Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"I am Hazel's daughter."

I wish I could count how many times I've introduced myself to people saying this.

My  mom was fairly well known in town. She raised 8 kids and that alone would make you well known. Having the name "Hazel" makes one pretty unique too!

I've wanted to change the name of this blog for quite a while. I wanted to get rid of the "crap" part and since the "sparkles and sprinkles" didn't mean that much to me, I threw it all out. 

No more "Sparkles, Sprinkles and Everyday Crap". Well, once in a while some of any of it might fly around here. No promises, but you've been warned!

I am the little lady with curls on the right.
I am the second youngest of eight kids. 

I lost my dear mom 8 years ago today. Not a day goes by without thinking of her so fondly.
The older I get, the more I realize I am so like her. She would smile with me admitting that!

Mom loved to cook, and especially bake. Check.

Mom sewed a lot, but mostly out of necessity. Check, but not the necessity part, unless you consider "sanity" a necessity. Double check.

Mom loved to read, but usually non-fiction. Check, but I prefer fiction.

Mom was frugal and knew how to save money. Check.

Mom loved to garden. Check, but my gardens are full of flowers, not veggies.

Mom loved Jesus. Check!!!

So, it is with so many memories and great pride in having Hazel as my mom, I dedicate this blog to her.

For so many people, I will always be known as "Hazel's Daughter".

Until the day I see you again on those streets of gold in Heaven, I love you, Mom!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Esssential Instant Pot Cookbook

Fact: I truly love my Instant Pot. 
Fact: Using my Instant Pot has completely refreshed my interest in cooking.

When I saw The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante, I knew I had to have it.
I needed some hands-on, hard-copy recipes to try that included step-by-step directions to help me use my new machine correctly.

Yep, that blowing-up-the-house image was stuck in my head.
This was a pressure cooker after all!

The first recipe I made was Brown Butter Steel Cut Oatmeal. I love steel cut oatmeal and if I could make it faster and simpler than my usual stove-top method, this would be a seller for me! With the simple step-by-step directions telling me what buttons to push and when to add ingredients, I was completely impressed. In truth, I have made this recipe several times since I got this cookbook. It makes enough to last me a whole week. I scoop out what I need and warm it in the microwave, add a teaspoon of brown sugar with some walnuts, spill on some almond milk and I'm set!

Brown Butter Steel Cut Oatmeal
*used the Porridge setting
(Oatmeal doesn't make such a pretty picture, but don't let that fool ya!)

Next I  made a side dish called Barley With Mushrooms and Sage. I served this along side a roast chicken, then the next day added some of the shredded chicken to the dish for my work lunch. Delicious!

Barley With Mushrooms and Sage
*used the Beans & Grains setting

Once the weather cools down here in Iowa, it's Soup Time! This Minestrone did not disappoint at all! Full of fresh vegetables and seasonings, it is hearty and warming. I added the optional pasta which was cooked separately. 

*used the Soups/Broth setting

My husband is a rhubarb lover, so I had to make the Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote! Even though the recipe calls for fresh rhubarb, I used the frozen kind I had cut up from the garden earlier this year. Never fear, it came out perfect! My husband loves to eat this straight from a bowl, but I prefer it over vanilla ice cream. Yummy!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
*used the Low Pressure setting

There are still so many recipes in this cookbook that I will try.
Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cake
Spicy Beef and Bean Chili
Classic Meatloaf
Salisbury Steak

Also included in the book are ways to convert recipes for the Instant Pot; must-have tools; how to use the operation keys and lots of awesome, mouth-watering photos!

If you are considering buying an Instant Pot, or already have one, I would highly recommend this cookbook! The recipes and directions are outstanding! 

More info about this cookbook can be found here: The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook
Read more about the cookbook's author here: Coco Morante

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.