It’s officially the weekend and time for this week’s Seven for Saturday!
1 ~ Instant Pot Class at Ramekins
In last week’s Saturday post, I mentioned I’d be taking an Instant Pot class at Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma. This was their second Instant Pot class – the first was such a big hit, they decided to do it again!
The Instant Pot class was a demonstration class rather than hands-on. I think a hands-on class with a couple dozen students would have been confusing for the class and the instructor. I was delighted to watch, learn, take notes and taste the finished products! And I even got to assist Hollie in making the wild rice dish.
Chef Hollie took us step-by-step through making a delicious selection of dishes in the Instant Pot. First she showed us how to make a whole cooked chicken that would later be used to make Chicken Pho with Spring Veggies and Brown Rice Noodles. Each table of 3 to 4 students was given a plate of garnishes and sauces to add to the pho once it was served to us.
Chef Hollie also made a One Pot Tarragon Chicken and Mushroom Wild Rice, Parmesan Fennel Gratin, and for dessert she made Strawberry and Chocolate Bread Pudding.
We tasted generous servings of everything she made. I loved every dish! I am inspired now to use my Instant Pot in more ways than just plain shredded chicken breasts and yogurt, which I make almost weekly.
I have a frozen whole chicken I am going to IP next week and I am craving that Parmesan Fennel Gratin. It is absolutely delicious!
Thank you, Ramekins and Hollie for another fantastic class! If you’d like to take a cooking class at Ramekins, check out their class calendar. They offer a wide variety of classes – some demonstration and some hands-on – throughout the year.
Do you have an Instant Pot? If so, what are your favorite dishes to make?
2 ~ Dog Hair Control
While I was learning how to make new dishes with my Instant Pot, Bill was out looking for a cordless vacuum cleaner to help us combat our endless amounts of dog hair. With four dogs – two that have a seemingly limitless supply of fur – we needed something sturdy, reliable and strong.
I bought a cheapo brand on Amazon over the holidays that stopped working in less than three months time. I returned that one and then went about looking for a replacement. I asked friends on Facebook what they recommended and I got some great answers. The overwhelming brand recommendation was Dyson, either the Absolute or the Animal models.
After Bill dropped me off at class, he went to look at the Dyson cordless vacuums at A-One Vacuums in Santa Rosa. He is friendly with the owner and trusts him for vacuum advice. Bill ended up getting the Dyson V-8 Animal and had installed it in our pantry while I was Instant Potting.
We love it! It’s quieter than our other machine and much more powerful. It comes with several attachment pieces for cleaning walls and baseboards, furniture and more. The only thing it’s missing is a front light. Our Golden Retriever’s fur is hard to see against our light tile. But that’s my one and only complaint. Other than that, we think is it 100% worth the price.
3 ~ Tori is Home!
My youngest stepdaughter, Tori, is here visiting for a few days. After completing her bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State last December, she moved to Oregon the day after Christmas to start a new life with her boyfriend. This is her first visit home since moving and to say I am excited to see her is a giant understatement!
Since she left, we redid her room and made it into a guest room. We also redecorated the existing guest room and that is where she is staying until she leaves early next week.
I bought some fresh tulips for her at Whole Foods and finally put my light box to use, making her a welcome sign. She loved it!
She visited her grandfather in Marin yesterday with Bill then the three of us went to Sonoma for Mexican food and ice cream cones. She’s here until early next week and then we’ll get to see her again next month for her brother’s wedding. Yay!!
4 ~ New Side Table
Along with redecorating our two guest rooms and the living room, I am also putting the finishing touches on the office. I bought this reading chair a few months ago and felt it needed a side table. I looked and looked for something simple – never an easy task – and heavy enough that it wouldn’t wobble on the carpet. I also wanted it to be bright white. I found just what I wanted and was thrilled when it arrived earlier this week.
The office is almost complete. I wish I could ditch the dark beige carpet for some light hardwood floors. Someday! But for now, the carpet has got to stay.
5 ~ Bingo and Beer
Bill went to San Diego for five days for a conference and just got home late Thursday night. While he was away, his younger brother and his wife, my sister-in-law Debbie, invited me to go with them to Bingo at Crooked Goat Brewing at The Barlow in Sebastopol. I have not played Bingo in decades.
It was so much fun! I wish I could tell you one of us got to call “Bingo!” but that would be a lie. We had a great time anyway and I love the blackberry beer at Crooked Goat.
When was the last time you played Bingo?
6 ~ Dress Shopping
I love dresses. I just can’t get enough of them these days. My preferred dress has a midi or maxi length with a sleeve of some sort. Comfort is a must and I don’t want anything too form fitting. No body con happening in my closet anymore!
I have been shopping online lately for a dress to wear to my stepson’s wedding which is in less than a month. I found this cute dress – a maxi (midi on me because I am so tall) with a pink floral print and a boho vibe. It has darling ruffles on the bodice and hem and it’s a faux wrap – a wrap without any fuss.
I’m not sure if I will wear it to the actual wedding – I have a few other dresses to consider first – but I am keeping it and plan on wearing it often this spring, summer and into early fall.
Here I styled it with my favorite hat from Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley, some patent leather ballet flats I bought in Portofino, Italy many years ago and my Louis Vuitton clutch.
7 ~ Whole Foods Beauty Brunch
This morning Tori and I are going to Whole Foods Market in Coddingtown for an exclusive Beauty Week Brunch. Several local influencers, including me, were invited to pick their favorite beauty products at Whole Foods and they are currently being featured at 6 local Whole Foods locations in the North Bay.
These products, and many others, will be on sale during Beauty Week which is March 21 – 27. Customers will get 25% off all cosmetics and facial care products. This includes environmentally friendly and cruelty-free brands, such as my top favorite brands – Mineral Fusion, Dr. Hauschka’s, Cocokind – and many more. Pre-orders for facial care, hair care, and cosmetics begin March 13th.
Today’s brunch will include mimosas, make-up tutorials, veondor demonstrations, gift bags and information about Whole Foods Market beauty quality standards. Doesn’t it sound fun? I will be posting Instagram stories during the brunch event so be sure to check them out!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Clicking on them may result in my earning small commissions but has no impact on the prices of the products. The Instant Pot class at Ramekins was complimentary in exchange for coverage. The Whole Foods Beauty promotion is sponsored. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.