The Little Things Newsletter #360 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! I’m a wee bit weather obsessed right now. I can’t get enough of the warm sunshine this week. I’ve been trying to get outside, even if it’s just for a short walk, every day.

We have chilly rainy days on the way next week and I’m looking forward to them. I love cozy sweater days and I don’t think we’re going to have many more of them this spring.

ON THE BLOGS this week: These easy, skillet-fried pork chops with balsamic and dijon are an awesome weeknight meal that comes together in under 20 minutes. I serve them with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Oven Roasted Asparagus and there is hardly a bite left over at the end of the meal.

Zucchini, mushrooms, and sausage are tossed with penne in a spicy sauce for an easy dinner win in this simple skillet meal.

Strawberries Romanoff is just about the most delicious thing I’ve made lately. My friend Lynne was here a few weeks ago when I made this to photograph it and we may have eaten the full recipe on our own. I probably shouldn’t admit these things, but yeah, we did that.

Holy, jaw-drop-level, almost unbelievably delicious recipe. I stood at the stove pretty much inhaling this Broccoli Mushroom Casserole after the first taste. (Yeah, I see what I just wrote, but it really is that good!) I started with just a bite of broccoli and then a mushroom. But then, well, I needed to taste the rice too, right?

Have you tasted a Flourless Chocolate Cake? If so, you’ll likely never forget that first bite. Unassuming in appearance and almost ridiculously easy to make, this cake is a fantastic decadent treat. Also, if there is one thing you need to know how to make from scratch, I vote that you know how to make whipped cream. Consider it a life skill.

Lemon Ice Cream is creamy rich ice cream with an unexpected and completely fresh brightness from the lemon. If you still aren’t convinced that you need to try this, my oldest son chose this ice cream over chocolate ice cream two nights in a row and he’s declared it to be one of the best ice creams we’ve ever made.

What I’m CRAVING: It’s almost embarrassing how often we buy frozen chicken taquitos from Costco. (If you haven’t tried them, they’re made with flour tortillas and they’re really more like flautas.) Anyways, I’m just saying, my family really likes them. This recipe for chicken flautas caught my eye this week and I’m thinking it’s time to make them myself. They look about as easy as can be and the variations could be endless. 

My FAVORITE THING this week is this red enameled covered casserole skillet. I’m obsessed with these enamel skillets. I bought this one a few months ago and have shared it with you in countless recipes already. I found this gorgeous red one by Lodge this past week. The Amazon one is a little wider, while the Lodge one is a tiny bit deeper and feels a little heavier.

I can’t say that I have a preference between them right now, I really like them both. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to use them though. If you prefer to buy American-made products, I think the Lodge skillet is well worth the slightly higher price. 

What I’m READING: The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos. This book is the impossible-but-true life story of the author’s mother. Reminiscent of Sophie’s Choice, the child’s Jewish parents were forced to leave her on the doorstep of an apartment building in Bucharest in 1941, hoping to protect her from the coming war.

They left her with a note that read, “In anguish and despair we release this child into the hands of God, with the hope and faith that she may be saved.” That child, the author’s mother, is brought to an orphanage and is eventually adopted by a Christian family. 

If I’m being honest, this book drags a good bit at times and I became so annoyed with the main character at one point I nearly stopped reading the book. Despite the fact I set the book down several times, I’m glad I finished it, as the ending was both unexpected and lovely. It’s a solid four-star read for me and I do recommend it.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!

Mary



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