Photo by Flickr user rpavich
Having a pressure cooker was never high up on my wishlist of kitchen appliances. Then I read this NY Times article about the pressure cooker Instant Pot and decided to get one. All I have to say is wow. It can cook fall-off-the-bone meats in less than an hour. Steel cut oats in 20 minutes. Real mac and cheese in 5 minutes. I’m really amazed by it. What is your favorite kitchen appliance? Do you have an electric pressure cooker? If so, what are you going to make with it for Thanksgiving?
Earlier this week we learned about a house fire in Moraga that unfortunately not only resulted in loss of property but a life as well. What ended up localized to one house could have ended in a far bigger disaster as the recent Napa/Sonoma fires have shown. With evacuation potentially minutes away for those nearby, a go bag with essentials is critical. Not to mention irreplaceable, sentimental items. If you had five minutes to evacuate your house do you know what you would bring? Do you have a go bag?
I happened to be very close to the fire below when I got a call from a neighbor at 5 o’clock in the morning. I looked outside and saw a police car in my driveway. I helped get my family outside, sprayed the yard with water, grabbed a backpack but froze at what to bring so besides a laptop I left empty-handed. The heat could be felt intensely as we watched firefighters battle the blaze across the street, just yards from our homes. There was one particular nerve-racking moment as the winds shifted toward us when I overheard a firefighter ask about evacuating nearby houses. That was when a police officer told us to leave the area immediately. I pointed out that the police car was in my driveway and he replied I could walk. And so I walked. Not far, and sometime later the fire was brought under control and we breathed a sigh of relief. Being so close brought home the importance of a go bag and what irreplaceable items to take. I’m going to starting writing down a checklist…
Photo by Flickr user pasa
Having an elementary school-aged child means I always have someone to get a milkshake with. Dangerous, I know, but what can I say, I have a sweet tooth. Our go-to spot is San Francisco Creamery in downtown Walnut Creek. It’s casual, plenty of seating, and the shake itself is great. Of course, I’ve never met a milkshake I didn’t like, and it’s fun to hang out there chatting about superheroes and the likelihood of aliens visiting Earth. Where is your favorite spot to get a milkshake?
Although I’m settled down now sometimes I wonder what it would be like to move somewhere new. If you had the opportunity to relocate where would you choose to live? Would you move somewhere more urban or rural? Another Bay Area city? Leave California completely? Years ago, before I moved here I considered Portland. I wonder what my life would be like had I moved there instead.
Photo by Flickr user web-stark
This month has been a terrible time with numerous wildfires raging throughout Northern California. The air quality throughout the Bay Area has been awful, with various events being cancelled such as Oktoberfest in downtown Walnut Creek. I’ve heard from friends and coworkers of families who lost homes and those who had to evacuate to other cities. It’s a sad situation up in the North Bay. How have the NorCal fires affected you?
The Safeway Foundation is hosting an in-store fundraiser for the affected communities and GoFundMe has a page listing various fire relief donations one can contribute to. Check out the page here.
There are so many interesting podcasts out there, lately I’ve been listening to Origins with James Andrew Miller, about Larry David’s Curb your Enthusiasm show which I’m enjoying. What are your favorite podcasts?
Earlier this week we learned that Porcelanosa Kitchen Bath showroom is opening soon in downtown Walnut Creek. Premier Bath & Kitchen opened a few blocks away earlier this year and Douglah Designs expanded their showroom late last year in Lafayette. With all these new kitchen/bath showrooms opening up, are you in the process of or planning on remodeling anytime soon?
This week we learned that Baygreens Gourmet Salads is coming to downtown Walnut Creek and Lettuce is expanding a few blocks away. A couple of years ago Veggie Grill opened up nearby. What is your favorite vegetarian restaurant?
Photo by Flickr user ektogamat
The other night I stopped by CVS to pick up something and while waiting in line I noticed a middle-aged man with a big bag of potato chips and a six pack of beer waiting in front of me. As someone who has experienced digestive issues I imagined him eating this when he got back home and cringed. Then I noticed he also was buying a big tub of TUMS and I felt really bad since I think eating TUMS may be masking issues he may be going through which may lead to serious consequences. When he then reached for a bag of M&Ms at the counter… Of course he may have bought this to share with his family throughout the week, who knows? It made me wonder what unhealthy habits I could work on. Like getting off my butt and walking around more instead of sitting in front of my desk all day at work.
What unhealthy habits do you have?
Photo by Flickr user furniture-san-antonio
With the brutally hot weather we’ve been having the past few days it seems like it would be worthwhile to have air conditioning. On the other hand it does cool down quite a bit at night and the heat waves seem to only last a few weeks through the summer. Compared to growing up on the east coast where humid summers were the norm with no let up at night maybe having air conditioning here is overkill. Do you have air conditioning or are planning to get one in the future?