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My pressure cooker is my new best friend

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I must be behind in the times. I had no idea pressure cookers had changed from the days my Mom used to use one and it used to occasionally explode with the food landing on the ceiling!

We got one yesterday along with a large cookbook full of beautiful colored pictures of the recipes.

I added 3 tbsp of olive oil pressed the "brown" button. Added the chicken pieces and they were nicely browned in about a minute! Then I added a can of reduced sodium tomatoes, sodium free tomato sauce, a large red pepper, large onion, large yellow pepper, a half cup of dry white wine along with 2 tsp of chopped garlic and 2 tsp of salt free italian seasoning. Put the lid on and set the time for the 10 minutes the cook book said. After the timer went off and I opened the pressure valve to release the pressure, it was done! I kept cutting the chicken pieces convinced they would surely still have large pink areas, but they were done and extremely fork tender. While it cooked, I cooked a pot of whole wheat pasta and with prep, cooking and cooling time, a nice dinner was ready in under 30 minutes!

There are so many good recipes (desserts, soups, entrees, side dishes) and the possibilities are endless for things you can throw in there! It said summer squash is done in 1-2 minutes, winter squash in 4-5 minutes, asparagus in 1-2 minutes. It also cooks rice and grains. You can even use frozen meat and add a little more cook time. I'm already planning all the veggies I will add and the seasonings...

I like it better than my slow cooker because you can literally have dinner in no time to speak of. Like my crock pot, it has a removable 4 qt bowl, so clean up is a snap! especially with it being non stick, unlike my crock pots one.

It said you can buy inexpensive, normally tough cuts of meat because the intense pressure cuts through the meat fibers and tenderizes it.

I've already been to the store to buy the few ingredients I didn't have on hand for some of the recipes. This is one appliance I don't see the novelty wearing off of.

They sure have changed since the days I remember then from as a kid! Wish I'd bought one years ago.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOAN_HEO 11/24/2011 9:55AM

    A friend of mine just got an electric pressure cooker and she was telling me about it. She said it takes longer to cut up the vegetables for a stew than it does to cook it. It sounds wonderful to me!

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KIMSTUTZ 3/27/2010 6:13AM

    yes i want the scoop on this too! i love kitchen gadgets that make cooking a breeze. i really cant crock pot cook on my work days because i am gone 12 hours and even on low the food is mush or dry. but i love the convenience of one pot cooking and clean up! looks like i am not the only one that wants the info and was scared to use one before!

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KAISERSOZE 3/26/2010 9:54AM

    I'm curious what pressure cooker and what cookbook you purchased. This sounds like a wonderful way to prepare meals quickly!

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THE_JULES1 3/26/2010 9:45AM

    Wow! More info please. I have always been afraid of them. Seen one blow up with my aunt and scald her arm.
Brand, model, any info would be appreciated!

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DIGISCRAPPY 3/26/2010 8:46AM

    Hmm, sounds like I need to add one to my registry! Yes, please tell us which brand/model you have!

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SOLSTICECHILD 3/26/2010 8:27AM

    I'll have to look at newer pressure cookers. I've had one explode on me and I was burned from fingertip to elbow on both hands. Healed well, no scars physically, but mentally I've never been able to use one sense. I do miss being able to prepare things with it though. It did make meal time a breeze.

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_MAOMAO_ 3/26/2010 3:12AM

  I've been intimidated by pressure cookers. I have this vision of blowing my eye out or burning my face. I'm glad to hear they're easier now, cuz they can be used for such neat things.
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MELISSAROSE81 3/25/2010 11:53PM

    This sounds so wonderful, I had no idea that a pressure cooker was so versatile. I can't wait to try some of these ideas out!

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LLTS01 3/25/2010 10:13PM

    Oh no- now you are going to make me find my pressure cooker again. Actually, thanks for the reminder. I used to use mine all the time but yours sounds so much more sophisticated. What did you get? It sounds like a perfect solution for us- both os us need to start clearing out the pantry and freezers. emoticon

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LBH032460 3/25/2010 9:25PM

    hi there, I LOVE my pressure cooker. About 2 years ago we (boyfriend of 15 years) were watching QVC and they had on an electric pressure cooker that browned, warmed, and slow cooked. He is a big hunter and we have lots of deer meat every year. He asked me if I wanted it and I said absolutely not!

I told him they were dangerous and besides I like to do my own cooking and I didn't want some electric pot to do it for me. I liked having the things on the stove all day just cooking away, like stews, gumbos.....

He kept trying to get me to let him order it and I kept saying no. Finally to get him to just be quiet I said just go ahead and order it but don't expect me to use it. Well it came in and I tried it. All I can say is if I ever get robbed I hope that they don't see the pressure cooker. I love it and it makes meats so tender they fall apart and you can't get them out of the pot in one piece. I would recommend one. Ours wasn't to bad, I think about $60 plus shipping.

P.S. Try putting thin cut pork loin chops in. Brown with some onion then throw in a pack of pork gravy with some water. You could probably add whatever veggies, maybe sweet potato or carrot, real quick and good dinner.

Just experiment, that's what I did.

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YAFENELRA 3/25/2010 9:12PM

    OK, Carla, what brand is the slow cooker and where did you get it? Sounds like something I would like to have. Will be waiting to hear from you.

Arlene Disco Ladies Rock

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The Washington CAPS

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

emoticon My team beat the Stanley Cup champs for the THIRD time this season! emoticon

OT and then a shoot out... where it was close there for a while, but we pulled it out!
GO CAPS! Great game :-)

I love hockey in DC!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANCE0719 3/25/2010 5:53PM

    WOOHOO!!!

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DONNAEDA 3/25/2010 8:47AM

    congratulations, I hope that you had great choices for snacks during the game. I know how nerve-racking it can get and those of us who have a weight issue tend to dive in for the salty's.

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KIMSTUTZ 3/25/2010 6:19AM

    congrats sounds like that was fun! our high school boys basketball play in Columbus today for semi finals. :)

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LLTS01 3/24/2010 10:11PM

    emoticon we watched too. Go Caps!!!

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Anyone know how to calm a barking dog??

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I love my new dog Toby, I really do, but I don't love his new habit...barking.... almost all the time. He has settled into our home so nicely. He totally learned to go potty outside and hasn't had an accident inside in weeks. He eats well and plays well with Prancer. He is FULL of energy. He LOVES toys. He loves to play. The problem is he is so energetic, he doesn't want to stop....ever, LOL.

Prancer is older than he is and she is not nearly as energetic. She likes to sleep. He seems to need the bare minimum! Everytime Prancer tries to sleep, he tries to wake her up and he starts barking...incessantly! I take him outside to fetch for an hour at a time, I take him on LONG walks and runs to the point I'm exhausted. I am getting so much more activity in since we got him (that's a good thing). I don't know what else to do. He has a big basket full of toys. He doesn't like to sit and quietly chew them like she does, he wants constant activity. I try to go to bed at night and they are both laying on their beds, but as soon as I start to fall asleep he starts to bark for Prancer to play with him. I end up taking him out for another walk at around midnight and we run the last few blocks home and then he's tired and sleeps....for a whole hour, LOL....before he starts all over again. Shouldn't he need more sleep??? I know I do :-)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAHKC917 3/26/2010 10:48AM

    I agree with Diane.. obedience school. My dog was a HOLY TERROR when I first adopted him. He is much less of a terror after going through training.
I also use the water bottle. Works great. Although everytime I pick up a water bottle my dog bolts from the room. LOL! Poor guy!!

Good luck!! emoticon

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SOLSTICECHILD 3/26/2010 8:30AM

    I use a squirt bottle or a whistle when my dogs start up. It works on their barking and the "Great Dane Fight Club" they like to engage in. I'm all for them playing and wrestling, but NOT in the living room or on my bed. Two giant dogs bouncing all over the places will make you insane. First I blow the whistle to get their attention. If that doesn't work then I break out the squirt bottle and that never fails.

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KIMSTUTZ 3/25/2010 6:22AM

    sounds like u got some great advice! your "dogs" remind me of my boys when younger! the littlest one was like Toby, LOL! bonus on walk/running for you, but i hear ya on need more sleep! good luck

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THE_JULES1 3/24/2010 12:24PM

    Crate training will help. The squirt bottle might.

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MICK999 3/24/2010 9:31AM

    My yorkie mix is a barker. I use the squirt bottle as well.

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CHOPOLA 3/24/2010 7:40AM

    Every time my dogs bark I spray them with a spray bottle of water. It works!

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YAFENELRA 3/24/2010 12:49AM

    I am going to have to try the squirt bottle as I have three who bark too much.

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JANNYPANTS 3/24/2010 12:43AM

    I can sympathize, I`ve heard of the squirt gun idea before. My dog is pretty good but if he does start a barkathon, I sternly say, `no.` Seems to work.

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DEVON378 3/23/2010 10:11PM

    buy a party air horn at a party store or Wal-Mart when your dog starts to bark blow the horn. use it for any undesirable behavior. the pitch is high and hurts their ears will stop the second they hear it. my dogs just see the horn in my hand now and they stop any thing they are doing wrong. good luck! emoticon

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DIANE7786 3/23/2010 10:10PM

    You might consider taking Toby to obedience school. Dogs like "jobs" and a good school would show you what to do to distract him from Prancer and teach him to play alone.

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LLTS01 3/23/2010 9:39PM

    emoticon I have no great ideas or suggestions whatsoever but send my sympathy.
emoticon

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JENNROY1 3/23/2010 9:39PM

    This sounds really mean, I know it does, but it can work. We have a dog who used to bark at EVERYTHING! She still freaks out about the doorbell, but otherwise, she's much better. What we did was to get a squirt gun and keep it handy. When she'd bark, we'd squirt her with it and say "quiet" ... it would startle her silent and then we'd give her a treat and say "good quiet". funny how the food worked to get her to realize what "quiet" meant ... and the water didn't hurt her at all ... we really just did it to get her attention because she'd be so intent on her barking she couldn't or wouldn't hear us. Good luck!

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Bowling night

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I've had some really good bowling nights and some really bad. Today's was just really very average. I started out great, with 5 strikes and 3 spares in my first game and then it went downhill, very downhill, LOL. The good and bad made it an average night.

The best part about going is that my kids and their spouses-S/O's go too and we get to all spend a few hours together. One lives in Fredricksburg, one in Herndon, one in Alexandria and one with me.....but they all come to Woodbridge to bowl once a week most weeks. We often all have friends go with us too, so it makes for a fun night and I get some exercise doing what I enjoy.

I just found out about a Friday night league starting in May. It's Extreme Pizza night....ok, the pizza part wouldn't be very good :-).......but it's 4 games and then when the league bowling is over, it's free bowling til 2am every week. As much as I love to bowl, this would be really cool....plus Friday night is the night they have the lights out and the music blaring. I normally never go on Fridays because it's $5 a game and packed to the hilt. The nights I go it's $1 a game...a big difference with a bunch of us. I might have to look into this league though. I can so see me bowling to the music until 2am :-) emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLIANPRNCSS 3/22/2010 7:19AM

    Sounds like fun. I have not gone bowling since I was a kid. You have inspired me to look into it.

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Volunteering at the National Marathon in DC

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I had a blast volunteering at the National Marathon today. There was a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon.

My buddy and I were stationed at mile 11 at the aid/water station. We helped set up the tables and then gave out water and powerade to the runners as they came by.

The first runner passed mile 11 at the 50 minute mark! He was a lean, mean running machine!! The first few runners came by early and then it was a wait before the rest started to come by and then they came in droves! I had trouble keeping up with them all and we worked very hard filling water cups and passing them out. It was hard to keep up with 12,500 runners running!

This was the 1st few to come by:



and then near the end my friend excitedly said "Here comes the green team from the Biggest Loser! Sure enough, there came Miggie and her daughter and the girl from the red team 2 seasons ago. I got a pic of just one as she paused for a water break:


I plan on volunteering more. I met a lot of people from Teamintraining.org and am going to look into that organization. I would really like to get more involved as I learn to run.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHOPOLA 3/24/2010 7:56AM

    How exciting! And you got to see some biggest loser peeps yay!

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DIGISCRAPPY 3/22/2010 1:46PM

    Wow, awesome! I can't imagine how motivating that was!

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LLTS01 3/22/2010 12:36PM

    How cool- this gives you a totally different perspective.

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TERMITEMOM 3/21/2010 6:04PM

    Wonderful! And the weather was just so perfect!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 3/21/2010 7:29AM

    So sorry I missed it but there are lots of races in the spring.

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THE_JULES1 3/20/2010 11:19PM

    That is so awesome!

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DASSCHUS 3/20/2010 6:45PM

    That is so cool!! I think I'd like to volunteer too. That's a great idea.

And love the pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

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SPARKPIXIE 3/20/2010 5:02PM

    Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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