Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


Instant Pot Cinnamon Applesauce - No added Sugar!

If you are looking for an applesauce recipe without added sugar or sweeteners and yet is still extremely flavorful, I've got the gem of easy recipes to follow. The end result is slightly chunky but not too much chunk if you know what I mean, just enough to make you feel like you aren't six years old. The applesauce is very flavorful and goes well served over oatmeal or plain greek yogurt for breakfast or paired with a frozen yogurt for an easy low-fat dessert. 
This recipe makes a large amount of applesauce, for meal planning folks you can plan out a work week's worth of oatmeal breakfast with applesauce and still have a little left for a dessert or two. :)


- 7 pounds McIntosh Apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Place all the ingredients in the instant pot and stir so that the spices are coating the apples.
Cook on HIGH for 8 minutes with a quick release.


Instant Pot Recipe- Carrot Potato Soup (Vegan, Gluten-free, Whole30)

I've only just begun my love affair with the Instant Pot, but I can see why so many people have fallen head over heels for this kitchen gadget. It makes life a bit easier and I'm all for that!
For this recipe, you'll also need a blender or food processor.

This carrot potato soup is absolutely divine and you should make it right away. It will appease your gluten-free, vegan or Whole30 friends and even the ones who aren't any of those things will love it just the same. It truly is a delicious soup!

Carrot Potato Soup - Instant Pot Recipe (Vegan, Gluten-free, Whole30)
Serves 6

3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Half of a peeled and chopped large apple
Half of a large onion, chopped
7 large carrots, peeled and chopped into one-inch pieces
3 medium russet potatoes

2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 can full-fat coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Place the first five ingredients in the instant pot under the Soup/Broth setting and adjust the time to 8 minutes, allow it to natural pressure release. Once finished cooking, in small batches, use a food processor or blender to blend the ingredients into a smooth consistency. Pour each batch into a pot, add the remaining 4 remaining ingredients and stir well.
Garnish with a mint leaf and serve immediately.


Blended Families- Making it Work for the Kids

Picture of divorced family sharing a meal, two women and one man and two teenagers

I am divorced.
A long time ago I was married to a man and we had two lovely children together. Fast forward to today....I am married to a woman and together, all three of us, we are raising those children. We are what most people call a “blended family”. The road to where we are today has had moments of turbulence, but we have always made a point to put the children first.
It means that sometimes you have to take the high road, sometimes you have to let go, compromise or learn how to communicate differently. We’ve done family therapy and have had many long email discussions learning how to navigate this terrain together.

Right now we seem to have stumbled on something that is really working for our teenagers. We have a Family Meeting, once a month at a diner type of restaurant for a weekend breakfast. At this meeting we talk about what is going well for the kids, we listen to any concerns that they might have and we plan together how consequences will be carried out, at both houses, so that we can be consistent. We have a journal where at the end of the meeting I write down recaps of what we discussed and if there are any discussions that we have tabled for next month.

I highly doubt that any of the adults at the table actually look forward to this monthly breakfast. But we put on our kind faces, we share a meal and we talk and most importantly we show the boys that we are a team of parents, we are working together and love them endlessly.
This is what our untraditional, blended family looks like and we are making it work for the kids.


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