Monday, June 29, 2020

Weekly Eats: A Tale of Instant Pot Redemption

A weekly roundup: eats, watches, and reads.  In this week's edition we finally FINALLY found a good use for our instant pot.

I'll spare you the picture of my pre run morning cup of coffee & Cliff bar that's serving as breakfast most days.  Instead I'll give you a picture of a Rest Day Omelette.  Filled with mozzie, Trader Joe's frozen mushrooms, and fresh garden basil.

The week started with a brand new batch of Pinch of Yum's Spicy Sofrtias Tofu. Seen here in a salad (roasted potatoes, rice, salad mix, avocado, and dressing)

And seen here in taco version

The final lunch entry this week for your approval is a random pairing of leftovers.  We had tomatoes and green onions left over from our taco dinners earlier this week plus leftover garlic sauce from takeout night.  I grabbed a tortilla, got it nice and crispy in a skillet, and then topped it with the garlic sauce, veggies, and a little mozzie.


Monday: leftover steak kabobs from Sunday

Tuesday: grilled chicken

Wednesday & Thursday: tacos! A.k.a I cooked up a pound of ground beef and called it dinner;-)

Friday: takeout from the Lebanese place.

Saturday: burger night!

Sunday: Instant Pot redemption night c/o Gimme Some Oven's Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef.  The switch has been flipped from "um I have an Instant Pot and don't know what to do with it" to "OMG OMG OMG everyone needs an Instant Pot if only to make barbacoa beef".

Stuff that I did:
  • Used more meat but did not increase the sauce (recipe is written for a 3# roast and I had a 4# roast).  
  • Only used one Chipotle for the benefit of the mild palates in my house.  
  • For beer, we had a random can that someone left at our house from a party a while ago, so I put half the can in the recipe and the rest in me.  In the future I think I would probably use beef broth instead of sacrificing one of our favorite beers.
  • Used a hand mixer to shred the beef, ain't nobody got time to be messing around with forks.
To be honest, this was a gamble since I knew that *I* would like it but wasn't sure if my family worries, everyone loves it.  In the past the kids have disliked shredded chicken but for some reason shredded beef is acceptable in their world.  We'll get a few more dinners out of this and then package up the rest for freezer leftovers.

OMG Shtisel on Netflix is such a good show.  I'm about halfway through season 2 and torn between binging it and making it last.

I'm in a reading dry spell.  I started in on a Best Seller from last year that everyone was crazy about, and man it is just doing nothing for me.  I tried to force it since I mean with all the hype surely it's a great book and I just need to stick with it for a hot minute?  Nah, I'm not in school anymore, I'm allowed to break up with it and move on.

Extra Curricular Activities Update (a.k.a. 🚨🚨🚨Nerd Alert🚨🚨🚨)
As I mentioned before, shelter in place means a somewhat more relaxed lifestyle but not an abundance of free time.  However, I've made great progress on my one "quarantine" extracurricular activity of relearning to solve the rubix cube.  Since we last talked about it, I can do this:

And booyah, this:

IMO, the place to start is with the 3x3 cube and then move to the smaller 2x2 cube - smaller isn't easier.  The 5x5 is a lot easier to solve than the 4x4 but you need the skills that you learn by solving the 4x4 to move up to 5x5.  Just be patient, sometimes you have to do a step many, many times to get it to work, so if you're looking to kill time the Rubix cube is definitely for you.  The guides that I learned to solve the 2x2 and 3x3 are here and they now have a 4x4 solution guide as well which I'll be interested to look at.  These are the video playlists where I learned the 4x4 and the 5x5.


  1. Love your food! I especially love the pairing of leftovers ;-)
    I've started "Where the Crawdads sing". So far, it's ok, I'm not blown away yet. I think you read it, right?
    Oh, and I learned that crawdads are freshwater crayfish!

    1. Yes I read Crawdads and loved it. But that's the thing, lots of people adored the book I tried to read last week so maybe I'm just not in the right place for it now. I'm taking a book break to clear my head.

  2. OMG..the Rubix cube! nI figured out (all on my own( how to get the top two "layers? rows?) all lined up, but never mastered the bottom row. That was back in the day when there wasn't a web to consult LOL, so I gave up. I need to revisit that little game ;-) We started watching Shtisel (at your recommendation) and have only seen two episodes so far...that requires my complete undivided attention to read all the subtitles LOL But, it is interesting!

    1. I hear you! Subtitles are not compatible with Insta and checking in with the blogs, so I can only hope to find a show that I love as much as Shtisel in English. I'm just two episodes away from the end and I'm going to miss it.

  3. Thanks for sharing the recipe for the tofu sofritas. Looks yummy!

  4. I too have guiltily put aside a popular book everyone (else) loves. Just not into it. I am holding out on an Instant Pot but dang that barbacoa looks great!

    1. Yes, I figure that every minute that I spend on a book that I'm not into is a minute taken away from a book that I love. The barbacoa also has a slow cooker version, it's just really nice to make it in a hands off hour of Instant Pot time instead of plan ahead for the slow cooker.

  5. I am definitely all about the taco variations. hard to go wrong with a tortilla!

    1. Amen! I used to do weekly taco counts of how many meals out of 21 were either in a tortilla or could be in a tortilla, such as a burrito bowl. The numbers were always pretty high.

  6. "um I have an Instant Pot and don't know what to do with it" to "OMG OMG OMG everyone needs an Instant Pot if only to make barbacoa beef""

    Instant Pot for President. That's a platform we can all get behind, right? This week was salmon and rice most lunches. My favorite combo ever. Next week likely artichoke risotto, which has become my favorite dish.

    And yes, life's way too short for books that aren't cutting it