A measurement conversion chart is a must have kitchen tool. Enjoy this pretty printable chart for your kitchen that includes a variety of dry and liquid conversions. Easily convert teaspoons into tablespoons, tablespoons into cups, ounces, pints, quarts, gallons, and pounds in a snap! Measurement Conversion Chart Have you ever wanted to cut a recipe […]
I managed to make it through last Christmas season without buying myself an Instant Pot. That’s when I first heard of the Instant Pot and everyone was raving about it. It’s a pressure cooker! It makes yogurt! It’s a rice cooker! It’s a slow cooker! And then a dozen other exciting features all in one. I resisted though. And I pushed it back to the bottom of my needs list. After all, I can easily cook rice on the stove top and I have two slow cookers already.
But then my large, 6 qt. slow cooker pooped out on me. I was left with my small slow cooker. Me, with my first world problems, thought the timing was ideal. The Instant Pot shall come forth to replace the lost small appliance. With Prime Day deals, I gave in and did it. I bought the damn thing. Not at half price but as good as it was going to get until next Black Friday. When the thing showed up, it was a thing of beauty. And it was just like Christmas in July.
The thing was huge. It’s a 6 quart so I knew it was going to be a good substitute for my broken slow cooker but it was substantial. It was then that I just wanted to jump right in. After all, I’d seen a billion recipes using your Instant Pot. You know, dinner cooked in 5 minutes and all. And this leads me to my point. There are a few things I’d like to share with you before you buy an Instant Pot.
In case you weren’t aware, it’s a pressure cooker. A PRESSURE COOKER. You know the thing we heard about when we were young – scary stories of blowing up kitchens. Yeah, that kind of pressure cooker. Of course, I knew this but I didn’t KNOW it. Let me elaborate a bit. So, there I am scrambling to put together my 5 minute dinner. Because that’s what the recipe promised. 5 minutes people. Of course I’m going to fall for it. Just like I fell for that article about cleaning your entire fridge in 10 minutes. Back to the pressure issue. This is when I discover my husband is legit afraid of the Instant Pot. Like, he’s going to have to leave the room. First of all, I botched the recipe because I didn’t realize that the five minutes that the recipe promised does not account for the actual time it takes your Instant Pot to heat up.
Lesson 1: If cooking using the pressure cooker function, your Instant Pot needs time to warm up and reach the desired pressure/temperature. This may sound really elementary and is quite clear in the owner’s manual but for the love…all of those tempting, quick Instant Pot recipes on Instagram and Pinterest are proclaiming the cook time, not the entire process. Just know it takes a few minutes. Don’t be confused by all those recipes telling you that you can have a meal ready in 5 minutes. It’s not READY in 5 minutes. It may take 5 minutes to cook (once your Instant Pot is ready) but dinner is not ready in 5. Read that manual, friends. And this leads me to…
Lesson 2: Not only do you have to give yourself an allowance of time to let the Instant Pot heat up if you are pressure cooking, you’re gonna have to do one of two things to bring release that pressure so you can safely open the lid (remember the exploding kitchen thing). One option is the “quick release” method. Here’s an example of what it looks and sounds like:
Okay so that’s the quick release method. And if you have small children, pets or a husband who has fears of pressure cookers, you’re going to want to announce before hand that you are doing it so that they may cover their ears or leave the room. It’s a safe appliance, don’t be scared off. And, there’s also the natural release method. And that can take an additional 10 minutes or so. So again, more time people. I’m not saying the Instant Pot isn’t magical because it is. Just know there’s a little before and after that you need to account for.
Pro tip – don’t set your Instant Pot on a counter where your lid vent can shoot straight up into cupboards above. When I went to attempt the quick release, I realized all the shooting steam would go straight up into my cupboards so I had to do the natural release which takes much longer. Sure, I could have unplugged it and moved it but I was too scared what with all those childhood stories of shooting lids.
Lesson 3: I learned quickly that some of these Instant Pot recipes have not been properly vetted. Maybe stick with the recipe bloggers that you know and trust. For instance, I just tried to find a quick paella recipe. I just searched and found one that I could make in…you guessed it…5 minutes. Now let me sing the virtues of the saute function on the Instant Pot. It’s amazing. Truly. That is one huge advantage over a slow cooker. I always hated using the stove top to brown or saute something and dump it into the Instant Pot. But back to the paella recipe. Basically, it instructed me to saute onions and spices before putting the water, broth and rice in. And then I could throw in frozen shrimp on top. Done. Like over done. If I had taken a moment to think, I would have realized that the Instant Pot was cooking rice and although it took only 5 minutes in pressure cook mode, that there shrimp was also going to be in there that long. Shrimp basically takes 3-5 minutes to cook in boiling water or in a pan on the stove top. And Instant pot recommends 3 minutes to cook frozen shrimp. So, the recipe wasn’t accurate with the cook time for the shrimp. The result – pretty perfect rice and super over cooked shrimp. Now, going back, I’d just saute the shrimp first, remove and then pressure cook the rest of the ingredients separately. Just know that not all the Instant Pot recipes are going to be spot on.
Lesson 4: One of the great advantages of the Instant Pot is how quickly you can cook using the pressure cooker function. So, it’s super awesome that you can cook spaghetti squash in 7 minutes versus 60 minutes in the oven. I thought it would be fun to try hard-boiled eggs too. It only takes…say it with me…5 minutes! Here’s the thing, by the time it warmed up and pressure had built up, cooked the eggs and then waited for it to release, it wasn’t 5 minutes. And boiling those eggs would have taken about the same time. The exception on that would be if I needed to cook a dozen or so eggs. If that were the case, I’d probably opt for the Instant Pot. Sometimes, we (meaning me) get so excited about a shiny, new appliance and all the cool things it can do, I don’t realize it was easier and quicker doing it the old way.
Sooo…now you’re wondering if you should buy one. Truth be told, I’ve had more failures than triumphs at this point. But I shall persevere. If you choose to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon just know there’s a bit of a learning curve. Maybe don’t invite the neighbors over for dinner to test out a brand new Instant Pot recipe. Give yourself a little room to learn and it’ll all be good. You’ll like it a lot.
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Alexa can tell you what the weather will be, play your favorite song, schedule calendar events, and now she’ll be able to do your laundry!
Sears just recently signed a deal with Amazon and announced they plan to sell Kenmore-branded appliances on Amazon.com. Sears also said Kenmore Smart appliances will be integrated with Amazon’s Alexa platform.
“The launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S.,” Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said in a statement.
Sears said a new “Kenmore Smart” skill for Amazon Alexa will allow customers to control their appliances — changing the temperature on an air conditioner without leaving the sofa, for example. It will be like telling your kids to do the dishes, but now it will actually get done. Can you imagine?? I wonder if she can yell at me once it’s done and then offer me words of encouragement as I prep dinner.
“Voice is a natural interface for the smart home, so we’re thrilled that customers can now simply ask Alexa to interact with their Kenmore Smart appliances,” said Charlie Kindel, Director of Alexa Smart Home. “We’re excited that Kenmore has added Alexa functionality to these products and we think customers will love the convenience of cooling their home, starting their laundry, and more, using only their voice.”
Alexa-enabled appliances may be the start to robots taking over the world, but if they can figure out a way to clean my boys’ bathroom and fold all my laundry, I’ll gladly give up all control. We just know the world is truly coming to an end when even robots won’t scrub pee off the bathroom floor molding.
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An Herb Fairy Garden is a fun container garden for your kitchen! This easy tutorial for how to make a mini fairy garden for your home is such a cute kids craft idea.
An Herb Fairy Garden is a fun edible garden for your kitchen!
Get your kids excited about planting flowers or growing their own fruits and veggies by welcoming the summer fairies with a Kitchen Herb Fairy Garden. We love all things fairy and this simple herb fairy garden was the perfect addition to my new kitchen.
Do you think about the soil you use for your flower pots or garden? Well, you should. I am partnering with Ecoscraps today and love their story!
Ecoscraps was created by people who saw a better way to make soil, better for our gardens and better for our planet. Ecoscraps collects food waste from grocery stores and composts the waste into natural and organic garden soils and plant foods. Since 2011, Ecoscraps has diverted more than 75 million pounds of food waste from the landfill. How cool is that?
They believe bad food that is transformed into rich, organic soils and plant foods can do a lot of good for families and our environment.
I love using Ecoscraps and excited to share my Kitchen Herb Fairy Garden tutorial and a Target gift card giveaway today!
Making a Kitchen Herb Fairy Garden is a wonderful activity to do with your kids this summer!
You can make your fairy garden with flowers, but for ours we chose herbs that we can use in recipes. A fairy garden can be for the outdoors or indoors, in a fancy flower pot or a simple box. The ideas are endless!
How to Make a Kitchen Herb Fairy Garden
This tutorial for making a fairy garden for your kitchen is super easy and hopefully brings you some magical inspiration for a fun craft to do with your family or friends!
1. Decide on a Fairy Garden Theme
First of all, you want to decide on your fairy garden theme. Be sure to get the kids involved with this process. Shopping for fairy garden accessories is half of the fun!
Will it be a magical garden with a little house and swing set to welcome fairies each night? Or will you decide on a theme based on your favorite hobbies, toys, time period or animals?
I love chickens, so had to add a cute chicken coop to ours!
Here are some fun fairy garden theme ideas to get you started:
- Log Cabin
- Medieval Times
2. Choose Your Container
Since our herb fairy garden was for our kitchen, I chose a galvanized container that matched my kitchen decor. You can put a fairy garden in just about any kind of container, you don’t need to limit yourself to the usual terracotta flower pot.
3. Choose the Herbs
Think about what herbs you would use the most. I love adding fresh mint to my drinks, so mint was definitely on my list of herbs to buy. Because I make a lot of pasta dishes, oregano and basil were on my list as well. If you have a larger container, add some colorful flowering plants as well.
4. Choose the Soil
When growing any kind of food, such as herbs, it’s best to use organic potting soil such as Ecoscraps, which can be found at Target.
5. Design Your Fairy Garden
Now that you have your accessories, container, herbs and soil, you are ready to start designing your magical fairy garden!
If using a container with no drain like I did, protect it by lining the container with plastic. Then add some rocks to the bottom before adding the soil. This will help the water drain and not drown your plants if you over-water them.
Fill your container with potting soil and add your favorite plants and flowers making sure to think of the scene you want to create as you plant. Add various heights and take note to leave space for plant growth.
Before planting herbs, loosen the soil at the bottom so the roots are exposed to the soil.
Moss, pebbles and twinkling lights are great to have when creating a magical fairy garden.
Place near a window and enjoy!
Didn’t this turn out adorable? It was so easy and fun to make. We are looking forward to fairies coming to visit!
I hope you got some magical inspiration with this fun Kitchen Herb Fairy Garden. Enter to win a $50 Target Gift card so you can make your own Fairy Garden.
Be sure to get a few bags of Ecoscraps the next time you shop at Target! Watch this video to learn more about these organic soil.
This post was sponsored by Ecoscraps, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this website possible.
10 Must-Haves for a Farmhouse Kitchen. Simple decorating Ideas for how to update your kitchen to a modern farmhouse style! 10 Simple Farmhouse Decor Ideas for Your Kitchen A farmhouse kitchen can be elegant, rustic… or anything in between! Love the look? Then you’ll enjoy these tips on how to create it in your kitchen. […]
I take my responsibility to eventually toss my two kiddos out of the nest pretty seriously. One day they will need to take care of themselves and SO HELP ME, they will not live on microwave noodles or be stumped by anything in the produce section of the grocery store or be the roommate that never contributes to the chores.
But that sort of kitchen know-how doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to be patient. You need to break things off in age appropriate bite-sized pieces. You need to embrace imperfection. Did I mention that YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT.
Which is easier said than done when you discover that your little angel wanted to surprise you by making coffee and now your kitchen floor is covered in coffee grounds. True story.
So the next time you think it would be easier to shoo everyone out of the kitchen and just do it yourself, repeat after me…
SWEEPING IS A LEARNED SKILL
I have a dog and two children. We can sweep and fill a dustpan three times a day. It’s usually equal parts cracker crumbs, Lego pieces, glitter, and dog food nuggets. Have you ever watched a small child sweep? Well, pull up a chair because it…….takes……for…..ev…..er. And when they are done there will still be stuff on the floor and odds are pretty fantastic that they will have spilled half of the dustpan contents on the floor when they try to pour it into the trash bag. BUT DO NOT ABANDON HOPE! Eventually they get the hang of it and you’ll have one less chore on your list…or at least a few fewer Legos to step on.
IT’S KNIFE NOT A CHAINSAW
Kids have to start somewhere. A butter knife and a banana is a good way to ease into the world of food prep. Whisking pancake batter? Also a solid starting point. At some point, you’ve gotta get brave and break out a sharp knife and some soft fruit. For the entirety of last summer, we ate our strawberries minced…but now, my kids valuable contributors to the meal prep team at our house.
THERE ARE ENOUGH DISHES FOR EVERYONE
My kids love to do dishes. Love it. I think it’s the bubbles. Are they efficient? No. Do they get water everywhere? Yes. Does it allow me to do other chores and therefore get us all to the finish line faster? HECK YES! (Have they broken anything? Yes. One plate. No one died.) Start by letting them clear the table and scrape plates. Before too long they’ll be handling this part from start to finish. Bonus points for teaching kids the kitchen golden rule of “If you cook, you don’t have to clean.”
A TODDLER CAN REPLACE A TRASH BAG
It might take 34 minutes. But they can do it! LET THEM. Because by the time they are five, they’ll be so attached to this chore that they will not let anyone get in their way when it comes to hauling out the full bag of trash. PLEASE NOTE: using bargain trash bags will lead to you cleaning up a delicious stew of moist coffee grounds, raw chicken bits, glitter, and carrot peels when the bag breaks because kids aren’t tall enough or strong enough to lift and carry a bag. Buy a trash bag you can drag.
(Like these Glad ForceFlex Kitchen Pro trash bags.)
RIDE THE WAVE WHILE THEY WANT TO BE UNDERFOOT
When I’m in the kitchen my kids are doing one of two things. 1. Orbiting me like two crazy moons. 2. Parked at the kitchen counter with crayons/Legos/homework/Play-Doh. This is messy. Stuff gets spilled. (A LOT.) Stuff gets sticky. (Perler beads + maple syrup.) But they won’t want to hang out with me forever and they won’t be interested in the finer points of my stellar scrambled eggs for much longer, so I’m teaching the simple stuff now, so that next year I can put them on saute duty.
Glad ForceFlex Kitchen Pro trash bags stand up to whatever mayhem…I mean, HELP, that my kids can dish up in the kitchen. The biggest, strongest, most flexible bags now offer an inner layer of ForceFlex and outer layer of LeakGuard technology so I can get as much help as I can in the kitchen.
PLUS – if you’re like me and have another large trash can stashed somewhere else in the house, like the upstairs laundry room, for bathroom/nursery trash, the odor neutralizing powers of the Glad ForceFlex Kitchen Pro will come in SUPER HANDY.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad. The opinions and text are all mine.
Remodeling a new kitchen or looking for easy kitchen organizing ideas? These cabinet storage organization tips are full of beautiful home decor inspiration for any size of kitchen. I’m happy to share some of my favorite ideas from my new farmhouse kitchen remodel! 10 Smart Kitchen Organizing Ideas If you are looking for new cabinet […]
You’ll love these Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas from my new Modern Farmhouse White Kitchen!
Who knew a kitchen remodel could change your life? Well, mine did especially after installing Thomasville Cabinets! I shared my new White Kitchen Reveal before and after photos –>here, and now I’m excited to share what’s inside of the cabinets. The kitchen cabinet organization is seriously the BEST part!
I partnered with Thomasville Cabinetry (exclusive at The Home Depot) and chose their new Thomasville Studio 1904 line for the kitchen cabinets. Thomasville Cabinetry earned The Women’s Choice Award as America’s most recommended kitchen cabinets. You can see why they won after touring my kitchen!
Having an organized kitchen was my dream. I took a lot of time to think about how we used our kitchen the most, then added anything I could find to make it as organized as possible.
With so many great kitchen cabinet organization options from Thomasville Cabinetry, such as a utensil pantry pullouts to a wall messaging center, you can find the perfect idea for organizing your kitchen cabinets.
I hope you get inspired by these Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas!
The post The Most Amazing Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas! appeared first on Living Locurto.
I’m so excited to share my Modern Farmhouse White Kitchen!
If you are dreaming of a new white kitchen, then you have to see my before and after photos. After living in my home for 16 years, my dream of a new white kitchen finally came true! As you will see from my before photos, it was about dang time!
I love a mix of modern with a dash of farmhouse style. It was sure fun planning and decorating! I’m just so happy that it’s finally done. The bright color makes me so happy! I hope you get some inspiration from my new kitchen remodel.
Choosing Brands for a Kitchen Remodel
Choosing to remodel your kitchen is a HUGE deal with so many hard decisions to make. I’m so happy to that I partnered with Thomasville Cabinetry (exclusive at The Home Depot), and Kenmore for my kitchen remodel. They are both The Women’s Choice Award winners for the most recommended kitchen cabinets and kitchen appliances. Knowing that other women have voted them the top rated companies for kitchen products made choosing brands for my remodel so much easier!
New cabinets really made this kitchen! I chose Thomasville’s new Studio 1904 line for the kitchen cabinets. I wanted my cabinets to be more modern, extend up to the ceiling and also have a lot of great organizing features. The Studio 1904 line has cabinets that embrace the furniture legacy with a modern vintage vibe that is perfect for my modern farmhouse style.
As for the appliances, I chose the new Kenmore Pro line because I knew that this line could upgrade my kitchen appearance to a professional kitchen without changing sizes of my cabinets or relocating them. Kenmore Pro appliances are also affordable and full of amazing features! I really do feel like a pro chef now and love to use my new appliances. I lost 4 pounds just from cooking in the new kitchen the first week!
Are you ready for the before and after photos? I’m so excited!
I’ll give you a quick before and after problem that we solved. Glance at the photos, then come back and read the details. I’ll be sharing more on the appliances, pantry and kitchen cabinet organization soon!
The post NEW White Kitchen Reveal | Before and After Photos appeared first on Living Locurto.
White Kitchen Update!
Our new modern farmhouse white kitchen remodel is almost done and I thought it was the perfect time to show you the kitchen sink and a sneak peek of a few other goodies! I’m happy to partner with my friends at Wayfair and Elkay who provided some amazing products for the new kitchen.
These are the FIRST photos I’ve shown of the new white kitchen, so I think it deserves a before photo so you can appreciate the after results!
It’s been 16 years of dark cabinets, yellow striped wall paper (what was I thinking when I picked this out?) and an off-white double bowl kitchen sink.
The kitchen is still not done, but man what a difference now! I’m so excited!!! It already looks like a modern farmhouse bright and cheery kitchen.
I had the hardest time deciding on the sink. Luckily, Elkay has some great sinks available at Wayfair and I found the perfect fit for my kitchen. I debated over white or dark quartz, but ending up going with this gorgeous stainless steel undermount sink.
The best part about the new sink is the large basin! It’s just like an old farmhouse sink, but modern. In our old kitchen, we had a double bowl sink and now I realize just how great a one bowl sink can be. They fit so much! This sink will be perfect during the holidays when we have large pots to clean.
I was worried about a stainless steel sink getting spots, but Elkay sinks are very high quality, non-staining, sound deadening sinks. The bottom grid and offset drain are great features as well. We’ve been using it for a few weeks now and LOVE it!
I haven’t been able to cook in the kitchen yet, but can serve up drinks and enjoy the new view!
Cute dish towels are a must too!
Besides the Elkay kitchen sink, our new chandelier is another one of my favorite things.
I’m in love with the beautiful light fixture over my breakfast table! The natural tones balance out the bright white, making the room seem more homey. The galvanized parts provide a farmhouse industrial look that I had imagined for my kitchen. Find this chandelier on Wayfair –> here.
I seriously can not wait to get this remodel finished so I can show you the rest! To learn about my beautiful Thomasville kitchen cabinets and how to choose some for yourself, check out this post. I’ll be sharing more of the new white kitchen soon!
Click a link below to shop the products featured in this post:
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This post is sponsored by Wayfair and Elkay. All opinions are my own.
The post White Kitchen Sneak Peek! Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink appeared first on Living Locurto.