Did you just discover how amazing the Instant Pot can be?
Did you just discover how amazing the Instant Pot can be?
Chicken Parmesan Instant Pot Conversion Recipe
I realized that I never really posted some “after” pictures of the whole kitchen remodel. So I thought I would post some pictures of our finished Kitchen Concrete Counter Tops for you today.
I don’t know why we didn’t post these last year… Maybe because we just started using the kitchen right away. Maybe because the counters are NEVER clear enough to take a pic. Maybe because the kitchen really isn’t done and there’s a few things we would like to finish, someday. But the truth is, we LOVE our Kitchen and our remodel is the best thing ever. 🙂
The counter tops are arguably the best part of the whole project… I really love the way they look, how easily they wipe clean and seriously, they are made of concrete so, like I can’t hurt them (they have hurt a head or two before the boys figured out they shouldn’t bang their heads while running under them.. but everyone is fine) 🙂
We will need to re-seal them every 18 – 24 months but it’s a pretty simple process.. when we remember to order the seal ( Ryan: since you are reading this, can this count as a reminder to order that? 🙂 ) And that’s all the maintenance these counter tops require.
Anyways, the other day I cleared the counters and snapped a few pictures so I can share them with you!
But first, here are some before pics, So crazy
to think this use to be my kitchen….
some fun in process pics….
The boys had so much fun!
Now for the photos you’ve all been waiting for…..
Want to see more of the remodel?
I posted about it all as it was happening here!
Are you prepping for a kitchen remodel? Considering concrete counter tops here’s what we did.
My Mom is the best. Even when she isn’t necessarily feeling very inspired, she can come up with some creative ideas for the boys!
This day she brought an old salad spinner (one she didn’t mind “donating” to the cause) Some washable paint, and small paper plates.
The boys had a blast and spinning this salad spinner as fast as they could was a great way to get some extra energy out!
Simply place a small paper plate (or small piece of paper) in the bowl of the spinner. Drop a little paint in spots around the plate, replace lid and have fun spinning.
We instructed to boys to spin one direction then stop and spin the other way.
The colors blended and smeared beautifully and were different every time!
I think we will be doing this art project again! It was definitely a blast!
Do you think your kiddos would have fun with this?
So, what ARE essential oils?
Essential oils are the living fluid (sometimes we call it the “life-blood”) inside the plant that acts as their immune system. These plant fluids are the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune-strengthening properties of plants. They are necessary for the plant to live and contain vibrational energy that helps to give them therapeutic properties. When these fluids are distilled and extracted using a highly regulated, low-heat, slow-steam process and then used topically, aromatically or internally, they can help bring that vibrational energetic level that is lacking in our bodies back into balance. Essential oils are composed of microscopic molecules that are able to penetrate into the DNA/cellular level of every cell in our body (even crossing the blood-brain barrier) and can help to support our body’s natural healing systems.
Pretty amazing, right?
BUT – be warned! Not all essential oils are created equal. Many of us started out by using health food store essential oils thinking that there wasn’t any difference. Oils found at the health food store are usually aromatic-grade oils meant for smelling, not for topical use and definitely not for internal use. Many store bought oils contain additives or synthetics or may have been distilled in a way that doesn’t guarantee a high quality of therapeutic constituents. That’s why it is so important to know where your oils come from, how they are distilled and how they are processed. You definitely get what you pay for. Truly pure & natural quality essential oils do cost more. Cheaper essential oil products that are legally labeled as “100% Pure” are actually only required to have 5% of the essential oil present in their product. When you consider that it takes 22 pounds of rose petals to make a 5mL bottle of Rose oil, you can start to understand why the real thing costs more.
This is why I personally use Young Living Essential Oils. They have a Seed to Seal guarantee that ensures that from the dirt (no pesticide residue) to the seed (no GMOs) to the harvest time and procedure (sometimes in the daytime, sometimes at night, sometimes by hand/tool/machine) to the distillation process (slow steam, low heat, one distillation, medical grade stainless steel machinery) to the multitude of testing to ensure only the highest quality and purity to the bottling of the product – everything is overseen and quality is ensured. NO other essential oil company owns their own farms or partners with farms that are willing to live up to Young Living’s high standards. Owning farms all over the world gives Young Living the ability to truly know what the product is that they’re selling – and that my friends, is what made me fall in love with these oils.
When looking for a granola bar recipe I knew I needed it to be incredibly easy since I’ll have to make it often, also I needed it to be something that the boys can still grab on their own while I’m either still in bed or getting ready for the day or whatever!
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These Granola Bars can be individually wrapped and stored in the fridge.
We used peanut butter instead of almond butter, mostly because I had peanut butter. But ether works great in these.
This recipe does have honey in it. At this point, I think I’m ok with local honey for the boys, in moderation. I did add a little less than the recipe calls for, mostly because I’m trying to change the boys expectations of things being so sweet!
And for the next batch I think I’ll double the recipe and use a sheet pan instead of an 8 x 8. I don’t think the boys would mind them being thinner (the first batch came out really thick) and my oldest wished they were shaped like the store kind (more rectangular) ?
Anyways, after getting over the shape of them, the boys loved them!
I forgot to take a picture and the first batch is already gone!!!
But we just made the second batch so here’s some pics of the process!
This time we used sunflower seeds instead of almonds (because that’s what we had).
Now that they are thinner.. I did notice they crumbled pretty easily.. so I want to figure out a way to bind them a little better.. next batch! ?
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Frozen Pineapple Whip
Applesauce could not be easier using the Instant Pot and it is soooo delicious!
First off we are blessed to live close to a lot of great Apple Orchards. The Apple Hill Growers are an annual family outing for us. And we always bring home our favorites, This year we grabbed Apple pie (to be baked later), Apple Cider, and a box of apples!
I started by peeling all of the apples.
If you don’t mind the skin you should totally skip this step!! This step was definitely the most work, but since my little guy will be eating it I decided it was necessary!
Then just a quick ruff chop and throw them in the pot!
I had a lemon so I squeezed some juice to preserve color and brighten flavors..(this is especially helpful if you have to stop in the midst of making this, to attend to two hyper boys and a fussy babe)
Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
and your favorite seasonings.
Applesauce is awesome because you can really add any flavors, seasonings you want to.
Want to pack in as much health benefits as possible? Here’s some easy ideas.
Butter (healthy fats)
Pink Salt ( trace minerals)
Local Honey (great for seasonal allergies) ** Not appropriate for little guys under a year though.
place lid on and seal.
Set on Manual for 3 minutes! The Pot will come to pressure then cook for 3 minutes. Let it natural release completely. Turn off the pot, so it doesn’t stay on keep warm. (depending on how many apples you do at a time, this will take about 15-20 minutes) Walk away and let it cool off.
Then my other favorite kitchen appliance comes in super handy. If you have an immersion blender you can blend the apples up right in the pot!
They aren’t very expensive so grab one on amazon before you make your first batch of applesauce.
You can store your applesauce however you want. Usually I put some in a mason jar for my bigger guys.
And my awesome squeeze station pouches for the baby ( I freeze most of these)
And there’s always the old standby ice-cube trays for the freezer, This is perfect for applesauce because I love to add applesauce to baby’s meal if what I have fresh for him needs a little more! 🙂
Either way, it is yummy and just wonderful! I have discovered I enjoy applesauce best when it’s still warm so don’t forget to pour yourself a nice helping while you put the rest away! 🙂
Happy Instant Pot to you all!
Sugar free sweetened condensed Milk and Fudge!
Sugar free sweetened condensed milk and sugar-free fudge! Yep, It’s real and it’s so good!
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Don’t be intimidated about the idea of making your own sweetened condensed milk! I looked through a few recipes and tips and I’ve made this three times now and it comes out perfectly every time!
First, I’d like to point out that the ingredient list is crazy simple!
Just three ingredients for delicious sweetened condensed milk!
And for fudge all you add to the condensed milk is sugar-free chocolate chips!
Side note about sweetener: I haven’t said much about my sugar-free choices but I really love this combination of sweeteners,
they are natural and allow for no rise in your blood sugars!
My favorite Stevia is from Trim Healthy Mama, although you can also find many good choices of Stevia on Amazon or the grocery store. (Pyure is my favorite store brand these days)
and the others I order in bulk from Amazon! (click the linked names of each sweetener product for a direct link to the amazon product! ;))
The most helpful trick I have come across for making the sweetened condensed milk is using a large shallow pan. Like a large frying pan!
This makes the milk condense so much faster and gives you a beautiful thick and creamy product in about 20 minutes.
Start by putting 2 cups of cream, 2 TBSP of unsalted butter, and 1/3 a cup of sweetener ( may need to convert the amount of sweetener if you are using something different, my blend is some what of a super sweet blend. )
Stir until dissolved and bring to a boil on medium to high heat.
Once boiling, simmer, stirring occasionally until condensed by about half and thick and bubbly. Should be about 15-20 minutes.
This will make about a cup to a cup and a half! seriously LOOK at how creamy and thick this is?? (one note of caution…. no matter how badly you want to, Do Not lick the spoon and taste this right out of the hot pan.. you may or may not burn your tongue and regret it for the next two days! ?) But trust me, its soooo yummy!
Now to make fudge!!!
I love to make fudge right away while the milk is still hot. The chocolate chips melt right away and I can stick it in the freezer!
It’s a one to one ratio… so a cup of condensed milk and a cup of chocolate chips makes a full batch.
But if you are being weird and don’t want to eat the whole dish. (I guess it could happen?!) You could always make just half a cup and half a cup… or whatever you want!
You can also make it later by mixing the chocolate chips with the condensed milk and microwave in small increments, stirring in between each time until fully melted and blended together! Chill until hardened.
And then do your best to not stand at the counter ( or fridge) and eat the entire thing.. I’m not totally sure why that isn’t a good idea.. but we are supposed to resist the urge to do so.. I know, weird! I just might have done this ( ok I didn’t eat the WHOLE thing) with a tub of peanut butter and a spoon… and I’m not going to say it was a bad idea! 🙂
Also, My friend Tiffani and I are dreaming all kinds of deliciousness like coconut flakes and nuts for the next time. And there will definitely be a next time!
I hope you try this recipe out and I hope you enjoy every sugar-free bite!
~ Deanna Grace