Spicy Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Are you looking for a quick, fast, super simple dinner that you can have on the table in under 30 minutes or less! This soup is exactly what you are looking for. Especially in these cold winter months….it has been a life saver for us the last few weeks. Faith loves this soup so much that I have made it probably 3 times in the last 2-3 weeks. She is requesting it constantly! Plus it is super easy and literally takes 30 minutes or less. So of course when she asks for it I make it because it’s easy and quick. There is very little mess for me to clean up after dinner. That’s the beauty of an Instant Pot…..minimal clean up!

I have to apologize ahead of time…there are few pictures of this soup! No matter how many times I’ve made it over the last few weeks. I have never gotten my camera out to snap a few phots of it. I have a few from my phone so bear with me on this one!


Beef Stew

I haven’t been posting a lot of recipes here lately, even though I have been cooking a lot. It seems as though finding the time to write them down, take photos, and then creating a post has seemed time consuming and hasn’t been happening.

Getting ready to put the stew together!

So here is a new recipe that I recently made! I have been doing a lot of soups lately. The girls are really loving them and they are super easy in the instant pot or on the stove top.

This beef stew I whipped together in about an hour and it was a hit. I decided to do this one in the instant pot instead of the crock pot or on the stove. I had gotten home around 5:30pm that evening and decided to throw whatever I could find into the instant pot and make a stew. I had the beef stew meat knowing I wanted to make a stew but by the time I actually got home and went to put it together I was busy and it was getting late. Not sure how it is around your house, but here when my kids want to to they want to eat now. So I was really trying to quickly throw a good dinner together that didn’t consist of potato chips, popcorn, and chocolate!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2LBS beef stew meat
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper (I used a red pepper because that’s what I had in the refrigerator)
  • 2 cups baby carrots, chopped in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1- 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 – 32oz beef broth or beef stock
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • salt and pepper to taste

Set the instant pot to saute mode and add olive oil to the bottom along with the beef stew meat. Saute the stew meat along with the onion, pepper, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic. Add some salt and pepper to your meat while it’s cooking.

Once the meat is browned well and has a good color go ahead and add in your beef broth, tomato paste, water, and seasonings. Turn off the saute mode and go ahead and set your instant pot to Beef Stew setting. You will probably have to adjust the time, I set mine for 35 minutes. Seal the lid and make sure your steam valve is set to seal. The instant pot will begin warming up and getting to the correct pressure before it starts cooking the stew for 35 minutes. Once the instant pot goes off you can either let it depressurize itself or you can go ahead and move your seal valve to open and let the pressure out yourself. At this time go ahead and add in your corn and frozen green beans and let them combine and get warm with the stew. You can add whatever frozen vegetables you like. These are what I had on hand in my freezer! Give it all a good mix and serve to those hungry little people in your house.

Done…time to eat!



Developing a routine and making it a habit

So in my last post, which was like a month ago….ouch…I totally didn’t mean for that much time to go by in between posts – we/I have been extremely busy. Did you put to work your resolution or your goals? I sure did!

Now I can’t say that I have put all of my goals into play at this time, but I am working on it. I am writing them down and journaling daily on how to make myself better and how to make my goals work for me.

Honestly, it’s about taking time for you. Challenge yourself to take an hour a day, or maybe you start with 30 minutes a day, but take time for you. What are you going to do during that time…..WHATEVER YOU WANT!! That’s the beauty of it….it’s your time…..your hour. Make yourself better.

I have a daily routine. To be honest I have not always been this way. I have always been organized, but never a daily routine. I would totally quit on myself about mid-week, every week. By the time Thursday rolled around I would be tired from the week and decide to go ahead and get up at 5:30am, but I would sit on the couch, drink coffee, and go through my phone or watch the news. After 30 minutes of doing nothing (seriously….nothing) I realized I had just wasted 30 minutes of my life sitting there scrolling through my phone with nothing productive being done or even read. Do you ever feel like that? More importantly do you ever do that? I’m not saying it’s not okay to sit and mindlessly scroll through your phone and do nothing, but I felt like I could be doing something much more productive and doing something that would totally benefit me for the rest of the day.

Once I had that mind set I put together a list of things that I felt would make me start my day better….what would make my whole day more productive if I just got up and did a few things…..here’s my list or more importantly here’s what I am doing now….DAILY……yes DAILY… even Satruday’s and Sunday’s, because guess what, it takes 21 days to create a habit. Here’s my morning routine;

  • 5:30am – alarm goes off/wake up brush teeth and change into work-out clothes (I keep these by the bathroom door)
  • 5:45am – in the kitchen packing up Grace’s lunch for the day
  • 5:50am – feeding the cat and dog and sweeping my mud room and quickly go downstairs to make sure Grace is up
  • 5:55am – putting my work-out on the TV and gathering my equipment
  • 6:00 – 6:30am – working out (I was so sore the first week)
  • 6:35am – fixing coffee and guzzling water trying to recover
  • 6:45am – getting Faith up for the day
  • 7:00am – reading daily motivations or watching some news and drinking my coffee
  • 7:30am – out the door to feed Gator (the horse), feed all the cats, let chickens and ducks out….I love greeting everyone in the mornings. It really is one of my favorite parts of the day even though most mornings right now it’s like 20 degrees.
  • 8:00am – I am back inside getting ready to start school with Faith

For the past 21 days this has been my schedule…yep I said 21 days. I started the 1st of February and have stuck with it since then. Let me just tell you I feel so much better, so much more energy than I did before. Now there are some mornings where I get out of bed and I really don’t want to….true. I have to have a little talk with myself while I’m brushing my teeth, but once I get moving, I keep moving. It’s totally a routine, a habit.

Girls, do this for you. Give your self a little time each day that is dedicated to you. No one else but you! Trust me it will help you so much in your day to life. I promise you will thank me for it later.


Sausage and Kale Pizza

I love pizza. It is probably one of my favorite foods that I could eat daily. We have pizza around here at least once a week. My favorite crust mix is one made by Namaste Foods. They have the best pizza crust mix and pancake/waffle mix that I have found. If I’m in a hurry my favorite go to frozen pizza is Freschetta Gluten Free frozen pizza.

My family is a pepperoni pizza kind of people. That’s all they want. Me, I like to try different ways of making pizza. So the other night I made them a frozen pizza (everyone was hungry and it was late) and I made myself some fat head dough and decide that sausage and kale sounded really good.



Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie

I was just going through all my photos and realized that I have made so much these last few weeks that I haven’t shared with you all. So be prepared, I may be bombarding you with recipes – good and bad ones.

This is one that’s been in the work for quite sometime. Once I wrapped my head around it there was nothing to it. The crust was super simple and the filling was delicious. In fact, I made so much filling that we were just eating out of the pan while the pie was in the oven.

There are a few things I would probably change on this one. The crust was probably a little too done! So I would reduce the baking time. Keep an eye on it in the oven and when the crust begins to turn gold brown go ahead and take it out. Really, all you are doing is cooking the crust. Everything else is already cooked through.

Again, this is one of those recipes that you can take and make your own. Add some different herbs and spices.

I used my Instant Pot to cook the chicken breasts in. I love the Instant Pot because I throw the chicken in along with some herbs and chicken stock turn it on for 12 minutes and forget about it. Come back and it’s done. Read More


2018 Pottery Barn Fall Decor Sale

I love Pottery Barn. It’s one of my most absolute favorite places to shop for home decor. I started shopping at Pottery Barn probably 15 years ago. I love the quality of their furniture and the beautiful decor for the holiday season. We have several pieces of Pottery Barn furniture in our house, and 15 years later they are still as good as new!

Right now they are having a great sale on their fall decor. I love pumpkins to decorate with in the fall and these are gorgeous. Click the link below the photo to check them out.

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This would be beautiful as a center piece for any Thanksgiving table!

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2018 Fall is off to a wet start

October Motivational Quote:

Grow Through What you Go Through

autumn avenue bench fall

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I love this picture. The beautiful fall colors of yellow, orange, red, and browns. This is a time of year that really inspires me. The colors of fall and the dramatically cooler temperatures. All of this makes me feel more alive and energized. So naturally, I can’t wait until the leaves begin to fall here in Kansas and the tress change colors.

October here in Kansas is a month where we can either have 90 degree temperatures or we could have 40 degree temperatures, and believe it or not this can all happen within a span of a few days.

This October has been no exception. We have had days of 90 degree and a few days later we are bundling up in our North Face coats and hats sitting at a football game trying to stay as warm as possible. Yes, I actually did this a few weeks ago!! It was so incredibly cold that night that we only stayed until half time! My daughter, on the other hand, toughed it out through the whole game. Not like she had much of a choice, she’s a bandie, band nerd, geek, whatever it is that you want to call those very talented kids who get out there and play for your high school half time entertainment. I have a feeling at this Friday nights game it will be no different! We are looking at a high of 53 degrees and a low of 39! Now that’s cold! What happened to fall!!

Anyway, it has been not only cold the last several days here, but it has been raining. Some areas around us have received more than 5 inches of rain in the last 3 days. We have a small river flowing through our pasture along with a pond on the other side of our house. This is very typical for us when we get a lot of rain! Hoping over the next few days everything dries up before it rains again this weekend or snows! Yes, that’s what I said, SNOW! I saw in a forecast that there is a small possibility of snow, which I doubt happens, but you never know.

Regardless, I hope that everyone is beginning to see the effects of fall around them and enjoying the changes of the seasons! I know I am.


Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

The weather has been much cooler than normal here. Typically in Kansas we are still ranging in the 80’s ad 90’s this time of year, with an occasional day reaching close to 100, but not often. These last few weeks there has been quite a bit of moisture, drizzling, and raining, with much cooler temps than what we are use to for early September. Let me tell ya, I have LOVED it. It feels like fall out.

Plus now that I am home more, not traveling from horse show to horse show, I am spending a lot more time in the house and in the kitchen.

I had some Colorado Peaches that I needed to get used up this last weekend so I decided to try a gluten free cobbler. Let me be honest here. This is not the first time I’ve tried this, and it did not turn out well out all. So I was skeptical as to how this would turn out! I’ve been experimenting with ratios in my baking.

Many of you know that baking is all about ratios. Now this is extremely easy when you are not using gluten free flours. For example, a pound cake, everything you put in is a pound…a pound of butter, eggs, etc….you get the idea. This does not really work with gluten free flours. You cannot take just one type of gluten free flour and make something as you would regular all purpose flour. They are extremely different. I won’t go into all they different types of gluten free flours, that a whole other post in itself.  Trust me on this…I’ve spent years experimenting with these flours to know that using just one type of flour doesn’t work. You have to have a combination of gluten free flours in order to make something wonderful!

Typically I use my all purpose gluten free blend that I make and honestly, use for just about everything baking wise. This time I decided to play around a bit and just use a few flours and see what would happen.

When making this cobbler the fruit part was easy! No brainer…..I did sneak in the Monkfruit (non-sugar sugar) on this one and no one has seemed to notice! Love it!! Monkfruit is probably my favorite non-sugar substitute. It doesn’t leave that cooling effect in your mouth after eating it.

For this recipe I gathered up my peaches and peeled them, peeling them is optional. I thought my family would enjoy this desert more if the peaches were peeled.

INGREDIENTS:

Set the oven for 375 degrees.

  • 8 peaches/8 cups of sliced peaches (peeled and sliced – each peach is about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup of blueberries (I threw these in there at the last minute to give a little color – plus I had some in the fridge I needed to use up – so these can be optional)
  • 2 cups of Monkfruit (any sugar or non-sugar replacement you would like to use)
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstartch
  • 2 tbsp lemon jucie (basically the juice of about 1 lemon)

Done with this part. Mix everything all together in a large bowl and dump it all into a baking dish.

In a large bowl combine:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp butter (1 stick cold butter, diced)
  • 8-9oz almond milk (could use buttermilk or any other type of milk)

Here’s where it got tricky. These are my adjusted amounts of flour listed above. I started out using only 1 cup of almond flour and 1/2 cup of white rice. What happened when I added in the milk – it was soupy! Gluten free flours don’t always absorb the liquids that we add into them. So we typically have to adjust our amounts. I needed up using the amount of flour listed above. When mixing this, if you are using different flours than what I have listed you may have to do the same. Don’t dump all your liquid in at one time. Slowly pour your milk (or what ever liquid you decide to use) and begin to work the mixture together. If it looks as though you need more liquid, add more. These recipes are not set in stone, learn to adjust to what is working for your and the flours you are using!

Once you are there slowly combine the mixture, cutting the butter into the flour until you have a course meal looking type of blend. Then begin to add your liquid. Once you’ve added your liquid, blend to get the desired consistency.

I used a scoop to scoop out my dough balls and place them on top of the peaches and blueberry mixture.

You can see the consistency of my little biscuits pictured below.

Throw this in a 375 degree oven for about 60 minutes, until the biscuits/cobbler is golden brown on top.

IMG_8103

Let it cool for 15-20 minutes and serve with ice-cream!