Thursday Things


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Time for a few Thursday Things.  A few eye-catching and noteworthy items this week include:

1. Rancho La Puerta in Baja California, Mexico.  Less than 90 minutes south of San Diego.

grassy side of mountain with rocks and people

They have everything from cooking classes to spa treatments, massage, Reiki, acupuncture

Tofu and stylized foods

Yoga classes, mountain hikes, and more.

Yoga class with people standing on blue mats

Not that far from San Diego and they do have some day trips/day classes.  I’d love to try a day trip sometime in 2012.

2. Speaking of travel and trips, we leave for Aruba very soon.  Like in 48 hours

Scott just got his passport back yesterday.  His passport was coming up on the 10 year renewal and he sent it in for renewal about two months ago; which should have been ample time.  Nothing like white knuckling it down to the wire.

The beach has my name written all over it and if his passport wouldn’t have come in time, we agreed that he’d meet Skylar and I down there so that we only would have only had to change one airline ticket (his) rather than three.  Thank goodness we didn’t have to cross that bridge!

Aruba beach and ocean shore

3. I made our 2011 holiday cards already.

But if you want to make photo books, calendars, and more using you Mac, you can.

iPhoto Print Products advertisement I’m all about the gifts that you don’t have to go to the mall for.

4. Homemade Kombucha Coffee

You need to first have be brewing your own ‘booch and have (an extra) SCOBY, but this looks interesting.

Homemade Kombucha Coffee

I’m going to try it with one of my extra Scoby’s when I get back.

Kombucha in glass jar
Kombucha in glass jar

Because once you use the Scoby for coffee, they’re done and you can’t use them for brewing plain kombucha anymore.

But that’s okay because they multiply like weeds like bacteria.

Barrel with tap and glass of kombucha

5. Backup your entire computer for less than $5 bucks per month with Backblaze

More info

Backblaze online backup website information

Questions Why Online Backup? It's not a question of will you lose your data—it's when. Whether it's a catastrophic event, such as an earthquake, fire, flood, or a mad panda that destroys your computer, or the more common virus, hard-drive crash, laptop left in a taxi, or coffee spill, your PC will eventually lose your photos, music, and documents. Can't | Recover Data From a Dead Hard Drive? Not if your computer has been stolen—and rarely even if you have it. Companies charge approximately $3,000 to attempt to recover your data with no guarantee that you'll glean anything from it. For $5 per month, Backblaze online backup will backup all your data for 50 years for the price of one attempted recovery. OK, But | Bought an External USB Hard Drive. Am | Safe? It's a good start, but as our vice president of design says, “better safe than sorta safe." Do you back up your data every day? Or do you sometimes forget? Are you sure you're backing up the right files? Are your computer and USB drive stored in the same place, making both susceptible to the same risks? What if you go on a trip and leave the drive at home? You can't backup or restore files while you're gone. And if you take it with you? Then you're more likely to lose both your laptop and USB drive at the same time! So, How Am | Backed Up with Backblaze? You download a tiny application that installs in three clicks and doesn't require a credit card or any information to start using it. This internet backup application automatically finds all your photos, music, documents, and other irreplaceable files—no matter where they are on your hard drive—and compresses and securely encrypts them. When you're not using your computer, it sends them over the Internet to the remote Backblaze datacenters. Learn more about how we built Backblaze online backup for your Mac. We also built a great online backup service for Windows XP, Vista and 7. How Can You Backup Everything Online For Just $5 per Month? We have developed a highly efficient storage system that enables us to optimize how we store data. And we're counting on some people having a lot of data and others not very much, but that it will work out on average. Look, I'm an Advanced User, and | Already Have a Set of RAID Drives with Perl Scripts to Copy My Files Back and Forth Between My 18 Home Machines that are in a Datacenter I've Built in My Closet. Why Do | Need Backblaze? Congratulations! It sounds like you're passionate about backup—and so are we. In fact, you may even want to send us a note on the jobs page. But we still think you should try Backblaze's online backup because it’s automatic, will save your data remotely, and is really inexpensive. Backup, before you wish you had.


6. I’ve posted about this before that I back up with an external drive but recently I attempted to recover a Word Doc from an older external drive of mine.

However, when I plugged it in, realized that the Word Doc that I needed ‘was not found’.

Silver external hard drive


What if you spilled coffee on your computer or your laptop was stolen or you got a virus?  What would you do about your lost photos, files, music, documents, and information.  <— Panic much?

And what about when external drives fail.  Because I just experienced a failure.

I researched more options for backing up my machine; all my files, music, and photos.

Some photographer friends told me about Backblaze.

It’s a simple download, it backs everything up, and it’s $5 bucks a month. Do yourself a favor and sign up.  What if you lost everything? Photos, music, documents?

The document I needed was not life or death but did cost me major scrambling and a total make work project but a lesson learned that external backup drives are not 100%.

7. Pumpkin Season is over.  A sad day, I know, for all the pumpkin fiends but please put down the pumpkin and pick up the Peppermint.  It’s holiday baking season!

 Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs (No-Bake, Vegan, GF).  Melted chocolate, coconut, melted coconut oil, and mint.  Scott loves these things.

Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowball
Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowball

8. The winner of the $50 Asian Foods Prize Pack Giveaway is:

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather November 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm
Awesome giveaway! Ever since making sushi a couple weeks ago I’ve been loving Asian flavors. But homemade Mexican probably steals my heart :)

Congrats, Heather!

9. Holiday Baking Season is just around the corner and that makes me really excited.  It’s not even around the corner.  It’s here.  Happy December 1st!

10. I’d recommend starting off baking with a batch of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies stacked

Chewy, easy, chocolatey and a good way to kick off holiday baking because who doesn’t like a warm chocolate chip cookie.


1. Have you seen any things lately that have you excited?  Food, products, people, places, trips, tips?  What are your things?

2. Can you believe it’s already December 1?  Where did this year go?  Anything you want to accomplish with the remainder of the year?

I’d like to just get on the plane.  If I can get that handled, the rest of December and rest of 2011 should go pretty well!

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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. Hi Avery! I’ve been searching the internet for someone who makes Kombucha with a wooden cask and wooden spigot. Yay! I found you! Anyways, I’m wondering how often you have to clean it, how hard it is to clean, and how you do it? Have you found any problems with the wooden spigot? How much Kombucha do you get out of your barrel in a week. How big is your barrel and where did you get it from? What cycle of taking it out have you found to work best? Any other questions I should be asking?

    Thanks a zillion!

  2. I cannot believe we are in December already – I only have 14 days left with my students before Christmas! I don’t know where the time goes.

  3. This year has been somewhat of a whirlwind, especially the past couple of months. 2012 should prove to be interesting too! I’m so excited to hear about your trip, good luck getting last minute things together. But you seem so organized I’m sure you don’t need the luck! I really think I’ll use Backblaze. I lost everything a couple years ago when my hard drive crashed, and now everything’s on an external but, as you said, they’re not 100%!

  4. Thanks for the info on Backblaze. I have been in serious need of a better back up process.

    Hooray for the beach, sun, sand, vaca, & family. Aruba looks so amazing.

  5. I’m starting December with cookies too! My plan is to veganize some Martha Stewart Christmas cookie recipes, I think that’s a great way to spend the rest of the year!

    That beach looks amazing, enjoy!