December 16, 2016

I love lists

I love lists // shutterbean

It’s Friday! I love lists. Let’s surf the internet together!

  1. These cookies look amaze. These magic bars too!
  2. Been listening to this Xmas mix for the past few days on repeat. It’s good.
  3. If only all cement mixers looked like this.
  4. This made me lol.
  5. I can’t believe these are paintings! WHOA.
  6. If you want to take pictures of the sky at night, here are tips.
  7. Summer vs. Winter– some pretty captures in here.
  8. HAHAHA. Oops.
  9. This photo series makes me want to go on an adventure.
  10. Camera Hacks!
  11. The good thing about aging is that you can spot insecurity a mile away.
  12. These paintings are incredible.
  13. There are 4 different kinds of introverts.
  14. Geeez. Stop it with the food, hipsters.
  15. Most powerful photos of 2016
  16. Mom hacks that are borderline genius.
  17. If you’re gonna cowork in a restaurant space….
  18. I love looking at old Christmas photos.
  19. If you are struggling.
  20. If you wanna say no to people….here are effective ways.
  21. What are dreams?

My Friends Make Awesome Things:

Quick Question!

Do any of you have an Instant Pot? I am researching them! Tell me everything I need to know! What do you make with it??!

have a great weekend!

  • Christina

    Dear Tracy,
    I found out about your website through iamafoodblog. I have been checking out your LISTS ever since. What you share and how you share has been interesting, beautiful, helpful and inspiring! I am learning so much and look forward to this every week. Keep using your talents to help others. And Thank You for being so loving and generous.

    • Tracy

      Thanks so much for your sweet note, Christina! I am so glad you found me and that you’re here! Welcome!

  • kimberly

    I have an InstantPot. When I used to eat meat, I made stews and meats (pulled pork, shredded chicken) in it all the time. Now I mostly just use it for beans, rice, and grains, but I am still looking forward to finding more uses for it. (Going to check out some vegan/veggie cookbooks made just for InstantPots).

    The best part about it is that you can saute right in the pot on one setting– so for example you brown some stew beef and then just throw the rest of the ingredients into the pot when that is done in you will have stew in about 40 minutes.

    • Tracy

      The searing is what I think attracts me to it. I hate having to sear something before putting it in the crock pot. I don’t want another thing to clean!

  • Caroline

    My brother has an instant pot and it is amazing. Last weekend he cooked a chicken and then turned it into the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats has a lot of really great articles and recipes on what you can make. Check it out: http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/10/why-pressure-cookers-are-better-than-slow-cookers.html

  • Sandy

    It is great as a slow cooker. Time your slow cooking and when it is finished, it will keep it warm. Best feature is the pressure cooker. Want to make bone broth? Set the pressure cooker feature for 3 hours at high pressure. Done. No standing over the stove to make sure you are maintaining the right pressure which is mandatory if you have an electric stove. I use it almost every day.

    • Tracy

      Does it feel safe? My mom had a pressure cooker when I was a kid and I have an unhealthy fear of them.

  • Sharon

    Hi Tracy! I use my Instantpot for SO many things – and it is the most fearless appliance I have in my kitchen! It’s very quiet while cooking (just a slight hissing) and a bit more dramatic when you release the steam (you get used to it) but far more accessible than a stove top pressure cooker – those also freaked me out. I can set up the cooker and have no thoughts about working in my upstairs office or even doing a bit of gardening while things cook on the pressure setting.

    Dried legumes are cooked in minutes – as a result I tend to use far less canned beans. I’ve put in whole racks of ribs (pressure cook them with a bit of water until the meat is falling off the bone, (25 minutes) then put them on the bbq), whole chickens (crisp in oven afterwards), bone broth, steel cut oats are done in 3 minutes.

    What I’ve noticed about pressure cooking is that things don’t get as “pulverized” in the cooking process – for example, diced potatoes are likely to maintain their shape, but are soft and cooked all the way through, instead of dissolving into a soup. Sometimes you want this, but I have a few curries I make in the pressure cooker with vegetables such as green beans and cauliflower (I usually cook these for only 5 minutes), and they are still firm after cooking. Tofu does not get obliterated, either, it tends to keep its shape and firmness. Similar for fresh herbs.

    I have only had one disaster, and that was trying to cook a split pea soup. It clogged up the whole thing and spit all over the place, and burned on the bottom. A total mess. Pressure cookers like liquid, I learned, and this was too thick for the device – so careful with your liquid ratios! Now, if I am in a hurry and need to use it for chili or spaghetti sauce, I do so with caution and cook these with more liquid than needed, then simmer on the saute setting (low) for a few minutes after processing to cook off the extra liquid.

    On that note, it’s got a handy saute setting, so you can brown things right in the pot before you pressure cook, but I find it to be very hot, even on low, fyi. The new models may be different.

    I say go for it – I’ve had mine for years now, and use it weekly.

  • Lizz D

    Tracy – Thanks for your links! I love your blog and find the most beautiful things through it. Just ordered a gorgeous print from your friend Kari. 🙂 I was wondering, have you ever considered hosting some sort of online craft group? I’m not exactly sure how it would work, but I know I would be very interested in it! The groups you’ve done in person look so incredible & I wish I lived closer so I could attend. I just love the idea of learning something new/creating something with a little guidance and encouragement. Perhaps something to think about!

    • Tracy

      Definitely something to think about! I love that idea. I’m gonna try to figure it out and I’ll let you know what I come up with 🙂

  • Angela

    I have an instant pot and am obsessed. I use it at least two-three times a week. I make beans and rice regularly. I also use it on the slow cooker setting and LOVE the ability to sear/saute beforehand, like the other week I sauteed onions and spices for curry, just put everything else it and then changed it to slow cooker for the day. I also make chicken broth and basic cooked chicken breasts on a regular basis. Latest favorite recipe is just chicken broth and some salsa and BOOM, shredded chicken. I also have made yogurt a few times (overnight process but the yogurt option means no special thermometer or wrapping it in a towel! It replaced my rice cooker AND slow cooker.

    One this I will say is that people say things take “minutes” which is just ridiculous because it always takes extra time to get to pressure, then to release naturally, but still much faster than oven or stove top for many things and less hands on!

  • Shannon Y.

    My husband convinced me to get an Instant Pot couple of years ago and there is DEFINITELY a learning curve. The recipes in the manual that came with ours are mediocre at best. Every time I’ve made rice in there it comes out mushy and I rarely find it to actually be quicker or better than fifteen minutes on the stove top. I have made a roast once in there and was unimpressed. I followed the 30 minute suggestion (and my beef was only 1.5 lbs) but the meat came out very tough. I don’t know what went wrong and I’m not sure I want to spend time and money figuring it out when my slow cooker does it right every time and is no additional effort. So read this as a review from a neophyte who is still struggling through the “what is this best used for in my house?” phase.

    Additionally, I don’t love that I have yet another huge appliance taking up space in my kitchen.

    That said, it is GREAT for some things. For families on the go, you can preprogram it and it will have a hot, large meal ready to go when you need. I second the broth suggestion. I made chicken broth in three hours, which yielded four quart zip lock bags. This is certainly less than making it in a stockpot on my stove but it takes so much less time I’m happy to make that trade off.

    My cousin suggested this website, which is a conglomeration of a bunch of links to recipes. I haven’t tried a ton but pretty much anything you might need or could think of is on there (including cheesecake!) http://instantpot3.blogspot.com/?m=1 I do know that she loves it as she had a family of five (including three growing boys) and needs significantly more food on the regular than my husband and me.

    Hopefully this comment makes it clear that, 1) there’s a learning curve, don’t expect to love it right away; 2) the possibilities are practically endless for what you can make and how you can use it; and 3) there are pros and cons to having one, some things that are made super well in it and others that just aren’t as good. As such, I think it’s life changing for some people more than others. I wish I had read a review of someone more in the middle about the device before I bought it so I had more realistic expectations. I appreciate the passion of the die hard reviewers/lovers but for me I have little patience with making mediocre food in the name if figuring out a new appliance that takes up significant space. It has to REALLY be worth it. I *think* I have come to the conclusion that it is, largely for the broth function.

  • Shawn

    I ordered an Instant Pot through Amazon on Thanksgiving. I did no research – just talked to a couple friends, and really needed to replace my slow cooker. I thought it was worth a shot. I’ve used it at least six times. There is definitely learning curve – but I think it’s fun and I like the challenge. The pressure is intimidating. Some recipes you can do a “quick release” otherwise there is a “natural release” So far I have only done the latter because I’m afraid of the thing exploding 🙂 I do love being able to set it and work on other aspects of my meal (making a salad, or roasting veggies) while it is doing it’s own thing. My only recommendation would be to purchase the clear glass lid (it’s an accessory). I’m going to order one myself, because I do like being able to peak when I am slow cooking, and because you can just cook in it – not use it for pressure every time (you don’t necessarily want or need that big “pressure” lid). So far I’m loving it, and I’m just scratching the surface.

  • Brittany

    You’re the sweetest! Thanks Tracy! mwah!!

  • Holly

    We love our Instant Pot. You can go from frozen chicken breast to juicy shredded chicken in less than 20 minutes. Really saves us on weeknights when we haven’t planned ahead. Nom Nom Paleo turned us onto it during our first Whole 30 and we haven’t looked back!

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