Scattered Sundays – Sustainable Cooks

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Bennett’s last tball game was yesterday, and the close ceremonies are on Tuesday. I’m glad to almost have that in the rearview mirror.

On one hand, it was the boy’s sport that I was the least involved in since Troy was the coach. He planned practices around his schedule, so I never had to take Bennett to anything but games. And that was a treat.

On the other hand, he had no control over the game schedule, so when he worked and there was a game, I had to bring all the equipment and had to help coach once. I think the season was way too long for little kids, especially kids who could only go one inning before they started crying or picking daisies.

a wagon full of baseball equipment and a stuffed sloth
Baseball necessities: bats, helmets, a bucket of balls, and a sloth.

Has anyone been watching any good TV? Our TV viewing is super restricted, especially in spring while both boys were doing evening sports. I feel like we’re 1,000% behind on watching anything that is current.

We are caught up on the current season of Barry and I have some thoughts. One, it’s been a VERY strange season. Barry has always been dark and weird, but this season is taking it to new levels. And two, I would 100% watch a spinoff that stars NoHo Hank. Please and thank you, make that happen.

If you have been watching it, can we talk about that motorcycle scene in episode 710N? No spoiler alerts, but that was a RAD scene. Also? Motorcycles are allowed to drive between lanes of traffic like that in Los Angeles. It totally confused us when we first moved to California.

The episode’s title “710N” I’m sure refers to the 710 freeway which is in Long Beach. Does Barry live in Long Beach? Goodness, that’s a really long commute to the acting classes in Hollywood.

We finally started Stranger Things but the episodes are so long that we won’t even be finished with half of them before the second portion of the season is released in July. Also, I still can never get over the fact that all the kids ride bikes without helmets. Even in the 80s, my parents were sticklers about brain buckets.

The Flight Attendant season 2 was a total snoozefest in my opinion. The constant angst and frenetic energy of the show are stressful, but it worked in season 1. It was too much to do it all over again for season 2. At some point, I was just like “get your life together and stop being so intense”.

And can we talk about the fact that the main character (Cassie) NEVER has her phone on vibrate? What psycho actually answers the phone anymore, let alone so often that she needs to have a special ringtone? What in the 2006 is this? Hands down, that is the most unrealistic part of the whole show. Ha!

a kid making muffins in a kitchen
This kid doesn’t need a stool anymore to help in the kitchen!

Troy’s birthday was this week and I made him a batch of Nordy Bars (I make them without walnuts because I’m not a sociopath) for dessert. It’s an old family recipe and they are one of the two things my mom was actually good at making. I did not inherit my love of cooking from her. 🙂

I was telling Cassie (a blogger friend and not the chick from The Flight Attendant) about Nordy Bars and called them a made-up treat that seems to only be a PNW thing. I mean, I’m sure that each region has some dessert that the rest of the country/world has absolutely never eaten before.

To best describe the delight that is the Nordy Bar, picture a blondie with butterscotch, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows. And chopped walnuts if you’re gross. Originally, they were served at the cafe in Nordstrom, originally a Seattle department store that is now nationwide.

They have a similar flavor profile to a traditional magic bar, but without shredded coconut. And there is no sweetened and condensed milk. But there are mini marshmallows and you’re contractually obligated to eat a handful of them while making this recipe. Thems the rules.

pizzas on a baking stone
This recipe is coming at you in September but it’s SO good that I might need to publish it earlier.

On Wednesday I took new photos of a recipe that I initially photographed about two weeks ago. The first ones were technically fine but when editing them I realized that I couldn’t stand them. I’m pleased to say that the second attempt was 100% better and just as delicious.

I’m super excited to share that recipe with you on June 21st. The longest day of the year calls for a fast main dish. Yes? I’m sure that’s right.

My “to do” list of photographs got shorter this week after a whopping three-day photo-fest. With the prep, dishes, and clean-up, if I’m incredibly lucky, I can photograph 2-4 recipes while the kids are at school.

Unless you have a weird job like “food photographer”, it’s impossible to explain how physical the job can be. I’m climbing up on stools, balancing to get the right shot, walking back and forth between the kitchen and where I’m photographing.

It’s not actual exercise, but we’re on our feet for hours at a time. And then the cleanup is demoralizing. I ran the dishwasher three times on Wednesday. On the flip side, there is always food around and you get to eat all of it. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

Housekeeping

We’re still experiencing stupidly cold weather in the PNW, but the Pact summer collection is calling my name. Maybe in July? August? Fingers crossed.

I love Pact for their organic fair trade clothing at affordable prices. Their tanks and stretch-fit t-shirts are my summer go to. It’s comfy clothing that lasts forever that you can feel good about. And their sales/clearance section is always fantastic.

You can get 20% off your first order via this link. They also offer cashback via Rakuten so make sure you’re signed up for earning some coins. New Rakuten members earn $30 cashback with their first purchase.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

At this point, I’m just impressed with the Apple podcast algorithm. They are loading up my podcast feed beautifully, and the latest suggestion was Persona: The French Deception.

About this podcast: this is the story of Gilbert Chikli, one of the greatest con artists of all time. What does it feel like to pick up the phone and scam someone out of $50 million? Host and award-winning journalist, Evan Ratliff, investigates how Chikli successfully duped some of the world’s most powerful people into handing over their fortunes. He explores how Chikli evaded the law for years and became a Robin Hood-like hero. (source)

What I’m reading this week

I finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and really enjoyed it! I guessed “the twist” fairly early on but it didn’t spoil the journey for me at all. I highly enjoyed this book and it was a good and fast read.

My library holds went bananas and a bunch of books became available all at once. Happy nerd problems. I started Our Woman in Moscow and it’s all things I love – intrigue, spies, and in the WWII-Cold War timeframe.

If you’re curious, here is my updated Goodreads list.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Alicia left this five-star review on a Cook family favorite – Instant Pot Mexican Rice {Pin this recipe}:

This was delicious! I had to modify because I didn’t have tomato juice, but tomato sauce mixed with some seasonings worked great. It was perfectly cooked—thanks, Sarah!

A black bowl filled with Mexican rice and topped with cilantro and limes on a board with avocado and other garnishes

Strawberry Simple SyrupLearn how easy it is to make your own Strawberry Simple Syrup for desserts, cocktails, tea, and lemonade. You’ll love the amazing flavor of strawberry syrup for drinks and more. {Pin this recipe}

a glass bottle with strawberry simple syrup with fresh strawberries and a glass behind it.

How to Dry RosemaryLearn how to dry rosemary in a food dehydrator, via air drying, in the microwave, or in the oven. Drying rosemary is a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple! {Pin this tutorial}

a wooden bowl full of dried rosemary.

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: A new air fryer recipe that I am testing, along with veggies and french fries.

Tuesday:: Instant Pot chicken teriyaki with rice. I cook them at the same time using this thingy because life is better when meals are easy. Veggies on the side.

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

Thursday:: Troy is making something.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD

Sunday:: father’s day with Troy and my inlaws.

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