The Little Things Newsletter #338 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, friends! It’s been rainy and drizzling all morning and I’m loving it so much. I know that many people are far less excited than I am for the arrival of winter, but it’s hard to contain my excitement some days. While I don’t love the cold as much as I love fall and spring, the changing of the seasons remains one of my very favorite things about living in Ohio.

ON THE BLOG this week: Coconut Lovers be warned, this coconut rice krispie treat is going to star in your food daydreams for years to come. I adore coconut and I also LOVE a great rice krispie treat, so this combination is pretty much my idea of snacking perfection.

Who doesn’t love a quick and easy recipe full of creamy ricotta and spinach, tucked into jumbo pasta shells and smothered in marinara sauce?

The smooth creamy texture of brown sugar ice cream with its rich caramel, toffee-like flavor makes this the perfect ice cream to take me into fall.

Rich, chewy fudge brownies filled with melting Andes mints and plenty of chocolate chips are brownie perfection.

For a side dish that checks all the boxes, smokey, sweet, savory, and salty, serve these caramelized carrots with bacon.

Light and fluffy, absolutely Perfect Pancakes are a recipe that everyone needs to have in their pocket. I’ve been making this pancake recipe for as long as I can remember and every single person who has tried these pancakes has loved them.

With all the flavors of pumpkin pie stirred into a creamy bowl of oatmeal, this quick and easy Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal is our favorite fall oatmeal.

This Date Nut Roll brings me directly back to my childhood. I remember watching my grandpa roll this on the kitchen counter every holiday when we visited.

What I’m CRAVING: This Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board by Modern Honey might be the prettiest themed board I’ve ever seen. I want this for a holiday centerpiece now.

My FAVORITE THINGS this week are these paper liners for the air fryer basket. I’m certain my friend Sandra is reading this and laughing herself silly because I admittedly thought they were a bit “extra” and couldn’t possibly be worth buying when she first told me about them. 

Well, I’ve had to eat those words, b

How To Make Perfect Pancakes

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Light and fluffy, absolutely Perfect Pancakes are a recipe that everyone needs to have in their pocket.

I’ve been making this pancake recipe for as long as I can remember and every single person who has tried these pancakes has loved them.

Perfect Pancakes

Perfect Pancakes

The original version of these pancakes was made with whole wheat flour and I shared it here on the website over 11 years ago. It was one of the first blog posts I wrote. The idea that whole wheat waffles really could be light and fluffy? It was a bit of a breakfast game-changer for us.

Over the years I’ve shared versions of that recipe with countless friends and readers who asked for a traditional flour recipe, because yes, it can be adapted for all-purpose flour, and it has received nothing but raves from everyone who tries the pancakes.

That said, it was way past time I finally shared the recipe here exactly as we make it today. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd or fill the freezer for future breakfasts.

This pancake recipe has been such a hit, I even shared it in The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook a few years ago too.

If you’re looking for absolutely perfect Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes, you’ll want to check out that recipe too. With so many five-star rave reviews, that recipe is a must for anyone who needs to eat gluten-free.

Light and fluffy pancakes

How To Make Pancakes Fluffy

Light and fluffy pancakes are a breakfast favorite. I like to make a giant batch on the weekend and freeze them for easy breakfasts throughout the week.

Topped with peanut butter and

Grandpa’s Date Nut Roll

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This Date Nut Roll brings me directly back to my childhood. I remember watching my grandpa roll this on the kitchen counter every holiday when we visited.

Crushed graham crackers, marshmallows, dates, pecans, and a splash of cream: none of these ingredients are remarkable on their own, but when combined they become something special.

Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Date Nut Roll

I can’t recall another occasion for which my grandpa ever worked in the kitchen. However, making the Date Nut Roll was his domain every Christmas. He passed away when I was just ten years old and I hadn’t thought of his Date Nut Roll in years.

When I found this recipe last year and made it for the first time as an adult, it was like I was standing in my grandparents’ kitchen once again.

Some food memories stick with us more than others, and I am so glad I have this one to pass on to my boys.

Date Nut Roll Recipe

  1. Place the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, dates, and pecans in a mixing bowl and toss to coat everything in the crumbs.
  2. Slowly add the cream, a couple of tablespoons at a time, stirring to combine. Add liquid just until the mixture is wet enough to hold together when you press it with a spoon.
  3. Spread two large sheets of parchment or wax paper on the counter and divide the mixture on top of them. Press it into a log with your hands and sprinkle lightly with the remaining crumbs to coat all around.
  4. Roll it tightly in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends tightly and chill until firm, at least 2-6 hours. Slice into pieces with a very sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Old Fashioned Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I’m all about easy no-bake treats for some of my holiday treat-making. As much as I love cookies and fancier holiday desserts, sometimes it’s just plain fun to pull together a whole bunch of delicious treats in very little time.

With just a few of these options, you can have platters of Christmas goodies at your fingertips to deliver to friends or share at a party.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this Peanut Butter Fudge is one of the best fudges I’ve ever tasted. Rich, creamy, over-the-top fudge that is so easy to make, you might laugh.

No-Bake Cookies have met their match with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Bites. It doesn’t get much easier than just stirring everything together and pouring it into a pan.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Ritz Cookies are the sweet, salty, chocolatey snack you need in your life. With zero baking required and just three ingredients–chocolate, Ritz crackers, and peanut butter–they’re a perfect last-minute addition to your holiday cookie tray or party menu.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

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With all the flavors of pumpkin pie stirred into a creamy bowl of oatmeal, this quick and easy Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal is our favorite fall oatmeal.

It’s hard to beat a hot fragrant breakfast that can be on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Vanilla Whipped Cream - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

We enjoy topping our bowls of oatmeal with a swirl of freshly whipped cream to make it even more like pumpkin pie.

The whole family enjoys this oatmeal and the kids have requested this again every single day this week; I think I’m safe to say that it is a hit.

It’s been ten years since we first made pumpkin spice oatmeal and this is still my middle son’s favorite oatmeal. He happily makes this oatmeal throughout the year.

There’s nothing better than having a terrific breakfast that the kids can make on their own. Especially when they make enough to share with me.

Top your bowl of pumpkin pie oatmeal with whipped cream and transform your breakfast into something absolutely craveable.

Oatmeal Ingredients

  • rolled oats
  • water
  • milk
  • pumpkin puree
  • brown sugar
  • pumpkin pie spice mix
  • kosher salt

Pumpkin Oatmeal Recipe

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly until the oatmeal has thickened.
  3. Remove from the heat, portion into serving bowls, and top with whipped cream or a drizzle of heavy cream.
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Read more

Brown Sugar Ice Cream

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The smooth creamy texture of brown sugar ice cream with its rich caramel, toffee-like flavor makes this the perfect ice cream to take me into fall.

brown sugar ice cream in white bowl

Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Creamy vanilla homemade ice cream is my absolute favorite. But I like to mix things up a bit every once in a while. Creating a slighting richer ice cream with brown sugar is one way to do that.

Why brown sugar instead of white sugar? Brown sugar is simply white sugar with the addition of molasses. The molasses in brown sugar gives a deep caramel or subtle toffee flavor.

Note: I did not put additional molasses in this recipe. However, feel free to add a teaspoon or so to your liking. Depending on my mood I have been known to sneak it in.

Brown sugar changes up the ice cream for something a bit richer tasting. Plus if you are out of white sugar and still want to make ice cream, you can! It is always good to have options.

Mixing up the ice cream base couldn’t be easier. Place all your ingredients in a bowl and whisk. It might take your brown sugar a bit longer to dissolve, so a little extra whisking might be needed, but worth it.

ice cream in bowl

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Ice Cream

You can add in so many delicious things to ice cream. Cinnamon and cinnamon chips pair perfectly with brown sugar. You may recall just how much we love cinnamon ice cream – we love it so much we have 5-minute cinnamon ice cream recipe and a french-style custard too.

Caramelized almonds, candied walnuts, or cinnamon-roasted pec

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