The Little Things Newsletter #393 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


by Mary Younkin



Welcome to the weekend, my friends! I’m in Buffalo, NY today to see Rowan Lindamood dance in The Nutcracker and I couldn’t be more excited! My oldest son is here with me and we’ll be enjoying the ballet tonight along with all the tasty foods that we can cram into the weekend.


Baked Parmesan pork chops are tender and juicy with a crispy Parmesan crust. Pair them with a quick rice pilaf and some sauteed asparagus for a dinner everyone will enjoy. When I can make the whole dinner in 40 minutes or less, that’s a win in my book!

The sweet heat of honey sriracha Brussels Sprouts will have everyone devouring these little bites before they make it to the table.

Spiced ground beef, black beans, and cheese top these stuffed sweet potatoes to combine sweet and savory flavors in the best possible way. Each bite of these Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes blends the creamy, sweet potato with the boldness of a beefy taco, creating a delicious, wholesome fusion of Southwestern-inspired goodness.

Crisp and buttery on the outside, fluffy on the inside, this easy waffle recipe is perfection. Included are loads of options for sweet or savory waffles, plus all the toppings you could ever desire.

How many waffle toppings can you think of off the top of your head? My family has a well-established weakness for waffles and with that comes a weakness for all the awesome ways that you can top a hot crisp freshly made waffle.

In each scoop of this chocolate chip ice cream, the delightful crunch of chocolate creates a fun contrast against the smooth vanilla backdrop. This ice cream has been a kid-favorite in our home ever since I first churned it.

Classic peanut butter balls receive a crispy upgrade with a generous addition of crunchy cornflakes. These bite-sized chocolate covered treats combine the beloved flavors of peanut butter and chocolate with an irresistible crunch.

What I’m CRAVING: My friend Katrina’s Sugar Cookies! This is the only sugar cookie recipe that I make and I’ve been making them for years. They require no chill time, they roll out perfectly every single time, they bake up with crisp cut-out cookie edges, and most importantly, they taste fantastic. If I could give them more than 5 stars, I would. They are the absolute BEST. 

My FAVORITE THINGS this week are these thermal socks. They’re super thick, almost ridiculously warm, and incredibly soft. I don’t usually wear them with shoes, I tend to wear them more like slippers. I put them on most mornings and have to pull them off eventually because my feet get so very warm. I am loving them.

What I’m LISTENING to: Christmas music on repeat. I can’t get enough of it. Old songs and new songs, classic hymns to hard rock, I’ll take it all. What’s your favorite Christmas album? I’d love to find some new music to add to my playlists this year.

What I’m READING:  Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford by Clint Hall. I downloaded this one from the library a couple of years ago after reading Clint’s other two books – Mrs. Kennedy & Me and Five Days In November, but time got away from me and I ran out of time to finish it. 

A friend mentioned the book the other day and I immediately downloaded it again. This book is every bit as good as the other two, with more details on Clint’s entire career. I’m glad for the reminder and can recommend it wholeheartedly now.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:11-14 ESV

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


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