Homemade Hot Dog Buns


We are officially in ‘Last Meal’ territory.

You know that weird question people ask you… ‘What would you choose to eat as your last meal?’. Geeeez what a daunting question!  People ask it so frivolously.   When asked this question (and I’m asked this question with weird frequency) this dialogue runs through my head:

You know that’s actually going to happen right!?  We’re actually all going to have a last meal, because we’re all going to die.  I think you want me to talk about chocolate chip cookies right now, or prime rib, or I don’t know… but all I’m thinking about now is my own mortality and all the ridiculous things I have to ask God forgiveness for.  And now I’m thinking about your mortality… how do you like that?  And now I’m thinking about my cat’s mortality and really, I think that’s a rude thing for your to make me think of.  Why would you do that?  I thought we were friends.

It’s complicated in this brain.  Too real.



Hot dogs would totally be my last meal.  But …since it’s my last meal, these hot dogs must be exactly perfect.

All-natural.  All-beef.  Totes grass-fed.  Majorly organic. Homemade Poppy Seed Bun(!!!).  Hot dog charred to a crisp.  Like really really charred.  Topped with ketchup.  Topped with whole grain mustard.  Dotted with hot sauce.  Loaded with sauerkraut.  Three hot dogs, please.  One big bag of potato chips.  Two root beers with lots of ice.  Crushed ice. Some privacy.  Don’t worry about it.  It’s cool.

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Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut


I’d like to tell you I’m working on my tan, but that’s a dang lie.

I’m working on my sitting-at-my-desk-and-eating-banana-bread-and-drinking-too-much-coffee.  It’s a tough job but someone has got to hold up this end of the banana bread bargain.


While we’re here sharing all sorts of things, I should also tell you that ‘banana’ was the word I spelled incorrectly in Mrs. Saxon’s sixth grade Spelling Bee.  To be fair, you should know that I was dealing daily with frizzy bangs, I was standing in front of a class full of weirdos that included my mega-crush Hayden, I was trying to speak in a British accent because I had watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory too many times, and there are way too many ‘n’ and ‘a’ situations in the word banana.

I’m glad I could finally explain that one.  I feel better.

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Clementine and Red Wine Spritzers


It’s amazing where you can find a brief vacation when there’s not actually time to get away.

Mostly all you need is a brightly colored Mexican cloth and a sunset colored cocktail.


I’m aaallll sorts of ready to let these summer days wash over me, but my reality is much more indoor work style than outdoor beach style.  Is this your reality too?  It’s cool.  It’s totally cool.  We have wine, fancy fruit soda, warm air, late sunsets, and a few good friends to share it all with.  We won’t need much more.

Can we talk about this crazy awesome spritzer combination?  Clementine aaannnddd red wine!?  It’s unexpected.  It’s a high-five.  Trust me on this one!

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Roasted Strawberry and Toasted Coconut Popsicles


It feels like everyone is on vacation, in the sun, under palm trees, at the pool, living WELL (with good vacation hair)!  I’m happy for them.  I’m definitely really happy for them.  We should all take it to the beach these days.    Besides… vacation Instagrams are perfect daydreaming material.  So… thank you!  These popsicles are inspired by, and made for your summer vacation.  It’s important.  Let’s grab the sunscreen and get going!

Hm… here’s the part where I encourage you to treat yo’ self.  It’s time for a proper popsicle mold… totally time.

Ps. Come clean.  Have you been making ‘popsicles’ in ice cube trays?  Me too.  It’s cool.


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I Never Could Have Known


Most ridiculous stories start with one of a few lines. “Remember our last night in Morocco…?”  “So it seemed like a good idea at the time, but…” and “When I was eighteen…”

When I was eighteen.

I got this tattoo on my back on my eighteenth birthday.  Fourteen years ago.  My mom cried.  No wait… she didn’t cry.  She called me a masochist.  I wonder if she remembers that.  It made me wonder what she knew about masochism.

I got this tattoo on a whim.  Mostly because I could and I did.  No wait… it was more than that.  I felt like the only way I could express my individuality was with a Japanese character  I picked out of a plastic-coated tattoo artist book.  I undoubtedly employed phrases like “this just feels right” to convince myself and calm the nerves of the best friend I coerced into ditching 7th period with me.

This tattoo is the first in a long string of impulsive things I could do and did do as an adult in the world… including but not limited to: dropping out of college before even starting, moving to Vermont with a single suitcase and $973, that one thing I did on that bridge, and all the ridiculous things my Dad should not know about, ever… thanks.

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Sweet Corn Pancakes


I’m looking out for your weekend.  Also… let’s be real.  I’m looking out for my weekend, too.

I don’t know about you, but I need this weekend to feel extra different from the work week.  Like… forever different.  I want to cross at least four things off my Guilty Pleasure List.   Can we do this together?  Can we sleep until we’re boooored of sleeping?  Can we eat Cinnamon Sugar Toast at any time of the day or night?  Can we do that weird thing where we sit on the couch reading food magazines while listening to old Jewel songs and eating cold meatballs?  Is that one just my guilty pleasure…?  Jewel used to live in a van in Alaska, right!?  Nevermind…

I’m sure we can all agree to enjoy late-morning homemade pancakes.  The rest of our weekend guilty pleasures we should execute in private.  Things got a little weird with the meatballs (or was it Jewel that made things weird?).


Ps.  These pancakes are made all the more special and weekend-y with the addition of sweet summer corn.  You in?  (Heck yes you are!)

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


I haven’t been feeling at home lately.  I don’t think it’s an issue of physical location… I spend a hearty amount of time sitting at my desk.  I think this might be more of a brain-space problem… my brain is everywhere but in my head doing its job.

I’m not certain how to coax my brain back into the world of now.  I’ve been busying my poor brain with future work, future deadlines, and future anxieties.  The now is certainly suffering in a way that feels annoyingly paralyzing.

Making these cookies came to mind more as a meditation than a treat.  The act of melting butter down into a fragrant amber-colored fat, and creaming it with brown sugar feels like it could lead me home.  Toasted pecans and dark chocolate chunks stud the path.  The smell that fills the kitchen?… Yep, I think it’s working.  I’m finding my way home.

Thank you for being here with me.  Here is home, right?

Editor’s Note (it’s just me, Joy):

–  There’s no way I could mention chocolate chip cookies without mentioning the dad who taught me how to make cookies:  Dad the Baker.  Father’s Day is right around the corner, which makes this week a wonderful time the reminisce about Dad Lessons.  Oh how I need these every single day.

–  If you follow me on Instagram (and I’m super glad that you do!) you may be have seen that this weekend I’m part of a Pop-Up Bake Sale and Shop in Los Angeles.  Just sayin’.  Stay in the know!  

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Charred Mexican Zucchini


Remember that one time the four of us piled into one pedicab in Austin?  Remember how we were simultaniously being pedalled up the hill by one dude, and pushed up the hill by another?  Then we sat with candles and good company and drank sparkling pink wine and Gaby and I ate an entire loaf of bread?   You don’t remember?  It’s cool.  There’s a cell phone video to prove it all… except the bread eating.  No one wants to see that.

I was in Austin, Texas this past weekend and let me tell you what… Austin knows how to get down with grub and cocktails.  Austin-ites are a proud taco, pizza, beer, burger, and cocktail.  And people are friendly!  It feels like most everyone wants to give you a high-five and a breakfast taco.  I love Austin.

A cool way to get to know Austin is with Citygram, a super awesome interactive iPad magzaine.  Have you heard of this goodness!?  Citygram is about food, fashion, community, and design.  It’s interactive features are totally future!  It’s a really exciting project and it’s so cool to see the future all up in your face.  You might know Citygram founding editor Chris Perez from Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn.  He’s proud of Austin and doing really cool things to make the city shine.  Can you tell I’m a fan?  Yea…

I contributed this cheesey-filled roasted vegetables to Citygram! It’s a play on Mexican Street Corn.  It’s different and delicious.  Let’s do.

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Carrot Orange Ginger Bourbon Cocktail


Let’s have a Happy Hour cocktail and then walk down the street for hot dogs.  I mean it… let’s get outta here.


Before we hit the streets in search of a hot dog dinner adventure, let’s talk about a home Happy Hour situation.

This bright orange cocktail is electric!  There are two stars of this Home Happy Hour Show:  fresh carrot juice and tasty tasty bourbon.

I know.  You might think that carrot juice has no place in a cocktail.  But!  We’re making this at home, and we can turn our trendy juice cleanse into a re-tox cocktail if we wanna (and we definitely wanna).  Duh.

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Tomato and Peach Salad with Buttered Bread and Pistachios


It’s starting. It’s starting. It’s starting!!!

Get pumped. Get in the mood. Get out your pretty sandals and toe nail polish. It’s TIME!

…I’m talking about summer… and not the dreaded jean short, bikini life-styling, good beach hair part of summer that is totally stressful. I’m talking about peaches. With fresh peaches and ripe tomatoes, summer is set! Also, jean shorts are dumb… they’re either getting shorter or I’m getting older. They’re probably getting shorter… just sayin’.

This salad is a summer celebration. Yea… I said it. Also.. there’s bread and butter in this salad because a) I can’t help myself, and b) it’s delicious!

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