Who's ready for a little TIDBITS Talk and a bomb new flavor of Crio Bru? Just in time for Fall, let's give a warm, cozy welcome to my favorite flavor of the season – Chai Crio Bru.
Hello from the other side of a crazy 2021 Summer!
I don't know about you, but our summer was intensely hot (which I whined about way too much) and D-R-Y as a bone. When we got hit with our first big rainfall late summer, my kids and I ran out into the rain and became happily drenched. It was so refreshing, I nearly sobbed with gratitude. It felt so amazing.
I'm so happy to move on to fall, cooler weather, cozy food, and mountains soon to be ablaze with color.
TIDBITS TALK – FALL EDITION
A quick intro to newbies around here: TIDBITS Talks are a chance for me to talk to you about things other than recipes. Life, love, family, mama drama . . . anything goes.
AS ALWAYS, IF YOU'RE ONLY HERE FOR THE RECIPE, THERE'S A “JUMP TO RECIPE” BUTTON ABOVE THAT WILL TAKE YOU STRAIGHT TO THE RECIPE CARD.
You all know by now that I'm Crio Bru obsessed and I LOVE gifting it to others. One day I hope to send a package out to each and every one of you – dream big, right?
My husband is also now a huge fan, so our Crio Bru spending has tripled. I've never lost weight drinking Crio Bru, so I've never talked about it that way (I just think it's tasty), but he's lost 15 pounds this year by swapping out his nightly bowl of ice cream for Crio Bru and he'll talk your ear off about it if you'd like to do an interview 🙂
If you aren't familiar with Crio Bru, this Instant Pot Crio Bru post will catch you up!
With lots of things on my mind today, let's jump right in!
First up: Instant Pot Chai Crio Bru, AKA medicinal chocolate.
Spiced intensely, just how I like it, to make sure you're aware that fall is here and it's time to bake some pumpkin-spiced treats. This indeed feels like medicine for the mind, body, and soul whenever you need a pick me up and drink that lovingly sings, “Everything's, gonna be alright, rock-a-bye . . .”
We'll talk more about this drink in a sec, but right now, throw on your cozy slippers and grab your softest blanket: it's time for a fun chat.
IMPORTANT ITEMS OF BUSINESS TODAY
- Summer recap: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Two Reader Questions: Do you ever get really tired of cooking? What is your favorite meal for fall?
- InstaFreeze Meals update: We're baaaaccck! Well, almost.
- It's puppy time – pray for me.
- Organization hack I'm very proud of.
- Favorite new recipes from other blogs.
- My new favorite finds: Claw for thick hair, cute shoes, life-changing razor, etc
1) SUMMER RECAP
How was your summer? Was it memorable? Treasurable? Did you travel?
THE GOOD: I succeeded in rolling out a birthday week adventure my kids will never forget. After the agonizing infertility struggle of getting them here, I swore I would always celebrate their birth like the miracle it was. With all of their birthdays 3 days from each other, we celebrate ALL WEEK LONG. This week we hit Snowbird, snorkeled with tropical fish, Hogle Zoo, and went on a paramotoring adventure over the Great Salt Lake. Followed by a couple of birthday parties, cuz, why not?
Also good, the chore system I rocked out (with the inspiration of Freedom Moms) was simple, but worked like a dream. This was my first year to nail this and the kids really embraced how simple it was. No fancy charts, but here is a picture of what it looked like after I figured out what my “must have” chores were every month.
One more good: I found morning summer jobs for each of my kids, requiring they be up and ready by 9 a.m. every day. Call me a summer party pooper, but it was quite possibly my best idea yet. Their jobs were only an hour or two, but it set the mood for each day right and kept them in a motivated/active mindset instead of a bored/lazy fog. Also gave me a quiet home for some Yoga with Adrienne 🙂
THE BAD: My husband and I usually do at least one overnight motorcycle adventure each month through the summer, but it was just too dang hot. My attitude turns south fast when I'm melting under protective riding gear in 100°F weather. Riding is one of the greatest joys of my life so I'm still feeling bitter about this one.
THE UGLY: My kids did a few dirt bike races this summer and the joy it brings me is just as intense as the fear. We had a couple of crashes this year that made me want to slash their tires and shove their bikes off a cliff. No one was badly injured, but the worry that it could be worse the next time paralyzes me sometimes. On the other hand, the bond they share in this sport is like nothing I ever had with my siblings, so I continue to pray for riding angels to fly by their sides and focus on the good. My son gave up his place in their last race to help my daughter after she crashed, and followed behind her until she crossed the finish line. That moment will forever be in my mind and has me believing there may be a higher purpose to all this craziness.
2) READER QUESTIONS
Do you ever get tired of cooking? Why yes, yes I do :). But darn it, I really like to eat yummy food so even when cold cereal sounds easy, there I am, yet again, Instant Potting myself and my family something scrumptious. This is also why I've gotten really good at repurposing leftovers (as we discussed in our last TIDBITS Talk) so that we can be eatin' good even with minimal cooking.
What is your favorite meal for Fall? If I had to pick THE ONE that always comes to mind when the weather starts to chill, it would be this Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup. And then I want Chili, Butternut Ravioli Soup, and Corn Chowder. So basically soup, soup, and more soup. Here's a whole page dedicated to my soup obsession.
3) INSTAFREEZE MEALS UPDATE
Guess what? We're baaaccck!!! Well, almost . . . gettin' there. Construction has started so it's feeling official enough to start talking about it. But things are gonna look a little different for this mama-run business of ours. We started out in a little corner of Smith's Marketplace grocery store, then we went online when the pandemic hit, and now we're takin' our dreams into our own hands and opening up our own store where we can have more control over the future of InstaFreeze.
My sis and I have big plans for this biz, with dreams of making it more affordable and accessible for everyone. To say this has been an uphill battle is an understatement. More like an uphill battle in a hail storm with a ball and chain around each ankle, but we're doing it and we can't wait to make your dinner life easier, healthier, and incredibly delicious. Eeek! It's gonna be so good!
4) PUPPY TIME
I've known for a long time that our family was missing a puppy pal, so I've finally decided to face my fears and invite a new member to the family. I can't believe I'm saying it, but this October our lives are about to be rocked in the cutest way possible in the form of a Golden Labrador. Being the intense overthinker that I am, I've already overplanned the entire experience and am now here to ask for even more advice, tips, and tricks from you wonderful people. So bring it on. What's the number one thing I need to know or buy?
5) QUICKIE ORGANIZATION HACK
My home designer sister is gonna be so proud.
My son is a genius creator with seriously lacking organization skills. I've realized that my endless nagging to “pick up your room” just wasn't working and that I had to teach him how to keep order in a room now, so his wife can thank me later.
For his endless creations that “can't possibly be thrown away” – a fancy cubby system. Each project is organized into a container so that it's not scattered over the entire room. Here's a little before and after.
For the legos – two shoe organizers. One contains all of the finished creations. The other contains “in progress” or “broken and in need of fixing” projects with all of the pieces needed to fix or finish those projects stored together so he doesn't have to dig through an endless sea of legos.
For all the other legos – this genius store and play tote.
And that is the extent of my decorating skills.
Any other kid lego/toy/project organization tips? I'm an organization lover to the core. Give me all your ideas!
6) FAVORITE NEW RECIPES FROM OTHER SITES
I'm obsessed with trying new recipes, Instant Pot and beyond. Here are some recent discoveries I highly recommend.
Air Fryer Chicken Breast from Iowa Girl Eats: Game changer if you tend to overcook chicken. This is so easy and comes out juicy and tender every single time.
Grilled Eggplant from Well Plated: I grew eggplant in my garden this year so I had to learn how to cook this pretty veggie. So far this grilled version has my heart. It's so yummy!
Strawberry Mascarpone Tart from Foolproof Living: Lightly sweetened with maple syrup with an almond flour tart crust that I could swoon all day over. Aysegul is a master at creating recipes with whole grains and unrefined sugars. I just love her recipes!
One Pot Tortellini from Pressure Cooking Today: I've made 5 different versions of this recipe and die over how easy it is every time. The recipe is dynamite as is, but if you want a twist, try adding pesto, alfredo sauce, or roasted broccoli. 5 stars all day.
Ricotta Stuffed Shells from Will Cook for Smiles: I haven't made stuffed shells in years, but after making this, my kids are requesting it on a weekly basis. I used Brown Rice Jumbo Noodles to make it whole grain and they worked perfectly.
Satay Chicken Noodle Salad from Mel's Kitchen Cafe: This is an oldie I'd forgotten about, but made it again a couple of weeks ago, and whoa mama, I LOVE THESE NOODLES! Truly one of my favorite peanut sauce type dishes of all time.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting from Ambitious Kitchen: My daughter is the new baker of the family and her cousin requested a vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. I actually didn't try it (wasn't in the mood for sugar jitters that day) but my sister and all of the girls at the birthday party raved over it and said the frosting was bursting with strawberry flavor. So I had to throw it in here so I could show this picture of my cutie. (She made this the same day as her dirt bike crash mentioned above).
I could keep going but it's your turn. What new recipes have you tried lately? Tell me what to cook next!
7) NEW FAVORITE FINDS
I love this part! I'm obsessed with testing and trying new things and I've got some fun ones for you today.
Billie Razor: You know how typically you use a razor way past its prime because good ones are SO DANG EXPENSIVE? I've got your solution. The Billie Razor is inexpensive, cute, shaves like a dream, and will even hang on a magnet all awesome like in your shower. I bought this one for my inexperienced daughter as well and she's done amazingly well with it. (Meaning, she hasn't exited the shower bleeding every time she shaves like I did as a kid. Anyone else?)
The Ultimate Claw for Thick Hair: My hair is long and thick and trying to find a claw that would contain it seemed impossible. Well, I found one! This funny looking claw does an amazing job. I can throw my wet hair up at 5 a.m. and still be rocking it at dinnertime and 5 p.m. Love it!
Hey Dude Shoes: I'm not a fancy dresser, so it's a little awkward to recommend apparel, but I can't imagine anyone not absolutely dying over the cuteness and comfort of these shoes so I just had to share! I bought 3 pairs (then returned one when I realized that was a little superfluous) and I wear them every day. They have endless colors to pick from too.
Butcher Box: I took a pause on this subscription for a year because my neighbor shared his pig with me and I was swimming in more meat than I could fit in my freezer. I restarted it this summer and remembered why I love it so much. Good quality meat delivered straight to my doorstep – I'm now on my third delivery this year and discovered I have serious pork butt smoking skills. Yes, I'm an affiliate for Butcher Box but honestly, I only recommend products that I know will change your life in amazing ways and this is one of those. I especially recommend their pork shoulder, ground turkey, ground beef (best burgers ever!), precooked chicken breasts, and bacon (cooked in the air fryer).
INSTANT POT CHAI CRIO BRU
If you're the type that pulls out their pumpkin puree stash the second temperatures starting hinting of fall, this Chai Crio Bru is for you!
Think pumpkin spice, but bolder, with just enough kick to put a warm tickle in your throat.
I like to use whole spices for this Crio Bru flavor to avoid the final product from being gritty with ground spices. However, if ground is what you have, go for it! Pouring it through a fine mesh sieve to strain will take care of most of it.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHAI CRIO BRU
- Add Crio Bru, water, maple syrup, milk, and spices to the pot
- Pressure cook for 10 minutes
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer and enjoy!
Crazy cozy to the core, I predict this is going to become a cold weather staple for you!
To order Crio Bru with our 10% discount, go here and use the code INSTAFRESH at checkout.
Your comments and experience in the matters above are a true treasure to me and all of my readers, I can't wait to hear what you have to say!
Much love going out to all of you. I hope fall has you feeling all the warm, happy feelings of this incredible season. I love it so much!
Chai Crio Bru
Cozy Chai Spiced Crio Bru to warm you up from head to toe. This could be your new favorite flavor!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Drink
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- ½ cup Crio Bru (any variety)
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (optional)
- 2 inch fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon peppercorn or ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 10 whole cloves or ½ teaspoon ground clove
- 6 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Add Crio Bru grounds, water, milk, and maple syrup (if using), ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom to the pressure cooker pot.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release for at least 5 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour Crio Bru through the sieve to filter out the grounds. Be careful! The Crio Bru will be VERY hot.
- Serve immediately with swirl of heavy cream or creamer if desired.
- Cool leftovers to room temperature. Pour into mason jars, top with a pourable lid, and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy cold or pour into a microwave safe mug and warm for 1-2 minutes.
- There are many different flavors of Crio Bru, use the same cooking instructions for any variety of Crio Bru grounds.
- I prefer to drink mine unsweetened, my kids prefer the addition of maple syrup. White sugar also works. Honey tastes a little strange.
- Any type of milk will work in this recipe. If using cow’s milk, wait to add it until after the Crio Bru grounds are strained. It tends to foam when pressure cooked and can make a mess on the underside of the lid.
- I prefer to use whole spices for this recipe, but dried and ground can also be used. Expect a bit more sediment when using ground.