Tag: favorite things

Christine’s Favorite Things: Instant Pot


Guys. This thing. Get it.

And right now, for at least this week, it’s on sale at Amazon for $68.95. That’s about 50% off its usual price tag of $119.95. (And even at that full list price, it would be worth the purchase).

The instant pot is all these things:

  1. A pressure cooker
  2. Rice cooker
  3. Slow cooker
  4. Sauté/browning pot
  5. Yogurt maker
  6. Porridge maker
  7. Steamer

The pressure cooker function (followed by the sauté function) is what I use most. I am SCARED of conventional pressure cookers. HOT EXPLOSIONS: nope no thank you. But this thing makes pressure cooking what it is (fast, efficient) without the primordial fear of having to REMOVE THE TOP OFF OF SOMETHING FILLED WITH BEYOND BOILING CONTENTS. It’s the BEST.

I noticed the Instant Pot first when a friend kept mentioning her instant pot on Facebook. WHAT IS IT, I asked.

I hesitated–because you know: pressure cooker. SCARY. But then I started imagining EATING.

And while I love reading instruction manuals (really, I do)–the instructions for this thing fit on one page. Like, you hit “soup” for your soup contents. Or “stew” for your stew contents. You adjust for time. Then you wait for the thing to beep and it…just…starts. And it’s amazing.

So far, I have made the following things (in a span of 3 weeks):

  • Korean braised short rib stew (aka galbi jjim)
  • Braised oxtail stew
  • Chicken soup
  • Chicken jook
  • Beans
  • Bean soup
  • Korean sullungtang soup
  • Stock. Lots of stock.

All under an hour. I don’t know about you, but when I want to eat, I WANT TO EAT NOW. I also don’t want to mess up more than one pot. And while I love love love braised meat, I’m really not into waiting four hours while a meat braises.

It’s winter now–and so I appreciate warmth in the house–but in the summer, I like imagining using the instant pot and NOT having the house turn into a heat ball. Because all the heat is CONTAINED in this appliance. If I lived in the dorms or a small apartment with a tiny kitchen, this thing would be a core necessity–it relieves stress off the stove and makes it so you can make a great meal in one receptacle. Even though I’ve got a full kitchen, this thing has become such a core part of our household cooking.

For more recipes, I highly recommend nom nom paleo (scroll down to the pressure cooking /instant pot section).

Feel good.
Eat good well.

Christine’s Favorite Things: Poo-pourri

I was at the park with my friend C, telling her about how matches don’t quite cut it in the bathroom. I mean, I went into more details, but I don’t want to throw the members of my household under the bus here on the blog.

“Poo-pourri,” she said.




It’s a clever spray product–you spray the product into the boil BEFORE you go. All the fragrances have a citrus oil base that coats the water in the bowl and then basically kills the smell of poop. Also, the packaging is cute and not at all industrial looking, even though it’s pretty industrial strength.

We’ve tried everything in our household to hold off the odor in the bathroom. We had a lavender air fragrance that would just mingle with the effluvium, such that I now no longer like the smell of my previously beloved smell of lavender. Same with roses. We’ve used matches galore, but the smell of sulfur drove my daughter nuts.

Poo-pourri is as effective as lighting a match, but WITHOUT the smell of sulfur dioxide. I think it’s even better than a match, because instead of poop, you smell lemons. It really works.

My friend C owns a housewares shop in Berkeley.

Do you carry it? I asked.

“No,” she said, “but I could.”

And she did. It’s now my go-to spot for restocking Poo-pourri (I like the original scent, but all of them are fabulous, with awesome names like “Ship Happens” and “Potty On.” Check out Ellington and French for poo-pourri products. They’re an official “Poo-tique.”

I can’t recommend this product enough. Poo-pourri is amazing.

Feel good.
Smell good.