Zuppa Tuscana knock-off (Pressure Cooker)

COURTNEY - IMG_0665 I love, love, love potato soup. Any and all that I have ever tried, but this one has been my go-to favorite of them all. I have made a few changes from the recipe I came across years ago and made it an even heartier soup. The Italian sausage and buttery potatoes with delicious kale and bacon. Bacon makes everything better, right?! I always have Italian sausage, bacon and potatoes on hand, so this is pretty easy for me to whip up and even easier since getting a pressure cooker.

Just a few notes to answer questions that I’m always asked:

~Kale is in the fresh produce section and is green and usually in a “bunch” bundled together.
~I always use Red Potatoes because that is what I have on hand at all times; however, any potato will work. Russet potatoes tend to stay together the best whereas the softer potatoes do fall apart more.
~I used heavy whipping cream for a more creamy broth, but I have also used half and half and even 1% milk. So, use whatever you have on hand or prefer.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Brown time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

* 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
* 1/2 a medium onion, diced
*2 tsp garlic, minced
* 8 slices bacon, diced
* 4 cups potatoes, sliced evenly into rounds
*2 (32 oz) chicken broth
*1 bunch kale, chopped into bite size pieces (add as much or as little as you like)
*3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk/half & half)

Instructions:

1. Place Italian sausage in pressure cooker and cook on “brown”.
2. Use slotted spoon to remove sausage and place on paper towel to drain.
3. Add onion and bacon to pressure cooker in the sausage grease and cook on “brown” until onions are translucent.
4. Remove onion and bacon and place with sausage to drain the grease. Just pour the grease out and don’t clean the pot out because that’s just delicious flavor!
5. Add the Italian sausage, onion and bacon back into the pressure cooker with the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
6. Add the potatoes and chicken broth; cover and cook for 25 minutes.
7. Release pressure once done cooking, but keep away from the steam!
8. Add heavy whipping cream and kale just before serving; stir and serve.

Make some bread sticks and sweet tea and you have a complete hearty meal that will be sure to satisfy you.

Lactation Cookies In A Jar

Lactation Cookies in a jar by Cheaper Than Therapy

Lactation Cookies in a jar by Cheaper Than Therapy

Everyone that knows me, knows I love sweets. Now that I’m a breastfeeding mother who loves sweets, what better way to keep my supply up than with yummy lactation cookies!! What’s even better is all the ingredients are safe to share with the kids, husband and friends and family! Unless you don’t like to share, then I’d recommend telling them they are for lactating and unless they want to lactate, they can’t eat them. 😉 My kids and husband eat them more than I do, so I probably should have told them the cookies will make them lactate! Hehe!

Ingredients:

  1.  1 cup flour
  2.  1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 tbsp flax seed
  5. 4 tbsp brewers yeast
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  8. 1/2 – 1 cup mix-ins of choice (chocolate chips, nuts, cranberries, etc.)
  9. 1 quart mason jar

when preparing to cook, you’ll also need:

  1.  1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
  2. 1 egg
  3. 2 tbsp water
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract

To layer dry ingredients in jar:
(these layers will be different than the picture because I’ve come to realize the flour will fall through the cracks of the mix-ins, so it won’t be as pretty to look at. I place the flour as the top layer because it helps seal the jar and keeps the brown sugar from drying out in the air.)

  1.  Rolled oats
  2.  Mix-ins of choice (I used dried cranberries, semi-sweet and butterscotch chips)
  3. Brown sugar
  4. Flax seed and brewers yeast
  5. Mix together in a medium bowl : flour, salt, and baking powder then pour on top.

To mix and bake:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a mixer, soften 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil.
Add 1 egg, 2 tbsp water and 1/2 tap vanilla extract.
Add contents of jar and mix well until all ingredients are wet. (If dough seems to be too runny/soft; place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up some.)
Drop by tablespoons onto a lined or greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Caraway Cinnamon Roll Pulls

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I have been hosting coffee playdates we call “A Latté Fun” for all of us military spouses here at Ellsworth AFB to socialize over coffee (or hot tea) while our kids play together. As I was preparing to host another one, … Continue reading

Motherhood… not what I expected or wanted

COURTNEYSTABLET - Facebook-20131210-052526

When I was a child, I always envisioned myself as being this patient, gentle, kind and caring mom who was always understanding and never yelled. In my dreams, I was all of these things and I was great at it.

Here I am now, a mother of three and I’m exactly what I always said I wouldn’t be. I’ve lost all patience, I’m not as understanding and I’m a yeller. The kids fight and boss each other like no other. I’m always trying to correct them which turns into an argument and then turns into yelling and then more yelling because my patience is thinned yet again. Especially since my ten-year-old has recently said that he asks for things or to do things over and over until I give in… I knew he did this, but I didn’t know HE knew he did these things! However, it’s not just him. My six-year-old does it too and this is why my patience has thinned out and I’m not as understanding and tend to yell a lot more often than I’d like. Thankfully my youngest is only a year old and doesn’t have to deal with this… The sad part is once you start these bad habits, it’s near impossible to stop. (It has even entered into my marriage and that is never a good thing.) The lack of patience leads to yelling, even over simple things like; not shutting the refrigerator soon enough, leaving shoes in the floor, leaving toothpaste in the sink to dry, or dripping water all over the floor so that I’ll step in it. (I can’t stand wet socks.) I’m like a volcano, ready to explode on anyone around. (I’m sure my OCD doesn’t help matters at all.)

I have realized that my lack of patience has caused me to yell a lot more and I have decided to try to be more patient… walk away when I feel overwhelmed and count to ten and remember the mother (and wife) I want to be. Then I can reevaluate the situation and be the kind, gentle, caring and patient mother I always envisioned myself being. I have to remember that they are used to asking over and over to get their way because I allowed it, so now that I am changing, I have to keep in mind that it’s going to take some time for them to get used to this new change as well. Be firm and consistent, but patient. Lately when they ask for something and they don’t like my answer, they’ll try again like always, but instead of my usual giving in after yelling that they have already asked, I have been telling them “asked and answered”. Meaning they have asked for what they wanted and I have given my answer… end of subject. Just because they don’t like my answer doesn’t mean it’s going to change if they keep asking… at least not anymore! I just have to keep my cool and remember to be patient with them while we get used to this “new” mother I am trying to become.

Another thing that I am doing to try to gain my patience back is spending more time with my kids. Yes, MORE time! I know; usually when a parent is at their wit’s end and out of patience, they go out… without the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I miss date nights with my husband and would love more time with him, but spending time with my kids is extremely important to me too. I have noticed that when they have my undivided attention, they listen more. It may not last long, but for that moment I have more patience!

I’m ashamed and embarrassed by my lack of patience and yelling lately, but all I can do is pray and work on it. Strive to be the mom I’ve always envisioned I would be. I got this!

Homemade Sushi

My family LOVES sushi and looks forward to the very few times we catch a chance to get out and enjoy some. The last time was 5 months ago for my birthday. I never thought that I would ever make any on … Continue reading