This and That


  • I am glad LSU won the national championship. Joe Burrow seems like a good kid.
  • The playoffs are heating up. The boys are stoked the Packers are still going strong. I told them I would cheer for them on Sunday since they are so excited. They are our little cheese heads.
  • The snow has been incredible this week.
  • We saw Just Mercy and I highly recommend it.
  • Do you have any book recommendations for Caleb? He is 8 years old. He has enjoyed the Magic Tree House books and has started getting into the Dog Man books a little. I go to the library with him and don’t know what to suggest. I am out of touch with kids books.
  • A guaranteed kid pleaser. We made them this week.
  • It’s a long weekend for the boys so that means lots of skiing, football, and homemade pizza!


  • New this week, a breakfast the whole family will love, a hearty soup that is perfect for the cold weather, and an easy breakfast casserole!
  • Love the sleeves.
  • Go see Just Mercy! LOVED it and now I need to read the book. And more books I need to read before the movies come out this year! There are SO many!
  • I heart these sweaters! One, two, three!
  • I finally got new bedding for our bed. I usually do all white but I mixed it up this time because all white is hard with two boys running in and jumping on the bed all of the time:) I also ordered a few of these! The reviews are insane so I want to try them!
  • I’m glad This Is Us is back with new episodes. Grey’s fans, did you see the news about Alex? I am not ok with this. I need an actual ending, send off, SOMETHING! Grrr!
  • I am very into this salad.
  • Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter to get an email every weekend with recipe ideas for the week! The emails will go out on SATURDAY instead of Sunday to give you more time to grocery shop and plan! I hope these emails help you meal plan and inspire you to get into the kitchen!
  • Made these for a little sweet treat! You should probably make them too!
  • I am craving a vacation. I don’t want to go too far, but somewhere warmer. Any suggestions?
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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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This and That

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  1. We like the books by Robert Newton Peck about boys in Vermont . Soup and Me, Soup for President, and others.

    1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid for sure! The Loser List is good, too. Rump, The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin. Eerie Elementary series.

  2. My almost eight year old likes the Goosebumps books, a series called Stink, the Gregor the Overlander books and (sigh) Captain Underpants. My sister bought him Unstoppable (a football/sports story) for Christmas and I think I am going to read that one with him. Other ones that are on our list: Hank the Cowdog series, a Wrinkle in Time and the Stuart Little Books. Check out this site for more:

  3. This isn’t a fiction book but it’s a great read for a curious kid nevertheless! My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by the publisher Dorling Kindersley(DK for short). I bought it for my niece who just turned 9 and she loves it 😉

  4. Books that my 6 and 8 year old love are the notebook of doom books, dragon masters books, and the 13th story treehouse books.

    Definitely making the banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!!

  5. I’d recommend The Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott! It’s always great to read above his level maybe like Fablehaven(Utah author)!

  6. As a Clemson alum, I was hoping for another national championship! However, it seemed easier to lose to LSU than to Alabama. That said, LSU outplayed us and deserved to win. We will be back next year. My kids are grown, but goosebumps and a series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket comes to mind.

  7. my now 10 year old loved some of the classics – he was a big fan of Encyclopedia Brown books. He also enjoyed the Boxcar Children (he only read the first one) and if Caleb is interested in Dog Man the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books might be a fun read too.

  8. I asked on Facebook not that long ago and here’s what I got:
    Wings of Fire, Percy Jackson series, The Map to everywhere, Mr Lemoncello’s Library, Boxcar children, The Impossible Quest series, Smile, Big Jack, Might Jack graphic novels, Space Girl, Dactyl Hill Squad, Keepers of the School, Mysterious benedict Society, The secret series by Bosch, Rules by Lord, The Secret Zoo, The Infinity Ring series, Treasure Hunters, Keepers of the School, The Quirks, The Whipping Boy,

    I also love looking going up and down the shelves looking for books that aren’t in their wheelhouse and having them try different ones. And lastly the Maud Hart Lovelace Award books are awesome.

  9. I will miss the character of Alex on Grey’s but I am sure Shonda Rhimes will find a fitting and emotional way exit the character at the end of this season. I worry for Jo and what her story line will now be. I remember watching the very first episode of Grey’s so many years ago. I was instantly hooked, having been a long time ER fan and so hoped Grey’s would not be cancelled. So many years later it is still going strong.

  10. My boys love the A-Z Mysteries, Boxcar Children, and the Imaginary Veterinarian Series (authors last name is Selfors). We also love Illistrated Classics (the classics are great adventure stories!)

  11. Notebook of Doom series, Ricky the Robot series. We also read a Humphrey the Hamster series together. And My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish 🙂

  12. My 8-year old son loves the Who Was Book series (he tears through them), Eerie Elementary, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dog Man, and the series of books focusing on famous people when they were kids: Kid Athletes, Kid Artists, Kid Scientists, Kid Presidents, and Kid Authors.

  13. As to the books, I have two boys and after Magic Treehouse they went to A to Z Mysteries. I just donated them all to a third grade classroom! After that they moved on to Wimpy Kid.

  14. Go to bookzone/boyslife 100 books a boy should read.
    It’s a good list to keep in mind as your son grows.
    There are many more good list out there.
    But my best recommendation is visits to the library to pick up books you’ve heard are good for your child and ones he picks out.

  15. We love the Henry and Mudge series of books. The illustrations are lovely and the stories are relatable.

  16. Just Mercy the book was fantastic and heartbreaking. I look forward to seeing the movie. There is another book out called The Sun Does Shine by another one of the men that Bryan helped, which is also good.
    Bryan Stevenson is an amazing human. I looked at the link for all of the book adaptions coming to the screen and there are a lot of good ones that I am really looking forward to!

  17. hey y’all- great list! I love those sweaters to -so cool! My family and I went to the Grand Canyon and the Royal Gorge years ago and it was a lot of fun!! Y’all should go if u haven’t been before. Have a great weekend!!

  18. With my boys, we encouraged all kinds of reading…so collecting and reading sports cards and sport stat magazines was fun! So that brings me to where I’m taking my 40 year old son…spring training baseball in Arizona because we are still following teams and coaches and players. So fun and if we figure schedule right we sometimes get a professional hockey game during the break. We also READ menus of vegan organic restaurants ahead and then we go try those while we are there.

    1. This is so awesome! My boys love sports. That is how they learned their numbers…score boards and jersey numbers..ha! Have fun at spring training. We hope to go some year.

    1. Imagination Station series, I survived…, Encyclopedia Brown, the littles, Pippi longstocking, Marvin Redpost. So many more, too! In a year or so, books by Andrew Clements.

  19. Wimpy kids series of books, our grandsons, ages 7-10 love these books.
    I made your breakfast casserole this morning and its so good.

  20. My daughter loved the Stink Moody books a great series for 8-10 year olds. A second series called judy moody about his sister too!

  21. Check out the books by Lois Lowry. Some he is too young for yet, but depending on his reading level some may be good for him now. Also Harriet the Spy and books by Beverly Cleary including the Ramona series and Henry Huggins. Beverly Cleary is still alive at the age of 103!

  22. Josh, try The Boxcar Children series. I don’t remember the age range. It is a mystery series for young children.

  23. My 8 year old loves Harry Potter- she plowed through over summer. Also diary of wimpy kid, hardy boys, boxcar children

  24. My 8 year old boy loves loves loves the boxcar children. He enjoyed Geronimo Stilton as well as the Beverly cleary books (Ralph and motorcycle, Ramona etc). I’m looking for new ones too!

  25. Places to go for a vacation: Little Rock, AR ( lots of places to eat & you can hike & do a day trip or overnight to Hot Springs to get a massage & bath in the historic bath house ( 2 are open). San Antonio, TX, Galveston, TX,Dallas, TX or Ft Worth, TX are all great places with lots of things to explore & places to eat.