Homemade Honeycomb Candy

IMG_1636

I’ve always wondered what chemistry tastes like.  Wait… is that a thing that people say?  No.  You’re right.

A lot of things are chemistry in the kitchen, but this honeycomb situation is burning hot, boiling chemistry all up in your face.  It’s not like that time you threw in cayenne pepper with your olive oil and corn kernels to make popcorn and gassed yourself out of the house.  That’s homemade pepper spray and I’ve definitely never done that… but I know someone who has.

When sugar is boiled down with a bit of water and vinegar, things seem pretty benign.  When baking soda and vigorous whisking are added to the mix, things change, on the quick.  The result? Fluffy sweet, crunchy sweet, completely addictive sweet CANDY!

I love this life.

Oh!

Ps.  If my last post on Chocolate Dipped Bananas left you feeling like I was engaged to be married, rest assured that I am not engaged.  If I were, I probably wouldn’t announce it in a Chocolate Dipped Banana post.  I received a few congratulatory emails and I thank you… and that was awkward for me alone.  …I’m going to go clean the kitchen now.  I love you.  Not weird.

Read more

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

IMG_1304

I feel like every blog should have a safeword.

We need a word that says, ‘Um… why are you posting way less on your blog these days. Are you pregnant?’  No.

We need a word that says ‘I know you’re phoning it in with that compilation of past posts post’.  It’s cool.

We need a word that says ‘Cool, you’re engaged!  I’m going to unfollow you on Pinterest immediately’.  It’s nothing personal.  It’s a wedding thing.

We need a word that says ‘Did you really just post a recipe for ICE!?’.  I’m sorry.

I was going to have our safeword here be ‘Lasagna Grilled Cheese‘… but we can’t use that anymore because that’s a thing now.  Our safeword definitely can’t be ‘Chocolate Dripped Bananas’ because that’s obviously a thing.  Maybe our safeword should be ‘gorilla pants’… until I get a pair.  I’ll let you know when that happens.  Until then, ‘gorilla pants’ is our safeword.

I’m really glad we had this talk.

IMG_1127

Read more

Watermelon Strawberry Citrus Sangria

IMG_1282

There is a thing in the world… it’s called Really Bad Sangria.  This is not that.

Really Bad Sangria is a mixture of  cheap red wine (not cool, but not a crime), sliced oranges (fairly benign), and grapes (questionable, but tolerable).  The combination of bad wine and boring fruit… that’s Really Bad Sangria.

Let’s talk about Really Good Sangria!

Really Good Sangria is pink.  Really Good Sangria contains fruit that feels like a treat!  See: watermelon and fresh strawberries.  Really Good Sangria is layered with wine, and vodka, and lemon or orange liquor.  Really Good Sangria is REALLY GOOD!  This is that.

IMG_1179

It’s the weekend!  Get at that melon!

Read more

Taco Seasoning + Charred Corn Tacos

IMG_0969

I like to drink wine from rocks glasses, with two hands, sitting alone at a bar.

I like to eat avocados standing in the kitchen, staring at the wall, with extra salt and too much lemon.

I like to eat summer corn raw, in clusters.  I like to binge on cherry tomatoes.  I like to eat tacos in excess… extra spiced.

Please never let the summer be over.  Please and thank you.

IMG_1033

T-minus five days (give or take) before I make some sort of taco grilled cheese sandwich concoction.  I’m sorry/totally NOT sorry.

Read more

Away From White

on toast: white bread

JOY_COLORTOPIA

I know a lot about white spaces.

I work in a white-walled space.  Blank canvas.

I bake from white bowls.  Blank canvas.

I type words into a white page.  Blank canvas.

Working in white can offer a sense of freedom… like anything is possible.  Working in white can also be overwhelming… like, whaaattt the heck do I do?

Where do we pull our color inspiration from?  That’s a big question right?  Let’s talk this out.

IMG_2483

I’m talking about whites because, for the first time, I’m taking my office space from white to not white… and I definitely need some help.  Where do you go from white?

Read more

Strawberry Raspberry Crisp

IMG_0925

My summer love language is pink and fruity.  All I want to do this weekend is put Van Morrison in my headphones, tool down the bike path at the beach, people-watch, seagull-watch, and express my affections in strawberries and raspberries.

 Good, right?  What more do we really need?  (If your answer to that rhetorical question was: CRISP OAT TOPPING!!!… then you’ve totally come to the right place.)

IMG_0882

We don’t even need a bowl for our mellow summer baking.  This crisp topping can come together on a clean counter or a plain ol’ baking sheet.

Pile together flour, oats, sugar, and spice and work in cold butter and walnuts.

This is totally relaxed summer baking.  Embrace it!

Read more

Lemon Ricotta Waffles with poppy seeds

IMG_0839

I have a pretty simple business model when it comes to the work that I do between the kitchen counter and the computer desk:  just keep doing things.

Oh geez…

This business model is so many things: boring and exhausting, thrilling and unexpected, and fun and so not fun sometimes.

Sometimes when I ‘just keep doing things’… waffles happen.  Really delicious, really soft, really tender, really flavorful waffles.  The only downside of waffle-doings is that within my business model I’m usually eating waffles with my fingers while standing at the kitchen counter staring at the spice rack. The spice rack is dirty.  Just keep doing things!  Vicious cycle.

This morning… before I spun into ‘just keep doing things’, I took some time to read The Skimm.  Are you into this?  The Skimm is a daily newsletter that condenses international headlines into an informative and  manageable email.  It’s news you want to read.  I REALLY love it.  What I also really appreciate is that The Skimm is run by two smart ladies who seem like they ‘just keep doing things’ too… and they’re doing a really great job.

Let’s lemon ricotta.  These are GOOD!

Read more

Lasagna Grilled Cheese

IMG_0734

It’s like… what won’t I put between two slices of grilled bread?

Well.  I won’t put cake between grilled bread.  I promise to never put cookie dough between grilled bread (though… wait, is that sounding good to anyone else?).  I won’t ever smash pie and grilled bread together.  Ice cream.  Nope.

I will, however, try to smash every comforting savory food I can think of into a sandwich.  Yesterday:  Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  Today:  Lasagna. Tomorrow:  I think I just heard someone whisper ‘Taco’ in my ear.  Whoa.

IMG_0760

I can’t deal…  I’ll just eat it all.

Read more

Peach + Pink + Toasted + Roasted

peach and blueberry pie

I’ve been reminiscing a lot these days… mostly because I’m wearing the same pair of jean shorts that I’ve worn for the past two summers, and they’ve either shrunk or my thighs are getting… stronger (see what I did there?).  The summer days have me thinking in peach dreams and strawberry fields.  It’s in the air.  I also love how the streets in my little beachy neighborhood are abuzz with people carrying surf boards and beach towels.  I love it!

I’ve spent a lot of summers here on Joy the Baker which means I’ve made my fair share of amazing summer treats.  Can we talk about that?   Can we be inspired by the past?  Can we also talk about the Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich I’m going to bring you tomorrow?  Oh man… the other day I did a search for ‘grilled cheese‘ on Joy the Baker…it’s too real.

I’m thinking PIE this summer.  Are you? This  Peach Blueberry Pie feels particularly festive.  The smell?  Don’t even get me started.

peach cobbler scones

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a stacking addiction.  I might also have a scone and butter addiction.  Addictions (and peaches) collide: Peach Cobbler Scones.  

Read more

What You’re Reading

elsewhere

It’s always hard to leave behind a long holiday weekend.  I was away this holiday weekend.  I was less than two hours from home, but it felt like a continent away.  Big shady trees.  Skies full of stars.  Extended cocktail hours.

There’s something so essential about being away.

Being away means that I get to live in a different kitchen, leisurely eat big ol’ pineapples, sit out on different porches, sip from different glasses, and read different books.  Being surrounded by different things is good on the heart and steady on the brian.

Because it’s summer, because it’s the season of being away, because we just need to warm-weather words… I took to Twitter and asked you for great summer-read recommendations.

Your recommendations were  so excellent and enthusiastic I thought we should share this list with all of you.  Keep in mind that I haven’t read all of these books, but you have and you think they’re great!  Check them out (literally… from the library). Click around.  See if anything strikes you. These are the days and it’s such a blessing to live them.

What You’re Reading:  Summer 2013

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls David Sedaris  (always and forever.)

Love In The Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Diviners Libba Bray

I Was Told There’d Be Cake Sloane Crosley

Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen

The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

(there is  waaaaaay more list after the click)

Read more

Ritz Cracker Ice Cream Sandwiches

IMG_0469

I don’t know if I’ve made a terrible mistake or stumbled upon a really happy accident.

I don’t know if I deserve a kick in the shin or a running-start chest bump.  (Chest bump please!)

I don’t know why I can’t stop eating these two-bite ice cream sandwiches!

IMG_0394

I’m being coy.

I know exactly what I’m doing… and what I’m doing is DANG delicious.

I’m making a strong statement here… and I totally stand by this cracker and ice cream situation.  Who wants to arm wrestle?  I’m feelin’ it.

(When every sentence starts with ‘I’… I want to poke my own eyes out… I annoy myself.  Dangit! It never ends.)

Read more

Homemade Spicy Ketchup

IMG_0335

Whaaaat!?  Look at us just living summer like it ain’t no thing.  First we make our own buns and now we make our own condiments!?

Our summer selves are amazing.  Our summer selves deserve high-fives and extra marshmallows on our s’mores.  Speaking of s’mores… you should totally make these Toasted Marshmallow Squares for the upcoming holiday weekend… not that I’m being bossy or anything.

Let’s talk about ketchup!  It’s pleasingly easy to make.  If you can chop an onion and if you like to simmer the heck out of canned tomato and spices, this is totally up your alley.

Just adding to your summer bragging rights list!  No big deal.

Read more