Instant Pot – Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Oh the comfort of mashed potatoes! If you enjoy the flavor of rosemary, and garlic and mashed potatoes, then you are going to love this Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe. It is easy, of course, because cooking in the Instant Pot is always a pleasure.

I have had my Instant Pot for several years, and still use it almost every day. Now that is one appliance worth keeping. (I have two). If you don’t have one, get one! If you have one and haven’t started using it, start using it. So many people get an Instant Pot and never start using it because they are intimidated. DON’T BE!  There are so many tutorials and recipes out there and it will seriously make your life easier.

Rosemary is one of my most favorite herbs. Not only does it smell fabulous, it really does enhance the flavor of so many dishes. For this recipe I use fresh, when I have it available, but if you don’t have fresh, just use dried rosemary.

Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

  •  5-6 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 5-7 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary (2 Tablespoons dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter/or Ghee
  • 1/4 cup milk or nut milk of your choice

Instructions

1  – Peel Potatoes.

Treat yourself to a good potato peeler. There is nothing more frustrating than a poor peeler. I used to hate peeling potatoes until I got a decent peeler. It is a big game changer! This is the one that I like.

2-  Place steam basket into pot. If you don’t have one you can cook without.

3-  Cut potato into quarters and put in the steam basket

4-  Add 1 cup water or broth

5-  Place the sprigs of rosemary over the potatoes.

6-  Add the garlic

7-  Place the lid on the Instant Pot and secure pressure valve.

8-  Press “MANUAL”  and adjust pressure for 25 minutes

9-  When the timer sounds, use the “QUICK RELEASE” method by flipping valve to vent

10- Remove steam basket or drain potatoes if you didn’t use a steam basket.

11- Remove rosemary

12- Add butter and milk.

13- Using an electric hand mixer, whip potatoes until creamy.

Instant Pot – Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Creamy, flavorful mashed potatoes that you can make up quick and easy with the Instant Pot,

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time35 min
  • Total Time45 min
  • Serving Size6
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Ingredients

    •  5-6 medium russet potatoes
    • 1 cup chicken broth or water
    • 5-7 cloves garlic (minced)
    • 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary (2 Tablespoons dried)
    • 1 Tablespoon Butter/or Ghee
    • 1/4 cup milk or nut milk of your choice
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INSTUCTIONS

1

Peel Potatoes.

 
2

Place steam basket into pot. If you don’t have one you can cook without.

3

Cut potato into quarters and put in the steam basket

4

Add 1 cup water or broth

5

Place the sprigs of rosemary over the potatoes.

6

Add the garlic

7

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and secure pressure valve.

8

Press “MANUAL”  and adjust pressure for 25 minutes

9

When the timer sounds, use the “QUICK RELEASE” method by flipping valve to vent

10

Remove steam basket or drain potatoes if you didn’t use a steam basket.

11

Remove rosemary

12

Add butter and milk.

13

Using an electric hand mixer, whip potatoes until creamy.

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Free Fabric Ball Pattern – Make it with an upcycled sweater

fabric ball

As you know, I love making something new with an old sweater. It’s been a while since I have posted a sewing tutorial, so today I am going to share with you how to make a simple fabric ball. This little ball is so fun to make using a variety of upcycled sweaters. It can also be made using woven, knit and wool fabrics.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

This fabric ball makes the best baby gift! They are quick to sew up and add a quaint, unique addition to any gift.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

Babies are not the only ones to fall in love with these soft squishy toys. My border collie, Ben, loves these balls. Actually he likes anything made with a wool sweater.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

I  have made several balls for friends with cats. I add a little dried catnip and they go crazy!!!!!

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

Lets get on with the fabric ball instructions.

Here is what you will need

For more information on how to work with felted wool sweaters, you can check out the posts here.

1.  Decide which size ball you want and cut out paper pattern

There are two sizes available.

2. Cut out 8 wedges

Feel free to mix colors and patterns. A whimsy, fun colored ball, is a fun ball.

Decide what order and what colors you want where. Pin them together in two’s with right sides together.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

3. Sew along the right side of each pair

Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam. You will now have four pieces.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

4. Place two of the pairs right sides together and match up points

Pin in place.

Sew just one side from point to point. Cut threads and open up. You should have 4 pieces sewn together. Now do this with the remaining pieces.

Now you will have a two separate pieces.

5. Sew the two sections together

With right sides together, place the two pieces together matching top and bottom points. Pin in place.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

6. Starting in the middle of one side, sew all the way around

Leave about a 2 ½ inch opening to stuff the ball.

*****It is a little bulky at the top so go slow and make sure the points are lined up. Don’t worry, it will smooth out nicely when stuffed. After sewing, clip the bulk at the top and bottom of ball.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

7. Turn inside out and stuff firmly

Add jingle bells now if you want the ball to make sound. I like to add 4-5 bells per ball. Make sure they are secured in the middle of the stuffing and not on the outside edges.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

8. Sew opening closed

Double thread a needle and knot the end. Slip stitch opening closed. Knot and poke the needle out anywhere in the ball and cut the thread.

Here is a tutorial video that shows how to do a slip stitch.

Ta dah! Now wasn’t that fun!

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

You can get the full pattern set that includes an octagons ball and a cube pattern, here in my Etsy shop.

Get you sweater stash out and have some fun sewing!

 

*****If you don’t know how to sew, or just want someone else to make one up for you, I do sell the balls made in my other Etsy shop. 

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Morning Lemon Water – 5 Benefits of Drinking It Daily

When life gives you a lemon, make lemon water! Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is one of the easiest things I do to improve my health. It doesn’t take long to prepare, it’s inexpensive and there is nothing better than to wake up to the fresh, invigorating smell of a lemon.

I used to think that lemons were acidic and worried that it would make my body pH too acid. But it actually does the opposite. One of the most important benefits of lemon is that, once digested, it is alkalizing to the body and helps keep the body at the correct pH level. When our body is at the correct pH level it is able to heal itself, assimilate nutrients and fight off unwanted illness.

Morning Lemon Water

the benefits of drinking lemon water daily

1.   Helps with Digestion and Detoxification

2.   Promotes weight loss

3.   Prevents Kidney stones

4.   Keeps Skin Glowing

5.   Boosts Energy and Mood

Morning Lemon Water

Helps with Digestion and detoxification

Lemon juice stimulates the liver to produce bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract. Drinking lemon water regularly will help the bowels eliminate waste more efficiently and help relieve symptoms of constipation, indigestion, heartburn and bloating.

Jethro Kloss details the value of lemons in his book, “Back to Eden.” He describes how lemons prevent bacteria buildup, in the body. They are also anti-scorbutic, a term referring to their ability to prevent disease and to help purify the body of impurities.

In her book, “You Are What You Eat,” Dr. Gillian McKeith states,

“A warm cup of water first thing in the morning (and even better with a squeeze of lemon) goes right through the bowels and cleans mucus out from the day before”.

Promotes Weight Loss

It is said that drinking lemon water can also help you lose weight. That is a no brainer, because if your digestive system is functioning properly, then you are less prone to weight gain.

When you drink water first thing in the morning, before breakfast it is said to slash the calorie intake by 13%.

Prevents Kidney Stones

Lemons are loaded with citric acid, which can increase urine volume to help fight off kidney stones. I know this is true. Whenever I start having kidney pains in my back, I just start drinking my lemon water or more of it, and the pain goes away.

Keeps your skin glowing and radiant

Lemons, being a natural antiseptic, can help with skin problems. The high content of vitamin C enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within and therefore bringing a glow on your face. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin.

This is an interesting article regarding the results someone experienced after drinking lemon water for a week. Check it out here.

Mood boosting

There is nothing more invigorating than the smell of a freshly cut lemon. I love cutting into a lemon first thing in the morning. In this study, the scent of a lemon has been found to reduce stress levels and help improve mood.

“Lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood compared to water and lavender regardless of expediencies or previous use of aromatherapy. Moreover, norepinephrine levels following the cold pressor remained elevated when subjects smelled lemon, compared to water or lavender”.

how do you make lemon water?

Morning Lemon Water

It is best to drink lemon water first thing in the morning, preferably a ½ hour before you eat your breakfast. Take the lemon and give it a good roll. Pressing it into the counter with the palm of your hand as you roll it will help get more juice out.

Morning Lemon Water

Using a citrus juicer of some kind, squeeze the juice out of ½ a lemon. I usually get about 1 1/2 tablespoons from a half of lemon. Put the lemon juice in a quart jar or large glass. I usually drink a 24-32 oz. glass of water before breakfast. (If you are not used to drinking that much first thing in the morning, you can work up to it).

Morning Lemon Water

This is my favorite juicer. I have had it for years and use it every day. It is simple, doesn’t take any room on my counter top, inexpensive, and does a great job. I actually have two. At one time, I thought I needed to buy a nice juicer that sits on your counter top and that you pull the lever to squeeze the juice out. Well, I tried one and decided against it. For one thing it was quite pricey, it wasn’t that easy to use, it was bulky to clean, and where was I going to store it.

I like the least amount of clutter on my counter top as possible. So I found this baby. It is very easy to use and I just give it a rinse after each use and let it dry. I love it and isn’t it cute. I love the bright orange color. This one is actually an orange juicer, but I can use it for oranges and lemons. You can get a set for limes, lemons and oranges.

Add water, preferably not real cold. Warm water is easier for your body to assimilate and it also helps stimulate the bowels.

I recommend drinking lemon water with a straw. (Remember, the lemon is acidic until it is digested and can wear down the enamel of your teeth.)

The importance of keeping hydrated

Our bodies are the most dehydrated first thing in the morning. If you are dehydrated, your blood is thicker therefore the kidneys and heart have to work harder. It’s important to re-hydrate first thing and then continue drinking good water throughout the day.

Morning Lemon Water

Use the other half of the lemon the next day. You can wrap it in a plastic bag, plastic wrap or use one of these nifty babies. I love my silicone food savers.

Don’t throw you lemon peel away

  • If it is an organic lemon, you can freeze it whole or sliced. Use when you need some lemon zest.
  • Blend up the lemon slices in your green smoothies or green juice.
  • Throw them in the disposal. This helps disinfect the blades and keeps it smelling nice.
  • You can also rub down your counter top with the juiced lemon to disinfect, then just wipe clean with a damp cloth.

****If you are going to slice lemons and put them in your water, make sure they are washed thoroughly! I used to ask for a slice of lemon in my water at restaurants until I read this article. You may want to rethink that one. If you want the lemon in your water when eating out, slip a slice from home into a little plastic bag and take it with you.

 

****If lemons are not available, you can place 3-4 drops lemon essential oil to a big glass of water. Put a lid on it, and shake well.

I hope you make morning lemon water a part of your daily routine. Enjoy a healthier YOU!

 

Here are some more ideas of what to do with lemons.

 

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Tile & Grout – How to keep it clean the easy way

Cleaning tile and grout can be a nasty job, but it doesn’t have to be! I am going to share with you a simple secret on how to clean tile and to keep it that way.

I’m all about using non-toxic and natural cleaners in my home and have done so for many years. You don’t have to use powerful chemicals to get things clean and sanitized. The KEY is….PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE!

Here’s the deal, when it comes to shower tile & grout; you can’t wait for weeks between cleaning it. If you do, hard water deposits, soap scum and even mold will start to accumulate. Now you have a nasty job ahead of you, and one that most likely you’ll procrastinate until it gets REALLY bad. I don’t think anyone likes scrubbing their guts out on tile, I know I don’t. It’s exhausting!

This is how you keep your tile and grout clean

Play Video

So what is the big secret? I got this cool SQUEEGEE and I use it every day! Doing this one simple thing has made my life so much easier! When we added the new master bath onto our house, I swore that I would keep the tile clean from the get go. I haven’t had to do a major scrub job yet and we have had the new shower for almost four years now.

This squeegee is the bomb! Most shower squeegees are not very wide, and made of a plastic that really just smears the water around. This bad boy is wide (makes the process much quicker) and really grabs the water. LOVE IT!

It doesn’t come with a handle, but you can use any handle. You can cut a piece of 3/4 inch dowel 6 inches and you are good to go. I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere but on Amazon. I have one in each bathroom. Get a suction holder to hang it on.

What do I use to clean my tile and grout?

I make my own cleaner. I have tried several types of store bought “natural” cleaners over the years only to be very disappointed. They just didn’t do the job. So I started tweaking recipes I found online until I found something that really works.

I have a few cleaner recipes that I like. The first one is a basic tub & tile cleaner that is good for the tub, tile, toilet and sink.

The other one works really well if you have a lot of built-up water deposit residue, and mold going on. It’s not a totally green recipe, but so much better than using serious chemical cleaners like Lysol or Clorox.

Blue Magic Dawn Cleaner

This recipe is pretty common in the Pinterest world. It uses only two ingredients; Dawn dish cleaner and vinegar.  Many of the recipes on Pinterest call for much more soap, but I find them WAY to sudsy. You spend too much time getting rid of the soap slime.

  • 1/4 cup Dawn Dish Detergent
  • 2 cups hot vinegar

I like to recycle my Mrs. Meyers dish soap bottles for my cleaning products. The label works great for a measuring guide. (the bottom edge of the label is 1/4 cup).

Fill the rest of the bottle with hot (microwaved) vinegar.

Shake well and squirt on shower tile, toilets and sinks.

Turn on the fan, because it does smell quite strong!

Let it sit for about 5 minutes. It really works like magic.

I looked up the rating for Dawn on EWG’s website and it scores a D for being toxic to the environment.

If you wanting to know what cleaners to avoid and what ones are safe, EWG has a great article. It gives you a list of 10 cleaners to avoid, and 10 of the best ones to use. You can find it here.

My recommendation

  • Get your tub, tile and toilet clean with the Dawn recipe (if they are bad).
  • Maintain the tile by squeegeeing after each use.
  • Clean the toilet and sinks weekly using the tub scrub.
  • Monthly clean the tile with the tub scrub. (It is a snap if you’ve been squeegeeing)!

If you are getting overwhelmed with all that it takes to keep your house clean, you may find this cleaning system helpful.  This is a fun way to spread out all the tasks so they are doable.

If you enjoy my tutorial videos, please be sure to “LIKE” my Youtube videos and “FOLLOW” me, so you don’t miss out any new upcoming tutorials.

Remember, cleaning does not have to be a pain. Unfortunately, it IS something that inevitably needs to be done, one way or the other, but we can “choose” to make the process a joy!

Happy cleaning!

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I like to recycle my Mrs. Meyers dish soap bottles for my cleaning products. The label works great for a measuring guide. (the bottom edge of the label is 1/4 cup).

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    Let me know what you are interested in, and that is what I'll update you on.

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