It's time for a little TIDBITS Talk and a new, quite unique flavor of Crio Bru I think you're all going to love: Instant Pot Licorice Crio Bru. Chocolate and licorice together? Yes, it works!
Hello, all you amazing food lovers out there! How has the New Year been treating you?
I hope you're not only feeling some peace but perhaps even thriving in some area in life. Even if it's your amazing ability to chew through an entire pack of gum in a day – let's celebrate it!
It's crazy to think that it has been one year since our worlds fell apart. One year ago I was writing a post all about how my rockstar children handle a pandemic worlds better than I do. I don't believe I've ever cried, laughed, or loved deeper than I have in the past year.
Forgive me for avoiding that and other roller coaster topics today, because I've got a few things I'd much rather chat about, and a few life-changing products I've been dying to tell you about.
Note: If you're only here for the recipe, feel free to hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page and it will take you straight to it.
But first, since many times people who haven't been around here long will fall on these posts and wonder what in the world they just ran into . . .
Allow me a quick intro to the TIDBITS newbies:
Hi, I'm Marci, recipe creator on the TIDBITS food blog, and every now and again I need a quick break from talking about food to just chill and connect with my readers, whom I absolutely adore. I call these posts:
These posts help me feel more connected to you all and ultimately more excited to keep creating recipes that will create magical moments in your life.
I like to think of these posts as a “coffee date”, but since I don't drink coffee, I bring along a new twist on a Crio Bru recipe so we can sip on chocolate and chill out together for a bit.
What is Crio Bru? Well, basically my life-sustaining comfort drink.
It's also a hot, dark chocolate drink made of ground cacao beans that can be brewed similar to coffee beans. Except, from my experience, it tastes 1000% better made in the Instant Pot, which is why I'm constantly coming up with new flavors to share with you. If you want to know more, check out my most basic recipe for Instant Pot Crio Bru.
Alright! Now that we have all of that cleared up, let's unleash all the things I've been wanting to talk to you about since 2021 began!
IMPORTANT ITEMS OF BUSINESS FOR TODAY
- Reader question: Do you follow other blogs? If so, what are your favorites, and what's your favorite recipe from them?
- Who thought I could be a parent plus resources that have saved me
- Songs to lift you up
- My latest tool for managing anxiety
- Help my poor hands
- Uplifting shows for kids – do they exist?
- My favorite new finds – the end of the toothbrush battle, journals, etc.
1) READER QUESTION
“Do you follow other blogs? If so, what are your favorites and what recipe should I try from their blog?”
I became very giddy with this question because I find food blogs more entertaining than anything else on the internet! I have a list of blogs I've followed religiously for years and a few that I've started following just recently.
Mel's Kitchen Cafe: The first blog I ever followed, and she continues to be an inspiration to me. Mel's heart is so present in everything she does. She has a way of making you feel like one of her best friends even if you've never met her (which I did at a conference once and just about peed my pants with excitement). It's ridiculously hard to pick a favorite, but my favorite recipe from her site has to be this Chopped Chicken Cashew Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing. It is insanely good and I bring it to every family get-together.
Pinch of Yum: Lindsey's passion for food and life, in general, comes through in everything she does. Her blog posts are straight-up entertainment. I read them even if I have zero interest in the recipe just to get a good laugh. Hands down my favorite recipe is this Socca Bread with Whipped Feta and Tomato Salad. I ate it weekly all summer while my tomatoes were growing.
Well Plated: Erin has a gift for turning calorie-laden food into healthy versions that taste every bit as good. I've learned many tricks from her over the years and owe a lot of my “healthy cooking” skills to her. My favorite recipe from her site is this Harvest Cobb Salad. This was the recipe to get me over my “I don't like butternut squash” phase. It's incredibly good.
Pressure Cooking Today: I owe my pressure cooking obsession to Barbara. She was one of the first bloggers to post Instant Pot recipes when there really weren't many available, and I continue to learn so much from her and her daughter Jen. My family's favorite recipe from her blog will forever be this Pressure Cooker Cinnamon Roll Steel Cut Oats. My kids cheer when they see this.
Foolproof Living: Aysegul was born and raised in Turkey and I am so inspired by her food, photos, and kindness. I met her briefly at a conference, but it wasn't until a year later that I fell in love with her blog. Love just pours from her every word. I just adore her. She bakes only with natural sweeteners which is something I've needed to learn this past year. For Valentine's Day I made these Almond Flour Brownies and they were absolutely delightful. Fudgy, intensely chocolatey, and they didn't leave anyone feeling sick (like other brownie recipes do to me and my son).
I could go on, but we've got more to talk about! If you want to hear more of my blog favorites plus favorite recipes, let me know and I'll continue this on my next TIDBITS Talk.
Picture taken at a blogging conference with some of my blogging buddies back in 2019 when “gathering” was a thing 🙂
2) PARENTING IS HARD
I'm not looking for sympathy or compliments. I'm not complaining or wallowing in self-pity. I'm just here to say, Wow, parenting is hard, and who thought I was capable of this tremendous responsibility.
My husband and I joke that maybe the neverending infertility treatments we went through years ago were supposed to be our sign that we were hopelessly incapable of parenting, haha! Well, we didn't listen, so we got twins 🙂
I will forever be grateful to Covid for revealing to me the challenges my son was facing daily at school. I had no idea the intensity of his struggle until I became his teacher when his school closed down last year.
I hesitate to give too many details out of respect for him, but the journey to helping him overcome his challenges has been the hardest thing I believe I have ever faced in my lifetime. 2021 has proven to be the most intense of his inner fight yet, and it has pushed me to grow harder and faster than I thought I was capable of.
I'd like to be one of those really strong people who say “I'm grateful for this trial”, but I'd be lying. For now, I'll just say that I'm intensely grateful to teachers, friends, doctors, and other experts who have been at my beck and call whenever I needed them. I hate asking for help, so this has humbled me greatly, because it became very obvious to me that I simply couldn't do this one on my own. It was a hard lesson on “people need people” that I really needed.
In this journey I've discovered resources I think every parent should have.
Starting with this Positive Parenting Solutions Course. This course is soooo easy to go through and it is the most loving, respectful, and effective parenting advice I've ever come across. This course should be part of every labor and delivery package for parents everywhere. I've been going through the lessons over and over since my daughter was two years old (8 years ago!) and I'm so grateful to have that knowledge in my parenting tool kit.
Now, for anyone out there with a strong-willed child with intense emotions that leave you feeling completely helpless, I'm going to recommend The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Before you buy the book, you might want to take a stroll through this page – Live in the Balance: Walking Tour for Parents to get a feel for his approach. I dived into this method for one child, but it has become my go-to approach for all of my children. If you feel like you don't have time to read a book and just want to watch and learn his system live, I highly suggest Ross Greene's 2 Day Virtual Training Workshop. There are classes coming up in April. I'm not going to lie, it's pricey, but I will never be the same. It has given me hope, it has given my son confidence and new skills, and above all, it's brought peace back into my home. I receive no kickback for telling you about this and I wouldn't normally recommend something so expensive, but for the chance that there is a lost mama, daddy, teacher, principal, or caregiver out there, I couldn't help but tell you all about it.
Both of these websites focus on teaching and empowering children so that they might grow up to be thoughtful, loving, considerate human beings. Hallelujah for that!
To end on an uplifting note to make sure I'm not sending any soon-to-be parents into Fear Land, while there is nothing harder than watching the suffering of your own child, there is also no greater joy than watching them thrive and overcome. You will become your best self by caring for a child in whatever capacity that might be in. I believe that with my whole heart.
3) SONGS TO MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD
Okay, enough heavy stuff! Want to dance around your kitchen and joyfully squeal like a carefree child? These songs will make you feel like that:
- Thank you One Voice Children's choir for your latest songs Dynamite, Try Everything, and Anyone. I'm not ashamed to say I love listening to this choir just as much as my kids.
- Also doing their own A Cappella version of these songs is Vocal Point: Dynamite and Anyone. Just try and not listen to these 6 times in a row.
- Thank you Lauren Daigle for helping me drag myself out of my closest and face life with this incredible song Trust in You.
- Finally, our other favorite: George Ezra Shotgun – so fun!
4) YOGA – WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE?
My sister Cami invited me to do a 30 day Yoga with Adriene challenge in January. I said, “Heck no, I can't take on one more thing.” The following week proved to be one of my most anxiety-ridden yet and I came crawling back to her on December 31st saying, “Where do I sign up?”
Oh, friends, I feel like heaven just dropped me a lifeline with this new discovery. Many of you are probably already Adriene fans, but this was completely new to me.
Did you know that breathing should actually feel nourishing and calming? This has not been the case for me. Ironically this FREE 30-day Challenge was titled Breath and I am begging each and every one of you to start it NOW. Don't overthink it or postpone it one second longer. I haven't felt this kind of calm or experienced this deep of breath in over a decade. Do it!
5) HAND CREAM RECOMMENDATIONS
Please tell me someone out there has a miracle hand cream! I can hardly even bend my fingers without earning myself a new split. My kids are going to grow up thinking wearing gloves 24/7 in the kitchen is normal, haha! My daughter pulled out a pair of gloves the other day to cut up an apple and I thought, “oh boy, she's ruined”. Heaven forbid we touch an apple! I've really loved these Hand Masks (amazing!), but I'd like something that doesn't require me to have my hands gloved and greasy for hours.
The ever-present blue/purple gloves, haha! My hands would die without them.
6) UPLIFTING SHOWS FOR KIDS
You know that dreaded moment when you hear your kid talking like a selfish, bratty teenager and wonder to yourself, “Where in the world did they learn that?!” Oh, right, it's the sarcasm-laden kids shows they watch on the Disney Channel. I like these shows because they're clean and innocent, but I'm not such a fan of my 8-year-old son calling his girlfriend a “Hottie” or my 10-year-old daughter talking to me in acronyms. Any uplifting suggestions for movies, documentaries, or TV series would be greatly appreciated!
7) NEW FIND FAVORITES
Now for one of my favorite sections in our little chats: MY FAVORITE NEW FINDS!
If I could make a living on product testing, I'd be in heaven. I absolutely love coming across life-changing products, and I've got some good ones for you today!
Auto Brush: To preface this, I've spent 6 years battling my son about brushing his teeth. My life changed overnight with the arrival of this genius toothbrush. I can't promise this life-changing moment for everyone, but I have literally not had one toothbrush battle or toothpaste mess in 2 months now and I could cry myself a river of relief. The Auto Brush fits over all of the teeth which cuts brush time down from 2 minutes to 30 seconds. (However, I still have them brush for at least a minute because it makes me feel better). It also has lights on it that claim to help heal gums and kill germs. The downside is they are more expensive than a standard toothbrush so if your child does a great job at brushing, I wouldn't bother. But if you're one toothbrush battle away from losing your sanity, GIVE THE AUTO BRUSH A TRY! They run deals off and on to watch for, but you can also get 5% off your order with the code TIDBITS.
New Nutpods Flavor! I adore this unsweetened, dairy-free creamer and the newest flavor is SO YUMMY! I've been enjoying a bowl of raspberries with Coconut Macaroon creamer over top for the past 2 weeks – you need to try this out! My other forever favorite is Hazelnut – Duh-REAMY! Use the code MARCITIDBITS to get 15% off your order. Also, these freeze-dried grapes are my favorite treat/snack ever (I have to hide them from the kids so they don't eat half the can).
Big Life Journal: Have you heard of these journals? I want to hug whoever came up with these. I got one for each of my kids for Valentine's Day. The journals provide writing prompts to encourage “Growth Mindset” thinking, which basically means seeing your mistakes as opportunities to grow instead of proof of inadequacy. I was worried my kids would roll their eyes at this, but they are DRINKING-IT-UP! I've been saying similar things for years, but apparently, it took someone else's voice to really drive it all home. Thank you Big Life Journal creator! You are doing incredible things!
Beanilla Vanilla Beans: This isn't a new product of course, but I wanted to give you guys a heads up that the prices of Vanilla Beans have come down A LOT! I spent almost $300 at Christmas time to buy a pound. At the time of writing this post, that price is nearly half! (Don't hate me if the price goes back up without me knowing when you read this. I'll keep watch, but I'm not perfect!). You can get an additional 7% off by using the code TIDBITS as well.
Now that I officially have nothing left to discuss until our next TIDBITS chat, let me introduce my newest Crio Bru flavor invention . . .
INSTANT POT LICORICE CRIO BRU
What do you think of that flavor combo? Does it scare you? Excite you? How about intrigue you?
I'm honestly not sure if licorice and chocolate are a known flavor combo yet, but OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is yummy.
Take a sip and then just sit with it for a second. You're going to get hit first with the deep, dark chocolate flavors, then a few seconds later, the natural sweetness and cooling effect of licorice will hit you. Your first thought will be, “That was weird” followed by, “No, that was amazing!”
I love it so much, I can't wait to hear what you think of this one!
If you've never made Crio Bru in the Instant Pot before, refer to this Basic Crio Bru recipe for more details.
The only difference here is you're going to add a bag or two of licorice tea (Stash brand is my favorite of all time). Easy peasy and oh so pleasing.
Thank you, my friends, for being here. I love to hear your stories, thoughts, and recommendations! I can't wait to hear from you!
Talk to you soon!Print
Instant Pot Licorice Crio Bru
Deep, dark, Instant Pot Licorice Crio Bru is soothing, invigorating, and perfectly cozy for any time of day.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 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)
- 1 bag of licorice tea (I like the Stash brand)
- Add Crio Bru grounds, water, milk, and maple syrup (if using), and licorice tea bags to the pressure cooker pot. Note: if the tea has a paper tag on the string, remove it before adding to the pot.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 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, creamer, or a Frozen Whipped Cream Dollop
- 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.
Keywords: Instant Pot Drink, Crio Bru, Chocolate Drink
Welcome! I’m Marci, wife to my motorcycle dream man and mother of 3. I have a passion for creating and cooking delicious masterpieces in my kitchen and am ecstatic to share my discoveries on TIDBITS! I like my food tasty, wholesome, memorable, and always, ALWAYS followed by dark, salty chocolate.