August 2012 Recipes


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It’s the last day of the month and time to recap what I made. It was a huge month for me, with lots of recipes, realizations, and reflections. More on that at the end of the post.

August 2012 Recipes:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Smoothie (vegan, GF)

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Smoothie

Just Nuts

Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Strawberry Jelly Rolls (major shortcut used)

Strawberry Jelly Rolls

Baked Peach and Nectarine Donuts with White Chocolate Drizzle

Baked Peach and Nectarine Donuts with White Chocolate Drizzle

Malibu Rum Fruit Loops Treats (no-bake)

Malibu Rum Fruit Loops Treats

Coconut Cream Pie Smoothie (vegan, GF)

Coconut Cream Pie Smoothie

Coconut White Chocolate Chip Blondies

Coconut White Chocolate Chip Blondies

10 Smores Day Recipes

Smores and chocolate bar

Frozen Chocolate Pudding Wafer Cake (no-bake, 3 ingredients)

Frozen Chocolate Pudding Wafer Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Chocolate Pretzels (no bake, vegan, GF)

Cinnamon Sugar Chocolate Pretzels

Citrus and Spice Smoothie (vegan, GF)

Citrus and Spice Smoothie

Chocolate Banana and Biscoff Graham Bars

Chocolate Banana and Biscoff Graham Bars

Blueberry Muffins with Raspberry Jam Swirls

Blueberry Muffins with Raspberry Jam Swirls

Combos Pretzel and Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Bars (no-bake)

Combos Pretzel and Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Bars

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

International Peanut Butter Comparison

Jumbo Pindakaas peanut butter jar

Other Important Posts:

Greetings From Aruba – we spent the month at our home in Aruba

Aruba beach with people in the ocean

Little Helper – first time I had posted pictures of Skylar in many months

Skylar looking at table of plastic kitchen toys


Aruba beach and sand with ocean and blue sky

Beachy Afternoon

Aruba beach with ocean and hotels in the background

I participated in a Virtual Baby Shower

Chocolate banana and biscoff graham bars

I started Banana Bread Fest

Banana bread with vanilla glaze

We went on a Sunset Sail in Aruba

Aruba ocean with horizon sunset and sailboat

What did you make or do in August that was memorable?

This was a huge month for me. On a blog level, I posted more new recipes this month than in any other month in the history of my blog. Just give me vacation time on an island and where do I find myself? In the kitchen of course.

There’s only so much sun and outdoor heat I can take before coming inside is necessary; and cooking and baking relaxes me and it’s my idea of a vacation. I never would have believed that about myself ten years ago, but now there are very few places I’d rather be than in the kitchen creating. In fact, I loved making banana bread and made so many versions, which I’ll post in the weeks to come, that I started Banana Bread Fest because it truly was a Banana Bread Fest in our house.

But no one complained about a constant stream of goodies and we are so active in Aruba with runs, walks, swimming, body surfing, walking rather than driving to the grocery store, walking to the beach, and just being outside in the fresh air that we all work up quite an appetite and yes, we ate every single morsel posted and many more that weren’t posted. We even ate a few vegetables.

I noticed that I did not post one single savory recipe but there were two salty ‘n sweet recipes that both use pretzels, plenty of desserts including many no-bake options, and three smoothies to wash it all down with.

I had been wanting to post some classics on my blog that I felt were holes in my recipe arsenal and I have now filled them: a new banana bread recipe, blueberry muffins, and chocolate cake. I’ve been blogging for years and not having a recipe for those items, or current recipes for those items, was bothering me. What kind of chocolate addict would I be to not have a chocolate cake recipe?

I really pleased with the quality of those recipes; they’re classics and not gimmicky or trendy. They’re recipes I will continue to use for years to come and now I have them written and documented so I can use them when needed.

As a blogger there is a constant demand for content that is new, fresh, exciting, hip, fun, and diverse. Old-fashioned chocolate cake, banana bread, and blueberry muffins seem very boring in comparison to Malibu Rum Fruit Loops Treats and Combos Pretzel and Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Bars when Pinterest and other blogs are full of monster cookie this and Oreo-stuffed that. Yes, I have done some ‘out there’ recipes over the years; some of which I am prouder of than others, but going forward I will post some more classics. Sure, I’ll still post things with marshmallow fluff and maybe even cake mix, but a cherry pie from scratch sounds more rewarding than opening a tube of refrigerated cookie dough and crumbling it into cupcakes made from cake mix now and I’m going to try to make more classic recipes that will stand the test of time.

On a personal level, being in Aruba with my family for a month was an amazing experience and I am beyond grateful. We are blessed, fortunate, and I thank God every day for these gifts and take none of it for granted. Being next to the ocean feeling like just a speck of sand in the huge world humbles me. So does running against a 45mph headwind from Mother Nature day in and day out.

Being able to co-parent our daughter together without rushing off to be anywhere, go to work, or do something else has been a gift that Scott and I cherish. Spending 24/7 together with a child for a month and watching Skylar grow emotionally, intellectually, become a stronger swimmer, become more confident, learn about 10 new words a day (everything from septic tank to caulk to sea legs) and literally watch the development unfold before my very eyes is so rewarding to see her blossoming before my very eyes. First grade begins next week and we will cherish the memories we made on our summer vacation.

Tell me about your month or your summer.

Talk to me about classic recipes versus some of the more crazy creations seen on Pinterest or various blogs – what kind of cook or eater are you?

Previous Months:

January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012

Thanks for the Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes Cookbook Giveaway entries

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Oh dear, this is quite tricky question… I like experimenting, trying many new things, but then I always come back to classic recipes, to a very simple food of my ancestors…
    Averie, I love this recap you are doing every month. I enjoy looking at your beautiful photos and “eating” all the great food you make. It also reminds me of things I did or didn’t do in the past months… Thank you! :)

  2. Awww, Averie, I just love your reflections on this. I’ve been following this blog since back in the day when you were more focused on vegan dishes (or healthified sweets, if that is such a word?) and yoga. While I probably rely more upon your other recipes(a single girl living alone just can’t bake sweets that often or else I’d weight 1000lbs), I really love the new direction you’ve taken. I really hope you write a cookbook one day. Your recipes are easy, delicious and pretty to look at. Also, your photography is out of this world.

    I’m a simple cook like you – as in I like easy recipes with a few steps, and I like to use shortcuts for recipes…sort of how you use cake mix, I’ll use store bought pasta sauce or pesto’s and then mix them with lots of other spices or in hummus or nut spreads to make new things. It’s so much easier than starting from scratch.

    I look forward to seeing what else comes out of your kitchen. :)

    1. I remember your comments from my old posts 3+ years ago and I appreciate your loyal support!! And I have grown as a blogger, photographer, cook over the years and I am so glad you’ve been around to watch it and for your support and this super sweet comment – thank you :)

  3. What a month! I never get tired of seeing those beautiful pictures of Aruba, one of these days I’m going to have to see it in person…

  4. I was actually thinking of making a banana bread today….this post just reminded me I should add a brown butter glaze! Just to make it extra special :)

  5. I really enjoyed all of your recipes this month. It’s pretty shocking that August is over though. Where did the time go? Your daughter is adorable! I love her pink outfits! Have a fabulous weekend, Averie!

  6. Very big month for you indeed, wow! Great recipe recap! Summer has been a bit dry for me so far with work and training , but we’re looking forward to changing that this month!

  7. Thank you for such a poignant post, Averie. It is nice to hear about the movement you are making with your recipes and I think it is a good one. I love the fun and creative, easy things (what busy mom doesn’t?), but I think you are right in that people want things from scratch for special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, special Anniversaries, etc. I look forward with eagerness to all that you are going to be posting in the future.

    As for Skylar, what a blessing that you are able to spend 24/7 watching her experience life. This is how motherhood should be! I never regret always having been home with my boys. They are Isaac’s and my absolute joy and I NEVER wish I was away from them or that I had “me” time when they are around. The time has gone so fast that I feel like I’ve blinked and now Seraphim is a senior in high school (what??!) and Simeon in 8th grade. What are we doing if we can’t appreciate all the joys our children and families bring to us on a daily and momentary basis? So glad you had such a wonderful month!

    Now what will September bring? ;-)

    1. And I don’t mean to sound like I’m going to make this ‘radical shift’ but just a hmmm, wouldn’t it be nice to make more classics, intermixed between some Rice Krispies Treats and EASY stuff which is what I’d like to think my readers enjoy about my site…but do some classics (that I will make do-able for the avg cook!) :)

  8. I visit your blog daily for the “sugar high” but what you wrote there at the end about gratitude and your precious family was sweetest of all. Love that!! Reminder of what really matters.

  9. What a recap! Loking back at some of these recipes, they feel so long ago, but also like they could have been posted yesterday. I can see the shift in your blog with this recap crystal clear!

    August was a BUSY month for me too! Lots of fun, travel, family, friends, and relaxing. I blogged less than ever but had more fun than any month in recent history. I just had friends over tonight, was at a happy hour yesterday, and I’m heading to my parents’ cabin for the weekend tomorrow. A nice send-off for the last weekend of the summer. sad…

  10. I love classics as well as some of the more “out there” recipes! Classics often evoke nostalgia and the crazy creations can just be a lot of fun (plus I really appreciate that kind of creativity which is why I love your blog!!). Variety works for me in the kitchen. I have bananas ready for your banana bread recipe so I’m going classic this weekend!

    1. I almost want to tell you DON’T make it – b/c I have a couple great ones in my stash. One I’ll post I think on Tues after the holiday. But that just means you can accumulate more bananas for that one. It’s Banana Bread Fest all month so will have plenty more :)

  11. Ah man this post just brought tears to my eyes…I love that you fully appreciate all the beautiful things in your life. I only hope to maintain that sense of gratitude as I grow older and eventually have a family (and hopefully be able to work from home). I hope you know that you’re a source of inspiration to a lot of us! :)

    1. Thanks, Kait, for this sweet comment. I truly do thank my lucky stars every day for my blessings and if life is ever not going great, I just say, in the great scheme, it aint too shabby :)

  12. Hi Girl! I love how passionate and consistent you are with your blog!! Baking the things you do keeps me in awe of your greatness! Thank you for being you and sending us daily doses of sugary love every day!


  13. What a great post! It sounds like you had a wonderful month. I love classic recipes. Pies are one of my favorite things to make, though I think many of the recipes on my blog are classics, but I definitely feel the pressure to experiment and try to come up with something different and amazing. Life is kind of strange for me right now, as my days are filled with baking, blogging, writing, working toward my dreams, and trying to find my place in the world, so that won’t really change as summer turns to fall and fall to winter. Though I am not looking forward to cold weather and a bleak landscape that has lost life for the winter, I mostly don’t like the change of season because it means time keeps moving, and for me, it’s moving way too fast.

    1. I love that you’re committed to the classics but have room to experiment with new things, too.

  14. Your daughter is so cute! I can’t get enough of her gorgeous wispy hair! Some day, she’ll be super thankful for that :) and I’m glad you guys have the chance to experience Skylar growing up. She’ll definitely appreciate spending so much quality time with you when she’s older and things get more hectic. And I REALLY enjoyed this month on your blog–so many beautiful desserts and snacks and treats!

    1. Thanks, Hayley, for the sweet comment and for reading about all those desserts this month :)

  15. The key is to make sure that headwind becomes your tailwind for the return to make up for it ;-) I love that you are fortunate enough to have that time there with your family.

    1. the winds there — if nothing else, running in any other climate, including pre-hurricane weather when we used to live in the Carolinas, NOTHING is as strong on a daily basis as the winds there….at least my cardio is better now!

  16. Your month of recipes sounds awesome. But your month with your family sounds unreal. What a wonderful time for you all to share! I hope your daughter has a lovely first day back!

  17. My favorite recap of yours to date. And yes you had QUITE the month between travel, family, baking, sun etc. One you will remember forever I am sure. I look forward to these classic recipes and you stretching yourself even more in the kitchen to try new things… that’s what its all about!
    As far as classics or craziness in the kitchen I think I tend to keep things very simple. Savory and simple is sort of the name of my game.

    1. You are totally a classic ingredients girl yet mix in ‘new school’ things but that have been around forever, i.e. coconut milk, chia seeds – love that you know who you are in the kitchen!

  18. August was truly your best-ever month, Averie. So many recipes to save, so many beautiful photos, and informative posts. We all grow and our tastebuds change, our baking habits change, or cooking methods change, and our writing changes. That’s what makes blogging so much fun and interesting! I am SO excited for this new path you’re going down with recipes that we can all cherish forever. While I love to eat and bake those fun, trendy desserts (hello, cake batter blondies!!!)… I think it’s always nice to have some simple recipes in our archives that will stand the test of time.

    This Aruba trip will be one you’ll remember forever and this is a time in Skylar’s life you’ll never forget! 1st grade better watch out!

    My August was wonderful as well! Lots of reflecting and “finding my voice” int he blog sense if you know what I mean! Really beginning to find my own baking and writing style. It feels wonderful! It’s been my most popular month so far. :)

    1. When people do a google search for chocolate cake, they want one from scratch that they can make for their mother’s bday party, their anniversary, etc. They don’t probably want one from a box with a ton of chopped up candy bars in it. They may, and if they do, I have them covered :) And now I have the classics to begin to cover…


  19. It sounds like your family had a month they’ll remember forever. That’s amazing and I’m glad you enjoyed it! I really loved this past summer as a whole, as I started my own blog (and have learned soooo much already) and have really gotten into the depths of my studies to become a health coach. It’s all so exciting and I’m very grateful to have these opportunities. Happy weekend!

  20. Now this was a crazy busy month on your blog! Wow, but I love all the things you posted!
    I’m glad you had a great time in Aruba too.
    So funny to see those Dutch brands of peanut butters. if you need a translation next time: I’m more than happy to help out:)

  21. This month of recipes is spectacular! It could be–SHOULD–be a book. So many vibrant colors and flavors. August was a good month. :)

    1. It was a great month and there are quite a few recipes still in my drafts to be doled out over the next few weeks!

  22. I love classics! I like to gather classic recipes from lots of different books and try them out. So I’ve had the winter of the oatmeal cookie, the summer of the tamale pie, and so on. This summer it was cocktails and I got obsessed with the perfect Cosmo. I came up with my own spin on it incorporating my new favorite thing, Campari. Thus was born the Mo-Ellen:
    I figure I made it might as well take some name glory, haha

    1. There was a drink made with Campari that I used to order at the Bellagio pool and it was pretty much my fave summer drink that I never did figure out how to recreate!