Thursday Things

Time for this week’s Thursday Things:

1. The Huffington Post named me as one of The Best Food Bloggers: HuffPost’s Top 10 Picks

I’m honored to have been chosen. Some fellow bloggers whom I’ve gotten to know over the years are also on the list, making it even nicer to be named among friends. I never would have thought I’d be seeing my name on a list like this, but I’m very grateful and highly appreciative. Seriously, I am humbled.

I’m on Slide 7 of 11

MY OTHER RECIPES

2. 10 Tips, no matter the recipe, to bake a better chocolate chip cookie, including don’t overmix, chill the dough, use a cookie scoop.

I thought this point is particularly interesting with regard to not using fancy butter: “When you swap regular butter for European style without otherwise changing the recipe, the cookies wind up with more fat than the flour can reasonably absorb, giving them a greasy mouthfeel.”

I bake all my cookies, including these Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, with Trader Joe’s unsalted sticks of butter, $2.99 for a pound which suits me just fine. Kerrygold is my splurge butter but I generally don’t bake with it; it’s for eating on things rather than baking with.

3. I wrote a Baking Supplies post nearly a year ago about some of the things I use and do to make cookie-baking results as optimal as possible.

4. Monday, October 8 was National Fluffernutter Day. I didn’t know this until Glamour Magazine featured my Fluffernutter Smoothie

5. I’ve been baking more cakes lately and I want this Fondant Marble Cake Stand, Anthro $128. Even if your cake isn’t perfect looking or perfect tasting, I’m sure that putting it under the glass dome of white marble and carved sheesham wood pedestal would make anything look more beautiful and taste more fabulous.

6. Do you consider yourself to be a positive person? 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

7. Olive Wood Paddle Boards, $19 to $39 at West Elm which is a steal and they can be monogrammed.

“Gorgeous grains. Beautiful marbling, amazing durability and warm, earthy tones—three reasons to go with olive wood for your next wine and cheese party. As functional as they are decorative, these boards can be monogrammed with different letters to separate veggies from meat or gluten-free from wheat.”

8. I’ve started baking bread. Real bread with yeast instead of quick breads and I’ve been having so much fun. I have recipes coming in the weeks ahead for bread and if you’ve ever feared yeast and real bread-making with yeast, don’t. If I can pull it off, so can you because generally speaking, I have the patience of a two-year old and always thought that bread-making was an exercise in waiting around and a big production and wouldn’t it just be easier and faster to buy a loaf at the store. I’m here to say I wish I had started baking bread years ago because it’s incredibly rewarding and the process is gratifying. But in the meantime, make this bread if you need a seasonally-appropriate quickie quick bread.

9. This pink Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker is on sale for $100 at Neiman Marcus. I think that’s a stellar deal and I’d love it.

10. Chunky throws on sale for $37.90 at Nordstrom. Another thing I’d love. But I also need to buy groceries, pay Skylar’s tuition, and not run up my credit card on ice cream makers and cute blankets. Darn.

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 you have any tips or tricks to baking the perfect cookie?

In general, I get better results when I cream the butter rather than melt it, but I love the flavor of  butter that’s been browned, cooled, and incorporated into cookie dough. However, I never get quite the thickness I want in my cookies if I melt the butter compared to creaming it. It’s a flavor versus texture trade-off.

Chilling the dough is mandatory. Above all else, if you do one thing, chill it before baking. Chilled dough spreads less and your cookies will bake up thicker, chewier, puffier, denser, and just better with dough that both has had a chance to rest and chill. Most cookie dough can be chilled for up to four days or so before being baked off which gives you time to mix it up, chill it, and then bake the cookies off at your leisure over the next few days.

I always use a cookie scoop because it ensures domed mounds of a uniform size. I linked my $3.99 el cheapo scoop in this post. I recently bought an Italian-made scoop at Williams-Sonoma and it’s fine but I’m not sure if it’s as amazing as it should be for the price; however it’s growing on me the more I use it.

Are you a bread-maker? Would you like to learn? Fave recipe?

If you have anything at all to say about bread or a fave recipe, please speak up and link up. I’m all ears because I’m learning as I go.

Thanks for the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies + Book Giveaway entries

71 comments on “Thursday Things”

  1. So many wonderful things on this thursday’s round miss Averie! First, a very well deserved CONGRATS for scoring the top ten favorite food bloggers list! Such an amazing and credible accomplishment, just be being your blogging self! Incredible. guess what? I’ve read that ten tips on a better chocolate chip cookie before! can’t believe I never sent it to you! I saw it on FG. Love the tip of using different shapes and kinds of chocolate. I have to try that out! I always use my grovery’s brand butter, nothing fancy! A glamour feature!!! you go girl. Another stellar mention from a super credible source. You are on FIRE and there’s a reason for it! So much hard work lately. I want that ice cream maker. I want those chunky fuzzy blankets. I want those super cheap wooden planks from west elm!!!!!!!!! Ugh. I need more money!

    the perfect cookie – you know my standards. ;)

  2. I saw that article earlier and was so happy to see your name in it!! Congrats!! On the bread making, just pulled out pumpkin yeast bread out of the oven – divine!!!

  3. Congrats on the well-deserved recognition from Huntington Post!
    And a baby pink ice cream maker…hook me up!

  4. I saw you on Huffington Post the other day – Congrats!!! What a huge accomplishment

  5. Where do I start?? First – congrats on the nod from Huffington Post. You deserve it. Secondly, pass me a cookie and boy are those wood boards gorgeous!

  6. Look at you, blowing up all over the place! Congrats, girl!! Can’t wait to see some of that bread you’ve been baking… :-)

  7. Aren’t you just loved all over the world wide web??! Congrats on your Huff post recognition – so great!! – and for your flutternutter smoothie in Glamour! You deserve it, Averie! (You deserve that ice cream maker, too!) ;-)

  8. Great list and congrats on the features.
    My dad worked at a bakery during college to help pay tuition – he still breaks out the yeast and flour at times to make fresh bread. The thing I’ve learned when trying my own hand at bread baking was to not bake on a humid day!

  9. Congrats on the Huffington Post and Glamour press! You deserve it.
    I’m not a big bread baker. I make maybe a loaf or two a year. But when I want to bake bread specifically for sandwiches, I really like Baking Bites recipe for soft yogurt sandwich rolls. They’ve turned out perfectly every time and everybody loves them.
    http://bakingbites.com/2008/04/soft-yogurt-sandwich-rolls/

  10. Congratulations on making the Huffington Post!

    What a great post! It allowed me to play catch-up on all the things that I’ve been missing out on. And I admit that I stared at your recipe supplies photo for a good 2 minutes (baking supplies make me feel like kid in a candy store)! Also, I just added an olive wood paddle board to my holiday wish list! :D

  11. Congrats on the HuffPost Feature, Averie :-)

  12. Congrats on the Huffington Post and Glamour! I love baking bread and am always surprised at how easy it is. I always use a cookie scoop for cookies, though sometimes I get overzealous and over scoop them anyway ;)

  13. 1. CONGRATULATIONS on your VERY well-deserved mentions in HF as well as Glamour!! You are seriously the hardest working blogger lady I know and I am so happy when someone else recognizes that about you! And the photos that were featured are also perfect representations of your lovely visual style, as well as your healthier approach to sweets. Just fantastic – kudos to YOU!

    2. As usual, we’re on a prop mind-meld – I seriously sat in the home goods section of my local Anthro yesterday just STARING at those reclaimed wood boards. I. Want. Them. So Badly. The cake stands too. I’m thinking resistance is going to be futile and if I have a good week next week, I’ll likely be celebrating with a board or a cake stand.

    3. Sorry I always end up leaving lists everytime I comment – I just have so much to say.

    Cheers, friend!!! :)

    • 1. They chose the photos so I’m glad to hear you think they represent me and yes, you know I put more than 5 mins a day into my blog & photography :) and thank you for your kind words and friendship…always!

      2. Anthro stores are a dangerous place. I cannot go in unless I have money to burn, b/c I burn it fast in there!

  14. Well, you really are a great food blogger, so congrats. You always offer plenty to choose from. I’ve been very absent from commenting since I had my last baby, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. I sooo want that pink soft serve machine.

    • Thanks for re-appearing, Jenny! And congrats on your new baby. I cannot imagine blogging with a new baby. Mine was about 18 mos when I started and I couldnt imagine blogging the way some of these ladies do right away with a newborn and no sleep!

  15. WOW!!! Congratulations on being chosen in the top ten! That is awesome!

  16. Congrats! What an amazing opportunity to have so many fabulous features. It is well deserved and know that you will have many to come in the near future.

    I adore those olive wood boards!

  17. Pingback: Thursday Things

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