Thursday Things

Here are this week’s Thursday Things:

1. Cuisinart Smart Stick immersion blender. It was $34.94 less a 20% off coupon at BB & Beyond so for under thirty bucks, I can now whirl and stick blend until my little not-washing-my-Vitamix-canister heart is content.

Not that cleanup from the Vita is usually a big deal, but sometimes I literally have three ounces of something that needs a quick blend and it won’t even come up to the blade in the Vita-Mix. Problem solved.

2. Good thing it’s smoothie season because those three strawberries leftover in the carton and the two bites of banana that Scott decided he didn’t want to finish and the two swigs of leftover coconut milk in a can have all been getting blended.


I’ve been making whatever-I-have-on-hand smoothies like Pineapple Banana & Coconut Cream

3. Butter converter. Sometimes I read recipes and they call for 3 ounces of butter and I have to remind myself that’s 6 tablespoons which still isn’t a full stick but more than a half stick.

By and large, I have the standard measurements and conversions memorized but it gets tricky if I read a foreign blog or cookbook and the butter measurements are in grams.

I know 113-114 grams is 1 stick of American butter but aside from that, I need a converter.

4. Six current trends or themes and styles in food photography

(1) product, (2) journalistic and straightforward, (3) bright and propped, (4) lifestyle-inspired, (5) bold and clean, and (6) chiaroscuro

A great analysis and thought-provoking post for any blogger who spends more time than you’d like to admit making sure that one little crumb is just right or the light is streaming from this side but not too dark on the other side while not being too overexposed on the other side.

If that sounds familiar, you will love this post written by Stephanie and Anita, who apparently gave a similar presentation at BlogHer Food 2012.

5. Speaking of BlogHer Food, with each and every recap post I see about it, I am seriously questioning why I didn’t go. I knew it was happening and strongly considered going but figured, oh just another conference.

I wasn’t sure I want to spend the money on traveling, spend the time away from my family, school was wrapping up for Skylar that week, and I had ten stories I told myself why I didn’t need to go and talked myself out of attending.

But after seeing recaps from Jenna, Jessica, Heidi, Maria, Bev, Lisa, Jenny, Amanda, Shelly, Jessica, Melissa, and many more, I really am kicking myself because even if I didn’t go to one session, just meeting some of the people I’ve “known” online for 3-4 years would have been worth it.

6. I want these rose tapestry towels. Funny, I want most everything from that store.

But I actually need new bath towels. Mine are shedding at the edges and leaving fringe and strings on everything else that’s washed with them. I’ll put on a tshirt and realize after the day is over that I was walking around with bath towel fringe stuck to the back. Classy.

7. Heirloom Recipe Card Boxes

Our heirloom recipe card boxes are made by local craftsmen from locally salvaged hardwood (trees that were destined for landfills). All of the boxes are unique and hand-crafted during a 2-month-long process (a month for the mill to source the salvaged wood, and a month to build in the workman’s studio. The lids are then screen printed with two different design options.

Each box is unique and is made from a variety of woods depending on availability. Our primary woods are Sweet Gum, Magnolia Bay, and Laurel Oak.

They’re $135 bucks each and my grandma would roll over in her grave if she heard that price.

However, there is something so comforting and traditionally wonderful about writing recipes down, by hand, on paper, and then finding them years later or passing them down to the next generation. Because when computers crash, recipe cards will still be sitting in the box with chocolate-stained fingerprints on them, twenty five years later.

8. The Huffington Post featured my mugcake in their story about microwave cakes.

9. It’s the Microwave Strawberry Vanilla Mug Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Glaze

In less than five  minutes, you can be eating cake. Just saying.

10. Thanks for the 3 Vegan Cookbooks Giveaway entries

What are your Thursday Things?

Feel free to link up anything fabulous that you’ve seen, done, made, or bought.

How do you keep track of your recipes?

My recipe “organizational system” is a hodge podge of Word documents, emails I’ve sent myself, notes on scraps of paper, notes in margins of cookbooks, and scribbles here, there, and everywhere. The things I want to make or have made are largely my Pinterest boards and I pin things to remind myself what I want to make.

Have you been to any blogging conferences or any on your horizons?

I’ve been on many blogging or food photography-related trips, workshops, day trips, seminars, and events and try to balance my family life and the time away, as well as the expenses to travel, with just how much I think I’ll gain from an event.

Sometimes I miscalculate the value as was clearly the case with BlogHer because I really wish I had gone. There’s always next year, right.


  1. My Thursday thing is bean-cranberry chili, a recipe I found on Eden Eats Everything( ) and thought that it seemed just weird enough it must be amazing. And it was.
    I made it months ago with chickpeas, and tried again last night with black beans and it’s awesome factor just keeps getting higher…
    Recipe is on her page, I blogged about eating it with butternut squash fries here:

  2. Congrats on the Huffington Post feature Averie! They featured my Gold Oreo Blondies a week or two ago, what a compliment right? I’m thinking I should make that mug cake, I like to make single serving recipes as much as I can.. I think people LOVE them.

    Those recipe card boxes are adorable! I enjoyed reading the BlogHer recaps as well. Will you ever join BlogHer Averie? I see you’re a foodbuzz gal ;)

    Smoothies are like all I’m eating right now. It was 102F in Baltimore yesterday. 104F today. No freakin’ way I’m turning on the oven or cooking a meal.

    • congrats on the blondies feature!

      in terms of joining BH…I’ve been with FB for 3+ years and have been happy but I would still like to attend BlogHer Food b/c it is THE food/blogging convention of the year according to everyone.

      104? Omg. It’s like 69F here. I need a hoodie when I run in the morning!

  3. Yes- I LOVE my hand blender! I use it all the time for soups and things.

    I’m so jealous of the blogging conferences you have in the US! I wish I could attend one. Maybe some day.

    My Thursday thing is a snacky reward for getting myself out of bed early this morning to do a hard-core workout. I’m so happy I did it now, but it was tough this morning! so my Thursday thing is rewarding myself for exercise!

    Happy almost weekend!!

  4. Love that wooden recipe box! Just stunning! Makes me miss my Grandma, I used to love looking through all her hand written recipes.

  5. Congrats on being featured – not a surprise ;)
    I am so bummed I didn’t go to blogher in Seattle – but I’m going to the one in Austin next June, you should come too!!

  6. Yes! You should definitely go next year…and in Austin too!

  7. wo off to go check out that photography post, sounds right up my alley and I love that grid of pictures with all the different feels and vibes. I’ve been playing around and thinking about all of that a lot recently! Just bought a VCOS program with a ton of presets (have you heard of it?) to help me achieve some film, grainy, and soft looks to my photos when I want to.

    • I have so many LR presets, both some free ones that I’ve found and for a fairly small fee, have purchased many “sets” of them. And I never use them! Because I dont do any editing really for “fun” stuff like weddings or fashion or fashion-ey food; I just want the stuff to look FG and TS presentable :)

  8. Now I want chocolate cake. For breakfast. Maybe a cupcake.

    That will be my goal for my Thursday thing…to make that a reality.

  9. I love my immersion blender. One of my smarter purchases. For all the recipes I’ve pulled out of magazine or printed off, I have a binder that has the plastic sleeves. I can stick them in there and they don’t get messy if I spill or splash something on them.

    • I like your binder idea. I used to have one of those and then it was getting out of control so I just stopped adding to it and did the online thing but you can’t “thumb through” that :)

  10. I totally need new towels too! Maybe they will be purchased this weekend. Those little hand held blenders are the best. Use mine for soup all the time

  11. Beautiful towels!!!

    And I STILL haven’t been to a blogging conference. But definitely, definitely, definitely planning for Austin. Hope to meet you there! :)

  12. Congrats on your Huffington Post on the mugcake! Love that concept. I’ve been wanting to try and bake with my microwave oven, maybe that’ll be this weekend’s project!

    And maybe we’ll see each other in Austin next year! :)

  13. Fun to read about the photography aspect of blogHer food! Up until now I had no idea who was presenting ~ lots of great info :)

  14. I have the same filling about Blogher conference in Seattle. I had to cancel it because my husband had to be at his conference and he “needed” me to come. I so wanted to go to Seattle, but I guess he was afraid I may not come back here. Anyway, the next conference is in Austin, TX, a “short” 8 hour drive from us. I hope to see you there! :)

  15. I couldn’t live with out my immersion blender! And that cake looks like something forbidden!

  16. Congrats on the Huffington Post! How exciting! Great post! Love the towels–so cute! And I love the idea of the mug cake — perfect for summer — no oven!! yay!

  17. That’s so cool about the Huffington Post, I read that article and loved it! I have been on the verge of getting an immersion blender, so it’s great to know about the cuisinart deal at BB&B. I have a coupon ready!

  18. Those towels are gorgeous. My Thursday things would be: The Conversation on Lifetime, eating more mindfully (I’m getting better at it), and Jazz in the Park (a weekly music event in milwaukee. people drink wine, eat and listen to live jazz outside).

  19. It’s so much fun meeting other bloggers which is why I’m very excited about going to HLS for the first time this year!

  20. I have several photo albums that house 4″-6″ index cards that I have my recipes on. I am looooow tech.

  21. Congrats on the feature! And thanks for the link, I love microwave cakes so can’t wait to check that out.

    LOVE those heirloom recipe boxes – rustic chic is my style all the way, love it!

  22. Well done for being featured! That’s great! Mug cakes seem to have become quite the “it” thing lately. Too bad you’re regretting your choice about the conference, there’s always next year!

  23. I haven’t been good at keeping the recipes that I fall in love with. I do have a notebook where I have recipes written down, but I also have recipes “pinned” on Pinterest and typed out in a Word document. They are all over the place!

  24. Immersion blenders! I love mine–smooth pureed soups and sauces without breaking out the blender and subsequently filling the dish drainer with little parts! Recipe organization is pretty all over the place at our house–there’s the library of cookbooks, the binders full of older internet-culled recipes, the gigantic bookmark folder of mostly-categorized current blog recipes–you name it.

  25. Hey Averie, I love Thursday Things this week! I am still waiting for BlogHer to accept my blog in their publishing…geesh. How often should I submit it, haha!!! If I get in before the next conference I am totally going, then I can meet ya in person!

    Oh, and in response your question about my dark chocolate cake recipe? YES I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the recipe. Try it. I think you’ll love it too. It’s my go-to recipe for all chocolate based cakes and cupcakes. I alter the dark chocolate with regular cocoa powder, and sometimes add in other things (like espresso powder), but otherwise it’s a great cake recipe. It’s adapted from David Lebovitz (did I spell that wrong? Too lazy to check).

    Anywho, congrats on the HuffPost. I saw it and thought, I KNOW HER. Well, “know” her. hehe!!

    • Thanks for the great comment :)

      Regarding BlogHer’s publishing arm, I am with FoodBuzz but do have contacts at both BH and FB so if you need a direct email, LMK :) Both are pretty take-their-time in processing applications I think but either should be happy to have you!

      And that cake recipe…SO GOOD to know about that one. There are so many, and as I said to you in that comment, melted butter, oil, dark choc melted, cocoa powder, dark cocoa powder, 1 egg and a yolk, 2 eggs…everyone has “the best” and I trust you! I have seen one from Ina Garten (Beatty’s Cake) that everyone adapts and it’s also similar to the Hershey’s cocoa powder cake recipe on their site.

    • I was with FoodBuzz for about 8-9months. It was okay, but alot of work (entering photos, buzzing, etc). Plus I like with BlogHer you can have other advertising. I removed foodbuzz and put up just Google adsense and am making almost twice as much money each month, and it’s absolutly no work. More money means more chocolate :)

      I’ve tried quite a few, and haven’t figured out how the different ingredients work exactly, all I know is this cake recipe gets rave reviews :) And is easily adaptable to additions, such as candy bars, chocolate chips, etc. I also like that I don’t have to use cake flour, which is quite expensive!

      The Hershey’s recipe is pretty good though, haven’t seen the Ina Garten one (or if I have I don’t remember).

  26. Oh my god, I just JUST bought that immersion blender at BB&B this morning. Eerie.

  27. I meant to congratulate you on the mug cake feature when I noticed yours right next to my cake batter one in that article and then ish just hit the fan this week from every which direction for me. So here’s a belated congrats! :)

  28. Love the stick blender for soups and sauces!
    I was just thinking about a blog post about recipe organization–I have an old folder where I just keep “filing” them.

  29. I use recipe boxes, but mine aren’t as cool as those ones!!! I want!!!!

  30. Great list of things. The BH conference sounded amazing, wish I could have gone. I’m considering the FB again this year in SF and maybe the Vegan blogger fest, who knows.

  31. I can be eating a cake in less than 5 minute? Uh oh.

    I’m a huge fan of pinterest as well….so many recipes pinned that I want to try, it’s overwhelming at times!

  32. I know what you mean about trying to blend small amounts in the vita mix. It seems everyone loves immersion blenders and I have also been thinking about getting one. I always have BB&B coupons and this post is really swaying me toward buying the cuisinart. I also keep a binder with recipes from magazines or things I jot down. I tend to get in the habit of just putting things in there so periodically I have to go through it and get things “categorized”.

  33. Weird! I just looked online at a Cuisinart Immersion blender. I thought it might be the same one, but the one I put in my cart is black. Anyway, I know what you mean about volume and Vitamix. I think I might get it!

    Congrats on the Huffington post recognition! Way to go, Averie!! :-)

    I keep track of my recipes by simply bookmarking things I like when I find them on the internet. I have like a bazillion of bookmarks now! :-)

    • that’s crazy that you just looked at one! a friend of mine told me she just bought the same one I did this morning, before she read the post! Guess everyone’s got immersion blending on the brain :)

  34. i’m definitely signing up for blogher!
    that’s SOOOO awesome that you were featured on the Huffington Post!!! congratulations, what an honor!

  35. Congrats on Huffinton Post! My Husband and I love the mug cake!!! Those towels are so beautiful!!

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