Thursday Things

Time for this week’s Thursday Things:

1. Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. It’s ironic that with all the chocolate-based recipes, desserts, and sweets on my blog that I’ve never posted a recipe for a basic chocolate cupcake.

I do have a killer cake recipe that’s a one-bowl and very fast and easy. The cake has the springy and spongey nature of a cake-mix cake, but it’s from scratch and the batter takes five minutes to whisk together.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache


If you need chocolate cupcakes, Sally has you covered

2. I was nominated as one of the Top 25 Recipe Blogs by Skinnyscoop. You  have to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the big spacebar with ‘See all suggestions’ on it to see all 25. There’s a voting period that goes until October 31 if you want to Like or vote for your favorite blog. I was just happy to make the cut because I’m in the company of some people whom I really admire.

3. How adorable is this little Recipe book from Anthro, $28. I was just talking about what a hodge-podge my recipes are and that they’re strewn all over the place from saved emails to myself to dog-eared pages in cookbooks to Pinterest boards to Recipe Box.

Maybe this would help me.

4.Last week the Huffington Post featured my Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze in their Caramel Dessert Recipes roundup. The glaze on that cake is my hands down favorite glaze of all time. The cake is good but the glaze is bliss on a spoon. I love caramel anything and they have some gems in their roundup.

I’m Slide 6 of 16

5. These Apple Cinnamon Mini Monkey Breads look like a fair amount of work but boy, they sure look good. But stayed tuned because I have a monkey bread-ish recipe on Monday that’s not a lot of work.

6. Owl The Better doormat, $34 from Modcloth

7. Bon Appetit has 26 Cakes in their October print issue that I have been wanting to make. Yes, I want to make all 26 but first I need to find a football team who’s accepting donations after I have my one or two slices and am already thinking about what’s next.

This Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting caught my eye. They use Jif peanut butter for the frosting, as do I for all my peanut butter baking needs when I’m baking with peanut butter, but I was glad to see that Bon Appetit isn’t too highbrow for some good ole Jif.

8. Mascot Cardigan, Free People $248. I love Free People and I love this cardigan with all it’s kitschy funkiness but it was 94F in San Diego on Wednesday. A freakish hot snap and it’s hotter now that it was all summer, but I’m sure not complaining because I love it hot. However, it’s definitely not sweater weather right now.

9. Here’s a Chocolate Brownie Cake from Williams-Sonoma and although it’s not quite a cupcake in honor of today’s holiday, it combines brownies and cake in one, which is akin to a holiday for me.

However, we’ve barely just finished the Chocoalte Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Skillet Cookie and I wasn’t going to make anything ‘big’ for at least a week, but I couldn’t help it and made a cake on Tuesday that is one of my best ever. However, it’s a post-Halloween/pre-Thanksgiving and pre-Holiday baking season kind of cake given the flavors I used. I try to think at least six weeks ahead so in my kitchen, Christmas cookie baking season is going to commence any day now right as it cools off to 89F.

10. And now for a little tear-jerker story, especially for those of us who are wives and mothers that you may be able to relate to:

A little boy asked his mother, “Why are you crying?” “Because I’m a woman,” she told him. “I don’t understand,” he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, “And you never will.”

“All women cry for no reason,” was all his dad could say. The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry. Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, “God, why do women cry so easily?”

God said: “When I made the woman she had to be special. I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort. I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children. I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining. I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly. I gave her strength to carry her man through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart. I gave her wisdom to know that a good man never hurts his woman, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfaltering. And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed.” “You see my son,” said God, “the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart – the place where love resides.”


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 a favorite chocolate cake or cupcake recipe?

Please link it up if you have one that’s a tried-and-true hit.

I realized a few months ago that I was lacking in some of the more traditional and classic recipes on my blog and have been trying to change that, and apparently chocolate cupcakes need to be added to the to-make list. I do make them from time to time, but not often. I prefer making whole cakes, pans of bars, or brownies rather than individual cupcakes or muffins. It’s less work to make one big pan of something than 24 individual items, which usually need to be piped with icing, individually too, rather than just smearing on one layer over an entire pan.

I know it’s really early, but have you thought about your Thanksgiving menu or holiday baking?

I’m inspired to make new things and goodies this December that I’ve never made before. I just don’t know what those things are…yet. I have the problem of choice overload and rather than narrowing my list down, it’s growing. Oh boy.

47 comments on “Thursday Things”

  1. thank you for the shout out Averie! Wow, that’s so cool to be in Thursday Things. :) I wonder how your chocolate cake would do as cupcakes? Have you thought about making it into cupcakes before? That little recipe book is adorable – I have recipes ALL over the place. On my phone, in my emails, in random notebooks, kitchen drawers, etc. I need some organization! That Bon Apetit cake looks and sounds to die for. Good ole Jif… steals my heart. It’s what I eat and bake with (mostly). Had a jar + spoon before bed last night. Not the whole jar! I love love love monkey bread! I’ve never made it myself but I’m certainly excited to see a version that YOU made next week! AND for your killer cake that you made on Tuesday. I’m anxiously waiting! :)

    • Well when I saw your post I knew I had to shout it out. You have so many! Thanks for the info on working on your own base for cupcakes. I know the Amanda version is good but it’s a box. I am reading a cake book and she says that you can make any of her cakes as cupcakes ive read that in the past, too, that cake batter can always be made into cupcake batter…but I have already read some people who say although it can, it’s not really ideal. Like my choc cake that I linked here, just thinking about the batter, and the texture of the cake, I am not really sure I’d bake it into cupcakes. It would be ‘fine’ but it’s a very thin batter and part of me worries about mess-making and dribbling it all over the cupcake pan (more on the edges of the pan and divider than into the cupcake wells).

      The cake I just made this week, another one that no way would I pour that into cupcakes. And holy moly was it good! Mid-November though.

  2. Ok that cake looks insane! Wow. That long cardigan sweater is so you by the way! And thank you for that special story. I’ve read it before, but it’s ben a long long time.

  3. Happy Chocolate Cupcake Day! One of my favorite days of the year. :)

    And that recipe book is going on my Christmas list pronto! Too cute.

    Congrats again on the Huffington Post feature!!

  4. It’s so easy to get caught up in improving on the basics that sometimes we just forget about the delicious basic recipes!

  5. Monkey bread is a lot of work, yes. But worth it? I’m not sure… I’ve never had it! I can’t wait to see your quick version. And congrats on the nomination :)

    • Girl it’s so quick the way I made it. It’s more what I’d call pull-apart bread than monkey bread, sounds like a picky-ish differentiation, but you’ll see when the post goes up on Monday :) It’s really pull-aparty. lol

  6. Your posts always make me want to bake! Congrats on the feature

  7. That little recipe book – OMG.

  8. That cake with ganache? Oh my. Give me now!

  9. congrats on your feature in the Huffington post! and i can’t wait to see your monkey bread-ish recipe. Sounds llike it’s going to be delish!

  10. Wow that is a post of all sorts of good treats…thats why they call it food porn!

  11. I love the owl doormat so much! I must have it!

  12. I always love your Thursday things! Now, I need to get my hands on some chocolate ASAP!

  13. I made a chocolate cake on my blog today! It’s not technically a cupcake, but I’m still going to count it :) And that owl doormat is adorable, I love Modcloth.

  14. Not sure which I’d rather have: a piece of the chocolate chip skillet cookie or the gorgeous blue plate the piece is on, so beautiful. You’re taste is always so classic. Enjoy your weekend!

  15. As we talked about, I’m not a cake/muffin kind of girl for the most part, but your chocolate cake looks awesome! As does that apple bundt cake. And I’ve been seeing all the Bon Appetit cake recipes on their blog and I pinned that banana pb cake. That is my kind of cake!

    The owl doormat…. LOVE.

  16. Ok, that story at the end of your post is totally what I needed to hear today. I believe the universe puts us in touch with things we need to see or hear, so thanks for posting that story at the end. I have been in one of those sad under appreciated sort of moods today. Dealing with a pre-teen can be draining at times and sometimes I just feel like I’m not doing enough or doing too much. I’m sure you have days like that being as stay at home mom as well. I’m trying to figure out what I want to really do and at the same time I know my role is to be home raising the kids. That is what my heart is telling me anyway.

    Congrats on the busy award week and I will totally vote for you at the skinny scoop. BTW, I am a fan of Jiff peanut butter as well. I have tried to convert to the healthier fare and just can’t do it!

    • I love making my own PB for straight up eating but for baking with or heating at high temps, Jif holds up so incredibly well vs. natural which will turn much runnier. In bars, natural is ‘okay’ but in cookies where you need a shape, no, I don’t have good luck with it.

      Although I am at-home, it’s definitely a FT job, 60+ hours a week or more. I have so many projects and irons in the fire that keep me grounded and give me purpose and fulfill me. I have more work than hours in the day but I am grateful b/c I need that, I crave it; I crave having a role other than wife and mother. I need to push myself and be pushed and I love what I do and I wish you strength mama in finding that happy place, too! Trust me, we ALL have those days!

  17. I am LOVING that owl mat! Super cute!!!!

    Thanks for posting your pumpkin spice latte recipe :) Was the best one I found online!

    • Well thanks for trying it and it’s hard to re-create what they do at Starbucks b/c it’s like apples and oranges…synthetic syrups vs. natural pumpkin. They can both be amazing but aren’t going to be an apples to apples comparison. Thanks for trying it!

  18. Congrats on the postings and nominations again, you rock! Too funny on chocolate cupcake day, there is officially a day for everything! Adorable recipe book, that would be a better alternative to my chicken scratched notes everywhere.

  19. That is such a sweet story at the end of your post!! Everything looks so good–lots of tempting chocolate. I love that little recipe book– it might just have to go on my wish list. We’ll head to my parents’ house in IL for Thanksgiving so I’ll be mom’s “helper”!

  20. Out of everything your PB CC Skillet cookie looks the best!! Congrats for making SkinnyScoop list!

  21. I did not know it was chocolate cupcake day! Maybe it’s not to late to celebrate…

  22. Averie ~ congratulations on your nominations! I recently made something fabulous…your Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache frosting. To.die.for. I ended up making that one for my birthday. It was a tough choice between that and your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt cake. You’re right, the cake is springy and the ganache…oh, I’m so sad it’s all gone.
    For anyone who has to eat gluten free, I subbed King Arthur GF all purpose flour, added xanthan gum and it turned out terrific!

    • I am so glad you made it AND That you were able to pull off a springy cake and that you kept it GF with a little K.A. GF and some XG added. Wow…amazing results and glad it was a hit! And for your bday, no less. Happy Bday. If you haven’t already made the Pumpkin cake, it’s the pumpkin-yellow cake equivalent of the choc version and it’s so good.

      And, it’s a ways off, but in about a month for xmas baking I am posting a new chocolate-ish cake that’s to die for good! Springy and bouncey :)

  23. Averie, you have so many great finds here. As much as I get around the internet I had not seen these. Now I am starving!

  24. Congrats on the huffington post feature! It’s well deserved! And those monkey breads are amazing! It just made the top of my “to-make” list!

  25. Averie, all,

    I made the Olive Oil Cake from the list of the 26 ideas in Bon Appetit (those that Averie wrote about in this post). The result was amazing!!

    Here is the recipe:

    I used organic ingredients whereever possible. It’s hard to imagine the taste of a combination of olive oil and candied aranges, so I was trilled at tis discovery journey. The effect blew me right out of the watter.

  26. Congrats on the nomination! Off to vote :)

  27. I love the little story about why women cry. So cute and I’m sure remembering that will help me the next time I’m feeling emotional.

  28. Congrats on the nom!!!
    I have never made PB frosting, but I think I could eat it straight from the bowl : )

  29. Congrats! :)
    I love each and everything on your site. Every single thing. And the pics, wow!

  30. Pingback: Thursday Things

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