in the meantime, meals have been one hell of a challenge. we've been doing so much eating out, it's kind of ridiculous. but with the bean having reached her goal of selling 500 boxes of those cookies, we managed to enjoy a handful of home-cooked meals last week. it was really nice, and i'm excited to get back to it. of course, those meals were mostly done with the help of my new friend, the instant pot. i used the delayed start function a couple of times and it really was magical:
oh - and i tried making steel cut oatmeal in there too. the recipe had me using the sauté function to toast the oats and some shredded coconut first. it made the kitchen smell so good.
then i added some water, brown sugar, a little salt, some cinnamon and the key ingredient - coconut milk. once it came up to pressure, it cooked for just a couple of minutes and then the machine switched to the "keep warm" setting while the pressure was released over a period of about ten minutes. see, the actual cooking time is pretty short - but it does take a few minutes for the pressure to build up and then it's best to allow it to be released slowly and naturally. so i'm not really sure if it's a particular time saver, but it is a lot faster to make a lot of things vs. leaving it for 8+ hours in a crock pot.
anyway, i dished up some of that oatmeal into my favorite bowl, topped it with a little more coconut milk and toasted coconut, and voila:
during one of my trips to the japanese supermarket, i also remembered to visit their hawaiian foods section and picked up a package of red sea salt. i wanted to give the kalua pig recipe another try with the actual listed ingredients to see if it really made a difference.
i'm happy to report that it did just that. i used real bacon instead of the pancetta i'd had on hand last time, sprinkled the meat with the red sea salt, and added a dash of liquid smoke. we skipped the cabbage this time and just ate it with plain white rice, and it was so much more flavorful this time around.
and then one night, i decided to try a pot roast. i perused a few different recipes and ended up kind of winging it using a packaged seasoning mix i found in the pantry. this was one of the delayed start dinners, so it cooked under pressure for 70 minutes while the bean was at her dance class doubleheader. i totally forgot about making gravy, but it turned out so perfectly it wasn't even a big deal.
i think i might try a whole chicken in the instant pot at some point this week, and there's a recipe for carnitas i've been eyeing. woohoo!!
exciting stuff at the house of wan these days, lemme tell ya.