Friday Things

Time for an installment of Friday Things:

1. Cooks Illustrated Tested Whole Wheat Flour and if you thought all whole-wheat flours are created equal, you were wrong.

I used to think that flour was flour. It’s not. I am so brand loyal to King Arthur and it’s all I use, with the exception of a random specialty flour. I draw the line at mail ordering flour and buy what’s in the grocery store and sometimes on a unique flour that I buy once a year, I’ll brand-hop but otherwise the King and I are tight.

2. Manchester Glass Set, $128 at Anthro. A wall-mounted set that would be handy for mounting so many things.

 You don’t have to put fresh herbs in it, but I’d like to.

3. Need easy, fast, No-Bake Cookie Recipes?

The Huffington Post featured a couple of mine in their No-Bake Cookie Recipes (Slide 2 and Slide 3)

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies (no-bake, vegan, GF) are fast and easy, with No Added, Sugar, Salt, or Oil

4. Dorothy’s 5 Tips for Creating Business Cards post – Over and beyond about what to put on the business cards, she shares info about how to change your Facebook name, what a QR code is and how to get one; that Google Voice exists and you can have phone numbers forwarded to your cell so you don’t have to put your cell phone on your business cards.

A cornucopia of helpful tidbits and even if you don’t need business cards, you could probably use some of the sidebar trivia and tips.

5. The Kitchn did a story about What Have You Been Most Surprise (or Embarrassed) to Learn in the Kitchen

The reader comments are great. Sometimes it’s nice to know you’re not alone on just discovering certain things.

For me, I’ve recently discovered that whole wheat pastry flour and graham flour are the same thing.

Or despite knowing better, I’ll read recipes that instruct to combine butter with chocolate chips and melt them. This never works for me and the chocolate always seizes. I’m always surprised when I read recipes that indicate otherwise because in my experience, chocolate chips are finicky and don’t like to be mixed with butter. Bars of chocolate are a different story. But I ruined a bag of chocolate chips and a stick of butter the other day because I didn’t listen to my gut that was saying wait a minute, don’t do it. The water in the butter is the kiss of death for chocolate chips.

6. This Stephanie Johnson Torino Train Case, $78 at Kitson. Crocheted anything reminds me of my grandma and my childhood. I fear that this wouldn’t be durable at all and would snag and look horrible in about a week, but it’s sure cute.

7. Smoked Cashew Salsa – It reminds me of the coating mixture I make for Cheezy Kale Chips (raw, vegan, GF)

The Kale Chips are the best kale chips I’ve ever tried because of that coating. Those little bags of (mostly crushed) chips from Trader Joe’s that are really pricey or from Whole Foods that will break your bank account don’t hold a candle to homemade kale chips. You’ll never buy storebought and you can make them in a low 200F oven.

I’ve adapted the coating mixture for “Spicy Doritos” Cheezy Dip as well and it’s great with veggies sticks, on crackers, on bread, or just about anything.

8. Lauren Conrad featured my Cookie Dough Balls on her site

When I created the recipe in 2009 and I never could have imagined that they’d appear on Lauren’s site.

I have memories of putting my then two-year old down for a nap, turning on some guilty-pleasure episodes of The Hills, and eating cookie dough balls.

9. Do you like Sriracha? Here are 20 Sriracha Recipe Ideas

10. Do the Ripe Thing from Cooks Illustrated. If you thought your bananas had to be black as the night for banana bread, they don’t. Nicely freckled and speckled, but pitch black is not necessary and there’s little difference in sweetness between heavily freckled and completely black.

Meaning you can make this Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter sooner rather than later.

However, my favorite banana bread recipe of all time is this one. No frills, fast, easy, with amazing bread results, guaranteed, every time.

What are your Friday Things?

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

Anything you’re surprised to learn in the kitchen? Mistakes that plague you?

Flour preferences or loyalties? Freckly vs. black bananas for baking?

St. Paddy’s Day Plans?

Have a great weekend and check back for a giveaway!


55 comments on “Friday Things”

  1. Ooh, must try that cheezy dip recipe! I have been wanting to cook more with the ginormous bag of nutritional yeast that I bought long ago. Yum!

  2. Thanks SO much for featuring my business card post Averie!!

  3. I also use pretty much only King Arthur Flour witg only a few exceptions. I had no idea butter and chocolate chips won’t melt together!

    • Well they can; but the TJs chips I use tend to hate butter. And whenever I try to melt chips with butter, I don’t have great luck. Regular chocolate is fine (in a bar) but not with chips. I can melt chips on their own, OR pour hot cream over them (ganache) and get them to melt but not just chips + butter. I end up with a clumped up mess!

  4. Most Embarrassed to Learn In The Kitchen

    That you just CAN’T get steak right indoors using only one cooking method! If you want a nice hard sear AND a juicy medium-rare interior, you MUST sear the outsides in a pan then finish (very quickly) in the (extremely hot) oven. 2-3 minutes per side for the sear, on high, then 3-5 minutes in the oven at 500, depending upon the thickness of the meat. Ladies and gentlemen, fire up your ventilators and open all your doors — or be prepared to beat the bejeezus out of your smoke alarm with a baseball bat :)

    Given that your oven is notoriously the most energy-intensive appliance in your house, I’d always balked at the notion of preheating for 15 minutes to get up to 500 for only 3-5 minutes of cook time. But now that my teeth are old and sore, I wouldn’t be able to eat steak at all if I hadn’t finally bowed to this 2-step method (“which makes sense for restaurants which keep their ovens running all shift,” I’d tell myself, “but not for a home kitchen”).

    To think, I’d been doing it wrong for FORTY YEARS. This proves that sometimes you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

  5. Another guilty Hills watcher here. One time I was on a road trip, and it was the season finale, and I stopped about an hour before it so I could be sure to be comfy and ready to watch it live. That’s SO COOL that Lauren featured a recipe of yours!

    Also, bananas. My favorite way to get bananas perfect for baking is to let them get overripe (not all over brown, but maybe a day past the “just ripe” picture, and then peel and freeze them. When I need them, thaw them and KEEP the juice. Use it all. Oh, yum.

    Now don’t go telling my secret to people at work who think my banana bread is just goshdarnitallamazing, okay? :-)

    • Banana juice. I was reading a Cooks Illustrated article, actually it may have also been in a different section of the one I posted that factoid from – anyway, they recommend cooking down bananas til you get the juice and using that in banana bread. So you’re onto something, for sure!

  6. I always love these :)

    And omg congrats on being on Lauren Conrad’s site! That is super cool

  7. That smoked cashew salsa has my name on it! :D

  8. Pingback: Friday Things

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