Thursday Things


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Here are this week’s Thursday Things:

1. I rarely use my dehydrator anymore.

dehydrator machine

Aside from once a year dehydrating bananas

stack of dried bananas

Or making chocolate coconut kale chips once in a blue moon, it unfortunately collects dust. I just can’t plan 8 to 12 hours ahead of time.

So I use the oven because the only planning involved is the amount of time it takes to preheat.

chocolate coconut kale chips

2. Here are 10 Creative Uses for a Dehydrator in case you have one.

Or in case yours collects dust and you want to dust it off or stop using it as a place to store your unused cookie sheets and backup boxes of aluminum foil and parchment paper.

3. If you don’t have one, I’d buy something else with the 200 smackers instead.

Like a refurbished KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Grey refurbished KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Watch the KitchenAid refurbished store site because there are rotating deals, sometimes daily, that can be incredible on everything from stand mixers to food processors to toasters.

Or just enter this giveaway. You may get lucky and win one.

4. The same holds true for refurbished VitaMixes. Keep an eye on this site if you’re in the market for a Vita and want to be in the $300 range rather than the $500+ range.

Yes, this is a life-changing appliance and well worth the money.

Vitamix reconditioned with 64 oz container

5. New research suggests that popcorn has more antioxidants that fruits, vegetables, and is The Perfect Snack.

“Antioxidant substances called polyphenols are more concentrated in popcorn, which averages only about 4% water, while polyphenols are diluted in the 90% water that makes up many fruits and vegetables. Popcorn may be the perfect snack food. It’s the only snack that is 100% unprocessed whole grain. All other grains are processed and diluted with other ingredients, and although cereals are called ‘whole grain’, this simply means that over 51% of the weight of the product is whole grain. One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70% of the daily intake of whole grain. The average person only gets about half a serving of whole grains a day, and popcorn could fill that gap in a very pleasant way.”

6. I love popcorn and rarely a day goes by without 3 tablespoons of kernels into a brown paper lunch sack, folded over at the top, and microwaved for about 90 seconds.

Fast, easy, and makes my house smell like a movie theater, nightly.

Popcorn with cinnamon on a bowl

7. Have you tried chocolate coconut oil (protein) popcorn?

chocolate coconut oil popcorn
chocolate coconut oil popcorn in bowl

The popcorn is tasty even if the pictures aren’t.

8. While I eat popcorn, I like to lay in bed and watch anything from Bravo that’s on my DVR.

Bethenny, Million Dollar Listing, Shahs of Sunset, Khloe and Lamar, the Real Housewives, your standard issue trashy tv lineup.

Bethenny, Housewives ATL, Shahs of Sunset previews

Crunching on popcorn, getting nutritional yeast that should stay on the popcorn all over my sheets, and watching mindless tv after Skylar’s asleep is about as good as it gets for me.

Ahh, the simple things are usually the best.

9. Homemade food could be thought of a simple thing and a good thing. California is preparing to legalize homemade food.

How do we feel about this?

10. I feel great about this type of homemade food.

White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars

White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars

What are your Thursday Things? Anything new, noteworthy, fun? Have you made anything delicious? (links welcome in the comments)

What do you think about homemade food, popcorn, trashy TV?

Talk to me.

P.S. Thank you for the entries in the KitchenAid 7-Quart Stand Mixer GiveawayMy inbox has never been so full.


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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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  1. Too funny on the dehydrator, I’m starting to use mine more now that’s I’m accumulating a freezer full of juice pulp for crackers and garden full of kale for chips. Great list, my things are pretty limited, I’m still in a clearing out house mode as I look to simplify and made room for new stuff – like maybe a pressure cooker soon. :-)

  2. Hi Averie! Happy Easter to you and your family! I’m sure you’ll enjoy so many delicious desserts! I saw your post on the dehydrator. Are you selling yours? I would LOVE to buy a used Excalibur, especially from you because I’m sure it’s in great condition. Thanks!

    1. No I’m not selling it because I do still use it; I wouldn’t re-buy one I don’t think if I didn’t already have it, but also am not selling it :)

  3. I read about the new popcorn study/facts myself last week. I love making popcorn, so this was one of those fist-pump moments for me. I haven’t shared the simple recipe on my blog yet, but if you want a quick popcorn guide (unless you already do this!), here’s one. I buy some brown paper lunch bags, usually they come like 50 to a pack for $1.50. I add 3 tablespoons of corn kernels to a brown bag (1 serving of kernels alone is only 120 calories), and I toss the bag, folded a few times to hold in the heat, into the microwave for about 2.5 minutes. The microwave determines cooking time. Mine is in the mid-range. 2.5 minutes cooks about 80% of my kernels. I usually add nothing, sometimes I toss it all with salt and chili powder. It’s amazing! It’s probably the cheapest, easiest super food out there. Buy it in a bag instead of jar. You pay for packaging. Enjoy! I too love to indulge while watching anything on Bravo. =)

    1. I talked about that in the post…that I do it in the micro in a brown paper lunch bag
      Item 6

      “6. I love popcorn and rarely a day goes by without 3 tablespoons of kernels into a brown paper lunch sack, folded over at the top, and microwaved for about 90 seconds.

      Fast, easy, and makes my house smell like a movie theater, nightly.”

      1. Haha…oops. I’m a moron. I’m so bad at speed reading. I totally overlooked your very specific popcorn cooking directions that I basically repeated. I swear I’m not one of those people who just answers questions. Either way, sounds like great minds think alike! Hope you had a lovely weekend!

  4. I love me some popcorn (I still blame you)
    And I think homemade food is a good idea – people can choose who they want to buy from and more choices = more power

  5. How was the new Shah’s of Sunset show??? Is it any good?

    Ps I just heard that Chloe and Lamar broke up…so sad! (if it is true!)

  6. I checked out that link about legalizing homemade food in California. I have mixed feelings about the bill because I’m wondering if it’s actually a sneaky way to place limits on what can be prepared and sold.

    You’re really upping your food prep/photography skills lately; lotsa nice photos!

    1. Thanks! And yes, it always seems there can be ulterior motives on these types of things.

  7. I too LOVE popcorn, but, let us not forget that popcorn is incredibly high on the glycemic index AND that most popcorn sold in the US is genetically modified. Two things that can have a strong impact on our overall health. Also, I think is interesting to point out that this article/study appears to be from the American Chemical Society.

    I would also like to point out that this article bashes “calories” when cooking your popcorn with oil or butter. Actually, when you are cooking an item as high on the GI as popcorn, it is wise to cook your popcorn with a high quality oil such as coconut oil or butter. Both of these are healthy oils that are stable and can regulate the spike in blood sugar that popcorn will cause.

  8. I rarely use my dehydrator and I just pulled it out a couple weeks ago….COVERED in dust. Literally. The vitamix on the other hand has never seen a dustmite I use it so often.

    Popcorn….that sounds delicious right now. Wish I were hungry!

    1. remember when you bought it (I know you used one of those discounts)…thank goodness. But I remember telling you, well, just so ya know…

      Everyone has “Dehyd Excitement” early on…and then, well, it kind of fades.

  9. Nothing tops homemade food. We rarely go out to eat anymore and when we do, I always wish I was at home with my stash of nutritional yeast!

    My youngest son LOVES popcorn. So do I and my oldest son, too, but…unfortunately, he and I are both allergic to corn! :-(

    Your recipes for popcorn look so tasty, though! :-)

  10. Interesting about the popcorn! Good excuse to get popcorn next time I go to the theater :-)

  11. I’ve been wanting a dehydrator, I know it takes forever to dehydrate things but I would love to make some dehydrated fruits, etc!!
    I love having popcorn for snacks!

  12. I don’t use my dehydrator as much as I did when I first got it a few yrs ago, but I love using it for bananas, zucchini or kale chips, veggie pulp crackers and mushrooms. In fact, I use your sweet and sour mushroom marinade then put them in for 30 min, so I don’t have to wait too long! I can eat the whole batch myself–that marinade is soooo tasty!

    1. Omg I just had to look up my own recipe…lol

      Glad you’ve enjoyed it that much. And thanks for reminding me about it :)

  13. I LOVE my dehydrator. Yes, it takes planning, but the food that comes from it is LIVE, which makes my body happy. I know it isn’t for everyone though, so be realistic before you make the rather spendy purchase. If you truly want more raw, living food in your diet, then I say go for it! As far as being a space hog in the kitchen, we keep ours in the laundry room!

  14. I love my dehydrator! So glad I got it. That said, I only have a toaster oven, and if I had a full sized one I might not have needed a dehy so bad.

    Legalizing homemade food sounds like crazy talk–we’ve come to the point that we need to do that?!?

    Your popcorn more antioxidants than fruit and eating it in bed–an april fool? I guess I’m just really averse to “bed crumbs,” although otherwise I’m not the tidiest person in the world by any means!

      1. Wow, then! That’s some amazing power to popcorn!

        I love my dehy, but the truth is, I don’t use it all that often these days either, just been too busy and not eating much/having the opportunity to fix that kind of thing for others much. We have a guest this w/e though, so I may have to make her something in it….

  15. i adore popcorn. kettle corn is my favorite. i sprinkle cinnamon all over it :) i’ve never made my own banana chips, but i’m tempted! i also want to make my own apple chips sometime too.

    1. If you have a dehyd, make ’em! That’s one of the best things to use the dehyd for :) And if not, the oven works!

  16. I am so bummed about the popcorn! It just makes me wish I could eat it that much more. But really I just want a Vita-Mix. I need a website that tells me when one is in the $100 range. You know on this side of NEVER. ;)

  17. Yep, sadly, my dehydrator has been collecting dust for quite some time too. Using the oven is just so much easier…not a very smart purchase on my part. Oh well!

    1. Girl, me too. I had SUCH high hopes. Bought it early on in blogging when it seemed like everyone had one and I jumped off that bridge, too. Along with my juicer :)

  18. I’ve been dying to try that popcorn trick with the brown paper sack! I had no idea that worked until I saw it on another blog a month ago!

  19. I’ve been wanting to make banana chips for a long time! I’m doubly craving them now :) I love Bethenny!

  20. I bough a bag of popcorn that does not get cooked in the microwave for the first time in years. Your chocolate coconut popcorn may be an awesome reason to break out the bag.

  21. I’m totally a bravo junky. And I love popcorn…I’m all for the combo :) I never thought about buying a refurbished vita….hmmm something I may need to look into. Nothing too exciting and new going on over here. I’m sick so…blah!

  22. i loveee trashy tv :) Bravo all the way!! Did you catch ‘watch what happens live – all star party’ last night? They’re apparently adding on 5 new shows this year! Not that I really need to add any more tv shows on to my current watch list/dvr…

    I also love homemade popcorn! So easy and can be whatever flavor i’m feeling that day. I was so excited to see that article the other day about popcorn having more antioxidents than fruits and veggies :p

  23. I have had the worst luck trying to pop my popcorn in a bag….. It seems like I only ever get a few kernels that pop and if I put it in for longer the ones that did pop then burn. I have even tried taking out the popped kernels and putting the bag back in with no luck. I am thinking its just my microwave? But I LOVE nutritional yeast on my popcorn (even if I only get 5 pieces, lol). I was skeptical at first as I am not a true vegan and really do enjoy the flavor of real cheese, but the flavor is so unique its great! I haven’t tried your chocolate coconut recipe yet, but once I figure out how to get a full serving of popcorn (or get a new microwave……) I have a copy printed out and ready to go.

    1. brown paper bag 2 to 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels, high power, 90 secs. Towards 75-90 secs is when most of the popping happens, by 95 secs in my micro it’s done and by 100 sec it’s too black. Play around with it and yes, could also be your micro…

  24. I couldn’t agree more about the VitaMix. That thing has changed my life. It’s only just getting warm, but I can promise that I’m making sweet potato protein ice cream alllll summer long.

    Popcorn and trashy TV go together like peas and carrots. ;)

  25. Every so often I wish I had a dehydrator. I think it’d be wasted space for me mostly. I can really get suckered in to the Real Housewives (mostly of OC or Beverly Hills) when they have those Saturday or Sunday marathons.

    1. Yes it’s HUGE! For the once or twice a year you really want to make something using it, I’d say oven roast it :)

  26. I was just thinking about a dehydrator this morning because I want to make banana chips. I think I am going to try them in my oven!

    1. Use the oven! It will make them more crispy than more chewy, but seriously it’s very large box and if you have limited space or budget, you may want to think twice about it…but I know some people love theirs. I like mine…it’s just the planning thing :)