Aug 11, 2020

Random Roundup: Time Keeping, Volunteering, Social Media, and Lots of FOOD

This week, I had some random, unconnected thoughts to share, so I thought a roundup format would be fun. So here goes:
  • I've been feeling like I'm busy and tired at the end of each day, but that I'm not spending my time as productively as I could. I also realized that with the whole family at home, I spend a lot of hours prepping food, serving food, and cleaning up in the kitchen. I wish I'd thought of doing this sooner, but I just downloaded the free Toggl app, which I hope will help me figure out how I'm actually spending my time so I can optimize it better.
  • There are a lot of virtual/no-contact volunteering/activism opportunities available. I'm looking into doing some kind of legal volunteer work, and I see lots of calls to action on Twitter and Instagram. I even learned that Angelenos can get a free $5 Visa gift card for doing some phone banking to get people to complete the 2020 Census.
  • Speaking of Twitter and Insta, I've significantly increased my social media presence lately. I post mostly on Facebook, but I read, comment, and like more on Twitter and Instagram. With careful selection of who to follow and judicious use of blocking, it's easy enough to avoid the vitriol that social media is famous for. (For example, my Twitter feed is filled with adorable animals and the Dodgers.)
  • I've made some new recipes and modified others lately (links are to Pinterest, which is how I organize recipes):
    • Vanilla Baked Donuts - see them below or on Instagram; I used India Tree's Nature's Colors Sprinkles, which don't contain any artificial colors (that's an affiliate link, so I'll receive a small commission if you shop through it - thank you!)
    • Open-Faced Pizza Burgers - super easy, with ingredients you likely have on hand (except maybe the English muffins); these were a hit with 50% of my household
    • Chile Relleno - we got poblano peppers in our Edible Gardens LA box a couple of weeks ago, and since I love chiles rellenos, I made these (so worth it, even though I dislike frying)
    • Baked Jalapeño Poppers - there were a lot of peppers in that box; I learned that my older son loves these (and the younger one, who helped make them, does not)
    • Homemade Marshmallows - there's something so magical about watching a sugary liquid transform into something so thick and glossy; see them below or on Instagram or Facebook; I'm looking forward to using them in these S'mores Cookies
    • Snickerdoodle Bars - I've been making these off and on for years, but this time I added some responsibly sourced chocolate chips and my husband is enjoying them (me, I'm not much of a cinnamon + chocolate fan)
    • Preserved Lemons - I used David Lebovitz's recipe and an NYT recipe as guides to combine lots of kosher salt with lemons I'd accumulated from my Edible Gardens orders; so far so good, but it'll be a few more weeks before they're ready to use; see the jar below
  • I love getting my meat through ButcherBox, and knowing that it's all been humanely raised, fed, and butchered. (That's an affiliate link, so if you sign up for ButcherBox using it, I'll get a small commission - thank you!) The meat is always high-quality, and arrives well-packed. My only complaint is that it all comes frozen, so I can't make freezer meals with them. I change up the cuts we get every month, but I always get bacon, ground beef, and steak. I'm also excited that I can get a whole chicken in my next box, because I'm low on chicken broth and after I roast the chicken, I'll have enough bones for homemade broth.
Baked Vanilla Donuts

Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows
(next time I'm making strawberry mallows!)

Preserved Lemons
(not sure how I'm going to use them, but I'm intrigued)

Whew! That's about it for today. Let me know what's on your mind by using the contact form I just added to this site in the right sidebar. 😄

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