The Little Things Newsletter #362 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! The end of the school year is in full swing here with a friend’s graduation party tonight, along with my youngest son’s spring concert for school. It’s hard to believe summer will officially be here in less than a month!

ON THE BLOGS this week: Honey, Sriracha, soy sauce, and sesame oil are all you need to make this irresistible sweet and spicy broccoli.

The aroma of this ground beef spaghetti sauce as it simmers away on the stove is absolutely divine. Rich and savory flavors create a symphony in this simple recipe. And this simple mushroom spaghetti sauce trumps anything you can buy in jars or cans at the grocery store. 

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This garlic herb bread has become a staple on our meal plan and I’m not sad about it. Made with plenty of butter, herbs, and garlic, this is an easy way to elevate your next pasta night.

Saucy bites of tangy chicken come together perfectly with roasted potatoes and broccoli in this bbq chicken and potato casserole. This flavorful and hearty dish is a big win at my house. (There may have been a bit of a squabble over the last of the leftovers too. It was definitely a hit.)

The tender pop of juicy sweet corn balances the mild acidity of peppers and onions in this festive side dish. Colorful confetti corn pairs wonderfully with many of our favorite meals.

Homemade rocky road ice cream is creamy chocolate and almond-flavored ice cream loaded with chewy marshmallows, crunchy almonds, and flecks of chocolate.

Did you know that rocky road was one of the first ice cream flavors that mixed in additional ingredients? I’m so glad that became a thing because I am hooked on fully loaded ice creams.

Blueberries and lemon come together perfectly in a sour cream coffee cake that is truly worthy of any occasion.

Indulge in a chocolate lover’s dream with flavors that will leave your taste buds craving for more. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this triple chocolate bundt cake with an irresistible peanut butter glaze.

What I’m CRAVING: My friend Heidi’s udon stir fry recipe with sausage, cabbage, and shiitake mushrooms looks so good! I put it on my meal plan for next month.

My FAVORITE THINGS this week are my new pens! Okay friends, I’m pretty much screaming about this in my head, because for 17 years (yes, I looked it up – the Jetstream pen was released in 2006) I’ve been a dedicated user of the Uniball Jetstream pen. I’ve talked about that pen for years and shared links with you whenever they go on sale. Well, no more. There’s a new pen in my hand and it’s AMAZING.

Here’s the deal. These pens are barely one dollar each. Yeah, that’s right. My new favorite pen is a cheap one and it’s also the smoothest, most smudge-free, beautifully clean writing gel pen I’ve ever used. It dries almost as soon as the ink leaves the pen. If you give it even a couple of seconds, you can’t smear it.

I bought a $6 five-pack of these pens to test them out because I tried a similar more popular one and liked it. But when I went to order a pack of the other pens to test, a reviewer mentioned these specifically as better. Oh baby, are they ever. 

I now have these pens everywhere. My bags, my desk, my counter at home, my car, the kitchen, anywhere and everywhere I might want to write something down. I wasn’t kidding. I have a new favorite pen and I couldn’t be happier about it.

What I’m LISTENING to: Rush: The Greatest Hits. My 17-year-old son was in the office with me one day this week and chose Rush for the playlist while I was cooking. This has been one of Sean’s favorite groups since before we met and I love that he’s introduced our boys to their music too.

What I’m WATCHING: Notting Hill. I stumbled on this movie on Netflix the other night and couldn’t resist watching it. I haven’t seen it since it was released and it’s still simply charming.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25 ESV

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 says

    I have a slight addiction to pens. Not a specific brand but all pens, especially ones that are pretty or have colored ink. Right now I’m using my white pens with diffrent colored crosses on them, and they have a “window’ so that every time you click it a different Bible verse shows. I love them. I’m also using ones my friend made me with a beach scene and my name on them.