The Little Things Newsletter #392 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! I’m looking forward to a pretty relaxed couple of days to finish off a week that was filled with family time, games, and laughter. I absolutely love having friends and family stay with us, and you know what else I love? That moment when the house is quiet and calm again. (We can admit that, right?)

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK: This Brussels sprouts gratin is a savory delight, combining thinly sliced tender-crisp Brussels sprouts with a creamy sauce. A sprinkling of cheese and a breadcrumb topping finish it off nicely, creating a luxurious, comforting side dish.

Flaky buttery pastry tops a luscious medley of tender chicken, hearty vegetables, and a creamy, savory sauce in these puff pastry pot pies.

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This tangy, sweet homemade cranberry sauce with lemon trumps anything you can buy at the store. Do you know how easy it is to make cranberry sauce? If you can boil water, I promise you can make cranberry sauce.

Captain Crunch ice cream is a whimsical treat that captures the essence of childhood breakfasts in a delightful homemade ice cream. The nostalgic cereal flavor infuses every scoop of this creamy, velvety ice cream.

These Chocolate Caramel Cookies – or more accurately, Caramel Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – are a cookie that I crave every single time I see these photos. They are legitimately mouthwatering.

Buttery crunchy toffee and candy bar pieces are layered with whipped cream atop a dessert so deliriously rich, this Heath Bar cake should carry a warning label.

What I’m CRAVING: I don’t crave salad nearly as often in the winter, but right now? I’m looking forward to prepping all the salads for my lunches this week. I’m thinking I’ll roast a tray of this and this to toss into my salads this time around.

My FAVORITE THING this week is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I know, I know, two book recommendations in a week? I was setting out our stack of Christmas books this week and couldn’t resist this one. I’m going to read it aloud again this year with my much older kids. (I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that my oldest son is about to turn 20!)

I’ve loved this book ever since I was a child and it continues to make me grin and laugh. It’s a great reminder of the real Christmas story before the “fun” of the Christmas activities take over our calendars.

What I’m LISTENING to: We Need A Little Christmas by Pentatonix. This album is new to me and I’m loving it. My favorite songs on this album are Amazing Grace and We Need A Little Christmas. (I can’t help thinking of my friend Emjay every time I hear that one – it’s just such a happy song!) I could happily listen every day. 

What I’m READING: The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. It’s been a while since I was this engrossed in a book. The story is initially set in 1942, in Nazi-occupied Poland, and depicts the horrors of war, the fear, and so much death, but also the bravery and the courage that humanity can also prove to have through the most devastating of times.

I don’t always enjoy stories that bounce between present and past, yet this one does it well. While I didn’t like all of the modern-day characters initially, I was attached to them all in the end. This book brought me to tears more than once. I highly recommend it.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 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. Kathy Barcanic says

    Happy Thanksgiving! I have made several of your recipes and my family loves them. I don’t know if you have seen the show The Chosen about the life of Jesus and his disciples but Dallas Jenkins who created it is also making the Christmas book you mentioned, The best Christmas Pageant Ever, into a movie that will come out next year for the holidays. Be on the lookout for it!

  2. Jana says

    I read The Things We Cannot Say a couple of years ago. I honestly didn’t have high expectations for it when I started but it sounded somewhat interesting and fit a category I needed for a reading challenge. I ended up loving it! Some books that I’ve read (even somewhat recently) I kind of end up forgetting. I can’t believe how vividly I remember some of the parts of this book. I second your recommendation! Also, thank you for the reminder on The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I haven’t thought of that book in years! Can’t wait until my girls are old enough to enjoy this one with me.