Joy the Baker

Vegan Carrot Jalapeño Soup

August 28, 2014

vegan carrot jalapeno soup

Soup is my barometer.

Soup tells me how much a restaurant cares about the details of their dishes.  It’s not the daily fish special or the fanciest steak on the menu that can tell you everything about a restaurants menu… all of the details and love and care  (if they are there) are in the soup.

I’m talking about in the development of flavors, the house-made stock, the onion dice, the thorough puree, the texture, the garnish, the temperature.  And… since soup is not one of those glitzy menu items like pork-belly-this or fried-brussels-sprout-that… soup sits around waiting for just the right amount of salt and heat and garnish to make it shiiiine exactly bright.

Vegan Carrot Jalapeño Soup

Last week I ordered Carrot Jalapeño Soup at Sylvain, one of my very favorite New Orleans restaurants.  On point.  The soup was perfectly creamy (probably laden with an ample amount of heavy cream), and juuuust spicy enough to make me question and affirm my choices.  The soup had so much love and care, it really could have outshined any type of bacon fat on the menu.

Because some of a good thing is never enough, I made my own Carrot Jalapeño Soup, vegan and with feeling.

This soup is spicy, creamy, filling and delicious!  Dang near as delicious as this Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup, but maybe that’s just me having a thing for raw cashews.  Let’s discuss.

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Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

August 26, 2014

Brown Butter Baked Pistachio Doughnuts

That first bite of doughnut… that very first taste is success, surrender, satisfaction, joy, and celebration all wrapped up into one bite.  It’s the anticipation that makes it so great!  And the brown butter, obviously.

These doughnuts feel like an extra special treat because they’re topped (as all things should be, really…) with browned butter glaze and chopped salted pistachios.

Where brown butter and pistachios combine, the gates of Heaven open wide and welcome you in with open arms.  Not literally… but that sure is what it feels like!

Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Doughnuts

It’s time to make an extra pot of coffee.  Call a friend.  Pull up a few chairs and relish in it all.  What a lovely life when doughnuts are fresh and pretty.

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11 Little Ways To Get Through This Monday

August 25, 2014

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Welcome!  Here we are, all up in another Monday.  Before we get bogged down by the possibly overwhelming details of the day, here are a few tips to get us through the day and set us up for the week.  It’s like we’re holding hands through this one… but it’s not awkward or creepy…. it’s cool.

•  Don’t skip breakfast.  Hangry 10am email responses are not a good look.  This Toasted Oat and Coconut Muesli is easy to make, super healthful, and a great weekday morning hangry fighter.

•  Look good / Feel good!  I try to reach into the back of my closet on a Monday morning.  I reach for a dress that may have fallen out of my regular rotation but used to be a look good / feel good staple.  I try to take a few extra minutes to make myself feel pretty for the day…. maybe that means a bit of eyeliner, a cute dress, a spritz of perfume, or… simply not forgetting my deodorant.  Feeling confident walking into a Monday goes a long way!

•  Treat yo’self.   Have an extra cup of coffee and a cookie too!  Just enough to be a treat without feeling guilty.  It’s Monday and thank goodness not everyday is Monday.  It’s usually during this coffee and cookie breaks that I take some time to write out my to-do list.

•  A to-do list is essential!  Monday to-do lists must never take themselves too seriously.  Ideally they’re speckled with easy tasks like “make and drink coffee, twice” as well as unexpected tasks like “walk the long way to lunch”.  All of the hardline stuff about emails, deadlines, and commitments will fill in the rest of the madness, but take it easy on yourself.  Take it eeeaaasssyyyy.

•  Go for a walk.  Seriously.  Do the dang thing!  Maybe that means taking the long way to lunch, a quick jaunt around the block on a bathroom break, a step away from the keyboard and the endless tasks to change up the air we breathe.  It really does lead to a change in brain space.

•  When in doubt, watch people whale for a minute or two.  It’s oddly entertaining.

•  Decide that you have the time to do something distinctly un-Monday.  Bust out the stationary and write a quick letter to your grandmother, to your best friend, or to your mama.  Something about Mondays make us feel like we don’t have time for these small and loving moments.  It just takes a few minutes and it’s distinctly un-Monday.

 Listen to a thoughtful podcast or a new playlist!  I love Snap Judgement’s The End of the Line.  This playlist will be blasting in my kitchen this Monday morning.  Real!

Subtract the Internet when the Internet is too much.  Maybe it’s seeing everyone on Instagram in Mexico, on a road trip, or eating all of the things.  When the Monday Internet makes me feel the least bit bummed, jealous, or otherwise not awesome…. I’M OUT!  Check right on out.  Mondays are hard enough without having to see everyone you know/don’t know on Instagram enjoying Tulum.  Peace.Out!

•  Make an evening plan.  Last minute happy hour date!  On the fly dinner out!  Pink wine!  Call a friend!  Popcorn on the couch! Plans large or small… an after work situation is a lovely carrot to dangle in front of your face.

•  When all else fails, have a doughnut and scream into a pillow until Monday subsides.  Fairly effective though a touch melodramatic.

Remember, tomorrow is Tuesday and what a blessing that is!  Go easy and be kind to yourself.  Have a great week!  Tomorrow we’re making doughnuts and that’s really good news.

54 Comments

Let It Be Sunday

August 24, 2014

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I’m thankful for this weekend.  I walked to the farmer’s market to get tomatoes and peaches while the gettin’ is still good, found a still-warm crusty loaf of bread to compliment the produce, and treated myself to fresh chèvre and farm eggs.  They feel like little treasures… and I’m going to eat them all.

This week felt so FULL, right?  A lot of feels to feel.  Take a moment to acknowledge all of the things we need to process in a week:  what’s for breakfast and what the heck is for dinner, what’s going on with Jay-Z and BeyBey, how should my brain work out what’s going down in Ferguson, how did I manage to run out of coffee, why is a four-year-old eating at The French Laundry, I want that sweater, I want that lipstick, I want to know why people are so horrible, I’m not brave but James Foley was, where is my wallet, I can’t find my phone, I recognize that person from somewhere, why am I yawning so much, laundry, blog, family, email email email, coffee, WEEKEND.  I mean… it’s A LOT.

Here’s what’s on my mind, in the world, and on the Internet this week:

•  Syria is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists.  We have learned this all too well this week but we’ve known. We’ve really known: Evaporated.  We know how James Foley died, but this is how he LIVED.  

•  In a place where saying what you mean can be very, very dangerous, these unmasked men stand behind words they believe.  A Syrian town’s tribute to James Foley.

•  17 Things About ISIS and Iraq You Really Need To Know.    They are among THE WORST and that’s the understatement of the year.

• “I Wear This Uniform and I Should Stand Up Here and Tell You I’m Sorry.”  We might never be done talking about what happen in Ferguson until things like this stop happening.

•  “For more than a decade, it was Michelle Lyon’s job to observe the final moments of death row inmates - but watching 287 executions did not come without a cost.”  The Witness.  

•  It’s super weird to be The Last Generation To Remember Life Before The Internet.  One word:  encyclopedias.

•  I’m on a budget and I don’t like it.  I love it.  I hate it.  I love it.  Mint.com is surprisingly easy to set up and it’s a game changer when it comes to being a grown-up and taking control of your dollars.

•  “If I always had clarity, why would I need faith?” How To Make a Decision.

 How You Got Hooked On Coffee.  We’re all just little habit machines.

•  Speaking of our coffee habits… I’ve treated myself to a monthly Tonx Coffee Subscription  and I LOVE it!

•  Shichimi Togarashi Caramel Corn.  Huh and YUM!  Japanese seven spice mix meets sweet popcorn!

•  Rules For Dining Out  by Bon Appetit.

•  A Four Year Old Reviews The French Laundry.  Don’t forget… we have better taste than four-year-olds (though we may not be as cute).

 Power Couples on Twitter and Instagram.  Alternate title:  We’re The Butt of a Cosmic Joke.

•  Communication: The Real Reason We Yawn.

Enjoy your Sunday!  It’s a good one!

xo

29 Comments

Muffuletta Pasta Salad

August 22, 2014

muffuletta pasta salad / joy the baker

Some might say that you haven’t lived until you’ve had a muffuletta sandwich at its birthplace: Central Grocery in New Orleans.

For those of you who have yet to live (dramatic,right?), a Muffuletta is a sandwich made when a soft loaf of Italian bread is topped with olive spread, a pickled Italian vegetable medley called giardiniera, salami, mortadella, ham, and provolone.  The sandwich is also often has parsley, vinegar, and olive oil, and is pressed together to marry the flavors.  It’s a dang good sandwich.  There’s no denying it.  The muffuletta was made popular back when New Orleans was just a youngin’  by the lunch habits of Italian immigrants, and ooooh how thankful we are for (among other things) their sandwich sensibilities.

Muffuletta Pasta Salad by joy the baker

Before I dive into full-blown muffuletta-land, I’m doing to tinker around with a pasta salad version.  There’s lots of chopping and cubing.  It’s meditative, don’t fight it. I cubed salami, ham, roasted chicken, and provolone.  Crisp celery and raw onions and garlic for kick.  Olives.. a lot, and sliced.  Parsley and dried spices.  Dignified and delicious, all of it!

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Homemade Steak Sauce

August 20, 2014

Homemade Steak Sauce

I’m not the meatiest of carnivores.  I’m in it for the toppings.

I’m most interested in a steak when it is topped with a ludicrous amount of A-1 sauce and/or bleu cheese.  Hamburgers with exactly toooo much cheddar cheese.  Yes, please.  I’ll sign up for lobster because of the clarified butter.  And most every East LA taco truck is amazing because of its seasoning, sauce, and salsas.

Join me in saucing just about anything and everything.

My refrigerator is filled with a menagerie of little jars filled with sweet, sour, and spicy sauce concoctions.  Butter too… obviously lots of butter.

Steak is a special occasion in my refrigerator.  Because it’s Summer.  Because I’m experimenting with being a grown-up lady who grills over charcoal.  Because I made a fancy-pants Homemade Steak Sauce…  it’s a very special occasion.  STEAK!

Homemade Steak Sauce

Serving suggestion:  on grilled skirt steak, in abundance, like a BOSS.

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35 Comments

Dipped + Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

August 18, 2014

Chocolate-Dipped Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

Some things change:  the city I live in / the friends I visit on a lazy weekend / the view from my living room window / my mega longing for California Mexican food / the frequency with which I eat fried oyster po’boys.

Some things stay the same:  the endless amount of cookies coming from my oven / my desire to eat every doughnut in town (any town) / my fear of spiders large and small / the hope that you’ll invite me to your house so I can share this giant batch of Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with you and maybe make a few new friends in the process.

Dipped Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

Crisp.  Golden.  Peanut Butter-y Cookies.  AKA  How To Make New Friends And Not Be A Weirdo At A Pool Party.

Edible social tools are my specialty.

Dipped Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

I wasn’t sure how to tell you that I have a brick-red wall in my dining room so I just took a picture of it.  Ok?  Ok.

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Let It Be Sunday

August 17, 2014

Cafe Beignet

Hi my friends!  Can we talk for just a moment about how great it feels to get a fresh pair of gym shoes?  I’m not one to spend a lot of money on my gym gear because it’s all meant to be sweaty and smelly and really… I’m not trying to make a fashion statement at the gym, I’m mostly just trying to avoid eye contact.  But… classic clean and fresh gym shoes?  I’m feelin’ pretty fine.  I use these new gym shoes to trot by this beignet cafe on the way to the gym.  Yes it smells good.  Of course it smells good!

There’s a lot of weight to this week which means there are a lot of perspectives to read on the internet.   There’s a lot more going on in the world than how I feel about gym shoes.  Let’s look:

•  It’s really important to understand and pay attention to why Michael Brown died in Ferguson.  We can forever distract ourselves with Instagram and celebrity news and Facebook updates, but we still have a lot to work out, don’t we America?  A lot.  Pay attention.  I’ve found the best updates on Ferguson from VOX.  And here’s a think piece.  For real.

 Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt.  A different and refreshing perspective.  Thank goodness.

•  Radius is a church in Los Angeles for people who think that church is irrelevant.

  This cat is really into this baby.  Is it normal that my cat mostly wants to attack my face?  Don’t answer that.

•  I’ve Been Blogging For Eight Freaking Years and here are the right words about it.

•  Our brains are really complex.  Writing is a high-level task.  We really just want to convey meaning.  The and hte are impossible to spot!  Why It’s So Hard To Catch Your Own Typos!  

•  Most common astrological sign for US Senators:  Scorpio.  Most common astrological sign for House members:  Gemini.  Can the Zodiac Explain Why Washington is So Messed? Maybe so.  

•  Is this meant to be so scary?  Because it is.  The Three Ring Birthing Circus

•  Why did it take us so long to get the butterknife right!?

 On: Unschooling.

•  How One Man Destroyed The Food Network.  Dramatics… but why is Guy Fieri yelling?

Enjoy this beautiful day!  I love you byeeeee!

45 Comments

New Orleans: ManhattanJack

August 15, 2014

Manhattan Jack New Orleans

I’m taking my time getting to know New Orleans.  There’s so much to learn about the food culture here.  Things like where you get your beignets, where your po’boy bread comes from, and who makes your King Cake all make a difference when it comes to New Orleans food staples.  So much pride and so much nuance.  It’s a really exciting place to explore food.

I talk about a few of my favorite New Orleans spots here, but I’d love to get down to the nitty-gritty of my experience of this glorious city.  First up:  ManhattanJack, a bakery that has quickly become my happy place.

I hope you come visit New Orleans, and I hope you eat all the things.

Best New Orleans Bakeries - ManhattanJack

I’ve made my way in and out of a hearty amount of New Orleans bakeries lately.  There’s the bakery I go to for a really good baguette, the bakery for the perfect croissant, the bakery for the best doughnut.  ManhattanJack is the go-to bakery for extra decadent, over-sized, home-style sweet treats.

Maybe the cookies are a tad too big (never a problem).  Maybe the brownies have a little too much caramel (not even possible).  Maybe the Black and White Cookies are the size of your face (and sooo!?).  Essentially it’s the bakery I want to call home sweet home.

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Roasted Tomato and Feta Guacamole

August 13, 2014

roasted tomato and feta guacamole

I wish there was some sort of Willy Wonka-style candy factory that produced savory avocado delights instead of candy.  In addition to that statement making me sound stone-cold craaaazy, the reality of that sort of factory would be absolutely AMAZING!  Don’t lie.  You want in.

I’d totally Veruca Salt my way all up in there.  No shame.

Since there is no fantasy-land avocado factory I’ve settled for roasting a big ol’ bunch of cherry tomatoes, and tossing them (along with just a little too much feta) into a batch of creamy do-no-wrong guacamole.

Roasted Tomato and Feta Guacamole

Don’t roasted cherry tomatoes look a little bit like candy?  If candy were vegetable.

Related and rhetorical:  why won’t I shut up about candy!?

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Weeknight Cobbler For Two

August 11, 2014

weeknight cobbler for two

This is a safe place.  This is the place you can openly admit to watching Bachelor In Paradise and eating chocolate chips for dinner.

It’s Monday and the sheer fact that we’re making it through the day means that anything goes including chocolate for dinner and super easy crumble cobblers for dessert.  It’s as simple as that, really.

Peach and Strawberry Weeknight Cobbler for two

Hopefully you have a peach and a few strawberries.  Maybe you have a plum and a few cherries.  Maybe there are a few blackberries and raspberries in your fridge.  Noooo banana… save that for smoothie tomorrow morning.

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52 Comments

Let It Be Sunday

August 10, 2014

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Hello my friends!  We’re in it, aren’t we?  Are these the dog days of summer?

I hope you’re taking it easy this weekend.  I hope you’re lying low, drinking lemonade, and dangling your feet in a cool swimming pool.

Here’s what’s on my mind and on the Internet this week:

 Turn On, Retweet, Tune Out – on our fleeting #empathy.

•  Jonathan the 182 year old tortoise.  Slow and steady forever and ever.

•  So there’s this company called Personal Audio that claims to have the legit patent on aaaallll podcasts.  They’ve demanded cash-money from podcasts large and small according to their patent.  Essentially they’re going after popular podcasts in an effort to make some quick money and essentially it’s a really crappy thing to do.  They got more than they bargained for when they went after Adam Carolla.  Adam Carolla Won’t Let Company Drop Podcast Patent Infringement Case Against Him.

•  I love these dreamy pictures of Old California.  

•  Watch this full screen because The World’s Most Extraordinary Waves deserve at least that much respect.  The thought of these kinds of waves coming at me gives me a half-panie (aka half panic attack).

•  A very accurate list of Ten Things Not To Do As A New Yorker Visiting LA.  

 Raspberry Peach Sorbet Kombucha Floats!  I’m all the way into it.

•  An important documentary about a teenager sentenced to life in prison without parole.  15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story.

•  It’s going to take me years to fully appreciate the nuance of New Orleans cuisine.  The book Eat Dat New Orleans is a very helpful guide.

•  “I don’t need feminism because women *already* make up an equal number of CEOs, if you include Chicks Eating Oreos.”  No To Feminism.  Thank you Twitter.

•  Tracy shared this gem with me and it’s just toooooo real:  17 Things Women Without Children Are Tired Of Hearing.  “It must be nice to have so much free time.”  Oh my gosh shhuuutttt uuupppp.

Happy Sunday!  I love you bye-bye!

xo

26 Comments

The August GIVEAWAY

August 8, 2014

the august giveaway

 

OUR WINNER is CHRISTINE of The Belletrist

“you seem like someone who makes ordinary things seem extra ordinary”.  

Happy Friday, my friends!

It’s August and I’ve never been so hot.  I think my brain might be boiling. Is that normal for New Orleans?  Today we’re backing away from our stovetop and shunning the oven.  It’s time for an August Getaway… GIVEAWAY style!!

Here are a few of my recent favorites for you to pack up, snack on, primp up, doodle down, and read through.  I want you to have them!

GIVEAWAY! Booyakah!

1.  I’m the first person to tell you that you don’t need a dang blanket in the middle of August!  It is not chilly!  I can’t even remember the last time I was cold!  But I can remember the last time I needed a blanket to sit out for a Summer picnic! This West Elm Perfect Throw makes for a lovely picnic situation and transitions very well into the more cozy winter months.

2.  Meet the Everlane Weekender Bag!  It’s the perfect carry-on bag.  It’s the perfect bag to toss in the back seat of the car for a weekend road trip. Classic  stylings.  No frills.  Just right.  I love this bag!

3.  I want you to have my very favorite nail polish!  Super easy to apply, long wear, modern colors, lots of gloss and extra sass.  These Revlon Colorstay Gels are Summer weekend colors!

4.  Beach reading.  Mountain cabin reading.  Air-conditioned hotel reading.  I hope you get away, put down the Instagram, and read a good book on this Kindle Reader.  I’m reading The Invention of Wings.

5.  I’m an avid doodler.  Swirls, blocks, faces, flowers, and eyes are my go-to doodles.  Doodling helps us pay attention!  Doodle in style in this classic Moleskine.

6.  Lips to match our nails. I mean… why not get-away with a little flair?  Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain.

7.  Pens for our doodle!  I love these colorful felt tip pens!  They’re like grown-up markers.  Totally acceptable for scribbles, doodles, notes, and writing boss-lady checks.

8.  Snacks!  Forever with the snacks!  These barkTHINS satisfy all cravings.  They’re thin chocolate bites packed with almond, coconut, pretzels, or little bits of peppermint.  Chocolate, sweet, crunch, and salt!  I’m sooooo into these!  Of course you’ll have to eat them fast enough so they don’t melt, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

9.  ALOHA!!!  These super supreme green juice powder packs are an amazing way to jumpstart a drowsy morning.  I mix mine into a glass of orange juice and I’ve got some pep in my step!

10.  There’s nothing wrong with being prepared just in case getaways go awry.  These UrgentRx medicine packs are incredible because they’re flat packs of fruit flavored powder medicine.  No water required.  I have a few of these in my purse for emergencies.  Super helpful!

11.  Always be ready for wine.  Always!  This Bottle Stock painted corkscrew and leather pouch is perfect to throw in your new weekend bag.  Open your wine in style!  If you can’t wait for your pretty corkscrew and pouch, snag it now for 15% off!  Discount code: WINEJOY.  Offer good until Sunday August 10th.

To Enter:

This is an old-school blog giveaway.  I’m not trying to trick you into following me on Twitter or liking me on Facebook.  You can if you’d like… but it’s no biggie.  I simply want you to have these rad things because it’s August and if I melt before September, I want you to think of me fondly.

Leave a comment on this post sharing the best compliment you have ever received.  Then… think about how great that compliment made you feel and go out into the world and compliment a stranger!  “I like your hair today!”  “You have a really pretty smile!” “I feel like you really went the extra mile for me and I appreciate it!”  Pass the good onward and outward.  It feels great!

>> One comment per person.  Be cool.

>> Contest open to one and all, wherever you may live.

>> Comments close Sunday August 10, 2014 at 8pm cst.

>> Winner will be chosen randomly and announced above on Monday August 11th.

I love you, byeeeee!

3,279 Comments

The Single Pancake

August 7, 2014

The Single Pancake with blueberries and lots of chocolate

One of life’s small pleasures:  sharing breakfast with someone.

I mean… if you can find someone who will order the savory breakfast, but then let you pick at their hash browns… I’m pretty sure that’s a love for life.  The ultimate breakfast situation involves sharing an eggy-hash and then sharing a totally over-the-top pancake.  If you can find the human that wants to embark on this sort of breakfast endeavor with you, marry them or give them one of those BFF friendship necklaces.  Either way.  Shared breakfast is a big deal.

Breakfast isn’t always about a pair.  Heeeeck no!  The solo pancake expedition is just as important as the coupled pursuit.  This pancake recipe makes one giant pancake filled with fresh blueberries and chocolate pieces.  Just one!  Just one mega pancake with way too many fresh blueberries and a little too much chocolate.  It’s perfect for one hungry belly, or two bellies to serve after eggs as something I like to call… breakfast dessert.

The Single Pancake with blueberries and chocolate

This recipe comes together in little bits.

Little bits of flour and oats.  A little bit of sugar, cinnamon, and soda, powder.  A little bit of butter.  A lotta bit of fresh blueberries and chocolate.  Too many blueberries and too much chocolate… that’s really what we’re going for.

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Peach and Cardamom Lemonade

August 6, 2014

Peach and Cardamom Lemonade

It would seem as though I’m trying to drink my way through the rainbow, lemonade style.  First there was bright red with Beet Lemonade.  Here we have a  pretty peachy-orange color with Peach Cardamom Lemonade.  We also worked in the deep purple with Fresh Blueberry Mint Lemonade.

I’ve missed green lemonade but I figure we can work some sort of cucumber jalapeño situation into our future.

I’ll tell you now, I’m showing no signs of stopping this drinkable rainbow.  Hop on the lemonade train now!  I know you’re thirsty.

Peach and Cardamom Lemonade

This Summer is brought to you by lemons, over-ripe fruit, and a dose of sugar.  Cheers to us!

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Apricot Buttermilk Pie

August 4, 2014

Apricot and Buttermilk Pie

It would probably be best to enjoy this sweet Apricot Buttermilk Pie with a big floppy hat, a Scarlett O’Hara inspired dress, some sort of lavish front porch, a glass of iced tea, and a slow-drawl Southern accent.  If you don’t have those things… not to worry.  This pie, with all of its charm and Southern roots, will welcome you all the same.  Iced tea is encouraged… a hat, too.

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Buttermilk Pie is a simple custard pie made of eggs, melted butter and buttermilk.  In this variation we’re adding dried apricots and bourbon for a bit of summer sweetness and boozy appeal.  I like this pie served chilled to really set the custard base, and served with a tart apricot sour cream spread to balance the sweetness of the pie.  It’s a beauty!

Apricot Buttermilk Pie

A buttermilk pie is so much more than buttermilk.

Buttermilk gets all of the credit, but really… eggs, brown butter, and sugar do the heavy lifting.  Bourbon, lemon, and vanilla play important supporting rolls.  Flour for thickening.  Buttermilk to stop the show and take all of the glory.

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43 Comments

Let It Be Friday!

August 1, 2014

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We’ve made it to Friday which means that hopefully there’s some sort of kicking off of our shoes in the very near future.  I’ve taken a quick trip back to Los Angeles this week where everyone is complaining about the humidity.  Really?  You ain’t got nothin’ on the Bayou, Los Angeles… nothin’.  In my travels from New Orleans to Los Angeles, I seem to have forgotten to pack the tiny little camera card that houses Friday’s recipe post photos.  Turns out I’m forgetful, and even a well thought out list can’t help me during packing.  Truth is, this week has been all sorts of enough and I’m feeling a little frayed at the edges.  There’s been so much madness happening in the world, I can feel some of the chaos trembling in my guts.  Does that happen to you, too?

This week’s Sunday list comes in a Friday edition.  The Internet, as it were:

 Come Out Of Your Shell.  Let’s all just stop being so dang shy.

 A Negroni is always appropriate!

•  Hopeful Perspectives 1 Year After My Son’s Birth/Death.  How is it that we’re all just stuff?  

 How often are you flying alone and find yourself bullied out of prime armrest positioning?  I think my armrest relinquishing is part subconscious and part polite.  Now I’ll think twice.  How to Maintain Control of the Shared Armrest.  Number 6 is ill-advised though probably very effective.

 We are all just Elaine Benes at heart.  Geeetttt ooouuutttt!

•  How A Mother Weaned Her Girl From Fairy Tales is one of the most surprising, bizarre, and beautiful books I’ve read this year.

•  Kapitalism with Kim Kardashian will freak you out.  Like totally freak you out.  On: celebrity, perplexing shades of nude, and the monetization of self.  It’s totally crazy!  Where are we going?  Is this a cry for help?

•  7 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Be More Productive… not including reading this blog.  Please keep reading this blog.

 What a refreshing (and terrifying) list:  Summer Must-Not Haves.  No one likes a relentless spooner.  SPACE, PLEASE!

•  I sometimes wonder how the best and the busiest have time to just THINK.  You know… think with new ideas, think of how to delegate, think of how to be as awesome as they appear to be.  Turns out they’re probably just avoiding introspection.  Aaahhh… now I get it.  No Time To Think from The New York Times.  Louis CK is not wrong, in fact he is too right.

•  It’s nice to remember that we’re still at the beginning of the Internet and that we have a lot of years ahead of us that will include things better than Pinterest and Twitter… but we might have to wear those fancy Google glasses and look silly for a minute.  You Are Not Too Late

•  I love the spirit behind the blog Yes and Yes.  Here’s How To Do 10 Things (at least slightly) Better!  Because why not be better!?  DANG!

I love you, bye bye!

xo

28 Comments

My Favorite Summer Cookbooks

July 30, 2014
The Lemonade Cookbook Bread Cake Doughnut Pudding Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts
A Change of Appetite The Bar Book Ceviche
Plenty More The Grilling Book The Nourished Kitchen
A Mouthful of Stars Let's Do Brunch Sweet and Vicious

I collect two things, nail polish and cookbooks.  Ironically, I don’t always have my nails done and I certainly don’t cook every recipe from this massive collection.  I have more cookbooks that any reasonable home cook should have.  They’re wonderful inspiration.  I love experiencing food through different perspectives. These are the most lovely of the summer books that I’ve collected so far.  Judging by this list, I have a lot of recipes to get in the kitchen and bake!  I’m starting with doughnuts and french toast.  Yes!

•  I love the California stylings of The Lemonade Cookbook.  It’s perfect for summertime.  Filled with lovely salads like this Watermelon and Snap Pea number, and a mega amount of lemonade inspiration.  Well, wouldn’t you expect that from The Lemonade Cookbook?  I made this Blueberry Mint Lemonade and swooned for days.

 I like to think that I have a fool-proof and super-supreme doughnut dough base, but I’d really love to experiment with different doughnut recipes.  I mean… someone’s got to try all of the doughnuts, might as well be me.  Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding is a gorgeous book and the doughnut recipe is on deck in my kitchen.

•  The new cookbook from Jeni’s is absolutely beautiful!  She has a way of combining wonderfully unusual ingredients into decadent and comforting desserts.  I’ve got my eye on the Extra-Strength Root Beer Ice Cream.  Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts!

•  I love the way Diana Henry writes about food.  Elegant and inviting.  This piece make me want to sit down at a table and share a plate of radishes.  Radishes!  A Change of Appetite is her latest and most vegetable-centered book.  It’s thoughtful and rooted in the seasons.  Blackberry and Apple Rye Galette?  Done.

•  The Bar Book is all about technique!  A good cocktail comes from good technique.  This book is all about juicing, measuring, shaking, stirring, and garnishing with some awesome classic cocktail recipes.

•  I’ll be honest, I bought the Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen cookbook because I loved the font and lived on a diet of banana y leche smoothies and ceviche while in Costa Rica this year.  This is a lovely book with lots of texture and place.

•  Do you have the Plenty cookbook?  Beyond.  I’m looking forward to Plenty, More out this Fall!  Yotam Ottolenghi is a beast when it comes to perfect cookbooks.

•  I’m learning how to grill.  Coals, starters, temperatures, smoke, and char!  I’m learning.  There is so much nuance.  The Grilling Book is my grill bible this summer.  So far I’ve grilled a ton of chicken, I’m working on my steak, and hoping to nail a pizza sometime soon.  Along with grilling here in New Orleans I have lots of white wine and mosquito repellant.  It’s perfect.

•  The Nourished Kitchen is such a mindful way to approach food and cooking.  It’s inspiring for any season.  There’s a tutorial on how to make raw milk yogurt, real buttermilk, and a recipe for Sourdough Blueberry Pancakes that look just dreamy!

•  This book of food and travel feeds my wanderlust like no other.  A Mouthful of Stars.  I now want to go to Seoul with Kim Sunee and eat everything ever.

•  Let’s Do Brunch!  No seriously, let’s!  This book is loaded with all sorts of breakfast-y / lunch-y inspirations.  It’s a sweet and simple book with a recipe for Almond-Crusted French Toast that I suddenly can’t live without.

 I think I need to ask Libbie Summers to be my best friend.  The cover for her book Sweet and Vicious is a sign.  Any woman with a frosting-laden knife and cute dress is a soul sister.  The book is beautifully photographed and full of deliciously irreverent recipes.  Coconut Fluff Cake please and thank you.

31 Comments

Extra-Special Deviled Eggs

July 28, 2014

Extra-Special Deviled Eggs

I’m the most dangerous person at your dinner party.

I’m the one that lingers near the Deviled Eggs at a party.  (If not Deviled Eggs, I can also be found lingering near the homemade guacamole or cheese plate.)

You’ll never ever know how many Deviled Eggs I’ve eaten because I pop the entire bite in my mouth while you’re looking down at your wine glass…. and I chew quickly.  I go back for seconds (which you think are my firsts).  I go back for thirds and fourths (which you think are my seconds).  I will clear you out of nearly every Deviled Egg on your appetizer table.

The worst part is (my breath?) that I have no remorse.  I eat all of your eggs then I casually move along (…probably to the table with wine).  I’m the worst.  I really am.  At least I won’t mess with your music selection, unless I do.  Again… I’m the worst.

Extra-Special Deviled Eggs

These eggs are extra-special because they’re dill-y and radish-y, and I was feeling extra-special when I made them.  Just let it happen.

read more…

45 Comments

Let It Be Sunday

July 27, 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

Hello and Happy Sunday!

This week has been loads of work, recipe testing, standing in front of the pantry eating chocolate chips out of the bag, and scrolling through everyone’s Summer vacations on Instagram.  I spent some quality time exploring New Orleans in search of my favorite bakeries.  It was the best (but I drank waaayyy too much coffee)!  The Black and White Cookie above is exactly why ManhattanJack might just be my favorite New Orleans bakery.  They honor the sweet tooth.  Mad respect.

Here’s what’s on my mind and on the Internet this week:

•  I know I talk about nail polish perhaps more often that I should, but this is the kind of lady-talk that really matters.  I Don’t Care If You Like It: Women are tired of being judged by the Esquire metric.  Yay-thanks…

•  My favorite show in the world is Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and this recent episode with Sarah Jessica Parker is one of the best.  Also, it’s really nice to know that  Jerry Seinfeld with get down with some food.  He’s so great.

•  Can Full-Time Bloggers Live Off Rainbows and Hugs?  An interesting perspective about blog monetization that also briefly touches on the idea that female bloggers are often chastised for profiting from their blogs where successful male bloggers are celebrated.  A little too real, right?  Ladies and their GOMI culture can be such a sad state, really.  

•  I love this quick question and answer situation with Yes Way Rose.  Clever, forever.

•  Sometimes I run out of food thoughts… often related to standing in front of the pantry eating chocolate chips and searching for inspiration.  This beautiful Summer Cherry and Amaranth Panzanella Salad is more inspiration than the blank stare / chocolate chip eating.  

•  I’m a month into working out with the Nike Training Club app.  It’s SO GREAT!

•  Let’s not forget Our Summer Reading List.  I’m on The Invention of Wings right now… so good!

•  I want to drink all of the Peach and White Wine Slushies.  Can we make a strawberry version with pink wine?  Yes way!

•  Fashion:  In the Fray.  I like the frayed demin!

•  This week a new West Elm store opened here in New Orleans.  In all of the hubbub I met Vanessa Holden, Creative Director of West Elm.  Her creative path and super down to earth vibes are really inspiring.  There’s a GREAT interview with  Vanessa Holden on The Everygirl!   Check out all of The Everygirl’s Career Features.  They’re business lady inspiring!

Have a lovely day!

Turn down for what?

xo Joy

 

 

 

 

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