RECIPE: INSTANT POT MAC N’ CHEESE

After many attempts and cheese combinations, we have come up with a delicate mac n’ cheese.
The kids gave it 2 thumbs up, saying it tasted better than any restaurant or box.

BEST SUMMER WEDGE SANDALS UNDER $75 – NEUTRALS

PERSONAL STYLE We talked about using pops of color in your shoes and accessories. Let’s talk about neutrals. Some people might argue neutrals are boring and should be avoided. I love neutrals because they help enhance the color, and offer a nice balance. When my outfit includes some bold colors (or on days I don’t necessarily want to stand out in a crowd), I love accessorizing with neutrals.  This season, our neutrals include some really calming colors – three variants of dark and light greys,a soft white, a pink-beige, and basil green. The neutrals in themselves create a beautiful palate, but they also complement any of the brighter colors of summer each on their own. Just as I did with the brighter colors of summer, here are my favorite neutral sandal wedges, on Amazon, for under $75:  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Oh Dansko, you’ve saved my feet so many times! One of my all-time favorite brands, known for its clogs (and beloved by nurses everywhere). This company started in 1990 when a horse-training couple from PA, looking for the perfect ‘barn shoe’, started importing clogs from Denmark, and Danko, (meaning “Danish Shoe”) was born. Today they offer a variety of shoes for men and women.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. No worries! Check out my article featuring the season’s bright options, or CHECK OUT MY FULL LIST OF AWESOME WEDGE SANDALS FOR THIS SUMMER. I’m sure you’ll find something there (it features 70 pairs, and growing!). The colors are current, the designs are timeless, the reviews are great, and as promised, they are all priced $75 or under. You really can’t go wrong. I hope you enjoy shopping and enjoy your shoes for the summers to come!  ’till next time – cheers,s. PS – have an idea for my next #FoundItOnAmazon collection? Please let me know! 

Valentine’s Day – COVID style

LET'S CELEBRATE! Unfortunately, we’re becoming experts practicing “social distance celebrations”. I think Valentine’s Day marks the last holiday we celebrated in person last year. And since we have been social distancing on the extreme, and we love a good party in our little corner of the world, we’ve been making a big deal, even out of little celebrations. and Valentine’s Day is a fun one to celebrate.  breakfast that is all hearts: BITE-SIZE HEART-SHAPED FRUITI love using these mini heart-shaped food cutters from Amazon – They are perfect for making fruit and veggies more fun (and tasty-looking) in everyday lunches PINK-FROSTED CINNAMON ROLLSGrab a pack of store-bought cinnamon rolls and unpack. To create the heart-shaped rolls, carefully unroll each slice, then roll back both edges towards each other and pinch the middle meeting point. the tighter the roll and the pinch, the more likely they will keep their shape. Add a drop of food coloring to the frosting and you’re good to go!  HEART-SHAPED BACON:Heat the oven to 400, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and shape your bacon into hearts (pinch the middle point, then fold both sides up and towards each other. Bake for roughly 20 minute. I hope your valentine’s day is super! We LOVE making valentines for our friends. Every year they are different, and we love coming up with something fun that can be used long after Valentine’s Day.  This year, the kids chose color-your-own super hero masks and capes (these capes came with masks and stickers. We saved the masks for another event, and used the stickers to decorate the back of the valentine package). I designed the tag, my oldest (1st grader) colored it in and signed it, we scanned it and then printed enough copies for all the tags.  Everything fit perfectly into these red favor bags. Click here to access the valentine’s superhero tags. And of course, we couldn’t forget our teachers and school staff! Even though we’re home, they’re working on campus, and we wanted them to enjoy a sweet break and know how much they’re loved and appreciated.   Have you opted to adjust any of your Valentine’s Day plans? How are you adjusting? What do you miss the most? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you!  ’till next time – cheers! s.

BEST SUMMER WEDGE SANDALS UNDER $75

PERSONAL STYLE After my first pregnancy (OK, who am I kidding, during my first pregnancy), I swore that I would NEVER wear uncomfortable shoes again. So I don’t. My go-to’s are slip-on sneakers, ballerina flats, and wedges. I love my wedge boots, my wedge dress shoes (oh, one day I’ll show you all the fabulous colors and patterns!), and of course, my wedge sandals.  As much as I love my comfortable shoes, I really DON’T LIKE boring shoes. And since my staple outfit (when I’m out with the kids) is often my signature black T and jeans, I love adding an unexpected pop of color with my shoes, bags, and other accessories.  By now, you’ve figured out how much I love using pops of color both in my home and in my outfits. And you know how excited I am about these bright fun summer colors.  You also know I’m a big fan of bargains and deals, and that I love shopping on Amazon, so I scoured the site for the best wedge sandals in this season’s hottest colors, all under $75. So check out my top picks, and let me know what you think, and I hope this leads to a fun and successful shopping spree, and I hope you find some updates to your summer wardrobe that truly make you happy!  Betsey Johnson’s SB-Debie Pump Betsey has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960s. Her ability to change with the times while keeping her designs pure has not gone unnoticed. I love her accessories, and it’s no surprise that this is the most “dressed up” shoe on the list. Rockport”s Briah Perf Sling Wedge Sandal Rockport started off over 50 years ago as a men’s dress shoe and sneaker company (do you have memories of your dad wearing these shoes? I sure do!). They have since expanded to women’s shoes, and offer versatile styles, still offering the same comfort as they always have, in contemporary styles and colors. Ecco Flowt Wedge Cork Sandal Ecco, a Danish brand, is unique to the shoe industry. They make leather at their own tanneries and produce shoes at their own factories, and pride themselves in treating all employees as family. These sandals, made of supersoft leather, are super duper comfortable (and come in a variety of colors). Franco Sarto Clemens Espadrille Wedge Sandal Franco Sarto is one of my absolute favorite shoe brands. I don’t think I’ve ever tried on a shoe I didn’t like, and I’ve been wearing them for a long long time. Even more, they are SUPER stylish and offer many timeless designs (not just sandals). This sandal comes in THIRTY different colors. It’s going to be hard to pick just one!  LifeStride’s Delta Wedge Sandal LifeStride pride themselves in the support they offer our arches and the ultra-flexible design of the outsole. They put all their shoes through rigorous testing, including pressure points, cushioning, and extensive quality control processes. You’ll be surprised how such a high heel can still be super comfortable.  Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole’s Gisele Cushioned Footbed Wedge Sandals Gentle Souls, a division of the Kenneth Cole brand, are trying to leave the smallest footprint possible at every stage of production. They pride themselves in their durable comfort technology, premium quality construction (I can vouch for that!), and their growing use of naturally renewable materials.  Journee Collection’s Comfort Sole Ankle Strap Wedges I love the mission of Journee Collection‘s brand: “to empower women by offering imaginative styles that ignite confidence.” They pride themselves in offering sizes that celebrate body positivity and self-love (at attainable prices), and they do all that and design super cute shoes!  Volatile’s Ablette Criss Cross Leather Sandal Wedge Volatile started in Southern California and quickly became a global brand, known for its super comfortable soles (we’re talking 5 layers of comfort).  They have since launched a kids line, so now we can share our styles (sneakers and slippers) with our mini-me’s. Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole’s Slip on Wedge Sandal I didn’t do this on purpose (I wasn’t even paying attention to the brands I was picking, just the shoe design, price, and reviews), but it so-doesn’t-surprise me that I picked 2 shoes from Gentle Souls. I really do love their shoes (check out the other options – their dress wedges are SUPER comfortable as well!  Crocs Women’s Brooklyn Low Wedge Sandal With almost 5000 5-star reviews, this is a super popular sandal. You might be familiar with the famous croc clogs. I like these much better. They still offer the same comfort, with so much more style!  Hmm… too much color for you? No worries! Check out part II of this article, featuring the season’s neutral options, or check out my full list of awesome wedge sandals for this summer. I’m sure you’ll find something there (it features 70 pairs, and growing!). The colors are current, the designs are timeless, the reviews are great, and as promised, they are all priced $75 or under. You really can’t go wrong. I hope you enjoy shopping and enjoy your shoes for the summers to come!  ’till next time –  cheers, s. PS – have an idea for my next #FoundItOnAmazon collection? Please let me know! 

A ‘BOLD RAINBOW’ KIDS BEDROOM

DESIGN INSPIRATION I’ve recently been asked by a few moms to help with inspiration for a rainbow room for boys in preschool/early elementary school. Since kids change their minds often, I like to keep my entire design (including all furniture and accessories to under $2000/room. Obviously, if you keep existing pieces and work around them, you can work with a much smaller budget. COLOR To make rainbow colors feel ‘strong’ (in other words, less feminine), I focus on jewel-toned colors (emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, and citrine yellow) and stay clear of pastels.  Since we’re designing a bedroom (and want to keep it serene and cozy and conducive for sleep) you want to be sure to balance your vibrant colors with a few less saturated colors. Unique Loom Solo Collection, Area Rug / @Amazon RUG Thicker rugs are significantly more expensive than thinner rugs, but you can achieve the same luxurious feel by placing a ½” thick pad under your rug.  THIS IS MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE RUG PAD (yup, have it in our home too!). And it cuts to size with regular fabric scissors! Meridian Furniture Elly Collection, Upholstered Bed / @Amazon BED Emphasis should be on comfort and durability. This likely will be your most expensive purchase, and you’ll probably keep it for a while.  To narrow your search, focus on:  A comfortable headboard – for both kids and adults (bedtime reading!) Underbed clearance – are you going to use the space for extra storage? Do you have a robot vacuum in your home?  Weight limit – probably not a problem for just a kid, but if you enjoy snuggles in bed, take into account an adult + child (or multiple kids) can add up pretty quickly…   This emerald green bed will work great in a strong rainbow room, and can easily be set in other themes (I’ve recently placed the same bed in a Star Wars-themed room) KALLAX Shelf unit / @IKEA BOOKCASE I’m a huge fan of IKEA for bookcases and storage solutions.  Their bookcases are super durable, priced well, and fit a variety of styles. Designer Tip:  Swap out hardware and consider adding crown molding (when appropriate) for a built-in / custom look. MALM Desk, white / @IKEA DESK Kids beat up their desks – paint marks, scratches, water marks, the list goes on… Keep it simple, and find an inexpensive piece that will complement the other furniture in your room. For extra protection (and another pop of color), you might want to add a non-slip desk mat like this.   Siyana Side Chair / @Wayfair CHAIR Must be comfortable, but doesn’t have to be a traditional office chair.  Using a dining room chair as a desk chair is a fantastic way to keep extra seating throughout the house without cluttering your place up (even if it doesn’t fit the rest of the dining room chairs, you can still pull it out when needed) If your kid has trouble sitting still and staying focused, check out one of my new favorite products – the wobble stool. Our kids have a handful of them in their classroom, and they are so fantastic!  Kids Parke Navy Blue Nightstand / @Crate&kids NIGHTSTAND I like to splurge on nightstands. Even though they have a small footprint in the room, they make a statement and complete your space. Also, specifically in a kid’s space, they tend to get banged up less (unlike adults that use them more frequently).  When shopping for a nightstand:  You want the top of your nightstand to be flush with the top of your mattress.  Consider how much storage space you need – open vs. closed.  Don’t be scared to play with size and color. Get creative! UPPLYST LED wall lamp, cloud/ @IKEA LIGHTING This is where you get to have fun.  Table lamps (and bedside lighting) are a super easy and fun way to add character to a room.  When planning for lighting, you want to think about – Task (work at a desk/reading/overhead) Mood (dimmers are a must! Even on table lamps!)   Red Apple Art Print Poster / @ETSY ART I like making statements with art – go big, as big as you can (either with one piece, or multiple pieces arranged together).  Art doesn’t need to be complicated, or expensive, to make a statement.  And framing matters. Play with negative space (a larger frame and white mat framing a smaller piece of art), or play with the art itself – even a scribble of a 3yr old can be framed in an interesting way! OUTREE Kids Hammock Chair / @Amazon ACCESSORIES I tend to limit the accessories in kids’ rooms because as it is, they tend to accumulate so much “stuff”, and their toys can be displayed in super fun ways (becoming the decor accessories themselves). But I do like finding one or two items that are a bit unexpected and adding them for character and whimsy. This could be a cool piggy bank, a swing chair, or some fun floor pillows.  Accessories can also be a great way to contain kids’ “stuff” – a pouf stuffed with stuff animals, a lego display, matchbox car shelving, a magnet wall for artwork, or a peg wall for jewelry and accessories.  I hope these handful of suggestions have gotten your creative juices flowing. For more inspiration and specific product suggestions for this bold rainbow theme, follow this Pinterest board I’ve created (I promise to keep adding to it), or check out any of the other hundreds of boards (and many thousands of pins 🙂 Are you currently designing a themed room for your kid? Stumped? Or super proud and want to share your design? I’d love to connect and hear all about it! ’till next time – cheers! (and remember — #createyourhappy !

MY TOP SUBSCRIPTION BOXES FOR KIDS

My Top Subscription boxes for Kids - @shirful

KIDS I’m big on experiences, especially with kids – going to hands-on museums, the childrens’ theatre, farms, anywhere they can learn through touch and play, and engage all their senses. I really miss taking the kids to these various places (pandemic and all) and was eager to fill this void and keep us busy at home.  Here are my top picks: Kiwi Crate and Koala Crate  photo credit: Kiwi Crate Co. Deciding to subscribe to this box was easy for me because I knew one of the co-founders and trusted her. But I have become a big fan of the brand independently of that relationship. We’ve been subscribing to the Kiwi Co. boxes for 2.5 years and absolutely LOVE them. The boxes come with plenty of activities that could easily entertain you all month long. My 6.5yr old daughter loves the Kiwi Crates (ages 5-8). They blend art and science in a super fun and colorful way. Each box is themed and comes with a science experiment and art project. These past couple of months featured mirror illusions, coral reefs, and treasure hunts. My 4yr old has been receiving the Koala Crates (ages 2-4, but will work great up to age 5), and loves the craft, pretend play element and story that comes with each themed box. Some of his recent favorites include the farm (he walked around with the farm “crate” he built for over a week!), glowing nature, rainbows, rainforest, music…  We’ve designated our own crate as the “Kiwi Crate” where he keeps all the pretend-play pieces that come with every box (great quality, has lasted over a year). I even surprised my husband with a 6-month subscription to the EUREKA Crate (ages 14-104) which he loved (and actually enjoyed doing on his own without the kids). The website is super easy to navigate. Crates range in ages and interests from baby-to-adult, and the website also offers many free DIY tutorials (for free) for various projects to do at home.  Crates start at $20/month. MOM TIP: This is a GREAT gift for grandparents to gift to grandchildren. They can decide on the length of subscription (one month – one year and ongoing), and will definitely enjoy receiving pictures of all the creations! GIFTING TIP: Looking for a creative gift for an ADULT in your life? The EUREKA CRATE is perfect for those with an engineering mind, and the MAKER CRATE is the right fix for the crafter in your life. You can set up a subscription (as few as 3 months), or buy individual projects. Curious to try? Use this link and get 50% off your first month (*full discloser: I’ll get $10 off a future month, so thanks 🙂 Play On! Kits / The Bay Area Children’s Theatre Photo Credit: Bay Area Childrens Theatre This is a brand new subscription that launched this winter.  We are HUGE FANS of the Bay Area Childrens’ Theatre. As members, we’ve attended all their performances for the past 3 years. One of the things my kids miss most during the pandemic is going to the theater and musicals produced by the Bay Area Childrens’ Theatre. These are low-tech productions, intimate shows, and SUPER creative and imaginative. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Enter the PlayOn! kits. We just received our 2nd kits, and we love them! They are marketed as “an audio musical adventure for the whole family”. Personally, I’ve never come across something like this. The audio element (which you access using a passcode) brings the story in the box to life and transforms you into an actor in the adventure.  If you’ve been to their live musical performances – these boxes bring the sound effects and creative lyrics into your home. The box itself delivers fun props and art projects to use during the experience. AND you can sign up for live (zoom) drama classes with some of the theatre actors. Best of all – these kits (and any other donations you make) help sustain the theatre during the pandemic. We can’t wait to be back there in person! Click here to subscribe and to support the theatre. The Preschool Box Photo Credit: The Preschool Box Our little guy is 4 and REALLY misses preschool this year. Since we chose to keep the kids home during the pandemic, and he’s super jealous of his sister zooming through first grade, I’ve been trying to come up with some special activities for him. I did well for a while but kept falling short. So I did some research and discovered the Preschool Box. We’re only on our 3rd box, but so far, I’m super impressed.  The box is filled with enough activities to keep you busy all month long, and they are just right for his ability and attention span. It’s packed up well so you can find all your materials and instructions, and I really (REALLY) appreciate that it doesn’t include any of the “empty” fillers – you really do use everything in the box. MOM TIP: We’re excited to go back to school in September, but in the meantime (and probably after), our little guy is really enjoying learning his numbers, letters, colors, sorting and doing it all through engaging art and activities. We will definitely keep this subscription going even when we’re back at school in person! Boxes start at $32.95. Click here to subscribe. Days United Photo Credit: Day United In our family, daddy (my husband) grew up celebrating Christmas, and mommy (I) grew up celebrating Jewish holidays, so our family has chosen to celebrate the best of both worlds. I was introduced to the Days box many years ago (maybe as one of their very early customers, not sure… ) long before the boxes were appropriate for my kids, but I’ve LOVED them, since the very first box, and have been holding on to all the different parts. These boxes are such a unique and creative way to introduce the holiday to kids and friends, incorporating arts and crafts,

MY KIDS’ BATHROOM

A CORNER OF MY HOME I love how bright, airy, and calm our kids’ bathroom is. The double vanity and mirror were there when we moved in. The color palette is cool, with muted shades of green and grey (the quartz counter is white dusted with light grey. Since we are such huge fans of bath bombs and use them regularly, I store them in a large glass container on the counter for an added splash of color. BTW – these are my favorite organic bath bombs for everyday use for kids. They are also great as party favors! My own little escape includes these jasmine bath bombs and these gardenia bath bombs from Spa Pure Spa Girl. They smell divine. I have them stocked in a glass apothecary jar in my master bathroom. Designer/Mom Tip: If you have young kids and want to empower independence, you can set them up for success without compromising style.  When you have a double vanity, invest in a stylish step-stool, and designate one of the sinks as a kids’ sink. I love this 3-in-1 adjustable stepstool from Little Partners. It comes in a variety of colors to complement any bathroom. Pick a color that blends in rather than stands out for a calmer effect.  As kids grow older, and need less of a boost, you can also transition to the Wildkins two-step wooden stool (also available in some great colors.) For now, it makes me happy. What do you think? ’till next time – cheers! s

A Master Sitting Area

A CORNER OF MY HOME Moving in the midst of the pandemic translated to holding off on in-person furniture shopping for a bit longer (and opting to make do with the furniture we already owned). We chose to split up our beloved Linge Roset sectional that used to be in our old living room, and use one section in a cozy sitting area in our master bedroom. The rug in the room is a super soft chenille rug with an oriental rug-inspired pattern in denim blues, ivory, and shades of brown. Photo Credit: SFMOMA The inspiration for this corner is one of our favorite prints – Richard Diebenkorn’s CITYSCAPE #1. The colors from the rug pop out of the print. The neutral color of the couch, the colors of the pillows, and even the dark weave of the basket are also all present in the print. Personally, I don’t like “centering” furniture, but I do like to balance the room – using colors, and actual furniture as “weights”.  I think a space (a room, a wall, etc.), is much more pleasing to the eye when it is split in 3’s instead of half. In this case – the artwork “occupies” 1/3 of the wall and the couch balances off the other 2/3s. Since the ceiling is sloped, I wanted to highlight the height of the room, so I placed the picture off-center and closer to the tallest corner in the room.  The dark basket placed under the framed print pulls your eye down and creates a nice anchor on the floor. The bottom of the picture frame is about the same distance from the top of the back pillow as it is from the edge of the wall (creating a nice framed corner of the wall around the picture. Designer Tips: RUGS:I mentioned the rug in our bedroom is a chenille rug. I prefer placing chenille rugs in lower-traffic rooms (bedrooms and offices) because they are super soft and luxurious feeling- and looking. They have a bit of a sheen to them and are super soft to walk on. They could also work in kids’ rooms and living rooms. But be warned that not all chenille is made the same (different blends of materials) so some rugs might be more challenging to clean. PILLOWS: Invest in some great down 22″x22″ down pillow fillers. Then, have fun swapping the covers and playing with color and patterns. If you use 22×22 inserts in 20×20 pillows, you can achieve the popular “karate chop” and the designer pillow look with any cover. Personally, I love the IKEA Sanela coushin covers (20×20, or the floor pillows @ 26″x26″, with 28”x28” inserts). They are super soft, come in a lovely mix of colors, wash well in the washing machine (critical with kids!) and hold up nicely (we’ve had ours for 7 years). BASKETS: Great places to shop for less-expensive (and still good quality and good looking) baskets are Target and Home Goods. I’m not sure if this corner will stay this way, but for now, it makes me happy. I’d love to hear about the corner in your home that makes you happy. Is there a corner in your home that doesn’t feel great? Need help fixing it up? Drop me a line!  ’till next time – cheers!s.

Instant Pot Teriyaki Meatballs

RECIPES These teriyaki meatballs are known in our home as “mommy’s meatballs”. The kids ask for them at least once a week, and ALWAYS ask for seconds (if not more). I love them because I have all the ingredients readily at home (including the 1.5lbs multi-packs of ground turkey from Costco).  Instant Pot Teriyaki Meatballs Shiri Weinstein February 28, 2021 4.5 The sweet and savory flavor of this homemade teriyaki sauce is a favorite of both kids and adults alike. Pair it with a side of stir-fried veggies, udon noodles, rice, or soba noodles with peanut sauce for some extra flavor, or serve them as an appetizer on their own. Prep Time 10 Minutes Cook Time 30 Minutes Total Time 40 Minutes Serves 4-5 People Ingredients 2 Tbsp cooking oil 1-1.5 lbs ground turkey 1 egg 2 tsp grated ginger 1 tsp soy sauce 1/2 tsp minced garlic 1/4 cup breadcrumbs 1 cup water 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup brown sugar 1Tbsp honey 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1+ Tbsp arrowroot Instructions In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, ginger, soy sauce, minced garlic, and breadcrumbs. form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls. Turn the Instant Pot on Saute, let the oil heat up (it happens quickly) and add gently place the meatballs in pot. You should be able to fit about 9-10 meatballs at a time. Brown them for 2 minutes and gently flip them over to brown the other side. Repeat until all meatballs are done (it’s ok to have a few pink spots, but you do want them to be mostly cooked) Carefully pull the meatballs out (keeping their shape) onto a plate. Be mindful that they aren’t fully cooked yet. Keep the Instant Pot on Saute, and pour in half the water. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot. In a bowl, mix the rest of the water, soy sauce, sugar, honey, garlic powder, and ginger. Pour into the pot and mix. Turn off the Instant Pot. Add the meatballs, and close the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing and set the pressure cooking time to 5 minutes. When the cooking is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully open the lid, and remove the meatballs. Turn the Instant Pot back on Saute and mix in the arrowroot. Continue whisking while it cooks for about 5 minutes, until the sauce reaches the consistency you like. Notes You can easily substitute the ground turkey with ground beef, or even a mix of the two. 1.5lbs of meat should make 20 golf ball-size meatballs. They also freeze well in their sauce (though we rarely have leftovers).I love THIS HANDY MEATBALL SCOOP MAKER FROM AMAZON. It shortens the time it takes to scoop up the meatballs and make sure they are consistent in size.Since I have no patience (and limited time), I love to keep minced ginger (and garlic) in the fridge. Spice World is my favorite brand (click here to shop it).The recipe calls for arrowroot powder to thicken the sauce.  Arrowroot is a healthier substitution for cornstarch. It is gluten-free, contains more fiber and calcium than cornstarch, and doesn’t include the chemicals used to make cornstarch.Finally, if you find that you have about 1.5lbs of chicken thighs (boneless and skinless), and no ground meat, you can use that as well. Simply brown the chicken for 4-5min on each side, make the sauce, and cook (set pressure to 9min, release after 10min).  These meatballs are great on their own as an appetizer or served as a meal over a bed of rice, stir-fried veggies, udon noodles, or (in our case) – rainbow peanut noodles. My favorite rainbow peanut noodle recipe is from GIMME SOME OVEN. Finally, if you’re in a rush and happen to have a batch of store-bought /ready-made meatballs (I love both Aidells Teriyaki & Pineapple Chicken Meatballs from Costco and the Trader Joe’s store-brand), you can mix up the sauce and throw the readymade meatballs (even frozen) into the instant pot. Just follow the exact same pressure-cooking directions and have a super quick no-fuss dinner!

Instant Pot Oatmeal (& Leftover Oatmeal Muffins)

My kids love oatmeal. We all know we don’t have the time to stand in front of the stovetop for 30min in the morning to pull it off. Turns out, my kids love my simple-and-quick Instant Pot oatmeal. Start the pot going, and by the time you’re done wrangling everyone to the kitchen table, it’s ready to be served! .. and if you’re stuck with leftovers – I discovered this great recipe for leftover oatmeal muffins! Yum!