Time for this week’s Friday Things:

1. As you’re reading this, I’m either en route to Barbados or I’ve just arrived!


I’m spending the weekend at the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, sponsored by Food & Wine

Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival

It’s the epicurean event of the season in the Caribbean and I’ll be spending time with famous chefs, including Marcus Samuelsson, Anne Burrell, Paul Yellin and others, watching cooking demos, sampling their food, and of course, drinking rum. Barbados is known as the birthplace of rum.

Here are images from last year’s festival and I have been beyond excited about this trip and will be sure to post about my time there.

2. Thanks to ZipList for including my Cranberry Bliss Bars in their Top 12 Recipes of the Week Roundup

ZipList including my Cranberry Bliss Bars

If you’re not familiar with ZipList, I wrote about it in depth here. In a nutshell, it’s a way to save recipes from my blog, as well as any other blog that’s set up with the service, to your own online virtual recipe box.

In the upper right hand corner of the recipe section of my recipe posts, simply click the Save button, and it will take you to your recipe box, where recipes from any blogs you’ve saved are stored.

The service also helps you compile grocery lists based on recipes you’ve saved and also helps alert you to grocery stores in your area that have deals on those items and ingredients.

It’s easy to sign up, free, and the service is so handy. I love seeing Ziplist on other blogs so when I come across an inspiring recipe that I don’t want to forget about, I Save It in my virtual recipe box. Or I Pin It, with exploding pin boards to show from all that inspiration.

Cranberry Bliss Bars recipe card

3. Italian Ceramic Baking Dish from Sur La Table, on sale for $27.49 which I think is a steal

“Celebrate the harvest season in style with our new Italian Mele ceramics collection. This durable dinnerware is gently antiqued and decorated with bright golden apples (or mele in Italian). Durable earthenware is perfect for baking family-sized casseroles, cobblers, sides and more. Easily goes from oven to tabletop for elegant presentation. 15½” x 10″. Dishwasher safe. Made in Italy.”

Italian Ceramic Baking Dish

I want to bake some Honey Dinner Rolls in it, which are my favorite dinner rolls that I’ve ever had

Honey Dinner Rolls

4. These candles from Anthro, $16 each

Pumpkin Souffle: freshly grated nutmeg and warm pumpkin, combined with rich maple syrup, ginger and sweet vanilla
Apple Brown Sugar: warm apples baked with brown sugar and a hint of spice
Vanilla & Fig: a perfect blend of lush vanilla, orchid petals, figwood and black mission figs
Angel Food: sweet vanilla, butter and caramel combine to create this decadent mixture
Sweet Vanilla & Cinnamon: a comforting blend of nutmeg, vanilla bean and cinnamon crust
Whipped Cream & Pear: a decadent infusion of warm vanilla, fresh pear, whipping cream

candle from Anthro

Or how about coconut macaroon. Swoon.

candles from Anthro

Skylar and I were recently at the San Diego Anthro store and she had her five-year old nose buried in the Sweet Vanilla & Cinnamon candle.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because those are two of my favorite things.

Homemade vanilla extract pic collage5. Easy vegetable sides are always welcome, including Caramelized Cauliflower which uses just 3 ingredients. The trick is to roast the florets in a hot oven to bring out the natural sugars

Caramelized Cauliflower

Maple-and-Soy-Glazed Acorn Squash – Sweet maple syrup, salty soy and spicy ginger combine to form a rich glaze for thick slices of winter squash in this recipe. Look for gluten-free soy sauce, or substitute tamari

Maple-and-Soy-Glazed Acorn Squash

6. I thoroughly enjoyed this Publisher’s Weekly interview with Ina Garten

Ina Garten

I love her, her style, her recipes, her unabashed use of butter and pounds worth of brie and triple crème cheese. This statement of her really struck a chord, “When I’m done testing a recipe myself whether it’s five times or twenty-five times, I’ll print out the recipe on a piece of paper and I hand it to my assistant. I watch her make every single recipe. And then I find out what someone with no instruction whatsoever is going to do with the printed word on that page. There isn’t a recipe where she doesn’t do something that surprises me. It’s really just astonishing. You think, ‘How many things can go wrong in a recipe?’ And there is always something!”

Yes, there is always something. Two of my most popular recipes are a smoothie that tastes like an Orange PushUp and crackers dipped in chocolate for a no-bake version of Girl Scout Thin Mints and I always think, what can possibly go wrong with a smoothie and how could opening a box of crackers, melting chocolate, and dipping them cause any issues whatsoever, but I’m always amazed at the emails and comments I get with people who have trouble.

It’s strangely comforting to know that even Ina is surprised by what she sees and hears after all these years. In the interview she advocates keeping it simple, not needing a million side dishes, and to focus on people, not food, when planning events. I couldn’t agree more.

7. Vintage Blacksmith Flatware Caddy, $49 Pottery Barn. Three mango wood coffers are set inside a blackened iron frame to create this handsome caddy, perfect for sharing serving utensils, napkins and flatware. Curved handles make it easy to pass around the table.

This would be so handy at holiday meals where you spend more time passing things than eating.

Vintage Blacksmith Flatware Caddy

8. Lifehacker featured my Homemade Peanut Butter in their story, DIY Peanut Butter is Healthier and Tastes Better Than the Stuff You’re Buying Now

Lifehacker is a site devoted to showcasing tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done and is wealth of info my eyes have now been opened to.

Feature of Lifehacker

9. The hanging chalkboard planter I posted last week is probably a little more impressive, but for $39 this Hanging Bag Planter is a budget-friendly fun option

Hanging Bag Planter

10. I’ll likely be drinking rum in Barbados this weekend but Bananas Foster Shooters (vegan, GF) are a good way to work more rum into your life in case you need suggestions.

Bananas Foster Shooters

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.

Have you tried Ziplist? Any fun recipes you’re making or thinking about making for Thanksgiving?  Fan of Ina Garten? Rum?

Do tell.

Have a great weekend and stay tuned for a giveaway coming up over the weekend.

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