The Little Things Newsletter #310 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! This is our first mostly un-planned weekend in a while and I’m looking forward to a day of cooking and baking and recipe testing. The fact that the sun is still shining and the weather continues to be lovely just gives me another reason to smile.

My boys have just one more month of school and then our summer begins in a flurry. My oldest graduates from high school this year and I am so excited for him. Wasn’t it just a few years ago though when I was watching him read his first chapter books? 

From a distance of a dozen years now, it’s easy to say that parenting time really does fly after you’re past those rough baby and pre-school years. But when you’re in those years? It sure doesn’t feel that way. Wherever you may be at in your parenting (or child-free) life, I wish you a wonderful weekend and at least one moment to treasure in your memory.

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ON THE BLOG this week: Elote a.k.a. Hot Mexican Corn Dip is made with roasted corn in a creamy sauce of spicy mayonnaise (or sour cream), lime, and cotija cheese. Whether you eat it with a spoon or dip into it with tortilla chips, this is a snack that everyone loves. 

Pineapple, mint, and lime combine deliciously to make these irresistible Pineapple Mojitos. These are the cocktails I have made the most frequently for several years now.

Layers of cream cheese, berries, and buttery pretzels add up to the Strawberry Pretzel Salad recipe that is loved by adults and kids alike. The pretzel crust adds a salty-sweet layer to this dessert that makes it irresistible.

This Sticky Asian Chicken is an easy 4 ingredient recipe that is going to rock your weeknight dinners. Salty soy sauce, sweet brown sugar, and spicy garlic chili paste combine to make one of the easiest Asian-inspired marinades you can imagine.

Luscious and sweet, this Peanut Butter, Banana, and Spinach Smoothie will make eating at least one of your daily servings of leafy greens a pure delight.

What I’m CRAVING: My friend Shawn’s Tres Leches Cake. In case you aren’t already familiar with it, Tres Leches Cake Recipe is an ultra-moist, soft and fluffy cake that is soaked in a sweet milk mixture, then topped generously with whipped cream. I love that Shawn’s recipe includes cinnamon too, it’s a fun variation for this cinnamon loving girl. 

(See the Cinnamon Toast Cake, Cinnamon Toast Bars, and Cinnamon Toast Bites for further evidence of my love affair with cinnamon sugar.)

What I’m WATCHING: The Chosen – Season 2. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this show? As a Christian who manages to avoid most “Christian” entertainment, this crowd-funded tv show has blown me away. The number of times I’ve had chills on my arms as characters were introduced or through specific scenes – all I can say at this point is wow. Seriously.

I have pretty much inhaled this show. If you’ve heard it was good, but you’ve just not taken the time to watch it yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough. The show is free to stream and you can watch it on The Chosen website (linked above) from any computer without even loading an app. Watch the first 2-3 episodes and tell me what you think. I’d love to chat more about it.

What I’m READING: All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. This is a children’s book that I’ve probably read at least a dozen times – if not twice that many times. I loved it dearly as a child and I was so happy to discover this week that I love it still. My old cloth-bound library copy of this book caught my eye on the bookshelf the other day and I couldn’t resist picking it up.

It’s the story of five young girls growing up in New York City at the turn of the century. They find adventures every day while going to the market, visiting the library, even cleaning the house and putting on plays. It’s a world that most of us have never experienced and the pleasure the whole family enjoys with the little things in life is a sweet reminder not to take our own riches (whether they’re material riches or not) for granted.

This is a two thumbs up, five-star read for any child between 8-10, though this 44-year-old has very much enjoyed re-reading the book this week. And spoiler alert – I just discovered THERE ARE MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES!!! I didn’t even know it was a series! I am giddy over this and have already downloaded the next book to my Kindle. Is there anything better for a book lover than to discover more books with beloved characters? It’s an absolute gift and I’m grinning over here like it’s Christmas morning.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 

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


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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Vicki Skonieczny says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing The Chosen in your What I’m WATCHING section this past Saturday. I didn’t want to comment until I’d watched a few episodes. Well, my husband and I just finished all 8 episodes of Season 1. We had never even heard of this Show until I read it in your newsletter. I am so happy that I continue to be a faithful reader of your Saturday newsletters or I probably wouldn’t have ever known about this. We were absolutely glued to the television the last several days, watching 2-3 episodes a night. Cannot wait to start Season 2. I would love to hear your thoughts on Season 1. And I really like how you started ending your newsletters with a Bible verse…..always makes me smile.
    Take Care,

    • Mary Younkin says

      You made my night, Vicki. I am thrilled that you enjoyed the show so much. I’ve had chills while watching it too. It’s just so very well done! I can hardly wait for the next season!