What I’m Loving Right Now

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Like almost everyone, I am happy to see this year go, but I’m trying to keep my expectations for 2021 in check. As one meme that is going around social media right now says, “We’re all going to walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. Don’t. Touch. Anything.”

As we close out this year, I wanted to share with you some things I’m loving right now.

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. More details here.


We made Katie’s Taco Soup over Thanksgiving weekend and liked it so much that we’ve made it another time since. I like that the ingredients are easy to keep on hand so you don’t have to make a run to the store. The recipe is very tweakable too; I only used one can of diced tomatoes and subbed garlic powder for garlic salt the second time around.


Speaking of soup, my mom bought us a couple of bowl huggers similar to these that you use when eating hot foods and we use them all the time. They’re great for soup, chili, and stew (which are all in our regular winter meal rotation), and I also use them for my oatmeal in the morning.


This is the second year I’ve run across the list of the books most checked out at the New York Public Library and I find it interesting because it’s not a list of favorites put together by one person (like me) but what patrons of the library are actually reading. Listed are the top ten titles for three different branches (Brooklyn, Queens, and the main branch), and while there’s some crossover, it’s interesting to note the differences in the lists too.


I’ve recently abandoned a couple of books because they were too dark and heavy for me right now, so on Instagram I asked for suggestions for light reading and a number of you responded with ideas (thank you!). If you’re in the mood for the same, you can see them by clicking through to the end of the 2020 books highlight in my profile.

I’m going to check these suggestions out and, in the meantime, I’m reading Camino Winds by John Grisham. It’s a follow-up to Camino Island, which I really enjoyed.

And because I’m craving lighter reading, I also took note of Anne Bogel’s lists of 16 page-turning mysteries that aren’t too dark and gloomy and 12 feel-good fiction books you can read in an afternoon.


I got Ina’s latest cookbook for Christmas and I’m determined to not just read it but to actually cook from it.

As I was flipping through the pages, it occurred to me that the book darts (which were in last month’s gift guide) would be a perfect way to mark the recipes I want to make. I was happy to discover this new (to me) use for them.

What are you loving right now?

P.S. A winter reading list.

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  1. I received Ina’s cookbook for Christmas, too. Thanks for the link to the book darts….perfect for cookbooks. Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! We’re staying up to make sure 2020 actually leaves…stay safe! 😉

    1. Same to you, Donnamae!

  2. Thanks for the soup recipe…looks good! Did you drain the beans and corn first? I bought Ina’s book as soon as it came out. Another good one!

    1. I did not drain the beans and corn first, which felt weird to me, but that seemed to be what the recipe called for. Have fun with Ina’s book! Let me know if you try anything good.

      1. Thanks, Julie!

        Ina’s book is now my 12th from her. I just made the Shrimp & Linguine Fra Diavolo from Modern Comfort again. Tasty! The Split Pea Soup With Crispy Kielbasa is also good. I have to say, for Split Pea Soup, I’ve yet to find anything better than the one from the Silver Palate girls. Their Split Pea Soup With Ham recipe is amazing.

        Happy New Year!!!

  3. I like how organized your recipe file drawer seems to be..Have you done a post on how you do that?

    1. Are you talking about that last picture, Carol? That’s just the cookbook with book darts marking the pages. I have a recipe binder and I can assure you it’s anything but organized. lol

      1. Yep, that last picture…good to know 🙂

  4. My little Grandma used to say “you learn something every day.” Thanks to you Julie, I learned about bowl huggers today. That goes into my “why didn’t I think of that?” file! The soup looks delish! Have a great week!

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