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Is it just me or is this winter the coldest it’s ever been? And, is your kitchen as cold as ours, despite the warm oven and the central heating and that delightful cup of cocoa? Well, you are in the same freezing ball of snow, then it means that you cannot withstand standing in the kitchen cooking for hours, can you?

While a packet of pastries and more cocoa sounds delightful, that isn’t the healthiest option, especially if you are an athlete or a CRA garnishment professional watching your waist. But, worry not! We don’t wish for you to sleep on an entry stomach, snack on unhealthy foods or starve to death. With the rest of the freezing families and singles out there, we have come up with simple, fast and, hearty instant pot recipes.  In a few warm minutes, you will be back on the warm couch with a bowl of the healthiest food to fill you up and keep you warm.

The five best instant pot recipes include:

1. Easy Chili

This is one of the easy-to-prepare recipes as you can prepare it within 45 minutes. The chili’s preparation time is 20 minutes, it takes 20 minutes on the pressure cooker, and it will be ready in 35 minutes.

If you are craving a hearty meal to warm you up this winter, you should get ready to prepare chili. This is a simple beef and beans chili recipe. Besides guaranteeing to warm you up an hour after you set foot in the kitchen, this easy chili loaded with layers, upon layers of umami, spicy flavors and textures will leave you satisfied.

The recipe for your chili is available here: https://recipesinstantpot.com/2018/01/18/easy-chili-instant-pot/

2. Easy Mac and Cheese

You can never go wrong with mac and cheese, and the best part is that you need an instant pot to prepare this meal that guarantees warmth and fullness. The reason why this mac and cheese meal will take less time compared to other meals is that you get to cook it under a high pressure.

Like baked mac and cheese, your kids and the entire household will fall in love with this instant pot mac and cheese. The result of using a high-pressure cooker making mac and cheese is that it results in the creamiest, cheesiest, and the most delicious simple meal perfect for busy and cold weeknights or weekends. The best part is that you can have this mac and cheese as a side dish or as the main course!

The best part about preparing this meal is that instead of waiting for water to oil for you to add macaroni, the making sauce in a separate pan, you throw everything in the pot. Once you pressure cook the macaroni with butter, salt, and water, plus some dry mustard, you will have perfectly cooked macaroni. You don’t have to keep an eye on this and once cooked; you just need to add your milk and cheese.

Check out the entire recipe here: https://recipesinstantpot.com/2018/01/12/easy-mac-and-cheese-instant-pot/

3. Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Have you missed hearty and flavorful teriyaki chicken but you don’t want to spend your entire afternoon preparing this meal, how about a simple instant pot recipe that requires a minimum of five minutes for preparation?

The instant pot honey teriyaki chicken is full of flavors and extremely easy to make. This chicken will leave you wondering why you even eat out when you can prepare this delightful meal in few minutes and have it ready as you watch your favorite TV show.

The directions are so simple; just make the sauce, saute, add the sauce,  pressure cook, and then serve. You can have the full recipe here: https://recipesinstantpot.com/2018/01/14/honey-teriyaki-chicken-instant-pot/

You will also love this recipe because you will realize that all the ingredients needed are most probably in your kitchen, and the whole family will love this meal whether you prepare it during weeknights or over the weekend.

Given the time it takes to prepare this chicken, it is the go-to recipe for every busy person.

4. Country Steak

Who said you need hours to prepare and serve up steak? As you think of the best ways for staying warm and healthy this winter, you better have this recipe. It is one of the simplest, fastest, and the easiest steak recipes for flavorful, tender, and filling steak.

You will also like it because it is one of those efficient freezer-to-pressure cooker recipes. It has a short preparation time, and in four steps, your steak is ready. The steps are: prepare your steak, saute, pressure cook, and release.

Beware that the cooking time will change depending on the size of the steak. Here is your full recipe: https://recipesinstantpot.com/2018/01/16/country-steak-instant-pot/

5. Portuguese Chicken and Rice

Did you ever think that you could prepare, cook, and serve chicken and rice in less than one hour? Well, you can, once you get an instant pot.  Also, you don’t have to be Portuguese.

In under an hour, you will serve up and enjoy delicious spoonfuls of tender chicken with veggies soaked in the aromatic and colorful coconut turmeric sauce, and paired with perfectly cooked fried rice. Then, top all that with creamy melted cheese! Appetizing, isn’t it?

Well, this meal is eleven (or less) simple steps away. Just make sure to serve and start digging immediately to enjoy the flavors!

Here are the directions: https://recipesinstantpot.com/2018/01/09/portuguese-chicken-and-rice-instant-pot/

Conclusion

If you are still wondering about what you will do to keep warm, healthy, and how you will make this winter a little more interesting, get started with these five recipes. Keep in mind that there are many more recipes from where these came from – we hope your kitchen is stocked up!

There’s nothing nicer than relaxing in the sunshine and sipping a glass of sparkling wine – apart from transforming it with the right ingredients into a sparkling wine cocktail.  And while you can make a cocktail with almost any sparkling wine, some do a better job than others based on the sweetness and flavours in them.  So how do you choose the best sparkling wine for cocktails?

Sweetness level

One of the most important things to understand when making sparkling wine cocktails is the sweetness levels of the wine.  This can have a dramatic and sometimes unpleasant effect on the drink.  Wines range from dry to sweet and usually cocktails will use a wine that is quite dry as the other ingredients added to the mix might be sweeter.

When you are looking at prices for sparkling wine offers, to understand why the wine is priced the way it is you must first look at what the different terms mean on the bottle of wine. They are graded from the very driest to the sweetest using the following terms:

  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry Sec
  • Demi-Sec
  • Doux

Quality of Wine

Is the more expensive wine always better. The short answer is yes but with some caveats. There are plenty of fancy looking bottles of sparkling wine that may look like they taste good. However, what good is buying an expensive bottle of wine without doing your research first. The most efficient way is to search the web for sparkling wine offers to keep costs down, especially when the plan is to make cocktails. As long as that research is done, the more expensive bottles are almost always better.

Types of sparkling wine

If you want to go for a bottle of the finest sparkling wine, champagne, for your cocktails then there’s no reason not to.  But if you are looking for a little more budget friendly option, then there are lots of great sparkling wines from around the world that are a little less expensive and make superb cocktails.

Prosecco is very on-trend at the moment in terms of drinking on its own and adding to cocktails.  It is the Italian version of Champagne but doesn’t take as long to make and this is why the price is a lot more affordable.  If you want a sweet sparkling wine, then Moscato d’Asti is a sweet, Italian wine made in the Asti region of north-west Italy.

Cava is the Spanish sparkling wine that is available in white and also rose versions and is used for special events such as weddings and baptisms.  It also works well in cocktails.

Cremant is the name for champagne that comes from anywhere in France other than the Champagne region and uses much the same process.  It also tends to be more budget friendly.

Both the US and Australia also produce several good quality sparkling wines that work well in cocktails with Californian wines being particularly notable.

Cocktail ideas

One of the very easiest champagne cocktails to try is the Kir Royale.  It uses sparkling wine and crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur that gives the drink a soft pink colour.  You only need around 1 tablespoon of spirit to a champagne flute for a perfect drink.  You can also substitute the crème de cassis for any number of other spirits including Chambord (called a Kir Imperial) or calvados (known as Cider Royale).

How One Powerful Tool Can Help You Simplify Everything from Birthday Invites to Marketing Emails

To quote a wise man named Ferris Bueller: life moves pretty fast. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mama, an entrepreneur, or are climbing the corporate ladder, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. With so many things demanding our attention all the time– from families and friends to emails to trying to squeeze in a bit of personal time– finding little ways to simplify your life is incredibly valuable.

This short, sweet little guide will give you all of the tools you need to streamline your life with mail merge:

  • What mail merge is + our favorite mail merge tool
  • Professional applications for mail merge
  • How to use mail merge to make mommy tasks easier

Life is too jam-packed to waste time on tasks that can easily be automated. Mail merge makes sending emails simple and painless, whether they’re going to coworkers, potential customers, or your family and friends.

Mail Merge is a Tool that Makes Sending Mass Emails Simple

Whether you love it or hate it, email is pretty much the bread and butter of digital communication. Even though it’s an essential tool, it can be a pain sometimes. For example, sending the same email to lots of different people (with minor tweaks, of course) is time-consuming, not to mention boring. There has to be a better way, right?

Right! That’s mail merge. Mail merge allows you to use information from a database (don’t worry– your mail merge database can be as simple as an Excel sheet) to fill in the blanks in a template email you create. It’s like mad libs, but instead of ending up with a crazy story it just saves you from copying and pasting the same email message to Aunt Susie, and Aunt Cathy, and Aunt Jen, and Aunt…

There are plenty of inexpensive mail merge tools out there. For example, the mail merge tool Gmass integrates with Google Chrome and Gmail, which billions of people rely upon to communicate every day.

Mail merge is a favorite of email marketers everywhere because it allows them to quickly and easily reach as many people as they need to. Gmass simplifies the process even further by integrating with your favorite email platform– Gmail.

Using Mail Merge in the Professional World

It’s a fact of life that– whether you work for a large corporation, a small business, or even for yourself– there comes a time in every professional’s life that sending lots of emails at once becomes a necessity. Mail merge is used widely in email marketing because it allows marketers to quickly send personalized messages to their entire mailing list.

However, there are plenty of other professional applications of mail merge as well:

  • Sending resumes to prospective employers
  • Distributing personalized instructions to different members of a team
  • Following up with potential customers at all phases of the conversion funnel
  • Getting quotes on products or services from different vendors
  • Etc.

Instead of spending all of your time copying and pasting party details to everyone on your guest list, you can simplify the process with mail merge. That allows you to spend less time emailing and more time planning your party!

Using Mail Merge to Streamline Your Personal Life

Today, mail merge is such an affordable and accessible tool that it’s a great option for organizing your personal life as well as your professional life. Just a few ideas:

  • Sending invitations for a child’s birthday party
  • Sending thank-you messages after the holidays
  • Staying in touch with friends and loved ones
  • Etc.

Time is valuable, and mail merge is a simple but powerful tool that can help you get more out of yours.

No matter who you are, finding ways to streamline the boring and tedious tasks in your life is extremely valuable. When it comes to email, there’s no reason to waste time copying and pasting the same message over and over if you only have to make minor tweaks to it. Mail merge saves busy ladies time and energy by automating the process.

What do you think about mail merge? Have you ever taken advantage of this personal and professional tool to tackle a big project? Share your story in the comments below!

It is an indisputable fact that water is one of the most essential natural resources we have. Without water, there would literally be no life—not only for us human beings but also for all other living things on this planet, especially animals and plants. But this life-giving resource is not unlimited, and with droughts becoming a more common natural phenomenon throughout the world because of climate change, it has become imperative for us that we learn how to conserve water.

There are many ways on how you can do this. For one, you and your family members can start being more mindful of how you use water in your household. You can turn off taps when they’re not in use, and you can fix leaks as they’re also a source of wasted water. If you have plans of harvesting rainwater for your household, here are some tips that can help you out:

  1. The first thing you need to do is to designate a catchment area.
  • One of the most common areas that will allow you to collect rainwater right away is your roof, and it is also the most easily adapted, thanks to convenient features like gutters. To get the biggest quantity of collected rainwater, it is best to choose a downspout that’s located directly beneath an especially steep part of the roof. If you’d like to keep your water colllection system discreet, make sure to choose a spot that’s hidden from view.
  • You can also look for places where water collects in a natural manner during times of a downpour. Don’t just limit yourself to your gutters; you can use any surface that’s shaped like a slope. One effective way of spotting these areas is to go out after a downpour and inspect the outside of your house for areas where puddles and shallow pools have formed. These spots can serve as good catchment areas.
  • When it rains, a good amount of rainwater is lost due to seepage. To prevent this, you can pave the open catchment areas around your home such as pools and streams. This will keep the water from seeping into the ground and also from being tainted by surface contaminants.
  1. You will also need to find ways to channel the runoff.
  • Your home’s gutters are already an excellent means to channel excess runoff, and all you’ll have to do is to set out a few containers beneath them to catch what they collect. For most homes that are of an average size, gutters with dimensions of 5 × 3 inches will be appropriate. If you have a larger home, 6 × 4 gutters will do.
  • If you’ve opted for a catchment area other than your roof, you will need to set up a conveyance system that reroute the water you’ve collected to where it will actually be stored. You can make this happen through the use of pipes or PVC tubes. Remember to set up your conveyance system with enough slope in order to allow the rainwater to flow.
  • It is best if you set up your storage and conveyance system close to where you intend to use it. For instance, if you plan to use the water you’ve collected to water your garden, it is ideal to keep your conveyance and storage system to the side of your home that’s nearest your yard or garden. It will be more convenient that way.

  1. The next step is to set up a collection system.
  • Make sure you set up containers that can collect rainwater at a high capacity. While plastic barrels are the most common type, there are specially designed containers that have built-in features like spigots and filtration screens. Rain Water Tanks have a wide variety of quality rainwater collection containers that your household can benefit from.
  • One way of ensuring better water pressure and encourage flow is to elevate the barrels. The extra height will allow easier and better flow from the spigot. Also, raising your containers can make it easier on you to position a watering can or bucket underneath it.
  1. Finally, install a filtering system to ensure that the water you’ve collected is healthy for use and is free from any pollutants.
  • Make sure you keep your containers covered at all times so as to keep out mosquitos and reduce exposure to pollutants and bacteria. Also, make it a habit to drain and clean your containers every once in a while for sanitary purposes.

Harvesting rainwater can do much more for your household than what you’ve expected. Aside from giving you and your family a backup water supply in times of drought, it can also greatly reduce your monthly water consumption and bills. Think about how much your household can save each month when you apply this concept in your household.