Apple Buttermilk Beignets and New Orleans Originals

jtb x nydj

Buttermilk Apple Beignets (1)

I‘m really excited to spend my first holiday here in New Orleans.  There’s a chill and a palpable spirit in the air.

New Orleans is such a unique place, it’s only natural that I would want to dive all the way into the holiday spirit here.  I’m hitting the streets to put together a casual holiday gathering with my friends at NYDJ.  In order to make it feel as special as New Orleans, I’m stopping in at some of favorite local shops:  LoomedNOLA for sweet and cozy gifts, Keife & Co for amazing wine, and St. James Cheese Company to make the perfect cheese plate.

No New Orleans gathering at my house would be complete without freshly-fried beignets.  They’re best enjoyed from scratch with your friends gathered around a heaping plate of fresh fried dough and powdered sugar.

I hope you find loads of holiday inspiration here!  Add a little New Orleans spirit to your holiday!

zNola Originals

Loomed Nola is my favorite textile store in New Orleans.  They sell lovely Turkish cotton kitchen towels, scarves, and blankets.  It’s the perfect place to shop for a thoughtful hostess gift or a comfy treat for your best girlfriend.

Keife & Co. is my go-to spot for wine in New Orleans!  Not only is it stocked with really unique bottles, the brothers that own the shop are more than willing to find the perfect bottle of bubbly for your holiday party without totally breaking the bank.  No pretension, just great wine and bubbles!

One of my favorite stops in New Orleans is St. James Cheese Company.  Step inside and the staff will dazzle you with cheese knowledge and let you sample your way through your cheese purchase.  Putting together a cheese plate can feel rather daunting but St. James makes it easy… and it’s always fun to eat all the cheeses before you buy them!

jtb x nydj (3)

I set out into the streets of New Orleans sporting my favorite pair of NYDJ jeans.  Super flattering, fitted, slimming, and real.  They’re perfect for jaunting around town in style and hoping in the kitchen to get down with some beignets.  My style also has to be functional.  I want to feel pretty, stylish, and I definitely need plenty of room to fry up and eat my fair share of New Orleans treats.

This holiday I’ve paired up with NYDJ to bring you flattering comfort, radiant style, and a big bundle of holiday inspiration and confidence.  Let’s look great, eat well, and entertain in easy style!  Here are all the recipes you need to do it!

nydj + jtb holiday party originals

jtb+nydj holiday recipes:  for cocktail, salad, and gifting inspiration!

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Let’s Leftover!

mashed potato waffles

Thanksgiving leftovers

The day after Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite day to eat… Chinese take-out food.  Anything that I didn’t boil on a stove or bake in the oven myself, please.  Anything that doesn’t taste like sage or pumpkin, please.  No pie, thank you.  I can’t with the cold gravy, ok?  Chinese take-out all the way.

If you, however, are the kind of resourceful and reasonable person that is  lovingly committed Thanksgiving leftovers, might I suggest a few things?

•  First.  Waffle the heck out of your mashed potatoes.  Melt cheddar cheese on top.  Sprinkle chives.  Take all the credit for potato genius.  Go on go on!  Mashed Potato, Cheddar and Chive Waffles!

•  Second.  Dutch Baby it!  This super simple, puffed, buttery, almost doughnut-y breakfast pastry is fantastic topped with any sort of fruit you have on hand.  I’m thinking cranberry sauce, orange segments, and a sprinkling of ground cloves!  Berry Dutch Baby Pancake!

Thanksgiving Leftovers

•  Third.  Sweet and salty grilled cheese with creamy brie cheese and leftover cranberry sauce pretty much hits the spot.  All of the spots.  Cranberry Brie Grilled Cheese.

•  Forth.  On the train to Leftover Town there are several stops.  This turkey, bacon, brie, and avocado situation is savory and satisfying and just about as ultimate as it gets.  If you were to add stuffing to this sandwich you would be a hero to many.  The Ultimate Turkey Club.

My work here is done.  Your leftover work is just beginning.  God speed.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

These are the days.  These really are the best of days.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the email, the bills, that thing you forgot to do but remember as soon as your head hits the pillow at night, the travel, the tasks, the endless lists, the all of it all.

But these are the days, whether we recognize them as the greatest or not.  They’re here just before they’re gone forever, and it’s out very important work to enjoy, cherish, and relish each one.

I’ve been busy entertaining my family this week in New Orleans.  Essentially I’m making them EAT ALL THE THINGS.  It’s an unwieldy, impossible, and truly decadent endeavor.  We’re laughing a lot, we’re swatting at each other, telling old stories about frizzy bangs and embarrassing falls.  This morning my family and I bet on ponies, cheered at their hustle, and admired their beauty at the Fair Grounds Race Course.  I left wanting to be a jockey  (waaaay too late for that) or a professional horserace gambler (which couldn’t possibly end well).   Needless to say, I’m so thankful for these days of mega family time.

I hope you’re spending this weekend with people who love you and know all the weird in you.

I love you and I’m so glad you come here and make all the pies and all the cookies.  You know the weird in me and I’m thankful for you.

xo Joy

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Inside the Baker’s Kitchen + Creamy Spiced Squash Soup with Parmesan Thyme Popovers

creamy spiced squash soup

creamy spiced squash soup

I‘ve been thinking a lot about comforts.

As I’m preparing to host my first Thanksgiving in New Orleans, I’m thinking a lot about exactly how to make my guests feel comfortable.  I’m thinking beyond moist stuffing and sweet cranberry sauce, because comfortable house guests require much more than one fancy meal on a Thursday.

I’m gathering baskets filled with filtered water, fancy soaps, good hand cream, extra toothbrushes just in case, extra blankets for the bed, a lavender spray for the bathroom, and a refrigerator full of snacks and comforts.

It’s essential and ultra luxurious… and since I don’t often host a house full of family (loud, hungry, crazy crazy family), it would be fair to say that maybe I’m going a bit overboard.

I’ve made a giant batch of this creamy squash soup and added a bit of ground clove and freshly grated nutmeg to highlight the sweet squash.  Salty pancetta breadcrumbs add a bit of crunch, and the whole deal is waiting in the refrigerator for a Thanksgiving week lunch.

I expect to feel proud and accomplished, until I run out of popovers and someone asks for more.

inside the baker's kitchen

We’re back in the kitchen with KitchenAid and it’s time to work these shelves.  It feels like I’m going to have every pan and every appliance on their job this week.  For this creamy soup and crispy popovers, I’m using a few new favorites:  the 7-speed Hand Mixer which is a savior for quick baking jobs, and the Pro Line® Series Cordless Hand Blender for the smoothest, creamiest blended soups.

If you missed our first Inside the Baker’s Kitchen, be sure the check out these sweet and savory biscuits!

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Let It Be Sunday

all the wines

be all the wines

Happy Sunday, my friends!

I’m glad you’re here with your whole Sunday self.  This Sunday list has become my favorite post to write each week.  I treasure this time we have together to talk about world news, Uber, our personal finances and… Tinder.  Always with the Tinder these days.

I hope you’re happy and caffeinated, or at least well on your way to both.  I think you are tremendous and I’m glad we’re friends.

The Internet, smaller:

•  Tell me all of your passwords.  Do they include your cat’s name, the name of your imaginary unicorn, your first apartment number, plus an exclamation point?  Me too. From the NYTimes, The Secret Life of Passwords.  Memories, meaning, cat names, and all-the-way-on-the-inside jokes.

•  Important update regarding our morning beverage: Bone Broth is the new cup of coffee.  I’ve experimented with broths before.  I tried this Miracle Mineral Broth.  Turns out, less is more.  Turns out, more is ouch… aka the worst tummy ache on the planet.

•  Like it, or not.  The best argument for, and against Obama’s executive action on immigration.

•  There has been a lot of hubbub this week about Uber’s ability to track their riders.  It’s not right, but I’m confident in the fact that I’m entirely uninteresting to track.  BUT  would you believe that FitBit information is about to be used in a court of law?  That’s freaky.

•  What life in space is really like.  I’ve seen the movie Gravity… so it’s exactly like that, right!?

•  I’ve gotten really good at talking to strangers in airports.  Mostly strangers don’t want to be talked to in airports but when you find the few that do, good things tend to happen.  I met a man, he lives somewhere in Seattle, he travels to Peru often, he was sure to tell me he was happily married, I was sure to high-five him on his happy marriage.  He ate quesadillas and recommended this book to me:  Pie School by Kate Lebo.  Good call, stranger!  Thank you!

•  What Texting Does To The Spine.  Spoiler alert:  it’s not good.

•  On keeping our dollars right and tight: Meet Mr. Money Mustache, the man who wants you to spend money like you’re poor.

•  The Serial Podcast.  You’re obsessed.  I’m obsessed.  Here are Charts For People Obsessed With Serial.

•  Tinder seems to be an infinite source for sex, dating, and social commentary.  Tinder might be the new Twitter.  I’m scared.  Tinder Guys Unknowingly Answer Carrie’s Questions from “Sex and The City”.  

•  Nashville!  Oooh HEY!  I’m signing books and telling awkward stories at Parnassus Books on December 13th at 2pm.  Then I’m going to eat and drink all the things.  See you!

pictured above is wine times at Keife & Co.  

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Brown Butter Cranberry Almond Pancake Muffins

Brown Butter Cranberry Almond Pancake Muffins

Brown Butter Cranberry Almond Pancake Muffins

Well… I mean… once you have half a bag of fresh cranberries sitting in your refrigerator, you really can’t ignore them.  Technically, you can ignore them until they soften and just about turn themselves into something between wine and jam… but that takes months and is not listed among ideas that are good.

These particular fresh cranberries were left over from the Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie:  a good idea that I will continue to support.

It’s the weekend which means it’s time for warm things straight from the oven, preferably covered in maple syrup.

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Ten Things I Have Learned From My Cat


10 Things I Learned From My Cat

Have you met my ca-animal named TRON?  The cat previously known as Jules Cat Stevens (an entirely unfitting name for this beast of an animal)? TRON is the fluffy, hungry, lazy, crazy creature I let live in my house.  Not only do I let him live with me, but I feed him, well and plentifully.  He’s part wolverine, part shark, and cat so he deserves the best (and a lot of it), so I was thrilled when the folks at Beyond Natural Cat Food approached me about working together on a series celebrating my cat!  Just let it happen… In the coming weeks I’m even designing the perfect CatLady Gift Set (yessss), as well as tips on how to keep your cat healthy and happy.

Over our four short years together, I’ve gotten to know this TRONCAT very well.  He has taught me a handful of lessons about naps, balance, patience, judgement, and good food.

If you have a cat (or pet shark) of your own I’m sure you can relate to one, if not all of the following lessons and nuggets of life advice from TRONCAT.

Thank you in advance for letting my inner CatLady shine.

1.  Every time is nap time.  That means when the little hand on a clock is on any number, and the big hand on a clock is also on any number… you should probably nap.  Go on and get it.  Rest is important.

2.  You’ve seen your human (that girl who feeds you) MEOW the lyrics to songs.  Meowing is universal and especially effective at dinnertime.

3.  Here’s why a hiss is effective.  It’s understated and reveals fangs.  No need to be loud or over the top.  Keep calm but show everyone you’re serious. Also… you have claws for backup, but generally an understated hiss will get your point across.

4.  Most people are the worst people.  Unless, of course, they’re wearing black pants for you to rub your orange fur against… or unless they’re the person that feeds you delicious food.

5.  Scratch the people you love LESS than you scratch the people you don’t like… like, a lot less.  Also consider throwing your loved ones the occasional cuddle but always end the cuddle with a scratch across the knee.  Be nice, but not too nice.

6.  Run away from home exactly ONCE.  Always come home.  Remember, you don’t have to chase the food that falls in your bowl indoors.  Your human places it there because she makes good choices and let’s face it… napping takes priority over chasing food outdoors.

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Mushroom and Mash

Mushroom and Mash

Mushroom and Mash

I just realized something essential to my next week.  Um… this is my first Thanksgiving!  This is the first year, of my 33 years in the world, that I’m hosting my first totally-grown, matching-casserole-dishes, not-paperplate, make-all-the-pies THANKSGIVING at my New Orleans apartment with aaallll of my family.

I’m pretty sure this is a big deal.

I need a plan.  I really need a plan.

Nervously tapping my foot, biting my nails, and drinking toooooo much coffee is not a plan, right?  It’s the opposite of a plan.

I’m putting together a meal that is simple, casual, non-traditional, and filled with sides and pies.  I’m not cooking a turkey… which either makes me THE WORST person, or a genius.  Probably the worst, but even knowing that, I’m still not doing it.  We’re going to enjoy a giant pot of gumbo and aaalll of the Thanksgiving sides, including these fluffy and earthy mashed potatoes.

The plan is coming together (and also includes a triple batch of this Mac and Cheese).

Mushroom and Mash

Being bigtime thankful is also part of the plan.  Thankful for New Orleans, and visiting family, and warm gumbo, and mashed potatoes with roasted mushrooms.  Thankful for all of the good and the gnarly and everything in between.

The Internet wants us to succeed next week:

•  I’m definitely into group games… unless I have to act something out and hope people guess it:  10 Thanksgiving Games To Make The Holiday Fun For Everyone

•  These Molasses Spice Cookies are developing quite the reputation here in New Orleans.  I also love Jessica’s Thanksgiving Dos and Don’ts.  

•  I’m not making a turkey BUT I am ordering aaallll of the gumbo from Cochon Butcher.

•  Dijon Maple Green Beans sound like juuust the ticket.  They also have bacon and feta!

•  Deb’s Pretzel Parker House Rolls!  Just pretzel everything, thanks!

• Tracy’s Creamed Spinach should be an everyday thing, don’t you think?

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Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie (7)

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie (7)

I’ve set out on the very serious task of brainstorming ALL of the Thanksgiving pies.  Good reason.  I’m preparing the welcome most ALL of my family to New Orleans for Thanksgiving.  There will be no turkey in my oven.  There will be no stuffing.  Green beans and cranberry sauce are a major maybe.

There will be a tremendous amount of gumbo and an equally tremendous amount of pie, Apple Cranberry among them.

In addition to a bounty of gumbo and pie, I’m also prepared for a week full of (ohhh gosh) family fun with a detailed week-long itinerary, a bull horn, a few bottles of bourbon, and a whistle.  I mean… right?

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

Send help.

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

5 Tips To The Best Pie Crust / joythebaker

Chocolate Pecan Derby Pie

You know what breaks my heart?  Store-bough pie crust.  It’s a tragedy.  It’s a crime against good pie.  It’s illegal in at least eight states.  It’s not cool and I just can’t let you do it to yourself.  See, store-bought pie crust is usually made up of unpronounceable fats that can’t possibly taste good.  What does taste good?  Butter in pie crust.  Two syllables.  Approachable and delicious.

Let’s talk about how to make the best pie crust from scratch.  All it takes is a bit of confidence, a good amount of cold butter, tenacity, and a love of pie.

A pastry teacher once told me that ingredients can smell your fear.  It’s true.  Butter can sense your hesitation.  With these tips, I hope you’re inspired to get in the kitchen this holiday season and make a pie.  You can totally do it.  I’m a believer… and also, I’ll know if you buy a store-bought crust.   I have a sense about these things.

Here’s the lowdown on pie crust.

•  Flour, sugar, and salt are whisked together.

•  Cold, cubed butter is added and broken down into the dry ingredients.

•  Buttermilk is stirred in creating a shaggy but moist-ish dough.

•  With a wink and a prayer, dough is kneaded together, left to rest in the refrigerator, then rolled out into a buttery, sturdy, soon-to-be-flakey dough.

You can do it, here’s some extra know-how:

1.  The first rule of successful pie crust:  Keep your butter cold!

See, there’s a reason that our fat starts cold and needs to stay cold before the pie crust hits the oven.  Butter is made up of milk solids and water.  When cold butter hits a hot oven, the water in the butter evaporates quickly, helping to create a flavorful and flakey crust.  When warm, soft butter goes into a hot oven, the butter weeps in the crust before it evaporates.  No one wants a weepy butter crust.

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Posted in Pie

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

It’s Sunday and aren’t we glad!

I spent much of this week in Oklahoma (Oklahoma!!), signing cookbooks and visiting Ree’s ranch, feeding cattle, gawking at wild mustangs, and incorrectly answering ranch trivia questions from Cowboy Josh.  My city roots are strong.  I don’t know much about cows.  This has become very clear.

Here’s the thing about these book signings.  First, THANK YOU for coming out.  Second, the more strangers I stand in front of is directly related to the amount of ex-boyfriend stories I awkwardly share.  More strangers. More stories.  It’s a ridiculous quirk.

I’m home for a bit and trying to wrap my mind around Thanksgiving.  Luckily the Internet is exploding with cranberry sauce recipes (straight face emoji).  Are you in the turkey spirit?  Not to worry, we’ll get there together.

Here is what the Internet was trying to tell us this week:

•  Let’s go ahead and know what’s going on with our President and his upcoming immigration reform.  Executive order is a big deal.

•  This Frontline Documentary is really interesting:  The Rise of ISIS.

 We celebrated Veteran’s Day this past week and this short audio recording is so real and raw and important.   A Marine’s Parents’ Story:  The Memories You Should Hear

•  “The examination to become a London cabby is possibly the most difficult test in the world — demanding years of study to memorize the labyrinthine city’s 25,000 streets and any business or landmark on them.”  The Test To Become A London Cabby

•  What it’s like to be black or female in Silicon Valley.

•  From Gawker:  Both You and Morgan Freeman Are Wrong About Racism

•  Science says relationships come down to two basic traits.  This article has some really great thoughts!  Are we masters or disasters?

•  Go: What I learned from going to NYC with $100 and no hotel reservation

•  Sorry I Murdered Everyone, But I’m An Introvert.  These things happen.

Happy Sunday to you!  I love you and can’t wait to cook for us next week.

xo Joy

Inside The Baker’s Kitchen + Sweet and Savory Buttermilk Biscuits

biscuits sweet and salty

inside the baker's kitchen

Once upon a time I was a baker in a professional kitchen.  I’m talking about the kind of kitchen with bins of flour so large they you could climb inside and take a nap…. the kind of kitchen where you had to yell (and I mean YELL) ‘behind’, so no one crashes into your pan of scones on their way to the oven…. the kind of kitchen that was noisy, full of chocolate, hot pans, sheet trays for days, savory scones… and smelled REALLY GREAT.

I spent so much time in the professional kitchen that my home kitchen was as modest as it was tiny.  I had two mixing bowls, a spoon, and a spatula to my name.  Why bother with more than one cake pan when I make ALL of the cakes in a rowdy kitchen with thundering ovens?

My working kitchen these days is very different.  I have more than one cake pan.  I have more than a single wooden spoon, yes… and while it’s still a humble kitchen, there are a few tools in the kitchen that feel like necessary extravagances.

I want to take some time to talk about what I keep in my Baker’s Kitchen.  I think it’s important to know what’s over-the-top extravagant, and what’s a reasonable tool to stock.  Kitchen real-estate is a precious commodity.  Let’s only stock up with what we really need.

I’ve partnered with my very favorite kitchen brand KitchenAid in a 3-part series to show you some of my very favorite kitchen tools and baker’s tricks.  It doesn’t take a lot to coax great flavors and flakey crusts out of the oven.

Today we’re talking about my favorite 11-cup Food Processor.  It will have you making ALL of the biscuits, ALL of the pie crusts, and ALL of the pesto.  It’s the best, and super versatile!

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Notes From The Road

book larder

notes from the road, literally

Hey friends!  I’ve been on the road for the past month to celebrate, sign, and coax people to buy my second cookbook Homemade Decadence.  Literally… on the road, in the road, get-out-of-the-road-trying-to-take-a-picture-of-that-bridge-or-you’re-going-to-get-hit-by-a-car.

I’ve been in cities east and west, made countless pies, and written awkward paragraphs in many many books.  Here are a few images from the road.  Lots of coffee.  Lots of life.

These are the days!  Thank you for being part of them with me.

Note:  The booties above are Seychelles (since so many of you were curious).

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Baking Bootcamp: Gruyere and Green Olive Rolls

Gruyere and Green Olive Rolls

Gruyere and Green Olive Rolls

The first thing you should know is that it’s time for our THIRD installment of Baking Bootcamp with King Arthur Flour! Bring out your jazz hands. It’s about that time.

The second thing you should know is that we’re making the most delicious and chewy, salty and cheesy loaves. Like cinnamon rolls, hold the cinnamon, extra Gruyère and green olives.

The third thing you should know is that I always wanted to be a hand model so I’m beyond satisfied with myself here… that’s just my truth.

Gruyere and Green Olive Rolls

For our first baking bootcamp we piled berries high and braided bread for the Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread. You amazed me with your kitchen bravery.

For our second baking bootcamp we folded dough and made Apple Pie Biscuits. So stellar. You guys got all up in the season!

Now we’re taking a step to the savory side. Salty and soft. And we’re using an entirely new flour: King Arthur Flour’s Unbleached Bread Flour!

Baking Bootcamp Essentials III

Here’s what we’ll need:

1 • King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour.  High protein content for chewy and sturdy buns!

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

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

4 • A good 9×13-inch baking pan is a kitchen staple.  The new ones are nice, mine happen to be covered in years of kitchen rust. Part of the charm!

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

6 • We’re going to need lots of medium shreds of Gruyere cheese. Box Grater to the rescue!

7 • I like a natural bristle kitchen brush in my arsenal.  Great for egg washing biscuits and rolls!

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

9 • These wooden spoons just get better with time.

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

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

12 • I go through Paring Knives like I go through socks.  How is it possible to have them one day and then lose them the next? I don’t know.  Clearly I have an issue.

Gruyere and Green Olive Rolls

There are loads of resources to help you get from here to warm cheesy buns.

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

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

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

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

The idea is simple!

• Make these Gruyère and Green Olive Rolls (they’re sooo delicious!) and take a picture of your creation!

• Follow @joythebaker and @kingarthurflour on Instagram

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

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

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

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Let It Be Tuesday!

seattle bridge!

I’ve been in Seattle this past week.  It’s all greens, bridges, and clouds.  If you’re wondering why Seattle is completely out of coffee and wine this week… that was me.  I drank it all.  It wasn’t pretty.  Sorry.

Let’s go ahead and add “nervous breakdown” to the list of things we should never Google, or admit to Googling.  Ooops.  But, I mean… if you have the foresight to Googling it, does it mean that you’re probably not having one?  Probably.  Likely.  Don’t look at me.

The Internet is a mad world.  Here’s some:

•  ‘Alex From Target’ and the Mess of Uncontrollable Fame.  The internet is the weirdest place and I suppose now a random candid picture of you at work can lead to hundreds of thousands of social media followers and tweets from Ellen.  But what do you even doooo with that!?  “Fame has always been fickle; but in the past, ascending to internet stardom involved at least some effort on the part of a fame-seeker.”.  Does anything mean anything anymore?  Not rhetorical.

•  “In short, people with A.D.H.D. may not have a disease, so much as a set of behavioral traits that don’t match the expectations of our contemporary culture.”  A Natural Fix For ADHD

•  It takes some comedic bravery to say the words Chris Rock does.  There’s something beyond the humor though… always. Chris Rock Monologue on SNL

•  On Kindness:  My Mother Is Sick  FYI: Really beautiful.

•  Where do all of these stories even come from?  People that are brave enough to go out and get them.  The Committee to Protect Journalists says that 370 journalists have been killed in the last 10 years as a direct result of their jobs.  Here’s that story.

•  Broken Sleep:  People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love.  What have we lost by sleeping straight through?

 Tomorrow we have another Baking Bootcamp!  First we made Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread then Apple Pie Biscuits.  Tomorrow we hitting up the savory side!

•  The Kitchn has some lovely Thanksgiving inspiration.  Not complicated or fussy.  Just right.

•  No You Are Not “Running Late”, You Are Rude And Selfish.  Think about it.

•  I’m going back to school with PBS and The Fault In Our Stars‘ John Green:  Crash Course.  Is this going to be on the test?

•  Milk Stout and Sea Salt Caramels.  Perfect.

I hope you sail through this Tuesday.  Google all the cries for help you need to.  Maybe just don’t me like me and tell aaalll of the Internet.

Cool. Byeee!

Oat and Pistachio Crumble Topped Baked Sweet Potatoes

Oat and Pistachio Crumble Topped Baked Sweet Potatoes

Oat and Pistachio Crumble Topped Baked Sweet Potatoes

These November days are quickly running away which can only mean one thing:  we’re going to need to think about Thanksgiving and let’s try not to completely freak out about it.

It’s possible… the thinking without the freaking out.  We’ll make a plan.  We’ll ask someone else to roast a turkey.  We’ll cross our fingers a few times.  It will all work out.  Part of our success includes roasting aaalll of the sweet potatoes and adding oats and pistachio.  We’re making a play on Sweet Potato Pie:   no crust, extra crumble, easy and delicious!

Oat and Pistachio Crumble Topped Baked Sweet Potatoes

When in doubt, can we just go ahead and add an oat crumble?  Hearty and sweet, buttery and spiced.  The oats make for a wholesome crumble that is both comforting and substantial.  We’re going to need the hearty oats to stand up to the butter and not shy away from the spices and sweet potato.  Balance, you know?

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Pumpkin Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Pumpkin Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies (10)

Pumpkin Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies (9)

My food brain dreamed up these shortbread cookies with creamy pumpkin caramel back in June when the rest of you were thinking about watermelon and Jell-O shots, and bikini tops, and summer sunsets, and all of the amazing summer things.  I was sweating it out in my kitchen, covered in pumpkin puree, completely confused by the smell of holiday spices.

It’s about time these cookies make sense!  I mean… I’m wearing a scarf for goodness sake.  A scarf!

better homes and gardens

I made these cookies back in June for this month’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  These cookies are just one of a good handful of pumpkin recipes that fill the pages.

All I’m saying is… this is really good news on the pumpkin front.  Because there is a pumpkin front…. we’re looking right at it.

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Candy Bar Cookie Bars

Candy Bar Cookie Bars (7)

Candy Bar Cookie Bars

This is me finding a solution to your Halloween candy dilemma.  It’s a problem, right?  I mean… how are we supposed to live surrounded by the mini Snickers bars?  It’s entirely distracting. Snickers breakfast lunch and dinner.  Let’s not talk about it.  Instead, let’s add butter and flour and disguise our Halloween stash into chewy sweet and salty cookie bars… all suited and booted for sharing and giving.

Suit and boot.  That’s what we do around here.

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Let It Be Sunday

let it be sunday

let it be sunday

Hello friends!  I hope this finds you properly reclined and sipping on something Sunday.  I’m been back in New Orleans for a week of waaaay too much Halloween fun.  I dressed up as Cleopatra.  Fierce with a side of crazy-eyes.  I’m sorry I’m not more forthcoming with photographic evidence.  I also bought a bag of Halloween candy and find that I’m mostly just eating it myself because… just let it happen.  I’m packing my bags to head to the west coast for a week.  I hope to see you in San Francisco and Seattle to show you how to make pie and write in your copies of Homemade Decadence.  It’ll be fun!

I hope your Sunday is relaxed and mellow.  I hope you over-indulge in Halloween candy even if you have to sneak it from your kid’s  stash.  Just hide the empty wrappers in the trash can… not like I’ve ever done that… who steals candy from children!?

Here is this week’s internet, condensed.  Carry on (and on and on).

•  My very favorite chef Jacques Pepin, on ketchup and other important things.

•  A woman walked around New York City for 10 hours and filmed every catcall she received.

•  A long read for a short weekend:  The Secret Life of an ISIS Warlord.

•  “How could gluten, present in a staple food that has sustained humanity for thousands of years, have suddenly become so threatening?”  What the what happened?  Against The Grain.

•  My Life On Olive Garden.  I’m getting each one of you a Pasta Pass for the holidays so GET EXCITED!

•  Similarly… My Week With A Flip Phone.  Committed but not insane… I mean, really.

•  We Are All Confident Idiots, I’m sure of it.

•  Theo Padnos on being kidnapped, tortured, and released in Syria.  This piece is 100%.  

•  Categorize under: truth is stranger/worse/more madness than fiction.  Mexico’s First Lady Of Murder Is On The Lam.

•  This is really interesting:  The Ten Greatest Changes In The Last 1,000 Years.

•  I’m headed to San Francisco and Seattle next week!  I’m giving away 4 tickets to the San Francisco pie demonstration and book signing.  Comment on this post, I’ll pick four of you tonight and see you at the signing tomorrow night!! Easy, right?

•  I need a kitchen blow torch because I want to make Creme Brûlée French Toast a reality for us.

Tweet Game Strong.  The very best of the very worst of the very funniest tweets.

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Apple Snap Cocktails

Apple Snap Cocktails (4)

Apple Snap Cocktails (4)

It’s time for a new go-to cocktail.  This summer’s negroni and sangria indulgences are long past me.  I’m looking for an Autumn cocktail that feels ample and cozy… but nothing like mulled wine or syrupy sweet pear drinks.

Has there ever been a tasty mulled wine?  I think no.

Apple Snap Cocktails

I wanted to combine the sweetness of fruit with the spiciness of the season.  Apple juice.  Fresh pressed and unfiltered.  Bourbon, naturally.  Lime and bubble water.  But spiiiiice! Needed and necessary.

Have you heard of Art In The Age?  They make the most lovely, unique organic spirits.  My favorite this season is SNAP, inspired by old school Pennsylvania Dutch ginger snaps.  Yessss, right?

SNAP is made from a neutral alcohol, molasses, ginger, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, tea, and sugar.  So so good!  Pairs perfectly with bourbon (yes!) and fresh apple.  I’ll be sipping on this SNAP all winter and I’m pretty sure I’ll keep a bottle or two around for hostess gifts.  It’s a treat.

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