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Scattered Sundays

There is something I’ve been thinking about for months now and I just can’t wrap my head around it.

In 101 Dalmations, Cruella is supposed to be Anita’s old friend from school, right?

But um, they look like they’re a few years apart, do they not?

Perhaps Anita is just a PSA for sunscreen, clean living, and a good moisturizer?

Two weeks ago I told you the story about how I was involved with helping someone in the aftermath of a really serious car accident. You can read about it here.

Well, friends, I have an update on the man who was in that car.

I’ll paraphrase the text I received about his recovery:

“He is lucky to be alive and despite serious head trauma, there is no paralysis and he still tells corny jokes. Today the physical therapist took him for a 10-minute walk up and down the halls of the hospital. His balance and strength were very good. His attitude is even better. Tom doesn’t know if his eyesight will return. No one knows at this point. Tom is bravely adapting. His superpower is his attitude”.

After getting that update, I’ll admit I was knocked on my ass for a bit. There was so much adrenaline around myself and the others who stopped to help at the accident. It was: do, help, get it done. There was no processing time. And after it happened, I was just relieved to know he was still alive.

But once I got more details (and photos) of the severity of the event and his recovery, I had all the feelings. All of them. 

Gratitude I was in a position to help, grateful for him and his family that he was alive, so upset he may never regain his vision, and reflective that life is freaking short and precious. And we never know what will happen, and perhaps we all need to be a bit more kind to one another.

And most importantly: People. Please wear your seatbelts.

Yesterday I went to see him at the rehabilitation facility along with two of his friends. I’m not gonna lie. It was a heavy visit. But it was amazing to meet him and his family and I gave him a great big hug when I left and told him “it’s nice to meet you right-side up”.

The next few months to a year will be challenging for this family, but they seem close and like they are up for it (as much as anyone can be).

(Awkward shifting of topics) The pantry and freezer challenge has concluded and it was so fun! We had over 200 people join us and getting to hear their stories and see the before and after pantry/freezer photos was a total blast.

I loved this email from a reader:

Used up a TON of pantry stuff already. Thanks for doing the clean out the pantry month. I know it is a lot of work on your part, but it has re-energized my meal planning!! Thanks for the proverbial kick in the ass!!!!!

I’m going to keep it going in the Cook household for another few weeks because we still have some work to do on the freezer.

Each day over the last week, challenge participants received an email with a recipe idea that would use up common items hanging around their pantry. To recap for anyone who didn’t participate, here are those recipes:

  1. Instant Pot Orange Chicken (but as always, the recipe includes non-Instant Pot cooking methods)
  2. How to Roast Frozen Vegetables
  3. Instant Pot Lentil Soup (but as always, the recipe includes non-Instant Pot cooking methods)
  4. Paleo Granola (but it works even if you’re not paleo and has non-paleo ingredient recommendations)
  5. Paleo Salmon Cakes (non-Paleo ingredient substitutions are included in the post. And lots of readers used random cans of tuna they had!)
  6. Homemade Ramen Noodle Bowls
  7. Skillet Fried Potatoes

We’re going to be doing a freezer cooking challenge in August, and I’ll be sharing more details soon. You know, once I figure out what those details are…

We added a new category on the recipe page this week called “How To Tutorials“. I have many posts that aren’t necessarily recipes, but still have a lot to do with food. And I never had a real “home” for them. Until now.

You can now find all the rando-posts I barf out like Pantry Essentials For the Home Cook and How to Freeze Strawberries in one convenient place.

Last week I mentioned I accidentally bought these silicone lids on Amazon. What a happy accident. They work soooooo well!

We often have random small bowls of yogurt or a mug of milk in the fridge because three-year-olds are mercurial and never finish the food/beverage they spent 15 minutes whining to get. These lids are so nice to pop on and cover up the bowl/mug.

This is the last Sunday post before the Free Bacon for Life deal runs out for Butcher Box. If you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time to jump on that ish! Free bacon for the life of your subscription, plus $10 off your first order, plus $2.50 rebate from Ebates.

Last week I mentioned how I was 100% slothlike on getting the garden planted this summer. I still don’t really care about it, but things are in the ground and growing. I resent having to water, but we’re already in a severe drought. And people think it rains all day every day in Seattle!

It will probably be another terrible fire season as a result. We’re gearing up for more smoke later in the summer, and already front-loading our prayers for people who will be impacted. And of course for the firefighters. 

But even though I don’t really care about the garden right now, doesn’t mean I have been busy working in it. A few months ago I mentioned a giant Japanese maple we have in our yard. This thing is MASSIVE. Hey, 1984 called. They want their plant back.

One day last week I just couldn’t handle it anymore and went to town on it. If you have a true love for very expensive plants, please skip over the next sentence…

I attacked this majestic plant with a hedge trimmer and a sawzall. Yes, yes I did.

As I got under it, branches just started falling on my head. I realized how unhealthy it was underneath and sometimes you have to remove the damaged parts and start fresh.

And then, of course, I set my sights on the ugly ass ground cover that had one night stand with a rando holly bush. As I tried trimming it, I realized that it too was 95% dead. And once I start something, I just can’t stop.

Six hours later (included clean up – 25 wheelbarrows to our brush pile – sweeping, and using the leaf blower to clean it all up), and I’m thrilled with how much cleaner it looks.

But up next: pressure washing that wall. Yuck!

My dad loves this plant and wanted to keep it long, but it truly did need a good clipping-purge. I kept it long on one side to make him happy. But every time I see it from the side, I kinda think I cut it into a mullet.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m working with Thrive now, and I’m excited to share that I have my own digital storefront with them now! You can check it out here.

And no, that is not my kitchen. I borrowed my neighbor’s stunning kitchen because mine looks like the setting of a 1970’s snuff film.

As an exclusive partner with Thrive, they’re allowing me to offer my readers 25% off their first order + free shipping on orders over $49 + a 30-day trial membership. Click here to take advantage of this week deal.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I’ve been listening to and loving This Land. Hosted by Rebecca Nagle, Oklahoma journalist and citizen of Cherokee Nation, This Land traces how a cut and dry homicide opened up an investigation into the treaty rights of five Native American tribes. 

Who would love this podcast: history nerds and people who are interested in social justice. Basically, they made a podcast for my sister and ME.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Amanda left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Egg Rolls:

We finally had a chance to try this today and we weren’t disappointed! We used a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded carrot +cabbage = shortcut. ????) We made 9 rolls and had to oven them. Shortly after they came out of the oven there were 4 left. We will be trying them again and my husband wants to try adding chicken or pork!

Three air fryer egg rolls on a wooden tray with a dish of soy sauce

{Pin this recipe}

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

As Cassie refers to it, the “Jam Jamboree” was on in full force this week!

Blackberry Freezer Jam {Low Sugar Blackberry Jam}Fresh tasting and delicious, this Blackberry Freezer Jam is so easy to whip up. Just three ingredients and 20 minutes (including clean up!), and you’ll have homemade blackberry jam made by your very own two hands. This blackberry freezer jam recipe is low-sugar and requires no cooking or canning. You’re about to be a jam making boss!

four jars of blackberry freezer jam with mint and blackberries

{Pin this recipe}

Refrigerator Pickled BeetsRefrigerator Pickled Beets are a fast and easy way to preserve this delicious and healthy vegetable! Quick pickled beets just like grandma used to make but without the canning. These easy pickled beets are an amazing side dish, quick snack, or addition to salads.

a jar of pickled beets on a wooden cutting board

{Pin this recipe}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

I’m leaving the Virgin Mojito and Trader Joe’s Shopping List off the top five again this week because frankly, we’re all sick of seeing them!

And we have a new recipe on the leaderboard this week – Loaded Baked Potato Salad that is mayo-free. Because, gross.

I love that these top recipes all scream “it’s suuuuuuummer”!

  1. Homemade Peach Ice Cream Recipe  {Pin this}
  2. Honey Simple Syrup  {Pin this}
  3. Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe  {Pin this}
  4. Air Fryer Zucchini Chips  {Pin this}
  5. Loaded Baked Potato Salad Without Mayo  {Pin this}

Meal Plan

We’ve been testing out Momables and love it! The boys were super happy with all the dinners we have had from the meal plan. Momables emails you a weekly meal plan, shopping list and prep list for $10 a month. 

Monday:: Homemade Ramen Noodle Bowls (this didn’t happen last week because we ended up with too many leftovers)

Tuesday:: Paleo Roasted Chicken (didn’t happen last week. Again, too many leftovers), Air Fryer Asparagus, and biscuits (aka rolls)

Wednesday:: Breakfast dinner (Whole Wheat Pancakes, Bacon (related: how to bake bacon in the oven), and Make Ahead Scrambled Eggs) all from the freezer

Thursday:: 4th of July BBQ at my in-law’s!

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD. Our leftovers game has been strong lately and I run into trouble when I over-plan.

Sunday:: Family dinner

What are you having this week?



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21 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Doesn’t Cruella smoke in that movie? Never underestimate the aging effects of tobacco, yo! Stay away from vaping kids. 

  2. After I read your post two weeks ago I immediately clicked over to Amazon and ordered two of those window-smash/seat-belt-cut tools to keep in our cars. I’m so glad to hear the man is recovering.

    • I’m sooooo glad Rachael! My goal is awareness and I’ve had many people tell me they ordered them too. We’ll keep people safe one car at a time.

  3. Your picture is great for your Thrive digital storefront


  4. For someone that hasn’t been into their garden, a six hour work day on it is pretty hard core! I still have the cold that will not die (asthma life!) but I rallied today and got to the plot, I’ve been feeling that everything has been struggling but things are finally getting their acts together (except the bleeding cucumbers which all died!). But there was a lot of produce so the menu is potato salad (with mayonnaise because homemade mayo is the best!), salad, with beets and carrots. Gooseberries, that are mostly going to be eaten straight but there may also be a pot or two of jam!). I had a mad meal prep couple of hours and now I need a bath and a long sleep but I might actually be set up for the week, rather that just surviving it (there was a lot of toast and bought lunches last week!)

    • My arms hurt for two days. LOL

      So glad the garden is starting to produce for you, but I’m bummed that you’re STILL sick. Hoping the bath (and I’m guessing gin and tonic…) helped and you were able to sleep well.

  5. Oh, and I’m happy to hear that the accident victim is recovering! How amazing to know you had a part in making that happen. You are an awesome human.

  6. I just placed my second order with Thrive! I LOVE that Thrive offers a free membership to military, veterans, students, teachers, first responders, and low income families. Way to make it accessible to everyone!!!

    And check out you with your digital store front! So awesome!!

    I finally unpacked all of our kitchen boxes. I had forgotten that the movers packed all our pantry food. We have so many cans of tuna and salmon! I see salmon cakes on the menu this week.

    Might have to pick up beets from the farmers market today.

    • Ohhhhhh, I forgot about the free membership! I hope you were able to take advantage of that.

      Will Emma eat beets? Troy and Jack are not fans, but Bennett will sometimes gobble them up.

  7. Maybe cruella and the lady/mom from the Dalmatians were in college together? Maybe cruella was a teachers aid or teacher when lady/mom was in high school? Maybe cruella was just a creepy lurker rich girl who wanted to remain youthful so she bought the high school kids alcohol??

  8. Since I did the clean out a week early, I didn’t do much this week but I think I’m going to try the salmon cakes. I’m surprised you’re in a drought only because there’s so much rain going on in the central part of America that the Mississippi is seriously swollen and there’s record flooding north of us. We’re finally going to close a spillway that keeps the River from overtopping at New Orleans in the next few weeks. Where the drought makes scary work for your husband, the high River brings some work to a halt for my husband and drilling department. We can’t drill too close to the River when it’s high due to seepage and super charged sands that could compromise the levees. It’s been rough with layoffs due to lack of work and jobs that can’t move forward.

    • I have a friend in Michigan and another near Philly and they’ve both mentioned how much freaking rain they have had this year. Being on either end of extreme weather sucks! I wish there was a happy medium for everyone involved.

  9. In no particular order and maintaining Whole 30 (D21)

    Tonight Gammon, cauliflower, runner beans, purple sprouting broccoli and those potatoes you do by squashing cooked new potatoes onto a baking sheet and baking in the oven. Cheese sauce for those who are allowed. Ratatouille (hey! got this out of the freezer. And the gammon! won’t tell you how much more I put in the freezer, there were some good half price deals to be had this week! I need to join the freezer challenge)

    Left over gammon and bubble and squeak

    Teriyaki salmon,

    Italian meatloaf.

    Probably repeat the salmon and the meatloaf if I don’t hoover up too many leftovers for lunches.

  10. I’m still working on the pantry and freezer challenge. I seem to have a lot of food for a one person household. Since life is crazy busy, it’s taking me longer than most to clean out my pantry, but what I’ve done looks amazing. I’ve found foods that I bought to make certain dishes, then forgot I had. As I make a list of what I have, I make a list of what I can make with each ingredient. Thanks for getting me started on this. When I finish, it’s going to be amazing!