The Little Things Newsletter #333 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


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Welcome to the weekend, friends! I’ve had a great time catching up with family and friends in Phoenix for the past few days, but I have to admit that the jeans, boots, and jackets in the closet at home are calling my name again. Bring on the fall weather, please! I can hardly wait to be back in Ohio. (Fingers crossed for no travel delays today!)

ON THE BLOG this week: Strawberry Banana Smoothies are simple, easy, and refreshing as a snack or even a meal all on their own. This smoothie is delicious with only four ingredients!

I’m not exaggerating when I say this Peanut Butter Fudge is one of the best fudges I’ve ever tasted. Rich, creamy, over-the-top fudge that is so easy to make, you might laugh.

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While we’re on a peanut butter loving roll here, Peanut Butter Ice Cream tastes like the inside of a peanut butter cup, transformed into cold and creamy homemade ice cream.

Tender green beans, baby potatoes, smoky bacon, and sweet onions are perfectly combined in this irresistibly classic southern side dish.

Walnut Cookies are tender buttery sweet cookies with a center of chewy brown sugar, walnut, and sour cream filling. Not a fan of walnuts? Try them with pecans. However you make them, these cookies are likely to be a new holiday favorite.

What I’m CRAVING: My friend Sue’s banana oat bread with a warm maple walnut glaze caught my eye last week and I can’t stop thinking about it. I definitely need to make it this fall.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this cozy heated throw blanket. As the days start cooling off, this is a great way to stay warm and cozy without heating up the whole house. I ordered another one as a gift for a friend this week and was thrilled to see that a few of the colors are on sale for 40% off.

What we’re READING: Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan. After asking on Facebook for a few new book recommendations, several of you suggested I read this one. As soon as it was available from my library, I inhaled it.

This is the true story of a 24-year-old woman who woke up strapped to the bed in a hospital room, unable to control her movements or even speak, with no memory of how she’d gotten there. She was labeled violent and psychotic and at one point even had a 24/7 guard assigned to her before her illness progressed to catatonia. Her hospital records and her father’s journal tell the story of an entire month spent in the hospital – a stay of which she has no recollection.

This book chronicles the lightning-fast path of her illness (a literal descent into madness) and the amazing last-minute diagnosis and intervention of one doctor who saved her life – while every other doctor was ready to commit her to a psychiatric ward and walk away. Her illness is now thought to be the cause of many “demonic possessions” throughout history. This was a fascinating look at an autoimmune disease I had never heard of before now, an illness that destroys the blood-brain barrier and effectively sets the brain on fire.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

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. Sandra in Phx says

    That blanket was a godsend for my mama when she was going through chemo. She used it every single day and she often commented on how sweet HER friend, Mary was for sending it to her. What a blessing you were. You know both of my parents loved you like their own and were always cheering you on in every single endeavor. Love you bunches, friend.