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Scattered Sundays

Growing up, I was in the kitchen a ton. I really loved it and even asked for a cookbook for my fifth birthday.

At a pretty young age, I was allowed to make dinner for the family a few times a month. It likely would have been more but I always made a giant mess in the kitchen. 🙂

I realized this week that while the boys help me in the kitchen, Jack’s cooking skills are sorely lacking. I’m always in the kitchen because it’s my job and I hate the flow of our kitchen so I’m constantly telling everyone else to GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN.

Well, this has to change, so Jack and I committed ourselves to a new challenge that needs to be accomplished by the end of the summer. It’s called the Ten by Ten. Let me tell you all about it!

By the end of the summer, he needs to learn basic skills by cooking nine recipes by himself, with my supervision. My Type-A self who hates messes and watching people struggle is already in knots about this. But that’s my thing and I’ll manage it for him.

But, seriously, my butthole is already puckered.

But why only nine recipes if we’re calling it the Ten by Ten? Because he needs to create the 10th recipe all on his own!

We’ve already identified a few of the recipes he will tackle. We chose them based on things he likes to eat, things I feel comfortable with him making, and recipes that contain skills that are transferrable to all kinds of dishes.

These are what we have decided on so far. I had to steer him away from learning to make all desserts. 🙂

  1. Whole Wheat Pancakes
  2. Homemade whole wheat pizza dough which obviously he’ll want to make into pizza
  3. Taquitos. I don’t have a real recipe for this. I make a bunch of chicken in the Instant Pot (like in this recipe), heat tortillas that I have wrapped in damp towels in the microwave for 1 minute, and then roll the taquitos. I cook them in a little avocado oil in a cast iron skillet for a minute or so on each side. It’s a non-recipe recipe but he wants to learn!
  4. Hard-boiled eggs. He randomly decided he loves hard-boiled eggs and wants to learn to make them in the Instant Pot. If you have a pressure cooker, here is the method I use.
  5. Scrambled Eggs. We make a batch of make-ahead scrambled eggs and use them all week.
  6. Whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. They’re truly more chocolate chip than cookie. The other ingredients just basically bind the chocolate chips together.
  7. Apple Jacks (which you might know as Stovetop Cinnamon Apples). These have been a favorite snack of his since he was 8 months old.

Jack is a lefty, so teaching him some skills is totally ass-backward for me. He has a kid-knife from IKEA (it’s a lot like this one) but I feel like by this age I was using adult knives, so we’ll see.

I wish they made knives just for lefties, but I’m not sure if that actually is a thing or necessary. Any input from the lefties in the group would be appreciated.

I have had the privilege over the last six weeks of being a beta tester for Six-Figure Blog Academy, a course created by Kate from Root + Revel. Her blog is bonkers successful and she finally put everything she knows into a course format. 

The course is now out of beta and is open for enrollment if you know of anyone who wants a proven roadmap to running a blog. The module on email marketing alone is worth the entire course.

This is the course I wish I had when I started out. Instead, I screwed around for eight years and wondered why my blog wasn’t growing.

Look for my upcoming course “How Not to Blog”. 🙂

If you are interested in Six-Figure Blog Academy, enrollment for new attendees closes Tuesday, July 30th. Ready to do this? You can sign up for Six-Figure Blog Academy here.

Has been wearing all of Jack’s old soccer cleats all week.

Thank you all for your long torso swimming suit recommendations last week! Hands down, the most highly-recommended brand was Land’s End, and lucky for me, they were having a mega-sale. Even better, there is 2% cashback from ebates.

I ordered an excessive number of suits to try on in the sanctuary of my own home. I landed on this suit in purple (aka “smoky grape”) but am going to go up a size because it turns out it was not a long-torso suit and is a bit snug in the shoulders. Damn my broad Nordic ribcage and shoulders!

What I like about it: clearly well made. The quality is obvious compared with the Target suits I tried on recently. There are structured bra cups to give the girls a nice lift. The rouching (is that a word?) is quite flattering.

What I don’t like about it: the butt cut. (Dibs on butt cut for a band name.) I don’t find the cut exceptionally flattering, but oh well.

Jack had soccer camp this week, and I was once again reminded that this child’s natural athletic ability did NOT come from me. If he wasn’t my exact twin, I would guess he was swapped at birth.

The head coach of the camp mentioned he would like Jack to coach the younger kids in the morning next year and then practice with the older kids (13-17-year-olds) in the afternoon. I explained he was only 10 and that shocked the coach. He said he still wanted to make it happen.

For anyone who has been reading my blog for long knows that Jack had a super rough start to both school and sports because homeboy can be incredibly aggressive. I think he was the first kid in his kindergarten class to get his card turned to red on the third day of the school year.

Many of you might recall my public emotional breakdown after I was destroyed on Facebook for taking away dessert for two weeks. That seems like so long ago, and also just yesterday at the same time.

Sports were challenging and he was constantly getting the whistle blown for his conduct. I used to tell him I didn’t care if he was good on the field but I did care if he was a bad sport.

It was only last year that he took a turn towards displaying good sportsmanship. And games went from something we dreaded, to a real pleasure to watch.

^all that is partial mom brag but also a story for all the other parents out there who have their own “Jack”. The kid who shows up to the playground and all the sudden the other parents “need to be somewhere”. The kid who we were convinced we’d need his college fund for bail money.

I see you there frustrated parents. I get it. You’re doing a great job and one day it will click, that acidic feeling in your stomach will go away, and school conferences will no longer result in a bout of panic diarrhea.

One day it won’t feel like you’re screaming into a jar. It won’t always feel like you’re trying to swim against the riptide.

Until that day comes, I’m here if you need to talk or e-vent. We’re all in this together.

What I’m Listening To This Week

This week I am binging 22 Hours. Recommended by a friend and by a reader last week, this gripping story walks you through the final 22 hours a family endured while being held hostage and then ultimately murdered.

Light stuff. 🙁

It is done well, despite the super heavy topic.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Sara (though I want to call her Sarah) left this five-star review on our tutorial How to Cut a Peach in Only 15 Seconds:

Super helpful and simple. So happy to have this process explained to me in easy language- made my stressed mom brain and breakfast plate are both appreciative!

a bowl of sliced peaches with mint

{Pin this tutorial}

And hey, while you’re at it, cut up a bunch at once and then read this post on How to Freeze Peaches.

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Easy Healthy Meal PrepEasy Healthy Meal Prep is the ultimate guide to tips and tricks for prepping and serving healthy meals. Quick and efficient weekly meal prep is your secret weapon for speedy weeknight meals. Discover time-saving meal prep ideas and delicious family dinner recipes.

two glass containers with meal prepped food and forks

{Pin this tutorial}

Eco-Friendly Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner –  Learn how to make the best Eco-Friendly Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner! This non-toxic all-purpose cleaner uses vinegar and essential oils to help you clean your house without harsh chemicals.

a bottle of homemade all-purpose cleaner on a wooden tray with essential oils, lemon, and fresh mint

{Pin this tutorial}

Dill Pickle Relish {Canning Relish}A simple and easy recipe for canning amazing Dill Pickle Relish. This tangy dill pickle relish is perfect for anyone new to canning. Enjoy it on burgers, hot dogs, in potato or chicken salad.

Three jars of homemade dill relish with cucumbers and a pepper

{Pin this recipe}

Gluten-Free Mug Cake {Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake}This Gluten-Free Mug Cake is rich and chocolatey without any grains or dairy. A decadent chocolate mug cake that is ready in under two minutes, you’ll love how quickly you can make this microwave souffle. Open your pantry, grab a few ingredients and whip up a paleo mug cake today!

a gluten-free mug cake in a white container with mint and strawberries

I’d like to give a special shout out and thank you to long-time reader Erin who was a recipe tester for this mug cake! She reported the flavor in the two bites she got was great before her three-year-old swooped in and finished it.

{Pin this recipe}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Yes, yes, my Mojito Mocktail is still #1 and the Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List is still #2, but everything else in the top 7 screams “suuuuuuummer”! Except for #5. That one screams “back to school”. Why are all my posts screaming?

  1. Canning Peaches  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Homemade Peach Ice Cream  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Zucchini Chips  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Nana’s Cucumber Salad  {Pin this recipe}
  5. Zero Waste Food Storage  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

If you’re looking for some help with meal planning, we highly recommend MomablesMomables emails you a weekly meal plan, shopping list and prep list for $10 a month. It rules.

Monday:: Jack wants to make taquitos, so we’ll have that and salad.

Tuesday:: Troy is grilling something from Butcher Box. And we have corn and veggies from the farmer’s market.

Wednesday:: A dinner from Momables that I was going to make last week. But it was so (Seattle) hot out that I didn’t want to cook. We ended up grilling something from the freezer instead.

Thursday:: Jack is making pizza with our homemade whole wheat dough. Plus salad or grilled veggies.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD

Sunday:: Family dinner


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26 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Love this idea … and the comment idea of the 12 recipes over 12 months at 12. My son is also 9 and is comfortable making muffins and pancakes and a few other things from scratch on his own … but we haven’t tackled meals on his own yet. I think he’d enjoy it though … will work out a plan that works for us! Thanks for the inspiration!

    I’m a lefty – as long as knife blades have edges on both sides – all good. Same goes for vegetable peelers!! some only have edges on one side of the blade and totally do not work with the left hand! Such a pain!

    • The 12 over 12 at 12 is a genius!

      I think what I’d like to do going forward is have Jack responsible for some component of our meals throughout the week. Build up his confidence by letting him do smaller portions.

  2. When our son turned 12, part of his present was that we were going to cook a different dish together once a month for the next twelve months so that he would learn how to feed himself (and others!) He learned a lot during that year and was pretty pleased with himself as he mastered a dozen recipes. Fast forward six years, when he and a bunch of friends rented a holiday house for a couple of weeks to celebrate the end of high school. He did an awesome job of feeding people and his friends still talk about his food! So yes, teach your children to cook – such a great skill that will ensure they eat nutritious food and don’t have to rely on take-aways or processed food or pre-packaged meals.

  3. Lefty here. Scissors and school desks were thorns in my side. I’ve never found knives to be an issue, unless I am forced to use a dull one. When I’ve taught or oversaw my Girl Scouts using kitchen knives, I’d go over the circle of safety (no one must stand within arms reach of you from left/right and up/down), remind them that my personal kitchen knives are S-H-A-R-P, and how to pass a knife. Paring knives worked best given the size of the handle and blade. My scouts are now 14 and most of them can use a chef’s knife, but I do feel less apprehensive if they use a paring knife.

    • We have the scissors locked down tight, but I would have never thought about school desks!

      We have a wonderful knife. I’ll give it a shot. Thank you!!