Happy weekend and welcome to this week’s Seven for Saturday! 🌸
1 ~ Spring has Sprung
Last Sunday Bill and I had some time off together so we decided to head to nearby Landmark Vineyards for a picnic with the dogs since the weather was so gorgeous and sunny.
We love Landmark. Not only are their wines fantastic – mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – but the grounds are beautiful and full of flowers. There’s a pond, a bocce court, a big lawn and lots of seating for guests. We love the laid back vibe too and the staff are friendly and helpful.
Coco and Daisy had a great time running around, sniffing everything and rolling in the grass. They sure loved being outside in the sunshine.
I wore my new waist tie shirt (already sold out) with cropped jeans, booties and my favorite hat. I like the waist tie shirt trend because I am so long waisted, it shortens my waist and helps make my legs look longer.
Later that day, we went to Salt & Stone – a new restaurant here in Kenwood – for dinner. It had cooled off quite a bit so I added an Alpaca wool wrap to my outfit.
I’m not sure the weather will stay like this until summer. I bet we have at least one more cool and possibly wet stretch of days before the warm weather is here to stay. And that’s okay by me! I love cool weather and rain.
Has spring sprung where you live?
2 ~ New Instant Pot Dishes
I finally got around to cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot. It was so easy and turned out moist and flavorful. Per the instructions from Chef Hollie Greene at the IP class I took at Ramekins, I washed and dried the chicken, the stuffed it with a few smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 a quartered onion pieces and a few lemon wedges.
I slathered the bird in a mix of olive oil, salt and pepper. While I was doing that, I heated up the IP on high on the sautée setting. Once the IP display registered as HOT, I placed the chicken in the pot. Hollie recommends trussing the bird but I didn’t have any twine on hand so I used my hands and some tongs to get the chicken in and out of the pot.
I placed the chicken, breast side down, into the pot and let it cook for about 6 minutes until browned and easy to move. I had a bigger than normal bird so I left it a minute longer than Hollie suggested. I flipped it over and did the same on the other side.
I removed the chicken to a dish, then added a cup of chicken broth and the trivet. I placed the chicken on the trivet and sealed the lid. I cooked it for 25 minutes on high manual pressure. When it was done, I let it naturally release.
Before I removed the chicken, I took its temperature. It was into the 170s so I was good to go. But I wanted more browning on the skin so I popped it in the oven on 450 for about 10 minutes.
It was moist and delicious! I loved that the onion flavor came through, though very subtly. I saved all the bones and skin and will make a bone broth today.
In other IP news, I used a pork tenderloin rather than a Boston butt to make carnitas and it was so lean and delicious! I loved that I didn’t have to pick through all that greasy fat. You don’t get the richness or as much flavor when you use tenderloin but sure do like the absence of grease.
3 ~ Taste Testers
Our friends who own The Tri Tip Trolley will soon be opening a restaurant very close to our house (as in we can walk there!) called TIPS Roadside. Bill and I are so excited as we love the great dishes and sandwiches they serve from their food trolleys.
Susie and Andrew will be opening their restaurant later this spring and are working on putting the final touches on the menu. Bill and I were invited to be taste testers and enjoy a special menu tasting last Monday evening at TIPS Roadside.
What a treat to test their wonderful food! My friend Lynn Abaté-Johnson was there too with her sister. Andrew gave us all a tour of the property. It is going to be so beautiful and such a fun place to go with friends.
We were treated to a phenomenal meal. Each entree was introduced to us by Chef Thaddeus Palmese. I won’t go into details about the food since the menu isn’t finalized yet, but let’s just say everything was spectacular. Bill and I are a little worried about our waistlines and our bank accounts – we are going to be spending a lot of time there!
4 ~ On my Nightstand
I am so pleased to be back to reading for pleasure daily. I finished Manhattan Beach a couple weeks ago and still think about that book frequently. It’s the sort of read that stays with you. I shipped it off to my mother in North Carolina who is a voracious reader. She read it right away and also loved it. We chatted on the phone yesterday and talked about the characters and storyline. Maybe my mom and I should start our own long-distance book club!
I have started my next book, one my mother sent me last year. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith was written in the 1950s and is the novel the movie Carol was based on. Highsmith also wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on a Train and many other novels.
Have you read any of these books?
What books are on your nightstand?
5 ~ Trashion Fashion
You may recall last spring I modeled two dresses made with recycled and cast off materials on the catwalk for the Trashion Fashion Show in Sonoma. This fun and colorful annual event is not only entertaining but it puts the spotlight on recycling and reducing waste.
Nora Russo, my friend and the artist who created the two dresses I wore last year, is creating another masterpiece for me to show off on the runway next month. I have not seen what she’s made for me to wear yet and have my first fitting next week. I can hardly wait to see it!
If you live locally and want to attend either or both of the shows (the evening show always sells out) on April 14th, visit the Sonoma Community Center for tickets and more information.
6 ~ Getting Ready for a Wedding
My stepson, Ryan, is marrying his fiancee, Hayley in a week! I am so excited for them and can’t wait to celebrate with our family and Hayley’s. It’s not a formal affair so I am packing a couple wrap dresses and jackets for the weekend.
To get ready, I had my hair freshened up at Dolce Vita Salon in Santa Rosa. I asked Kimberly, my hairstylist and owner of Dolce Vita, to add a few more highlights since spring is here. I love my lighter look!
Next week I will have my lashes filled, have my first professional pedicure in a long time, pack my bags and go!
7 ~ Stella Carakasi Sale
Stella Carakasi is one of my very favorite clothing lines. I have been working with this Bay Area brand for four years and love not only the clothing but the people behind the brand.
This year, Stella Carakasi changed from a traditional retail model to Direct to Consumer. You can read more about this change in a blog post from Stella.
This means lower prices for us consumers and a greater focus on core values including using more sustainable materials and a commitment to slow fashion.
This weekend take an additional 20% off their entire stock with code SPRING20. Hurry, it’s only valid until the end of today, 3/31/18, at midnight, PST! ***Update! Sale extended until midnight, April 1st!
Here are some of my favorite spring items from Stella Carakasi that I have had hanging in my closet for quite some time.
*Programming note: Chances are I won’t have any new blog posts up until after the wedding. I look forward to telling you all about the special day in a future post in April. I will be posting on Instagram, however, if you’d like to see photos from the weekend.
Happy Easter to those of you celebrating!
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.