Friday Things | April 26, 2013


This post may contain affiliate links.

Time for an installment of Friday Things:

1. I’m going to The Big Potluck this weekend and can’t wait.

75 bloggers will be in attendance, and we have a packed lineup of events, speakers, and of course, eating and socializing.

Ree Drummond and Matt Armendariz

This day that I spent with Matt was a life-changing one and can’t wait to see him. And Ree. And 75 people who I either know and can’t wait to see again, or know virtually and will finally get to meet.

It’s in Southern California’s wine country, about an hour away from San Diego. I love the Temecula area and have plenty of fond pre-child impromptu winery tasting expeditions with my husband. An hour away, but world’s apart, and a perfect setting for a big ole potluck.

Pic collage of Temecula home

2. Freaker Vanilla Ice-Ing bottle insulator for your water bottle, wine bottle, or anything that gets sweaty. How freaking cute is that print.

Scott and I used to live in Wilmington, NC (13 years ago), where they’re made. Such fun memories.

Vanilla Ice-Ing bottle insulator

3. Ben Affleck joined the Live Below The Line Challenge, bringing awareness to global poverty. Participants are only allowed to spend $1.50 per day for food and drink.

This article gives some tips on what to do, like going to Sam’s Club for free samples.

Live Below The Line Challenge

4. I’m a contributor in the free e-cookbook, Fresh, Fruity, and Fabulous Fruit Recipes: 25 Summer Desserts with Fruit

If you’re in need of some lighter, more summery dessert recipes, check out the free download.

Fresh, Fruity, and Fabulous Fruit Recipes: 25 Summer Desserts with Fruit e-cookbook

They featured my Chocolate Chip and Cherry Blondies, perfect for all those summer cherries or use peaches, nectarines, or whatever is seasonal

Chocolate Chip and Cherry Blondies

5. This enameled cast iron Le Creuset Flower Cocotte, $150. The flower shape is just too cute and the color is so springy and fresh. I love yellow.

Le Creuset Flower Cocotte

6. Loving the Haute Hippie look. The sunglasses, the red sequin jacket ($985) and gold sequin skirt. The beige light that screams dingy retro chic is right up my alley, too.

Haute Hippie pic collage

7. My Vanilla-Avocado Banana Ice Cream was featured in Parade Magazine’s Six Creative, Delicious Ways to Use Avocado

Thanks to Lori the RecipeGirl for including me.

Parade Magazine's Six Creative, Delicious Ways to Use Avocado

8. Cookie Jar with Enamel Flower Market Lid – $54 from MacKenzie-Childs

Cookie Jar with Enamel Flower Market Lid

Tea Kettle, $130

Flower Tea Kettle

Their entire site and store is just a feast for the eyes. I could spend $20,000 in under 20 minutes. I wish I was joking. The store has some seriously gorgeous pieces but I’ll need to win the lottery first.

Mackenzie-Childs store front

9. Tracy’s Cheddar Cheese Bread looks ridiculously good. And easy.

Tracy's Cheddar Cheese Bread

I’m all about easy, 5-minute loaves

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

10. DIY: Create a Sweet and Savory Dessert Crostini Bar – This sure beats the same chips and dips on the average party table

 DIY: Create a Sweet and Savory Dessert Crostini Bar

One of their suggested toppings is homemade nut butter. I’ve got that covered, and then some.

Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter (GF) – My favorite nut butter that I’ve ever made

Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter

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.

Blogger meetups or events you’ve been to? Conferences or events you’ve attended or want to attend?

I’ve been on many, and am really excited that Big Potluck was capped at 75 people so it’ll be more intimate and less herd-like. I’m so excited to see old friends and meet people I’ve wanted to meet for years.

Eating on $1.50 a Day?

I could eat on $1.50 a day, and many days probably come close. Not eating meat is a huge cost savings, and I’m a frugal shopper in general. I buy whatever produce is on sale and buy store-brands of anything I can. With planning, not impulse-buying, shopping from a mental list of things I know I need and not things that I may want but aren’t practical (another expensive condiment for example), I try to shop as frugally as possible.

Even simple things like not eating out, not grabbing coffee out, not buying bottled water when out; planning ahead and doing it all at home slashes monthly expenditures, especially when you’re doing it as a family.

That said, some days I spend a ridiculous amount more when I’m baking all day and go through a pound of butter, sugar, and chocolate. Before noon.

Have a great weekend and check back for two great giveaways!


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!

Get the latest recipes via email!

Leave a Comment

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.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I hope you had an awesome time at the Potluck! I love that Le Creuset cocotte–I totally need that. Their yellow stuff is my favorite too.

    1. Yellow is my fave color for lots of things, especially kitchen stuff. Part of the reason I love your site so much is the cheery yellow :)

  2. So many adorable products here :) love the tea kettle! The live below the line challenge is intriguing, I can’t fathom it.

  3. I hope you had such a wonderful time at the potluck! It looked like a great group of people were there!
    Those MacKenzie Childs items are so gorgeous! And the eating below the line challenge? Wow. That is quite the challenge indeed!

  4. Oh…I was wondering what all the #btp1 hashtags were about! (Sometimes I’m afraid to ask because it’s probably something I should already know.) :D Sounds like fun!!

    Love the Haute Hippie look too – especially those glasses! ♥

  5. Ooh that le creuset flower-pot is soo pretty…I’ve decided to get a Le creuset, but I think that shape might be a little less practical. And that insulator?! So cute! Oh I had such a bless this week, a friend is visiting me, and we had some crazy shopping-tours! And I cooked&baked plenty yummy stuff for her, naked apples and vegan pancakes today for breakfast, the last day :( but we had so much fun!
    I bought a New Diana-mini camera, a backpack, and gray high waisted skinnies! I’m in loove :))

  6. wow, i’m intrigued. vanilla banana avocado ice cream? I gotta check out this recipe. I love healthy ice cream that doesn’t’ taste healthy. Love avocado, just made deviled eggs today with them.

  7. Geez your life sounds exciting right now! Good for you Averie! I can’t wait to hear about the blogger event – sounds awesome!

  8. a) those cherry and chocolate blondies look amazing. I wanna eat them with Cherry Garcia for double cherry and chocolate-ness

    b) at first instead of “pre-child impromptu wine tasting” I read “childhood impromptu wine tasting” haha.

  9. I know you’re having an amazing time, Averie! I’m loving your photos on instagram…as I follow along!!!

  10. Have fun at the potluck…. I’d say your all pretty lucky!! I would love to win the lottery and shop at Mackenzie Childa too!!!

  11. I lived in Wilmington, NC 13 years ago too!! I feel like I’ve met a famous person now haha. P.S. I’m making that cinnamon bread soon!

  12. I keep seeing all these ‘big potluck’ related photos on Instagram – sounds so fun, and the location I’m sure makes it even more enjoyable. If I had to live on $1.50 a day, I think I would use $1 for a greek yogurt, and then eat spoonfuls of peanut butter with the remaining 50 cents. :)

    1. $1 for a greek yogurt, and then eat spoonfuls of peanut butter with the remaining 50 cents <-- love the way you think!

  13. Have the BEST time this weekend, Averie! Looks like you’re in for a few days of beautiful scenery and great company!

  14. I have mixed feelings about the $1.50 thing. I mean, most days I probably spent three times that, and I rarely if ever eat out, pack my own lunch, and cook at home all the time. Still, if I eat a big salad (and I do daily), that’s got to be close to $5 right there. The thing about going to Sam’s for samples is just degrading, and ridiculous, in my opinion. Don’t you need to pay to just go in there anyway?

    Congrats on all the recipe features!

    My best thing of the week is the cashew butter I made yesterday. And the mountain bike I am currently shopping for. Bike #4, baby!

  15. Happy Friday and great list of things! Have a blast at the pot luck, sounds great!

    1. I’ve never been to that property but I do love Temecula and the whole vibe. Wish you were coming to this one!

  16. Happy friday! Have so much fun at the Big Potluck- looks like a great group of bloggers! I think I could eat on 1.50 a day as a challenge, but it would be very, very difficult to do. I eat lots of lentils, beans, which are cheap but I also eat lots of vegetables & fruit- 1.50 is as much as I pay for a # of apples! Im really happy to see more celebrities bringing this issue up.

  17. Oh wow that Big Potluck event sounds like a lot of fun! Looking forward to the food pics that you would be posting. I will also be in Temecula tomorrow but for the Rogue Runner event at Vail lake =)

    1. Have fun at your running event! Wow, sounds like Temecula will be pretty busy this weekend! (and I didn’t know you were local to SoCal!)

  18. Congrats on your recipe getting featured! Vanilla-Avocado-Banana sounds like an awesome flavor combo!

  19. I am in love with several items on your post today… But seriously flower dish?!? I have been putting off buying one of those pots but I might HAVE to get one now.

  20. So many things I want and need!! The tea kettle and cookie jar lid, to start – so cute. That red sequin jacket? Oh just $1K. Someday I’ll have that money. ;) And congrats on the avocado ice cream feature Averie! It looks amazing. Love avocados. And have so much fun this weekend, I want to hear all about it! I’ve never been to a blogging conference. I feel like I live in a hole. And last but not least – your cinnamon sugar crusted bread! We’re making it tomorrow! Today I’m getting a pedicure with my friend… feels good to indulge!

    1. Please LMK how the bread goes! We need to go on our own blogging conference. To the mall or a tropical island :)

  21. Oooo have fun this weekend! I’m going to the BSP on the east coast in July and CAN’T.WAIT. Literally counting down the days.

    Also…I want those cherry chocolate blondies. In my belly. Now.

    1. Oh that is awesome you’re going, too! I can’t believe it’s already here…felt like months ago that I signed up and it was, actually. And it’s here now!

  22. I am so jealous! I want to be headed to CA with all you guys. Maybe next year!

    That Le Creuset Flower Cocotte has my name written ALL over it So cute!
    Have fun this weekend!!

  23. Have a rockin weekend girl! That blogger event sounds more up my alley with 75 people rather than a huge event with 200 plus. I’m sure you will learn tons and have a great time just hanging with fellow foodies :) I’m not a big crowd person at all. Big crowds and events just intimidate me and I feel like I get lost in the crowd. Ok, that Le Creuset pot is cute, but I don’t think it would be fun to cook in. I mean you would scrape around the sides and the grooves every time you gave your dish a stir. No thanks! I’ll stick to the basic, boring round shape, as It gets the job done! Ok, congrats on all your publications! You rock! xoxo, Jackie

    1. scrape around the sides and the grooves every time you gave your dish a stir <-- spoken like a true chef but it sure is cute :) Have a great weekend too!

  24. I’m so excited about the Vanilla Avocado Banana Ice Cream! I’m lactose intolerant, so this will be perfect for me if I use almond milk. I can’t wait to make it!!!!

    1. It’s excellent and so creamy! Dont be skimpy with the sugar and close your eyes and it’ll taste like ice cream…not kidding!

  25. That yellow pot is SO cute! And congratulations on all those features! You have such creative and delicious recipes. Thanks for sharing them with us. Please tell us about the blogger conference later- it sounds like it will be do much fun!

  26. That cookie jar is fantastic! But probably even better is your trip. How cool. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  27. Congratulations on the recipe features! I really enjoy cooking in cast iron so love the Le Creuset–great color, great shape. I’m planning to try making some homemade mayo this weekend–I’ve wanted to try that for a while and as for baking, I have to try your cinnamon bread. Have a great time at the Potluck–the setting sounds wonderful!

    1. Homemade mayo. I do mustard, balsamic reduction, PB, and many other dressings but never mayo! I know you need to have a food proc running and drizzle in oil while beating eggs. Hope it turns out for you! LMK!

  28. Have a wonderful time this weekend – what an amazing event!
    Now that you’ve got me hooked on making my own peanut butter, I totally plan to make the butterscotch white chocolate flavor – white chocolate is my sister’s FAVORITE, so I’m going to make a batch for her upcoming birthday :)

    1. It’s seriously THE BEST Pb ever. I love that one. I put like 25-30 versions in my cookbook and that’s my fave! I did make some with Baileys Irish Cream and that was crazy good, too. I have a recipe for homemade baileys, too. You can make homemade baileys and pour a little into the PB with some white choc :)

      But the butterscotch PB is killer. Lmk what you end up making!

  29. Oh that flower-shaped Le Creuset! I’m in love!!! It’s my birthday next week, maybe I should fwd this post to my husband… ;)

    Have so much fun this weekend! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  30. I’m going to San Diego (and Temecula) for the first time this summer. I can’t wait. A very good friend grew up there, and has invited me and Bob to join her in a trip home. I’ve only heard wonderful things about the area!!

    Love that Le Creuset dish–how adorable!!

  31. Happy Friday! Can’t wait to see you tomorrow! And wow, vanilla avocado banana ice cream? I’m there! Oh and congrats on the Parade feature – you rock!

    1. Girl you too! So excited! And I made my cake! I figured it out. PB and chocolate are the stars…shocking, right? :)

      1. Haha I had a feeling you’d go that route! Still need to make my coffee cake – will make it tomorrow! :)