Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I have been highly disappointed with the current season of Yellowstone. Too many cow-tages (montages with sooo many cows), too much Jimmy (I only care about Jimmy when Rip is making fun of him), Beth is next-level intense, and there was simply not enough Rip.

The storyline has been boring and I find myself zoning out during most episodes. But I do have three shows to recommend that Troy and I are both loving and I think you might enjoy them too!

First up – Station Eleven. I read this book in May 2020 (terrible timing) and absolutely loved it. The writing was gorgeous and the series is SO WELL DONE. Seriously, it’s one of the best new shows I’ve ever seen. It’s not for everyone as it covers the first 20 years after a pandemic wipes out 99% of the population, so…

Very few of the actors are well-known, but everything is well put together. Troy didn’t read the book and now he wants to, given how much he likes the show. He keeps saying “this is soooo good”.

Next up, Jim Gaffigan has a new special on Netflix. We love Jim Gaffigan, and it’s a family tradition to listen to a few of his stand-up specials via Spotify on road trips. I’d say 98% of his content is family-friendly, and the boys get a good giggle when he ends up saying something “risque”.

And finally, we joined the 2000’s and started watching Luther. I had been trying to get Troy to watch it for a while, and finally, during a lull in our other shows, he said he’d give it one episode to test out. At the end of the first episode, he immediately pressed play on the next one.

First off, it’s Idris Elba. Do I need to say more? Also, it’s a British cop procedural, which is not only in my wheelhouse but totally in my heart.

a boy on a couch

Who has new kitty paw socks and was super excited to go back to school? THIS GUY!

Growing up, I spent years suffering from intense leg cramps and shin splints. They would wake me up at night and make me scream in pain. My parents would make me eat a banana (I can’t stand plain raw bananas) and I’d use Ben Gay arthritis cream (like ALL the cool 8-year-olds), but nothing really helped.

I now know that my leg cramps were likely due to dehydration and a deficiency of potassium and electrolytes. My parents were at least on the right track with the banana! 

We dodged this childhood rite of passage with Jack, but it seems that Bennett has inherited my leg cramps. And they had been waking him, and thus me, up multiple times a week. We’re now on a pretty consistent evening routine of him drinking a cup of coconut water between 6:30 and 7 pm.

Coconut water is basically nature’s Gatorade in that it is packed with electrolytes and other good stuff. So, all the benefits of Gatorade, but without the sugar and dyes. Since we’ve been on this routine, his leg cramps have been almost non-existent at night. And when we forget, I get a nice little 2 am wake-up reminder. 

He let us know that he gets them at school too. I checked with the health room and he has visited the office with complaints of leg cramps. Since coconut water isn’t medication, his school has graciously allowed us to store some in the health room without a doctor’s note.

I’m ALL for modern Western medicine; I think it’s rad. But I’m also down with trying natural things to see if they work. Sure, we could probably get his potassium tablets and some prescription cream for his legs. But the tasty pee from coconut works great! 

a boy at a table with a stuffed animal on the floor

“Bennett, draw me like one of your French Uni-kitties”.

This was a really slow and boring week. I had my head down with work, and school was delayed multiple times for snow/ice. We finally got some rain/warming temps last Sunday and with so much torrential rain, *most* of the snow melted. We never saw a plow come down our side roads. Ever.

It rained so hard on Sunday and Monday that we ended up with flooding from the rain + melting snow. And then it froze all over again late Monday night, which made the Tuesday morning drive one for the record books. Not sure if my butthole has actually unpuckered yet.

a drawing of a stuffed animal

I have a small update on the new med that my dermatologist recommended. Are you like “omg, are you talking about acne, AGAIN”? It’s been about three weeks of using it every three days. It’s very drying on day two after use, but it does seem like my skin is getting more used to it. 

The medicine is supposed to take a full 50-80 days to see results, and maybe it is wishful thinking, but I think I do see some already! I’d say that my skin seems to be ~25% better than before. When it’s not dry, my skin tone is much more even. New breakouts are almost non-existent, and the scars do seem to be lightening a teeny tiny bit.

a side profile of a woman in glasses

This is terrible lighting. That’s how you know this is definitely an unedited photo.

During our 10 days of brutally cold temps (not sure how some of you do it all winter long), we wrapped the chicken coop in a tarp (our neighbors LOVE US) and kept a heat lamp going 24/7. Our coop is built for mild winters, which is our normal. Almost 50% of it is “open-air” with hardware cloth as the walls. Hence the klassy tarp.

Even with the heat lamp, I had to go out and thaw the water every 2-3 hours during the day. And yes, we could rig up a water thawer thing (<—I’m sure there is a technical term for this). But, it really only impacts us for maybe two weeks a year. At the most. 

The chickens didn’t venture out of the coop for almost five days. These PNW chickens are not built for snow. They kept up their normal amount of winter laying, which is 2-4 eggs per day. Chickens naturally lay fewer eggs when daylight is fewer than 10 hours. That’s why spring and summer and peak “egg time”.

One morning, I heard the girls up and walking around the coop around 4:30 am. I thought that was odd since chickens naturally roost until sunrise, even in a coop, as a defense mechanism from predators. But these girls were up and ready to party almost 4 hours before sunrise.

I finally realized the light from the heat lamp was messing with their natural sleep cycles. Even with the light being red, they were getting all mixed up with their daily schedule. Thankfully, unlike a toddler after a time change, I didn’t have to deal with cranky sleepy chickens.

Speaking of chickens, we are hopefully getting three more in early summer. We’re always looking to add to our flock…well, Troy would like me to clarify that it is me who is always looking to add to the flock. But, with his allergies, we cannot raise chicks in the house and always rely on the kindness of others to raise them for us to maturity.

A lovely micro-farming family who also sells at our farmer’s market agreed to raise three for us this spring. We’ll pay them for their trouble, of course. Two of our girls are now eight years old. Our giant alpha chicken, Poo Poo Sandwiches (AKA Satan’s chicken) is so old, I swear I can hear her make the dad noise every time she moves.

Given that we run a Golden Girls set up for our chickens, many hang around long after they stop laying. They still do a great job breaking down garden and food waste and pooping up a storm to make compost for me. But even if they didn’t, they’re still welcome to live here until they cross the rainbow bridge.

Our current flock is numbered at 11, unless hell gains a chicken soon (aka, Poo Poo Sandwiches dies), so 3 more will put us back at the highest number of chickens we’ve ever owned. Honestly, once you have a few, it’s all basically the same. Just more poop and more food needed.

The joy of new chickens is naming them! Ours run the gamut from silly (ahem, Poo Poo Sandwiches), to themed – Kylo Hen, Baby Yoda, and Ooteeny (the sound ewoks make). At least we have a few months to think up some new names. 🙂

a drain chain that is iced up

What I’m reading this week

The Ugly Cry is so hilarious and tragic at the same time. The antics of the author’s grandma make me laugh and cringe and I want her to have her own show. But the rest of the book is also really sad and heartbreaking. It is a memoir and I have been engaged the entire time.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Angela left this five-star review on our Chicken and Bacon Risotto, a recipe that I (not at all humbly) feel needs A LOT more attention because it’s so dang good and simple! {Pin this recipe}

I might live with the pickiest kids on the planet so I’m always looking for new things to add to the menu rotation. This was an easy recipe to follow. Prep took me a little longer because I’m inept with a knife and I go slow to keep my fingers intact. But, this was freaking delicious, the children ate it without complaining, and it was EVEN BETTER the next day for lunch. Plus it’s a bowl full of comfort. This is a win!!

Instant-Pot-Chicken-and-Bacon-Risotto-2

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Air Fryer Orange ChickenMake the best Air Fryer Orange Chicken with this easy and delicious recipe. A tangy flavorful homemade sauce pairs well with the crispy and tender chicken. Serve over rice for a fantastic speedy homecooked meal. {Pin this recipe}

Air-Fryer-Orange-Chicken-2

Whole30 Soup RecipesThese Whole30 Soups are the easiest way to get a fast and delicious compliant dinner on the table. Packed with flavor (and veggies!), these 16 dairy-free, gluten-free, and Whole30 soups are perfect for any time you need a tasty and quick meal. {Pin these recipes}

9 photos of whole30 soups

Instant Pot Beef TipsSuper easy and incredibly tender these Instant Pot Beef Tips and gravy are cozy comfort food that your family will love! No pressure cooker? Don’t worry, I have slow cooker instructions for you too! {Pin this recipe}

cropped-instant-pot-beef-tips-2.jpg

Homemade MayoMake the creamiest homemade Homemade Mayo in under two minutes! Skip the sketchy ingredients in store-bought mayonnaise and whip up a batch of from-scratch mayo today. {Pin this recipe}

homemade mayo in a blue canning jar with a lemon bowl of salt, and rosemary on a white board

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

It seems like everyone is still “playing” with their air fryer (affiliate link) Christmas present because air fryer recipes were still front and center this week!

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Pretzel Bites – one of my favorite air fryer recipes of all time! And these beautiful bites of dough are freezer-friendly too. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Appetizers – because eating a few different appetizers and calling it dinner is pretty rad. {Pin these recipes}
  4. Air Fryer Home Fries – these potatoes are seasoned with a homemade ranch flavoring and DAYUM they’re delicious. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Old-Fashioned Fudge– super shocked this post is still in the top 5. It’s got to be the final week, right?! {Pin this recipe}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: Troy is making burritos, garlic rice, and veggies.

Tuesday:: Testing a new air fryer recipe + veggies.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity.

Thursday:: Troy is grilling chicken, making cornbread, and veggies.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night. And Jack gets his booster!

Saturday:: Homemade quiche with leftover ham (we chopped and froze it after Christmas) and salad. The quiche is basically a large version of these mini quiches. Same recipe, just a bigger quiche.

I also already have pie crust in the freezer. I use this recipe but use all butter. It makes A LOT of pie crust, so I separate it into 4 balls (snicker), wrap each one in plastic wrap and then freeze them in a bag.

Sunday:: Instant Pot Lasagna soup + veggies cause we have everything we need.

 

What are you having this week?

Shop this Post:

(may include affiliate links)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

16 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. My husband and I started Season 4 last night…I said Why isn’t Rip going to find Beth? Why hasn’t Rip asked about Beth? Why is NO ONE wondering where Beth is? Why did it take over 50 minutes to show Rip WITH Beth?!

    To which my husband looks at me and says “It’s a TV show…I don’t think you’re supposed to over think it this much” (haha) to which I replied “I know but seriously….why didn’t Rip find Beth!?

    So far it has held my interest but Kayce’s wife is my “Jimmy” They could show her less and I wouldn’t care

    • And Beth’s wardrobe when she came out of the building made me cringe. So so dumb.

      I don’t mind Kayce’s wife…but I’m sitting here realizing I don’t know her name. So she must not matter much to me! HA

      • Her name is Monica. LOL…We just finished the season last night. Spoiler Alert and stop reading if you’re not done yet…..

        1. AMEN on too much Jimmy! Good Lord….so much Jimmy
        2. I spent a few episodes being scared for Lloyd and mentally thinking “f$$$$ing Walker many times
        3. John Dutton had some epic one liners and had me literally lol’ing a few times
        4. Kayce’s storyline….snore. Aside from the first episode where he got his revenge he was meh with a side of blah

        Coming in Season 5….Jamie’s epic mental break down….that guy….Beth should have ended him.

      • Oh, we’ve totally finished it. Also, I forgot Monica’s name after I read it in your comments. So yeah, I guess she is Jimmy in my eyes too. 🙂

        I started the season hating Jamie. Now I hate Jamie and Beth equally. Also, as the owner of VERY stringy hair, I can say that someone from hair and make up needs to comb Beth’s hair more between takes. Poor lady!

  2. Current season as in season 4?? Does that mean they all live??????? I was finding the series rather slow and watched for the scenery but was shocked by the end of season 3!

  3. Ohhh. Think I’m going to add the orange chicken to the menu this week!

  4. Aw, your son’s drawing melted my heart. Love your chicken names. We get through the cold winters in the Northeast by complaining incessantly ; – )

  5. I made the ground turkey with butternut squash chili. I was a bit skeptical because the ingredients were unusual to me, but it turned out to be the best chili I’ve every tasted!!!! SO GOOD! It’s my go-to chili from now on. (I bought a container of pre cubed butternut squash for easy addition.)5 stars

  6. Your menu sounds delicious- and now I need to add your orange chicken to my menu but since I have meal planned for the rest of January, I guess it will be a February thing. I decided to meal plan for January and yesterday my husband grumbled that it felt restrictive like a preplanned school lunch menu…oh well…I’m trying to control our food spending and reduce food waste. I did ask what he would change and had nothing to say…he did enjoy appetizer dinner last night and your air fryer recipes will inspire some of our future appetizer dinners which I planned in about once per week. 

    Sunday Jan 9- roast chicken with preserved lemons, roasted vegetables, homemade bread and a pear dessert of some kind
    Monday Jan 10- chicken noodle soup, garlic bread, fruit plate
    Tuesday Jan 11- Mediterranean fish with wilted greens, quinoa, salad, fruit
    Wed Jan 12- baked spaghetti squash, meatballs, salad, breadsticks, fruit
    Thurs Jan 13- garlic chicken thighs, roasted vegetables, rice, fruit
    Friday Jan 14- pizza night (maybe homemade this week)
    Sat Jan 15- shepherd pie, fruit plate, homemade dessert of some variety 

    • Here is what I could recommend to “ease” into meal planning. Plan meals for the week, but you don’t necessarily have to assign each meal a day. Do your prep/chopping on a day that makes sense for you, but be flexible on when you eat the food. Some days we are just NOT feeling the meal that is planned for that day and will flip to another meal meant for later in the week.

      I love pear desserts! I hope it was delicious.

  7. I’ll have to check out the tv recommendations! My then-four year old daughter named her new Americauna chicken Rainbow Poop Butt. Cause she poops rainbow eggs. I mean, I get it. And I snickered. But now her 12 year old self is totally offended when I tell others about it. Oh well, that’s life said the Gen X mom.