The Little Things Newsletter #418 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! Bring on the sunshine. Sean is hiking in Moab with a friend this weekend and I’m here with the boys. I bought a pickleball set to try, so we’ll be giving that a shot in the driveway today. (Fingers are crossed that it will be easy enough to set up and that we’ll actually enjoy it!)

If you’re in the area, Cedar & Thread and Green Velvet are having their annual tent sales today, the odds are good that I’ll stop by both locations later. It should be a fun and also pretty relaxing weekend. I wish you the same!

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK: Half a box of pasta, a pound of sausage, and some green cabbage that was tucked in the fridge added up to a winning last-minute meal a few weeks ago. The cabbage sausage pasta was such a hit with my family that I decided to make it again and write up the recipe to share with you all.

The best stir fries are salty, savory, sweet, and just a little bit spicy. This ground beef and broccoli stir fry nails all of those things.

Cajun coleslaw is nicely balanced with just the right amount of tang, a bit of sweetness, and just a hint of heat. The dressing coats the salad lightly without weighing it down.

Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that taste fantastic and also happen to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan? Oh yeah, it’s possible. And best of all, you can likely make these with ingredients you already have on hand! No special ingredients are required.

Cherries and pineapple are tossed into a fluffy, creamy, sweet dressing to create this old-fashioned cherry fluff salad. Much like the ever-popular strawberry pretzel salad, cherry fluff isn’t really a salad at all.

Bubbling with sticky sweet cherries in their juices and topped with a buttery, flaky, cinnamon sugar crust, this cherry cobbler is a cherry lover’s dream come true.

Creamy, sweet, and slightly tangy cottage cheese ice cream tastes so much like cheesecake ice cream, you’ll do a double take! With three times the protein, it’s a new staple in our freezer. I dressed this batch of ice cream up with a berry swirl and graham cracker pieces throughout, but the options are nearly endless. I’m already playing a couple of new flavors.

What I’m CRAVING: Fried mushrooms! A friend mentioned them the o

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

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Creamy, sweet, and slightly tangy cottage cheese ice cream tastes so much like cheesecake ice cream, you’ll do a double take! With three times the protein, it’s a new staple in our freezer.

I’ve dressed this batch of ice cream up with a berry swirl and graham cracker pieces throughout, but the options are nearly endless. I’m already playing a couple of new flavors.

Horizontal overhead shot of raspberry graham cracker cottage cheese ice cream

How to Make Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

Wondering what cottage cheese ice cream tastes like? Well, you aren’t alone in that. When I first saw cottage cheese ice cream popping up online, I immediately put it on my list to try.

The viral cottage cheese ice cream that we’ve seen popping up all over the internet is about as basic as food recipes can be. Combine cottage cheese and a bit of maple syrup or honey in the blender. Blend until smooth and then freeze for an hour or so, until firm enough to scoop.

As far as this ice cream lover is concerned, that is not ice cream. It’s “okay” as a healthier alternative to a lot of other snacking, but it just tasted like frozen cottage cheese to me. Not horrible, but also, not ice cream. Sorry.

Scooping ice cream from tray

Best Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

However, the idea behind it (at least the part th

Killer Burger Sauce

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Killer Burger Sauce

This is it, the all American burger and perfect burger sauce. If you don't want dry, stale burgers look no further for the best classic hamburger.

Elevate your burger game with this delicious killer burger sauce recipe. Made with a secret blend of ingredients, this sauce will take your burgers to the next level.

This is it, the killer burger sauce recipe. If you don’t want dry, flavorless burgers, look no further for the best classic hamburger sauce.

I’ll make this short and sweet since we’ve already talked about our two secrets for the perfect burger. We live by those secrets and sure enough our burger turns out every time. Dust off the grill and let’s make perfect burgers and then top with the best burger sauce you’ve ever had!

Burger Sauce Ingredients

So you’re probably wondering what goes into the best burger sauce. Well, let me tell you! Think Big Mac Sauce, In-N-Out’s special sauce or thousand island dressing, but made in the comfort of your own home. It’s easy and comes together in no time!

  • Mayonnaise
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard or Dijon Mustard
  • Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper

To make the sauce, whisk all the ingredients together and set aside until the hamburgers are ready to assemble. The measurements of each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

How to Assemble the Perfect Burger

Forget the ketchup and mayo and go for a really good burger sauce. I am a huge fan of sauces and condiments but in the case of the burger, keep it simple, burger, sauce, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Besides the burger sauce, these are the other items you will want to make a drool-worthy burger…

  • Brioche Buns: Always toast your buns. Always. Whether or not you use butter brushed on the inside and outside is up to you, but always toast those babies.
  • Special Meat Blend: Burgers don’t want to be slow cooked so crank up the heat and quickly cook on each side. We do medium high heat for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Lettuce: We prefer butter or green leaf lettuce for the best texture, color and flavor.
  • Vine Ripe Tomato: We slice the tomatoes thin using our favorite tomato knife.
  • American Cheese: A processed cheese made from cheddar, Colby, or similar cheeses and gets extra melty and delicious.
  • Butter: A little butter on the burger is always a good thing. Culvers butter burger converted us and we hardly ever make it without butter.
  • Salt and Pepper: I cringe a little every time I see a burger get plopped on a grill without seasoning. Do you like your French fries without salt? Well meat needs seasoning as well.
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Weekly Menu Plan – May 27 to June 2

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Weekly Menu Plan – May 27 to June 2

Weekly Menu Plan – May 27 to June 2

It’s official…school is done and we are full blown summer mode! That usually means that my meal planning goes down the drains, but yours doesn’t have to with this weekly menu plan!

Monday: BBQ Chicken (Memorial Day)

Tuesday: Pasta Primavera

Wednesday: Smothered Honey Lime Chicken Burritos

Thursday: Instant Pot Beef & Broccoli

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Killer Burgers

Sunday: Smoked Beef Brisket

READ: Weekly Menu Plan – May 27 to June 2

Banana Zucchini Bread

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Banana Zucchini Bread

a photo of three slices of zucchini banana bread leaning on each other.

Get ready for a quick bread recipe mashup that you’re going to love! Banana zucchini bread is moist and total comfort. A warm slice with butter for me please!

We are obsessed with all kinds banana bread recipes here at Oh Sweet Basil, including our mega popular best banana bread recipe and our peanut butter banana bread. This is just our latest way to make fabulous banana bread!

Recommended Equipment

Before You Begin…

Grate the zucchini on a fine grate setting (using a food processor or a box grater) and then toss all the zucchini into a dish cloth or cheese cloth and squeeze out as much water as you can. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork. Now your fruit and veggie is ready!

Ingredients for Banana Zucchini Bread

If you find yourself in the fortunate predicament of having super ripe bananas and loads of zucchini (hello summertime!), then this zucchini banana bread is your answer. Just a few more pantry ingredients and you have yourself a delicious bread the whole family will love to snack on!

  • Dry Ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt
  • Wet Ingredients: canola oil, granulated sugar, and an egg
  • Ripe Bananas: you’ll need about 2 bananas
  • Zucchini: depending on the size, you’ll need 1-2 zucchinis
  • Cinnamon Sugar: for the topping

The measurements of each ingredients can be found in the recipe card so keep scrolling down for all the details.

How to Make Banana Zucchini Bread

Making banana zucchini bread is just as easy as making any other quick bread with just a couple of extra steps. The great thing about a quick bread is that there is no yeast, so it really is as easy as mixing all the ingredients together, pouring the batter in a pan and baking it. Done and done!

  1. Zucchini: I like to start by shredding my zucchini. Since we are only using 1 (maybe 2) zucchinis, I usuall