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Scattered Sundays

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On Thursday I went for a run for the first time in almost two weeks. I had been dealing with shin splints, a sore left hip, and some really annoying shark week cramps. Life happened and running didn’t.

I had decided for my first run “back”, I would only go for two miles. I was closing in at 1.90 miles when I saw my neighbor and his dog running past me. He’s probably 15-20 years older than me and is in amazing shape.

Instead of stopping at 2 miles, I had to keep running to save face until he was out of sight. I couldn’t quit with an audience.

I stopped at 2.25 miles, walked for a few minutes, and then realized I still had it in me to run a little bit more. I finished up with another .86 miles. It wasn’t my finest workout, but I did it. Mostly.

2 screenshot results from a workout

Now that I’m older, I can come to terms with being comfortable with admitting that I am a giant nerd. Watching Matlock, Murder She Wrote, and Law & Order as an eight-year-old should have made such things obvious.

All of this to say, my nerdy little heart is thrilled that Unsolved Mysteries has been rebooted on Netflix. There isn’t Robert Stack with his super 80’s trench coat, but the mystery, the wackiness, and the intrigue are still there. And just like that, my life is complete.

2 boys on a beach

I spent two days this week taking new photos for a few older posts. In my early days of blogging (and let’s be honest, up until about a year ago), my photos were HORRIBLE. Working full-time during the week meant I could only take photos right before dinner (it gets dark here at 4:30 in the winter), or at 10 pm.

Changing how I do things, taking courses, and just getting serious about taking thousands of photos until I faked that I felt comfortable, means that my photography has improved. And with that improvement (plus 1,000 other things), my blog has grown in ways I hadn’t expected.

There are few things more satisfying than cleaning up old posts, adding recipes cards (I legit used to just type a recipe into the body of the post), removing 1,000 words about apple picking that had nothing to do with a post on making bacon, and generally just making everything better and streamlined for you guys.

The only thing better (for me at least) is seeing side by side of the old and new photos! These are the Air Fryer Zucchini Chips I republished yesterday:

2 photos of zucchini chips

Left: 2018, Right: 2020

And this is a veeeeery old post that I am still working on updating. You’ll see the shiny new version next week!

2 photos of a kale chopped salad

Left: 2012, Right: 2020

Jack and I started watching Hamilton on Friday night. I actually knew very little about the show other than it was a musical (all musical! I guess I expected some dialog?), the key players, and that has an amazing following.

I had read about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2009 White House performance in Becoming, Michelle Obama’s autobiography (incredible book by the way! She’s so freaking smart, funny, and kind.). One of the things the Obamas really wanted to do was bring more art, poetry, and performers to the WH. They loved hosting young up and coming artists to give them a platform.

If you watch the performance on Youtube, you can see how talented he is. You can also see people laughing because they didn’t get it. I think he has had the last laugh! Imagine be THAT guy’s friend in school and listening to your super-talented friend talking about creating a musical based on the US Secretary of the Treasury… 

a boy in front of a small campfire

This little cowpoke was tired from a day on the range.

Our little town usually has a big community fireworks show, but like the dumpster fire that is 2020, that was canceled too. Which I get and support.

A few families got together to do a drive-through ice cream party for the neighborhood. They would take your order from far away and then put your (packaged) ice cream on a long-handled pizza peel and hand it to you from a distance.

We “strollered through” since it seemed silly to get in the car to go a few blocks. But then, of course, we realized how challenging it is to eat ice cream while walking…

2 boys eating ice cream outside

On the 4th of July, our neighborhood becomes private dueling fireworks shows. So even with the organized event canceled, we were treated to an incredible display in the safety of our own home.

If you’re in the US, how was your holiday? Do anything fun? It’s such a weird year. I hope whatever you did there was good food and something to enjoy. All our fingers are crossed and prayers said for a normal 2021. We’ll see.

2 goats in grass

These 2 goats are now on my walking route. I want to live here.

In the Garden This Week

Everything is much as the same as last week – raspberries are coming up, strawberries are pretty much done, blueberries are looking great, and there are scapes on the garlic. The cucumber and pea bed (not pee the bed…) desperately need to be weeded. It’s downright embarrassing at this point.

I’ve had a few questions about Bennett’s garden and requests for a photo. It’s…a bit wild right now.

a small garden with pea plants

Housekeeping

If you are in the US, Azure Standard is still delivering fresh, shelf-stable, and frozen foods in communities. We love Azure and have been customers for over 10 years now. You can do bulk orders, or just normal portions.

This post discusses what we buy from Azure, price points, and gives more details about this awesome company.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I love a true-crime podcast with a cult element, and discovering the new podcast “Guru” was like a summertime gift for my ears.

Guru explores the dark side of the self-help world. If you like this podcast, you might also enjoy season two of The Dream.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Elaina left this five-star review on our Easy Butternut Squash Chili {Pin this recipe}:

I have been making this chili since the recipe posted and it continues to be a family favorite! I love that it’s forgiving if I don’t have 100% of the right ingredients or the correct amount. I haven’t made it in the IP yet but the stovetop version is simple and comes together quickly! This also reheats exceptionally well so I can make it in advance if I need to. 

a white bowl of butternut squash chili topped with shredded cheese and green onions

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Instant Pot Potato SaladThis loaded Instant Pot Potato Salad is the dish that everyone will love. This recipe has mayo-free options for a healthier potato salad and is the perfect make-ahead side dish for your next BBQ. No pressure cooker? You’ll also find stovetop instructions include in the post. {Pin this recipe}

A bowl of instant pot potato salad topped with dill, bacon, and green onions

Confessions – everyone’s favorite post of the month!

A woman with a finger up to her mouth saying "shhhhh"

How to Can CornLearn all about safely Canning Corn in a pressure canner. You’ll love having jars of home-canned corn to extend the taste of summer all year long. {Pin this tutorial}

3 pints of canned corn

What to Eat, Can, and Preserve in SummerFresh produce in summer is abundant and incredible! You can’t go to the farmer’s market without being overwhelmed by the amazing options. Learn what to can, preserve, and eat in summer, as well as delicious recipes for seasonal produce. {Pin this list of recipes}

8 photos of summer produce in a grid

Air Fryer Zucchini ChipsMake amazing Air Fryer Zucchini Chips for your family with this simple recipe! A crunchy coating of panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese make these healthier fried zucchini chips poppable and irresistible. No air fryer? You’ll also find alternative cooking methods in the post. {Pin this recipe}

a wooden tray filled with air fryer zucchini chips on a white board

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

The Mojito Mocktail was on top again, so let’s take a little look-see at the other top posts of the week.

  1. Canning Peaches – From #4 last week to #1!  {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice –  this recipe goes with EVERYTHING. And, as always, non-Instant Pot instructions are included in the post. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Freezing Spinach – With temps climbing, spinach is starting to bolt (go to seed) and home gardeners are scrambling for a way to preserve it. Food waste is lame.  {Pin this tutorial}
  4. The Ultimate Homemade Peach Ice Cream – Climbing up a spot on the leaderboard. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Pickles – As always, non-air fryer instructions are included in the post.  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Air Fryer Tofu, Instant Pot Garlic Rice, and roasted veggies.

Tuesday:: New recipe I need to photograph. Can’t wait to share it. It’s sooooooooo simple and good.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Thursday:: Another new recipe! It’s going to be on the blog on Saturday. We’ve made it SIX times to test it, and we still love it. It’s that good. Can’t wait to share.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Another new recipe I’m photographing.

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

 

What are you having this week?

 

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6 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I have so loved watching your blog and your skills grow!

    Our plans this week for food are pizza waffles (I use Namaste’s gf/df pizza dough, mix in some Canadian bacon and daiya cheese, the cook ’em like waffles. So freaking amazing!), breakfast scramble (basically breakfast sausage, potatoes, and a bunch of veggies), and Cowgirl Cassarole (it’s actually call Paleo Hungry Man casserole or something like that, but we renamed it years ago so Emma would be more interested in it).

    I also plan to make a batch of scrambled eggs for me.

    I just started working at a grocery store and scooping up potato salad and macaroni salad all day has me craving it. So, I’m gonna finally try your potato salad recipe!

    • You have been here for a very time and I appreciate all the support so much!

      Wow, that job happened so fast! Didn’t you just get there a few days ago??

  2. I bought masks for my crew from Covered Goods (at your suggestion and using your link) and I love it! Definitely ordering more of them as it is hot AF here and I keep washing it to rewear daily.

    • I’m so glad you like them! They’re wonderful…as far as masks go.

      The coupon code is single-use, so you might want to get a friend to order yours…

  3. Thank you for your continued commitment to making your blog a welcoming, beautiful place!