Instant Pot Tomato Meatball Soup

I have a confession. I am in love with my Instant Pot.

I have the Power Cooker Plus version, but they are the same…a pressure cooker. I must admit that I was scared to death to use it in the beginning…I mean who hasn’t heard a horror story about a pressure cooker?!

After my husband reading the directions and starting it up for me I have realized that this appliance is not out to kill me, but to make life easier and turn out some pretty awesome meals.

I love searching through Pinterest looking for recipes and am always excited when I pull the lid off and it looks like the picture!

I am getting a little more adventurous and trying out my own concoctions. That’s what happened with this soup. I did start with a recipe, but after going to my pantry and realizing that I was severely lacking in the ingredients that it called for I just started improvising. Viola! Yummy, creamy Tomato Meatball Soup. So, I hope you will give this a try and even put your own spin on it. Leave me a comment and let me know how you like it. I would love to hear how you changed it up or made it just like I did. 🙂

Instant Pot Tomato Meatball Soup

6

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound frozen meatballs (or make your own)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe's Organic)
  • 1 can water (use tomato sauce can)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used low sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup small pasta (wheat or gluten free) (I used shells)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Press saute on Instant Pot and saute onions, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil until soft...about 4 minutes.
  2. Add tomato sauce, water, broth, parsley and meatballs...give it a stir.
  3. Cover and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  4. Quick release and add the pasta...stir again and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
  5. Quick release so the pasta doesn't get mushy.
  6. Serve with grated cheese if desired.
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Shopping at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop for groceries. You are always greeted by a wall full of gorgeous flowers and check out the great prices! You can see them in the picture. 🙂 I mean it lifts my spirits and they know what they are doing because it is rare that I ever walk out without a bundle or two.

I shop here every 10 – 12 days. I stock up because it’s about a 30 minute drive so I plan my trip ahead. I would be in serious trouble if we lived any closer. Especially when they come out with something new and it’s really good and I wish that I had bought a dozen more. Like these new little puffy churo bites that I don’t have a picture of because I ate them on the way home. They are full of cinnamon and sugar and make you drive real fast and get home quickly. Serious.

Here are some of our favorites that are always on the list.

My daughter always says, “just buy one of everything.” 🙂

My daughter eats these like candy. She has since gotten me addicted to blue chips. Not sure if they are better for you, but they are organic so that’s gotta count for something. 🙂  ~Chips $2.99

Of course, you have to have the salsa to go with the chips. I was always a fan of PACE brand, but this one has converted me.  ~Salsa $2.99

The produce is always fresh. Most everything is pre-washed and once again I try to always buy organic when it comes to my veggies.  ~Organic Spinach $2.29  ~Organic Persian Cucs $2.99

The frozen chicken is all flash frozen in individual pieces. This is so convenient when you just need a few pieces at a time.  ~Chicken Thighs $6.99

I like to keep sauces on hand for when I need to make a quick dinner. These are some that go into my basket each time so that I make sure they are always in my pantry.  ~I couldn’t find the prices on these…I’ve had them in my pantry since the last shopping trip. They range in price from $2.99 to 4.99

When I have a cup of coffee this is what I keep stocked up. I also use pods, but this is great when I need to brew more all at once. They just lowered the price to $3.99 which is quite a bargain for almost a pound of coffee! They have a dark roast also if you prefer.

These are freezer staples that I keep stocked for my son. With our schedules going in different directions we don’t always eat together and these are quick and easy meals for him to cook or bake real quick when he gets home. Add a salad and you have a great meal. Also, not pictured is a Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo that is a favorite. ~Pepperoni Pizza $4.99  ~Brie & Tomato Tart $3.99  ~Potato Fries $2.49  ~ Sweet Potato Fries $1.99  ~Mandarin Orange Chicken $4.99  ~Pot Stickers $2.99

We probably eat bacon almost every weekend. It is a treat to go with our eggs when we can slow down and enjoy breakfast together. This has been a family favorite for sometime now. I usually buy 3 – 4 at a time and keep them in the freezer.  ~Uncured Bacon $5.49

My husband was on a quest sometime ago to find the best olive oil (did you know a lot of them are just part olive???) and lo’ and behold it was Trader Joe’s California Estate Olive Oil. At $5.99 a bottle another great price!

I seriously could share so much more…like, organic half and half, yogurt and milk. Don’t even get me started on the candy, desserts and ice cream. If you are a TJ shopper leave me a comment and let me know your faves!

 

 

 

Sweet Valentine

 

 

Valentine’s Day. A day set aside to show our love for those special people in our lives. While I know that we do this on a daily basis it’s fun to do a little something extra.

I love all the red, pink and white that fills the stores. The candies with special messages written on them. Heart shaped anything and chocolate dipped strawberries. I love setting the table for dinner with some red dishes and putting a little gift at each plate. I love that it is another date that we can all sit down and eat together because with our crazy schedules that is becoming a rare phenomenon in our home. Everyone knows that it’s a special day and mom likes us to eat together.

I secretly think that they like the dinner by candlelight, the pink bubbly in their glass and of course, a present to open!

We have celebrated with everything from going out to eat or a cozy night at home. So however you party here are a couple of quick easy ideas.

Is there anything better than a warm brownie fresh out of the oven? I mean that gooey chocolate goodness that oozes out on your fingers. You do add chocolate chips in the mix, right? The way to my husband’s heart is brownies. Any kind of brownie will do. Except if it has white chocolate in it. White chocolate?! Is that really a chocolate? I say nay, nay. 🙂

I used a heart shaped cookie cutter for these. My husband likes them plain, but I would add some buttercream icing on the top on mine.

These waffles turned out beautiful and would be a fun breakfast or how about for dinner? Just use your favorite waffle mix (we are a Bisquick family) take half in a separate bowl and add some food coloring until you get the color you want. Add a spoonful of each on your hot waffle iron and swirl around. It’s so fun to see how pretty each one turns out. Bonus if you have a heart-shaped waffle machine. 🙂 Add your favorite topping any enjoy. How about a waffle bar for dinner?! My husband would be in happy if I just added some bacon.

Some topping ideas: strawberry syrup (because it’s red, duh), m&m’s, sprinkles, whipped cream or some strawberries. Or use them all! It’s not Valentine’s Day if you don’t get a bit of a sugar high. 🙂

I would love to hear how you celebrate. Have a sweet day!

Winter Beauty Favorites

Happy New Year! It’s not too late to say that…is it?

It has been foreverrrrr since I blogged. I am thinking that I need to rename myself “The Slothful Blogger”. Seriously tho…this is getting a little cray! Did you miss me?

Living in Minnesota the winters can get a bit brutal at times and I am always on the lookout for some great products to keep my skin feeling nice and hydrated. Here are some of my favorites that are helping me get through the winter and dreaming of Spring. So if you live in a cold climate (or not) maybe some of these will become some of your favorites, too.

Trader Joe’s Organic Argan Oil  This has been a lifesaver for my skin. I use it 2-3 times a week. In the morning under makeup or at night under my night-time moisturizer. My hands get so dry from doing dishes, so I put a drop or two on the top of my hands and my skin just drinks it up. I dare you to check it out…at $6.99 it’s a fantastic buy!


Grace & Stella Eye Masks  I used these 5 days ago and the circles under my eyes are still lightened! They are amazing. This is the first time I have tried this brand/product and I am very impressed. They are the prettiest gold and feel so good under your eyes. Pamper yourself and close your eyes for 20-30 minutes or take some time to read a book…perhaps in a bubble bath with a glass of wine? I gotta go now. See ya!


Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant  I have been using this deodorant for a few months now and wanted to thoroughly test it out before I reviewed it for you. I have been looking for a natural one that does not have aluminum in it, yet keeps me dry and smelling good. This is the one! They have about 5 different scents and this one is my favorite. You can find this at Target.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate  I have just recently become a fan of exfoliating my face. I always thought that it would break me out or worse dry me out especially in the winter. After doing some research I have found that you really need to “scrub” that yucky dry layer off your face. Since doing this my skin feels so much fresher and radiant. Once you try this a few times you will be so happy with your skin! One trick…keep it in the shower because if you are like me I get lazy about washing my face at night. Did I say that out loud?!

Goat Milk Body Butter  This product made me a goat milk lover. This lavender vanilla scent…seriously, I wish the internet had a scratch and sniff option. Your skin will feel soft and smooth. I love slathering this one soon as I get out of the shower while my skin is still warm. The first ingredient is farm fresh goats milk. All natural healthy skin food. Plus, I love supporting a company that is working hard to bring you the freshest products. You can have confidence that this is fresh and hasn’t been sitting around on a shelf for months or even years on end. Check out their web-site and you will fall in love with all her goats and the farm life!

Leave me a comment and let’s keep in touch! Subscribe and make sure to never miss a post. 😉