Friday Things

Time for some Friday Things:

1. Bon Appetit’s Food Trends for 2013

They say that blondies are the new brownies in item 23. I love brownies, but I have quite the extensive blondie and light-colored bars collection, and it’s growing. Weekly.

2. A few favorites are Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies

Coconut White Chocolate Chip Blondies

Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies

3. I am in love with MacKenzie-Childs – I could get lost for hours and hours on their site. And spend thousands of dollars in like five minutes. It just goes on and on and on, from kitchen to home to garden.

MC

Farmhouse Loaf Pan $135 and Baking Dish $160 are both gorgeous.

As is every single thing on their site and one thing just is more lovely than the next.

loafpan

4. Not-Too-Sweet Wok-Popped Coconut Kettle Corn – No popcorn maker? No wok?

Me neither but I make popcorn almost every day.

I put two tablespoons kernels in a brown paper lunch sack, fold the top down, and microwave for 90 seconds. No added oil, nothing except just the kernels, and it works like a charm every time, every day for the past five years. And I can probably use the same brown bag at least ten times before grabbing a fresh one. How’s that for saving money. I sprinkle anything from cinnamon-and-sugar to nutritional yeast over the popcorn, sometimes with melted coconut oil, butter, or whatever I’m in the mood for.

I made the popcorn in the Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix with the brown bag method. Between the popcorn trick and the easy recipe, this party mix comes together in five minutes. A little too easy.

I also love putting coconut oil on popcorn. Chocolate Coconut Oil Protein Popcorn is an oldie but a goodie that uses chocolate protein powder.

5. The 20 Best Beauty Products Under $50 -  A few items like a tub of Vaseline and yellow Clinique lotion made the list, and there are many products I’ve never heard of. My Sephora and adventuresome days of trying as many new products as possible are long gone. I’m about tried and true now.

I did a post a couple years ago Top 10 Drugstore Finds Under $10 with my personal favorites, like Carmex for my lips. I have a tube in every room, purse, bag, and car. I can’t live without it and nothing else works the same for me.

6. I thoroughly enjoyed Amanda’s post about Why You Should Never Start a Food Blog. For those who are bloggers, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to some, if not all, of the post. Although there are negatives to it, and everything she said I can relate to, all the positives I relate to and it’s what blogging is about for me.

I truly appreciate my readers and am grateful that people read my blog. I get to create recipes, make food, take thousands of pictures of it, write about, people make it, and tell me about it. How cool is that? To me, it’s the coolest and the best.

I said it recently in my December 2012 Recipes post, but I’ll say it again, thank you for reading my blog, commenting, emails, tweeting, making my recipes, or just reading in stealth and stopping by whenever you have a chance. I am grateful. Thank you.

7. How to Make Maple Cream – from Cooks Illustrated. That would be worth breaking out my candy thermometer for. I want to just turn my DVR on, get a spoon, and that’s my idea of a party on the couch on Friday night.

8. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, but do have a microwave and seven minutes, make Seven Minute Microwave Caramels

I made another batch, dipped them in melted chocolate and they were the best thing I’ve eaten this year.

9. I just got my monthly iHerb order. Right now they’re offering $10 dollars off all orders over $40, and $5 dollars off smaller orders.

Their prices are already hands down the cheapest on my daily probiotics, the nutritional yeast I sprinkle on everything from popcorn (item 4 above) to salads to kale chips. I get all my vitamins and supplements, bulk cinnamon, liquid vanilla stevia drops, bulk white stevia powder, and so many other things I use every day there.

With free shipping and a discount on top of already discounted prices, I always feel like I hit the jackpot. Enter code AVE630 at checkout to save your $5 or $10 bucks and go shopping.

10. Jazz Era Jewelry Box, $68 Anthro – I love the pink beading and vintage flair. My jewelry box just recently broke and this one is so pretty and girlie.

What are your Friday Things?

What do you think of the food trends for 2013? Any trends you’re sick of and want to see less of or more of? Any favorite beauty products? Kitchen tips or tricks? Popcorn fan?

If you’ve made anything, done, seen, or bought anything fabulous recently, feel free to link it up in the comments.

I’ve read that salted desserts and the salted caramel craze is going to continue. Although I do love my caramels and salty-and-sweet treats from time to time, salted caramel is definitely everywhere. I’ve read that people are sick of cake pops and cake balls. Is that true? I could never get sick of cake.

Have a great weekend and check back for giveaways!

   

65 Responses to “Friday Things”

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    Ellen — January 18, 2013 at 1:59 am

    heh, a lot of the reasons not to be a food blogger are the same things I might tell someone about being an actor-the rejection, everyone having an opinion, the cost. But (for me) much like a blog, the love of doing it keeps one going…
    anywho, how about some simple comfort food for a friday thing?
    http://scrumptiousgruel.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/its-art-or-for-the-love-of-soggy-bread-milk-toast-part-deux/

    Reply

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    Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations — January 18, 2013 at 2:21 am

    My husband is quite the popcorn fiend. We have used both a popcorn maker or a wok for making it, but never your simple brown paper bag method. For our wedding we received a popcorn maker which was awesome and we used it OFTEN. But we didn’t take it to Asia. Here we usually use a wok, but not all places we go to have proper kitchens. Wow…I totally have to try the paper bag method now. Who knew it could be so easy (I guess the pre-packaged microwave popcorn could have given me a hint ;)

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    Madison — January 18, 2013 at 3:51 am

    I love the blondie trend because blondies are my friends!!!! I think the gooeyness factor on them is what was me obsessed (especially all your delicious recipes). P.s. Love Carmex! I use it every day. :)

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    marla — January 18, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Such a fun post Averie! Happy u discovered MacKenzie-Childs too :)

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — January 18, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I’m with you on iHerb. Just got in an order myself. I actually picked out a few things I’ve never tried before like hemp seeds. I’ve also started adding in amino acids and glutamine. I’m hoping that the supps help with muscle recovery after running and lifting and that it might help prevent major muscle/strength loss while I’m not supposed to be lifting.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 8:40 am

      You could do a post one day if you think xyz supps/vitamins/products helped you achieve intended goals or stay on track. I’m always so curious as to if things ‘really work’ and sometimes just the anecdotal stories are worth their weight in gold. Hope it all works wonders for you!

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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — January 18, 2013 at 5:25 am

    SO many links to click over to today. omg. firs tthe food trends – I love blondies over brownies anyway. could it be the hair color? hmm. who knows. cheap make-up- I’m all about it! I love my carmex too! Always in my purse and at my work desk. OH and lipsmackers. I love vanilla lipsmackers (yes, I realize I’m about Skylar’s age with that one). Amanda’s post about reasons to never be a food blogger is SO spot on. Wow. The criticism, the stealing, the need to please everyone but you just can’t… yes. So much truth behind every reason. On a positive note, there’s so much you can gain from having a blog. I’d like to add that if you have a full time 9-5pm job AND a food blog, you will NEVER have a weekend ever again. At least in the capacity of my own website. I know that’s true for you as well Averie!

    I need maple cream, wine, and a night on the couch today. wine and maple cream? why not. and maybe a rum runner too.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 8:38 am

      I thought you’d like Amanda’s link if you hadn’t already seen it. I thought of our conversations the whole time I was reading it!

      Glad you enjoy all the links and I love Carmex and lipsmackers..so many fun flavors but now I need to try the vanilla! I’ve only ever tried berry ones.

      Your last sentence. I need all of the above! :)

      Reply

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    Kate@Diethood — January 18, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Blondies are the bestest! In their honor, I’m going back to my very good friend, peroxide. Can’t wait!! And I have to try your coconut white chocolate chip blondies… yowzah!!

    Clinique everything and carmex are chillin’ in my purse…forever and always. :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Love that you are a Carmex fan…and can’t wait to see your blonde transformation if it’s really happening!

      And thanks for the pin!

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    Sarah — January 18, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Maple Cream! Oh my. Thank you for that link!!

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    Paula — January 18, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I enjoyed the link to the food trends for this year. A duck egg–sure, I’ll try that, but I think I’d have to pass on the sourdough fried in pork fat (though I am glad to see that bread made the list)! That maple cream looks like it would be just as addictive as cookie butter or nutella. I like the growing popularity of local/seasonal/sustainable, but I don’t think I could feasibly make it through the winter without berries or tropical fruits! I don’t know exactly why that concept is on my mind at this hour, but maybe it’s because I want strawberries on my salad with some balsamic reduction…and I guess I’m thankful I can make it today. Happy Friday!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 8:34 am

      The whole eat organic/local trend or overall food philosophy works well if you live here in SoCal. Not so well if you live in 80% of the rest of the country during the winter! Even here, when I was an active member of a CSA and got a weekly box and let them choose, there were times of the year when if I was just eating locally, that I’d be eating tons and tons of mizuna greens. And other times innundated with kumquats.

      And that maple cream, I know!

      Reply

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    Kaye — January 18, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I LOVE Carmex too…have been using it since I was a kid :) That popcorn looks delish…love your blog!!!

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    Joanne — January 18, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I actually prefer blondies to brownies so I am so excited about that new trend! And I can’t wait to make some of your blondie recipes in 2013!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Blondies just seem so versatile and can really go in so many directions and the way I make them, they come together with a stick of melted butter and 1 bowl in like 5 mins flat!

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    Marie | FeelingFoodish — January 18, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Hi Averie! You have such a beautiful blog – I think I’ve just spent a 1/2 hour poking around. I love your positive energy and your food all looks delicious. Looking forward to reading more:)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Thanks for the great compliments and for saying hi…and for poking around for half an hour. That’s great :)

      Reply

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    Rachel @ the Avid Appetite — January 18, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I’m so down with blondies! I have been baking up a storm pre-baby and that is on my list for today! Happy Friday Averie!

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    Alyssa @ Kitchen Cures — January 18, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I can’t look at your posts without looking at 10 million other recipes you’ve posted. The blondie photos are gorgeous, I shouldn’t be looking at them before I’ve had a decent breakfast!

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    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — January 18, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I loved that piece by Amanda as well – one of my favorites of the past few months. And it’s crazy how often I find myself reaching for my Carmex – never thought my favorite beauty product would be so… generic. Oh, and blondies RULE – I loved BA’s list and was happy about so many of the items, from gochujang to East Coast blue crabs.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Glad you saw both Amanda’s list and the BA list. Both are great reads!

      Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Glad you’re a Carmex fan too! And that you saw Amanda’s piece. I’m sure you were nodding in agreement the whole time!

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    j — January 18, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I’m so over cupcakes. Just give me the whole cake with extra icing, please. Looking forward to trying a duck egg and that Spanish Big Mac, yumm.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Cakes are so much easier, less fussy, less individual-work-per-item, one big thing to pour into a pan and bake, and then frost rather than 12-24 indiv items at all phases in the process!

      Reply

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    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — January 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Great list! I want to pin all the things. And I have the smoker on the BA list, and it really is great. Less than $50 and it store in the cabinet.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      I could smoke some tofu or tempeh in it. I wonder if I could smoke some cookies? :)

      Reply

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    Amber (Sprinkled With Flour) — January 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Loving this list Averie! I’m totally trying that Ranch snack mix, sounds so good!

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    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — January 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Friday and blondies, could life be any better :)

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    Katie — January 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I literally JUST ordered the pure stevia and kal nutritional yeast from Amazon! DANG. The nooch was out of stock when I tried to order, so I paid a couple bucks more, but no big deal. The stevia, on the other hand….grrrr.

    I want these bookends from Anthro: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-new/24917692.jsp?cm_mmc=PJN-_-Affiliates-_-Placement=73861-_-ShopAnthropologie

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — January 18, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I’m a blondie girl too, so bring them on! I also liked Amanda’s post – so much truth there!

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    Marina@Picnic at Marina — January 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Oh dear, I do really need to move in with you, no, not with you, but close to you so I can have some popcorn too: I love it but haven’t had it in ages! I always forget to buy corn kernels when I do shopping. When I have it on my shopping list, store is out of it (most of the time). When I go out of town to natural stores somewhere in Dallas or Tulsa, I just forget all about it after hours of driving. One of those days I’ll buy it, or move closer to you! :)
    Thanks for doing what you are doing (blogging), we love it here!
    I made some salad and you may like it, come see it. :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      A grocery store out of popcorn? Now that’s crazy! Such a basic dry good but stranger things have happened!

      Reply

      • Marina@Picnic at Marina replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        They are out of kernels, not the one they have in bags and microwave. I don’t buy that one as we don’t have a microwave: quite modern family we are, ha?! :)

        • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

          I never buy the popcorn that’s loaded up with all that fake cheese and oil. I just buy the plain old fashioned kernels too.

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    Leanne @ healthful pursuit — January 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I’ve never had a blondie… I guess I should get on that. Totally with you on the popcorn, I do the very same thing! Although I never can resist addin a bit of coconut oil and salt or a touch of cocoa powder to it. Best snack ever!

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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — January 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Girl, you make everything look so freakin’ good! Thanks for sharing such great ideas, too. (Love Blondies, anything salty & sweet, and probiotics rule! Have used Clinique products for years.) Following at Twitter and pinning at Pinterest. Love your blog! xoxo

    Reply

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    Dan the vegan man — January 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Averie!

    I just stumbled across a pin of yours in Pinterest the raw chocolate chip cookie balls. I showed my wife and she said let’s try them. We had all the ingredients and threw them in the “Vita-cookie maker” (we laughed so hard about that one) and they turned out great. My they are good. Thank you for sharing the recipie with us. We can’t wait to try more of your great treats.

    We are going to be in Aruba the end of April, are you going to be there then? We all could have rum runners! I agree with you about being in a sailboat is the greatest thing ever. We have one that we sail in Lake Michigan.

    Thanks again, and have a great weekend!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      So glad you tried to cookie dough balls and that you got a chuckle out of my Vita-cookie maker lingo. I wrote that post almost 4 years ago and although I may not write it today, at least I wasn’t afraid to be corny. haha!

      I am so glad that you enjoyed them, too! And had everything on hand! Love it when that happens.

      I won’t be in Aruba in April (my daughter is in 1st grade) so probably won’t be back there til the summer and schools out. I hope you have TONS of rum runners and have a blast down there! I grew up in MN and then Chicago…where everyone either had a lake cabin and boat in Northern MN, or boat on Lake Mich, and the boats in San Diego & Aruba are a little different but I have FOND memories of cruising the lakes! Keep in touch!

      Reply

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    Amber K — January 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I’m sick of gluten-free food items that aren’t also almond-free. Every Paleo recipe I see boasts “grain-free!” and I get sooo excited until I see it is completely almond-based. But that’s just because I’m totally selfish and even though I love almonds, my stomach/intestines don’t. Boo!

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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I love your Friday things!! And dam those blondies! I literally had my face pressed up against my computer screen, I could practically taste the PB&J blondie! OMG!!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 18th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      They’re crazy good girl – probably my fave blondies of all the ones I make!

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    Valerie — January 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Love Clinique’s dramatically different lotion, and MacKenzie-Childs- some of their stuff looks like it came out of the Mad Hatter’s tea party!

    Yay for blondies, and the Paloma…I could go for both right now. :D

    Reply

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    The Ninja Baker — January 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Ready & armed with mixing bowls and brown sugar to make those en vogue blondies!

    As always, Averie, your site provides plenty of food for thought and great recipes.

    Mille fois merci & bon appetit :)

    Reply

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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — January 19, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I love that easy microwave popcorn too! It’s so simple!!!

    I also love carmex :D

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    Nikki — January 19, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Hey Avery!
    Quick question about popcorn here. I don’t know if you will have an answer per say, but would love your insight. I LOVE air-popped popcorn but have not eaten it for quite some time as it seems that every time I eat it I start to feel really ‘off’ as in I feel shaky inside even though I am not really shaking, and I get really bad anxiety. Do you think this might be a result of an intolerance to corn, or do you think it might just be psychological, since I struggle with an eating disorder and my mind always tries to convince me that if it is not plain fruits and vegetables, it is bad :( I need to start eating more, and really want to try eating popcorn again (working hard on changing the thoughts that eating too much grains is bad – especially when the only grains I eat are home-prepared whole grains!).
    Thanks for any thoughts! (And as always, thanks for this amazing blog!)
    Nikki.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 19th, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Hi Nikki this isn’t something I feel qualified to answer and you should probably bring it up with a trusted medical professional as well as keep trialing and testing things on your own, keeping track of the little nuances, until you crack the code. Good luck!

      Reply

      • Nikki replied: — January 19th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        Well, I guess I’ll just play self-science-experiment and see what happens. I’ve seen MANY professionals and none of them have been able to help me, so I guess I play Dr. on myself now!

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    Michele Sparrow — January 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Blast from the past with the Clinique lotion. My mom used to buy that for us girls all growing up and my older sister still uses that on her face to this day. It is good stuff.

    I love that you make popcorn every single day. That is something that I didn’t know about you! How fun is that??! I wish I could eat popcorn!! I remember growing up we would eat it all buttered up in a huge tupperware bowl while we watched movies! Who knew that all the strange reactions I had were because I had an allergy or intolerance…not us!

    I am a Burts Bees girl. I don’t go a single day without using it. My favorite is the mango one, but I love the plain old peppermint and the Pomegranate as well.

    And as for that Anthro jewelry box…who could NOT love that?! ;-)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 19th, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Need to check out the Burt’s Mango. Thanks for the tip!

      Reply

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    Dianne — January 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I recently got into the green smoothie and raw food trend and have subscribed to about 50 different blog sites. Most of the posts I get I read, and delete. YOUR posts, however, usually get moved into a folder where I can go back to look at them again and drool over the pictures. So far I have saved over 150 posts! Your recipes sound so good – your raw apple pie is one of my favourites that I have tried. Keep up the good work and keep sending those delicious pictures!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 19th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Dianne this is such an awesome comment and high praise…you have 150+ posts of mine saved! That is amazing! That’s half a year’s worth :) I am flattered that you like my recipes and photography so much! And that you’ve tried things and you’re so pleased. Thanks for taking the time to write!

      Reply

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    Lara — January 19, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Ahhhh I cannot wait until I have half an hour to myself later – I am going to make a big cup of tea and pore over the beautiful MacKenzie Childs website it looks soooo my type of thing, thank you for bringing to my attention. Will try to have some self control. And I must make those coconut blondies, how have I missed those? Btw, do you tend to bake your bar recipes in glass or metal pans? And what do you think of those silicone baking pans? I love the idea that you can just turn the bars out perfectly from them but I am suspicious that they won’t conduct heat like good old metal and might mess up the baking times. Also I am just generally wary of weird plastic-looking stuff although I think they are said to be very food safe etc. but I have never really trust them enough to try.

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    Laura Dembowski — January 20, 2013 at 5:44 am

    I love popcorn and have to try making it at home like that. So easy and healthy! I also read that post on blogging. It really struck a chord with me. Blogging is very difficult for me, feeling constantly rejected. I didn’t think it would be like this at all with me having to constantly fight the urge to give up.

    Reply

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    Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice — January 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Averie, what a great list! I love the jewelry box and the probiotics recommendation (I take some too but am actually looking for a change).

    But most of all, I love the link to I Am Baker’s list of why/why not to start a food blog. I think ALL of us have struggled with many of the points she’s made, especially copying. I have found many of my recipes copied and pasted, practically, on other people’s sites… as if I’d never find out. It’s ridiculous.

    Of course, it’s the amazing positives that outweigh the negatives, as she and you have both said. Recently I had a reader give me a compliment so profound, I thought, even if nobody ever reads this blog again I’ll still write it! Wonderful stuff.

    Keep the great lists coming.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — January 20th, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      I’ve found my recipes and photography for sale on etsy many times as well as ebay. That’s when I’m like…really?! But I try to just forget about those things and move on b/c they are the less than 1%. The other 99%++ is awesome :)

      And those probiotics are great. I was loyal to a Jarrow brand strain for years and when I switched to Dr. O’s I really feel like they are higher quality and I love them!

      Reply

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    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen — January 22, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    A little late on this, but was catching up on reading! That Clinique lotion is one of my favorites! Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who is in love with popcorn. Especially when it’s healthy!

    Reply

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