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The Little Things Newsletter #411 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


Welcome to the weekend, my friends! The storms in Ohio have been almost non-stop this week, but there are plenty of signs that spring is on the way. It’s looking beautiful and green all around us these days. (Technically, it’s green everywhere that isn’t currently muddy or flooded, but I’m looking for the blessing in all the rain this week.)

If you’ve never lived somewhere without changing seasons, the wonder of it all is likely not something you notice. But having lived most of my life in the Southwest, I don’t take the different seasons for granted. I love each one so much (yes, even mud season) and I’m looking forward to the crisp mornings, warmer days, and beautiful flowers that spring always brings.

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK:  Skip the store-bought spice mixes and stir together a batch of homemade Cajun seasoning! Cajun seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices often used to add a kick to dishes running the gamut from popcorn to veggies to meat! Most of your favorite Cajun-style recipes likely call for some version of a Cajun seasoning mix.

Steak bites are a weeknight mainstay of our meal-planning rotation. And these Cajun Steak Bites have just enough kick to please both my spice lovers and less adventurous eaters.

Tender chicken, salsa, green chile, and black beans are simmered together in the crock-pot and then scooped into warm tortillas to create the easiest, tastiest, salsa chicken tacos and burritos. Salsa Chicken is also tasty when served over rice, wrapped in tortillas, or tossed into a salad.

Dive into this timeless combination of flavors with savory chicken, gooey mozzarella, and marinara sauce, nestled in tender-crisp squash, and topped with toasted bread crumbs. Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats are a big hit!

Creamy, buttery, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes are what food dreams are made of. I suggest making extra, to avoid arguments over who gets seconds.

Soft, tender cookies filled with bursting blueberries and topped with a tangy sweet lemon glaze, these Lemon Blueberry Cookies have been an enormous hit with everyone who tries them.

Apple Crisp Ice Cream, the name alone sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? That’s before I tell you that this ice cream is made with the creamiest of homemade vanilla ice creams, then completely loaded with bits of cinnamon sweet baked apples, and crunchy streusel topping.

What I’m CRAVING: Do you remember Pillsbury’s Orange Rolls? (Are they still a thing?) Oh, how I used to love them. My friend Leigh Anne’s Orange Rolls caught my eye this week and I’m now low-key obsessed with trying them.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this illuminating nail concealer. I’m not much of a nail polish or manicure girl at this point, but this polish glides on smooth as glass with no lines or issues at all. It’s the easiest polish I’ve ever used and I love how simple it is.

What I’m WATCHING: Divergent. This movie is based on the first book in the Divergent series and we enjoyed it. I read the books years ago when my boys were reading them and stumbled on the movies the other day with my youngest. We watched all three of them while he was off school this week. 

The Divergent books are YA sci-fi adventure novels set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian Chicago. They’re a fun read and a fun watch as well.

What I’m READING: The Last Graduate: Book 2 of The Scholomance by Naomi Novik. Would you believe that the second book in the trilogy was even better than the first? I don’t think I’ve ever said that before, as the middle books in most series are often placeholders, leaving too much undone and unanswered.

The series is YA sci-fi fantasy and I have enjoyed it so far. This book was a two-night binge-read for me and I’m looking forward to reading the last book as soon as it’s available.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4-5 NIV

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

Mary

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