Thursday Things

Time for this week’s Thursday Things:

1. I’ve become obsessed with researching, making, and baking bread. I’ve ordered books, including this one that was just delivered earlier today. With 1000+ nearly 5-star reviews, it can’t be bad. I’m excited to start reading it.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

And some of my existing cookbooks now have new-to-me chapters because all of a sudden I’m reading, rather than skimming or skipping, the yeast-based recipes.


I’ve tried a variety of yeasts, from Fleishman’s to Trader Joe’s to the new Red Star Platinum, which is my favorite to date. Talk about a puffy, fluffy loaf. And it was a wheat bread no less, which are usually destined for being much heavier and denser, aka more brick-like. Recipe coming soon.

I want this Emile Henry loaf pan because everything tastes better when baked in a beautiful pan.

Or this LeCrueset Heritage Stoneware Loaf Pan.  Bakers seem to rave about these types of stoneware pans and I’d love to try one.

I am adding recipes and ideas to my Pinterest bread boards daily.

I wish I had people to feed all this ‘inspiration’ I keep seeing and that I want to make. I could always make more Pumpkin Cinnamon Overnight Pull-Apart French Toast though.

I just love making the dough and kneading it, feeling the squishiness between my fingers. And as much as I don’t like waiting for things in general, there’s a certain element of fun surprise as I wait for the yeast to work its magic and the dough to rise, wondering and hypothesizing what’s going to become of it as it rises and then is baked. Eating the bread is wonderful, but it’s almost secondary to the process, which delights me. Part science, part art.

2. Chefs eat candy, too according to a recent Bon Appetit article and we’re talking more along the lines of Snickers and Reese’s Cups than Godiva or See’s, a personal fave.

3. I came across these Vosges Pink Champagne Truffles. Piper Heidsieck brut rosè Champagne inside 65% cacao dark chocolate, yes please. I love rosè Champagne and infusing it inside chocolate sounds dangerously wonderful.

4. Are you a fan of Biscoff? If so, the Huffington Post has 22 Biscoff Recipes that should keep you busy for awhile.

They featured my Chocolate Banana and Biscoff Graham Bars. Seeing these bars again makes me remember my trip to Aruba because I made them there and the day that I made them, the Biscoff, chocolate chips, and bananas were a literal hot mess, oozing and melting everywhere. There are worse problems to have.

5. I did have a computer problem a couple days ago. I was so excited because I had a window of four ‘extra hours’ and was going to get a jump on some blog work, emails, photo editing and just get to that place of ‘feeling ahead’ on things place until my Firefox randomly crashed. I was stuck in this browser-glitching-limbo state that took me four fun-filled hours to fix. So much for getting ahead but I did get it fixed. I’ve used Firefox for years and although I use Chrome as my backup, I just gravitate to what I’ve always used. I’ve never really gotten into Safari, but that’s Scott’s browser of choice.

In playing around with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari it was very interesting seeing how differently the same website appears when opened with different browsers.

If you’re a blogger, you may want to read this article about it. “For instance, you might open Firefox and see a WP blog that’s centered on the screen, has three columns, and shows links in bright green text. The same blog in IE could be left-aligned, arranged in only one column, and display links in the standard shade of blue. It’s even possible that a theme or template won’t work at all in one or more browsers, making your blog entirely unavailable to a whole segment of the potential market…”

Here’s a free Adobe download to see how your site appears in different browsers. Most notably, subtle yet distinct variations in font, both in the style and size of the font, were noticeable. I like my font the best in Firefox.

6. Rustic Foreside Iron Clock, $78 at Nordstrom – An antiqued iron clock that looks as handsome on the mantle as it does on a side table or dresser. I need a new alarm clock and I dig this rustic one. I wonder what the alarm sounds like. I wonder if it’s like an old bell, which sounds like a bad way to wake up, a bell gong-ing in my ear.

7. Butterscotch Custards with brown sugar, butter and a hint of whiskey sounds perfectly old-fashioned and comforting.

I love butterscotch anything, especially these.

8. Need to dress up for Halloween? This is about as ‘dressed up’ as I get for the holiday anymore and looks like my idea of perfect costume and the price is right. Angora blend bat sweater for $24.95 at H&M.

9. Thanks to The Kitchn for the Delicious Links feature on my Banana Zucchini Pudding Cake with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

10. I received this soon-to-be released cookbook from Chef Carla Hall, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You

You may remember her from Season 5 of Top Chef. She has such a gentle, genuine, sweet way about her. Her open and friendly nature really comes through in the writing and stories in her new cookbook. The recipes are comfort food-based, with a Southern influence, but geared toward using fresh and seasonal ingredients to give a modern twist to tried-and-true classics. If you loved Carla as much as I did on Top Chef, her book will make you feel like she and her infectiously happy personality is standing alongside you in your kitchen.

And I am so excited about Season 1o 0f Top Chef, Seattle, which starts November 7.

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.

Have you tried making anything new in the kitchen lately?

If you’re ever tried making bread, or have any great books, tools, pans, or tips, I’m all ears..

Tell me about the new recipes you’re trying for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Chanukah or some of your tried-and-true classics you’ll always make.


  1. How funny! I just ordered one of those Le crueset loaf pans today!! I was in need of a quality loaf pan and went for it. I got it in purple. :)

    • Well I know who’s house to rob when the UPS truck rolls up. WHAT are the odds?!!! Seriously that you ordered! Wow! I want either a LeC or the E.Henry one. Have heard rave reviews on both!

  2. Yes! I think everyone loves a little junky candy every now and again. That bat sweater is very cute.

  3. oooooh . . . the Emile Henry loaf pan is adorable! Perfect for the holidays, too.

    The spaghetti squash and swiss chard link is intriguing. I’m going to check that out–thanks! Have a great day!

  4. So many things to comment on today – first, congrats on the kitchn and huff post features Averie! That’s so excited and well deserved. Guess what? HERSHEY’S contacted me and will feature my butterfinger cookies and reese’s pieces fudge on their respective candies’ FB pages. I can’t wait! OVer 1/5 million FB fans. I’m scared – how my website looks in other browsers. That’s frightening! Kevin’s computer is old and my site’s colors are SO WEIRD on his computer. My andes mint fudge looked blue. I use Safari at home and IE And Firefox at work. I actually like safari the best. Pink champagne truffles – I want them now. I also want that bread cookbook, You’ve had me intrigued lately to enter a new realm of baking. I’m not comfortable with yeast just yet but when I am, I know I’ll feel totally inspired like you. The upside down apple cake had me pinning and saving all sorts of cake recipes lately. :) Very exciting to enter a new recipe niche like breads!

  5. I had no idea different browsers show sites differently. Hmmm, may have to check that out. Although it might make me go insane and worry about ONE MORE THING, hehe!!
    I love the Artisan in 5 book!! I bought it last year and use that method ALL THE TIME. Yummers. I have dough in my fridge right now, for our spaghetti dinner tonight!
    I have a little bread pan envy now….I didn’t even know what I was missing!

    • Oh, they totally do. FF yields the crispest images, Internet Explorer, the worst. Safari & Chrome – in the middle. My opinions only (well and a couple friends/commenters who wrote in in this post, too, reiterating that)

      And glad you love the method of the Artisan in 5 – if you have specific recipes that you’ve made and love-love, tell me which ones!

  6. OMG right? My blog looks tooootally different on different browsers! On my sidebar all the fonts look a little weird and run into each other on IE but it’s fine on Chrome. *sigh* :P

    And those pretty baking pans are sooo…well…pretty!!

    • I think IE is the worst for ‘mutilating’ sites and images! It’s a platform that was started and developed when everyone seemed to use PCs and as the world has gone more MAC, I dont think IE has changed as much and I think that platform in general just makes things look so much more wonky!

  7. Love the sweater, love the bread pans, love the recipe features!!

    I had a browser glitch day a few weeks ago too. I have been using firefox forever and decided to switch over to chrome because firefox was super slow. Chrome is faster, but I’m not convinced that I love it. There are also tons of ads on some websites – I never knew that was associated with the browser, I thought it was whatever the websties’ settings were. Interesting, this computer stuff confuses the hell out of me. I haven’t tried Safari since the early days of my mac career, a decade ago or so, but I’ve heard it has gotten much better. I think I may check that out soon. I’m just not loving Chrome.

    • Nor was I loving Chrome was I was forced to use it for 24 hours when I was getting my FF re-installed and figured out. WHAT an ordeal. It took me 4-6 hours and TONS of googling (on chrome) to figure it out. And restarts and reinstalls up the wazoo!

      From another friend’s comment :
      ‘OK, had to leave this comment real quick. I just checked out both of our sites on Firefox and they look much better in comparison to Safari. They are crisper and the colors in the photos pop! So interesting!’

      Me: Ok maybe that’s why I love FF then. When I edit my pics and post, I do it all in FF. It just always seems SO much crisper and brighter and more POP to me. Sadly, if others are using other browsers or have lower quality or smaller screens, it will never look to them what it looks like to me…but at least I like it. Lol

      Thanks for the field report and LMK that I wasn’t just imagining things and there’s a reason I always go back to FF!’

  8. Jason’s mom is from California and See’s are her faves too. We used to not be able to find them here, but now they’ve made it waaayyyyy out here ;-) I love watching cooking shows when they feature artisan bread bakers. It’s just so cool.

    • Girl I love See’s and I have to just walk REAL FAST past their stores in the mall b/c they just smell so good and I want to buy a dozen of everything :) I love watching cooking shows like that too!

  9. Hey Averie,
    I’ve heard AMAZING things about that cookbook. Not sure if you already own Michael Pollan’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” (one of my faves), but he has a great bread baking section too.
    I have a USA loaf pan and LOVE it. Makes the most wonderful edges.
    Happy Thursday to you!!

    • You know that M Pollan book is one I never bought b/c I have so many books but now that you say it has a great bread baking section, it would be worth it just for that. Thanks for the tip and about the USA loaf pan (haven’t even heard of that one!)

    • Cookbook was a gift and I LOVE it! MP has such a great way of teaching you something basic (like making yeast bread) then suggesting a lot of different ways to tweak it and improve your technique. Def a fan!
      I came across USA pans when doing some serious cookware investigation. What sealed the deal: they are the preferred brand of King Arthur Flour (only brand sold at their store in Vermont). I have their cookie sheets and cake pans too and LOVE them! You can find them at BBB. I’m sure you have plenty of kitchenware, but if you are ever looking to add to your collection, they are winners in my book!

    • I only use KA flour and have their cookbook and good to know about those pans! I so want some now! And love that the MP book (or all books…seems like a non-sequitor a bit!) would have such extensive info on bread making. Never know where you’re going to find hidden gems. Thanks for these great comments and tips, Erin! Very much appreciated!

  10. Hi Averie. I’m the same way with older cookbooks. Recipes that daunted me a year ago, now seem easier. I did try and make pizza dough the other day, (one without the kitchen aid dough hook) and it didn’t turn out so well. I don’t think I kneaded it long enough. I will keep trying, as Trader Joe’s dough can be inconsistent and I would love to have my own dough to work with as we eat pizza every Friday.
    Its funny how people get use to and stick to a certain web browser. John is a Firefox guy and Zoe and I are Safari gals. I’m definitely going to check out that Adobe download to see how my site looks on different browsers. I never knew there was a difference. I always check out your site on Safari so I will glance at Firefox to see if I can note a difference. Interesting stuff girl, as always!

    • I have a pre-written post for next week about bread and kneading and in my research have learned that when HAND kneading, it’s almost impossible to over-knead. You will get exhausted FAR before the dough gets exhausted :) With a bread machine/dough hook, in theory it’s possible to overknead but it seems like you’d have to have your K.A. running on full tilt for like a half hour++ in order for that even to be an issue. So I say you under-did it.

      And the temp of the water/liquid, rising temp (your house is probably WAY colder in Marin than yeast likes it) so you will need a longer rise time….lots of variables. Which is half the fun – the detective work!

  11. OK, had to leave this comment real quick. I just checked out both of our sites on Firefox and they look much better in comparison to Safari. They are crisper and the colors in the photos pop! So interesting!

    • Ok maybe that’s why I love FF then. When I edit my pics and post, I do it all in FF. It just always seems SO much crisper and brigher and more POP to me. Sadly, if others are using other browsers or have lower quality or smaller screens, it will never look to them what it looks like to me…but at least I like it. Lol

      Thanks for the field report and LMK that I wasn’t just imagining things and there’s a reason I always go back to FF!

  12. Love the bread cookbook!!! It has helped me out so much! :)

    • Oh that is awesome that you love it and that it’s helped you! I read about 20 pages of it yesterday before I fell asleep :) but can’t wait to get a batch of dough started! If you’ve made certain fave recipes that you love, tell me which ones!

  13. I’m definitely going to try the Red Star Platinum–sounds like you love it! And thanks for mentioning Top Chef. I kept up with it for a long time but somehow lost touch last year and am anxious to watch this season. My sister in law has the Artisan Bread in 5 min. A Day and raves about it. She has 5 children so she cooks and bakes in BIG batches! I have a feeling you’ll like it as well!

    • I just got the book and cracked it open about 230am but couldn’t keep my eyes open, even for bread, and fell asleep. So today, going to speed read it and get a batch of dough started. I’m sure you know more than I do, anecdotally, about it at this point from your SIL but the point is that you make a big batch of moist dough and let it proof for day(s) in the fridge and then slice off a hunk, let it rise for half hour, and bake it off. Repeat. The other thing it’s a no-knead recipe. So I guess in 20 pages worth, I got the gist of it.

      LMK if you try the Platinum!

  14. Okay, I LOVE Top Chef and didn’t know it was starting up again soon–yay! It’s one of my favorites, and so was Carla. I’m eager to hear what you think about her new book! :) and allow me to be all fortune-tellery for a second, but I forsee beautiful things happening with your bread obsession haha.

    • Her book is an approachable-style, homey, comfort-food based book with lots of savory options. Do-able stuff with a Southern & comfort-food influence. I loved her on the show so it makes the book that much better!

  15. Thanks for the tips on the different browsers. I didn’t realize they would be that different!

    And I’m drooling reading the Huffington Post Biscoff Recipe collection. Yummm!

  16. totaallly craving some fluffy pillowy bread right now. thanks a lot averie! ;)
    i made no-knead bread a few months ago and it was actually a lot more successful than I was expecting. the only thing that was hard about it was waiting for it to rise. twice.

  17. I want that sweater! Although I would probably be a little overheated wearing an angora sweater down in Florida. Time to crank the AC?

  18. I totally share your bread obsession. I’m waiting for the first rise on dinner rolls I’m making right now with Platinum Red Star AND I just started a bread pin board.

  19. Well, I pretty much adore this post. Gosh, there’s so much that I need to click through, read, and pin!! I’ve known about the artisan cookbook for quite awhile and yet, I still have not gotten it! I really need to get on that!

  20. I’m impressed with the bread making! I get so intimidated by it but really should learn to make it…case in point being my Thursday thing which would undoubtedly be even better with fresh, homemade bread: tomato toast

  21. Love Top Chef and Butterscotch! But not as much as Emile Henry bakeware. It is the best. It bakes beautifully and cleans up even better. I make all my pies in one of his dishes, and now have loaf pans and a fruit bowl with a 9 by 13 on the way. I know you’d love it!

    • Ok now I know I HAVE To get one if you rave about it and I know you’re the pie-making queen. Ive heard rave reviews and just dismissed it as a ‘not necessary’ but if it makes THAT much of a difference…I’m all for it!

  22. Averie,
    The Artisan Bread in Five Techique is phenomenal! I am a teenager who loves to make yeast breads without the work and I love this. It may seem a like a lot of work at first but press on! It makes great bread, even my teacher who studied and lived in France raves about it.

    Can we please see some of your flops? We should share our mistakes so we can all learn from them!

    • So far I haven’t had any flops that were horrible and unedible…just not quite as high or puffy as I’d like and try to do SO much research to prevent flops before they happen but if I have any big disasters that would be funny to post about, I may :) That’s AWESOME that you’re a teenager and making bread – with this technique no less!

  23. I love that sweater! And gosh, I REALLY want to eat bread now.

  24. Those loaf pans are super cute! I want both! And I totally need to get that H&M sweater. I don’t think I’m dressing up for Halloween. And congrats on the feature! It’s so well deserved!

  25. This is great, I have been wanting to start making homemade bread again but haven’t found any good cookbooks :( Thanks for the recommendation!!

  26. I love making bread usually by the no knead method, such satisfaction after hours and hours of nurturing and then cracking it open and slabbering it in a good butter! :)

  27. I love that you’re getting into bread. I think it’s one of the most satisfying things to bake! Plus, you cannot beat the smell…

  28. I have the “Healthy Artisan Bread book” same people, their next book. It’s good!

  29. I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I look forward to Thursday Things, even if I don’t get around to reading them until Friday. I really think you should set up a side business as a personal shopper for food styling props – all of your picks are always already on my list or get added right after I see them here. Like that Le Creuset loaf pan…. oh em ghee – I want that NOW. FOR REALZ!

    • You know I’ve been told by other people they love the posts even though they never quite generate the results a recipe-based post would :) But I do love sharing my little finds & tidbits and this is the way to do it that’s the easiest I think. And I would LOVE to be a personal shopper for props. Omg…shopping…with someone else’s money. Bring it on!

  30. that butterscotch custard looks so good…and I can’t wait to check out Carla’s cookbook. I love love Top Chef.

  31. I just bought that same artisan bread cookbook- I’m pretty sure it’s going to change my life!

  32. Love your bread recipes, gotta follow you and your pinterest bread pins.

    Pretty cool to read that you spent a month in Aruba and have owned your home there since 2003! I am originally from there (born) and go back twice a year. Will have to catch up with your adventures there.

    Is it me or is there something with your blog layout?

    • Is it me or is there something with your blog layout? <-- not sure what you mean but I just tested my site with Firefox, Chrome, & Safari and it looks fine to me! Maybe something with your browser but LMK! Fun that you grew up in Aruba and go twice a year. If you ever see me there, say hi! :)

    • I did look at several posts and it was happening with those posts too. Seemed like a .css problem.
      But the good news is, it all looks fine now.
      Will definitely say hi if I see you in Aruba! Saw you had a meet-up there! Maybe the next one I will be there… when is the next one?

    • Well glad it was just a temporary hiccup! After you emailed, I had about 10 people check and no one else had issues (tell a FT blogger her site is wonky, and talk about heart attack!) – but glad it’s all better now :)

  33. I love that bat sweater!!! I want one!

    I also have been making a lot of new things in the kitchen lately. Tonight I am making a new soup.

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