1.13.2017

Grammy's Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

One of my favorite recipes is my Grammy's Split Pea Soup.
Every single time we went to my Grammy's house, when we arrived there would be Split Pea Soup on the stove. It didn't matter if we were visiting her at Thanksgiving or in the summer when it was 100 degrees out....No matter what time we got there, without fail as soon as we walked in her door she would tell us to wash up and go sit down & she would serve us her famous Split Pea Soup.

This was our welcome to Grammy's house and she did this up until she was 103 years old and lived on her own. Now that she is 105, she lives in a retirement home & sadly can't cook anymore.

Because Grammy is old school (aka...born in 1911) and never used a crock pot, she would have this soup simmering on the stove for 12+ hours. 
I got Grammy's recipe from her years ago and I converted it to a Slow Cooker recipe because I LOVE using a slow cooker and I don't have time to stand at my stove for hours stirring this soup.
As you might remember, I got an Instant Pot last Fall. 
To say that I am obsessed with it is an understatement. 
You can make Grammy's Split Pea Soup in a slow cooker in 6-8 hours.
You can make Grammy's Split Pea Soup in an Instant Pot in 45 minutes!!!!!
 Amazing.
Here is what you need:

1 lb. bag of split peas
1/2 onion, diced
3 carrots
3 ribs celery
2 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled & diced
2 T minced garlic
1 bay leaf
½ T smoked paprika
¼ tsp thyme
Cracked pepper, to taste
4 cups vegetable/chicken broth, plus 2 cups of water
(or 6 cups of broth, up to you!)
****Optional: A Ham Hock. Grammy ALWAYS had a ham hock in her Split Pea Soup, but if you don't have one (or if you are a vegetarian) you can still make this soup. The smoked paprika gives the smoky flavor that a Ham hock would give. Sometimes I use a ham hock, sometimes I don't, but I always use the smoked paprika!*****
Directions:
Dice the onion, carrots and celery (or if you are lazy like me......I use the mirepoix pre-diced carrot/celery/onion mix from Trader Joe's because it's already diced for you! So Easy & perfect for soups!)

Peel and dice the 2 potatoes:

Place the onion, carrots, celery, potatoes & garlic in the pressure cooker:

 Add the split peas:
 then add the bay leaf, smoked paprika, thyme & pepper
Add the 4 cups of broth & 2 cups of water (or you can add 6 cups of broth). Stir.
Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, close the steam valve, and set the cooker to high pressure for 15 minutes (Instant Pot: Manual function, set time to 15 minutes). 
After 15 minutes of high pressure, allow the cooker to release pressure naturally. 
Total cook time with coming up to pressure, cooking, and natural pressure release is less than 45 minutes.
Once the cooker returns to normal pressure, open the steam valve, open the lid, and stir the soup. 
Taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings as needed. 
Serve & Enjoy!!
 If you make this soup in a Crock Pot/Slow Cooker, then you would just add all the ingredients and cook for 6-8 hours on low, stirring every 1-2 hours.
I hope you love this soup as much as I do. It is super healthy and SO easy to make.
I make it about 2 times a month during the winter months and I eat it for my lunch.
It stores for up to a week in the fridge and reheats beautifully. 

To quote Grammy..."This soup will warm your bones"

If you aren't a fan of Split Pea Soup (I'm talking to you, Kevin) then it's okay..... I will be sharing more a lot Slow Cooker recipes that I have converted to Instant Pot recipes.
I'm having so much fun using the Instant Pot. I didn't think anything could replace my Crock Pot...boy was I wrong!
So, stay tuned & let me know what kinds of recipes you would like me to blog!
Happy Friday!

1.11.2017

10 on 10 :: January 2017

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}
ten on ten button
Happy 10th of January! 
Here is a sneak peek into our day....it was a CRAZY rainy day here in California. 
We are in the middle of a huge rain storm which is awesome for our drought ridden state. 
What isn't good is that we are getting so much rain at once & the land isn't used to that so there have been major flooding, land slides, massive trees falling over & power outages.
Walking into school....rain is dumping!
A look at my desk....my breakfast (that I eat around 10am each day...I don't get hungry until then), my 2017 Erin Condren Planner & my cute desk calendar.
 I got a new stamp that I will use for stamping homework each day....love that I can change the date :)
After school, I picked Luke up from preschool and his shoes were soaked because his rain boots don't fit him anymore & he wore regular shoes.  Since are predicted to have a very rainy winter/Spring, he and I went to a shop downtown to get him some new rain boots.
 He is so funny to shop with...he lined up all the rainboots he was deciding between.....he picked the fire chief ones :) We also picked up some cute ones for the girls since they don't have rain boots either.

Then Luke I went home for lunch & I made a batch of my Grammy's Split Pea Soup.
 Grammy makes hers on the stove and it takes 12+ hours. I usually make it in the Slow Cooker and it takes 8+ hours. I decided to try it out in my Instant Pot....it took less than 45 minutes!!!!!!  
I could not believe it...the soup turned out perfect!!!! I will be blogging this recipe soon and I will be blogging more Instant Pot recipes because I am obsessed. 

While my soup was cooking, I got some things organized for Kate's Birthday Party.  How cute are the invites? This theme is all Kate....she came up with the theme & the colors :)
I am just now getting the invites out & her birthday is in less than 2 weeks. Yikes!!!
This always happens to me...her birthday sneaks up on me because of Christmas & New Years...then bam! Her birthday! You would think that after 10 (!!!!!!) years I would remember to get the invites out sooner. I always get invites out 3-4 weeks ahead of time...except for Kate's. One of these years I will learn. LOL!
 

I also got caught up on some R+F stuff. If you missed my bulk eye cream order, it's not too late! I ordered some extra eye creams, so if you want one, it's $60 (I am covering tax & shipping) Send me an email or leave me a comment! First come, first serve!
melissa_larson17@yahoo.com
 Then it was time to pick up the girls from school, so Luke and I drove over in the rain to get them and we went straight to gymnastics for Kate. (I signed both girls up, but Claire is still on the wait list for her age group)
 The girls have been asking for months to do gymnastics, so now that soccer (and the holidays) are over, I said they can do gymnastics. I have a pretty firm "one sport" at a time rule. In years past we have had softball & swimming overlap or soccer & dance overlap & it's just too much with 3 kids and all their activities, so for now, 1 activity per kid at a time so that we aren't so "busy"

  After gymnastics, it was still dumping rain, so we went to check out the creek near our house since it was looking full from all the rain.... This creek is usually 2 inches deep and about 2-3 feet wide.
  Can you believe it?!?!? I have never seen it like this before. It was like a raging river. People were getting sandbags ready to go. I really hope it doesn't flood...we have rain in the forecast until tomorrow night!

The kids got soaked from playing in the rain so then it was baths, dinner, books & bedtime.
Then, I settled down with some tea & watched This is Us.
 Between Obama's speech thanking Michelle & his daughters and then watching "This is 
Us"....I cried all the tears last night!!!
 
 It was such a fun 10th...definitely one that I will remember because of all the crazy rain. 
I always look forward to documenting the 10th of each month & I love looking back on them each month to see what we did in previous years on that day!

1.09.2017

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Please tell me you remember that song from the 90's & please tell me it's now stuck in your head :)

Today we went back to school after 2.5 glorious (and I mean glorious) weeks off.
Our school schedule was strange this year & they changed our school calendar. We started school 2 weeks earlier (in the middle of August) so that the semester ended before Winter Break. This meant we were in school until December 22nd, which was late!!!  And, we now end school on June 1st instead of the middle of June. This schedule isn't my favorite....I want school to start after Labor Day and end at the end of June like when I was a kid, but I don't think they will ever change it to that.

Anyways, because of our school schedule this year, we got 2.5 weeks off for Winter Break and didn't go back until today....which was awesome! 
The not awesome part was only having 2 days off before school Christmas, so a lot of our Christmas activities felt rushed. We crammed in a lot, like going to see Christmas lights at our local Griswold house....pictures don't even do it justice...
 My sisters and I on Christmas Eve after church:

What the kids left for Santa....
The aftermath of what Santa brought the kids....
Then over to my parents for Jimmy's 3 meat breakfast....
 We said goodbye to Christmas & then headed to Tahoe for a week.

This was basically me in Tahoe:
The week between Christmas & New Years might be my favorite week in the entire year. Sooooo relaxing! We skied for 3 days & of course I wore my Colorado beanie the day our football team played in the Alamo Bowl (that game was rough. Yikes!)
 I channeled my sadness about the game and finally beat Bowser's Castle in Super Mario Brothers. Kevin and I love this game on the wii and so do our kids.
  You don't even want to know how many hours we spent playing Super Mario Brothers this break.....#somany #ilosttrack

 The last few days in Tahoe a HUGE snow storm hit....it was beautiful.

 It was truly a Winter Wonderland! Driving home was a little nuts...
 After we got home from Tahoe we still had another 5 days until school started back up, so it was spent reading books, playing more Mario Bros ;) and getting things done around the house.

I think I wore pj's 95% of the time during Winter Break....it was awesome!
So thankful for over 2 weeks of family time with no homework, no responsibilities & no structure!
Like I mentioned in my 2016 letter the other day, I didn't open my laptop for over 10 days...the best!
 But now, it's back to life & back to reality!
Less than 3 months until Spring Break ;)

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