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Scattered Sundays

For the last 11 years, we’ve been having the same fight in this house. Me (to any of the multiple males walking around): “why did you turn on the hall light to walk to your room? There is a ton of natural light streaming in through the windows and you know where your room is”.

I think it’s dumb that they all turn on the light. I think it’s worse that they never TURN OFF THE LIGHT. Ever. They cannot walk into the hallway without flipping the light on, but somehow the reverse action is impossible to remember. It is maddening.

I finally told Troy I was going to hire someone to install solar tubes in the hallway. My dad has them in his apartment downstairs and they make a giant difference and they’re so much more water-tight and energy-efficient when you compare them to skylights.

Troy said he could install them. Our perceived timelines of when work should happen are usually very different, but I think only three weeks passed between the conversation and the installation of the first one. “We’re” going to do two total (it’s a long hallway) but there was only time to get one in this week.

Troy sent me a photo of the box from the hardware store that said “two-hour install” and we both had a great laugh about that. When it comes to home repair, absolutely nothing ever takes the time it says it should. I would say from set up to clean up, the one light took Troy ~five hours.

Just that one tube has already made a huge difference! I can’t wait to see what the second tube will do for the space. My friend asked if I thought this would stop the fights on the light switch and I said that it was a solar tube, not a magic wand.

2 photos of a hallway
Yeah sorry, I know the angles are different in the pic. My bad.

Last week I talked about some changes that were coming to the blog. Well, so far the big one (how recipe posts look) hasn’t happened. BUT, I’ve been working on something else this week that I think you all are going to dig.

Have you ever been reading a recipe online on your phone and had to scroll back and forth 1,921 times between the instructions and ingredients? Big giant PITA, right?

Until recently, food bloggers have really only had the option of typing in the ingredient measurements into the ingredients portion and then again with the instructions. It’s time-consuming and also a huge opportunity for things to be entered incorrectly, thus confusing the heck out of our readers.

But now…the recipe card software that I use has given us the option to “carry down” ingredients that we have already entered and it shows up in the instructions in the appropriate place. See:

a screenshot of a recipe with ingredients circled

Going forward all my new recipes will include the measurements in the instructions. Unless I forget, which hey, I’m human, so it’s probably going to happen. I’m now slowly going back and tackling my top 100 posts to add the ingredients into the instructions.

As you can imagine, it’s time-consuming but worth it. And maybe your favorite recipe isn’t in my top 100. That’s ok, just drop the name of it in the comments and I’ll make sure to prioritize it. And while you’re here, go leave a review on that recipe too. Please and thank you.

I got the stitches out of my noggin on Monday and I was so ready to be done with those itchy things! The removal took a lot longer than expected (just like home repair) due to the vertical nature of myself vs the medical assistant. I’m not going to say she was short, but um, she was short.

She had me sitting in an upright exam chair for the removal. When I realized that she was the same height I was in the 4th grade, I offered to let her recline the chair for the process. She declined, but then the poor thing struggled to get the leverage she needed to access the top of my head.

After 10 minutes she got all but one stitch out and finally had to call in another MA who was not fun-sized. He got it in out almost immediately. I’m still not sure why she didn’t just recline the chair, but it’s done now and I can shampoo with wild abandon!

“Alexa, what do you get for the telephone pole that has everything”?

Like most people, I had a pretty gnarly fast food habit in my teens and into my early 20s. One of my favorites was the Taco Bell Bean and Cheese Burrito. And “back in my day, they were only $.79”.

Every 4-6 years I get a craving to run to the border. And that craving started last Monday and I could not stop thinking about it. I tried to push it out of my brain because usually, the idea of it is 100% better than the reality of it.

After thinking about it for five days, I finally snagged one on Friday. And as expected, it was just ok. But the good news is I’m all set until 2026. And maybe they’ll improve the burrito a ton by then. Right? Nah.

Jack had soccer yesterday and we won! It was a gorgeous day for soccer – sunny and 55F in February – and it was a great game to watch. The boys meshed well together and they are starting to figure out how to play as a team. And Jack got another gorgeous goal from the outside left.

They were also supposed to have a game today from 3-4:30, but it got rescheduled due to “conflicts”. Which I think is a translation for “neither of the teams wanted to play during the Super Bowl”.

What I’m reading this week

I finished The Firekeeper’s Daughter and loved it. And, yes I was right as to who was behind part of the mystery. That was incredibly validating. Ha!

I started Empire of Pain which is about the Sackler family and their responsibility for the opioid crisis in the US and the world. I guess I decided I needed to be super depressed and angry while reading.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

Last year I listened to two episodes of Maintenance Phase because they were discussing Rachel Hollis. The episodes were interesting but I quickly forgot about the show. Recently, a reader on Instagram encouraged me to give other episodes a listen and I started going back through the archives.

The show covers “debunking the junk science behind health fads, wellness scams, and nonsensical nutrition advice” (source). It’s so interesting to listen to and the humor of the hosts speaks to me. Like 99% of my podcasts, it’s not for listening around little ears.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Long-time reader, Tina, left this five-star review on our Chicken and Bacon Risotto {Pin this recipe}:

This was amazing. I just wish I had done the bacon more. Next time I’ll fully cook it, not just the 75% the recipe says. Even with me being out white wine and throwing it together, it was AMAZING.

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

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

I’m telling you, these damn cheese curds almost led me to drinking. I have been working on this recipe for TEN months. Those crispy breaded aholes made me livid because I could not figure out how to get the breading to “fry” before the cheese would melt. So many swear words were said while testing this recipe over and over.

So what I’m saying is, these are TESTED and you better make them because it almost made me kick the wall.

Air Fryer Cheese CurdsThese ooey gooey Air Fryer Cheese Curds are so deliciously crispy. They use a baked breading method and are not deep-fried. No air fryer? You’ll also find stovetop methods in the post. {Pin this recipe}

a grey plate with air fryer cheese curds, parsley, and a bowl of dipping sauce

Steamed Apples With Cinnamon – this is an oldie but a goodie recipe that got a total glow up recently with new photos and updated directions.

Simple and sweet, these stovetop Steamed Apples are the perfect healthy comfort food. Cinnamon apples are sugar-free, vegan, paleo, Whole30 compliant, and freezer-friendly. {Pin this recipe}

cinnamon apples in a white bowl with an apple and cinnamon stick

Gluten-Free BrowniesThese fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies are the best homemade brownies you’ll ever make! So much better than a box mix, a batch of almond flour brownies are perfect for any dessert-lover. {Pin this recipe}

a hand reaching for a brownie on a baking rack

Air Fryer CabbageThis Air Fryer Cabbage is an easy and delicious side dish that is ready in a flash! Perfectly grilled and tender, cabbage in the air fryer is Whole30 compliant, paleo, and vegan/vegetarian. {Pin this recipe}

sections of air fryer cabbage on a grey plate topped with parsley

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

  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. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {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 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}
  5. Air Fryer Twice Baked Potatoes – this was a brand new recipe but it went bananas in some Facebook groups last week, rocketing it into the top five. {Pin this recipe}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: A new fast dinner recipe that I’m working on and am super excited about! (squeal) with salad on the side.

Tuesday:: Troy is making homemade pizza and veggies.

Wednesday:: A new Instant Pot recipe that I am testing out.

Thursday:: A new air fryer recipe that I’m testing out, with veggies on the side.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

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

Sunday:: Troy is making something. He just didn’t tell me what it was in time to publish this post. 🙂

What are you having this week?

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14 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. The new recipe format is going to be great! So much easier. I started reading Empire of Pain, and it was really painful. Took me about 10 months to get 3/4 of the way through. I gave up, there is no point getting so angry and irritated before bed.