Homemade Instant Pot Apple Cider

October 31, 2018

Apple cider has been our go-to Fall treat so far. Casey has worked on this recipe a lot already, and we've gone through many pounds of apples. Luckily we spent last weekend near a bunch of apple orchards, so we picked up about 100 apples for just over $20. It was way cheaper than buying them in a grocery store and we get to carry on our apple cider adventures.

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The great thing about this recipe is that it is super WW friendly. I drink it as my dessert or just to feel cozy inside without the guilt.

We've found that the the best apple to use for this recipe is a variety. You want to have a little tang and a little sweetness, so using a mixture of those kinds of apples is best.

Another thing we found on our apple cider journey is that peeling the apples allows for more flavor. You can leave the peels on if you want to make this recipe even faster. But if you have time to peel them, do it. We have a yummy recipe coming soon to show you what you can do with the leftover skins.

We actually bought this apple corer, peeler, and slicer just because we were making so many apple products and coring them by hand got old real quickly.

Also, if you don't have the handy dandy machine that slices the apples for you, you can cut them into quarters. You don't have to slice them this thin, although it's a lot easier to manage in the end.

Now the hero of this recipe is the Instant Pot. Without it, we wouldn't be able to make apple cider in 30 minutes. To be honest- when we first got our Instant Pot, we were really disappointed. Because you have to release the pressure and wait for it to pressurize in the beginning, cooking times ended up being close to (or longer than) the same thing when we just cooked in the oven or on the stove.

It took us a really long time to start appreciating the Instant Pot. We almost just gave it away. But then we started figuring out ways to use it for non-typical things and now I don't think I could live without it. Apple cider is just one of the great things we use it for now.

Now if you are on WW like us, you'll want to sweeten your cider to taste at the end. Depending on what apples you use, you may not need an extra sweetener at all. Our favorite way to sweeten it is with sugar-free syrup. If you aren't on WW, feel free to use real sugar, or even better- brown sugar. But I'd still wait til the end to sweeten. You won't need as much sweetener as you think!

Yield: 4 - 8 oz.

Homemade Instant Pot Apple Cider


  • 4 lbs. Apples
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbs. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. Whole Allspice
  • 2 Tbs. Sugar-free Syrup


  1. Peel, core, and slice apples.
  2. Add the apples, water, and spices into the instant pot.
  3. Close the instant pot and set on manual to 20 minutes. 
  4. Let the pressure naturally release for at least 15 minutes, although 30. minutes is better.
  5. Quick release any leftover pressure and remove the lid.
  6. Smash the apples with a masher until it resembles a chunky applesauce.
  7. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the mixture into the strainer in batches. Push the mixture into the strainer to release any liquid.
  8. Move liquid to an air-tight container and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.



If you are in the market for an Instant Pot, you can purchase the one we use here.

And if you are interested in learning more about the Weight Watchers program, click here. Plus get our free 7-day meal plan below to see what a week on WW is really like!

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    7 Reasons to Chose Weight Watchers to Lose Weight

    October 30, 2018

    If you've read our about section you know that we've been doing WW since June 2018. In 19 weeks I have lost 20.8 lbs and Savannah has lost 28.2. I can say this with 100% honesty- we have not suffered at all. This has been the most drama free weight loss program we've ever done. I don't want to go so far as to say that it hasn't been hard at times, but we've never felt deprived.

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    We have tried: Low Carb/Keto, South Beach Diet, HCG, Atkins, The Virgin Diet, Anti-Inflammatory Diet, Tone it Up, 6 week Body Makeover, counting calories, etc. We've done just about everything, and we've had successes. With each of those programs we have lost weight BUT we weren't able to keep it off AND we suffered. Each and every one of those diets was really hard. Looking back none of those diets seemed sustainable, and I wish we had seen that before going through all the ups and downs.

    So let's talk about the reasons why you should choose to become a part of WW to lose weight and become healthier!

    1. The Point System. What I like about the point system over just counting calories is that it's easier. I know that doesn't seem to make sense because counting calories is just that. You add up your calories for the day and try to stay under a certain amount. There's no wiggle room, there's no reward for healthier foods. It's all about the caloric value.

    With the point system you get a certain amount of points to use every day and you also get extra points for every week. Every food has a numbered value and it's your job to figure out how each food fits into your day or week. The points are based on fat, calories, carbs, sugar, fiber, and protein. If you have a celebration one week, then you have your weekly points that allow you to eat a piece of birthday cake or participate in pizza night (or both) without going over your point allowance for the week.

    2. There are zero point foods. So I thought this was crazy to be honest. But having zero points foods is a game changer and has made following this program so much more manageable. There is a really long list of all the foods that have zero points, but the gist is that vegetables, fruits, beans, corn, eggs, fish, and chicken breast are all zero points. The reason these zero points even exist is because they are low in calories and have all the qualities that will fill you up.

    The truth of the matter is I will never be able to stuff my face with so much corn, beans, pineapple, etc that it becomes a caloric problem. WW knew what they were doing when they chose their zero point foods. If I find that I'm really hungry mid-day but I know that I need to save points for dinner, I can reach for a zero point food like a banana to feel full and not add any points to my day.

    3. The Community. I can't tell you how many foods I learned about from other people who are on the program. When you purchase your membership you can opt to go to meetings if you want. If you don't want to go to meetings you can still find a community on Instagram.

    We started following some people who post about the things they eat and their weigh-ins on Instagram and it's really great to see what other people are doing. People will talk about their favorite recipes and foods, things that have made them more successful or less successful and you can join in on the conversation!

    4. The Resources. WW has an app which I honestly could not live without at this point. With a touch of a button I can look up recipes and foods to see about their points. On the app WW actually provides you with recipes that they have created. There is also a barcode scanner so you can easily scan foods in the store and at home to see how many points they are.

    5. It becomes second nature really quickly. WW has made it really easy to understand the things we eat and what quantities of food your body needs. It really puts food into perspective. In about a month it became second nature to know what 4 oz. of meat looks like and how many points the foods that I ate the most were worth. While you'll always need to track what you are eating, it only takes about a month of commitment to really know what most foods are worth. And what keeps you full and what doesn't.

    6. There is a program that shows you what to do after you reach your goal. This is a really important thing that I think gets looked over a lot. If you are like us, when you've previously lost weight, you don't really care what happen after when you've actually lost it. You're just happy to now have to do the diet anymore. And that's where things go awry.

    When you reach your weight loss goal with WW, you will be a better place than when you dieted because you have spent the whole time changing how you eat. You won't be introducing restricted foods back into your lifestyle because you never took anything out. All you have to do is learn how to maintain your weight with the tools you've already learned. And WW will guide you on how to do that.

    7. It's really affordable. There are three different options to become a WW member. The most affordable option is $19.95/month and this gives you access to all of their digital resources. This is the program we both use. If you think you need a little more guidance, they have options for meetings and even for personal coaching.

    The WW program is great for people in all stages of life and it's easy to follow. And the best news is that it works!

    If you've been thinking about trying WW and want anymore information, feel free to reach out to us through e-mail, in the comments, or head straight to the WW website! Or if you are ready to join now, you can sign up here!

    And if you are interested in seeing what a week on WW looks like, download out FREE 7-Day Meal Plan below.

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      Gluten Free Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies With White Chocolate Chips

      October 17, 2018

      One thing I've learned since having Celiac Disease for over 10 years now is that gluten free desserts can be just as good as non-gluten free desserts. BUT GF desserts are almost always better when made at home. There is something about making a lot of gluten free stuff that causes bakers to be sloppy or something. I've purchased so many terrible and dried out gluten-free baked goods.

      When we were in Portugal, I had my first gluten-free croissant and I almost cried. It was flaky and delightful and tasted like a real croissant should taste. I really didn't think it was possible to have flaky gluten-free pastry foods. One day we will tackle the challenge of making gluten-free flaky croissants at home. In the meantime, we bring you a super easy cookie recipe that no one will know is gluten free. Even one of our pickiest friends who hate all things gluten-free love these cookies.
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      These cookies would be great if you have a bake sale or you have to bring a dessert to work or have some other event where you need to bring a lot of something. Even if you don't have to eat gluten free, one of the kindest things you could do is bring treats that don't have common allergies like gluten. I can't tell you how meaningful it is to me when someone considers and remembers me and brings something gluten free that I can eat.
      Also, as I'm sure you already knowing, one of the best ways to set yourself up for success on WW is to be prepared. We always make sure that if we are going to a gathering that we bring at least one or two options that are WW friendly and gluten free. That way we know that we can eat something and we have more control over our point situation.

      And if you are wanting to make these cookies with less points, you could leave out the white chocolate chips. I'm not going to lie though, the white chocolate chips take these cookies to the next level. The good news is these cookies aren't too bad on points as they are 3 points or one cookie. You certainly couldn't go nuts, but this would be a nice treat after dinner and won't blow your points.

      Funny story about these cookies- when Savannah first made them she used butter that had been hanging out in the fridge a lil' too long (and she didn't realize it). So she made this entire batch and they tasted like the fridge. Do you know what taste I'm talking about? It's hard to describe but if you've ever tasted it you'll know what I'm talking about.

      So she had to bake a fresh batch with fresh margarine and they were so delicious we gobbled them up before we could even get pictures of them. So we saved the refrigerator tasting cookies for the photo shoot. While both batches of cookies look the same, they most certainly didn't taste it.

      Yield: 32

      Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies With White Chocolate Chips


      • 1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
      • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
      • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
      • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
      • 1/2 cup Sugar
      • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
      • Pinch of  Salt
      • 1/2 cup Uncooked Old Fashioned Oats
      • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
      • 1/2 Cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light Spread
      • 2/3 Cup Shredded Carrots
      • 1 Egg
      • 1/3 White Chocolate Chips


      1. Add the butter, brown sugar, and sugar to a bowl and mix for 1 minute.
      2. Add the egg and vanilla to the bowl and mix until combined.
      3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
      4. Add the dry mixture into the wet and mix until combined.
      5. Add the oats, carrots, and white chocolate chips to the bowl and fold in gently.
      6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour.
      7. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for about an hour or longer.
      8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two or three baking sheets with silicone mats.
      9. Use a Tbs. dough scoop to scoop dough onto the mats.
      10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
      11. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before moving to a cooling rack or eating.


      3 WW Freestyle Smart Points per cookie

      If you are thinking about joining the Weight Watchers program, click here to learn more. And if you liked this post, please share the love by pinning an image from this post to Pinterest!

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        Mexican S'mores: A Delicious Twist On Campfire S'mores

        October 15, 2018

        Splurge alert! S'mores are universally loved and there are so many different ways you can make them. Years ago we had a friend introduce us to this amazing recipe. And I promise once you try these Mexican S'mores, you'll never want the original version again. Okay maybe not. They both have their place. But this version is less messy AND full of flavor.

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        Now you can fill these s'mores with anything you can imagine. Well anything that would taste good on a s'mores. Think nuts, any type of chocolate, your favorite spice, even try some Nutella! This is recipe we have below is one we make most of the time, and it's the core recipe for a true Mexican S'mores.

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          And these are extremely easy to make. Just pile your ingredients on the tortilla...
          And roll it up...
          like a burrito!
          Wrap in foil...
          so it all stays together.
          And throw on the fire. You could put these on the grill or in an oven, but an open fire is our favorite method. Sometimes it's 2 degrees outside and you want Mexican S'mores, so throwing it in the oven will do just fine. Basically you just need to melt the ingredients together. If you do use the fire, make sure you but it by a flame but not directly on it. The best situation is waiting until your fire has turned into hot coals. You get a faster and more even heat that way.

          Mexican S'mores Recipe

          1 Tortilla (Casey uses a gluten-free tortilla)
          1 tsp.  peanut butter
          10 mini marshmallows
          1 Tbs. white or milk or dark chocolate chips (we use white chocolate)
          A dash of cinnamon 

          1. Put all ingredients in the tortillas and fold it like a burrito.
          2. Wrap in foil and warm by the fire.

          Those that aren't on WW might want to add nuts, coconut, caramel, Nutella, etc. The options are endless! And tell your friends who are throwing caution to the wind and eating whatever they want that less is more. The instinct is to go nuts and load up your tortilla but trust us, WW or not, you don't want to go nuts. This is a very rich treat so keep in that mind when adding all the ingredients. Also, logistically you don't want to overfill and have an oozy mess on your hands. 

          This deliciousness comes to a total of 8 points. If you wanted to cut points even more you could use peanut butter powder and mix with water. 
          And we created a little video so you can see the whole process. On another note, we created a YouTube channel, so head over and subscribe to our channel for more yummy goodness in video form!

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