Weekend Things


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Time for an installment of Weekend Things:

1. How awesome does the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival sound?


Image Source

I wouldn’t say no.


It reminds me of when I went to the Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival last fall.

Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival

2. I have a feeling this Hammered Steel Flatware from Restoration Hardware would look amazing in food photography pictures. And at $35 per place setting, it’s not ridiculous.

Hammered Steel Flatware from Restoration Hardware

3. Jo Malone Limited Edition Ginger Biscuit from the Sugar and Spice” Collection – “Just-baked biscuit. Spiced with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, melting into caramel. Butter-crumbly with roasted hazelnuts. Warmed by tonka bean and vanilla. Irresistible.”

Jo Malone Limited Edition Ginger Biscuit from the Sugar and Spice" Collection

Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla beans are my favorites. I may want to ingest this stuff.

Jo Malone Limited Edition Ginger Biscuit from the Sugar and Spice" Collection

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies have a similar flavor and scent profile but are safer to ingest.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies averiecooks.com

4. No More Spam – I just installed This WordPress Anti-Spam Plugin despite having about 10 others installed, all that promise no spam, but was getting about 400 spam comments daily.

Most went into my spam comments folder, although some made it through as legit comments, but weeding through all those spam comments was extremely time-consuming.

Since I’ve had the new plugin installed not a single spam comment has made it in. It’s the little things.

Anti-spam image

5. A man on a Banana Bread Quest – A man flew to Maui and traveled all over the island in search of his the perfect banana bread. “What got me on a plane to travel halfway around the world was the recollection of dense, pungent, freshly baked banana bread.”

Banana Bread Quest

The view from Julia’s Best Banana Bread (Credit: Sarah Verkaik)

6. My favorite banana bread for an all-around perfect loaf that’s fast, easy, and delivers consistent results every time is this Banana Bread with Browned Butter Vanilla Glaze

Banana Bread with Browned Butter Vanilla Glaze

However, I have recipes for 35+ Banana Bread and Banana Treats so clearly that’s not my only recipe, and I love trying new ones.

35+ Banana Bread and Banana Treats pic collage
7. Cooks Country recommends this Oxo Steel Pie Server in their comparison of many. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get that first piece out, or any piece, and mutilating the whole pie after working so hard on it. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Oxo Steel Pie Server

Talk of pie servers reminds me that I should make Crack Pie

Crack Pie averiecooks.com

8. Ceramic Muffin Pan, $14.99 from World Market in Aqua or Yellow.  I love either color, but not sure how practical they are from a non-stick perspective.

Ceramic Muffin Pan, $14.99 from World Market in Aqua or Yellow Yellow muffin tin

I’ve never baked muffins in ceramic and I’d flip if Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins became stuck to the pan.

Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins

I want an Emile Henry Ruffled Ceramic Loaf Pan but breads and quickbreads seem less stick-prone than muffins or cupcakes. If you’ve tried baking muffins or cupcakes in ceramic, let me know about the results. I know people who bake bread in ceramic rave about the results.

9. 8 Tips for a Better Dinner Party – It’s not just your living room, it’s an entertainment zone. For example, yes to ambient lighting, no to scented candles.

8 Tips for a Better Dinner Party

10. How to Prevent Oversize Air Holes in Bread – Seems that using milk, rather than water, will do the trick.

“Milk contains a protein fragment called glutathione that slightly weakens gluten, the network of proteins that give bread its structure and chew. When the bonds in gluten weaken, more steam is able to escape from the dough, leading to smaller bubbles.”

How to Prevent Oversize Air Holes in Bread

Thanks for the entries in the Kitchen Aid 5-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway! Winner announced this weekend!

Since my blog makeover, I’ve been told that my comment replies are going into spam. Please check your spam folder and un-spam them if necessary. Thanks!

What are your Weekend Things?

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

Weekend plans? Travel plans? Favorite baking pans or silverware?

Any recipes you’ve tried recently with success or would like to try?

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. I NEED a new spam plug-in Averie. My plug-in (yes… ONE.) is not cutting it. I literally get 500 a day. Luckily, they go straight to spam but about 5 of them don’t. 5 doesn’t sound like much but it’s just 5 new emails I get and have to handle! I need that steel flatware silverware! I’ve been on the eye for vintage-y style silverware for months. Stalking Good Will like it’s my job. This weekend I worked! As much as I could. Yesterday was terrible lighting (rain), so I had to work with the small time-frame of overcast light that I had. Today we went to a memorial service for Kevin’s friend’s 3 year old niece. It was so sad, but made me feel grateful for my health and my family’s health. Hope you had a nice weekend!

    1. girl the spam was out of control since me re-design. I had previously had a (decent) handle on it but it just exploded again! Like 500 a day like what you’re talking about. And I don’t just let it pile up (hate seeing spam count: 357 in my dashboard) and just hitting delete was taking time and yes, some of them made it thru, and then id have to mark/delete the comment as spam (or you get more! if they think they can get in). So this plugin is the ticket!

      Stalking goodwill like it’s your job. I can relate.

      And I just started crying when I read that about the 3 year old. Omg as a mother, I am crying on my keyboard :(

  2. I really want to go to the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival now. That would be so darn awesome!

  3. Happy Sunday Averie. I really do enjoy reading your weekend thing’s posts. They’re always full of great tidbits and info. Ok, I need to figure out where all these blogger conferences are and when they’re happening. I still haven’t been to one and would like to try attending one, one of these days. I need that spam filter. My spam inbox has been great at retrieving all the spam comments each day, but I hate sorting through it all. Thanks for the tip. I love this new WP theme and I can’t wait to get my recipe box sorted out like yours. I think when the kids are off from school in two weeks, I will have the time to work on that aspect of the blog. Did you organize that part yourself or have your buddy do that? My friend Wendy said she would help me, but she’s as slammed as I am right now, so it’s going to have to wait for a couple of weeks. Oh well! Have a great Sunday girl! I get to watch Zoe’s dance recital today and I can’t wait :) xoxo, Jackie

    1. The spam plugin is one I found b/c the ones that were already installed were not doing a good job and I was sick of it so took matters into my own hands :) Takes two seconds to install if you want to do it yourself!

  4. I wish my weekend plans included a food and wine festival in Hawaii. Or just a food and wine festival. Or just Hawaii.

    I have a pie server. I’ve had it for years (a gift from my mom I think?) and I’ve never in my life made a pie. I also got a pie mouse from someone once too. Is there something about me that says “I like pie. Buy me pie stuff”? I don’t even like it.

    I’m hoping for a rain-free day tomorrow so I can play in the dirt outside. I led a couple birding trips at a festival today, so no playing for me. If it is raining, I’m making a Target run. I’m wild and crazy…

  5. 1) LOVE LOVE LOVE Hawaii! I’ve been there several times for periods of weeks and/or months and would go there again in a New York minute on any excuse whatsoever. My military husband put in to be stationed there last time around, but when push came to shove we decided to stay in San Diego because our beloved GSD breed-rescue dog was old and ailing and sure to die soon; the travel and initial quarantine miin January and we now have a puppy with energy and health to burn. We’d ABSOLUTELY take Hawaii when he again comes up for reassignment in just less than a year.

    2) Off the top of your head, do you know whether or not the “Sugar and Spice Collection” of flavoring agents is low-or-no carb…? They sound GREAT, but I’m afraid that they would not fit into my medically-mandated ultra-low-carb regimen.

    1. 1. So you live in San Diego? Me too! (Hillcrest/Mission Hills!)
      2. It’s body spray/perfume. So I’m sure it’s very low carb :)

  6. Those muffin pans are so cute! And how did I miss your crack pie, it looks incredible – pinned!

    1. Thanks for the pin & it’s an older recipe by about a year at this point (time flies!) so maybe it got lost in the shuffle :)

  7. Love the flatware…I wish i could use Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn as a blog-prop lending library, wouldn’t that be fun?

  8. Ceramic muffin pan is beautiful. Have fun at the festival :)

  9. I looooove that flatware set! And cupcake pan!

    Always looking for new banana bread recipes, it’s a favorite, so thanks for the shares!

    Have a lovely weekend! I’ll be filming garden videos, and then traveling Atlanta on Monday for more cooking/gardening! Can’t wait to next Friday when I can sleep in. :)

  10. Yes to the Hawaii food fest for sure! I have a pie server and it’s not as easy to use as you might think since it’s not flexible and very hard to get under the pie. I think I’ve told you before how much I love my Emile Henry bakeware. I only have one pie pan and two loaf pans, all Emile Henry.

    1. I know you’ve said you love love love your Emile Henry! I need to get a loaf pan. I would use it tons!

  11. Have fun at the festival! I’m in Utah for the weekend for the Blend retreat. So far, it’s a great time! In a our swag, we received vanilla beans….and I immediately told my suite-mates about your blog and making vanilla extract. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Oh I’m not going to that festival, but I can sure dream ;)

      And have fun at Blend!! How cool that you got vanilla beans and mentioned my homemade vanilla extract. Thanks for thinking of me L:)

      And have a blasssst! :)

  12. That silverware is really nice – that’s what I have noticed since blogging, how unphotogenic a lot of our dishes and silverware are! I need that pie server (pies run in fear of me) and I’m off to check out the crack pie recipe:) Our weekend will be traveling and although I will be bringing bananas to snack on, I’m wishing I had some of that bread! Have a good weekend Averie!

    1. The pie is insanely good. A lot of work, but insanely good. You can skip some steps, too, i.e. buying a prepared crust. The filling alone is just stellar!

  13. Holy smokes! That photo of Hawaii?? It’s killing me. Man I would love to go there any, but with a food festival sounds even better!

    Those cupcake tins are so cute, but I think I would break them!!

    Your banana breads all look awesome. You know I love using bananas!!

    Have a great weekend!

  14. I’ve never made it to Hawaii but hope to go some day (great banana bread story). The hammered flatware is so cool–I am suppressing the urge to buy it because I would also need some new dishes to complete the look! This weekend is completely plan free so far…but the next several seem to be filling up fast so I’m going to be rather lazy and enjoy it.

  15. Oh what i wouldn’t give to be in Hawaii right now…food and wine festival or otherwise. :P

    and i need to try your favorite banana bread…which means i may have to hide our bananas from the.boy so he won’t eat them all!

    1. I bought FIFTEEN bananas at TJs 2 days ago. 8 for eating, 7 for baking. If I don’t buy that many, people in this house eat my baking stash before they get a chance to get speckled!

  16. I plan on retiring in Hawaii (seriously) so the photos of their food and wine festival and the story about the banana bread quest make me want to fly over there right now!

    1. What a great place to retire..but that’s like 30-40 years off for you judging by how old I’d guess you to be now!

  17. I’ve never been to Hawaii but it’s definitely on the bucket list! An even like that sounds like SO much fun!!

    I love banana bread!!! That link has some really neat ideas!

    Have a great weekend! :)

  18. Ooh, I love that flatware. It’s so industrial. My weekend so far is a lot of work, but tomorrow night I’ll be square dancing away. Sounds odd but there are monthly dances that are oddly popular with the Pabst-drinking hipsters.
    ps I’m not a Pabst-drinking hipster. I just love to dance.

    1. I’m not a Pabst-drinking hipster. I just love to dance. <--- LOL and isn't that the truth! Some of these 'kids' today. I know what you mean. I live in the urban mecca of San Diego and my whole neighborhood is very hip. Some of it is hipsters. As in, too cool for school. I just laugh. Have fun square dancing!