1. Joseph had his first oral challenge fail at the allergist this week (insert massive sad face). We had two tree nuts left – pistachios and cashews, and those were the two with the highest IGE levels in his blood work, so we saved them for last. This week we were doing pistachios, and after just two small doses, he broke out in hives all over his face. I felt so bad, but at least the silver lining (if there is one?) is that both this time and when he had peanuts, his only reaction was hives, which is bad, but it’s not anaphylactic. So, our plan of action is to have him continue eating all the nuts that he already passed (almonds, walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts), then avoid the others until next summer, run more blood work, and if the numbers have come down (FINGERS CROSSED), then try the oral challenge again.
2. On a positive allergy note, I also took Dominic this week to be skin tested for peanuts since kids who have a sibling with an allergy are seven times more likely to have one as well. He had ZERO reaction, so it looks like his peanut allergy-free!
He’s going to have a big week… next Wednesday is his birthday and we’re throwing his birthday party tomorrow! We can’t wait to celebrate this amazingly sweet boy.
3. Do any of you use Sling TV? We’re contemplating cutting the cable cord (well, satellite dish, in our case), and we were 99% sold on the PlayStation Vue, however, we hit a snag when we realized we couldn’t get the local AT&T sports channel, which is where most of the hockey games are broadcast and, well, we watch A LOT of hockey. We can’t do the NHL package because we’re in our local market, so it would be blacked out. The only solution we’ve found that could work is SlingTV… if you use it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
4. Talk to me about the Instant Pot! I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I want to add another kitchen appliance to my house, but I’d love to hear what your favorite things are to make in it!
5. Love this article that Joseph’s music teacher shared >> What Should A 4-Year-Old Know?
6. Have you ever made the Harry & David dip? I made it for the first time in months and I forgot how totally and utterly addictive it is… SO easy and the perfect dip to put out when you’re watching a game or having a movie night.
7. I can’t believe that Halloween is already creeping up on us… what’s your favorite Halloween candy?!
8. And speaking of fall holidays, is there anything you’d like to see me tackle here on the site for Thanksgiving? Give me your wish list!
9. Less than a week until hockey season starts… hallelujah!
10. TGIF! I hope you have an awesome weekend!
I have tried Hulu, SlingTv and Directv Now. I dumped Slingtv during the trial period because I could not watch a preseason football game on my local channel. Their website said I could and after 1 hour with customer service and no resolution, I ended my trial. We found the interface for Hulu confusing (never could find what I wanted to watch) so I settled on Directv Now.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my InstantPot. I use it for basics — hard-cooked eggs, potatoes, broths, soups, stews, rice. I also use it for things like pulled pork (c’mon, pulled pork start to finish in about 2 hours instead of all day? yes, please.). Spaghetti Squash. Yams. it also works as a slow cooker — so if I’m not using it as a pressure cooker, then I can slow cook things (see broth). Oh, I want to make potato salad! Hard cooked eggs – 10 mins start to finish. Potatoes, fork tender – 10 mins, start to finish. While things are cooking, chop the celery and onion, make the dressing. Done in under an hour. BAM (to quote Emeril). My friend has used hers to make yogurt MULTIPLE times and swears it’s better than anything she’s ever bought in the store (I haven’t gone that route). I don’t use it every day, but I’ll say I do use it at least once a week, often more. I don’t use any other small appliance in my kitchen that often — including the toaster.
(And when you do finally break down and get one, check out the recipes over at NomNomPaleo.com — she gives good InstantPot.)
To save money on cable (we have Dish Network), we put a pause/vacation hold on it every year from about April through August (when there’s no gooD sports!). It costs $5/month to maintain the hold.
We have been using slingtv for about two months now and the only downside is that there is some buffering during busy times and the DVD limits your options to fast forward depending on the device you are using to watch tv. Definitely try a free trial if it’s still being offered and see how’s it streams in your home. For a family that hasn’t had cable at all in over six years, we do like it.
Wish List for Thanksgiving: I’d love to make an easy & DELICIOUS stuffed Turkey Breast. Do it earlier in the day and keep it on hold to warm prior to our Thanksgiving Dinner. My husband usually deep fries a turkey. I’d like this beautiful stuffed Turkey Breast to serve as well. Thank you.
I second this request. Stuffed turkey breasts are fancy yet perfect for say two people who do not want to cook a whole bird or a nice option even if you are doing a whole turkey or having a crowd.
Just one word of caution on Dominic–since he is under 2 years old I wouldn’t necessarily trust the no peanut allergy due to skin testing. I have a son who is highly allergic to peanuts. He had had a reaction at 13 months old to a peanut butter sandwich (we were traveling and had few options). When he was 2 they did skin testing for everything due to a lot of ear infections. He did not react to the peanuts. They told us to not give them to him anyway because skin tests aren’t always accurate until they are a little older. Anytime later that he was accidentally exposed, he reacted to peanuts. When he was 9 his doctor told us that an esophageal biopsy showed him to still be highly allergic to peanuts. He’s now 22 and totally avoids them. We have two other sons that aren’t allergic to them, so it’s possible Dominic’s not. I’d just wait until he is over 2 or 3 to try them out on him.
Yes, definitely the only true test is to introduce the food, but that’s actually the first time I’ve heard about someone having a negative skin test but actually being allergic to the food; usually it’s the opposite – you can have a positive skin test but still be able to eat the food without having a reaction.
I love my Instant Pot. My favorite things to make: risotto (including your sausage version!), steel cut oats, pasta and meatballs, pork chops, chinese chicken. I am going to try poached eggs soon and cheesecake. In my book, it’s worth the $100 or so JUST for risotto and steel cut oats… seriously.
Oh, and mashed potatoes! I don’t know how I could have forgotten that! When I make potatoes on the stove they boil over EVERY. TIME. Now in the IP, no mess, perfect potatoes, hardly have to use any milk/butter. WIN!!!
I have two daughters, ages 5 & 3, and the InstantPot was seriously the best investment. It saves me so much time and I get more hang out time with my family! We’ve cooked spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, asparagus, chile colorado, roast, chicken teriyaki, etc. But HANDS DOWN my favorite thing is that you don’t have to thaw your chicken breasts! They cook from frozen in 20 mins! I love that I don’t have to wipe down the counters and microwave because of defrosted chicken. My family loves the 5 ingredient chicken chili recipe from damndelicious.net. I adapted it to the instant pot by cooking the frozen chicken breasts in the chicken broth with the salsa and spices. Then after the chicken is cooked, I shred the chicken inside the pot, turn the saute function on and add the other ingredients to cook for another 10 mins. My mom and sister both invested in one after I did because they’re so handy. I’d gladly get rid of most of my other appliances to have the instant pot! Recipe for chicken chili:
I don’t have an Instant Pot, but you might want to read Melissa Clark’s article https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/dining/instant-pot-recipes.html.
Happy Birthday to Dominic!
We cut the cable cord almost a year ago with a smart tv…we absolutely LOVE Sling TV, along with Netflix & Hulu! We are no longer captive & can watch our favorite programs at our leisure. You will not be disappointed :-)
Michelle, we have two Instant Pots, a 6qt and the 8qt and we love them both. We have made so many great things but the favorites are baby back ribs, turkey breast, cheesecake, any soup or stew. I have heard a lot of people say they have a hard time with roasts, but with meat you need to do a natural release instead of a quick release. You will love what you can do with it. I agree with Kathy P on the great sites for recipes. Also, Facebook has an Instant Pot group that I have gotten a ton of great recipes and ideas from. Take the plunge! Honestly, we NEVER use the stove or oven anymore. We have a Breville convection/toaster oven and the Instant Pots and for the last 2 years that is what we have used. My oven now stores pots, pans and baking sheets that I no longer use!
Sweet Duke–he looks so melancholy—hoping for the one day another dog day comes :)
Two about the same amount of work as 1, in many ways–so many need to be adopted and rescued. Thanks for your lovely blog–I look forward to Friday things.
YES on the Instant Pot! Hard cooked eggs aren’t any faster to make, but they are much faster to peel. Shells almost fall off under running water. Chili, soups, stews plus macaroni and cheese have been tasty and quick. I also like that the pot is sealed so no bubbling over or splashing like when on the stovetop. Corn on the cob was excellent and I use it often to make shredded chicken quickly. I also will do a whole chicken in it, then crisp up the skin under the broiler. I later use the carcass to make bone broth for soups. One major watch out, though. If you do a quick pressure release, don’t have the pot sitting under a cabinet because the steam can make a mess, especially if you’re cooking pasta. My unit now sits on the island when in use.
Yes! Instant Pot is the only way to do hard boiled eggs…shells come off cleanly every single time.
We had satellite for over 20 years and finally made the switch about 6 months ago to save money and haven’t looked back.
We owned an older model Roku. We were very happy with streaming Netflix so I thought why not go all the way?
I dumped all our cable company’s equipment and went shopping.
Purchased the newest modem, the newest router, (to avoid buffering) and a Roku Premiere. The last final purchase was a good HD Antennae–as a back up in case wi-fi goes out. AGH.!! Just in case…..!! Plus what’s cool is, it’s FREE TV !!
Best thing we ever did. The initial costs have already been recovered since canceling satellite.
We then moved on to various streaming services and did some free trials here and there, in the end–we have been with Sling…..which, by the way, offers a Cloud DVR service for $5.00/month.
The only thing that was missing for me, and most important, was not being able to watch the New England Patriots games, because I, too, am in the local area….. OMG SAY Whaaaa….? NO PATRIOTS ??
I can’t go through cold weather without NFL and football food or reasons to MAKE football food. ;-)
I printed out the team schedule for the year and gave my hubs the list of “must have channels”.
He kept repositioning the HD antennae until we got ALL the local channels. I now get everything that airs the NFL games AND my New England Patriots.
At this point, we now get about 24 channels with the antenna alone, Sling supplements the rest, and we do have Hulu as well for binging. Which can be SO addicting !!
PS. Recently did the Hulu Live TV trial and wasn’t happy with the format of their tv guide…..very hard to find a channel. So sticking with Sling TV.
PS. We recently added a device called a Tablo Dual Tuner. And that was another game changer for me. Because it is used in conjunction with your over the air channels and antenna (all free) and you can record live TV. YUP Record live TV…..which means you can watch your NHL games and play back–fast forward–rewind–run to the kitchen for a snack attack while you pause the game. That was our latest purchase and I can consider our TV viewing lives “complete”.
As the other readers suggested above…..Sling offers free trial. **Just be sure your wi-fi system in your home is all up to date so you don’t get buffering or interrupted signals. If your wi-fi is all current and running smoothly……you’ll be golden.
**Sorry for the long comment…..just very excited to jump in the “Sling” conversation. ;-)
I LOVE my InstaPot! This week I made Stuffed Pepper Casserole in 30 minutes. I’m a working mom, so this product is the most life saving thing! I can still cook my family dinner, without dinner time being 7 or later! I absolutely love it!
I have a friend who has recently been posting tons of food pics. He says that he uses his Instant Pot all the time. Swears it makes the best potatoes. He uses it almost every night for dinner – thick pork chops, ribs, chicken…you name it!
I cut the cord a couple months ago and have been using Sling TV. I’m happy with it, it’s a little slow sometimes but I think the slowness has more to do with my Roku being kind of old than Sling TV itself. It’s takes some getting used to, at first I kind of hated it, but now that I know how to work it I like it! I don’t regret cord cutting at all!
Hi Michelle, I’ve been on the fence about an instant pot myself. However, in a recent edition of Consumer Reports, they give it a big thumbs up, so I think I’m going to pull the trigger and get one. There was also an article in the NY Times last week about it, also a good report, and there were recipes with the article.
Favorite Halloween candy: Definitely something with chocolate in it: Kit Kat, Heath Bars, Reese cups, M&Ms.
Sling has the worst customer service. On the opening day of football, we called to add a football package. The service gal was all “yea you can totally watch all the games etc.” So she added it, couldn’t tell us how to access it or use it. Turns out they don’t have a live football package. They show highlights. So I tried to cxl and it took over an hour and no luck. When I said I’ll dispute the charge they basically told me that they have people in place to dispute disputes.
On a different note, I love the Instant Pot. I definitely do not use it for all of its features, I’ve only cooked rice in it so far :). BUT I just saved a bunch of links to be more adventurous. It cooks my Costco rice in like 15 min vs the 45 on the stove.
I’ve luckily never had to use their telephone customer service, but if you need to make any changes to your programming, online is the way to go. I’ve had sling for over a year and love it!
At first, I had a movie package that included tcm because I love old movies, but realized I rarely watched it. Just login to your sling account and you can add or remove any packages instantly. It is very easy and fast! Sling has been one of my favorite apps and my go to for mindless tv. They have a great, personalizable selection and if your internet speed is up to par, the quality is usually as good as satellite.
An OTA antenna, if you live close to your local channels, and a streaming device make cutting the cord a fantastic decision!
We used Sling last year when Comcast dropped the YES Chanel – we love our Yankees and could not settle for only watching games that were broadcast on local stations! Sling was very reliable and we were so happy to pay the $20.00 a month fee to watch our team! Of course this season, Comcast has included YES channel back into their package – so we cancelled Sling, but only for that reason. We were very impressed with their service and would do it again if necessary! Not sure what their pricing is currently but if you truly need your games broadcast then I would highly recommend Sling TV!
My mom gave me an instant pot. So far I’ve only cooked sweet potatoes in it. They turned out great and took about 25 minutes including the warm up and cool down. I have 2 friends who use theirs most everyday and try a new recipe in them about once a week. Excited to use it for soups and stews soon and to experiment with it.
So sad about Joseph’s oral challenge but like you said he can be re-tested next year. So glad Dominic passed his. I don’t have an Instapot but my sister does and she uses it and appears to like it. I can’t believe Dominic will be a year old already…where has the time gone. I need to find an alternative for U-Verse…let me know if you get Sling. I can’t believe it’s almost Halloween. Have a great weekend.
Say yes to the instant pot. I use it far more than I ever thought I would. I rarely use a crockpot but the instant pot makes everything you can do in a crockpot in far less time and much better. I use it for rice, steaming potatoes for whatever you might need, hard boiled eggs, beans (no soaking), and definitely anything you can use a crockpot for. Perfect beef stew in 45 minutes. I really love it and continue to find more things to use it for.
I look forward to the Sling tv thoughts too. We’re debating.
I have a knockoff brand instapot and have been enjoying it. Although I haven’t tried it yet, you can make meats straight from the freezer in it. My fave thing so far was corn on the cob – not having to boil the cobs submerged in water really enhanced their taste. I’ve also made short ribs and the meat was fall off the bone tender! You can brown/sautee in the pot too prior to cooking.
You can cook corn on the cob in the microwave without water also. Quick and delicious.
My husband got me the Instant Pot last year and I was thrilled at the thought of having all those options in one appliance….so I got rid of my crock pot BEFORE I used the crock pot function on the IP. I know, I know…
Anyway, here are my thoughts….with all the IP craze on Pinterest, I’m sure people will strongly disagree with me, but…I love the pressure cooker function for ribs specifically. Pot to table in 40 mins flat. Hubs thinks I am a hero for weeknight rib dinners.
However, I tried the pressure cooker function on pot roast a few times also and didn’t care for the final result as much as the low and slow of the crock pot…suffice it to say that the pressure cooker speed does not effectively “melt”, shall we say, everything necessary for melt in your mouth meat. That being said, I tried the crock pot function on the IP with a pot roast next and promptly went the Tarjay to grab a new crock pot. 😩
I thought my IP was broken and the crock pot function didn’t work. It took HOURS to cook…longer than my reg crock pot, and when I Googled it, I found several internet sites with the same comments.
I don’t use the rice cooker function bc it takes me literally 12 mins to make perfect rice on the stove top in a small pot.
So, in long conclusion, I am keeping the IP for now, but my oven ribs were just as good even though they took a couple hours longer and for space reasons, I am close to giving it away…
Love my Instant Pot… favorite quick and delicious dishes are: Goulash, baked beans (in 1 hour!), chicken rice and black bean burrito bowl, 7 minute mac and cheese and all things Indian (curries, butter chicken, chick pea masala, biryani….). I haven’t yet tried making yogurt but I have friends who have and rave about it… so much better for you and you can control the sweetness and flavor ingredients.
Mmmm, Harry & David dip. If only there were somewhere to get it locally without paying a fortune for shipping!
We liked having SlingTV. We tried that, the new DirecTVNow app for Roku, and the brand new Hulu with Live TV. All three were good options for different reasons; we ended up going with Hulu only because it has the best channel lineup for our needs. But we never had a moment’s problem with SlingTV. And it’s been several months since we had it, but at the time it was the easiest to use in terms of finding channels and programs on our tv.
We have used Sling TV for almost two years and we love it! We added the orange and blue package so we get all of our sports channels, as well as the other home/garden channels and we haven’t missed cable one bit (except the DVR 😫). We have several streaming devices in our house- fire stick, Roku and Apple TV. Though I love streaming my music through Apple, the Roku can’t be beat for ease of use!
Hubby and I have Sling TV. We love it! We should’ve gotten it sooner. We save so much money. I say go for it! Cable has gotten sooooooo expensive that’s why we switched. We’re able to watch shows that we like and not forced to pay for shows that we don’t need.
Michelle – do you have a Roku or xbox or something similar? You can get the NHL GameCenter app on one of those (we use Roku) and not only do you get ALL NHL games (no blackouts), but also you get BOTH the Home and Away broadcasts!! (and let’s be honest, sometimes it is really fun to watch a hockey game with French Canadian play-by-play!). We love this over the NHL package because our older kids at college can also watch all the games with no blackouts (they have either a Roku or just stream it) and then when hubs is traveling, he doesn’t have to find some bar to watch hockey or hope his hotel carries NHL because he can just stream it on his laptop. Huge Roku fans along with all the channel app options (HBOGo, Netflix, etc etc) – just something to consider!
Hi Kristin, We have a PlayStation but not Roku or Xbox. I didn’t realize you could get it on Roku without the blackouts!
I love the Instant Pot. I took a long time before I decided to purchase one (on Amazon Prime Day) because I thought I would have to learn a new way of cooking, and who has time for that! However, I did a lot of studying and checking out recipes before I took the leap. I love being able to throw everything in the pot and having it turn out absolutely delicious, and that includes pasta. Not having to boil a pan of water makes clean up so much faster, plus you have the whole kitchen cleaned up before you sit down to eat. I would suggest you check out these sites: Pressure Luck, This Old Gal, and Adventures of a Nurse to get an idea of what and how to cook. This Old Gal’s cheesecake is to die for. Hope you get one!
I agree about an electric pressure cooker. I ended up buying the Fagor, but both are similar. I can’t believe I waited so long to buy one and agonized over the same decision….”Do I really need another kitchen appliance?”
Yes!! I made a beef curry this week (as an example) from scratch in 20 minutes. I’m a grandmother with more time on my hands than you, yet if I was a mother with a young family, I wouldn’t think twice about buying one. The time you will save will surprise you. There’s a great online community sharing recipes and even other popular bloggers have joined in and routinely publish electric pressure cooker recipes. Now my crockpot is gathering dust.
And This Old Gal’s yogurt! We eat so much more yogurt now, often just plan or with fruit because it is so so good.
I had Sling for a few months about a year ago and I enjoyed it! I really liked how I could pretty much build my own cable by selecting which package I wanted and adding channels here and there. The only downside I really saw was that sometimes the channels are a little unclear (supposedly during peak hours), but that issue may be resolved now. I don’t have it anymore because I completely cut my cable out, but I definitely think you guys will like it.
And my favorite Halloween candy is candy corn! But peanut M&Ms can be my friend any time of year! lol
We cut the cord a year ago and use Sling and Hulu. It was an adjustment initially, but I think it’s great and haven’t looked back.
Happy birthday, Dominic!
Have you ever mixed a bowl of candy corn, some roasted peanuts and some plain M&M’s? It’s the staple of any candy dish at any mom gathering around my parts. You have to grab all 3 when tasting 😍. Let me know what you think.
Her son is allergic to peanuts.
I like this idea! It’s simple, festive, and easy to throw together. I’m definitely doing it. Thanks for the idea!
Love this idea (I used to go nuts for candy corn!), but unfortunately my son has a peanut allergy so can’t make it right now!
Do you use the regular or the sweet pepper onion relish? I just clicked on the link to the recipe and am wanting to make it this weekend. Thanks!
Hi Bryn, I use the regular!
Sling has a 7 day free trial (includes any plan and any add on) so you can try it out. I’ve only don’t the free trial because I found out I didn’t watch it enough to be worthwhile, but it seemed like a pretty good deal!
I looked up the Harry and David relish to purchase some online. They have two different versions. One is labeled “classic” and the other is labeled “sweet”. Which version of the relish do you use?
I always use the classic!