Time for an installment of Weekend Things:

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

hawaiifoodandwinefestival

Image Source

I wouldn’t say no.

hawaiifoodandwinefestival

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?

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