Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Instant Pot Pot Roast Recipe

I'm over on The Blended Blog talking about my favorite new appliance, the Instant Pot! I'm adapted one of my favorite pot roast recipes so I can now make my favorite pot roast in half the time, woo hoo! 


3-5 pounds Chuck Roast (make sure it can fit into your Instant Pot)
Salt and Peper
Oil (either olive oil or canola oil, any oil you prefer to cook with)
1-3 Red Onions (I prefer red onions and a lot of them, if you're not an onion person, just use 1, we like to eat the onions as a side dish, so for me the more the better)
3/4 cup of Apple Cider + a splash more if your roast is bigger
1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar 
 4 Tablespoons of flour


Step 1:

Make sure you're Instant Pot is connected correctly, with all of pieces in the correct place per instructions, i.e. the condensation collector, sealing rings, etc (most of these should already be in place when you buy it). Hit the Saute button, and wait for the screen to say HOT.

While you are waiting, salt and pepper your meat. When the screen says HOT, add 1 tablespoon of oil, wait a few seconds and add meat. Each side takes 10-15 minutes to fully sauté.

Step 2: 

While you are sauteing, cut onions. My family loves onions so I will cut 2-3 of them, I typically will cut off the end, cut it in half and the start making slices. When meat is done sauteing on both sides, add onions on top.

Step 3: 

Time for your liquid, turn your Instant Pot off. Measure out 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and fill the rest of your measuring cup with apple cider. If you have a bigger cut of meat you can go a little over the 1 cup mark, like 1 1/8, that's what I did when I had a 4.2 pound roast. Pour the liquid over the onions and meat and close lid, making sure your valve is set to "sealing" before you start. Press manual mode and set timer to 45-60 minutes. If you have a smaller roast set for the lower temp, if you have a bigger one set to the higher time.

Step 4:

Meanwhile, make these awesome Mashed Potatoes. Seriously, it's one pot, you add enough milk/butter/water to the pot so when the potatoes are done cooking, all you have to do is add butter and mash, no trying to pour hot water out, no extra dishes to do. Perfect.

Okay so that's not really step 4, but you should make them to go with, they are delicious! Step 4 is really, when the timer goes off, let the roast sit there for 10 minutes for a "natural" release. After the 10 minutes is up, carefully switch your valve to venting and take off lid. Side note: I let it go the other night for 30 minutes because I was doing other things, and it turned out perfect as well, so don't panic if you let it go too long.

Step 5: 

Scoop out the onions and place into a separate container and save for when food is served. Then carefully take out the meat and place on cutting board (preferably with the juice channel, so they don't go all over the counter). The meat will be falling apart, so most likely it will not come all in one piece. 

Take the juices and pour into a separate container, you're going to need it to separate so you can get the fat.

Take 4 tablespoons of the fat and put into sauce pan. Heat up and whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour, whisk continuously until it turns a light brown color (should take 3-5 minutes).

Measure the juice without the fat to 2 cups, if you don't have enough juice you can substitute with water. Whisk the 2 cups of juice to the flour mixture, once all incorporated let simmer until desired thickness.

This will take about 10-15 minutes. I always like to make more gravy depending on how many people are coming for dinner.

I made a handy chart of measurements in case you want more gravy than 2 cups (which really comes out to about a cup of actual gravy).

Step 6:

Enjoy! This is such a yummy and easy meal to prepare and it only takes 2 hours from start to finish, including the gravy! I know you want to go out and get an Instant Pot (affiliate link) now, right?!

Linking up here

Monday, January 23, 2017

Organizing Your Home From An Unorganized Person

Happy Monday Foxy Friends! If you are coming from The Blended Blog, thank you for stopping by! It's another Monday, which means another Nuggets for the New Year. This time we're talking about organizing your home. I will be the first to admit that I am the MOST unorganized person when it comes to my house. My life, appointments, anything other than material things, I'm all over it. But everything else, it's a wreck! That's why this year I decided is going to be the year of organization, read that post here.

So I don't have any huge, organize your house in these easy steps. This is a learning process for me too. So join me in my organizing adventure this year. I'll keep you posted...Mostly we're trying to get the toys in check it's a mess in our house! Seriously. It's going to get real right now...

I never took a "before" picture, but if you can see behind the sweep fox, that it's a mess back there and that's what it looks like when it's "picked" up. This was Baby Fox's Room: The baskets under the window were catch alls, for everything, shoes, toys, hats, blankets, you name it, it just got thrown in there.

This is actually what it looks like after I've already gone through it back in October. We did a garage sale and cleaned it out and I tried to get organized then...but it didn't really work out. All of the toys that I had brought up stairs that were Baby Fox's always ended up back down stairs.

I talked to my cousin who is the queen of organization. She said that in order to get organized EVERYTHING has to have a place. If you/the kids know where it goes then it will get put away in the correct spot. So that's what we're aiming to do, go through every room and make everything have a place. We started with Baby Fox's, Mini Fox's and our room (because our room was starting to look like a catch all for the left over toys. We took every single thing out of both rooms that didn't belong or didn't have a home, and put it in the hallway or our bedroom. Part of the problem was, Mr. and I were storing our stuff in their closets. We had to take all of that stuff out of there, give them a clean slate to work with.

At this point we decided what was going back in their rooms, what was going to Good Will and what was being tossed. A lot got tossed, let me tell ya. Since Baby Fox's room already had the toy organizer we decided to really concentrate on his room. We had a bunch of puzzles and games down stairs in our family room. There is no need for those to be out all the time. So we put them in Baby Fox's closet. Now they had a place to live. We collected all of the weapons, put them in a bin, put all of the costumes, put those in another bin, then stored all of the other toys in the toy storage collection.

We got rid of the baby toy airplane hanging, and the baskets under his window.

We then decided to give him a place to do his Legos, since he got so many for Christmas. Before he got small sets, so he did them on the kitchen table, that was no longer functional, so we bought him the $20 4' table from Costco and put it in his room, instead of storing it in the garage like we normally would.

So far, almost a month after we did it, his room is staying clean and organized, because he knows exactly where everything needs to go. Our bedroom, is no longer that catch all for all of the toys.
This is an old picture, and the problem got much worse. 

Now everything gets put away at the end of the night. So our room no longer looks like a bomb went off in it every night. It now looks liked this.

So much better! Onto Mini Fox's room. We haven't done as much in her room. But we're getting there. We took out everything that didn't belong in her room, and put it somewhere else...mainly down stairs in the living room. We put in bins by sizes, the hand me down clothes we had, so we can easily access them. Currently they are down in the living room until we are ready to put her room back together. This is a before:

All those totes up there are mine, they are full of purses and other craft things. Definitely not needed. The main reason they were in here, there were no shelves in my closet. Take a peek into my old closet here. But we had someone install some shelves and now there is a place for all of this! Still has some work, but when I'm done I'll show you all.

This side had more purses and a bunch of random stuff in those bins, those are all out of there too.

Her bookshelf is even worse. We're working on this still, I haven't decided what to do with it all, but when I do you'll be the first to know.

So far this is how her closet looks right now. Lot's of work to do, but it's a start! The only thing left on her shelves is her Amerian Girl doll that was a hand me down, and I haven't let her start playing with it yet, and some clothes that she came with and some diapers. Other then that, nothing remains on the closet shelves.

The last thing I worked on since the new year was our down stairs craft closet. It was a mess...I forgot to take before pictures, but trust me it was awful! But I took every single thing out, threw away what we didn't need and then stored some of the double, triple and quadruple stuff (who needs 16 coloring books? We left them a few and stored the rest in the garage).

I thought of taking pictures half way through cleaning it out.

Can you see where I was sitting?

Here is the after, so much better right?

And then I started to tackle the craft area...but so far I've only taken everything out, and just this past weekend I started putting everything in a place. But haven't finished. But here are the before pictures.

This is an armoe that was Mr.'s when he moved out, he kept his TV in it. It has doors that close, so you can't see anything inside, but this is what it was looking like, horrible right?

This is where we kept a LOT of the games...but now they have a place in the Baby Fox's room.

This was a catch all for random things, it's now all out of there and in the living room waiting to get put in a place.

I bet you're wondering what my living room looks like...yep like a bomb went off, but you know what, it won't get better until you know everything you have and then everything has a place. You have to start somewhere.

We ended up donating a bunch of stuff, this is just what we took to Good Will, does no include the bags of things we took to a local shelter and stuff we are giving to family.

Man it felt good to get rid of a bunch of stuff! Now to tackle the rest of the house! I can do this. Now hop on over to Leslie's blog to see how she organizes, I'm sure she's way more organized than me!

Linking up here

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Favorites #101

Happy Friday! Man it was my first full week of work in about 2 months, wow was it a long week! Tuesday I had plans on going to the gym, but instead I stayed home, blogged and at a whole kit kat...oops! Wednesday I got back on the horse and back at it...one day of falling off the horse doesn't mean the rest of the week should go with it right? Onto Friday Favorites:

In case you missed it this week:

Monday: 3 Tips to Starting A Budget
Tuesday: I intentionally did my hair for a year, here are the things I learned and my favorite products
Wednesday: I give layer shirts a try

Don't forget you have 3 more days to enter my giveaway for a $50 gift certificate to Diapers.com! The only mandatory entry is to comment on the post, if you do that, then you just have to click submit and you're entered! Click here to enter!

I'm joining Desiree, Stefanie, Justine and Whitney for their new link up called A Year Of Color. Each month they want us to showcase the color of the month, however you want to represent that.

This month the color is white. I thought this was perfect because of my new white watch! I have been looking for a white watch for years now, and I finally found one!

We had the BEST weekend full of friends! Going into the weekend we had no plans, I love the weekends that you have no plans and then it becomes full of plans with good friends, laughs and of course food! 

Friday  a friend came over for a playdate, and then we ate In and Out for lunch, always a good day when that happens. 

This week is Baby Fox's turn to be start student in his class, so we started working on his poster when he got home from school.

Then some other friends asked if we wanted to meet up for dinner at Chick-Fil-A, let the kids run around while we sat and chatted, it was awesome. I went to the gym before hand and forgot my regular shoes, so I had to wear my work out shoes, oops! At least it looked semi okay since I was wearing leggings and a tunic.

I forgot to take pictures at dinner, oh well. Then Saturday we decided to meet up for bowling and dinner, so much fun. It was our first time taking the kids bowling and they loved it!

Getting 6 kids to all look in the same direction, proved to be difficult.

Group shot

 Then we headed back to our friends for some pizza, yum!

Over the last week or so Mr. and I found two shows that we really liked. One of them was 3%. It is subtitled which took me a couple of episodes to get used to, but once you get use to it, it's great. It's really good and an interesting concept. Anyone else seen it?

The other show is called The OA, we loved the first episode and can't wait to see the rest of the season.

The Blended Blog is starting a new link up on Fridays. We decided there are 15 of us, and between us we probably read hundreds of blogs a week, so we're going to show case stuff we read/see around the interweb. Share your favorites from around the web and link up with us! That being said here are a few favorites from around the web.

The blended blog had a link up on Monday all about budgeting, I just love Shelly's post about how she budgets with her family.

Elizabeth from Chasin Mason, holy cow, this post just got me. I mean every single sentence I'm just nodding my head, I could have written the same exact post. From now I am going to Do Less More Often. Go read her post to find out what that means, I really think you'll have to agree too!

Man, Carly's Post about how Mom Guilt is Total Bull$hit, was an awesome take from a Kindergarten teacher. She just really put the whole mom guilt we mostly do to ourselves in perspective. Yes I love my child, yes I only want the best, and give them the best care that I can, and you know what? That's what they're going to remember.

Go give these ladies some love, they deserve it. Happy weekend! If you're getting hit by the rain, doing wash away!

Linking up here