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The Chic Bag Chick

I love Jesus, am married to a firefighter, am a nurse, learning to cook (while dealing with a gluten allergy), sew, and keep house, love to crochet, and am a planner fanatic, as well as run several small businesses. This is my life…a little bit of everything, which you'll find here on this blog!

Instant Pot salmon! Gluten-free

Salmon…yum!

We love salmon, but after getting our IP, I was curious how it would cook this yummy-ness. It did not disappoint, let me tell ya! Perfectly cooked, moist, tender and flaky…and flavor sealed in like only and IP can do! *licks lips* I don’t think we will ever revert to previous cooking methods!

Ok, here ya go!

Ingredients:

Desired amount of salmon fillets

2 lemons (juice one, slice the other)

Chili pepper to taste

Sea salt to taste 

Pepper to taste

Johnny’s garlic spread to taste

Paprika to taste

Turmeric to taste

Lemon pepper to taste

1 cup water

Directions:

1. Place rack in IP, and fill with the water.

2. Rub fillets (cut to fit in IP) with spices and pour the juice of one lemon over top.

3. Place lemon spices on top of fillets.

4. Turn release valve to “seal,” and cook on manual for 5 minutes.

5. Let pressure naturally release (don’t touch the pressure valve when it beeps). This takes several minutes…just test it by carefully tapping the pressure valve to see if there is still steam left to release. When no steam comes out, it’s ok to open.

Enjoy!

We love it served with mashed potatoes (doctored up with butter, sour cream, and seasonings), and green beans (spread fresh green beans  on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with Montreal steak seasoning and garlic salt/spread, bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes until tender)!

😋

Zuppa Toscana soup in the Instant Pot (gluten free)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled 

1 lb Jimmy Dean all natural sausage

Minced garlic to taste

4 cups kale

1 onion, chopped

Approx. 5 cups cubed potatoes

1/8 cup better than buillion chicken base 

7 cups water

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning

3 tbsp Italian seasoning

Directions:

1. Brown sausage in IP on sauté setting.

2. Add onion and garlic and sauté 2 minutes.

3. Turn off Instant Pot. 

4. Mix chicken base and hot water together.

5. Add potatoes, bacon, chicken base/water mix, and seasonings to IP. 

6. Cook on soup setting for 15 min.

7. NR or QR, being careful to keep it from spewing liquid out.

8. Add kale and stir until wilted. 

9. Add cream and serve (tastes great topped with Parmesan!).


This is one of our all-time favorites! The IP makes it taste like it’s been simmering all day! It really seals in the flavor! ☺

Enjoy!

Fall off the bone BBQ Instant Pot ribs (gluten free)

I love ribs. My husband and I used to have date nights occasionally at Texas Roadhouse where we would splurge on ribs, because they have the best, fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs I’ve ever sunk my teeth into. Mmmm! But…with my gluten allergy, I cannot eat there, since they don’t cook their foods separately. I’m so sensitive to cross-contamination, that I’ve become extremely hesitant to trust anyone with making my food. So when we got our instant pot, I was SO excited to try ribs in it, after it made our cheap stew meat unbelievably tender and delicious. I still had kind of low hopes, because ribs are so hard to get anywhere close to 3-day-cooked restaurant ribs lol. Our first attempt started with a recipe that said cook for 20 minutes. FAIL. They were cooked, for sure, but not delicious or tender, by any stretch of the imagination. So…after releasing pressure, then adding more time, releasing, adding… we finally had edible meat, but it took several hours of trying lol. So, the next time I decided about 55 minutes would probably be good, so I tried that, and VOILA! They were falling off the bone, I literally had to be extremely careful when taking them out of the pot! Haha! The one part of the recipe I kept was this rub,  but we tweaked it a smidge. 

By the way, we got our ribs at Costco, and the pack was like $20 for enough for both my husband and I to have PLENTY LARGE ENOUGH servings for 2 meals! I was so pleased, we added mashed potatoes and veggies for a complete meal, and it was so much cheaper than a restaurant meal! We literally had two restaurant meals at home for about the price of one at a nice restaurant! Not to mention, my husband loves these, and it made me feel awesome that I made them! 😉 

So, without further ado, here is our new, all-time favorite recipe for Instant Pot ribs!!

Ingredients:

Sweet and Spicy rub (see recipe below)

1/4 cup marsala wine

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup BBQ sauce of your choice (my husband loves Sweet Baby Ray’s, so that’s what is in this)
Rub:

1 Tbsp paprika

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp brown sugar (can add more or less to your liking)

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Directions:

1. Mix sweet & spicy rub ingredients together in a bowl. If you don’t use all of it, you can save the rest for next time (because YES, there will be a next time lol)!

2.  Cut ribs into halves or thirds, so they will fit in the Instant Pot. Use rub on both sides, rub vigorously. 

3. Place ribs in Instant Pot (ok to layer, but I try to offset them a bit). 

4. Add marsala wine and water to base of Instant Pot, and cover ribs with BBQ sauce (add more if you love BBQ sauce!)

5. Cover with lid, turn valve to “seal,” and cook on manual setting for 55 minutes.

6. When it’s finished, SLOW release. It’s worth it, I promise. Lol

After the pressure is released, here is the deliciousness (like the mark from my fork test? Lol):

7. Add more BBQ sauce, and serve! optionally, you can brush on some BBQ sauce, place ribs on a cookie sheet, and broil for a few minutes. We were starving, so we just ate as is, and had zero complaints lol.

It was seriously just falling off the bone. I didn’t have to eat or lick off anything from the bones! WHAT?!


This is definitely a game changer for us, we have been missing out on having ribs date night, so this is a fantastic but inexpensive way for us to have an awesome date night, and the ribs are even better, I dare say. 😉

Enjoy!!

#shopsmall !!

I love small businesses. The older I get, and the more I’ve put in to my own little side businesses, the more I realize how much time, effort, and money go in to these things. 

But it’s not just the whole “by the sweat of your brow” hardship part that makes me want to support them…it’s a point of pride for a business owner to have invested thought, cleverness, and energy into their branding, marketing, and the manner in which they conduct their sales. I love seeing Etsy shops, Facebook business pages, from-scratch websites, and Instagram accounts for all these wonderful and creative goodies! 

So, I’ve decided to compile a list of some of my favorite businesses, as well as some that have been passed on to me by friends and family as their favorites, and hopefully you can find some awesome gifts while supporting small businesses right here in the U.S.! ☺️
To start off the list, I have to advertise for my own businesses, of course lol! 

I’ve been having fun building up my etsy shop, one of my main products this Christmas season is a coffee cozy, and I have a bajillion prints available! I love these cute cozies, I use them with to-go cups, reusable on-the-go cups, and even iced drinks!  


They come in cute gift-packaging, so I can even ship directly to the recipient with a handwritten note at no extra charge! 

To see what I have available, go to My Etsy shop. You can also like My Facebook page for updates and giveaways. 

I’m also an Independent Consultant with Thirty-one Gifts, and the personalization is my favorite part of the company for Christmas gift-giving. You can check out the products here: http://www.mythirtyone.com/jessbruner , and join my facebook VIP group to stay up on the latest specials, product updates, and giveaways: www.facebook.com/groups/ChicBagChick

Some of my favorite personalized items:


Ok! Now on to my favorite small businesses for gifts!!

One of my most recent addictions is this awesome clothing shop on facebook. The owner sells HAND-PICKED, affordable clothing for women, and boy, let me tell you, I never want to go to a store again! She not only picks things that are good quality, but she also offers FLATTERING plus sized pieces, and even occasionally has accessories like belts, scarves, and earrings! A gift certificate to this adorable shop would make a fantastic gift for any woman! Check out Eek’s Attic: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eeksattic/

These are just a few of the recent things I’ve purchased from Eek’s Attic, I love them:


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If typical trainers intimidate you, but you’re looking for an expert on nutrition and fitness, then you need to contact James Lloyd with Gung Ho Fitness! He is located in Phoenix, AZ, but distance is no problem, because he has this wicked cool training app that he can create custom training sessions for you on! It’s amazingly convenient, and much more affordable than going to a gym trainer, not to mention, through correspondence, it’s even more personalized. You can check him out on facebook (Gung Ho Fitness), or here:  www.Gunghofitness.Trainerize.Com


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Oh, girls… if you know basically ANY female, this shop has the perfect gift for her! It’s one of my all-time favorite shops, owned by a personal friend of mine, who has a great knack for designing the perfect tees and sweatshirts! ESPECIALLY for Gilmore Girls lovers! 😉 Check out her etsy: 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/57pennies

Here are some of my favorite purchases from 57 Pennies 😍:


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If you live in the Tucson, Arizona area, and have bees, call these awesome peeps to come take care of it for you!
Desert Swarm Bee Removal
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Norwex…where can I even begin to praise this amazingness?? You can clean your whole house with only water (I’m so sensitive to chemicals), and it actually performs miracles, I’m convinced lol! My favorites are the envirocloth and window cloth (I’m pretty sure you can clean everything with them!)! My other loves are the body cloth (removes makeup and exfoliates with only water, and doesn’t leave me itchy from chemicals!), and kitchen cloth (this thing picks up stuff like you wouldn’t believe, but rinses great and doesn’t stink!). You can place an order here:
***update*** I signed up as a Norwex consultant lol! I couldn’t help it, I love their stuff so much! So now you can order here: http://www.NotYourMamasRags.com 

This is their awesome dust mitt that picks up EVERYTHING without kicking up the dust:


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You can find all sorts of amazing edible deliciousness and adorable crocheted amigurumi at this website:
Www.Sweettreatsbowtique.com
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Looking for the perfect something on a piece of clothing? This gal does awesome custom vinyl! She also has some pretty cute designs already for sale:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChloeNCachesCloset 

Here are a couple she did for us:


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If you live in or around Pocatello, ID, this girl is a SPECTACULAR photographer!! Check out her talent:
Tara Tracy Photography
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If you are anywhere around the Denver, CO area, you NEED photos by this chica right here! She shot my wedding photos and made them into something I’ll cherish forever, even though I didn’t have the typical dress, or professional makeup, or the venue of a century, or good lighting at the time of day when we were able to do photos. She is pure talent, this girl:
Www.sierrahlauren.com

One of my all-time favorite wedding pics ☺️❤️:


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If you’re looking for delicious homemade caramels, you need to contact this girl here:
https://www.facebook.com/Sugarandthread/
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Some of my favorite earrings have come from the talented Tina:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/DesignsByPerera
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This girl has some of the most gorgeous wreaths I’ve ever seen! Check her out:

www.facebook.com/pinkzebradesignsatx
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Jamberry makes a fantastic gift for any woman, whether it’s a handpicked kit you put together, or a gift certificate so she can pick out her own! I can’t live without my wraps…they not only look adorable, but help my nails keep from breaking:
Www.jamminwithashleyhayden.jamberry.com


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LuLaRoe combines comfort with adorable-ness! Any girl would die to receive LLR! Check out one of my favorite groups:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1834191716813284/

(One of my favorite LLR outfits paired with my favorite Thirty-one scarf):


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Lipsense is transfer-proof lip color! It’s totally all the rage, and would make one of the best gifts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1667397426911423/

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I hope these shops help you find some awesome treasures, and great gifts! 

Merry Christmas!! ☺️🎄

Instant pot Mongolian beef broccoli (gluten free)

We are weird, and combine 2 of our favorite dishes, Mongolian Beef, and Beef Broccoli, into one, lol.

I’ve made this on the stove top before, and it takes like 8 dishes, and an hour and a half of trying to prep while watching 2 or 3 pots and pans… it’s not fun. So we’ve developed our IP version!

Ingredients:

1 lb stew meat or steak (we use stew meat because it’s cheap, and now, thanks to the IP, it actually turns out super tender and doesn’t taste like the cheap meat it is!)

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup minced garlic (or to taste…we like a lot)

3/4 cup soy sauce (gluten free)

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar (or to taste)

2 tsp ginger (or to taste)

1/8 cup minced garlic (or to taste)

Approx. 6 cups broccoli florets-I keep them decent sized, but cut off the ends so they’re not woody.

Approx. 15-20 green onions, cut into 3-4 inch lengths.

Directions:

1. Cut meat into desired size slices/chunks.


2. Mix in cornstarch until coated, set aside.


3. Start rice in rice cooker while meat sits.

4. Turn IP on sauté, normal setting, and add olive oil, garlic, and meat. Stir until meat is lightly browned. Turn off IP.


5. Add broccoli, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic and ginger, stir.


6. Cover IP, ensure valve is in sealed position, and turn on manual setting, adjust time to 10 minutes.

7. Let pressure naturally release, then add green onions, turn on keep warm, and cover until onions wilt. Serve over rice!


Enjoy! 

DIY labels for handmade products! 

I have fun making stuff for my Etsy shop (www.TheChicBagChick.com), but I really, really wanted to add labels:

1. Because I am proud of my work, even though I’ve not been sewing long, it takes me a long time to tweak my usually self-made pattern to what I consider a quality, functional, and cute product. So naturally, I want my brand on there. =D

2. I feel like it makes it look so much more professional, while still retaining the artisan feel of being handmade. 

So! I set out to find labels on Etsy (I swear you can find anything on there…people are amazingly talented!). Except…they were so expensive. While the labels were high quality, I just am not set up for that kind of business expense right now. Perhaps down the road…but for now, I needed an inexpensive alternative. 

Since I mostly wanted them for coffee cozies that wouldn’t be worn, or even washed as much as clothes (most likely, although I’m a klutz and constantly spilling on mine), a non-woven label should do…? I looked up info on pinterest, but had a hard time actually finding a tutorial, and since I’ve never done anything remotely close to this, I needed like, a STEP-BY-STEP. Lol

I tried several things, and finally found a method that works for me, and although tedious, it saves me a lot of money. I estimate these particular labels to cost around $0.15 a piece, more if I botch a whole sheet or batch lol. 

Materials:

*5/8″ ribbon (or whatever size you want), I’ve used several kinds successfully

*tea towel or muslin

*flat, hard surface like the bottom of a pan (I use a pizza pan haha!)

*iron (make sure all water is out, I drain it and let it set on the cotton setting for a bit, and then even occasionallly run it over my ironing board with the steam on to get it all out)

*printable, light t-shirt iron-on transfer paper-I’ve included a picture of the brand I used, I’ve not tried others. This is available at craft stores, as well as on amazon. 

*scissors

*parchment paper-ok, I’m going to go ahead and say this, because as embarrassing as this is to admit, I wish someone had put it out there for me lol. There is a huge difference between parchment and wax paper. Since I am not a baker, or a seamstress, and since we were dirt freaking poor growing up, we only ever had wax paper. I thought parchment paper was just a fancy name for wax paper. I can assure you, it is not. I know this, because I grabbed wax paper for this project, and couldn’t figure out why it was ruining my nice labels. Oy. Parchment paper is heat resistant, I discovered…please, don’t melt wax onto your freshly made project lol. 


Directions:

The first thing you must do is create a document with whatever you want on your label. There is no shortcut for this, it’s just trial and error. I don’t have a logo yet, so I opted for simple text. I printed out test runs on cheap paper to check size and placement for the ribbon I was using, then when it was perfect, I printed on the expensive transfer paper. PLEASE NOTE…you have to flip the image first lol. I have forgotten to do this when I’m printing in a hurry, and I’ve shed a few tears over the loss of a very expensive piece of now-useless transfer paper lol.

To do this in Word doc is very easy (I had to search forever to find this info…weird). Just do the normal print, then when the box pops up, go to “layout,”


Then check the “flip horizontally” box.


It’s very important to let these dry for at least 30 minutes, otherwise they will smudge ALL over, and it’s just a mess, and wastes a lot. I sometimes even print them before bed when I know I’ll be making them the next day, and let them dry overnight. 

Then, using scissors or a paper cutter, cut into strips, and then I cut into sections of 2 or 3 long, to fit under my iron.

Prep your surface: cover your hard surface (don’t use just the ironing board, it won’t work. I tried lol) with the towel or muslin, and lay out the ribbon:

Position your transfer paper print side down on the label, making sure the transfer paper isn’t wider than the ribbon, or it will stick to the towel lol (I know this is basic stuff, but I learned it the hard way, so in case anyone else is as uneducated about this stuff as I was, I’d like to save them the trouble lol). Press with iron on cotton setting (no steam) for about 15-20 seconds. It’s important to press pretty heavily while doing this, I’ve noticed, for it to really adhere well.

Then clip off that section of ribbon and let cool. (For the first run, complete one whole cycle to see how they turn out, and then tweak as needed. Once you’ve ensured it will work right, then the most time efficient way is to do in batches-first cut all the strips, then iron on all the strips and cut and let cool, then do the next step to all, and so on)

Once it is cool, gently peel off the backing.

Lay completed labels face up, and place parchment paper over

Press firmly with iron (still on no steam) for about 10 seconds. The labels will “stick” to the back. Let them cool after. 

Once cool, peel labels off the parchment paper.

Trim to desired size…then they’re ready to use! I found that if I leave enough room on the transfer paper to cover the whole length of the label I’ll be using, it acts kind of as a fray-check, otherwise I have to fray check all the ends and let them dry, and that is a PAIN. Lol

These are just ones I’ve done that I place on top of the product and stitch around the border, but the same concept can be applied to other styles of labels!


Here is a sew-in version I made, the only extra step is folding in half and inserting into a piece of parchment paper folded in half (so the label doesn’t stick to the iron), to set the crease/fold better.

I hope this helps! So far, I’ve washed products with these labels on, as much as 3 times without any problems, but on a few, you can start to see the transfer coming off a bit. I’m sure they won’t last many washings, but it’s still cheaper than purchasing custom labels for now. =)

Oh, so far all my products have similar wash instructions, which have been fine for the labels: machine or hand wash cold/gentle, lay flat/hang to dry. 

Happy label-making! =D

Instant pot sloppy joes (gluten free)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved sloppy joes. But now I can’t have wheat, and I haven’t found any really good gluten free buns to purchase here… so I haven’t had any in quite awhile. 

Well, then I saw a pin about putting sloppy joe meat on lettuce! Genius! I’ve made lots of food ideas into lettuce wraps because of the gluten thing. Except…I’ve never made sloppy joes. So I set out to find manwich in the store, to check the ingredient list. But… I couldn’t find any. AGH! I looked up all sorts of ideas on pinterest, only to discover that it’s REALLY easy to make your own. I had no idea…no one ever told me it’s only 3 ingredients to make the sauce!! *mind blown*

Of course, I wanted to make it in my IP, because I love the thing, and it seals in flavor as if the food has been slow cooked all day!

So, here is my tried and true version of sloppy joes, adjusted to the flavoring I like (you can play with the ratios to adjust to your taste if necessary).
Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef

3/4 cup ketchup

3 Tbsp mustard

1/3 cup brown sugar
Directions:

1. Pour glass of wine. (Ok, just kidding, but it was a nice addition lol)

1. (For real) Turn IP on sauté, and adjust if needed to normal setting. (When you hit sauté, hit adjust after that, and it will move from low to normal to high until it’s at the setting you want. Totally just discovered that lol) Brown ground beef, stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick. I use ground beef from costco, and the fat content is so low, I’d have to lay out the beef on a paper towel afterward to get any grease off, so I don’t even bother draining. But if you have a lot of fat, please drain the grease when it’s finished. 


2. Turn IP off when done, then add ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar, and stir. You’ll pretty much just want to eat the whole pot plain at this point lol.

3. Cover IP, making sure that the valve is turned to the seal position. Cook on manual for 5 minutes, and either quick release (turn valve to steam release) or let natural release (come down from pressurized naturally, takes several minutes), and serve. It tastes like it’s been cooking in the crockpot all day, the flavor is so sealed in!

4. Serve! We like ours on lettuce, until I find an amazing GF bun lol. Plus it’s low(er) carb, and very delicious!

Enjoy! 

Free printable 2017 calendars!

I love printables. Anything and everything that can be printed, I WANT IT ALL. lol

Ok, it’s really just something about mixing cuteness and organization that I adore. So, on my recent quest to find a printable rest of 2016 calendar until our new Star Wars one starts, I found these adorable printable calendars, and I love them so much, I might use them instead of our Star Wars one! ha! Well, I’ve settled on at least hanging them in my office, since the other one is downstairs for general use.

I present, for your “ooo-ing and ahh-ing,” these lovelies:

2017 printable calendars

I’m totally following this chica, I can already tell I like her! 😉

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten free peaches and cream dessert

This is one of the most delicious desserts I’ve tried! It’s a little pricey, since a gluten free cake mix is kind of expensive, but it’s nice for a special occasion.

Ingredients:

6 to 8 large peaches, cut into slices

Approx. 8 oz cream cheese,  cut into small cubes

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 yellow cake mix

1/2 cup butter, cut into slices
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place sliced peaches evenly in the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish:

Roll each of the cream cheese cubes in the brown sugar until coated, and place evenly among the peaches:

I used this King Arthur yellow cake mix:

Sprinkle cake mix over top of peaches and cream cheese:

Place slices of butter evenly on top, and sprinkle remaining brown sugar over:

Bake approximately 50 minutes (I had to bake a little longer, and smooth it out a bit in the center), until slightly bubbly and brown:

Serve warm with ice cream =D

Enjoy!  =)

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