Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

Do you remember a few years ago when the batteries from the iphone 6 were discovered to be faulty and they’d wouldn’t retain a charge no matter how long you had it plugged in?

That’s how I feel right now. Like there is no amount of sleep that will ever help me feel rested. My battery will not recharge or stay charged.

I had a super productive week this week because the kids were back in school. I was CRUSHING my to-do list and even patted myself on the back on Wednesday afternoon because I was an entire week ahead of schedule for posts.

When will I ever learn that the second I’m ahead of schedule, something will happen? Every single time. I get ahead and then a kid gets sick. Or something else. I’m why I can’t have nice things.

I logged in to my site on Thursday to make that day’s post live, only to realize none of the changes had been saved. And Saturday’s post was just gone. Poof – like it never existed.

I checked the media library (how I upload photos to the blogging software) and saw the photos were there. It was my only proof that the work had ever existed. Without that, I’d think the blogging software was gaslighting me.

I do all the right things – I save as I go when working on stuff. I have a really good tech company that manages the backend of my site. And yet, everything failed and six hours of work went down the drain.

My unchargeable batteries were already at 2% by the time this happened. This tech nightmare made everything go right to 0%. I wanted to scream, cry, eat Nordy Bars, and finish watching Bad Vegan in my jammies.

But, that wouldn’t have accomplished much. Other than an extreme sugar crash by 1 pm. Instead, I went for a walk in the rain, came back, and tried to salvage the day the best I could. Besides, I was out of Nordy Bars. 🙂

I stayed off my site for the day so that the tech wizards could keep working on it, so I started working on drafting posts in a Word document. Around 3 pm PT they sent me the good news via email that they had found all the details in some magical vortex of (insert nerdy words here).

Logging back into my site, I realized that the recipe cards were all missing. The recipe cards are the portion of the post where you can click to print the ingredients, instructions, and notes. Recreating them took about an hour, but I’m thankful that the post content didn’t need to be started over from scratch.

I know it’s fun to joke about “we don’t need your life story, just give us the recipe”. Any current food blogger worth their salt is no longer writing 500 words about picking apples with their family before you even get to the details of the recipe.

But the information that most of us put in our posts is meant to be helpful for the reader. A blogging expert once explained it in a way that said “give readers the tools to make the recipe like you were there in the kitchen alongside of them”.

We want you to have success and sometimes that can’t be condensed into just a printable recipe card. We don’t spend six hours adding details to let you know how to freeze leftovers, what to serve with the dish, or including gluten-free substitutions because it is fun for us.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk about how to support creators who are giving you free content! Please take a Nordy Bar on your way out. 🙂

a coat covered in pollen
Spring soccer practice = warm coat covered in pollen

A few weeks ago I polled my readers/followers on Instagram about their favorite cleaning products for deep cleaning the fronts of kitchen cabinets. After a year, and so many sticky boys in this house, it was time to give our cabinets a good scrub down.

Side note: am I the only one who washes my hands before opening cabinets/drawers while cooking? I know for sure I’m the only one who does it in THIS house. Do I have a quirk? Or is it the fact that I know I’m the one who will be deep cleaning them?

I had been using my normal homemade cleaner but there were just some stubborn spots that I could not remove sticky/greasy fingerprints. And it’s been driving me bananas.

Anyway, I got lots of great suggestions and multiple people told me tips they learned on a cleaning account from Go Clean Co. I’m so grateful to be introduced to other cool people who are big fans of cleaning. I mean, awesome non-nerds attract each other, right?

A few of the suggestions I received:

  • Powdered Tide and a sponge (this was nixed because I cannot come into contact with ANY form of Tide, even the free and clear kind, or I will break out in itchy bumps)
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (seemed a bit too abrasive for cabinets?)
  • Simple Green (not opposed to it, but since my family used it for EVERYTHING growing up, I know it will smell like the 80s)
  • Liquid Mr. Clean – the original
  • Something from the Dollar Store that I can’t remember the name of.
  • Vinegar, water, essential oils, and baking soda (this is what I had been using with little effect)
  • Blue Dawn mixed with hot water and applied with a scrubby sponge.
  • Dawn Power Wash

In looking at all the suggestions, one thing they almost all had in common was that I’d have to buy something new to try. And believe me, I’d be happy to purchase something if I knew it was going to work. But to gamble and then be stuck with something ineffective was not ideal.

Last year I had bought a bottle of Dawn Power Wash. I had seen people using it on Instagram and loving it, so I thought it would be great for our air fryer basket. It was a big fat fail for me, but I do know that people are huge fans of this stuff.

Since I already had it, I decided to give a shot. And…it was a huge success! I’ll walk you through how I used it, but I’m sure there are other effective ways too.

The Power Wash is a really thick foam that comes out of a trigger nozzle thingy. Since it is so thick it won’t run down the fronts of the cabinets, which makes it ideal for this task.

I’d lightly spray the foam over the cabinet faces and then let it sit for 15-30 seconds. I’d wipe it off with a really damp and hot clean rag. Sometimes it took a few times to wipe it all off depending on the size of the cabinet. After that, I’d wipe the cabinet with a clean dry cloth.

On an extreme cleaning high at this point, I tackled the oven. I used the Power Wash on the inside of the oven window. Again, I let it sit a bit and then used a scrubby little sponge and a lot of elbow grease to get the window super clean.

an oven being cleaned

I also used the Power Wash on some greasy spots within the oven. Even with the scrubby sponge and multiple applications, it did a nice job but wasn’t some miracle “wow” improvement. I definitely had to scrub hard and still didn’t get the oven totally clean.

My opinion is that the Power Wash gets an A+ for cabinets, a B- for the oven, and an F for the scent. I freaking hate the smell of it and was scared that the food I baked in the oven would take on the scent. Thankfully, it didn’t.

A few readers messaged me to let me know they love Power Wash and that there is a scent-free version I should check out. I think this bottle will be with me until 2024, so check back in two years and I’ll let you know if it’s any good. Ha!

I will say that I went through A LOT of washcloths in the process of doing all this. And I noticed that when I washed them with our other towels, I had to do two washes and a cold rinse just to get the smell of Dawn out of them.

multiple cartons of eggs on a kitchen counter.

In the Garden This Week

The lettuce plants and strawberries have been transplanted and nestled into their spring beds with woodchips. It’s hard living for a baby plant when the weather is wonky and it keeps hailing in a very unseasonal way.

lettuce in a raised bed covered by plasti

The strawberries are now hardy enough to be out uncovered. But the lettuce is still too young and tender to be exposed overnight. I cover them with plastic sheeting attached to our DIY “hoop tunnels”. You can see a tutorial on how I built them for a few dollars in the middle of this post.

an arm covered in scratches

I also finished up clearing out the raspberry bed of last year’s canes that were dead. Half of our canes had new growth on them, so I cut off the dead ends (like a haircut) and threaded the canes back up through the wires attached to the raspberry trellis.

The mini drawf apple trees and our lilac bush are putting out flowers and my front yard smells amazing. Each time I walk outside, I breathe deeply, give thanks for the ability to grow things and then sneeze my face off.

apple blossoms on a tree

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

I started a series called Sympathy Pains, and ohhhhh buddy, it’s wild. Y’all know I love listening to bonkers stories of scams and this one does not disappoint.

From the website: For 20 years, Sarah Delashmit told people around her that she had cancer, muscular dystrophy, and other illnesses. She used a wheelchair and posted selfies from a hospital bed. She told friends and coworkers she was trapped in abusive relationships, or that she was the mother of children who had died. It was all a con. Sympathy was both her great need and her powerful weapon. (source)

What I’m reading this week

I finished up The Vanishing Half on Tuesday and while I loved the book, I have super mixed feelings about the ending. It seemed like the end of a chapter and not the end of an entire book. That being said, the story was beautiful as was the writing

After that, I picked up The Paris Apartment, by the same author as The Guest List and The Hunting Party, two books that I very much enjoyed. This new book is a hot mess and I’m hoping it gets better.

I’m so disappointed since the first two books were just fantastic. But this one is like college Freshman creative writing level meh. I’m just going to get through it and that’s that.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Jenn left what might be my favorite five-star review of all time on our Gluten-Free Tomato Soup {Pin this recipe}:

Storytime: Our house is a house divided when it comes to tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich night. My husband is a big supporter of the toasted cheese and “real canned tomato soup”, while I am a butter both sides of the bread and grill that sandwich and have it with the most fake orange soup with the mushiest rice in the world. It is about nostalgia for both of us and we have even had conversations about what we will end up giving our future children when neither of us would budge. The answer: this soup. The smokey paprika adds amazing flavor and the baking soda is the answer to all of my issues with adding sugar to tomato soup. My husband loves how fast it is and said it would be a great staple in the regular soup rotation. Thank you Sarah for helping to end this 11-year stalemate.

a white bowl of dairy-free tomato soup on a white board with tomatoes and fresh parsley

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Honey Simple SyrupLearn how easy it is to make your own Honey Simple Syrup for mocktails, cocktails, iced tea, and lemonade. You’ll love the amazing flavor of honey syrup in your drinks. {Pin this recipe}

a pint canning jar with honey simple syrup on a white board

Sugar Free Barbeque SauceA delicious smoky homemade Sugar Free Barbeque sauce that is perfect for ribs, pulled pork, chicken, or even veggies. This tasty Whole BBQ sauce is vegan and free of refined sugar. {Pin this recipe}

a jar of whole30 bbq sauce with garlic and parsley

Drying OreganoDrying Oregano is a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple! Learn how to dry oregano in a food dehydrator, via air drying, in the microwave, or in the oven. {Pin this tutorial}

a measuring spoon with dried oregano on a dish.

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. Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice – so easy and so comforting! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs – this post is always popping (that’s what the cool kids say) around big food holidays and Easter Sunday was no exception! {Pin this recipe}
  5. How to Freeze Spinach – I can smell spring in the air when this post starts climbing the ranks! {Pin this tutorial}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: Breakfast dinner – testing a new breakfast recipe that I’m super excited about!

Tuesday:: Sheet pan steak with gnocchi and veggies. It’s going to be a busy night so I’m winging it with what we have in the freezer from our Butcher Box order.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business on our way home from a cross country meet.

Thursday:: Troy is making his delicious grilled chicken, drop biscuits, and veggies.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD. We have a tball game and a busy day of running around.

Sunday:: Another breakfast dinner for yet another breakfast recipe that I’m testing.

What are you having this week?

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.

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. Sorry you had a tech nightmare. I have been following your blog for a few years and you are an amazing, rockstar blogger! Know that you have a lot of people who love what you do and who hope you feel recharged soon. Hugs from afar….

  2. I once moved into a 20 year old trailer, the original fridge had not been moved in thoe 20 years. It had a 4″ thick carpet of matted pet hair and gooey kitchen funk that still mkes me gag 30 years after the fact. I poured an entire bottle of PineSol on it and let it stew for about an hour. I hope the earth will forgive me or the number of paper towels I used, but every single bit of that disgusting sludge came right up. Sudsy Amonia works well on greasy messes and it doesn’t take a lot.
    PS I agree with the Sarah that commented about your blog abilities, yours is the only blog I follow, but I am inveterate reader and I know good writing. I enjoy the humor, integrity, care, and the attention to detail that you bring to your work. I think you are a Rock Star!

    • Do you remember the “PineSol lady” from the commercials? Maybe in the 90s? She would make me use PineSol! I bet that clean-up was disgusting but so freaking satisfying.

      So kind of you to say, thank you!

  3. You are the best damn blogger I know and losing content especially when trying to do alll the other things you do-that stinks. I wish I could give you an extra, super strong external battery pack to boost you up. Hopefully these words help a little…

  4. One of my favorite and best cleaning tips is to use a microfiber cloth. Those things have a texture that can cut thorough the crud with nothing stronger than dishwashing liquid in water. I got a bunch pretty cheap from Amazon, and also from a store around here called Harbor Freight. Then you just throw them in the washer, no fabric aoftener, and hang them up to dry and you’re ready for the next round. They also work great on getting my dog’s nose prints off my windows.

    • Mine get covered in every loose bit of anything in the wash and dog hair plus any stray bit of wood fragment they touch while cleaning. I love the micro fiber but between wood for the wood stove and pets they just don’t seem great for us

      • My favorite cleaning cloths are actually 3 I swiped from my dermatologist’s office about 8 years ago. I had a cyst removed on my head and they had extra cloths ready for the procedure that weren’t used but they were going to toss. They gave them to me and they’re 100% lint-free, even after 8 years. They’re witchcraft!

        You can get similar ones on Amazon here (affiliate link).

    • We use microfiber to clean the stainless on our kitchen island, but I HATE how it feels on my hands. I think it is tied to four total years of stuffing microfiber inserts into diapers for the boys. It gives me the heebie jeebies!

      My favorite cleaning cloths are actually 3 I swiped from my dermatologist’s office about 8 years ago. I had a cyst removed on my head and they had extra cloths ready for the procedure that weren’t used but they were going to toss. They gave them to me and they’re 100% lint-free, even after 8 years. They’re witchcraft!

  5. I’m sorry your content got lost. That sucks.

  6. So sorry about the lost work hours. Glad you salvaged the content!! 
    I have THE BEST cleaning cupboards/ kitchen crud tip! My mom shared it with me & now I’m mad at her for not sharing it with me years ago! I use wet mopping Swiffer cloths with the mop handle to clean the walls, any high cabinets, then I just use the wet pads to wipe down my photo frames and pretty much everything in the kitchen, ceiling fans and blades, fridge… all the surfaces! (Well not the counter tops, but floor to ceiling) 
    I also found that the gain ones work better than lavender scented which stinks cause I HATE the smell of gain. But they freaking work! *Swiffer® Sweeper Wet Mopping Pad Multi-Surface Refills For Floor Mop, Gain Scent

    • Oh, interesting! I used to use those in an apartment we lived in but never buy them anymore. It’s so clever to use them for walls!

      And YES to the Gain scent being awful.

  7. “On an extreme cleaning high at this point, I tackled the oven.” 
    This made me giggle 🙂
    Once when making food for our bees (yep, totally a thing), the syrup boiled over on the stove and down through the oven door. Two years later I was finally sick of the mocking sugar stains on the inner glass and deconstructed the entire door to clean it, took all of 30 minutes. But the cleaning high that came afterwards, that was aces. 
    Thanks for all your work on these posts. They are a favorite part of my Sunday mornings.