The Little Things Newsletter #371 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

Happy 4th of July weekend, my friends! Our village puts on a fantastic celebration every year and my brother and his girls are driving up from GA to enjoy it with us. The fun begins today and will go through the 4th. Here’s hoping for good weather all weekend!

As you’re getting ready for all the fun foods this weekend, and in case you’re as watermelon obsessed as we are this summer, check out this quick video showing how to easily slice a watermelon into handheld wedges or perfect bite-size cubes.

ON THE BLOGS this week: Crisp bacon and lettuce, tart tomatoes, creamy hard-boiled eggs, and jalapenos combine to create this creamy, slightly spicy Jalapeno BLT Pasta Salad.

The perfectly even doneness of a reverse seared New York strip steak makes every single bite a mouthwatering slice of heaven.

Loaded with robust garlic, zesty lemon, and a kick of red pepper flakes, Cowboy Butter is absolutely crave-worthy on steak, vegetables, or fresh bread.

Sweet grapes, crunchy pecans, and vanilla bean sour cream are combined in this unexpected and delicious creamy grape salad. My boys went nuts over this the first time I made it and I couldn’t stop eating bites of it myself.

Spicy, tangy, and savory flavors are stacked atop each together in a baking dish to create this sensational Layered Taco Dip with Ground Beef. My fellow snackers can rejoice because while this is fantastically snackable, it is also hearty enough to be dinner any night of the week.

Learn how to bake zucchini for an easy side dish all summer long. Baked zucchini is slightly sweet with crispy edges and a smooth rich texture.

Garden-fresh tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, fragrant basil, and a drizzle of balsamic make a timeless combination in this Chopped Caprese Salad.

Tender crisp Thai green beans with peanut sauce can be made as mild or as spicy as you like – in under 15 minutes.

Sweet strawberries mingle with crunchy golden Oreos whispering of summer in this lusciously smooth Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream.

If you think rhubarb is just for baked goods, you will be pleasantly surprised by the sweet, slightly tart flavor of this versatile Rhubarb Sauce. Try it warm over a bowl of ice cream for a real treat!

What I’m CRAVING: Sean’s favorite salad is an Antipasto Salad and this is the prettiest one I’ve ever seen. It’s going to be a great addition to our barbecue this weekend.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this tiny trashcan. Years ago I found a similar cupholder trashcan for my car and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, Rubbermaid stopped making that one, and I’ve been on the lookout for another one for the other vehicles. I was thrilled to find this one and am happy to say that I like it every bit as much as the original.

It’s small enough not to stand out in a cupholder and it also fits well in the doors. I like that it doesn’t have a lid to fuss with either. Small trash easily fits through the opening and stays there without being visible or falling out if the can gets knocked around.

What I’m WATCHING: From Crawfish to Forever Changed. My friend Billy Parisi put together this video and shared it with me yesterday. He filmed it during a Louisiana-style crawfish boil and it’s filled with veteran interviews, celebrating the men who gave everything for our country. 

It’s not a long watch, just 22 minutes. If you have a few minutes this weekend, I recommend watching it. It’s inspiring and will make you grateful for what we’ve been given. (All proceeds from views of this video benefit https://sentinelsoffreedom.org/.)

What I’m LISTENING to: Look Up Child by Lauren Daigle. This album is still on repeat over here. I’m hooked.

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

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

Mary

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