Author Archives: conchshell

foodsmug lifesmug recaps

KERF Recaps: Reboot Edition, Post 325

Tuesday’s post is about Kathy’s fantastic Sundays, which she spends chopping vegetables with Bath Matt and trying not to dirty too many dishes so that she doesn’t have to spend more than 26 seconds putting together dinner during the week.

Her routine makes so much sense, since she has an exhausting job with long hours but she still wants to come home at the end of a hard day and cook, since she so enjoys food and the process of transforming raw ingredients into delicious meals her family can bond over. Except that Kathy doesn’t have a job beyond going to the gym or Whole Foods, and she doesn’t like turning the oven on because it’s scary, and she has so much distaste for actual cooking that she has a meal-planning service and eschews onions.

So how’s it going, Kathy?

We’ve been rockin’ the Sunday prep day since January when we dove head first into Cook Smarts.


The court doesn’t think so, Kathy.

Kathy, you haven’t “rocked” shit. But, please, carry on.

It has improved our family dynamics on the weeknights so much! More than just the time saved,


I love how we have condensed the dishes we have to wash from multiple cutting boards, knives, colanders and things to just the cooking dishes each night. Washing the cutting board is one of my least favorites!

So, let’s recap within the recap. Kathy loves her meal-planning program. Why? Because it saves time but also improves the essence of being a family in other ways. How? Because there are less dishes to wash during the week. Why is that an improvement? Because Kathy really hates washing the motherfucking cutting board.

This cutting board apparently looks like streets in Reykjavik. Who cares. I want that steak.

Chop vegetables, press garlic, combine green things with other things to make “pesto,” and combine their very own oil and vinegar to make salad dressing. Also, “sauce.” They mix sauce. Have you ever mixed sauce before, you lame moron? No, because you obviously don’t know how to be “rockin” enough. You probably don’t like the stuff you eat on Friday to have been chopped and to be sitting in bowls for five whole days. Guess you’re not as much of a “foodie.”

Revelation time:

On Sundays we prep everything we can for the Cook Smarts recipes, but obviously you can do this if you do your own meal plan too.


How does Kathy do it? Here are her seven magical tips for “improving the flow of things” and making cooking “easier” that she’s learned from several months of paying for a service to send her recipes every week so that she can strip the onions and the spices from them and make lame versions of them where buttercream is substituted for meat. I’m sorry, that’s just the substitution she wishes she could make.

They are as follows:

• Use a rice cooker. Maybe one like this $150 version Kathy has. It’s “hands off” and it means you don’t have to attend to the grueling task of keeping beans from scorching. If you’re extra lazy, er, industrious, you can use a timer so that it starts cooking without you even having to remember to turn it on.

Bonus: You get extra time to make your salt and pepper containers make out like the guy in the ubiquitous Cuckoo rice cooker commercial.

• Put the shit you’re preparing in bowls. Ones that you don’t feel weird about setting next to the cutting board you put your PLACENTA in. (Really. That’s the one.)

Oh, and ones that are microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe. (I know! Those exist! It’s like we’re living in the future or something!) Or “put the ones you got for your wedding to use!” If you haven’t ever had a wedding, you’re some kind of mutant, fatty loser and Kathy’s not talking to you.

Also the glass makes spotting the right ingredients from the fridge door easier.

This is important, because if you’re a cooking-hating dieter, the last thing you want to do is spend too much time thinking about food.

 • Put your scraps in a bowl. You can call it a “garbage bowl,” like Rachel Ray! It’s like a pre-trash can and the best part is that 

it makes taking the scraps out to the compost a piece of cake.

Seriously. Transporting carrot ends and onion skins to the trashcan was the one thing saving me from cooking for myself. Thanks, Kathy!

Oh, did you think mere composting was enough, Kathy?

• Take notes. You can write on plastic wrap or tape!

….if you’re supposed to save some of the ingredients for the next night, a reminder will save you. I have made this mistake a few times, and now these notes help me remember when the next night’s recipe isn’t on my mind.

Even though it might be impossible to read and you have to get another marker out and rewrite the note on there.

• Figure out how to avoid washing your Cuisinart and anything else. Shred the messiest, smelliest stuff last.

This is to minimize washing between steps!

• Um,

Have a plastic wrap station.

Oh! Right! I forgot! Because it’s — oh. It’s April 22nd. Rent for May is due next week. What is this April Fool’s nonsense?

We used to toss the plastic wrap around the kitchen and it would get lost in the shuffle. Putting wrap on a bowl needs a good amount of space, so we’d also struggle to find a clear space to put our bowl.

Wait, really?

We now keep the plastic wrap on the edge of the counter and covering dishes is so much easier.

Covering dishes. This is something that someone, anywhere, finds to be something that could be easier? No — not just easier. MUCH easier?

If you don’t use plastic wrap, organize your food storage containers before you get started – not during!

That’s a stack of cups. This guy is the king of organized containers. Kathy loses.

• Chop and freeze your herbs.

This is more a general cooking tip, but if your recipe calls for 1/4 a bunch and you have lots leftover, freezing pre-chopped herbs for later has worked well for us!

 {Note this just had parsley inside…I just had fun with the label.}

That bag and the twice-written cabbage are actually the only two photos she shares of her own “prep” work. There are two photos at the end of the post of full trays of “prepped” ingredients, but they’re not from her blog.

They’re from two of the three blogs she namechecks — (“The Lean Green Bean,” “The Fitnessisssisisssisisista,” and “Shutterbean”)  blogs whose authors “do an amazing job at prep day,” in Kathy’s words. I hope none of them wants that carved on their headstone, because that might just be the lamest accomplishment to ever be described.

Especially since one of them specializes in cooking something she calls “Amazeballs.”

Finally, Kathy asks her readers for tips and photos (a new request), but her dastardly plans are revealed when she tells one reader that she should be fine freezing cilantro. Even with 1.5 million Google results to the contrary, I refuse to believe this is possible.

Cilantro looks like this stock image 26 minutes after you get it home — how is it supposed to withstand the tundra of your Frigidaire?

Besides, cilantro is like 60 cents a bunch from Los Angeles to Maine — if you don’t live on a remote island/suffer from crippling dependency on antihistamines, why is this even a problem?