to toss together!

2. Next add everything except the heavy cream and toppings.

3. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, until dried lentils are cooked through and veggies are tender.

4. Swirl in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and dive in!

Notes * In place of the heavy cream, feel free to use half-and-half or cream cheese. Skipping the cream? No problem! This recipe can be made without it - let your tastebuds be your guide.

Feel free to adjust the consistency of the soup to your liking. The soup can be thinned with a little broth or tomato sauce if desired or thickened with extra cream or beans/veggies! If you add a lot of extra liquid, consider amping up the spices a smidge to compensate. You can also make this as mild or as spicy as you'd like. As written it's on the medium side. The type of salsa used, jalapeños, and cayenne pepper will control the heat factor.

Want it super chunky? Feel free to add extra beans and veggies! Simply amp up the seasoning as needed depending on how much extra goodies you add to the pot.

A NOTE ON SALT AND PEPPER :: I leave salting the dish to the end to prevent over-seasoning. Depending on the brand and type of broth, tomatoes, and beans that you use, the sodium content will vary. I usually don't add any salt until the end once I am able to taste the soup.

Pressure cooker recipes always leave out the details so here's a breakdown of what you can expect time-wise: About 13 minutes to come to pressure plus 15 minutes cook time and 15 or so to release pressure. You won't need to be anywhere near your kitchen for this all to partake, the Instant Pot will handle it all and switch to warm once it's done. So fabulous right? For the slow cooker, simply set a timer and you're good to go.

Renee's Tortilla Soup (Slow or IP)

Last Sunday's Family  Dinner showcased two soups - this one and a Vegetarian one.  I had a note on this one that Michael and Jared thought it was worth repeating - so I did. I made it in the Instant Pot - directions below. 

1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
*1 14 oz can beef broth
*2 cups water
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 c chopped onion (1 med)
1 r-oz can chopped green Chile peppers, undrained
1 tsp + cumin
1 tsp + chili powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1.5 lb cooked chicken
*8 Corn tortillas, torn into 1 - 2 inch pieces
3/4 C shredded cheese
Jalapeno peppers (opt)
black beans (opt)
1/2 - 1 C corn (frozen or fresh) opt

Combine tomatoes, broth, water, tomato sauce, onion, Chile peppers, spices and Worcestershire sauce in crock pot.

Cover and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or high for 4 - 5 hours.

*If using low setting, turn high. Stir in chicken. Cover and cook for 15 min more. Stir in tortillas and serve immediately. Garnish with cheese.

* I always use 32 oz of broth instead of water
*Chips can be used at table in place of Corn Tortillas
* I added chicken in the a.m. and it was just fine.

Instant Pot directions
1. Put everything in the instant pot.

2. We guessed and put 4 or 5 frozen chicken breasts in too.

3. Seal, click manual and then 25 min. 

4. Open pot and shred chicken. 

5. Can eat now or put on slow cooker or keep warm until you are ready

Sour Cream
Chips or corn tortillas