The Little Things Newsletter #390 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is the week after next. (Unless of course, you’re Canadian and Thanksgiving was celebrated a month ago. In that case, Happy belated Thanksgiving, friends!) Wasn’t it the first of September just yesterday? 

I’ll be spending time this weekend immersed in the oh-so-exciting tasks of cleaning out the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to make sure we’re ready to go for the holidays. While I’m at it, I should probably make sure that we get the patio furniture put away before the first snow arrives too.

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK: Ground beef Philly cheesesteaks are a tasty, convenient twist on the classic Philadelphia sandwich. This skillet version is prepared using ground beef instead of thinly sliced ribeye or sirloin steak, making it a quicker and budget-friendly option.

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If you want something a little different for your Thanksgiving this year, this roast turkey with herbs and wine is a great way to go. Using this method, you can cook a 12-pound turkey in under an hour.

This homemade brown gravy is delicious on turkey, chicken, beef, potatoes, poutine, and more – best of all, it’s easily made without any meat drippings.

When you combine crisp, tender green beans with earthy artichoke hearts, and bathe them in a garlicky cream sauce, the result is a whole new kind of green bean artichoke casserole that is certain to be a win on your holiday table.

These roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes (with bacon!) combine savory, sweet, and smoky flavors perfectly.

Pieces of fudge and chocolate-covered peanuts dance through swirls of rich fudge sauce in this tin roof sundae ice cream.

All the awesome buttery sweet pecan pie goodness of the classic pie in a cobbler-style dessert that you can stir together in just a few minutes? Absolutely! This Pecan Pie Cobbler was a HUGE win from the very first bite.

What I’m CRAVING: My friend Gina’s Tuna Waldorf Salad caught my eye this week and it sounds like the perfect lunch for after church tomorrow. I’m going to grab some grapes and more apples at the store tonight.

My FAVORITE THINGS this week are these tiny reading lights. I bought them a couple of years ago because I needed a really small option for bedside reading lamps in the guest room and these are perfect for that. They easily clip to a headboard or a nightstand shelf. They even dim and remember the setting when they’re turned off and on again.

I’m glad I gave them a try because they turned out to be pretty great. I’m currently using one at my desk, as I don’t always want the overhead light on, but this time of year, I like to have a little more light than the windows allow. They’re a total win for a terrific price.

What I’m LISTENING to: Si Forever by Andrea Bocelli. Some friends and I were able to hear Bocelli in concert a few years ago and that still stands as one of the most chill-inducing concerts ever. He brought one of us <cough> Lynne <cough> to tears more than once. This album never fails to put a smile on my face.

What I’m READING: I am in a serious reading slump! I don’t know if it’s just me and I’m too tired to read lately or if I’m simply picking books that aren’t too great, but I haven’t found a really good new read in a while. I’ve been re-reading old favorites and randomly trying new ones.

I’m going to look through this loooong list of your recommendations (scroll to the comments to see all of them) and refill my library holds list this week. Fingers are crossed for some great new finds. If you have a favorite book or author that I haven’t already talked about reading, feel free to email it to me!

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 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 Skonieczny says

    Hi Mary, Please consider giving author Ernest Gaines a try. He is my favorite author. Have a great weekend.