The Little Things Newsletter #307 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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by Mary Younkin

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04.10.2022


Welcome to the weekend, my friends! My boys’ spring break starts today and we’re headed out of town with my brother and his girls. It’s going to be a really fun week of play and swimming and enjoying our favorite easy foods. I can hardly wait!

And while we’re gone for the next few nights, Oscar has the best dogsitter in the world who will be staying with him here. It’s the first time he hasn’t traveled with us, but I know he’s going to enjoy being spoiled 24/7.

ON THE BLOG this week: Ground beef seasoned generously with Mexican spices is tossed with black beans and corn to create what we consider The Best Taco Meat recipe – it is perfect for tacos, salads, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos.

Crisp sweet apples, chewy cranberries or raisins, crunchy pecans and onion, and extra-sharp cheddar cheese are tossed with shaved Brussels sprouts before being drizzled with a tangy-sweet vinaigrette to create the ultimate Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.

Have you tried a fruit crunch? There’s an extra layer of topping that makes this Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch just a little more special than a fruit crisp. Fresh fruits tossed together with citrus and cinnamon sugar, then baked in between layers of brown sugar and oat crust, this is my favorite way to bake fruit desserts.

This is, without doubt, bar none, the best tomato soup I have ever tasted. I’ve been making this soup almost weekly to satisfy the craving for the past six months. It’s that good. If you have someone in your family who doesn’t like tomato soup, this three-ingredient recipe is the one you can use to convince them otherwise. It has made diehard fans of me and my boys.

Paired with a cup of Tomato Soup, a grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect lunch for a chilly day. There’s nothing else like the crunch of toasted sourdough drenched in tomato soup. I shared all the best tips on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich a.k.a. The Guide To Perfect Grilled Cheese!

What I’m CRAVING: These Peanut Butter Cookies are so darn good! The recipe is from my Weeknight Dessert Cookbook (link HERE), but luckily my friend Kathryn shared the recipe from the cookbook on her website a while back. So, you can make them this weekend! (And I recommend that you do just that.)

My FAVORITE THING this week is my electric tea kettle. I’ve had this same tea kettle for almost 8 years now and I still love it as much as the day I bought it. I first used an electric kettle at my sister’s house when she brewed me a London Fog. From that day forward, I was all about the electric kettle. Hot water in a fraction of the time it takes to boil water on the stove? Yes, please.

What I’m WATCHING: America’s Sweethearts. Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Cusack, and Billy Crystal are great in this movie. It’s a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously at all, so it’s a fun rom-com watch.

What I’m READING: Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace. Anyone else re-reading this series with me? I finished this one last night and I’ll start the last book tonight. Knowing that Joe will be meeting Betsy’s ship when she arrives back in NY had me grinning through the entire final chapter.

All the characters have been so real to me, from childhood to now, and reading the set again has brought me so much joy. “Who ever converses among old books will be hard to please among the new.” – William Temple

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord. – Isaiah 54:10 ESV 

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!

Mary



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