Thursday Things

Time for this week’s Thursday Things:

1. There’s a large recall extending to 76 items made by Sunland, a Portales, New Mexico-based nut butter maker due to salmonella concerns. I had an unopened jar of their creamy Valencia peanut butter and I brought it back to my local grocery store yesterday, no questions asked.

Sunland opted to pull all the 76 different products from stores, including almond butter and peanut butter. Sunland’s nut butters are sold in a variety of grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s pulled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter from shelves after it was linked to 29 salmonella cases in 18 states. I know many bloggers and blog readers who use this particular peanut butter in abundance.


As much as I love Trader Joe’s, and am a contributing author in this Trader Joe’s Cookbook, a salmonella outbreak is scary stuff.

2. I think making your own Homemade Peanut Butter in about 5 minutes in the comfort of your own kitchen rather than buying it sounds like a better and better idea all the time.

3. Mini Kraft Paper Bags, set of 10 for $4.50 from Papercookie – What adorable little gift bags these would make without breaking the bank at just 45 cents each

4. Want to be Fox’s next Master Chef?

“What kinds of cooks are you looking for?

We are on a nationwide search for talented amateur cooks from all types of backgrounds, and with a range of cooking styles to audition for season 4. Whether you enjoy cooking delightful desserts or hefty main courses, whether you cook fine French cuisine or prefer a great tasting burger, we want to hear from you. If cooking is your passion, you cannot miss out on this opportunity.”

They have open casting calls all over the country in these 11 cities if you want to try out.

5. Wondering what’s in those mystery containers in your freezer?

Just write on the containers with dry erase crayons and the mystery meal problem is solved.

6. Cory of Zesty Blog Consulting, is hosting a 4-class online WordPress Workshop. For the past couple years Cory has done all my site maintenance and he’s a great resource. If you need help with your blog, how to make your blog better, how to do things on your own without wasting tons of time trying to figure it out, or want to run your own blog better, you may want to check out the workshop.

“The workshop is a live, four-week comprehensive WordPress training program.  We teach you how to customize and manage your current WordPress website or blog with ease and confidence.  No more wasting time trying to figure things out on your own. In just four, one-hour classes, you’ll master all the basics: how to build custom pages, links and posts, use plugins, update widgets, manage media, and much, much, more. You’ll also get homework and worksheets to make sure you really get it, and you get to ask me all your questions as you go, so you’ll never feel like you’re on your own. Don’t worry if you’re not a “technical” person. I promise, no experience with computer graphics, coding, or web design is required.  At the completion of the course you will have the skills required to run your blog or website effectively — all by yourself.”

7. Top Tips for Baking Cupcakes in Bulk including, “Measure out batches of dry ingredients in advance, keep in ziplock bags – This saves TONNES of time and really can be done whenever you have a spare hour or so!”

8. Miso Maple Sweet Potato Tacos with Coconut Cilantro Sauce – I am in love with each and every ingredient and flavor in the recipe title

I can’t get enough sweet potatoes lately from Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caribbean Seasoning

To using them in three-ingredient and 15-minute Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Coconut Milk Soup

And I have a sweet potato recipe coming tomorrow.

9. After all those hot potatoes, ice cream would go down so easily.

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t own an ice cream maker because Brown Sugar Bourbon Ice Cream sounds a little too amazing, and it’s plated next to Apple Croustades

10. Felt Coasters, Set of 4 for $9 from West Elm – Great price and I think felt is a great material for coasters because it’s absorbent.

I have ruined nice leather coasters, and more importantly, ruined an expensive dining room tabletop because said leather coasters didn’t actually absorb the condensation that dripped from the water glasses.  Instead, the moisture pooled on top of the leather coasters, spilled over, and left water-rings on the table, bigger and more pronounced than just setting glasses directly on the table would have been.

Leather coasters are pretty, but in my opinion, not functional or practical. Kind of like a pair of Jimmy Choo’s, but I’d much prefer a pair of those to a pair of coasters.

What are your Thursday Things?

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

Do food recalls scare you or cause you to say, hmmm, I wonder just how safe, or not, our food supply is?

They are un-nerving, but the overwhelming vast majority of us can’t grow all the produce we need to survive nor do we have the agricultural land, climates, or resources to grow things like sugar beets for sugar, wheat for flour, soybeans, grains, or any large-scale crop. We live in an era in which we need to depend on purchased food.

I think most food is safe, and our immune systems are strong and humans are resilient creatures, but when these outbreaks happen, it does give me pause to wonder what, if anything, I could do differently to stay as safe and healthy possible and protect my family.

I also don’t necessarily think buying organic or locally-grown will always keep one safe, either. Unfortunately, food-borne illnesses can strike anyone at anytime. I got a horrendous case of food poisoning from a 5-star restaurant about 10 years ago; bacteria didn’t discriminate.

Thanks for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + KitchenAid Stand Mixer + $200 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway entries

54 comments on “Thursday Things”

  1. I have to be honest, Trader Joes Valencia peanut butter is disgusting, in my opinion. Maybe I had a jar with salmonella and it hadn’t developed completely to make me hospitalized, but I thought it was awful and threw two jars away. I bought them for baking and they broke my number one rule for baking and cooking. If the ingredients are not quality, the outcome will not be quality.

    • Oh wow interesting you hated it! I have actually never tried it! Almost bought some last weekend but didn’t b/c I thought I love my homemade so much AND I have jarred on hand I need to use up before I ‘try out’ anything new! Everyone ‘raves’ about it and I appreciate you saying you were not a fan. I like to hear all types of reviews on things!

  2. Food safety is a big concern these days. With GMOs in practically everything and news about arsenic in rice and pink slime in ground beef, I now only buy organic whenever possible. I also stay away from as much processed foods as I can. I used to buy almond milk thinking that I was making a better choice than cow’s milk, but have found out that carrageenan is in almost every carton on the shelf and it is a known carcinogen. Now I soak almonds and make my own almond milk.

  3. Food recalls totally freak me out. Especially because I have gotten sick from one before. NOT fun.

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