The Little Things Newsletter #374 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We had a great time in the White Mountains of Arizona with my family last weekend. (Thank goodness we weren’t headed to the valley where it’s approximately the temperature of my oven this summer.) The heat wave in the mountains was less than awesome this year, but at 9000′ it wasn’t awful.

I’ve probably driven between AZ and NM at least 100 times in my life and this time it was a whole new experience. We took 117 for a portion of the trip and we stumbled on an unexpectedly stunning drive. We stopped and walked the short trail up to La Ventana Arch. It is about 18 miles south of Interstate 40 off Exit 89 and it is well worth the stop.

ON THE BLOGS this week: Rich chocolate, creamy peanut butter, and frozen bananas are blended together in blissful harmony to make this Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie – that tastes more like a peanut butter banana milkshake than a breakfast drink.

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Crispy Breakfast Potatoes, roasted to perfect crispiness with fluffy centers and plenty of seasoning, are key players in many of our favorite breakfast recipes.

Roasted Green Beans and Carrots deliver a delightful medley of flavors and textures. You can season them as directed in the recipe below or toss them with any number of different spice combinations.

The irresistible combination of vibrant peas, crispy bacon, and savory cheese complemented by a luscious creamy dressing, creates a perfect harmony of flavors in this Pea Pasta Salad.

Grab a chip and dig right into this creamy Caramelized Onion Dip. This tantalizing appetizer combines the smoothness of sour cream with the sweet and savory essence of onions slow-cooked to perfection. This dip is nothing like the onion dips you’ve tried before and it will leave your taste buds craving more.

Creamy chocolate ice cream filled with chocolate-covered cashews and swirled throughout with caramel sauce adds up to bowls of Bear Claw Ice Cream that no one can resist.

Melted dark chocolate is whipped with tangy cream cheese and a bit of cream to create this luxurious No Bake Chocolate Mousse.

With tangy, sweet rhubarb and an irresistible cinnamon sugar biscuit topping, this Rhubarb Cobbler just begs for a scoop of cold ice cream.

What I’m CRAVING: These Blackened Fish Tacos With Chipotle-Lime Sauce are making my mouth water. We’re grilling this weekend and I think they need to happen sooner than later.

My FAVORITE THING this week is my new Fitbit. Remember Fitbit? The bracelet step counter that we all were using about 10-15 years ago? Well, I started working out a few months ago (yeah, I just wrote that) and I wanted a very simple heart rate monitor that was not a smartwatch.

Turns out that Fitbit has come a long way in the 15 years since their first tracker was released. I bought the Inspire 3 (pretty sure it cost less than my first one too – go figure) and in addition to tracking your steps, there is GPS tracking for walking or running, a clock with a timer, stopwatch, and an alarm, as well as O2, exercise, heartbeat, and sleep monitors. So far, I really like it.

What I’m READING: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. So many of you have recommended this one, I’ve lost count! My friend Henny was the first to mention it to me, and it was finally available at the library a few days ago and I downloaded it immediately. I’m hooked! It’s such an unusual storyline and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends.

(Yes, I’m breaking my own rule of never mentioning a book before finishing it – here’s hoping I won’t have to renege on the thumbs-up review next week!)

What I’m LISTENING to: Black Coffee by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa. This one showed up in one of my Pandora stations the other day and I was hooked from the first listen. Bonamassa’s guitar and Beth’s voice are a fantastic combination. “Why Don’t You Do Right?” is my favorite on the album right now.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 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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