Category Archives: Recipes

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti (DF)

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The boys do not like when Hubby makes pasta dishes because he doesn’t always drain the pasta. He’ll rather use a slotted spoon to get out the pasta. Needless to say, it becomes very mushy.

So whenever we do have any pasta dishes, I’m the only one who cooks or if he cooks the pasta, he needs to be reminded to drain the pasta. I know us bugging him drives him crazy.

Making the spaghetti in the pressure cooker eliminates the need to drain the pasta because all of it is made in one pot.


Youngest is not always the best eater. He doesn’t always eat a lot of food at meals. When he ate 2 servings of the spaghetti, I knew this recipe was a keeper.

Hubby doesn’t always want to eat leftovers even though I plan for them during the week. He actually volunteered to eat the leftovers the next day. This also told me that this recipe was a keeper.

What you need for the recipe
  1. spaghetti noodles
  2. ground beef
  3. jar of spaghetti sauce
  4. water
  5. Italian seasoning
  6. optional: diced onions

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: extremely easy
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Ingredients

  • 0.5 pound of spaghetti noodles
  • 0.5 pound of ground beef
  • 1 (26 oz.) jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (26 oz.) jar full of water plus about 2 to 3 Tbsp. more of water
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced – optional
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil – optional

Directions

  1. Set your electric pressure cooker to saute.
  2. If you are going to add onions to your spaghetti, add the oil and then the onions. Cook the onions for 4 to 5 minutes or until translucent. Remove from the pot.
  3. Add the ground beef to the pot. Cook until no longer pink. Make sure you break up the ground beef so the pieces are equal pieces. (About 5 minutes) Drain the fat from the ground beef.
  4. Add the spaghetti sauce, water, Italian seasoning, and onions, if using them. Stir.
  5. Add the spaghetti noddles. (Break them in half.) Make sure the noodles are covered with sauce and water. Add a little more water, if needed.
  6. Set the pressure cooker to manual 8 minutes. Put the lid on the pressure cooker making sure the valve is set to seal.
  7. When it’s done cooking, quick release the valve.
  8. Stir the spaghetti.
  9. Enjoy with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes:

  1. You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
  2. If you want to make it vegetarian, you can use the beefless beef from Trader Joe’s. Just start with step 4 unless you are adding the onions.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – August 2019

Finally A Menu

If you would like to skip the introduction and go onto the menu, please click here.

I go back to work on either the 7th or the 8th. Technically I’m supposed to be going back to work on the 8th. However, some of the administrators have decided we need to have an extra day so that we can team build. I don’t know if they are actually going to have the team building day on the 7th.

Continue reading Mom, What’s For Dinner? – August 2019

An Unbelievable Night

Three years ago, the boys and I had the same spring break which is unbelievable. When Hubby realized we all had the same spring break, he decided it was a perfect time to go on a family vacation. Where did he decide to take us? How about Niagara Falls during the last week of March.

Continue reading An Unbelievable Night

Christmas “Crack” Pretzels

I had bought some wreath shaped pretzels to use for my Rolo Turtles not realizing the Rolos would fall through the wreath. I used one bag of the wreath pretzels for my cinnamon sugar pretzels. Since I had another bag to use up, I found this recipe. Hubby had leftover popcorn oil from an event he hosted in November so this was a perfect way to use the pretzels.

Enjoy these at your Christmas get together or even on New Year’s Eve. Yum!

Oh and the best part of this is there is no baking involved. Sweet!

  • Servings: 16ish
  • Difficulty: extremely easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 15 to 16 oz. bag of pretzels
  • 6 oz. buttery popcorn oil, canola oil, or melted butter
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dry ranch salad mix (not the dip)
  • 0.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (I used a garlic Parmesan cheese powder.)

Directions

  1. Pour the pretzels into a deep dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the oil and seasonings.
  3. Pour over the pretzels. Stir until all of the pretzels are combined.
  4. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese. Stir once again until the pretzels are combined.
  5. Continue stirring every 15 minutes or so for 3 hours or until the oil is absorbed by the pretzels.
  6. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Recipe source

Have a magical day,
Traci

Columbus Zoo – October 20, 2018 – Part 2

Columbus Zoo – October 20, 2018 – Part 1

After we finished with watching the penguins, we first went to the food court by the Congo area of the zoo.  Since nothing was open yet, we decided to first visit the Congo area and then eat lunch.

The black and white colobuses.  I love them.

The cranes

The leopard – He was so active which was cool to see.  We don’t always get to see him be so active.

The gorillas – We got to talk to a volunteer who was watching the adult interactions.  

The river hogs

The bonobos

The mandrill playing with a pumpkin.

The fall foliage and one of the decorations in the area.

The okapi – We typically don’t get to see him/ her up close.

Have a magical day,
Traci

My First Thanksgiving Meal | Disney College Program Memories

I have so many memories of my Disney College Program.  I think I need to start a series with some of the memories so that I can reflect on them when I’m older.

My Disney College Program was September 5, 1995 until January 7, 1996.  Four months of memories and self discovery.  I worked at Disney-MGM Studios at Soundstage Restaurant and Sunset Ranch Market.

November 23rd of that year was Thanksgiving.  I was given 4 days off – Wednesday through Saturday.  I debated riding home on a Greyhound bus but opted to stay in Lake Buena Vista.

The majority of my roommates were International College Program students so they had never had a real U.S. Thanksgiving dinner.  I decided to make dinner on Friday the 24th since Celine, my French roommate, worked on Thanksgiving.  I did not make a turkey.  Instead I made chicken.

My grandma sent me the recipe for white salad which is a staple at Hudnall family gatherings.  (Hudnall is my mom’s family.)  After I made that white salad, I ate it for weeks afterwards.  

Grandma also sent me the recipe for her sweet potato casserole so I made that also.  I don’t remember the rest of the meal just those 3 dishes.

Anyway after I finished the dinner, Celine was supposed to clean the dishes.  The problem though was her boy toy, Brian, was over and they were hanging out/ making out on the couch.  It was an open floor plan so I was uncomfortable staying in the kitchen while they were making out.

My Italian roommate, Alessandra, was getting ready to move out the next day.  She was going to live with her other Italian roommates.  According to her, I was a lazy American.

Celine never cleaned up those dishes.  Alessandra got mad at me.  The next day, she yelled at me since the whole apartment was supposed to be clean before she moved out.  It was not my fault.  What happened later that day was a memory I’ll never forget.  I shared it on the white salad blog post.

The next time I made a Thanksgiving dinner was 20 years later.  

Have a magical day,
Traci

Columbus Zoo – October 20, 2018 – Part 1

Join me for a five part series about our visit to the Columbus Zoo on October 20.

The boys were gone for the weekend back packing in Kentucky so I decided to visit my favorite zoo.  The weather was perfect that weekend.  The animals were out and about which always makes the visit to the zoo even better.  It was Boo at the Zoo so a lot of kids were dressed up for Halloween.

I got a lot of great photos while we were there.  I hope you enjoy them.

The Columbus Zoo is located near Dublin, Ohio.  There is a lot of construction going on in Dublin.  I loved the flag on the crane as we were driving through the town.

Some of the decorations around the zoo

Since it was Boo at the Zoo, they had characters at the front of the zoo.  Even though I never went over to the characters, I made sure to take photos of the characters in between the costumed children.

The first exhibit we went to was the flamingos.  We got to talk to of the volunteers while we were watching the flamingos.

As always, click on the photos for a zoomed in photo.

Then we went to see the penguins. They were so active which was so cool.  One of them kept swimming fast through the water and jumping out because they were that fast.  So neat!  Hubby was so delighted.

Join me next time for the photos from the Congo area of the Columbus Zoo.

Have a magical day,
Traci