Dinner in a Jar (the perfect gift)

I thought long and hard about a perfect gift for my girls. They are so busy and the dreaded question, “what’s for dinner?” always lingers at the end of the day.  My daughter gets home from work after dark, builds a fire in the wood burning stove and walks the dogs before hubby gets home. After all of that, cooking is hard. My daughter-in-law has two little ones all day long. All moms with young children are exhausted at the end of the day. 

What could be more perfect than pouring “dinner in a jar” into the instant pot and pressing a button at the end of a long, hard day?

I went through my recipes and converted the instructions to be used in their instant pots. “Dinner in a jar” could also be used for crockpot cooking.

It was a little overwhelming in the beginning when I was making out my grocery list. When I started putting ingredients in jars, my table looked like this. But it was fun layering food in the jars. I think they are beautiful!

This is Three Bean Chipotle Chili Mix.  It includes beans and spices. It is ready to add meat and tomatoes. Note: I precook a large portion of meat at a time, divide it into meal size portions, freeze it for later use. This makes cooking dinner a breeze, at the end of the day.

This recipe came out of a great book, Gifts from a Jar: Soups, Chilis & More.

This recipe is Ultimate Veggie Soup Mix. Just add water and (optional) meat and a few of your favorite vegetables. Here is a tip that I learned along the way. Put smaller ingredients on the bottom and larger ones on the top. As you can see in the jar on the left, the orange colored lentils are sifting towards the bottom. The jar on the right has a prettier display. 

Nutty Orzo and Brown Rice Pilaf Mix has dehydrated vegetables, spice, and chicken broth. I included instructions to cook it in the Instant Pot. Add a meat and dinner is on the table!

I think my girls are going to love “dinner in a jar”!

Turkey Teriyaki over Quinoa


1 pound ground turkey, cooked.

1/2 small onion, chopped 

1 cup sugar snap peas, cut off ends

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Teriyaki sauce (mix first):

1/2 cup soy sauce (Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

2 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

5 tablespoons organic coconut sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ground ginger 

Teriyaki sauce (mix second):

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 cup water

Quinoa (desired amount using measurements of manufacturer’s directions).


Chop onion, sugar snap peas, and bell pepper. Set aside.

Cook ground turkey on stove top and when it is finished, set aside.

While turkey is cooking, add desired amount of quinoa to instant pot and double the amount of water (one part quinoa and two parts water). High pressure for 1 minute on with the lid in the sealed position. Natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Set aside and cover with lid to keep warm.

Clean instant pot. Add 1 cup of water to the instant pot. Place steam rack with handles in bottom. In a bowl add onions, sugar snap peas, bell pepper, and minced garlic. Layer and add a second bow (on top) with cooked turkey. Lightly cover with parchment paper or foil. Cook in instant pot for 2 minutes on high pressure (with the lid in the sealed position). Natural pressure release for 10 minutes.

In sauce pan on stove top, mix ingredients in “first mix” of teriyaki sauce. Stir frequently. 

In a bowl, mix ingredients in “second mix” of teriyaki sauce to dissolve. Then add to the first mixture and stir constantly until desired thickness.

Remove turkey and vegetables from instant pot and drain any liquid off. Place in large bowl.

Pour teriyaki sauce over turkey and vegetables and stir well.

Serve over quinoa.

Enjoy this delicious and healthy meal!

Canning Turkey

What’s a gal to do when she finds whole turkeys on sale for .57 cents a pound? Head to the canning factory!

First step was to debone and grind it. This is the hardest step.

Second step was to put it in sterilized jars.

Next, it goes into the steamer to cook. 

After steaming, it is pressure canned to cook more and preserve it. The best part is coming home with 14 jars of ground turkey for nutritious and low fat meals, such as, Turkey Enchiladas, Turkey and Peppers over Quinoa, Turkey Tacos, Turkey Teriyaki Rice, and Turkey Chilli. Most of these meals will be cooked in my instant pot.

DIY Peeble Tile Project

We purchased a fixer upper and the current project involved flooring under our wood burning stove. Our gorgeous rock wall had been completed and it was time to install peeble tile on the floor.

The first step was to lay out the tile to make sure all peebles fit together and lay flat and that there were not too many of the same colors side by side.

The first row was the hardest. We had to add rocks on the sides. It was similar to working a puzzle and fitting pieces together.

We made sure to have plenty of rocks in different sizes, shapes, and colors to fill in the gaps.

Over half way there!

The floor was taking shape and we love it!

It reminds us of a river bed. We could not be more pleased with the way this project turned out!

My job involved: design, color, arrangement, geometry, and final touches.

One more step–grouting after mortar dries.

Time to call it a day! After grouting, let the painting begin. 

The Walton’s 45th Anniversary Reunion

Yesterday was “bucket list day”. After standing in five extremely long lines for 6.5 hours with no chairs, no lunch, no shade, hot and sunburned, we finally met the cast. Hubby deserves a medal for sure.

Michael Learned “Olivia Walton”.

Mary McDonough “Erin Walton”.

Judy Norton-Taylor “Mary Ellen Walton”.

Kami Cotler “Elizabeth Walton”.

Eric Scott “Ben Walton”.

Jon Walmsley “Jason Walton”.

David Harper “Jim Bob Walton”.

The Hamner Homeplace.

The living room.

The living room and radio.

John Boy’s room.

John Boy’s typewriter.

Schuyler Baptist Church.

Ike and Corabeth Godsey’s General Store.

Erin’s dress.

Painting of Elizabeth and Jim Bob.