Monday, February 8, 2016

To Pressure Cook or not to Pressure Cook

First off, I want to thank all of my readers... as well as those people who stop in every now and then to check out a recipe or two (and mom, I bet you look at my site most of all... love you!).  You have all helped me to slowly accumulate a little bit of revenue from advertisements on my blog.  The advertisements are generally located in the panel to the right, as well as at the bottom of every post.  For me, every time someone from my page clicks on one of these links, or if a post gets an excessive amount of traffic regardless of link-clicking, I get a couple of pennies from it.

These pennies have added up to the point where I will be getting a payment within the next month or so.  Of course, I like to dream and think well ahead of what I would like to use this money for.  I am rationalizing that since the money came from the blog, I should invest some of it into supplies for the blog.

My first thought was.... Vitamix!!!  The money could go towards one, but I would still need to invest some of my personal money into it, and with college loans and bills o be paid, we just cant do that right now.  Plus, I have a really nice KitchenAid blender that works great for what I need it for: smoothies, pureed soups, dressings, etc.  So what if it cant heat soups with excessive friction and make perfect almond butter?  (Side note, my parents have Vitamix and when they visited last weekend, I asked my mom to make some almond butter to bring to me.  She is an almond butter angel!)

My second thought was.... perhaps I could use a new camera for the blog.  I always look at other bloggers pictures and admire their ability to decorate and light things just so.  Over the last year or so, I had been using my iPad camera because my Macbook had been out of commission.  I recently fixed the problem with my laptop, and remembered that I used to take decent pictures with my husbands camera and edit them with Photoshop on my Macbook.  I will probably go back to taking and editing pictures that way rather than spending money on a new camera that I dont need.

My next thought was... cookbooks!!! Tons and tons of cookbooks!  I have had quite a few cookbooks on my Amazon wish-list for a while, so maybe I can get a few of those.  Ill probably get a few cookbooks, but I feel like I want my money to go more towards something that will contribute to new and exciting recipes to share on the blog.  The best I can do with cookbooks is to reference where I got the recipe and show you guys pictures, but seriously, what a tease!

After listening to my first Chef AJ teleconference with Wendy from Healthy Girls Kitchen last week, I remembered how Chef AJ highly recommends an electric pressure cooker for a plant-based diet.  I did some research and Instant Pot recently came out with their new model called the "Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker".  It seems really safe, contrary to many horror stories you may have heard about pressure cookers.  It also looks like it would be EXTREMELY convenient by cooking soups, stews, dried beans, whole grains, potatoes, and fresh veggies in a matter of minutes.

Another bonus of using a pressure cooker, besides the incredible speed, is that it uses very little energy to run.  I have my BS in Environmental Science, so the environmentalist in me loves that idea.  It is also very efficient in keeping heat from dissipating from the unit, so I wont have a hot kitchen like I do most nights.  Yet another great feature is that, by locking in the steam, and cooking vegetables quick and efficiently, the nutrients remain more available for consumption.  

Win-win-win, right?

This type of pressure cooker also doubles as a slow cooker as needed.  But will that mean I get rid of my "vintage" slow cooker?  Of course not!  Ill keep that to cook some of Kevins meat dishes in. :)

Here are some of the videos Ive been watching to get a better idea of how a pressure cooker would work and what I could make with it:

The Veggie Queens demonstration

Chef AJs Red Lentil Chili

Chef AJs Mushroom Chili

What are your experiences with Pressure Cookers?  Any advice that can help sway my decision?

Health and Happiness,


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