Joy the Baker

Raspberry and Pomegranate Smoothie with Green Tea Ice Cubes

July 23, 2014

raspberry pomegranate smoothie with green tea ice cubes

Don’t look at me with those sad-clown eyes (wait… is that a thing?).  It can’t be all Peach Cobbler Cinnamon Rolls around here.  That’s unrealistic (though delicious) and downright daunting (though delicious).

When the day’s diet turns a bit too indulgent, I reach for a blender and try to coax whatever fresh ingredients I have into a healthy smoothie.  It’s not rocket science… it’s mostly just fruit and almond milk.  You know the old song and dance.

If you take away any little gem of inspiration from this smoothie concoction, please let it be the Green Tea Ice Cubes.  Though so so simple, these little blocks kinda thrill me.  All the antioxidants and good vibes of green tea, frozen into a smoothie friendly cube and ready for blending.  It’s a clever way to add more nutrients to our smoothie meal!  I’m into it.

Raspberry Pomegranate Smoothie

My favorite smoothie boosters include:

•  Chia seeds for their omega powers

•  Maca powder for energy

•  Aloha Green Juice Powder for a major boost of green and minerals

•  Raw Meal Protein Powder for a vegan, gluten, and dairy free protein bang

•  Big handfuls of kale, cucumber chunks, and not bacon.  Whatever you do, don’t add bacon.

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Oh Hey, Homefries!

July 22, 2014

Joy the Baker Podcast

What is HomeFries?

Not potatoes.  Not this time.

HomeFries is the podcasting site and all around fun space that I created a few years back with my partners Michael and Tracy.

A podcast, for those of you that may not be familiar, is like an independent Internet radio show.  If you work from home, or from an overly air-conditioned cubicle you can use podcasts to help you get through an otherwise quiet and/or chilly day.  They’re like watching your ‘stories’ but with your ears only.  You can find a few of my favorite podcasts here.

HomeFries has been around the block and back again and is now updated with a jaunty new design!  We made a new pretty home for one of the silliest projects I persist in: The Joy the Baker Podcast hosted by me (Joy the Baker, duh) and Tracy Shutterbean.  We’re notorious for discussing “totally important, unimportant things” which means we talk a lot about Instagram, hot dogs, girlfriend problems, and celebrity crushes.  We also occasionally talk about food and baking.  It’s a sorry/not sorry situation.  For always.  You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and be updated to all of the madness automatically.

HomeFries is also home to The Art of Simple Podcast about intentional living, family travel and many good things in between.  Aaaanndd The Table Set a podcast about entertaining… like, really cool entertaining from three dudes that really know how to throw and enjoy a party.

We’ve been making podcasts on Homefries for three years.  Three!  That’s a lot of recording of a lot of words.  In three years I’ve learned that recording a podcast with my best friend produces my truest (and probably silliest) self.  It’s impossible to censor myself when I just feel like I’m talking to a friend… that is both liberating and terrifying.  I’m eternally thankful for the many many of you who have embraced our podcasts!  You take us on road trips, take us on your morning walks, and clean the house to our conversations.  We’ve created a little community at HomeFries and we really love you.  Big time.  If you’re not in on this… come on over!

Some of my favorite episodes on HomeFries include:

Joy the Baker Podcast :  I AM The RA   

The Art of Simple Podcast :  Freedom From Stuff

The Table Set : Men vs. Food

19 Comments

The Way We Summer

July 21, 2014

The Best of Summertime from joythebaker

I hope you have a cute new Summer haircut.  I hope you’re wearing bright pink lipstick (if you’re into that sort of thing).  I hope you’re on a vacation and sitting on some sort of dock in some sort of bay.  I want laughs for you, extra casual Fridays, and super lazy Sundays.

If you’re home (like me), and if you’re in the kitchen (also, like me), I wish for us wine spritzers and simple recipes, and super delicious Summer flavor.

Here is a hard-earned compilation of some of my favorite Summer-inspired recipes.  Everything from Tomato Cobbler to Watermelon Sangria.

I love you!  Let’s be freesshh.

Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits

Here’s what we get to do!  We get to bake together sweet cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions, thyme and spices.  We get to top those tomatoes with buttery blue cheese biscuits… then we get to rub the whole thing all over our bodies.  Or we can eat it.  Either way.  HEAVEN!   Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits for our hearts and souls.

I’m working on another Tomato Cobbler recipe for our summer living.  It’s somewhere between quiche and pie.  I dunno.  I’ll nail it eventually.

Cheddar Bacon BLTs

There’s bacon and waffles so it’s breakfast, right?  There’s sandwiched lettuce and tomato so it’s lunch, right?  Cheddar and mayonnaise?  Oh geez.  It’s everything.  At least my cat and I think so… Cheddar Buttermilk Waffle BLTs.

The Ultimate Club Sandwich

Put all of the things between two slices of bread.  All of the things… especially if those things are brie, avocado, bacon, and turkey.  The Ultimate Club Sandwich

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25 Comments

Peach Cobbler Cinnamon Rolls

July 18, 2014

peach cobbler cinnamon rolls

I’ve come to infiltrate your weekend.

You may have had plans to sit on the couch, go to the beach, do some sort of house work, eat a hot dog… NO!   Scratch all of that.  Forget it.  No good.  There are cinnamon rolls in the mix!

Seriously… can I elbow my way into your free time?  Can I persuade you with doughy rolls, cinnamon and almond crumbles, and fresh peach filling?  Let the answer be YES because we’re about to smash-bang peach cobbler and cinnamon rolls.  Let’s be geniuses!  Loose interpretation of the word ‘genius’…

Peach Cobbler Cinnamon Rolls

Here’s how this madness goes:  yeasted dough is topped with melted butter, oat crumble, and warm peach filling. Cobbler all up in a doughy roll,  topped with more almond crumble!

Can this be everyday?  (no.)

Peach Cobbler Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s famous (infamous?) cinnamon roll.  I’ve experimented with her recipe before.  Remember the Pistachio, Orange and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls?  I like to think of those as our Winter Cinnamon Rolls, this peach madness is our Summer Roll.  Of course every good baker has their Summer Cinnamon Roll, right?

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44 Comments

Spicy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

July 16, 2014

Spicy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Let’s just all admit that it’s weird that I made soup.  Hot soup.  I didn’t even have the decency to make cold soup.  It’s heat hot, it’s spicy hot, it’s just all up in your face hot… smack-dab in the middle of summer.

Some nerve, really.

I need to openly admit that I really miss (I mean… really miss) California Mexican food.  I’ve made so many obscure tacos in my kitchen I might as well buy a taco truck and call it a career.

This soup is SO GOOD! It’s like eating the soup version of a vegetarian enchilada… in a bowl, with a mega amount of fresh toppings!  If you’re looking to beat the heat, may I suggest enjoying this soup while sitting in front of your open refrigerator?

No?

Well.. fine then.

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47 Comments

The Chocolate-Dipped Potato Chip

July 14, 2014

The Chocolate Dipped Potato Chip

Here’s the difference between you and me.  You’re armed with reason, and willpower, and common sense, and common decency.  Me?  Less so.

Perhaps it’s this lack of common decency that would lead me to dip perfectly good savory potato chips into perfectly good dark chocolate.  The result seems to be a perfectly sinister meeting of savory / sweet / and chocolate.  It’s trouble.  Nothing but trouble.

Remember that time I made Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwiches and everyone was like, UM… Joy the Baker has LOST IT!  This is that!  Except there’s chocolate involved, so maybe you’ll let this one slide.

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44 Comments

Let It Be Sunday

July 13, 2014

Let It Be Sunday

There’s a bag of potato chips in my pantry that I’m trying to ignore because I have no willpower whatsoever.  That’s my update.  What’s going on with you?

Here’s what’s on my Internet mind:

•  A new friend sent me a link to this TED Talk about how  Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.  I promptly put the method to the test by standing like a super boss lady in my bathroom for two minutes, then going to a car dealership to buy a car.  Yea…. talk about intimidation.  I feel like arms akimbo worked!  At the very least I was conscious of my own body language, I kept my shoulders strong and confident, and I negotiated financing rates like I know what a finance rate is….   Fake it until you become it!  Repeat x infinity.

Follow-up:  being a grown lady is like… really?  Me?  Now?  How?

•  Because I can never watch just one TED Talk, I followed body language up with A Kinder Gentler Philosophy of Success.  Alain de Botton first addresses the Sunday Stresses and talks about the merits of a meritocracy.

•  I can never go too long without talking about nail polish.  My absolute favorite polish is Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy nail polish.  If you’re a polish-y kind of person you must try this stuff!  The colors are bold and modern, and the polish is thick (without being gross thick) making it easy to coat your nails in saturated color in two coats.  No gel heaters needed.  No fight getting the polish off.  I’m really into it!

•  These Free People Platform Shoes are calling my name.  I’ll have to start putting dollar bills in ye old piggy bank.

•  Boy oh boy,  sometimes the Internet just blows me away.  Remember, a few years back, before Instagram existed?  What were our cellphones even for back then if not constantly flipping through picture updates?  Fortune has a fascinating look inside Instagram’s rise to popularity and how corporations are desperately trying to monetize everything everywhere:  Instagram Is Ready To Take Its Shot.

•  I’ve been revisiting Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall aaallll week long!  Few things are better.

•  I’m completely enamored with these beeswax cloth food storage wraps.  I use them to wrap loaves of bread I’ve sliced into.  They’re cloth coated in a thin layer of beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin creating a really cool re-usable storage option.  I like very much.

•  Let’s throw a S’mores Party for real!

•  Are people still paying for Twitter followers?  Fake Friends With Real Benefits. Wait… is this because we care about our Klout scores?  Can’t be.  Social media is the weirdest thing.

•  I’m very serious about my caramel and these Sea Salt Caramels with Dark Chocolate are absolutely the best chocolate and caramel combination I’ve ever had.  I mean whoa!  It’s a good thing I ate them all or I’d still be eating them… all.

Happy Sunday!  Let’s chill on the Sunday Stresses.  Wine helps, as do french fries.

Floral design above my Kiana Underwood of Tulipina who popped over to my house in New Orleans with this beautiful bouquet!

Photograph by the gracious and talented N.R. Underwood.

25 Comments

Fresh Blueberry and Mint Lemonade

July 10, 2014

Fresh Blueberry and Mint Lemonade

Can we talk about lemonade?

Actually.  Proper question: can we talk about lemonade again and probably again and again after that?

Last week we experienced Beet Lemonade, all bright pink and sweet and totally showing off.  Today it’s Blueberry Mint Lemonade, all deep and purple and tart… and totally showing off.

This lemonade comes together with exactly those fresh berries languishing in the back of your refrigerator.  They’re getting wrinkly.  You know the ones.  Throw those little darlings in a blender with fresh mint, stems and all… and here we are, on the fantastic side of refreshment.

This recipe is again inspired by The Lemonade Cookbook because it’s lovely and I’m thirsty.

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35 Comments

Snap Pea, Watermelon, and Edamame Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

July 9, 2014

Snap Pea, Edamame, and Watermelon Salad

I’m in need of a California salad.  The kind that’s heavy on the green, unique, full of protein and surprises, and just generally sexy.  The kind of salad that would wear super expensive yoga pants… if a salad could wear yoga pants (because that totally makes sense).  The kind of salad that Gwyneth Paltrow would order if she were slumming it.  You know the stuff.

That’s exactly the sort of salad I’ve been craving.

Besides… I’ve had a watermelon on the counter staring me down and this week I’ve found the perfect combination of hunger, energy, and guilt to actually slice into it.

Come on, let’s salad!

Snap Pea, Watermelon, and Edamame Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

This recipe is inspired by The Lemonade Cookbook.  Loads of great sandwich, salad, and well… lemonade inspiration in this super fresh, California cuisine book.

I love combining greens and sweet fruit in the summer.  It’s pretty amazing that watermelon and onions can find their way into a dish together and work as a team, right?

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39 Comments

Black and White Baked Doughnuts

July 7, 2014

Black and White Cake Doughnuts

I’d never go so far as to say that baked doughnuts are better than fried doughnuts.  That’s downright madness.  Perhaps we can we all just agree that they’re good… like, really really good.  Right?

Baked doughnuts are the real life version of Homer Simpson doughnuts that we get to eat without being cartoons ourselves.  They’re emoji doughnuts, in our hands, for our bellies.  Just a little bit of magic.  That’s all I’m saying.

I do have a history with baked doughnuts.  Call me biased.  See:  Brown Butter with Chocolate Glaze or Double Chocolate Cake or Sweet Apple Cinnamon.  

Black and White Brown Butter Baked Doughnuts

Today I’ve combined my love for cartoon-esque baked doughnuts with my love for Black and White Cookies and a bonus rainbow cloth because we’re worth it.

Let’s doughnut like we always do!

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40 Comments

Let It Be Sunday

July 5, 2014

let it be sunday today

Hello, friends!  I hope you’re enjoying an extra long, extra summery weekend!  I’ve spent a few days living without air conditioning here in New Orleans and I’m happy to report that… it’s actually OK thanks most definitely to La Croix sparking water, Watermelon Sangria, and a steady diet of hot dogs.

I love these mid-summer days because it feels like we’re allowed to slow down, go on vacation, eat too many hot dogs, and go easy on the emails.  We’re  so far away from the mishmash-y stress of baking turkeys and holiday shopping, that this season… with its unruly temperatures and back sweat, is one of my very favorites.

I recently treated myself to the 90′s via a pair of Adidas Shell-Toe Sneakers.  I only coveted these shoes from afar in the actual 90′s, but I feel super confident wearing them now.  They’re the perfect classic-meets-sporty accompaniment to short skirts and sundresses.  Also, let it be known that when it comes to cookies I know exactly what I’m talking about, but when it comes to fashion… well, my instincts may not be as sharp.  Thankfully, HonestlyWTF tells me I’m not totally off my rocker.  Yay for fashions!

Here’s what else is on my mind and in my purse this week:

•  I have deep affection for the The French Laundry.  If you’re not familiar with The French Laundry, it’s a restaurant in Yountville, California (up near Napa) by Chef Thomas Keller.  I’ve been fortunate enough to eat there twice, take a tour through their garden and kitchen, and cook in their test kitchen.  The French Laundry is a food experience… which sounds like the worst thing I could possibly say if it weren’t actually true.  More than that… it’s the most exquisite display of hospitality, care, and attention to detail with food at its core.  It’s beyond.  These Lessons Learned From Working at the French Laundry from various chefs who have worked in The French Laundry kitchen feels like it feeds my heart.  It says more about Chef Keller and his staff than it does about how to… braise a lamb, or something.  It’s lovely.

•  On a scale of one to weird… how strange is it that I’m really into hand cream sunscreen.  This might have something to do with the fact that I used to be obsessed with the crazy veins on my grandmothers hands when I was a child.  I see signs of those veins in my own hands, and while I know that aging in awesome/horrible/inevitable… sunscreen helps, right?

•  I can’t be outside in New Orleans for more than an hour without one of these Ursa Major Face Wipes.  Also… now that my air conditioning is on the fritz, these have become a necessity indoors as well.

•  I love this super loose and super stripy blouse.

•  Kids these days!  They don’t know how to write in cursive and they don’t know how to date!  That… and other things old people say:  Why College Students Need A Class On Dating.  

•  Dooce went to South East Asia with The Exodus Road and reading through some of her journey (i.e.: this post, Independence) has been fascinating to me.   This post from Jaime of The Very Worst Missionary really struck me.  It’s about finding the right words to say when you’re in such an extreme, so very different situation.  It feels like everyday on the Internet is about trying to find the right words.  Sometimes those words are more important than others.

• Why am I completely fascinated my the Atomic Clock this week?  Lasers and cesium atoms.  You know the drill.

•  You Have As Many Hours In The Day As Beyonce… but do we, really?  The answer has a lot to do with laundry.  No, I Actually Don’t Have As Many Hours In The Day As Beyonce.

Have a wonderful Sunday!  Tomorrow we doughnut!

xo xo

15 Comments

Peanut Butter Banana Bonbons

July 1, 2014

Peanut Butter Banana Bonbons

I lay in bed some mornings trying to will my food brain into action.

On the particular morning that these Banana Bonbon things were born into my brain, I was lying in bed thinking that I’d really like to eat Oreo cookies… but I’d like them to be frozen… and then maybe I could smear peanut butter on top… except that’s crazy… crazy good!!!

No food brain.  No.  Be reasonable.  (That’s what I think to myself as I lay in bed thinking about Oreo cookies first thing in the morning.)  We need more fruit.  Can we turn bananas into cookies?  Yes.  Let’s add peanut butter… and probably chocolate while we’re at it… and we’re going to need something crunchy… peanuts!   And let’s pull that awesome coconut oil trick to make a the chocolate as smooth as can be.

Alright food brain.  Good job!  Essentially you’ve created a chocolate-dipped frozen banana and found a way to smash peanut butter inside.  You started with Oreos cookies and, well… here we are.

Peanut Butter Banana Bonbons

Think of these frozen treats as mini banana peanut butter sandwiches dipped in chocolate an topped with peanuts.  It’s beyond easy and might be one of the better ideas ever on the Internet.  Speaking of the Internet, these treats are aaaallll over the dang thing, which just goes to show that no matter how hard my food brain works, it’s impossible to think of anything brand-spankin’ new.  Still though…. still delicious!  Just saying…

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92 Comments

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

June 30, 2014

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

I think we’re obligated to treat ourselves to some proper summer days this season.  Lazy days with sunshine, iced tea, and a cool breeze if we can get it.

I had a proper Summer Sunday this past weekend, and I have the pink toasted skin to prove it.  I tend to be really bad at sitting on the beach with loads of free time and not even one bar of cell service, but the shores of Mississippi are slowly teaching me a thing or two about slowing down and unwinding.  I’m also re-reading Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways which is very much like food for the soul.

Speaking of food… that’s why we’re here, right?

Hot summer days calls for light and fresh foods… and beignets, but that’s always.

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

I have been craving a shrimp cocktail dish that doesn’t involve cocktail glasses filled with sweet ketchup and dangling pink shrimp.  I found this recipe for something called Mexican Shrimp Cocktail that combines my love for avocado and salsa with my love for shrimp cocktail.  It’s fresh and spicy and I totally used store bought Pico de Gallo because all of that chopping would work up an unnecessary sweat.

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31 Comments

Let It Be Sunday

June 29, 2014

let it be sunday

Happy Sunday!  Here we are on the Internet!

This week, my friend Tracy and I were trying to nail down (via text message, of course) our feelings about the Internet.  It’s feeling big these days.  Bigger than usual.  It’s feeling fast these days… and I’m not talking about the speed at which web pages load.  The Internet feels more than ever like a big machine of content that we’re all ingesting 2 seconds at a time.  A recipe that will take me days to develop, shoot, edit, and write will take a reader a cool twooooo seconds to sweep through.  There are a lot of things to decide in those two seconds:  if you like it, if it’s pretty, if it applies to your immediate future, if it makes you hungry, if it makes you hate me, if it’s grain-free enough, and if it’s Pinterest worthy.  That’s a lot to run through and it all happens so so fast!

I’m not complaining. That’s the game we’re in.  This is totally what I signed up for.  I think.  More than that… I’m pretty sure this is my dream job!  But can’t we all just take a moment to acknowledge that it’s WEIRD!?  It’s totally weird, right?  Yes.  The answer is yes.

Can we talk about the picture above with me and my perfect grocery bag?  I’m trying to decide if I’m the girl that walks around New Orleans with tulips and kale in a bag.  In the bottom of that bag you’ll find: a box of  Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast cereal, a box cake mix (yellow), a tub of chocolate cake frosting (GASP!), three plastic bags, two umbrellas, and three old receipts.  Also not pictured:  sweat running down my back.  That’s how real it is.

I’ll love the Internet forever and always, speed and all.  Here are a few of the places I spent a quality two seconds (or so) this week:

•  I’m learning about EGGS this week.  I’m trying to achieve the perfect soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs.  So far I’ve found the most success dunking my cold uncooked eggs into boiling water and allowing them to simmer for 6 minutes.  Shocking them in ice water is essential for a soft egg and an easy peel.  There’s a lot to know about how to cook a humble egg.  I’ve found this very helpful:  The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs.

•  Turning the oven on to make lasagna is 100% out of the question.  A Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich feels much more reasonable.

•  I love gatherings on the Internet especially when they involve POPSICLES!  It’s Popsicle Week with Wit and Vinegar and thirtysomeodd other major food talents from across the land.  Some of my favorite popsicles from Popsicle Week include 4-Ingredients Strawberry Cream Pops,  Creamy Cinnamon Horchata Popscicles, and Raspberry Lemon Yogurt Popscicles.

•  Fargo was one of the best shows on television this Spring.  Did you get into it!?

•  4th of July doesn’t have to be over the top with the red white and blue.  In my secret life, in my very uncomplicated food mind I want to eat a boxed cake sheet cake with Cool Whip frosting, strawberries, and blueberries.  That’s right.  I want a plain old FLAG CAKE!  Blasphemy.

•  I want to go somewhere that requires the Bon Voyage Passport Case, this tropical-themed backpack, and also… I’d like to take my own bed and the comforts of home with me. What do you mean I can’t have the best of both worlds!?

•  Hello.  Nice to meet you.  I’m Joy “Bedtime Procrastination” Wilson.

•  In our heart of hearts we must KNOW that disappearing photo-sharing apps don’t really disappear our photos.  Right?  Will Facebook’s attempt at the app be a success?  Please say noooooooo.

•  This episode of NPR’s  Fresh Air with Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre is really interesting.  She talks about how she got fired from Saturday Night Live after one super mistake.  It’s really fascinating.  You might remember Jenny Slate from  Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.

I hope you have the happiest of Sundays!  Be at the beach!  I love you!  Bye for now.

57 Comments

Joy the Baker + Scratch Nail Wraps

June 26, 2014

Joy the Baker + Scratch Nail Wraps

Life is full of all sorts of simple pleasures.  Among them:  creamy iced coffee, pictures of cats wearing hats, eucalyptus scented candles, and pretty  nails!  Right?    

This July I’ve paired with  Scratch Nail Wraps (!!!) to design and bring you a set of lovely, bright, summer-inspired nail wraps!  Nail wraps are surprisingly durable nail stickers that go over bare or painted nails and transform plain nails into fancy nail-art nails!

 I’m really excited about this limited-edition collections, and I’m really excited about having darling nails without a ton of muss and fuss!  Seriously!

Joy the Baker + Scratch Nails

Let’s talk about the set!

July’s monthly manicure set will include:  a set of watercolor brush nail wraps, a set of cute daisy nail wraps, a set of picnic inspired nail wraps, a recipe card featuring a summer cocktail, and a set of flamingo cocktail stirrers and paper straws to properly adorn your cocktail!

It’s a summer treat-yo-self or a summer treat-yo-friend!!!

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18 Comments

Beet Lemonade

June 25, 2014

beet lemonade

I am the thirstiest person.   I’ve taken a city-wide poll, and yep… it’s me.  I win the prize for the thirstiest human.

I’m trying to get creative with the cold beverages that I take in this summer.  I’ve been brewing my own black tea which is remarkably easy, reasonably priced, and delicious.  Adding fresh mint (stems and leaves) into the brewing tea makes it fancy in a flash.  I’m also a huge fan of adding cucumber and lemon slices to water, smashed strawberries to sparkling water, and a splash of orange juice in my iced green tea.

None of it feels particularly genius though it is pretty dang refreshing.

This lemonade though… this neon magenta lemonade feels like a small stroke of genius.  Sweet, tart, and big bright pink!  Let’s drink.

If you’re feeling like you’d like to add a glug of vodka into this lemonade refresher… well, I get you.  Go on and get it!

Beet Lemonade

Let’s start with the basics:  fresh lemons juiced up just right, granulated sugar, filtered water, and raw, grated beet (about 1/4 cup). Yes, actual beet root!

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36 Comments

Strawberry Raspberry Crostata

June 22, 2014

strawberry raspberry crostata

I’m on  a mission to make new friends.  I’m in a new city, I don’t know many people, and I work from home on the Internet…. so, I’m really good friends with my cat, but at some point that’s just going to get weird.

Meeting new friends in my 30′s, outside of the context of work relationships and school relationships has been interesting.  By interesting I mean, um… how do I do this!?  It seems that calling people, making plans, not flaking on plans, and making eye contact is a good start because I’m slowing amassing a group of awesome ladies in this new city.  Slowly but surely.

Strawberry Raspberry Crostat

A few weeks before I moved to New Orleans from Los Angeles I received an email from Anna of The Yellow Table.  She was in the midst of planning her cross-country dinner party road trip to support her upcoming cookbook, and wanted to host  dinner in my New Orleans home… that I didn’t even live in yet.  I said SURE because it seems like once you start making crazy moves across the country, crazy dinner parties make total sense.

The days run away, as they do… and before I knew it, Anna was in town with bags of groceries to cook in my New Orleans kitchen.  Around the table we gathered a group of total strangers/new friends:  Juley, Summer, Hannah, Rebecca, Anna, and Elise.

We laughed, talked in the imagined voices of our pets, and shared the most lovely dinner of shrimp and couscous, watermelon and feta.

I made this Strawberry Raspberry Crostata for dessert because making friends out of strangers often involves some sort of berry and fruit.  Try it.  Totally works.

Strawberry Raspberry Crostata

Recipes that start with this sort of beauty hardly seem fair.  Summer is such a show-off.

Fresh strawberries are rinsed and sliced thick.  Fresh raspberries are rinsed and snacked on before adding by the handful to the strawberry bowl.

We’re also going to need some sugar, cornstarch for thickening, a squeeze of lemon, and a dash of Grand Marnier because we’re fancy.

I like how this feels.

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55 Comments

Let It Be Friday!

June 19, 2014

let it be friday

Hello friends!

I’ve been traveling a lot this week and I’m pretty sure I know which way is up, but also… maybe not so much.  I was in New York City walking the streets with copies of Homemade Decadence and little bags of chocolate chip cookies trying to entice just about every magazine editor in the city.  This weekend I’m in Aspen at the Food and Wine Festival drinking as much wine and taking as many pictures as possible.  I’m bound to have a few celebrity chef star-struck moments.  I think Tyler Florence is going to be at the festival, and if you listen to the Joy the Baker Podcast, you know I must find my way to him.

All good things.  Blessings, really.  Aaaand I’m going to need some introvert time for the rest of the summer.  I can only pretend not to be the shy person I really am in quick bursts.

I hope you’ve had a great week and I hope you’re looking forward to a perfect summer weekend.  Let there be sangria and sunscreen.  Pie too!

Here are a few things on my mind and on the Internet:

• I’m working on making new friends in New Orleans.  It’s been really wonderful to have new faces and perspectives come into my life.  It’s really inspiring.  This month I hosted a dinner Anna Watson Carl of The Yellow Table.  She’s traveling around the country gathering strangers and friends around dinner tables to promote her new cookbook!  It seemed like the perfect fit for my friend-making endeavors.  We filled my humble dinner table with new friends and beautiful food.  I’ll share the Strawberry Raspberry Crostata I made for the party next week!

•  If you need a berry dessert for the weekend, because heck yes you do… right!?  Peach and Raspberry Crumble is supreme.

• I’m super smitten with these Toucan stud earrings!  This season’s pineapple / tropical trend continues.

• I talked about facing fears and slowing down on The Jess Lively Podcast .  She has a great show!  Check it out!

•  This Boozey Bourbon Milk Tea with Bourbon Soaked Boba sounds soooooo very good!!

•  My friend Kristin told me about an awesome website about New Orleans!  It’s called Invade (goinvade.com).  It’s a locals look into where to go, what to do, who to know, and what music to listen to.  If you plan on visiting New Orleans definitely check this site!

•  I Already Want To Take A Nap Tomorrow

•  I really want to make Fresh Spring Rolls this summer. I also want to make fresh Jelly Doughnuts.  Actually… maybe I just want to eat Spring Rolls and Jelly Doughnuts.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if I really want to make something or if I just want to gobble it up.

Have a lovely weekend!  If you’re interested in following my Aspen Food and Wine adventures, find me on Instagram @joythebaker.  If not, I’ll be back in my kitchen next week taking pictures of food and my cat.  You know…

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Salty and Malty Brown Butter Treats

June 17, 2014

salty and malty brown butter treats

Let’s set aside our pretentious and our kale.  We won’t need them.

We’re also going to set aside any tinges of guilt or doubt.

What we’re going to do is smash candy into our crispy rice treats… and we’re also going to feel really good about it.

Shall we?

Salty and Malty Brown Butter Treats

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Tuna, Kale, and Egg Salad

June 15, 2014

tuna kale and egg salad

Sometimes I spend so much time painting my own nails, that by the time they’re complete, I’m entirely disenchanted  with the finished product. (Ridiculous sentence to start a blog post with.  Don’t be like me.)

The same goes for cakes.  The longer I spend folding, baking,  cooling, and frosting a cake, the less I want to slice into it in the end.  Sad story, right?

The same can be said for laundry, obviously.  Gathering, washing, drying, air drying, folding, putting away. AAHHH.  Laundry is boring and totally not delicious… so, duh.

This salad though… in and out.  No exorbitant amount of slicing and dicing.  Just enough to create a pretty pretty salad and also enjoy your efforts.  It’s the ideal balance of greens, health, and kitchen time.

Tuna Kale and Egg Salad

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Oh Hey, Homefries!
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Let It Be Sunday
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