Weekend Things | July 13, 2013


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Time for an installment of Weekend Things:

1. The Atlantic Wire named my cookbook one of the summer’s best. The story also got picked up by Yahoo! News

Needless to say, I’m thrilled!


This is what they said about Peanut Butter Comfort


2. There are too many to name, but a special thanks to Bridget, Lori, Valerie, Jackie ,Katie, Sally, Mercedes, Nikki, Jenn, Karly, Dawn, and everyone who’s blogged about my book, Tweeted or Instagrammed about it, or made recipes from it.

If you’ve made something from it, I’d love to know. Write and post on my Facebook wall or email, or tweet me. I’d like to do a collage and feature the recipes everyone has made so please post those pics.

3. This Thai-Style Iced Tea from Bon Appetit sounds so good. Spiced tea, vanilla beans, and sweetened condensed milk can do no wrong.

Thai-Style Iced Tea

4. Yoga and Culinary Adventure in Northern Italy – Sip, savor, and stretch in Fobello, Italy. Enjoy a daily feast of yoga, hiking, and food adventures. Each day will start with a invigorating yoga class. Spend afternoons meeting the local baker, learning to cook risotto from the local master, hiking in the surrounding hills, or visiting the nearby, famous wine region In the evenings we will learn from local wine experts and relish shared meals. Starting at $2195 plus airfare for the week.

Wow. What I wouln’t give. Yoga, baking, cooking, hiking, and wine. And Italy. All in one trip.

Yoga and Culinary Adventure in Northern Italy

5. I love balsamic vinegar and balsamic reduction. I could probably drink it. I’ve heard of balsamic vinegar tasting flights like you’d do with wine. Sounds excellent.

balsamic reduction

This Cook’s Illustrated chart compares balsamic vinegars.  Not surprising, the winner was a $60 per ounce 25-year old aged balsamic. However, third place went to one that’s only $3.39 for almost 17 ounces. I love a good value and tips like that.

Cook's Illustrated chart compares balsamic vinegars

More results

6. Todd and Diane did a post about their Junk Food Confessions and listed their top 5.

My comment: Coffee, chocolate, champagne, (hardly baked) cookies, super fudgy brownies.

Soft and Chewy Smores Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

7. I tried some new Urban Remedy Snacks. It’s the same company I used for our 3-Day Juice Cleanse.

They have kale chips, raw cookies, raw brittles, and brownies. Of all of them, the brownies were my hands-down favorite. They’re flat, thin, and more like a soft chocolate cracker than a brownie in both texture and taste, but very good. Raw, vegan, gluten-free, and healthy, too.

Urban Remedy brownies

8. If you’re looking for a homemade healthier brownie option, try Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF, grain-free) – NO added sugar, NO butter & NO flour used. They taste like the real thing – but healthier.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites

Or the Healthy Dark Fudgy Avocado Brownies (GF) are so rich, fudgy, dense, and satisfying.

Healthy Dark Fudgy Avocado Brownies (GF) - You Can't Taste the Avocado in These Healthier Brownies at averiecooks.com

9. Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, pinned my 100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter to her I Want to Eat This Now Board

00% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

10. I met her at Big Potluck but didn’t get a picture with her. I wish I would have!

Ree Drummond

Thanks for the entries in the Peanut Butter Comfort and Food Processor Giveaway

What are your Weekend Things? Top 5 Junkfood Confessions?

Favorite brownie recipe? Trips you have planned? Into balsamic vinegar?

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

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!

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  1. Congratulations Averie. I’ve looked for your book here in DC but couldn’t find it (*maybe it’s sold out already)
    I have plan to do a Pinterest Contest based on Peanut Butter recipes that I’ll email you about when I get the details. Peanut Butter rules!!!
    I even used it yesterday to remove gum that someone stuck on the side of my car……awesome stuff and an awesome book…..can’t wait until your next one ;)

  2. Congratulations on all of the success witg your book! You deserve it! I love balsamic vinegar too. I have a cheap kind I cook with but Rao’s is my favorite. I could literally drink it. Picked it up on a whim one day and am so glad I did.

    Junk food confessions: Peeps, gummy worms, canned frosting, sweet potato chips, and golden oreos.

  3. Averie! congrats on your recognition! You make it looks so easy, but I know from experience this is hard work and you are forever creating great stuff! I never leave comments, well hardly ever anyway on blogs, but I just had to with this news. I am glad we can share in your success! Very Sincerely: Molly K. Hoisington

  4. I am SO happy for your success Averie!! I can’t wait to get my hands on your cookbook!

  5. Congratulations on the Atlantic Wire recognition (and the Pioneer Woman Pin!)! Well-deserved. :) xo

  6. Oh Averie, thanks for the thank you! I honestly love your cookbook and I’m so proud of your success! I know you’re going to get even bigger and I think I’m going to turn on the TV one day and see you baking away on your own show with your huge friendly smile! I plan to also purchase each and every cookbook you come out with. You’ve been a great blogging friend and I’m so glad that I stumbled on your blog way back. You know the first post that I read of yours was your blogging 101 series. Those posts were super helpful! xoxo, Jackie

    1. Wow that series is a blast from the past but just the other day I had someone comment that she read it and it was helpful. It’s probably 2 to 2.5 yrs old at this point but hey, lots of things are timeless in there.

      And thanks always for your support and enthusiasm and just for being you! You’ve always been one of my biggest cheerleaders and I know I can always count on you, Jackie, to leave such supportive and encouraging comments. When I see your name in my inbox, I always know it will be a treat to read what you have to say! xoxo

  7. THE YOGA adventure. Are you kidding? I NEED to do that! Come with. :)

    Love the weekend favorites. xoxo

  8. So proud of you and your lovely book – Happy Bastille Day. What can we cook/bake that’s French to celebrate??

  9. Congrats on the features – Pinterest and the article!

    I was just talking with myaunt yesterday about travelling to Italy! I would love to go. We were looking at hiking/cooking/winery tours. I don’t think I could do a yoga retreat, but I’d be all about sampling wine and balsamic vinegar!

    I was up on the lake all day yesterday relaxing and chilling out. Today is more relaxing and shopping with my niece. I am super excited to hit up Target, BB&B, Barnes and Noble, and PENZEY’S!!

    1. I know what it’s like when you live in a remote area to just be around big box and name brand stores! Growing up in rural MN, when I was a little girl, I would get SO EXCITED when I knew we had a shopping trip planned in a week or 2 weeks to Mpls. It was like…the thing I looked forward to all week – even as a kid! Have fun & I know you and Penzey’s are BFFs :)

  10. I am in need of a new bottle of balsamic…..I’m going to try and find #2 and #3. Thanks for posting the info!

  11. This is such a nice round up of recipes. I have had a chance recently to look at your book at a friend’s. Now I am looking forward to getting my own copy.

    1. Thanks for ordering it! And is the friend a blogger? I need to go to her site and thank her or see if she’s made anything! :)

  12. Oh my gosh, Averie!! You are so awesome . . . that means so much to me that you included my name in this post :) Your book is honestly one of my favorites and it has had a permanent place on my coffee table since I got it. I haven’t put it away yet and don’t plan to anytime soon. Anyway, congrats on the book review and the PW pin!! Thanks for the love.

  13. SO awesome about your book!!! That is super amazing! You are a superstar. Also– Ree re-pinned the right rolls! Those little babies are delicious!

  14. Um yes Thai Iced Tea is fabulous one of my good friends father owns a Chinese restaurant and every time I visit I always order the drink!! I am trying to resist the urge to visit the Nordstroms Anniversary Sale.. but I think the will power is dwindling. It has been so hot here in OC so I haven’t baked hardly anything but I need to get going Im off for a month in 3 weeks! Love the summer time :) So exciting Ree pinned your rolls, the photos of them are absolutely stunning though so of course she would want them! And yes on hardly baked cookies, ultimate weakness!! :)

  15. I wouldn’t call coffee a junk food, unless one douses it with flavor syrup / sugar / heavy cream.

    My biggest battle is with my sweet tooth, so almost any baked good (especially brownies and cookies with chocolate & peanut butter) would probably go on my “junk food confession” list.

    My favorite brownie recipe is a toss-up between these two: http://taplatt.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/recipe-cocoa-brownies/ AND

    1. The first recipe that you used from Deb is actually the Alice Medrich recipe in her cookbook. I made those here

      And then the 2nd recipe looks similar to one I’ve been making for years and used in my cookbook!
      Over the years I’ve adapted the 2c white sugar to be 1.5 c white and .5 c brown and more chocolate, but otherwise, same!

  16. wahoooo you go girl!
    I plan on making something from the most fabulous peanut butter book ever this weekend!
    when I do I’ll post it on my blog, and was curious if you’re up for an interview +giveaway. Probably in 3-4 weeks, I have someone before you. If you’re up for it.

  17. Happy weekend, Averie! Love that your cookbook is getting so much attention and praise- what a wonderful feeling that must be :)
    That Italy trip sounds so dreamy- and I’m not even a big yoga person! I’ve been to Italy three times and could return any old time, haha. Love it there!

    1. You’ve been 3 times – that’s amazing!

      And I am so happy about my book, yes! It was my life’s work for the end of 2011 and most of 2012 so it’s nice to see it paying off!

  18. Congrats on PW pinning your rolls! That’s so awesome! And congrats on all the wonderful things being said about your book! I can’t wait to get my copy- I really really want it but this month insane dental bills got in the way of any other shopping. I plan on treating myself next pay period though!

    1. Ugh, sorry about your dental bills. That’s like having to buy a new water heater or something with money you had earmarked for something (or didn’t even really have to begin with) – been there. Not a fun feeling. And whenever you do pick it up, thanks! And please LMK what you make from it!

  19. Congratulations on the pin! It is an amazing recipe. And on the cookbook. Its on my birthday list! That trip sounds just PERFECT for you . . . at least the balsalmic is in price range:)

  20. Averie, congrats on all the amazing things being said about your book! You deserve it and people NEED TO KNOW what an awesome cookbook Peanut Butter Comfort is. Yay for good press!!

    Aslo, how stickin exciting the Ree Pinned or roles!!! You are on fire this week! Go Averie!

  21. Congratulations on your book review and having your whole wheat rolls pinned! The PB banana upside down cake has been on my radar–I might just have to make that for my birthday at the end of this month! I’m back in my hometown today for a 60th anniversary party this afternoon (long time friends of my parents) followed by my high school class reunion tonight. My hometown is pretty small, so both events are being held at the same location! Then we are heading up to Michigan for a little getaway on the lake.

    1. 60th anniversary, wow – sadly that’s a dying breed/situation I think – congrats to them!

      And have fun at your reunion!

      And getaways to Mich. When we lived in Chicago, we’d go to Michigan for the weekend sometimes. And where I grew up in MN, there was a lake…around every corner. Cabins and getaways were just what we did! Have fun!

  22. So many wonderful happenings!

    I definitely need to make those brownie bites. I have so many friends that are dairy and gluten sensitive. These would be perfect treats to make them!

  23. Congrats on the book review and getting pinned!
    Top five junk foods: cookie dough, the cheesecake factory (mostly for the cake, bread and butter as opposed to cheesecake), oreos, reese’s peanut butter cups, candy corn
    As for trips, I just took one to St. Louis, and had AMAZING adventures in cocktails there: http://scrumptiousgruel.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/stl-i-3-u/
    Should you ever visit there you should totally check these places out…

    1. I never go to the cheesecake factory – there’s one very close to me, but I just never go. There is always a HUGE LINE, no matter the time of day, or time of year, there is a line in the parking lot. I guess maybe I need to check out their desserts! I love your junk foods too!