Monday, June 25, 2018

Crab Boil Potato Salad (Instant Pot)

Our neighbors invited us over for a BBQ the other evening.  I wanted to make a starch salad of some sort...originally, I was looking at recipes for a mustard potato salad, but I felt like being a little creative.  So I started with this recipe, and then modified it a bit.

2 pounds russet potatoes (would normally use red potatoes, but we were out)
1 link andouille sausage, diced
2 ears fresh Missouri corn, shucked
1 cup light mayo
2 Tbsp Zatarains Creole Mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp cajun seasoning
1/2 cup crab boil seasoning (1 tsp reserved)
2 green onions, chopped


Place 1 cup of water, plus the crab boil seasoning, in your Instant Pot and stir. Then add the potatoes (skin still on) and the corn.  Stir so every item has a bit of the crab boil "sauce" touching it.  Pressure cook for 3 minutes, let steam release for 3 minutes, then quick release the pressure.  

(Note: I decided to use my Instant Pot to cook these just to see if we could still get the crab boil flavor even without doing a full boil. And it worked pretty well--definitely a lot of flavor cooked in, even though the potatoes & corn weren't surrounded by the liquid. If you don't have an IP, you could definitely just boil the potatoes & corn in water + crab boil.)

While the potatoes are cooking, combine the mayo, mustard, garlic, cajun seasoning, and the 1 tsp of crab boil seasoning in a large bowl, whisk to combine.  Add the andouille and green onions.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins (they should come off fairly easily) and dice.  Add the potatoes to the bowl.  Then remove the corn from the ear and add it to the bowl as well.  Toss to combine.

Place in the fridge and let chill for at least 2 hours.  Then dive in!  Note: this is going to have some heat to it, so taste test before serving.  If it's got more heat than you like, mix up a little extra sauce (mayo + mustard) and add it to the bowl.

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Day of Pickling: Homemade Dills, Pickled Radishes, and Sauerkraut

Every once in a while, I get hit with this wave of "DO ALL THE THINGS!"  On this particular day, I had tiny cucumbers--so when I started the day, my only plan was to make pickles. I've made my garlic dill pickles plenty of times--pretty easy peasy.
Maybe too easy.  Because then I was like, "hrm...I still have more free time, and the kid is still asleep....what else can I make???"

We had some red cabbage that needed to be used up, so I thought, "how hard is it to make sauerskraut?"

The answer?  Not hard at all.  Pretty ridiculously easy, actually.

Step 1: Chop up cabbage & add some salt.
Step 2: Give it a massage.
Step 3: Put it all into a sterilized jar, cover it with a full cabbage leaf, press it down, and put it in a dark place for 3 days. Vent once a day so the jar doesn't explode.  
Step 4: Stick it in your fridge and enjoy!
Step 5: Nom on various things, but mostly brats.  Or, just eat it with your hands, like our kid does.
Lil' Man decided to help himself while I was doing my photo shoot.

Then, once I had my jar o' cabbage tucked away in the pantry, I still had some time left (and some random jelly jars), so I thought "well...those radishes in the crisper really need to get used up too."

Turns out, pickling radishes is also stupid-easy.
And they're amazing.  Especially with something that's fatty or sweet (or both) to add a nice contrast of bite.  I made some garlic beef & broccoli lo mein earlier this week and served these on the side. A perfect compliment.
So now we have a fridge full of pickled things.  It's a pretty tasty place to be.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Adventures in Parenting: Potty Training & Pacifiers

So, Lil' Man is now 2 1/2 years old.  He's a pretty good kid.
Hanging out with his cousins.

We had to get ear tubes in April because of persistent ear infections and a speech delay, and honestly, I think we're seeing a big improvement in his speech and hearing.  However, words that were already regularly in his vocabulary pre-tubes are still pretty mushy, like a lot of his BFF's names at day care. No worries, we'll get there.

So, onto next battles:  

1) The Binky.  We have already whittled binkies down to bedtime/naps only.  But we've had a really hard time trying to pull the trigger.  So...we brought in reinforcement.
In the form of a duck.
Got this book from the Library, and we've been reading it each night. I didn't know it before we got it, but this is probably the perfect book for him.  In this book, Mama Duck weans Baby Duck down to "only in bed, sleepyhead", before finally taking the paci away 100%.  We knew we were going on vaycay in May so we didn't want to do it before that (since sleeping in unfamiliar places is always a crapshoot).  

Once we got back, the Hubs started to slowly whittle his binky down.  We started by just cutting off the tip.  Lil' Man saw it, and held it up to me: "Mama, wook--my binky bwoke!"  And yet he still proceeded to stuff it into his mouth.  Right now, there's only about an inch left.  He has to be holding onto it with his teeth...but he's not letting go so easy.  My suspicion is that eventually, all of the nipple part will be gone and he'll just use it as a fidget toy. 
Or, he will climb out of his crib in the middle of the night, come into our room, and proceed to beat us with the remaining stub.  One of those options.

2) Potty Training.  Lil' Man has zero interest.  He's inadvertently peed in the potty a total of about 3 times in the last 6 months.  It's a battle to get him on the potty after he brushes his teeth (the teeth-brushing is it's own battle), and then once he's sat down and started playing with his bath toys, it's a battle to get him OFF the pot and into his jammies.

We tried saying "if you pee-pee in the potty, you get a candy".  His eyes lit up: "TANDY?"  And then it's all he talks about while he's sitting there.  But once he discovered that there's no candy for simply SITTING on the potty, cue the waterworks.

We I accidentally broke the toilet seat in the bathroom I share with the kiddo (apparently I don't know my own strength...or at least the strength of my butt.)  So we got a new seat that has the little "kiddo sized" seat that folds up into the lid.  Tried to see if maybe going on the "big potty" would be more of an enticement?  Nope.
So I bought a copy of this book on Amazon...I have yet to read it. (In my defense, I was finishing Nicholas Sparks "Best of Me" first...which I borrowed from my mom like 2 years ago.)  But hopefully it contains all the secrets to potty training. 
Until then, here's another 3-4 months' worth of crap-capsules.