Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Late last week we got some really exciting news! After weeks of practicing with the local select soccer team, Jack was one of six new boys who made the primary roster for the spring season! He is joining a team of 11 boys who have been playing together for a few years.

In late fall 2021, the select team opened practices to kids interested in trying out select for the next year. Enough kids came out, and enough kids from the other team moved on, that they fielded a new temporary team for January-May 2022. THAT is the team Jack made.

What I do know is that it’s free until May and that is my favorite price. 🙂 I’m new to this whole year-round/select/travel team life. But, from what I understand, official tryouts for the team happen in May. The kids who make that team will be the official team for May 2022-May 2023.

2 stuffed kitties

Hmmm…who could have borrowed my phone when I wasn’t looking?

Jack got his booster on Friday afternoon and our family’s 5G coverage has been FANTASTIC. 🙂 He had a strong reaction to his second shot in June, so I made sure his booster was on a weekend to give him a chance to just feel crappy and hang out in his jammies if needed.

The truth of the matter is, almost everyone I know has Omicron or has had it. It’s pretty gnarly and contagious. My favorite infections disease expert (seriously, what world is this that we live in?) likes to say “catching a super contagious disease is not a moral failing. But it would be great if you don’t do things that make it easier to catch it”. Basically, keep masked, wash your hands, etc.

And two years into this it feels weird to still have to say “Be good to each other”. Support friends and neighbors when possible. Drop off food, offer to run an errand. Treating others with kindness and grace, even when it feels off, does a lot to soften hearts. Grace upon grace – that’s what we need for each other right now.

a kid in a cat mask at a desk

Looking at local ‘rona/Omicron numbers/staff shortages/student absences, I figured that we’d be switching to virtual school soon. I really think kids belong in school as long as it is safe, but you can’t argue with the fact that extreme staff shortages mean you cannot safely run a school. 

Our district ended up canceling school for one day this week and one day next week. Honestly, it’s fine. This isn’t March 2020 and I will not strange my kids (this is my new mantra). Our district is treating it as snow days – there is no virtual learning and we’ll extend the school year by two days. And I think that is exactly the right call because virtual learning blows for everyone.

a white computer desk

Upgraded my cardboard box laptop stand to a real one!

I took Bennett, AKA Mr. Snotty Nose, to his doctor on Monday. The original intent of the appointment was to get a note for his school to keep on file that basically says “this child has allergies”. No, I’m not interested in getting permission to send him to school sick. But if he sneezes a few times, I feel like I don’t want anyone too stressed.

The side benefit of the appointment is that his amazing pediatrician, whom I love, was getting better guidance around his allergies. Bennett always has a dry cough while he sleeps, wakes up, and needs to clear his throat for a solid hour. One look in his throat and his ped saw epic amounts of snot in the back of his throat. Hence, all the coughing/throat clearing. Poor nugget.

His doc thinks that most oral allergy meds are ineffective, and recommended Rhinocort, a different over-the-counter nasal spray than we had been using. And naturally…it’s sold out EVERYWHERE. I’m sure Joe Rogan talked about it as a “cure” for scurvy or something stupid like that. Grrrrrr.

I finally tracked down a generic version and it arrived on Friday. His ped said we should see a difference within a week or so, and I’m so hopeful. And if it works, I’m going to start using it too because it feels like my seasonal allergies went from impacting me April-June to now being all year long.

And real quick, before someone recommends it, YES we have covers on all our bedding, pillows, etc. All are laundered often, stuffies are cleaned, air ducts have recently been cleaned, etc. Troy is allergic to dust mites so this is definitely not our first rodeo. It’s why I pushed so hard for wood floors in all the bedrooms too.

And speaking of stuffies, Bennett’s bed was getting ridiculous. He is a child who LOVES cozy soft things and there was no longer room on his bed for an actual human. For Christmas, I bought him this stuffed animal hammock from Etsy and we can once again see his actual comforter on his bed. That link to Etsy is not an affiliate link, and please go support small business owners!

a kitchen with lots of veggies on the counter

I had been trying to find time to make a bunch of soup veggie freezer packs for over a week. My to-do list never seemed to get smaller and the veggies kept getting ignored. When Jack had soccer practice on Thursday, Troy took the boys and I stayed home to do veggies. Ain’t no party like a soup veggie prep party. Cause a soup veggie prep party don’t stop.

I used my ancient food processor and made enough sliced carrots and celery, and chopped onions to make 4 batches of soup. I shared stories on Instagram about how I use the slicing blade on my food processor to do the carrots and celery. I saved them as story highlights in my “recipes” tab if you want to see all that super exciting action.

Having the veggies ready to go to throw into the Instant Pot or slow cooker for quick soups is like an edible insurance policy. I can whip up a quick batch of Gnocchi Soup, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Instant Pot Lentil Soup, or Ravioli Soup with ZERO “day of” chopping.  That’s HUGE!

As I shared in my stories, some of my favorite meal prep tools are my food processor, Stasher bags, Zip Top bags, Souper Cubes, this giant measuring cup/bowl, and these silicone lids that I accidentally bought a few years ago but now I never want to be without them.

And, of course, if all this meal prep talk gets your hot and bothered (totally normal), check out my Prep Once Cook Twice workbook that provides you with FIVE weeks of detailed meal plans, shopping lists, and recipes. Five weeks!

lots of chopped veggies in silicone bags

What I’m reading this week

I was in this weird bubble where nothing on my hold list at the library was available for download. So I browsed the “available now” section and came across Sooley by John Grisham. I can fly through a Grisham novel in a few days.

After his first 10 novels, I felt like his books became literary frozen pizza – it gets the job done, it’s always enjoyable but is nothing to write home about. With that in mind, I LOVED this book. Loved it…right up until about page 45. Then I hated it until the last 20 pages.

I fell hard for the characters. It is the story of Samuel Sooleymon, a teen from South Sudan who goes to play basketball in the US. Things happen back home (no spoilers) and the novel navigates his journey with college in the US and his basketball career. 

Something else I loved about the book is that 99% of the heroes in the story are African or Black Americans. Usually, books written by white authors end up portraying the hero as a “white savior” (cough The Help cough). But not here and it was very refreshing. I loved seeing that shift.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

I binged Sweet Bobby on Thursday and Friday and it is a banana pants story of a woman who was catfished in the UK. It’s only six episodes and they’re all absolutely bonkers.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Shawna made our Air Fryer Orange Chicken {Pin this recipe}, and I love when someone makes a recipe the same week it was published! She left this lovely five-star review:

Got an air fryer for Christmas so I’m trying alllll the things. This is my fave so far! Delicious and crispy, not soggy or gummy at all, which is usually my problem with homemade orange chicken. Such a good recipe! 

Air-Fryer-Orange-Chicken-3

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Air Fryer Texas ToastThis homemade Air Fryer Texas Toast is an easy and delicious side dish that is ready in a flash! Perfectly cooked in the air fryer, you’ll love this delicious and crispy garlic bread. {Pin this recipe}

a bowl of air fryer texas toast topped with chopped parsley

Instant Pot French Onion SoupA big bowl of Instant Pot French OnionSoup is simple, delicious, and so comforting. This cozy soup is packed with your favorite flavors and is ready in less than half the time as making it on the stovetop. {Pin this recipe}

a small black ramekin with instant pot french onion soup topped with bread and melty cheese

Air Fryer TofuCrispy and easy Air Fryer Tofu is a speedy weeknight dinner. Packed with flavor this crispy fried tofu is the most delicious vegan or vegetarian recipe you can make in under 30 minutes. {Pin this recipe}

air-fryer-tofu-11

Whole30 Chicken SaladFilling and so delicious, you’re going to flip over this Whole30 Chicken Salad! Creamy and crunchy, you’ll love it served on a bed of greens or scooped into an avocado. This paleo and keto chicken salad recipe also has a mayo-free option! {Pin this recipe}

A glass bowl of whole30 chicken salad with avocado on a grey plate

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

That delicious Fudgy goodness has finally dropped off the top five. I’m not quite sure what took it so long, but who am I to judge? The reign is over, and the air fryer recipes are dominating.

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! On, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Home Fries – these potatoes are seasoned with a homemade ranch flavoring and DAYUM they’re delicious. {Pin this recipe}
  3. 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}
  4. Air Fryer Appetizers – because eating a few different appetizers and calling it dinner is pretty rad. {Pin these recipes}
  5. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {Pin this recipe}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: TBD. The boys were supposed to spend the day with my inlaws, but we should know by now to never make plans. B has a snotty nose and they’re not going. At least we now know better than to tell them ahead of time when good things are about to happen.

Tuesday:: A new air fryer recipe that I’m testing that will be on the blog in March! Instant Pot Garlic Rice and salad on the side.

Wednesday:: Troy is making my Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with veggies.

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

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Troy is making his famous burgers, tots, and salad.

Sunday:: TBD. Depends if I need to photograph a recipe or not.

 

What are you having this week?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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

8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Wow just opened my Christmas gift to myself the Cosori large air fryer!  Now I know that I just reheated some tiny tacos but boy did they come out great! I can’t wait to make a meal in there.  It’s huge compared to my other one that I had that was tiny.  What a difference.  Thanks for recommending it.

  2. Checking out your laptop setup. Have you ever considered an external monitor? I believe they are pretty affordable (my employer supplies mine so not sure) and as someone who works on a computer all day I absolutely could not live without it. 

    • I had one at my office desk when I worked it corporate and it was nice. But I have to move my laptop around the house about 3-4x a day, so constantly hooking and unhooking it would be a PITA.

      My desk is in our bedroom. I get up much earlier than anyone else in the house, so my laptop and I start the day at the kitchen table (unless Troy is at work). And if Troy comes home from a shift and it was a rough one, he naps in our room. So, back to the kitchen table or somewhere else for me. My laptop and I are nomads. 🙂

  3. Our numbers are bonkers too but Jefferson Parish (next door to Orleans) is flat out refusing to go virtual due to a BB gun incident resulting in a lawsuit last year. Omicron has been circling us too so much so that I feel like I’m in Jaws (dun dun…dun dun… dun dun).

    • I saw a meme that said “not having covid yet feels like I’ve been standing at the back of a middle school game of dodge ball for 2 years and now the crowd has really thinned”. Yes, this!

      I also recently read an article about people feeling relief when they finally get it because they’ve had the idea of it hanging over their heads for so long. And I 100% understand that mindset! For most people, Omicron is mild. So if you’re going to get it, it’s a better strain to get. Of course, if you’re immunocompromised or an essential worker, it’s never a good time to get anything!

      Stay safe, my friend!

  4. Ok, so question, how do you write your to-do lists? On a piece of paper? On a Word document? On your Notes on your phone? I need to find a consistent system to keep mine updated. Any input is good!

    • I kick it old school on a notepad (kinda like this but they’re only $3 at the store). I put all 7 days on one page and list out what I need to do. If you want to email me, I can send you a photo of how I set it up.

      Troy and I also share a google calendar on our phones because I was sick to death of being the only one responsible for remembering birthdays, when soccer practice was, etc.