Baking Bootcamp: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

honey whole wheat loaves

Baking Bootcamp:  Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Sometimes I can’t believe the fun we get to have here!  All the biscuits, all the cookies, and all in the name of work!

Today we’re talking Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread!  It’s the last in our 4-challenge King Arthur Flour Baking Bootcamp!  

First we made Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread, a braided bread stuffed with loads of fresh berries, cinnamon and butter. 

We made Apple Pie Biscuits with sweet fall apples and tender biscuit dough.  

This Winter we made Gruyère and Green Olive Loaves, big salty, satisfying and cheesy loaves.   

Baking Bootcamp:  Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Now!  Hearty loaves of honey, oat, and wheat!  

These oatmeal studded loaves bake up light and golden!  Perfect for slicing thick and topping with softened butter, ripe avocado, or fruity jam.  

As we move through January, I find myself craving staples… simple foods that I can slather in butter for warmth and comfort.  

Baking Bootcamp Essentials IV

Here’s what we’re going to need: 

1 • King Arthur Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour.  A sweeter and more mild whole wheat flour.  Perfect for adding whole wheat goodness without being too dense.  

2 • I use this King Arthur Flour Bench Knife just about everyday in my kitchen. It’s perfect for scraping little dough bits from the countertop… something a sponge just pitifully attacks. You might also use the bench knife to slice though the center of the rolled dough. It’s sharp too! I love this tool!

3 • Kitchen fashion is important to me. Hedley & Bennett understands my needs for a functional, durable, totally chic apron. Not too frilly. I always want to be more badass than 50’s housewife-y in the kitchen.

4 • Lovely and durable kitchen towels for resting our dough from LoomedNOLA.  

5 • Having Colorful Mixing Bowls is the kitchen equivalent of having a great black dress in your closet. Necessary treat.

6 • Loaf pans for loaves of bread and pound cakes.  

7 • These wooden spoons just get better with time.

8 • Is it normal to have a completely mismatched set of Measuring Cups, or should I just treat myself to a matching set like this? Don’t answer that…

9 • The Pyrex glass measuring cup.  A forever kitchen classic.

10 • Same goes for the Measuring Spoons… it’s nice to have a full matching set.

Baking Bootcamp:  Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

 Let’s get baking!  We’re in this together.  Here are some important details!  

• All of these step-by-step photographs in the post were done by the incomparable Jon Melendez.

• Baking 101: The Difference Between Baking Flours for all the nitty-gritty on bran and germ and protein content.

• King Arthur Flour’s Baker’s Hotline is a fantastic resource for curious home bakers to discuss your fears, concerns and eventual successes. Give them a ring! It’s magic. 1-855-371-2253

Four Flours + Four Recipes Challenges + One Instagram #bakingbootcamp + Four Awesome Sets of Prizes!

The idea is simple!

• Make the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread and take a picture of your creation!

• Follow @joythebaker and @kingarthurflour on Instagram

• Photograph your beautiful bread and post to Instagram with the hashtag #bakingbootcamp

• When you submit a photo, you’ll be entered to win a one year supply of King Arthur Flour and a Baking Essentials box valued at $250!! Official rules and details can be found here.

By entering the challenge you’ll also have amazing loaves in your kitchen, so… you really can’t lose.

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Hearts of Palm Fries with lemon and jalapeño

Hearts of Palm Fries

Hearts of Palm Fries

 The old dip-and-fry.  It’s like the bait-and switch but much less tricky and much more delicious.  

I’ll dip and fry just about anything.  Onion rings, dipped and fried.  Raised donut dough, fried and dipped (preferably in sugar).  

This week Hearts of palm meet the fryer.  They’re tender and lightly pickled, made warm and crispy and spicy.  Have you ever had Heart of palm?  They come in a can, they’re slightly salty and soft… like canned artichoke hearts, but completely different.  They make very fine salads and fried bites… and that’s why we’re here.  

I also want you to know that I have Mardi Gras King Cake on my mind… I just have to get all of these salty fry things off my mind first.  King Cake is in our future.  

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The Sparkle Chain

The Sparkle Chain

The Sparkle Chain

The kitchen is my happy place, my photography studio, my comfort zone, my snack bar, and my office.  It’s where I find the best treats and really, the biggest messes.  It’s my zone.  Lately I’ve noticed that my kitchen is also where I tend to keep my favorite little keepsakes and memories, all of which add sparkle and joy to my everything space.  

This month I teamed up with ocelo ™ brand to celebrate the little touches that make our kitchen space feel extra special, and I helped them introduce their Sparkle Chain!  Remember last week’s  Kitchen Hand Scrub?  Really good.  So to share the sparkle, ocelo sent me the most lovely engraved, wooden recipe box.  So many of my recipes are written in note books scattered all over my house and this little box is a nice way to gather my recipe notes and thoughts!  

I want to pass on the sparkle!  Everyone should have color, life, and inspiration in their kitchen.  Why not surround ourselves with thoughtful tokens, pops of color, and family memories?  Since sparkle was so generously shared with me, I’m sharing the love with these twelve sparkle enthusiasts!  Thanks for playing along with us on Instagram! 

JTB Sparkle Winners

Thank you for sharing your kitchen sparkle and what inspires you in the kitchen!  I love the glimpse inside your bright, happy, well-loved kitchen spaces.   Each of the twelve winners will receive a package with daisy measuring spoons, a copy of my cookbook Homemade Decadence, a few surprise items, and the chance to pass the sparkle along to inspire others in the kitchen!   

Sparkle Chain

What do you love in your kitchen space?  What makes your space sparkle?  

Thank you for ocelo ™ brand for the kitchen inspiration!

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

How can I do the least amount of work, but still get the most amount of cinnamon rolls into my mouth?  Super valid question.

How long would it take to go through airport security and stand in line at the Terminal C Cinnamon?  Is that time shorter than the time it would take to make yeasted dough, roll it, fill it, slice it, rise it, and bake it?  

How can I go from zero to cinnamon roll in one hour flat?  

Here’s how!  Ready.  Set.  You know…. 

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Let It Be Sunday

January in New Orleans

January in New Orleans

Hello friends and Happy Sunday!

I hope you’re entering the end of January feeling happy and productive, still in your January intentions and resolutions.  These days feel filled with challenges and beauty, sunshine and chill.  

I don’t even know how I’m feeling this week?  That’s got to be ok to say… sometimes just the day to day is enough feeling.  Right?  

Here’s some of the superficial Internet.  I didn’t make it, I just listed it for you.  

•  I distinctly remember saving up my paycheck from my ice cream scooping job in high school so I could buy myself an outfit to wear after prom from Abercrombie and Fitch.  I bought a pair of forest green parachute pants with orange details and a navy linen kinda boho embroidered shirt.  I dunno.  It was the Abercrombie & Fitch hay-day.  We all went nuts for that mess, remember?  Well… their CEO is now 70 years old.  So there’s that:  The Aging of Abercrombie & Fitch

•  They’re giving all of our traffic secrets away:  New Traffic Apps May Be Pushing Cars Into Residential Areas 

•  The last thing you need:  Twitter While You Were Away.  Isn’t it all happening while we are away anyway?  

•  Inventing A Better Cat Call. I’ll take a sonnet or an edible arrangement, please and thank you.  

•  Would I come off as too defensive if I said that noooo, I don’t have a Tinder profile but still find the whole madness fascinating?  Reasons Why Your Tinder Profile Is Horrible.

•  12 Historical Women Who Gave No F*cks.  Go read this.  I’ll wait here, slow-blinking… and we can discuss when you return.  

•  Grab a cake or grab a spoon:  Chocolate Frosting.

•  It’s really inspiring to look through a different lens (and hold pictures in your hand).  Un-Instagram: Fujimax Instax Camera 

•  I’m going to see the movie American Sniper tonight.  People have thoughts about it.  Here are some:  I Served In Iraq and American Sniper Gets It Right.  But It’s Still Not The Warm Film We Need.  

•  RIP:  An Ode To SkyMall As It Files For Bankruptcy.   

•  I could legit use the Bracelet Assistant and I want a Jumping Hot Dog just for fun.  Here are 12 of SkyMalls Weirdest Products.  

Have more coffee.  Have a great day.  The two are inextricably linked.

xo Joy

Burnt Orange Salty Caramel Sauce

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

What are you supposed to do with a no good, very bad toothache? 

Warm salt water rinse?  An emergency visit to the dentist?  Eighty seven bottles of over-the-counter pain killers?  Bourbon?  Marathon viewing of old Seinfeld episodes?  

I’ve been trying to figure this out all week.  So far I’ve found the most solace in a pint of smooth vanilla ice cream and this sweet Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce (and an exciting appointment with my new New Orleans dentist).  

Cool story, right?  Hopefully you can treat yourself to a sweet caramel sundae without the pain.  

(Oh!  If you’re thinking that the reason I have a toothache is because I eat too much dang caramel… No.  Not listening.)   

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

These oranges were gifted from Martine Chaisson.  Glory be! 

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Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

As I move through the days, the months, the year, the seasons, I’ve noticed that my body always tells me what I need.  These days it’s all citrus juices and earth flavors.  Don’t get me wrong, I generally move through my days filling my body with coffee and sugar in various forms, paying very little attention to the little voice inside me crying for baby carrots.  

These days my cravings have been undeniable.  I want big bowl of warm goodness that make me feel like I have my feet on the ground.  This earthy and salty risotto is undeniably grounding, comforting, warm, and otherwise perfect.

This is the first time I’ve made risotto on the stovetop.  I’ll walk you through my technique and mild panic.  

If the stirring is more than you can handle (no judgement, I get it), you can try this Baked Lemon Risotto.  One stir and some quality oven time.  A dream, really! 

And!  For sweeter Arborio rice indulgences:  Maple Ginger Rice Pudding.  In other words, I’m not leaving my house again until I need to go stock up on more rice.  Until then, I’ll have the Do Not Disturb sign on my door. Thaaaanks! 

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Winter Lemonade with ginger and cloves

Winter Lemonade with ginger and cloves

Winter Lemonade with ginger and cloves

Good morning, Monday.  Good morning, January.  Good morning, thick socks.  Good morning, extra-hot tea.  Good morning, chilly ears.  Good morning, Winter.  

We’re in it.  

My nose has been perpetually sniffly these days, and as the sun diminishes early, I feel my energy slagging.

I’m trying to keep my refrigerator stocked with all sorts of comforts and boosters to keep my eyes up and on the prize.  

This spicy, sweet Winter Lemonade is my winter elixir.  This.. and bourbon, because DUH. 

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Let It Be Sunday

big blue ocean

big blue ocean

Hello my friends!

If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I’ve been in the ocean for the past week, on a cruise ship, eating all the things and swimming in Caribbean waters.  Torture, I know.  If you saw a picture of me on the beach last Wednesday while you were layered in scarves and gloves please, accept my sincere apologies.  Vacationing and Instagraming is just rude.   Now I’ve got two feet standing firmly on the ground and I’m wearing a scarf.  All’s fair. 

Here’s what’s been on my mind and in the world this week. I hope you are healthy and happy, with your eye on the prize.  

•  Things to think about:  Could the Paris terror attacks have happened at The Onion?  

•  Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’.  We have a problem.    

•  To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This 

•  Two dudes spent 19 days to climb the 3,000 of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite.  Bare hands and rubber-soled shoes:  The Climb.

•  A Meditation on Pain.

•  Sure, sure, sure…. your ex-girlfriend is an assassin.  

•  How occasionally skipping meals may increase your health.   Does this mean we can stop obsessing over juice cleanses now?  Yes.  

•  Inside The World’s Most Advanced Coffee Laboratory.

•  Last week’s episode of This American Life is fantastic:  Batman. A blind man can see.  Think about it. 

•  NY Mag’s What It’s Like series.  Wow.  

I love you!  Happy day to us.  

xxo 

 

 

All-The-Blueberries Buttermilk Waffles

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

I was trying to do a thing. A thing with waffles, cinnamon, sugar, and a blow torch.
The blow torch (perhaps not surprisingly) is where things went wrong.

I was trying to make a waffle brûlée. I thought that sprinkling toasty waffles with granulated sugar, and taking a torn to them would create that irresistible sugar snap-crack when brûlée meets fork. You know?

Turns out… taking a blow torch to a waffles creates REALLY BURNT WAFFLES. Like… the most burnt. Like… someone needs to take my baker’s card away. I’m benched.

Not all things work, but you have to try.

To hide my shame and my sins: blueberries. Fresh, juicy, forgiving, and un-torched.

In other news: I haven’t messed with eeevery waffle I’ve made. I’m actually pretty waffle proficient. I just got cocky.

See:

•  Cheddar Buttermilk Waffle BLTs.

•  Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles.  

•  Whole Grain Waffles with millet, poppy, and sunflower.  

•  Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles.  

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Lazy Mary’s Citrus Tart

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

 If I find the word ‘lazy’ in the title of a recipe, it’s just… I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Finally, a recipe that couples my deep love for pie with my deep appreciation for sitting on my porch, sipping drinks, and talking trash.  You mean I can have both homemade pie and lazy trash-talking all in one sweet situation!?  

Well… yes, and also NO.  You can have your pie (tart), but like any good pie, you’re going to have to work for it. 

Yea.  We can talk about it.  I’m going to make us. 

calamondin tre

First, let’s talk about citrus! 

The original recipe for this lazy / not-so-lazy tart calls for a Meyer Lemon.  A whole Meyer Lemon.  Peel, pith, insides.  The whole shebang.  

Meyer Lemons are all well and good, and you should totally use a big juicy one for this recipe.  I happen to live inside this mess of citrus in The French Quarter and wanted to find a way to incorporate this crazy citrus into my tart.  

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

These are calamondins!  New fruit from my new city.  Tiny, very tart, thin-skinned, lightly seeded citrus fruits.  I halved these, scooped out the sneaky seeds, and added them  to a blender for the pie filling. 

It’s time. 

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello, my dear-hearts.  

It’s Sunday.  It’s carnival season.  It’s time to eat all of the King Cakes.  I was always under the impression that King Cake were covered purple, green, and yellow colored sprinkles… Not praline and gold leaf like this gorgeous cake from restaurant Domenica. Had I known King Cakes were so elaborate, I would have moved to New Orleans years ago!

Here is part of the world this week, distilled:

•  Paris is going through it right now.

•  It’s getting really scary in Nigeria with Boko Haram.  Actually… it’s staying really scary.  The same people that abducted 200 school girls are now suspected of murdering nearly 2,000 people.  Very very very bad news.  What are we going to do about it?   

•  Bad customer service.  Maybe you’re a bad customer. Dang girl, DANG.

•  What It Really Takes to Be an Artist.  It’s a lifestyle.  

•  Working in the food service industry in loud, hot, delicious, back-breaking, boozy, frustrating, and mostly totally fun.  Now that I’m out of the day to day restaurant world, I miss it… and I overtip.  We Are The 20%.  What Your Tips Look Like.

•  How Much Do You Really Change After You Turn 30.  Spoiler alert:  not much. 

•  This Is How We Date Now.  In related news:  I’M MOVING TO THE MOON.  

•  What It’s Like Having Four Kids.  In related news: SEE ABOVE (I’ll be on the moon). 

•  Ordinary People, Hollywood Budget.  It’s in all of us! 

•  I’ve been on a Chelsea Handler kick lately.  Wait… what an obnoxious thing to say about a real person.  On a kick.  How trite and fleeting.  If someone told me they were on a ‘Joy the Baker kick’, I’d be like… you know I’m a real person right!? Cool…  BYEEEEE.  So, let’s just say that I’ve recently and far too late just discovered how honest, gnarly, and hilarious Chelsea Handler is and I’d like a pat on the back and an ice cream sundae.  Here’s a Chelsea Handler thing:  Dave Grohl Interviews Chelsea Handler.    For the sake of clarity:  the moon is not the sun. 

•  New low:  a flash for selfies.  

 •  The Unstealable Bicycle.  People so smart. 

•  Clay Pigeons  // Blaze Foley 

Happy Sunday, my friends.  I love you so much.  

Whole Roasted Onions

whole roasted onions

  whole roasted onions

Here’s how this is going to go down, my friends:  whole roasted sweet yellow onions, roasted with olive oil and butter, roasted with rosemary, roasted whole, roasted to sweet submission.  

It’s cold.  I mean… really cold.  Here’s our chance to crank up the oven, throw these onions inside and lean against the oven door as they transform from sharp and bite-y to soft and sweet.  

Oh wait… you might be one of those people who think they don’t like onions.   I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.  You exclusively like whole roasted onions.  

Now let’s carry on. 

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Homemade Kitchen Hand Scrub and a little kitchen sparkle

Homemade Kitchen Hand Scrub and a little kitchen sparkle

Homemade Kitchen Hand Scrub and a little kitchen sparkle

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  Kitchen towel tucked into the belt loop of my jeans, forearms covered in a mysterious amount of flour, scraps of crust on the kitchen table dangerously close to my camera and laptop, and dishes in the sink… always with dishes in the sink.  

I spend so much time in the kitchen… trying to make it both my cooking zone and office… that I am always looking for ways to make the space feel sparkly and special even when it’s dusted in flour and filled with dishes.  

My secret:  a little floral kitchen bouquet with fresh herbs, a pretty soap dispenser for dish soap, a homemade sugar scrub with lemon and rosemary, and (since we must scrub pots and pans) pretty kitchen sink sponges.  Just little touches to make my space feel like my own.  

So!  I recently teamed up with ocelo™ brand to introduce their Sparkle Chain and fun new sweepstakes. They’re encouraging everyone to add a bit of sparkle and personality in their kitchen. 

What Sparkle do you have in your kitchen?  Pretty flowers, loads of cookbooks, homemade hand scrub? Upload a photo via Instagram and use #sparklechain and #sweeps and tag @ocelobrand and @joythebaker to be entered for a chance to win a package of cute kitchen sparkle from ocelo™ brand. Click here for more details and the official rules.

Let’s make ourselves a special kitchen hand scrub.  It’s moisturizing, helps get rid of funky kitchen smells… I’m looking at you onions and garlic.  

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Winter Cocktail Hour: Grapefruit Margaritas and Vanilla Sugar Daiquiris

Vanilla-Sugar Lime Daiquiris

Vanilla-Sugar Lime Daiquiris

I‘m going to play in the sun.  Obnoxious considering I don’t live in an extra-chilly, snow-covered Winterland.  There’s no real room to complain about a New Orleans January.  Still though… I’m going to go get some real-life tropical sun because I’m absolutely positive that the answer to what troubles me in is the ocean, in the sun, and inside a small coupe glass along with lime and rum.  

Grapefruit Margaritas with a hint of Cucumber

You should totally join me in the sun… or at least in spirit and in cocktail.  

You’ll need lots of lime, all of the pink grapefruits, Patron Tequila and Pyrat Rum.  You won’t need the sunscreen.  I’m going to hog all of that.  Can you even buy sunscreen in January.  Stupid question.  Cheers to us, sunshine or snow. 

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Magic Mineral Broth

Magic Mineral Broth

Magic Mineral Broth

You know what we’re into these days? You know what the latest food trend is? Not cupcakes. Not red velvet this and that. Not macarons. We’re not even talking about single origin coffee beans or biodynamic wine. We’re talking about broth. Bone, mineral, and vegetable broth.  Yes.  Broth. It’s delicious.  

Homemade broth is never just about broth.  It’s a whole kitchen experience.  I make my broths over time.  The scrappy bones of a roasted chicken are frozen for a week.  Carrot stems and onion skins and ends are stored in a container in the refrigerator for a good while.  Limp celery is put to good use and potatoes just beginning to sprout are given a home. Have you read The Everlasting Meal?  This broth is very much in that spirit.  

It’s where the fresh ingredients in our kitchen meet the more tired ingredients… in a pot, for our extreme health.  

Bone broths are a tale as told as time, but they’re totally having a moment.  It’s rejuvenating with the powers of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and collagen.  It’s fantastic start to a hearty and healthful soup and naturally (or oddly), New Yorkers are sipping the magic broth from coffee cups.    

 I’ve taken to simmering a pot every month and sipping the broth as tea or making soups.  The smell alone makes me feel like a soup genius and it’s a tremendous way to bring together the entire kitchen, scraps and all.  

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The Best of Intentions for 2015

New Year

New Year

Can I tell you one of my personal truths?  The new year… the box marked January 1st on my calendar, makes me all sorts of nervous.  

The Internet would have you believe that everyone is full of glee, rainbows, hope, excitement, possibility and plans.  It’s fantastic, right?  Unless you don’t exactly feel that way… unless you’re a little nervous like me.  Now, it’s not that I’m not tremendously hopeful and excited, but the vastness (glory be!) of the 364 days ahead sometimes feels paralyzing with possibility.  

Do I sound like I’m complaining?  I’m not.  Do I sound like I might have a scatterbrain?  I do.  Do I sound like I don’t know where to place my feet as I step into this year?  Pretty true.  So far I’m thinking one foot in front of the other is the best (and only) way to go.    

What are your resolute intentions for the new year?  Do you have a few?  Have you written them down on your bathroom mirror in lipstick?  Tell me how you’re working this new year!  

Here are some things, large and small, I’m thinking about for 2015:  

•  Dear Joy,  turn off your cell phone.  Seriously, what would happen if didn’t check your phone when your dinner companion gets up to use the restroom?  The world would end, right?  Well… let’s try anyway.

•  Social media anxiety is sooo 2013.  Whether it’s a fear of missing out or a fear of participating… none of it is actually real, so just calm down and maybe try turning off your phone.  

•  There’s always room to make your kitchen life better.  And I think it’s time for a new kitchen skill.  I’m thinking I’d like to be a chocolate master.  Is that a thing?  It’s about to be. 

•  I speak Spanish and Italian.  The only problem is that I speak both at the same time in the same sentence.  Helpful to no one, ever.  This year maybe I brush up on my Spanish and kick the random Italian out of my Spanish sentences.  

•  New rule:  Two drink max then walk your butt home and turn off your phone.

 •  Charitable resolutions like Be The Match or Compassion International are always in my year.  

•  There are all sorts of year-long projects to get involved in at the start of the year.  My favorites are:  Journal52 (prompts for the 52 weeks of the year… like brain food!).  A self-portrait a day with The Everyday App. And journaling with technology using DayOne App

•  When in doubt, when excited, when curious, when hungry for all the things:  GUT CHECK.  Our guts know. 

•  Have some fun.  Have some dang fun!  GEEZ.  

Happy New Year.  I love you.  

xo Joy

 

All The Citrus and Some Of The Greens Salad

All The Citrus and Some of the Greens Salad

All The Citrus and Some of the Greens Salad

I take my salads very seriously. Similarly, I take my omelettes, sandwiches and daiquiris with equal reverence. I need to know the person making me an omelette and I prefer that they have a big floppy chef hat on (bonus).  I need to shake the hand of the person making my sandwich before they put plastic gloves on and add extra black olives to my situation (thank you!).  I like to know the middle name of the person making me a daiquiri… a fact I usually learn after the third of fourth daiquiri.  All of this to say, I love when people make me food, and I really like to know who they are before I enjoy it.  

Salads, though.  I like to make my own salads.  There’s a delicate balance of fruit and green, cream and crunch and nuts.  Let’s try! 

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Let It Be Monday

let it be monday

let it be monday

Let’s take it slow this last week of the year.  We have a lot to absorb and a future to dream. 

Where have you been this year?

I’ve been to Uganda and Costa Rica.  I’ve been to the kitchen and the coffee shop.  I’ve been to California and New Orleans.  I’ve been scared and curious and anxious and exhilarated.  I’ve been to New York and Nashville.  I’ve been in the sky and on the ground.  Literally.  I have the plane ticket stubs and the scraped knees to prove every bit of it.  

I’ve also been hungry.  For all the things all at once.  

•  The end of the year brings with it many photo roundups.  Here’s another… let’s call this one astonishing.  More and astonishing photos of 2014.  It’s the big, beautiful, complicated, troubled, marvelous world we live in.  

•  Peter Edward Kassig was a US Army Ranger and aid worker in Syria and Lebanon.  That’s too easy to type.  He was also a son, student, flawed human, cool dude, laugher at jokes… you know the deal.  In 2012 he founded Special Emergency Response and Assistance, an aid foundation dedicated to providing medical assistance, supplies, and food to refugees in Syria and Lebanon.  Extra ordinary. He was taken captive in eastern Syria on October 1, 2013 by ISIS and beheaded November 16, 2014.  Please read this story about one man trying to save another.  It’s really remarkable.   The Race To Save Peter Kassig.   

•  This wall lay you right out on the floor.  It’s astounding.  10 of the best “Dear Sugar” Advice Columns by Wild Author Cheryl Strayed.  My advice: read every word of it.  I love “The Ghost Ship That Didn’t Carry Us”.  

•  Then there’s this:  The Obliterated Place.  Dammit all. 

•  3 Ways to Responsibly and Compassionately Respond to Panhandling

•  You should know that, as much as I’m into butter and sugar… I’m also really into space and Mt. Everest.  5,200 Days In Space.    

•  How To Write:  A Year In Advice.  What does it mean if I find the advice itself daunting?

•  I’ve Got Fifty Trivial Problems.  Join the club, buddy.   

•  Golden State.  See what they did there? 

•  Everyone should have a friend like Whitney A.  

•  My purse and travel palette.  Yes, we’re talking about makeup for a moment.  Thanks for letting it happen. Can we know about the world, care about people, and talk about makeup all at once?  Sure we can.  Sure we can. 

Happy Monday, my friends.  I love you.  Don’t make it weird. 

xo Joy

Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

Well, hello. Hi. How are you? Glad tidings. Happy Holidays. I like your hair.

Are you doing all of the lovely winter things? Hot chocolate? Mittens? Ski caps? Snow men?

I’d like to bring you stories of frolicking snowball fights and ski lift passes, but I’m terrified of both flying ice balls and ski lifts. Instead I could tell you about this tremendous head cold and how I’m trying to drown it in ginger tea and cookies.

White Chocolate and grapefruit. Let’s stay on our toes and in the game!

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