On the eve of a new decade I sit here celebrating that which closes and the many ways that it will leave indelible marks on all to come. I’ve never been a fan of ‘top ten’ lists – and always find creative ways to avoid that topic when it comes up at dinner parties, but at the end of the decade I’m feeling compelled to document ten notable events from the past ten years.
- We celebrated our wedding in April of 2015 on the grounds of a summer camp. The 24 inches of snow that fell in the prior month left grey piles lingering in shady corners but these didn’t stop us from exchanging our vows under a blue sky with billowy white clouds reflecting on a placid lake only feet behind us. Our friends and family piled into rustic cabins for several nights. We all sang karaoke, enjoyed a baked potato bar, and some – including my husband – even took a dip in the winter-chilled lake. To ensure that the memories of this amazing day persist, one of my besties organized an anniversary card table. There our guests chose a numbered envelope, 1 through 50, to write a letter for each of the next 50 years!
- Three strong women – my mother and both of my grandmothers (Nana and Baba) – passed away during this decade. Each of them were impressive cooks with strong personalities that I carry with me. We will never again have a holiday meal or family gathering without reminiscing about one or all of them and attempting to recreate one of the many notable dishes they brought to each occasion.
- My parents sold our childhood home which required us to sift through years of memories and tchotchke. After four different apartments across the decade my husband and I bought our own home. It will be the place we raise our family. With my father in the apartment downstairs, multigenerational living has quickly become our way of life. In the span of only two years, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. We get to enjoy family dinners, game nights and shared pantries. Most importantly, our son will grow up with his Pop only one floor away.
- We welcomed our son into the world this summer. He will be just short of 6 months old as the decade closes. He is curious, lovable, and musical. I’m so excited to begin introducing him to food soon and watching his eyes with each new flavor and texture.
- Three of my very best friends had babies within 2 months of us and BOTH of my sisters-in-law are having babies now as well. Our son will grow up with some top notch peers but most importantly I’m grateful to have these women close for advice, council, friendship, camaraderie, and compassion as I become a mother for the first time.
- I traveled to over 20 states and 4 countries (if I counted correctly) including Italy, China, the Florida Keys, Acadia, Napa, Nashville, the US Virgin Islands, New York City, and more.
- I accomplished my first 10k, half marathon, and completed several ‘30 days of yoga‘ challenges.
- Toby, my first dog, joined our family. I’ve never been a dog person, but this cute, curly-haired, lovable GoldenDoodle has totally converted me.
- After 14 years working in the same school, I moved on to one closer to home. This school defined my early teaching career and brought me many of my dearest friends.
- I started this blog as my own little journal and I’m proud to keep it going after 4 years of evolution.
To the roaring 20s – bring it on! It’s going to be pretty hard to beat these last ten years but I’m ready.
This dish is an Instant Pot classic casserole style meal. The chicken, onions, and mushrooms all sauté together then the sauce is added and rice poured on top. After a handful of minutes under pressure the flavors come together for a one dish meal. I portioned this into several containers to have for lunches for the week. It’s not the prettiest picture but the flavor here is top notch.
Happy New Year!
Instant Pot Chicken, Mushroom, and Rice
This creamy casserole-like dish comes together in the instant pot for a warm and filling savory chicken and rice meal.
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 5 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- ¼ cup sherry
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 5 lbs chicken thighs (apx 10)
- 1 medium onion – chopped
- 1 lb mushrooms – sliced
- Splash of white wine
- 1 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1 bag spinach
Steps & Notes
- Make a sauce by whisking together the stock, sour cream, whipping cream, Italian seasoning, sherry, salt, pepper, and paprika. (Note: this will be about 2 cups total once combined)
- Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks.
- On the sauté setting on the Instant Pot sauté the onions. Add salt and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and a splash of white wine. Cook for 3 more minutes. Mix well.
- Add the chicken and stir until mostly cooked (about 6 minutes)
- Spread the chicken and mushroom mixture evenly across the pan and then cover with the rice. Gently pour the sauce over and use a spoon to ensure all is fully covered.
- Close the instant pot lid and cook on high for 5 minutes
- Note: This takes time to come up to temperature and then cook
- Let the pressure release naturally
- Note: I got restless and after 20 minutes I manually released the rest of the air
- Stir in the spinach and serve warm
Recipe from The Pantry Portfolio @ http://www.pantryportfolio.com