“Pa-Sketti” (Spaghetti) in the Instant Pot

Do you remember the days when your kids couldn’t pronounce certain words or made up an entirely different name for something??  It’s been a long time for us but these are a few that I will never forget:

Spaghetti – “Pa-Sketti” (hence this post)

Remote Control – “Mocha Matrol”

Pacifier – “Na-Nee”

Grandma and Grandpa – “Meemom and Deedad” (which is Mommy and Daddy backwards, and we still call them that to this day!!!)

This brings me to one of my families and my favorite weeknight quick and super delicious dinners!  “Pa-sketti!!!!”  (ok…ok…Spaghetti in the Instant Pot)

I started with one recipe and through trial and error (I assure you that my family didn’t hate the experiment involved in coming to this AMAZING recipe) I created this.  It is SOOOOO yummy!!!!!!

But first, a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the seal is closed completely!  During one of my many tries the seal on my Instant Pot  wasn’t completely closed.  It sounded like a small hiss but it was noticeable enough for both my husband and I to hear it.  Once we heard it we made sure that it was then completely closed but when that “trial” was done, the pasta was definitely al-dente…….which is normally good but this was a little too al-dente for our taste.
  • Every Instant Pot is different so try yours with this timing and adjust accordingly! (8 minutes was perfect for us – assuming the seal was completely closed)
  • We like things spicy so in case you don’t then you might want to either omit the red pepper completely or scale it down a bit….totally your call!
  • Sometimes the noodles “clump” together, so to avoid that as much as possible (small clumps are semi-normal) make sure you break the pasta in half before you place it in the Instant Pot in a crisscross pattern instead of just adding them in one big pile.

(Insert loud dramatic music here)  HERE IT IS!!!!

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 tsp of EACH:  salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound of spaghetti noodles
  • 1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (I use store bought because I am just that lazy)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 36 oz. of water (1 1/2 jars full)
  • 6 oz. of red wine (optional)

1.) Set the Instant Pot to saute and add the meat.  Add the seasonings to the meat and cook the meat and seasonings, breaking up the meat until it’s brown.

2.) Turn the Instant Pot off and drain any excess grease if necessary.

3.)  Break the spaghetti in half and place on top of the meat.  Pour over the spaghetti sauce, canned diced tomatoes, water and wine.  Using a wooden spoon, push the noodles down to make sure that they are completely covered in liquid.

4.) Seal the Instant Pot (see tip above) completely and set it to manual mode, HIGH pressure, with 8 minutes of cooking time.

5.)  When the time is up, use the manual quick release to open the Instant Pot.  Stir well.  (It might seem a little liquidly at this point but let it sit for a minute or so and it was tighten up)  Serve immediately.

As I said in the beginning, I have made this several times and here are a few things that I have served with it and MOST have been a hit:

  • Garlic bread
  • Cesar salad (store bought, already chopped and includes the croutons and dressing)
  • Green salad – same as above but served with my own vinaigrette
  • Roasted green beans (recipe to follow)
  • Brussel sprouts (recipe to follow – the majority of my family does NOT like Brussel Sprouts but I do and my middle son does too….Give this recipe a try and I bet I can make you a believer!!)

I hope you enjoy!!!

Be safe out there and be kind to each other!!!!!

 

 

 

The Top 5 Worst Relationship Advice Given To Me About Love

Have you ever noticed that when you are either on your very first “barely hit puberty” crush, your tenth boyfriend/girlfriend 2 years out of college or your third marriage that the “experts” have ALL of the answers??  Yea, me too!  I do not even remotely pretend to have all of the answers, but in my 35-ish years of relationship experience, I have learned a LOT.

I asked my husband and one of my sons what do they automatically think of when being asked for relationship advice and this is SOME of what they came up with…….Some I couldn’t publish because I am trying to keep a semi- G-rated blog here.  In fairness, I did laugh pretty hard at what they said but I attribute that to having a sense of humor that was severely stunted in growth by getting married VERY young and raising 3 boys and having been married a few times.  Essentially my sense of humor can be equated to an 8-13 year old boy mixed in with a nifty side of post menopausal wicked and there you go…..If Bart Simpson and Betty White had a baby – BAM!  That would be my sense of humor spirit baby 🙂

So, let’s get to it.  Here is my list of the TOP 5 worst relationship advice I have ever gotten…..

1.) Don’t go to bed angry –  Sometimes in my world that has seemed like such a tall order…..don’t go to bed angry….but what if (fill in the blank with whatever irks you to no end) that happened and I want to be angry?????  Going to bed angry is what you might choose in the moment and if so, that’s your choice but it seems a bit unfair when your significant other is left with a feeling of being inadequate or sad, so instead of just not going to bed angry, be angry if you want to be BUT the advice given by a couple that has been married 76 years is, it shouldn’t  matter how angry or sad you are, you don’t have to say anything but you always, always touch toes. It’s just a little reminder that I’m here and I still love you no matter what…….

2.) Love is blind – There are a lot of people who would argue this is true for those involved in the relationship but the truth is that those AROUND the relationship are not blind.  They don’t have a “dog in the hunt” so to speak so carefully and methodically  consider their input.  Consider that if nobody likes your partner, there may be good reasons for it. So if your loved ones have lots of reservations, don’t get defensive but listen to why they feel that way and then make up your mind.

3.) Don’t play games  – Really???  Oh yes, yes I say, do play games!!!!  Probably not the kind that you may be thinking but how about a good old fashioned game of Monopoly, or Cards Against Humanity, or the best yet “What do you meme“…..When you play a real game with someone you get a chance to observe how they  behaves under stress, whether they’re honest, how they handle those embarrassing topics, and how they handle defeat.

4.) For women – “go for the strong silent type” – While that theory may work when we want to binge watch The Bachelor or in my case The Food Network but research finds constant communication is the key to a lasting relationship. Don’t just talk about if you want to have kids—discuss how you will raise them. Talk about money—how you plan to afford things and when you want to retire. Then, once you’re married, communicate when you’re happy and unhappy, what feels good and what doesn’t, what turns you on and off. Don’t just talk about “surface” things, say what is there and do it with love 🙂 If the conversation doesn’t go the way you want it to, then touch toes……..At the end of all of this the sentiment is still the same “I love you no matter what”

5.) Don’t hang wallpaper together – I always found this advice rather odd….I thought it meant to literally not hang wallpaper together but then I realized that it meant, can you do the crazy hard things together and still laugh?  To me that is the TRUE mark of a great relationship…the fact of the matter is we all have to do the most mundane and sometimes not so pleasant things in our lives but if you can find someone who makes you laugh then you are golden!!!!!  The flip side is be sure that you find the same things funny or at least relatively close……If he thinks a whoopee cushion is funny and you don’t, it certainly won’t get funnier for you 30 years from now. I promise…….

So,now that I have gone over what I think is bad advice, let’s talk about what is my go to top 5 best advice that I would give anyone in a new relationship:

1.) Live -Live your truth.  Whatever or wherever or with or without someone or whatever else you can think of, just do you!!!!!  Just do you!!!!!  Some of the best 3 words in the English language is just do you……

2.) Laugh – ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a sense of humor (yes even a Bart Simpson/Betty White sense of humor works)  I have told my husband many times “make me laugh and you have me at HELLO”.

3.)Love – Simply said, love hard love often.  I don’t know if anyone else has had this experience but the older we get the faster things go…..we don’t know when our first day of something or last day will be so just love hard and love often and most importantly, LEAVE NOTHING UNSAID…….

4.) Eat – Food is love.  It really is just that simple.  Let me say it again….Food is love.  Feed your soul and feed your body.  Those 2 ideas are not mutually exclusive of each other either….Read my post “Fredericksburg – Our Way” and you will see how we were feeding our souls by getting out of town and away from work and also feeding our bodies by having the BEST hamburger in Texas at The Pig Pen in Albert TX.    Food is love……

5.) Everything in between – I know it sounds corny to some but embrace everything that is “in between”.  Is it annoying sometimes that you come home to dishes in the sink or dog hair everywhere, laundry not done, or dinner not cooked but I go back to rule #3 and love what is there for you because tomorrow may be very different…..and it could be in a great way or a not so great way….You choose!

Be safe out there and be kind to each other!!!!

Instant Pot – 2, Failure – 0

Instant Pot It happened!!!!  Yes, I got my Instant Pot…..well 2 to be exact but that is a story for a different day.

What I will say is that I ordered one from Amazon Prime (remember Prime=hero!!!) and while we were waiting for it to be delivered we heard through the grapevine that the Kroger in Wylie had them for $40.00 less that what I paid for it on Amazon so away we went…We arrived at Kroger and walked the entire store before we found a promising aisle in the middle of the store in the “kitchen gadgets” section. (I know, duh!) There was a young girl restocking things and we couldn’t find the pots at first so I asked.  She pointed to one on a baron shelf and said it was their last one………C’mon now!!!!!  Do you honestly expect us to believe that this is the last Instant Pot in all of Kroger’s infinite inventory of all that is holy????? Of course it isn’t!!!!  So, as I tucked my head and tried to rub the word “Sucker” off of my forehead, I grabbed the box and ran (not walked) to the checkout line….I had already purchased enough food to feed a small army and couldn’t wait to try this amazing “change your life” aparatus…….

I then got home and already started experiencing remorse…NOT because of the Instant Pot but more worried that I had just spent a small fortune on food and what if I tried to use this device that potentially requires a masters degree to use and I wasted all of that amazing food????  Despite my normal fly by the seat of my pants attitude, I decided to dial it back and start small……..

I used an old, stone age technique called a cast iron pan and made sesame stir fry beef…I decided to use the Instant Pot to make some Jasmati rice and although it takes patience and the reading of directions MULTIPLE TIMES the rice was PERFECT!!!!!  It really was as simple as adding water and rice to the Instant Pot and 4 minutes later we had perfect rice…..

Needless to say I was impressed!!!!!  In fairness I have to say that the rice stuck a little to the bottom of the pot but nothing that couldn’t be remedied with hot water and a quick scrub…..

With everything turning out the way it did,  I was feeling a tad bit more confident now and decided that I will try a lunch recipe, chicken wings……..I don’t eat them often but I am OBSESSED with lemon pepper wings from Wing Stop!!!!!  So, this seemed like a formidable challenge…..The recipe says it only takes 9 minutes to cook wings….of course what some don’t tell you is that you do have to wait for the Instant Pot to “warm up” but that took less than 5 minutes and all I did was pat dry the thawed frozen wings, put salt and pepper on them and put them in the pot with 1/2 cup of broth…..  The Pot said “ready” and we were off to the races…..  Sure as the Cowboys won’t make the playoffs in the very near future (Sorry Cowboys!) in 9minutes we had fall of the bone, fully cooked wings…..I prefer them a little crispier so once I removed them from the Pot, I put them on a baking sheet and turned on the broiler to high.  After 5 or or so minutes, I tossed the wings in the sauce and had the MOST AMAZING wings!!!!!!

I really, really wish I had a picture of the finished product but we ate them so fast that it didn’t even occur to me until 5 minutes after I had licked the plate clean of all of the lemon pepper and butter sauce that I messed up but I  am hard pressed to say that I am sorry because they were just that good!!!!!!

Now….on to the next “task”….I am using the bones, some carrots, celery, onion and herbs and going to put the Instant Pot on “slow cooker” mode and make chicken broth to use on another future adventure……stay tuned!!!!

Be  safe out there and be kind to one another!!!!!!!

DISCLAIMER
There are affiliate links in this blog so if you click on them and make a purchase, then yes, I make a little moo-lah on the side 🙂  Thank you!!!

What’s in a name??

When this brain child I am calling my “therapy through blogging i.e. Being Janet” was born, I asked several important people in my life to help me name this blog.  Not sure what this says about them or ME for that matter but these were the suggestions I got……The names of those suggesting have been changed to protect the innocent…..No, not really 🙂

  • Brannon (Introduction – My 2nd son, 26 yo recent college graduate, intern at an architecture firm, and if people wore there “identity” on their forehead his would say HIPPY. He lives his life his own way but with the principals of love and peace for all.)  “Fun with the Fundlings”
  • Brannon – “Scanet” – Get it??  Brangelina = Brad and Angelina….Scanet= Scott and Janet…..I know we aren’t in the same category as Brad and Angelina but doesn’t it count if I believe it in my head??  Guess not…….
  • Brannon – “Team ramrod”  Brannon, where did that come from???  Does some need a time out?
  • Kevin (Introduction – One of my favorite co-workers and a really great friend!!!  He is cajun to the bone ((including cooking road kill)) but he is the sweetest, most generous husband and father to his family….simply said, he makes me smile) – “The Can’t get rights”  OK, so he may be sweet but he can also be a pain in my back side…..Really Kevin??  At least I know where the Alamo is!!!  (will explain at a later date)
  • Kevin – “Batshitcrazy Entertainment” -This was a SERIOUS consideration!!!!   My favorite phrase is “Bat Shit Crazy” I mean,  have you met me??  Do you know where I work?? – Bat Shit Crazy sums up my life, hence “Therapy through blogging i.e. Being Janet”
  • Jim (Introduction – My favorite-est brother in-law….He MIGHT be my only one but he is still my favorite-est!!!!!  He loves my sister and takes such good care of her and that means the world to me!)  “Estrogen Dominance in a Testerone World!” – Totally summarizes my world……..
  • Christopher (Introduction –  My 1st son, 30 yo and I SWEAR I had him when I was 9……..It’s the truth……sort of…..you aren’t buying it are you???  Anyhoo……, He is my “rocker dude” who is engaged to the most beautiful woman and what makes him Christopher is that he wears his emotions on his sleeve.  He loves deeply and feels deeply and you will always know where you stand with him.  He is smart and has the most wicked sense of humor….I know, I am gushing but he is just that amazing!!!!)  – “Tomato Potato” – This one REALLY made me smile!  It’s an inside joke with his fiance and I may or may not write about it someday but know that he totally celebrates individuality/diversity  and makes things perfect and his own.
  • Brannon – “BankHead Bitches”  I assure you there will be MANY blogs dedicated to Bankhead and all that it stands for us…….
  •  Kevin – “Pray for Scott” – He is still a pain in my backside…..How about pray for me???
  • Jim – Need Recipe, Have Family!
  • Jim – WTF?  Drowning in Testosterone!
  • Jim – Here’s Your Answer!  What’s Your Question?

I am a firm believer that if you ask your family for suggestions then they will reveal who you are to them…..Sounds like I may need therapy or at the very  least day drink…….I do however feel like each “suggestion” is an upcoming blog post so stay tuned…….

Take care of yourself, each other and BE SAFE!  XOXOXO