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The Little Things Newsletter #412 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!


2024 totality eclipse

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We’ve had a great week with family visiting, driving out to watch the eclipse in totality (so many thoughts here, but WOW sums it up), celebrating my niece’s birthday, playing games, and cooking so much food. You know it’s been a relaxing time when I’m now happily looking forward to several straight days of work. (But first, we’ll enjoy the rest of the weekend!)

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK: Loaded with our favorite Mexican flavors; this southwest chicken soup is slightly spicy with chunks of tomatoes, corn, black beans, and tender chicken. I like to top the steaming bowls of soup with a handful of shredded cheese and the entire family gives this dinner two thumbs up. The best part? You can make this soup in just TEN minutes!

Mango corn salsa is a sweet and spicy treat boasting a satisfying crunch of fresh corn and mild jalapeno heat. Whether it’s scooped over grilled chicken or served on its own with chips for dipping, it disappears fast.

Creamy, sweet, and tangy poppy seed dressing lightly coats each bite of this broccoli slaw salad. With crisp fresh broccoli and carrots, the bite of red onion, the crunch of pecans, and the sweet chewy fun of dried cranberries, this broccoli salad is a terrific side dish for almost any meal.

Bursting with sweet and slightly tart blueberries, this blueberry simple syrup will elevate your lemonades, pancakes, and cocktails with the essence of pure summer goodness.

Oh, my friends, these blueberry lemon bars turned out even more amazing than I hoped! With sweet bursting blueberries in every bite of the tangy lemon bars, they proved irresistible for me.

These buttery, not-too-sweet glazed lemon cookies have a mild lemon flavor and a sweetly tart lemon glaze. They have been a hit with everyone who tries one.

As much as we all love a good old-fashioned banana split ice cream sundae, I’m here to tell you that banana split ice cream is a whole new world of homemade ice cream.

What I’m CRAVING: Hot pretzels! I have a somewhat ridiculous weakness for fresh pretzels. There’s a pretzel shop in our village and I rarely resist stopping in when their light is on. (Thankfully, the shop is only open two days a week!) In the meantime, when the local pretzels aren’t available, we can make our own using Rebecca’s awesome pretzel recipes.

What I’m WATCHING: Insurgent and Allegiant. We finished watching the Divergent series while my youngest was on his spring break. I hadn’t seen the last movie before and we enjoyed it. I wish they’d finished the series (and not split the last book into 2 separate planned movies), but it works out okay the way it was done.

What I’m READING: Four by Veronica Roth. If you’re a fan of the Divergent series, you’ll understand how fun it was to stumble upon this collection of pre-Divergent stories, all told from Tobias’s (a.k.a. “Four’s”) point of view. 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39 ESV

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

Mary

P.S. The eclipse photo credit goes to my brother, as I didn’t even try to take photos. (Also, he’s a better photographer than I am!) 

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