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Recipes

The Little Things Newsletter #343 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, friends! Our boys finished school yesterday and we’re all in on Christmas vacation at last. It’s finally time for all the Christmas movies, loads of couch time, and as few chores as I can get away with for a while. Here’s to all the downtime we can manage for the next couple of weeks!

ON THE BLOG this week: When you add corn and bell peppers to a batch of the best ever queso blanco, the result is a fantastic Corn Queso Dip that you won’t be able to stop eating.

Fluffy, buttery, nutty, pecan pancakes topped with maple syrup make for a tasty and easy breakfast we all enjoy. /and speaking of pancakes, when you add crisp savory bacon to a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, you wind up with the best Bacon Pancakes you’ll ever have the pleasure of eating.

Fresh cranberries and a hint of lemon are combined in this incredibly moist brown sugar streusel Cranberry Coffee Cake. Cranberry Coffee Cake is not an overly sweet or fluffy cake. It’s a richly dense coffee cake with a lovely tartness from the cranberries.

Fluffy and crisp Corn Waffles are filled with real corn, bell peppers, and cheese for the perfect savory bite. Currently, we have been enjoying them – topped with bell pepper bacon gravy.

I kid you not, Bell Pepper Bacon Gravy, my friends. It’s a real thing and it’s delightful. I predict now that it’s about to be a family favorite for you as well.

Creamy, smooth batches of chocolate and peanut butter fudge are combined to make this chocolate peanut butter swirl fudge. It’s an unforgettable holiday treat.

This Turtle Cheesecake with caramel, chocolate, pecans, and an Oreo crust is a dessert that gets talked about long after the plates are cleaned. Sweet, decadent, and almost magically delicious, this cheesecake steals the show.

What I’m CRAVING: Steaming hot cups of Cafe con Leche – on repeat. That and peppermint tea are keeping me warm these days. If I’m lucky enough to have a few biscotti on hand? Even better. (I’ve never made biscotti, so I’ll be trying my hand at making my friend Sandra’s recipe over the Christmas break this year.)

My FAVORITE THINGS this week are these espresso k-cups. I was a fairly loud anti-keurig person for a very long time. What can I say? The coffee always tasted weird to me. However, the times have changed and I’m not at all sad about it.

I tried these espresso cups last year and they’ve changed my morning coffee game! Does it taste exactly like espresso brewed with my little stovetop espresso maker? No… not exactly, but it’s pretty darn close and I’m thrilled about it.

What I’m READING: Going Snape by Janet Evanovich. The 29th book in the Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series was a fast, predictable read. Regardless of the fact the books simply aren’t as great as they used to be, (CAN WE PLEASE MOVE FORWARD WITH STEPHANIE’S LIFE??) I can’t stop reading the new ones. They’re a fun distraction, but truthfully, I stopped buying them years ago. This is a “borrow from the library whenever it’s available” kind of read and it’s definitely worth that.

What I’m WATCHING: Trollhunters: Tales from Acadia. Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched this entire series with the kids. All of my boys are older than the recommended audience, but it’s such a fun watch it doesn’t feel like a kid’s show.

Two of us voted it as our favorite animated series and that says a lot. We watch a good bit of cartoons and anime, and this one? It is a solid two-thumbs up every time we watch it. Heroes and villains with a great story arc, beautiful animation, and well-written with perfectly timed quips and more.

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12

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

Mary

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