Crocktober: Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Soup + A Giveaway!

Welcome to my 7th Annual Crocktober post!

Every October, I post one of my favorite Slow Cooker Recipes & declare it "Crock-tober" Last October I got an Instant Pot & used my Instant Pot for my Crocktober post and I haven't looked back. I have been using my Instant Pot instead of my Crock Pot for the past year and I am in love.

I am still calling it Crocktober because Instant Pot-ober doesn't have a ring to it like Crocktober does ;)
As a working mom, an Instant Pot (or Crock Pot) is a staple during the Fall & Winter months.
They make my life & dinner time so much easier!

On Friday, I posted 5 Reasons Why I love my Instant Pot.
You can read it HERE.

I am SO excited about today's recipe. It is a staple in our house & I've been making it for years.
I converted it from a Crock Pot recipe to an Instant Pot recipe.
(I will post the Crock Pot Recipe at the end of this post)

  Here is what you need:

- 2.5 bag of frozen chicken breast tenderloins (or frozen chicken breasts)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
-2 celery stalks, chopped
(I use the precut Miroplex from Trader Joe's)
- 3 cans of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 32 oz carton of Chicken Broth
- 2 T of Italian Seasoning
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 bag of Baby Spinach
- 1 bag of frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 can of evaporated milk

In your Instant Pot, empty the bag of frozen Chicken breast tenderloins. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt & pepper:

Add the 3 cans of diced tomatoes (not drained), onion, carrots & celery:

Add the Chicken Broth & give everything a big stir:

Then put the lid on your Instant Pot turn the knob to SEALING:

Turn to high on manual setting and cook for 15 minutes (if using chicken breasts, cook for 18 minutes)

When time is up, let it do a natural release for 10 minutes. If there steam left, do a manual release.
Open the lid.

Then shred the chicken with a fork (you can do this while it's still in the Instant Pot:

 Add the can of evaporated milk:

Add the bag of Frozen Cheese Tortellini:

 Add the bag of Spinach:

Give it all a big stir:

Put the lid back on and you should be on "Keep Warm" Mode. Set the timer for 10 minutes.

Then it's ready to be served!

I always add some shredded Parmesan on top:

 This is such a good soup! It is full of flavor & very filling.

 It is perfect for chilly fall & winter nights.

If you wanted to make this in your Crock Pot, you would add the frozen chicken, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, diced tomatoes, carrots, onion, celery & chicken broth to your slow cooker. You would cook on low for 6-7 hours or low for 3-4 hours.
Then you would shred the chicken, add the evaporated milk, tortellini & spinach & cook on low for another hour or high for another 30 minutes.

I hope you love this soup as much as we do. It's a staple in our house and I make it all the time!

In honor of my 7th Annual Crocktober Post, I am giving away an Instant Pot!

One lucky person will win THIS Instant Pot....7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker--Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer!

You can keep it for yourself, give it as a present....the holiday season is right around the corner!
I am OBSESSED with it & I am excited to give one away to a lucky reader!
I have had it for a year and I like it more than my Crock Pot....never thought I'd say that!

But....that's not all! I am also giving away a $100 Amazon Giftcard!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

Giveaway ends next Monday on November 6th.

And, just a reminder.......
In honor of Lash Boost's 1 year anniversary, I will be placing a bulk order of Lash Boost!
This is a great way for you to try Lash Boost at a discounted price.

Lash Boost is $135 & I am placing the bulk order TOMORROW NIGHT!
Prices include tax and shipping.
One tube lasts 4-5 months and comes with a 60 Day empty bottle 100% money back guarantee.
Send me an email or leave a comment if you would like to order!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


5 Reasons Why I love my Instant Pot

If you have been reading my blog for the past year, you know that I am slightly majorly obsessed with my Instant Pot.
I got my Instant Pot last October and I haven't looked back! 
I haven't used my Crock Pot since I got my Instant Pot...for the past year, my Crock Pot has been in my pantry collecting dust.
 Most of the Crock Pot recipes I have on my blog, I have been converting them to IP recipes and making them in that. I will try and update all those recipes with the Instant Pot version at the bottom of the post, so stay tuned for that...it's a work in progress :)
 Speaking of Crock Pots....
Mark your calendars for Monday, October 30th for Crocktober!
I really want to re-name it to Instant Pot-ober because I haven't used my Crock Pot since I got an Instant Pot last October.
But, I will still call it Crocktober because that just sounds better :)
There will be a new recipe & a giveaway!

Here are my Top 5 reasons why I love my Instant Pot. Or, IP for short :)
This post is not an ad, it is not sponsored. I just really, really, really love the Instant Pot and it has made my life so much easier and I am alllllllllll about sharing tips & tricks to help people out, especially when it comes to getting dinner on the table!

It cooks food FAST & It's EASY to use!
It takes a fraction of the time that a slow cooker takes.
Most of my Crock Pot meals take 4-8 hours to cook, the Instant Pot takes 15-45 minutes.
You can throw frozen chicken breasts in your Instant Pot and it takes 15 minutes of cooking and your chicken will be fork tender & falling apart.
It really is easy to use. I was intimidated at first. I wasn't sure how to use it.
But, like everything....practice makes perfect!
All of the Instant Pot recipes I have on my blog are step by step, so if you follow those, you will be good to go! 

One Pot Meals....less clean up!
The beauty of the Instant Pot is that it has 7 features on it, one of them being the saute button.
So, when I make my Taco Soup recipe & it calls for browning ground beef, you can do that in the Instant Pot on saute mode and then after you drain the grease, you can dump the rest of your ingredients into the Instant Pot and have it cook. I have several recipes that call for ground beef or browning sausage and I love that I can do that in the Instant Pot. Whenever I made things in the Crock Pot, I would have to use another pan to brown the meat on the stove & clean that up. Not with the Instant Pot! You can do it all with one pot & only have 1 thing to clean after dinner.

You can cook pasta & rice (and other grains) in the Instant Pot.
My kids love pasta dishes & eat some sort of pasta dish 3 times a week.
With the Instant Pot, you don't need to boil water.
I can cook a pound of pasta in the  Instant Pot in 4 minutes. I just add the pasta, 4 cups of water, a dab of butter and then cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes. The pasta comes out perfectly!
Sometimes after I make the pasta in the  Instant Pot, I will add a few cups of shredded cheese to make a homemade mac & cheese for my kids. Or, I will add my homemade spaghetti sauce to the pasta (that I make in the  Instant Pot & need to blog) 
The fact that it makes pasta & rice supports reason #2...one pot meals...less clean up!

The possibilities of things to make in your Instant Pot are Endless!
I have made soups, stews, pot roast, homemade mac & cheese, spaghetti, pulled pork, ribs, chicken fajitas, jambalaya, meatballs,  baked potatoes, spaghetti squash,  hard boiled eggs, popcorn (yes, you can pop popcorn in it!) homemade yogurt, cheesecake, oatmeal....the list goes on and on and on!
It really is a magic pot.

You can make Healthy Meals at the last minute which means less eating out!
Every Sunday I do my meal planning for the week & go to the grocery store so that we are all set for the week (I have gotten some emails about how I do my meal planning....stay tuned for that)
But, some weekends we are out of town (especially in the Winter when we go to Tahoe to ski) I don't have a chance to do my meal planning/shopping on Sundays. Enter the Instant Pot.
I have some staples that I always keep in my freezer & pantry so that if we have "no food" in the house, I know that I can grab these items and make a healthy dinner in my Instant Pot.
For example, I ALWAYS have a bag of frozen chicken breasts or chicken thighs in my freezer.
I also always have a bag of frozen broccoli florets in my freezer. In my pantry, items that I always have stocked up are: Jar of Teriyaki Marinade, Jar of BBQ sauce & a jar of salsa.
 One of my go-to really easy & really healthy Instant Pot meals is a bag of frozen chicken breasts or thighs and a jar of teriyaki sauce. Put it in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes & then shred the chicken and then put in a bag or 2 of frozen broccoli florets. Keep warm for 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice. BAM! Chicken & broccoli teriyaki.
Or, do the same thing with Chicken & a jar of salsa. Shred it up and then you can serve in tortillas or rice and you have Mexican Salsa Chicken.
You can use frozen chicken & a bottle of BBQ sauce...BAM! Shredded BBQ chicken!

Fall is a super busy time of year for us because both girls are playing soccer, so 3 times a week we are driving around taking them to and from soccer practices. But, we have not eaten out during the week in months....thanks to the Instant Pot! I know that even though I am busy during the evening hours driving my kids around, that dinner is cooking in my Instant Pot & can be cooked quickly!

Speaking of other healthy & easy Instant Pot recipes, here are all the Instant Pot recipes I have posted in the last year since I have owned my Instant Pot:

Korean Beef

Grammy's Split Pea Soup 
(Side note...today is Grammy's 106th birthday...her first birthday in heaven since she passed away exactly 5 months ago on May 27th at the age of 105 years 7 months old. I made a batch of this soup on Monday to have for my lunches this week in her honor)

 Instant Pot Easiest Dinner Ever

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Instant Pot Baked Chicken Tacos

More Instant Pot Recipes coming your way...I hope to blog 1 or 2 Instant Pot recipes a month!
I told you I'm obsessed with it :)

If you don't have an Instant Pot yet, put it on your Christmas List
I bet they will be on sale on Black Friday.
Or, better yet....come back here on Monday for Crocktober (which is really Instant Pot-ober)

I may or may not be giving an Instant Pot away ;)

Do you own an Instant Pot?
What Instant Pot recipes would you like me to create/convert/post?
I have SO much fun converting recipes into Instant Pot recipes & would love to know what recipes you are looking for!


What's Up Wednesday :: October 2017

It's the last Wednesday of the month, that means it's time for our What's Up Wednesday Link Up!

Link up with myself, Sheaffer & Shay the LAST Wednesday of each month so we can read about What's Up with YOU!

Here we go!
What We’re Eating this week..... 
Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday......Instant Pot Baked Chicken Tacos
Wednesday: Chicken & Broccoli Teriyaki with Rice
Thursday: Fiesta Stuffed Peppers
Friday: Out to Dinner for my friends birthday

Snacks I am making this week...
Pumpkin BreadPumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Dip:

What I'm Reminiscing about.....
Halloween is in a few days, so I am reminiscing about Halloween:
Love looking back at some of my kids Halloween costumes.
  Last year we did Star Wars....

I've never even seen them, but Kevin & the kids love them and the kids wanted to do this theme. Who am I to say No to a theme? :)

 What I'm loving.....
Lash Boost! It's been exactly a year since we launched Lash Boost.
Get lush, longer-looking lashes in as little as four weeks with Lash Boost.
This nightly eyelash-conditioning serum features a unique proprietary formula that improves the appearance of lash volume and length for lashes that are 100% real, 100% yours.
I am obsessed with Lash Boost...it is my current favorite R+F product....the results are incredible.
Here are my friend Caroline's lashes:

 Aren't her lashes incredible? 
  One tube of Lash Boost lasts me around 4-5 months!
100% natural, 100% real!
If you want longer, darker & fuller looking lashes, this is the deal for you!

Here are my personal lash boost results:
Christmas is exactly 2 months away...imagine what your lashes will look like by Christmas, New Year's or even Valentine's Day!
In honor of Lash Boost's 1 year anniversary, I will be placing a bulk order of Lash Boost!
This is a great way for you to try Lash Boost at a discounted price. 
Lash Boost is $135 & I am placing the bulk order on October 31st.
Prices include tax and shipping.
Send me an email or leave a comment if you would like to order!
What We've been up to.....
Working on our Backyard Structure! Mostly Kevin...I just watched him & our neighbor build it over the past couple months.
It's 90% done...we still have some finishing touches like stone on the posts & putting up a TV.

We love how it turned out so far....it's like having another room!
Once it's completely done, I will do a full tour!

What I'm Dreading.....
This weather! UGH! 90's this week here in California?
 Oh Fall....where art thou?
Thankful it's going to cool down next week.

What I'm Working On.....
My 7th Annual Crocktober post & Giveaway!!
Mark your calendar for next Monday, October 30th

I'm super excited about the recipe I am working on & I am VERY excited about the giveaway!

What I'm Excited About.....
 Our October Rodan + Fields Special.....it's a good one!
 If you are interested in becoming a Preferred Customer, our October special is going on until  October 31st. For all my new preferred customers, get $31 cash back, 10% off your order, a Free mini eye cream & free mini facial &  free Shipping!
Are you scared of your skin? If so, I can help!
We have products for all skin types
 If you want to know what products are best for your skin, take my solutions tool HERE.

My favorite is Reverse..it got rid of my pregnancy melasma.
So thankful for products that do what they say they will do (and come with a 60 day empty bottle 100% money back guarantee!)
  If you suffer from acne scaring or post acne marks, our AMP roller will help you! It also helps with fine lines & wrinkles.
 Email me to place an order or if you have questions: melissa_larson17@yahoo.com  

What I'm Watching........
This is Us. Still majorly obsessed.


How to Get Away with Murder

Grey's Anatomy

I am also obsessed with Fall Hallmark Movies. Kate & I love them! 
Our favorite one so far is Pumpkin Pie Wars.

What I'm Reading.....
I've only read 2 books so far this month.
Ugly Love

I liked this book, 4 out of 5 stars

Without Merit
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I love Colleen Hoover books & this is her newest one.... but it was just okay.
 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Love Colleen Hoover!

What I'm Listening to.....
Bad at Love by Halsey

Love it!

What I'm Wearing.....
Layers! The weather is cool in the morning, but really warm once it hits the afternoon, so layers are where it's at!

Jeans // Top Stitch Fix // Vest // Booties
What I’m doing this weekend.....
Grammy's Memorial Service.
My Grandma passed away in May at exactly 105 years 7 months old. 
I posted a little about Grammy's life in May after she passed away. You can read it HERE

This Friday would be her 106th birthday. We are having her Memorial this weekend because we wanted to make sure all of our family could attend and we decided after she passed away in May that her birthday weekend would be the perfect time.

What I'm Looking Forward to next month.....
My mom is turning 65 & we are headed to NYC to celebrate!
 Her birthday is Thanksgiving Week, so guess what we are seeing while we are there.....
Bucket List Item...Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!!!!
Please send me your NYC recommendations! I haven't been there in 15 years since I did 9/11 relief work.

What else is new.....
Kevin got a new job! He started last week. He was at his former job over 14 years and
a  great opportunity came up.
The best part is he will be home by 5pm each night! We went out to celebrate. So proud & excited for him!

Question of the month is:
What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
Thanksgiving Dinner is literally my favorite meal of the year. I love it all.
One of my favorite side dishes is Baked Corn. (Pictured on the plate, left hand side at 8 o'clock)
It is amazing. We have it every year. I need to blog it. I will blog it....stay tuned.
Besides Baked Corn, I love my Pumpkin Cheesecake {HERE}
I make this every year on Thanksgiving.
Since we will be in NYC on Thanksgiving,  we won't have our traditional Thanksgiving meal, so I am hoping we make it for Christmas!


If you are new to my blog, thanks for stopping by!
Feel free to follow along! 
You can find me on Bloglovin, Facebook & Instagram

Can't wait to read about What's up with all of YOU!



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