The Little Things Newsletter #341 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


by Mary Younkin



Welcome to the weekend, friends! The cooler weather has certainly arrived here in Ohio and the chilly mornings have me dreaming of snowy days and cups of hot tea or peppermint hot chocolate piled high with whipped cream.

ON THE BLOG this week: Tart cranberries and spicy peppers mingle in this sweet and spicy Cranberry Pepper Jelly. Everyone goes crazy for this spicy jam at the very first bite!

Palmiers, Elephant Ears, French Hearts, Palm Leaves: whatever you like to call them, these cookies are in the running for my all-time favorite treat. Palmier Cookies are light, airy, buttery sugar-sprinkled cookies that only require two ingredients.

You’re going to LOVE this Creamy Cranberry Jalapeno Dip – it’s even better than Costco’s version that is so popular. This dip is lightly sweetened and balanced with just a hint of heat from the peppers. Served with crackers and pretzels or spread on toast, this is an unforgettable holiday treat.

Fluffy sweet potatoes with crisp edges are tossed with crumbled bacon and drizzled with balsamic glaze to make these roasted sweet potato bites.

Crispy roasted chicken thighs with red potatoes baked right along with the chicken make a delicious weeknight meal. The skin-on chicken thighs roast slowly and baste the potatoes as they cook. This process creates so much delicious flavor and could not be simpler.

Rich and delicious is the best way to describe creamed Brussels Sprouts with garlic and parmesan. Sprinkle them with bacon and you won’t want to share. If you are wondering where creamed Brussels Sprouts have been your entire life. Wonder no more, and go make these!

Five-minute fudge recipes are my saving grace this time of year. This creamy dark chocolate peppermint fudge is topped with crushed candy canes for a wonderful Christmas treat.

Peppermint mocha ice cream is a great way to enjoy your favorite Christmas flavors in a cold and creamy bowl of ice cream. Ice cream isn’t just for summer! My ice cream maker gets a year-round workout as I churn our favorite flavors of each season together.

What I’m CRAVING: This gorgeous raspberry pastry caught my eye this week and I immediately put puff pastry on my shopping list. It’s gorgeous and it sounds surprisingly easy to make.

My FAVORITE THINGS this week are these fleece-lined knit mittens. I learned just a couple of years ago that mittens are infinitely warmer than gloves. While they aren’t super convenient for driving or working outside. When I’m headed out for a walk though? Mittens are where it’s at. 

What I’m READING: Lethal Bayou Beauty by Jan DeLeon. This is the second book in the Miss Fortune series and it made me laugh all over again. These are comical (truly unbelievably laughable) “crime” mysteries and the characters are just great. What’s not to love about an undercover CIA assassin attempting to hide in a small southern town that just happens to be home to a group of retired senior citizen spies? Their adventures are beyond ridiculous, creating a gerat escape from reality.

What I’m WATCHING: I finally finished the final season of Twin Peaks. My oldest son is a huge fan of David Lynch, so when he asked me if I wanted to watch his favorite series with him, I said yes. This show (and especially this final season – shot 25 years later) is just so dang WEIRD.

The first couple of seasons were engrossing enough, albeit completely creepy, that we wound up watching them within a few months. But this? I’m not even going to deny that I took a lot of breaks. Creepy, weird, and confusing, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m just not a Lynch fan. (sorry, if you are – I just don’t understand the fan club for his work!)

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

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


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