Gluten-free Peach and Blueberry Pie

Gluten-free Peach and Blueberry Pie

Gluten-free Peach and Blueberry Pie

Just in case you’re looking for an excuse to consumer obscene amounts of whipped cream or French Vanilla Ice Cream… just in case.  Here we are!

The days are long and warming and I’m pretty sure I can smell peaches and berries in the air.  It’s intoxicating and has me daydreaming about fruit pie combinations while lingering in the produce section at the grocery.  

Today we peach and blueberry. Soon I’m thinking a strawberry raspberry pie is in order.  Don’t even get me started on apricots.  

It’s about to be a great summer! 

Gluten-free Peach and Blueberry Pie

You know how I feel about pie crust.  I’ve never been shy about coaxing large amounts of butter into perfectly flakey pie crusts.  

Sidenote:  Five Tips For The Best All-Butter Pie Crust From Scratch.  

This version of pie perfection is made with gluten-free flour.  I love the King Arthur Flour variety and the only amendment I made was to add an egg yolk to the buttermilk.  The yolk helps with binding the crust but let me be honest, the crust was still a bit crumbly.  

Here’s the nitty gritty.   

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Olive Oil Raspberry and Sea Salt Brownies

Olive Oil Raspberry and Sea Salt Brownies

Olive Oil Raspberry and Sea Salt Brownies

Every good baker has a lot of secrets.  

They have a secret stash of chocolate hidden in the back of the pantry (usually behind the garbanzo beans).  They have an amazing recipe for the very best Peach Pie that they share with exactly zero people.  They have a secret cookie scooper they don’t let anyone else use.  There’s the vintage church cookbook they like to keep all to themselves, the stack of good puff pastry hidden under the ice packs in the freezer, and the secret spell they cast over all of their batters before they go in the oven… because bakers are actual wizards with magical powers and everyone knows it.  

Olive Oil Raspberry and Sea Salt Brownies

The secret to these dark and fudge brownies… because I try to share all of my best secrets… is Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil.  It’s perfect for baking!  We get all of the good, cholesterol-free fats from olive oil without the overwhelming olive oil taste that we might not want in our sweet baked goods.  Oh!  Pro-tip: this olive oil is also great for frying.  It has a super high smoke-point and can withstand high temperature for frying up treats.  Win!

Now… to celebrate Bertolli’s 150th (!!!) anniversary, let’s treat ourselves to the best brownies!  

To celebrate this stellar anniversary, join me in entering the Taste of Tradition Recipe Contest! Submit your favorite family or original recipe using Bertolli Olive Oils and/or Vinegars to BertolliOliveOil.Tumblr.com for a chance to win a stellar prize:  a trip for 2 to Tuscany!  You have until July 31,2015 but don’t delay!  This is just too good not to celebrate! 

This post is sponsored by Bertolli Olive Oil.  All opinions are my own.  

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Dominique Ansel’s Chocolate Mousse

Dominique Ansel's Creamy Chocolate Mousse

Dominique Ansel's Creamy Chocolate Mousse

I still get kitchen-intimidated.  It happens when I least expect it… like when I’m trying to satisfy a chocolate mousse craving and I stumble upon a seemingly approachable Food & Wine recipe.  

This recipe for extra-creamy Chocolate Mousse is from cronut innovator Dominique Ansel… pastry genius.  

Here’s the thing about pastry innovators:  they tend to make challenging things look really easy, god bless ’em.  

It’s not that mousse is impossible.  It’s mostly approachable and 100% delicious but does require some a candy thermometer, egg whites beaten just-so, and well… some self-confidence and guts.  

No guts, no chocolate mousse glory.  

Dominique Ansel's Creamy Chocolate Mousse

First we hold our breaths and make the meringue.  

Here’s how that goes down in the kitchen:  

Egg whites are beaten in a stand mixer at medium speed.  Feel free to stand there and zone-out as the egg whites become foamy and frothy.  Mark this zone-out as your one and only while making this mousse.  

We can’t dilly-dally for too long because we need to make a hot sugar syrup while the egg whites get frothy.  Water and sugar are boiled to precisely 240 degrees F while our eggs beat to precisely soft peaks.  Yup.  Two forms of kitchen science at once.  Stay present.  Stay in the game.  We’ve only just begun.  

The hot sugar syrup is drizzled into the soft-peaked eggs and with the mixer on high, our two forms of kitchen science form one glossy, light mound of perfect meringue.  Deep breath.  We are successful.  

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello Sunday friends!   I hope you’re spending this holiday weekend on a beach blanket in the sun, a watermelon sangria in hand, and plenty of friends to laugh with.  It’s just about Summer and I’m all the way ready for long days and cold fruit drinks.  

Enjoy a restful day!  Here’s some of the Internet, made for us:

•  How Rhinos Once Conquered The World (and lost it).  

•  Poor Little Rich Women.  A different world.  This is the stuff reality television is made of.  

•  On Lamaze and childbirth.  

•  How important is it to wash your clothes before wearing them?  Spoiler:  DEFINITELY wash your clothes.  

•  Quick note:  Yes… apparently we still have to worry about biker gangs.  

•  Deb made Fake Shake Shack Burgers, thus, breaking the Internet completely.  

 Hacking the Brain: how we’ll make ourselves smarter in the future.  

•  Why It Pays To Be A Jerk.  This is discouraging.  

•  I love when Terry Gross is on the other side of the questions.  Mark Maron Interviews Terry Gross:  “life is harder than radio”.  No kidding.  

•  Re/Done:  my favorite jeans in the world.  

Have the best day!

xo Joy

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Cake

With every trip to the grocery store, I run these few thoughts through my mind.  

•  GAH!  I forgot my grocery list.  Do I need lemons?  I probably need lemons.  •  Why is it so cold in here?  •  Do I have my wallet, where’s my wallet, who stole my wallet, oh here’s my wallet.  •  Is that baby sitting in that stroller staring at me or do babies just stare?  •  Would it be weird if I start eating this baguette right now?    •  I hate scallops  •  No, you don’t need a bag of chocolate sandwich cookies… don’t even look at those Oreos… no no no.  •  Wait, didn’t you want to make a recipe with a cookies and cream whipped cream?  Better get the cookies.  Two bags, just to be sure.  

Cut to:  home from the grocery store eating Oreos for dinner.

Could one of you please call an adult and ask them to come live with me? 

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Spinach and Blue Cheese Biscuits

Spinach and Blue Cheese Biscuits

Spinach and Blue Cheese Biscuits

I have an idea!  Spoiler alert:  it’s about biscuits.  

Actually, I’ll just keep this short and sweet.  Let’s make biscuits!  Extra savory, baked with greens and stinky cheese, served with generous amounts of soft butter.  

Our biscuit game just got tangy and spicy, aaand spinach is definitely a vegetable so these biscuits are dang-near healthy.  

It’s time.  

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Good morning and good gravy!  It’s time to welcome another Sunday and I suggest we all go play in the sun… or play in the muggy thunderstorms… that’s what I’ll be doing.  

This week I’ve eaten equal amounts of donuts and this Marrakesh Carrot Salad.  Totally balanced diet especially when combined with copious amounts of black coffee and pink wine.  

Here is our internet.  Hopefully interesting and insightful:  

•  Why does the army care so much about women’s lacrosse?  

•  A snipped, a glimpse of our country’s history:  Philadelphia’s MOVE Bombing, 30 years later.   

•  How the Bone Broth debate boiled over so suddenly.  File under:  It’s Always Something.    

•  Where would the Kardashians be without Kris Jenner? Every time I read about the Kardashians I’m like REALLY!?  Who are we?  What are we doing with ourselves?  And then I link to the Kardashians and I become part of the problem.  I know.  I know.  

•  “Pinterest’s day begins with a ritual thanking of the universe for its bounty and for how quickly you can turn cashews into a rich, creamy dressing. “Gratitude and humility,” she reminds her terrariums.” A Day In The Life of Pinterest  

•  Elaine from Seinfeld helps us better know ourselves.  “I’ll go if I don’t have to talk.”  STORY OF MY LIFE.  

•  Women dropping polite hints in western art history. Always dropping hints, big and small.  

•  Let’s all start taking Coffee Naps, pretty much immediately. 

Why All That Instagram Food Porn Is Shot From Above and why we don’t mind eating cold food. 

•  Bloody Marys taste better in the sky!  

•  Next up on my reading list!  Lost Cat: a true story of love, desperation, and GPS technology.  Go on and judge me if you must.  

•  This is how I feel about drinking coffee every morning

Enjoy this beautiful day!  I think you’re wonderful.

xo Joy

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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

I banged my head against the wall one good time.  I wanted cheesecake, like a really big slice of cold creamy cheesecake, and I wanted to do anything anything anything at all NOT to make a cheesecake.   Headbang.  How can I get to cheesecake into my face without leaving my house…  without having to make an actual cheesecake?    The last time I foil-wrapped and water-bathed a cheesecake was probably 1997.  It ended in a tragically soggy crust and I’ll never do it again.  

One good bang against the wall and presto!  Ice cream is the answer.  Cream cheesy and rich to mimic cheesecake flavors,  berries because they’re purple and delicious, and chunks of graham cracker crumbs to simulate the all-important crust.  Dreams:  realized.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Basically, I’ll do anything not to get all the cheesecake flavor I can without actually making a cheesecake.  Ice cream is my latest cheesecake hack.  Past cheesecake hacks involve using a pie plate instead of a springform pan.  I’m nothing if not clever in the kitchen.  Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie.  

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Malo’s Beef and Pickle Tacos

Malo's Beef and Pickle Tacos

Malo's Beef and Pickle Tacos

There’s a place in Los Angeles where you can drink feisty margaritas made by half-rude actor/bartenders, munch on half-bad chips and salsa, and watch awkward Tinder dates buzz around you.  It’s happy hour, half-dark at your table, and there is tequila, so… most anything is tolerable.  

The bright spot, the salvation from the meh bartenders and awkward dates around you, the comfort supreme:  Beef and Pickle Tacos!    Crunchy, salty, and cheesy.  Simple flavors and textures combine to make everything right in the world.  Well.. not everything, but most things.  The wonders a pickle can provide.  

See:  Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich

Malo's Beef and Pickle Tacos

Here’s what we’ll need for taco dinner, at home, where it’s cozy.  

Ground beef:  lean is cool.  

A big ol’ boiled Russet Potato:  help extend the meat with cheap potato starch.  

Sharp cheddar cheese: finely shredded  

Kosher dill pickles:  sliced and snacked on.  

Spices:  cumin, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, and smokey paprika.  It’s like making your own taco seasoning.  Extra delicious.  

Tequila:  a sip for us and for good measure.

While you’re at it… maybe make a full jar of taco seasoning for future taco adventures?  Yes:  Taco Seasoning + Charred Corn Tacos.  

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Marakesh Carrots

Marrakesh Carrots

Marrakesh Carrots

Someone in my family (I forget exactly who to blame for these memories), was very fond of adding grated carrots to the bottom of their Jell-o molds for holiday dessert.  Come to think of it, there were grated carrots and a can of fruit cocktail at the bottom of the red Jell-o mold dessert.  Criminal.  At least the Jell-o was red. 

There are things better things to do with shredded carrots.  Things that are less jiggly, and frankly, less rude.  This carrot salad fits the bill.  It’s hearty, sweet and spicy, salty and crunchy, durable enough to last a few days in the refrigerator, and just generally polite… not rude at all.  

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

This recipe comes from Sara Forte’s brilliant salad-brain. You know Sprouted Kitchen? Beautiful, whole, and healthy food (and a really cute baby, too). The new Sprouted Kitchen book Bowl + Spoon is a tasty collections of breakfast bowls, salads, and sides that are elevated, healthful, but still totally comforting.

Tracy made Beet + Avocado Poke Bowls from the book.  The beets are gorgeous.  

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Let It Be Sunday

mom and me

mom and me

Hello!  Happy Sunday and Happy Mother’s Day!  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of the lessons I’ve learned from my mother.  The lessons mostly involve kindness, compassion, understanding, how to clean a toilet, the timeframe within which a thank-you note is appropriate, and how to donate everything and throw nothing at all away.  

My mama is a gemstone and I am richly blessed to grow up under her care.  She also makes a really delicious Bundt cake and the smell of her perfume is embedded in my happy-home brain.  

I hope your day is spent with people you love.  

If you need some words to read, here is the Internet this week:  

•  A Free Life In Iraq.  The life of a heroic journalist fighting for for the future of Iraq.

 The tragic and powerful story of Madison Holleran.  I read this days ago and it’s still on my mind.  Depression doesn’t always look like we’d expect, especially when passed through all of our social filters:  Split Image.  

•  I love you, California.  I miss you madly.  Photographer Pieter Hugo captures San Francisco’s most infamous neighborhood:  The Tenderloin.  

•  The Pseudoscience of Beauty Products.  Can I get some straight answers about what to do about these wrinkles on my neck or… no?  That’s just natural?  But isn’t there some sort of cream for that…?   

•  How a watch can make you bigger, better, faster, and stronger.  Or not.  Upon This Wrist:  a week with the new thing.  

•  How shadows are changing New York City:  light and prosperity.  

•  A dude on a skateboard to park your car.  Someone to do your laundry, make you dinner, bring you a cocktail, and give you a massage.  All the people to meet all of your needs… all on your smartphones.  There’s An Uber For Everything Now.  

•  Why Do Cats Purr (and why can’t I)? 

•  Last year I read Maya Angelou’s autobiography Mom & Mr & Mom.  It’s been on my mind since today is Mother’s Day.  Such a beautiful life.  

•  Cropped and Ferned.  Find me in this all summer long.  

•  Always do what Mama Says.  

I think you are wonderful.  Have the best Sunday!

xo Joy

Lavender-Infused Mom Collins

Mom Collins

Mom Collins

Good ol’ Tom Collins is about to get all gussied up.

The classic Tom Collins cocktail is a simple mixture of gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, and sparkling water.  Essentially, sparkling gin lemonade.  Undeniably delicious and summery.  

This Mother’s Day update includes floral lavender which plays very well with herbaceous gin and bright lemon.  Essentially, we’re giving this classic cocktail and sweet and feminine twist because we’re endlessly clever and thirsty.  

Cheers!

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Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas and a giveaway!

mothers day gifts

mother's day brunch ideas

Mother’s Day is right around the corner which means we better have our greeting cards thoughtfully worded and sent, our flowers ordered, and our brunch aprons poised and ready for action.  I’m not much for the obligatory holidays… the kind that require chocolate, flowers, hugs, and generally unnecessary celebration, but when it comes to celebrating MOM… there’s just no excuse not to.  That my mom endured every tantrum of mine between 1.5 and 33 years old is a downright miracle.  The least I can do is offer her flowers and breakfast once a year.   

I mean…

Here’s our breakfast inspiration.  It’s extra important this weekend:  

•  Lavender Blackberry Scones:  fragrant and berry studded.  You might swap the blackberries for blueberries or strawberries.  Whatever you prefer!

•  Baked Brown Butter and Pistachio Baked Donuts:  these gems are totally worth storing a baked donut pan in your kitchen cupboards for.  Salty, sweet, so pretty, so delicious.  

•  Kale Avocado and Tangerine Salad:  greens, creamy avocado, and bright citrus to balance out an otherwise rich and sweet brunch menu.  

•  Fresh Blueberry and Mint Lemonade:  I was obsessed with lemonade last summer and this deep purple blueberry concoction is just perfectly sweet, herby, and tart!  Also see:  Peach and Cardamom Lemonade.   

•  Muffuletta Pasta Salad:  New Orleans sandwich turned hearty pasta salad.  Dooooo it! 

•  Salty Honey Pie:  Pie means love.  This unique, sweet and salty pie would be delicious with fresh fruit and whipped cream.  

•  Sausage Cheddar and Grits Frittata:  For what this quiche lacks in crust, it makes up for in GRITS!  Savory, cheesy and eye-wideningly good.  

•  Brown Butter Banana Bread:  A standard.  Never to be outdone.  

•  Spinach and Strawberry Chopped Salad:  If you put fruit in your salad… it’s more dessert than salad, right?  Almost.  

mothers day gifts

Let’s talk about gifts too!  Here are a few of my favorites for Mom and a GIVEAWAY if you read the details below! 

•  The Wreath Recipe Book.  My mom loves flowers and gardening and I love the idea of a recipe flower arranging and wreath making.   Clever as ever.  

•  Pansy Pink Nail Polish.  Bright and youthful for Summer.  

•  Diana Ralys Skin Health.  My favorite face products are all-organic, lovingly made, and super effective.  I think the Moisture Detox Mask would be great for Mom, or treat her to a luxe gift set that includes everything.  

As a gift to one of you, if you leave a comment below between May 7th and May 9th at midnight set, one of you will win a Mother’s Day Gift Set from Diana Ralys Skin Health!  

•  Cake Stand from Tapuy Glass.  Beautiful lace-inspired glass.  Super feminine and pretty.  I also love the small plates.  

•  Crystal Posy Studs.  Sparkly and classic.  

•  Red Handled Italian Kitchen Knives.  Good classic knives are the best gift, just don’t ask to ever borrow or even use it once it’s been gifted.  Sacred.  

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you do it up right! 

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Kiwi Mint Mojitos

Kiwi Mint Mojitos

Kiwi Mint Mojitos

It’s time we start perfecting our Porch Sit game.  

A Porch Sit is a late-afternoon gathering of friends, neighbors, a dog or two, a guitar or harmonica (optional), overlapping conversations, and sweet cold cocktails.  

A Porch Sit is vital to summer, happy relationships, and good health.  They stretch on into the evening and usually coincide with snacks, some sort of pasta salad, and a small dose of half-whispered gossip.

Cocktails are only part of the equation.  Part but essential.   

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How To Make The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Im not one for secrets.  Especially where chocolate is involved. 

I always have a few tricks up my sleeve and I can never keep them secrets for long.  Brown sugar baked bacon is one secret.  Sweet, salty, crisp, and perfect.  Adding that bacon to biscuits,  completely over the top good!  Brown butter in everything, most especially chocolate chip cookies…. another secret I just couldn’t keep to myself.  

Today another secret comes out.  We’re talking about the most perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  Soft, glossy, light and spreadable… and the secret ingredients are Rich Chocolate Ovaltine and heavy cream!  Malted chocolate milk powder and cream to add extra body, and a light whipped texture to our frosting.  It’s unexpected and perfect!  

I hope there is cake (and waaaay too much buttercream) in your future.  

The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Here’s what you’ll need:

• Three sticks (1 1/2 cups or 12 ounces) softened, unsalted butter.  I think it’s best to leave the butter out overnight to softened to room temperature through and through.  Softening butter in the microwave makes the butter more melty than soft and can break our perfect buttercream,  

•  Unsweetened cocoa powder, and lots of it.

•  Salt, to balance the mountain of powdered sugar.

•  A mountain of powdered sugar. 

•  Milk for moisture and softness.

•  Rich Chocolate Ovaltine, the chocolate malted milk powder adds a creamy softness to this buttercream and makes it extra rich, glossy, and luscious.  

•  Heavy cream because, always.  

•  Extra credit:  pure vanilla extract.  

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Let It Be Sunday

sunday sunday

Hello friends and happy Sunday!  Should we talk about the fact that it’s already May or does that make you hive-y?  Me too.  The days run away.  They really do.  Let’s do out very best to breathe deep and take in every bit.  

I’m at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee this weekend.  I’m not sure there is any place more lovely and pleasant and I’ll tell you more about my adventures next week.  Suffice it to say, I’m eating everything, I’ve ridden a horse, gazed at mountains, and have yet to eat a single blackberry.  Working on it.  File under:  weekend goals.  

I hope your day is extra caffeinated and all sorts of lazy.  

The Internet, this week, distilled:  

•  We need to talk about Baltimore, about Freddie Gray, about what’s happening with our nation’s policing.  I think the best person to do that with is David Simon.  David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish.  

•  Images from Nepal. In our prayers.    

•  Caution:  Appearing happy on social media can be used against you in a court of law.  

•  David Letterman on 33 Years in Late Night Television.  A legend.  He just can’t go.  We won’t know what to do with ourselves.  Really.  

•  The best and worst fonts to use on your resume.  We’re leering at you, comic sans.  

•  The anonymous sharing app Secret is shutting down but another anonymous app called Whisper is doing better than ever.  So… yes, apparently we still all want to sneak secrets to one another over social media, or at least some of us do.  The rest of us are still trying to figure out if we need to Snap Chat and why Pinterest is just all cat photos.  

•  Oh… should we talk about the fact that Millennials Don’t Trust Anyone?  Like… no one, except maybe every other person they follow on Instagram.  

•  Dr. Oz is kinda going through it right now.  Oprah broke up with him a little.  

•  As we head into summer months:  The Story of the Bikini  aka How Fun It Is To Be In Public In Your Underwear… it’s not.  

•  I LOVE these Hawaiian Floral Vans.  

•  Currently reading and absolutely loving:  This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage.  

Have the happiest day!  Tomorrow we’re talking about Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  Get your spoons ready now.  

xo Joy

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Maple Tamari Roasted Almonds

Maple Tamari Roasted Almonds

Maple Tamari Roasted Almonds

I have to find clever ways to NOT buy a bag of potato chips at the grocery store.  By ‘clever’ I mean I just don’t go down the chip aisle.  It’s my danger zone.  I know that if I do, I’ll likely eat potato chips for lunch and dinner that day, and repeat that same process for probably three days straight.  

I like salt and crunch.  I really like potato chips.  More than most.  More than many.  

I have to find creative ways to satiate my salt-tooth (like a sweet-tooth but different), and that means making my own gobble-able snack.  

These salty tamari and maple roasted almonds are all the spicy, salt, sweet, and crunch I need.  They’re not potato chips but… well, not even close but dang good, healthy and satisfying.  

Did I mention that I really like potato chips?  Just checking… 

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

I have good news for us, friends!  Two things.  One:  it’s Sunday.  Two:  life is not boring.  Life is big and beautiful and staggering and hard and long and short and thank goodness for Sunday.  

I hope this day finds you settled and just a little bit lazy.  I’m off to Jazz Fest here in New Orleans.  If you need me I’ll be in the Gospel Tent with a daiquiri.  

Happy day to you.  

I took some of the Internet and gathered it for you here:  

 •  Wonderful people are made, not born.  This is so great:  The Moral Bucket List 

•  This is staggering.  “In New York, almost 120,000 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 are missing from everyday life. In Chicago, 45,000 are, and more than 30,000 are missing in Philadelphia.”  Read.  1.5 Missing Black Men 

•  Robert Durst and another cold case.  Seriously? 

•  Is the first date too early for couples therapy?   Answer:  no. 

•  Belle Gibson lied about having brain cancer.  Generally and universally speaking, totally not cool.  But here’s why we’re part of the problem, too.  

•  A brief look inside the bizarre and sadistic Presidential Fitness Test.  I remember being reeeaaallly proud that I passed this test with flying colors.  

•  How to design a roller coaster that will make you beg for mercy.  I’d call uncle about 8 seconds in and that picture you captured of me in my moment of supreme terror… well that wasn’t very nice of you at all.  

•  I’m going on the I’m-Running-For-President Diet.  Oh wait… NO I’M NOT.  I confused myself with Jeb Bush which I’ll never ever do again.  

  Give this a listen:  Julia Turshen on The Design Observer.  

•  2015’s list of the 150 Best Bars in America.  Just in case.  

•  Inside the largest Buddhist settlement in the world.  There is big beauty in the world.  

•  Provisions by Food52 has some really beautifully crafted kitchen and life items.  I love this Blue Tart Plate and these perfect Biscuit Cutters.

Have the most wonderful Sunday!

xo Joy 

Strawberry Lattice Pie

Strawberry Lattice Pie

Strawberry Lattice Pie

It’s Summer Pie Practice Season.  Isn’t that what you call Spring?  

Beautiful strawberries are starting to hit the markets, and they’re a bit early for super sweetness, but not too early to start experimenting with pies and practicing our lattice technique!  

I hope this coming weekend finds you in the kitchen baking away.  Maybe throw some blueberries in this pie, or a handful of raspberries.  It’s the perfect time to get our Summer frame of mind right.  Also, doesn’t everyone want a pie in their house come Sunday night?  

Strawberry Lattice Pie

These strawberries are big, beautiful, and not quite sweet enough for pie.  Not to worry… nothing a little brown sugar can’t fix right up.  

For more in pie adventures, see:  Gluten-Free Strawberry Ginger Pie or Peach and Blueberry Pie… though it’s a little soon for peaches.  I suppose we just need to be more patient before we get all Summer-pie-happy.  

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Crispy Avocado Fries with Melty Cheese Dip

Avocado Fries

Avocado Fries with melty chess dip

It’s starting to look like I moved to New Orleans as an excuse to deep fry my California vegetables, make melty cheese dip, live off Red Beans and Rice, and plate after plate of fresh beignets.  That’s to say nothing of the sazeracs and oysters.

Truth is, I moved to New Orleans for the suffocating humidity alone.  

Not true at all.  No one has ever ever done that.  

We’ve entered into the 12 most beautiful days of the year here in New Orleans.  After living here for one year, I’m talking like I know…

These are the 12 days when it’s perfectly warm with pleasantly bearable humidity, long pink sunsets, and almost cool evenings.  It’s the perfection before the wrath of summer.  It’s… well, it’s what California is like ALL THE TIME.  

Let’s not talk about it anymore… let’s just fry these avocados. 

Avocado Fries with melty chess dip

Can I tell you a secret about free avocados?  

If you’re in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans or Brooklyn you can place an order with the awesome people of Good Eggs and receive a free bag of avocados!  Seems like the very best idea. 

Photographs by the lovely Gabrielle Geiselman with styling (aka throwing food around) by me.  Gabrielle is my friend, neighbor, and fellow avocado fiend.  

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