Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wisdom Wednesday: Instant Pot Terriyaki Bowls (Crockpot too)

I have a few ideas rolling around in my head for this blog, so testing out a new feature today.   Wendy's Wisdom Wednesday - Sharing things that make my life easier or better.

Two years ago for Christmas Mr. Man bought me an Instant Pot, it's an electric pressure cooker.  It sat in the living room for two weeks and I sent it back, I just couldn't fathom using it.  Over the course of two years I kept wondering about that Instant Pot and then I started noticing food blogs raving about them.  So I picked one up again, because Mr. Man apparently knows me better than I know myself and I'm pretty much hooked on it. You can cook frozen chicken breast in 15 minutes!

Today, I have a recipe that I made up on the fly one day. I'm not a chef or a food blogger, but trust me your family will eat this.

 Check out this elaborate list of ingredients:
Terriyaki Sauce
Frozen Chicken Breast
1/4  cup of Water
Cooked Rice
Optional:  Green Onions, Cabbage, Any leftover Veggies, Fried Egg

Pop the Chicken Breast in the in the Instant Pot (I did four frozen) and a bottle of Terriyaki Sauce and about a 1/4 cup of water.  On the Instant Pot hit the Poultry setting for 15 minutes if you are going to let it sit and do natural release,  18 minutes if you are going to release and eat right away.

If you are using a Crockpot, cook on low for three and a half to four hours using thawed chicken breasts. 
Terrible Food Photography, just trust me it's delicious.
Once it's done, throw rice and Teriyaki chicken into a bowl, the chicken will be falling apart tender.  Add some of the juice from the Instant Pot if you would like.  My family likes to add some cabbage and last time we threw on some leftover veggies.

Everyone in my family raves about this and fights for the leftovers.  So one day while fighting over the leftovers, we made smaller bowls and threw a fried egg on top, and again everyone cheered. 

I make this on nights when I have people eating at different times.  I just cook the rice in the rice cooker and let the rice cooker and Instant Pot stay on the warm setting.

Bon Appetit!

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Five For Friday - Back to Stupid School

1.  Summer is over and it makes me sad.  Mr. Boy declared it was the best summer ever because we "just laid around at home a lot" which makes me happy to hear.  In my eyes, it was a sleepy and subdued summer with 41,000 doctors appointments.  It appears that maybe all those afternoons of lounging in the pool somehow washed away the fact we spent all morning at various appointments. We had the ceremonial folding of the summer banner and I'm grateful my family indulges me in my ideas, it's pretty much my favorite thing. 

2. Currently, I can't stop thinking about this episode of Liar City.   It's a podcast about lies and liars.   This particular episode deals with Michael Jackson and completely changed my point of view on him.  It's worth a listen, the other episodes are great too, but this one has consumed my thoughts for a month!

3.  Are you aware that Braces/Orthodontic work cost a small fortune?  Both my kids need braces and I have grossly underestimated how much they cost.  Now when I see a kid with braces, I give the parents a nod and say, "Niccccceeee"  like you just caught a glimpse of a sweet Rolex on someone's arm.

4.  Olympic Fever swept our house and I am always surprised by my enthusiasm.  I am not a sporty person, but suddenly I become an expert in Synchronized Diving, Rowing, and the Long Jump when the Olympics come around.  I love the stories of athletes winning, tales of sportsmanship or lack thereof, and I love the crazy stories of the host city getting prepped (like finding a human hand while prepping beach volleyball, a kayaker hitting submerged couch, etc.)  I'm really, really, hoping Los Angeles wins the bid for 2024! 

5.  It's National Dog Day and today I'm celebrating my dogs. I'm even celebrating Zoey who is allergic to absolutely everything and recently developed an allergy to the pool.  So, now I'm the crazy person who after swimming with the dogs, is shampooing and BLOW DRYING my dog.  As if I really have time for that, but I do it, because you usually end up doing anything for something or someone you love.

Tell me the crazy things you never thought you'd do, but have done out of love....

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Families are Complicated.

A few weeks ago, I had to pass through the town where I lived during my elementary school years.  This is not a place where I call home, but it is a place where my family lived for a number of years.

My kids asked if we could see my old house and I decided it might be enjoyable to see my old stomping grounds.   As I drove through the gates of the old neighborhood, I felt my chest tighten up and memories came flooding back.  My kids who normally hate sight seeing, were fascinated by seeing the places where so many stories took place. They have grown up hearing stories of my childhood, and storytelling is something that I loved to do.  I showed them the former homes of my friends and the spot where we used to slip onto the golf course to have water gun fights.

They loved seeing my old elementary school, where Thelma, the world's scariest secretary worked,  and enjoyed seeing my old house.
As for me, I stood in front of my house and felt a myriad of emotions, most of them weren't good.  This house was the epicenter of Crazytown, my family wasn't very happy here.  I'm not sure I could pinpoint a place where my family was happy, we just weren't one of those happy families.  My mom did the best she could, but the more years that go by, the more questions I have for my mom.  Memories keep popping up with holes in them, but she isn't here to answer them.  I'm not sure she would have answered my questions truthfully anyway.  Some things will have to remain a mystery. 

Here is the big lesson I have learned in my lifetime.  Families are complicated. 

And that is okay. They don't have to be perfect. 

I've made my peace with my family history, for the most part.  Things were crazy within my family, but it's in the past.  I can't change the past, but the things I can take with me are the crazy stories that my children love to hear.  So, I'm hoping to introduce a new feature on my blog.  Greetings from Crazytown, the stories of my childhood.  They will be mostly entertaining stories about growing up with eccentric parents, such as the time I was convinced I was being abducted by aliens.  Or the time where the can of Peanut Butter flew through the window.  Or if you want a sample of one that was already written, you can learn the reason why I was the "butt" of all the diarrhea jokes in Jr. High. 

So next time your family makes you want to throw your hands up in the air or commit a crime, just remember, Families are complicated and that is okay.