Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

Y‘all… it’s TIME.

It’s time for the brioche-rich, cinnamon-swirled, colorfully sprinkled cake that is KING CAKE! 

It’s carnival time here in New Orleans.  That means that we’re celebrating life, pushing the limits of indulgence, dancing in the streets (most literally), catching as many beads as we can, throwing as many beads as we can, and eating King Cake… all before Lent next Wednesday.  We have a lot to fit into this next week!  

In New Orleans, which is a world in its own, we eat King Cake between very specific dates:  January 6th to honor the Three Kings and Fat Tuesday (the madness just before Lent).

What’s with all of the colorful cake madness?  History.  We need a history lesson.

“The King’s Cake accompanies festivities to commemorate the Epiphany, the day the Magi (interpreted by some to mean “kings”) arrived in Bethlehem and presented gifts to baby Jesus the twelfth night after his birth. The cake is a reenactment of Epiphany, with a bean or baby figurine baked into the cake to symbolize Christ and is eaten throughout Carnival festivities.”  – Three Men and a Baby: A Brief History of King Cakes 

I hesitated to make this cake at home this Mardi Gras.  King Cakes are absolutely everywhere in New Orleans and really… there’s no need to make one at home.  That would be like visiting Paris and staying indoors to make your own croissants. I’m also very new to New Orleans.  Who am I to make a dang King Cake?  Well… here goes nothing (/everything).  

•  Is that a plastic baby Jesus in my cake?  Kinda yea.   

•  10 things to know about Mardi Gras.  Yes… Mardi Gras is only a legal holiday in Louisiana.  It’s a different world.  

•  Mardi Gras Mix Tape Zing!

Mardi Gras King Cake

Here’s what we need:  flour and salt, milk, sugar and yeast.  The makings of a fine and good yeasted bread.  

What takes this treat from bread to cake is fat and flavor.  Lots of melted butter, five creamy egg yolks, ground cinnamon, and lemon zest!  

We’re also going to need a mega amount of sprinkles.  Purple for justice, green for faith, gold for power.  And a little plastic baby to sneak into the cake after baking.  Whomever gets the cake has to buy the next King Cake… and the circle never ever ends.  

If you’re not with us here in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I hope you make this cake and fill your kitchen with the spirit of this city.  It’s special.  It’s delicious!  It’s Mardi Gras!  

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Roasted Cauliflower, Beet, and Farro Winter Salad

Roasted Cauliflower, Beet, and Farro Salad

Roasted Cauliflower, Beet, and Farro Salad

I don’t seem to have a brain for meal-prep.  I’m guilty of wandering the grocery store aisles picking up cold cereal, crackers, a really expensive bar of soap and… little else.   I’m notoriously horrible at actually making myself dinner and, as it turns out, scrambled eggs with hot sauce make a tremendously fine dinner meal.  

Understanding my shortcomings, and being entirely tired of scrambled eggs for dinner, I’ve discovered that if I have a big bowl of something in the refrigerator, I’m saved.  

Something could be a big bowl of Carrot Jalapeño Soup, a big bowl of Apple and Fennel Salad, or something like this… with hearty roasted cauliflower and sweet earthy beets.  Farro makes the salad filling and solid.  

A big bowl of something.  Good, hearty, real food that isn’t scrambled eggs that you can eat straight from the fridge… if you’re into that sort of thing (and we’re all into that sort of thing).  

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Let It Be Sunday

let it be sunday

I‘m back in Los Angeles for five minutes.  Well… one day and five minutes.  I came to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  I came to eat this cheese burger, play at the January beach, and watch the waves.  

It’s funny being back in the house I grew up in with my parents and sister.  Reunion usually means a lot of yelling across the house… just like old times.  I’m also sleeping on the trundle bed of my youth.  Go ahead and be jealous.  That’s understandable. Suffice it to say, it feels REALLY good to be home for these few minutes.  Really quite nice. 

Here’s the world, on the Internet and in your Sunday.  

•  Still the worst.  Still with the hate and terror. Why ISIS murdered Kenji Goto. And, in all the madness this past week,  Jordanian airstrikes may have killed the ISIS’s last remaining American hostage

•  How to grieve when you lose an Interneto friend.  There’s no closure in this weird world of living and dying and twitter.  

•  Weekend Read:  The Forgotten History of Bruce Jenner.  Read this, think about the Kardashians, build a rocket ship, move to the moon, build a new Kardashian-free life.  Good luck.   

•  Captain’s Log(s).  Two friends, all up on a boat.  Making friends and enemies. 

•  I’ve had this tab open in my browser for weeks.  This ring is so so pretty!  Can I borrow $855?  Cool, thanks. 

•  Do you read the Grub Street Diet column from New York Magazine?  It’s a peek inside the lives and diets of awesome people.  The Kerry Diamond edition is a favorite!

•  If you don’t have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS.  Writer Lindy West confronts one of her worst internet trolls… and he apologizes because he’s a human with feelings.  INSANE!   

•  We get another book from Harper Lee.  Yea we do!  

•  Get the know the most influential women in food.  Go on, ladies. Get it. 

•  Why cats love boxes.  Because they’re passive-aggressive and anti-social.  Cool, me too! 

•  Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Dip?  Not mad at it.  

•  Valentine’s Day.  This is a thing we have to recognize, right? Sigh.  How about Lemon Raspberry Pie Crust Hearts?  Or better yet, how about we just have a donut and call it a day.  

 •  ThinkPiece:  I regret to inform you that you simple aren’t doing your best.  

And with that, I leave you to Sunday.  I love you, bye-bye.  

xo Joy

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Brûlée Orange and Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Orange and Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Orange and Cream Cheese Pound Cake

 I‘m going to start a new line of pillows made exclusively out of this cream cheese pound cake.  Edible bed pillows.  Lay your head down at night and snack-and-sleep.  If we’re going to turn aaanny cake into a pillow, this is it.  

This is the softest, most tender cake thanks to both cream cheese and butter.  Sponge-y and moist without being cloying or obnoxious.  It’s the perfect pillow material.  Like memory foam but… edible cake.  

Or.  I suppose you could serve this cake sliced on platters and plates.  Also a viable option, just without the beauty rest.  Think about it.  

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Homemade Salmon and Oat Cat Treats

Homemade Crunchy Cat Treats

Homemade Salmon and Oat Cat Treats

I‘ve done a lot of research on cats.  By ‘a lot of research’, I mean that I’ve lived with an nutcase of a cat-animal for the past four years, and there are a few things I’ve learned.  My cat, in particular, is bossy and unwilling to compromise.  He’s a fan of avocado, anything I open with a can opener, buttermilk, and actually… anything that I eat, he wants to eat.  

Since I am a maker of cookies for human consumption, I feel like it’s only fitting to make healthy and wholesome treats for my monster cat as well.   

Homemade Salmon and Oat Cat Treats

The best thing about these cat treats / cat cookies, is that they’re made out of actual whole foods! Oats, pink salmon, egg, olive oil, and dried catnip because cats are crazy for it.  Cookies for cats!  Let’s do this!

Homemade Salmon and Oat Cat Treats

Tron is happy that, for once, I’m not waving him away from my food prep area.  This time, it’s actually treats for him… not my cookies and biscuits.  

No joke, three seconds after this picture was taken, Tron literally tried to tear through the bag of Purina Beyond Cat Food.  He’s not a subtle creature.   

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Let It Be Sunday

let it be sunday

let it be sunday

There’s spirit in the air.  It’s palpable.  It feels like confetti and excitement… the kind of excitement you might confuse for anxiety until you realize that there’s confetti, bubbles, and beads in the air. Literally and metaphorically.  

Last night the Krewe du Vieux parade passed by the house.  In other news, New Orleans is magic, New Orleans is Mars, and it’s Mardi Gras so get all the way into it!

This week was a mish-mash of this and that: work, rest, dentist appointments, afternoon lunch with a new friend.  I’m doing my best to slow down, look around me, and take hold of all the inspiration floating in the air.  Let’s get it all.  Also.  Next week:  CAKE. See batter above. 

It’s also Superbowl Sunday, but you should know that the words Deflate Gate mean nothing to me.  Nothing. 

•  BREAKING NEWS!  A ball pit for adults has opened in London.  BRB MOVING TO LONDON FOREVER. Send hand sanitizer, and chewing gum, and maybe a pair of overalls.  

•  David Simon (creator of The Wire and all around crunchy dude and great writer) doesn’t care what you think about… anything really, but especially Omar.  David Simon, Show Me A Hero.  

•  Consider The Bartender.  I’ll have a Sazerac, please. 

•  The Evolution of Diet.  Does this mean donuts are out?  

 Deep thoughts:  The Forgiveness Boost.

•  I went to a spa for my uterus and this is my story.  If you’re raising your eyebrow in question… the answer is YES, of course we have Gwenyth to blame.   

•  Men outnumber women on the planet by a cool 60 million: a story of drinkers, genocide, and unborn girls.  That’s real. 

•  One year ago this week I was in Uganda with Compassion.  I think about these faces everyday.  Gah!  The love I have for them is big.

I hope your Sunday is one of those Sundays you remember in your bones come Wednesday.  

XO joy

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Baking Bootcamp: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

honey whole wheat loaves

Baking Bootcamp:  Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Sometimes I can’t believe the fun we get to have here!  All the biscuits, all the cookies, and all in the name of work!

Today we’re talking Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread!  It’s the last in our 4-challenge King Arthur Flour Baking Bootcamp!  

First we made Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread, a braided bread stuffed with loads of fresh berries, cinnamon and butter. 

We made Apple Pie Biscuits with sweet fall apples and tender biscuit dough.  

This Winter we made Gruyère and Green Olive Loaves, big salty, satisfying and cheesy loaves.   

Baking Bootcamp:  Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Now!  Hearty loaves of honey, oat, and wheat!  

These oatmeal studded loaves bake up light and golden!  Perfect for slicing thick and topping with softened butter, ripe avocado, or fruity jam.  

As we move through January, I find myself craving staples… simple foods that I can slather in butter for warmth and comfort.  

Baking Bootcamp Essentials IV

Here’s what we’re going to need: 

1 • King Arthur Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour.  A sweeter and more mild whole wheat flour.  Perfect for adding whole wheat goodness without being too dense.  

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 • Lovely and durable kitchen towels for resting our dough from LoomedNOLA.  

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

6 • Loaf pans for loaves of bread and pound cakes.  

7 • These wooden spoons just get better with time.

8 • 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…

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

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

Baking Bootcamp:  Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

 Let’s get baking!  We’re in this together.  Here are some important details!  

• 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 the Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread and take a picture of your creation!

• Follow @joythebaker and @kingarthurflour on Instagram

• Photograph your beautiful bread and post 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 loaves in your kitchen, so… you really can’t lose.

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Hearts of Palm Fries with lemon and jalapeño

Hearts of Palm Fries

Hearts of Palm Fries

 The old dip-and-fry.  It’s like the bait-and switch but much less tricky and much more delicious.  

I’ll dip and fry just about anything.  Onion rings, dipped and fried.  Raised donut dough, fried and dipped (preferably in sugar).  

This week Hearts of palm meet the fryer.  They’re tender and lightly pickled, made warm and crispy and spicy.  Have you ever had Heart of palm?  They come in a can, they’re slightly salty and soft… like canned artichoke hearts, but completely different.  They make very fine salads and fried bites… and that’s why we’re here.  

I also want you to know that I have Mardi Gras King Cake on my mind… I just have to get all of these salty fry things off my mind first.  King Cake is in our future.  

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The Sparkle Chain

The Sparkle Chain

The Sparkle Chain

The kitchen is my happy place, my photography studio, my comfort zone, my snack bar, and my office.  It’s where I find the best treats and really, the biggest messes.  It’s my zone.  Lately I’ve noticed that my kitchen is also where I tend to keep my favorite little keepsakes and memories, all of which add sparkle and joy to my everything space.  

This month I teamed up with ocelo ™ brand to celebrate the little touches that make our kitchen space feel extra special, and I helped them introduce their Sparkle Chain!  Remember last week’s  Kitchen Hand Scrub?  Really good.  So to share the sparkle, ocelo sent me the most lovely engraved, wooden recipe box.  So many of my recipes are written in note books scattered all over my house and this little box is a nice way to gather my recipe notes and thoughts!  

I want to pass on the sparkle!  Everyone should have color, life, and inspiration in their kitchen.  Why not surround ourselves with thoughtful tokens, pops of color, and family memories?  Since sparkle was so generously shared with me, I’m sharing the love with these twelve sparkle enthusiasts!  Thanks for playing along with us on Instagram! 

JTB Sparkle Winners

Thank you for sharing your kitchen sparkle and what inspires you in the kitchen!  I love the glimpse inside your bright, happy, well-loved kitchen spaces.   Each of the twelve winners will receive a package with daisy measuring spoons, a copy of my cookbook Homemade Decadence, a few surprise items, and the chance to pass the sparkle along to inspire others in the kitchen!   

Sparkle Chain

What do you love in your kitchen space?  What makes your space sparkle?  

Thank you for ocelo ™ brand for the kitchen inspiration!

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

How can I do the least amount of work, but still get the most amount of cinnamon rolls into my mouth?  Super valid question.

How long would it take to go through airport security and stand in line at the Terminal C Cinnamon?  Is that time shorter than the time it would take to make yeasted dough, roll it, fill it, slice it, rise it, and bake it?  

How can I go from zero to cinnamon roll in one hour flat?  

Here’s how!  Ready.  Set.  You know…. 

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Let It Be Sunday

January in New Orleans

January in New Orleans

Hello friends and Happy Sunday!

I hope you’re entering the end of January feeling happy and productive, still in your January intentions and resolutions.  These days feel filled with challenges and beauty, sunshine and chill.  

I don’t even know how I’m feeling this week?  That’s got to be ok to say… sometimes just the day to day is enough feeling.  Right?  

Here’s some of the superficial Internet.  I didn’t make it, I just listed it for you.  

•  I distinctly remember saving up my paycheck from my ice cream scooping job in high school so I could buy myself an outfit to wear after prom from Abercrombie and Fitch.  I bought a pair of forest green parachute pants with orange details and a navy linen kinda boho embroidered shirt.  I dunno.  It was the Abercrombie & Fitch hay-day.  We all went nuts for that mess, remember?  Well… their CEO is now 70 years old.  So there’s that:  The Aging of Abercrombie & Fitch

•  They’re giving all of our traffic secrets away:  New Traffic Apps May Be Pushing Cars Into Residential Areas 

•  The last thing you need:  Twitter While You Were Away.  Isn’t it all happening while we are away anyway?  

•  Inventing A Better Cat Call. I’ll take a sonnet or an edible arrangement, please and thank you.  

•  Would I come off as too defensive if I said that noooo, I don’t have a Tinder profile but still find the whole madness fascinating?  Reasons Why Your Tinder Profile Is Horrible.

•  12 Historical Women Who Gave No F*cks.  Go read this.  I’ll wait here, slow-blinking… and we can discuss when you return.  

•  Grab a cake or grab a spoon:  Chocolate Frosting.

•  It’s really inspiring to look through a different lens (and hold pictures in your hand).  Un-Instagram: Fujimax Instax Camera 

•  I’m going to see the movie American Sniper tonight.  People have thoughts about it.  Here are some:  I Served In Iraq and American Sniper Gets It Right.  But It’s Still Not The Warm Film We Need.  

•  RIP:  An Ode To SkyMall As It Files For Bankruptcy.   

•  I could legit use the Bracelet Assistant and I want a Jumping Hot Dog just for fun.  Here are 12 of SkyMalls Weirdest Products.  

Have more coffee.  Have a great day.  The two are inextricably linked.

xo Joy

Burnt Orange Salty Caramel Sauce

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

What are you supposed to do with a no good, very bad toothache? 

Warm salt water rinse?  An emergency visit to the dentist?  Eighty seven bottles of over-the-counter pain killers?  Bourbon?  Marathon viewing of old Seinfeld episodes?  

I’ve been trying to figure this out all week.  So far I’ve found the most solace in a pint of smooth vanilla ice cream and this sweet Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce (and an exciting appointment with my new New Orleans dentist).  

Cool story, right?  Hopefully you can treat yourself to a sweet caramel sundae without the pain.  

(Oh!  If you’re thinking that the reason I have a toothache is because I eat too much dang caramel… No.  Not listening.)   

Burnt Orange Caramel Sauce

These oranges were gifted from Martine Chaisson.  Glory be! 

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Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

As I move through the days, the months, the year, the seasons, I’ve noticed that my body always tells me what I need.  These days it’s all citrus juices and earth flavors.  Don’t get me wrong, I generally move through my days filling my body with coffee and sugar in various forms, paying very little attention to the little voice inside me crying for baby carrots.  

These days my cravings have been undeniable.  I want big bowl of warm goodness that make me feel like I have my feet on the ground.  This earthy and salty risotto is undeniably grounding, comforting, warm, and otherwise perfect.

This is the first time I’ve made risotto on the stovetop.  I’ll walk you through my technique and mild panic.  

If the stirring is more than you can handle (no judgement, I get it), you can try this Baked Lemon Risotto.  One stir and some quality oven time.  A dream, really! 

And!  For sweeter Arborio rice indulgences:  Maple Ginger Rice Pudding.  In other words, I’m not leaving my house again until I need to go stock up on more rice.  Until then, I’ll have the Do Not Disturb sign on my door. Thaaaanks! 

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Winter Lemonade with ginger and cloves

Winter Lemonade with ginger and cloves

Winter Lemonade with ginger and cloves

Good morning, Monday.  Good morning, January.  Good morning, thick socks.  Good morning, extra-hot tea.  Good morning, chilly ears.  Good morning, Winter.  

We’re in it.  

My nose has been perpetually sniffly these days, and as the sun diminishes early, I feel my energy slagging.

I’m trying to keep my refrigerator stocked with all sorts of comforts and boosters to keep my eyes up and on the prize.  

This spicy, sweet Winter Lemonade is my winter elixir.  This.. and bourbon, because DUH. 

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Let It Be Sunday

big blue ocean

big blue ocean

Hello my friends!

If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I’ve been in the ocean for the past week, on a cruise ship, eating all the things and swimming in Caribbean waters.  Torture, I know.  If you saw a picture of me on the beach last Wednesday while you were layered in scarves and gloves please, accept my sincere apologies.  Vacationing and Instagraming is just rude.   Now I’ve got two feet standing firmly on the ground and I’m wearing a scarf.  All’s fair. 

Here’s what’s been on my mind and in the world this week. I hope you are healthy and happy, with your eye on the prize.  

•  Things to think about:  Could the Paris terror attacks have happened at The Onion?  

•  Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’.  We have a problem.    

•  To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This 

•  Two dudes spent 19 days to climb the 3,000 of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite.  Bare hands and rubber-soled shoes:  The Climb.

•  A Meditation on Pain.

•  Sure, sure, sure…. your ex-girlfriend is an assassin.  

•  How occasionally skipping meals may increase your health.   Does this mean we can stop obsessing over juice cleanses now?  Yes.  

•  Inside The World’s Most Advanced Coffee Laboratory.

•  Last week’s episode of This American Life is fantastic:  Batman. A blind man can see.  Think about it. 

•  NY Mag’s What It’s Like series.  Wow.  

I love you!  Happy day to us.  

xxo 

 

 

All-The-Blueberries Buttermilk Waffles

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles

I was trying to do a thing. A thing with waffles, cinnamon, sugar, and a blow torch.
The blow torch (perhaps not surprisingly) is where things went wrong.

I was trying to make a waffle brûlée. I thought that sprinkling toasty waffles with granulated sugar, and taking a torn to them would create that irresistible sugar snap-crack when brûlée meets fork. You know?

Turns out… taking a blow torch to a waffles creates REALLY BURNT WAFFLES. Like… the most burnt. Like… someone needs to take my baker’s card away. I’m benched.

Not all things work, but you have to try.

To hide my shame and my sins: blueberries. Fresh, juicy, forgiving, and un-torched.

In other news: I haven’t messed with eeevery waffle I’ve made. I’m actually pretty waffle proficient. I just got cocky.

See:

•  Cheddar Buttermilk Waffle BLTs.

•  Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles.  

•  Whole Grain Waffles with millet, poppy, and sunflower.  

•  Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles.  

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Lazy Mary’s Citrus Tart

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

 If I find the word ‘lazy’ in the title of a recipe, it’s just… I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.  Finally, a recipe that couples my deep love for pie with my deep appreciation for sitting on my porch, sipping drinks, and talking trash.  You mean I can have both homemade pie and lazy trash-talking all in one sweet situation!?  

Well… yes, and also NO.  You can have your pie (tart), but like any good pie, you’re going to have to work for it. 

Yea.  We can talk about it.  I’m going to make us. 

calamondin tre

First, let’s talk about citrus! 

The original recipe for this lazy / not-so-lazy tart calls for a Meyer Lemon.  A whole Meyer Lemon.  Peel, pith, insides.  The whole shebang.  

Meyer Lemons are all well and good, and you should totally use a big juicy one for this recipe.  I happen to live inside this mess of citrus in The French Quarter and wanted to find a way to incorporate this crazy citrus into my tart.  

Lazy Mary's Citrus Tart

These are calamondins!  New fruit from my new city.  Tiny, very tart, thin-skinned, lightly seeded citrus fruits.  I halved these, scooped out the sneaky seeds, and added them  to a blender for the pie filling. 

It’s time. 

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello, my dear-hearts.  

It’s Sunday.  It’s carnival season.  It’s time to eat all of the King Cakes.  I was always under the impression that King Cake were covered purple, green, and yellow colored sprinkles… Not praline and gold leaf like this gorgeous cake from restaurant Domenica. Had I known King Cakes were so elaborate, I would have moved to New Orleans years ago!

Here is part of the world this week, distilled:

•  Paris is going through it right now.

•  It’s getting really scary in Nigeria with Boko Haram.  Actually… it’s staying really scary.  The same people that abducted 200 school girls are now suspected of murdering nearly 2,000 people.  Very very very bad news.  What are we going to do about it?   

•  Bad customer service.  Maybe you’re a bad customer. Dang girl, DANG.

•  What It Really Takes to Be an Artist.  It’s a lifestyle.  

•  Working in the food service industry in loud, hot, delicious, back-breaking, boozy, frustrating, and mostly totally fun.  Now that I’m out of the day to day restaurant world, I miss it… and I overtip.  We Are The 20%.  What Your Tips Look Like.

•  How Much Do You Really Change After You Turn 30.  Spoiler alert:  not much. 

•  This Is How We Date Now.  In related news:  I’M MOVING TO THE MOON.  

•  What It’s Like Having Four Kids.  In related news: SEE ABOVE (I’ll be on the moon). 

•  Ordinary People, Hollywood Budget.  It’s in all of us! 

•  I’ve been on a Chelsea Handler kick lately.  Wait… what an obnoxious thing to say about a real person.  On a kick.  How trite and fleeting.  If someone told me they were on a ‘Joy the Baker kick’, I’d be like… you know I’m a real person right!? Cool…  BYEEEEE.  So, let’s just say that I’ve recently and far too late just discovered how honest, gnarly, and hilarious Chelsea Handler is and I’d like a pat on the back and an ice cream sundae.  Here’s a Chelsea Handler thing:  Dave Grohl Interviews Chelsea Handler.    For the sake of clarity:  the moon is not the sun. 

•  New low:  a flash for selfies.  

 •  The Unstealable Bicycle.  People so smart. 

•  Clay Pigeons  // Blaze Foley 

Happy Sunday, my friends.  I love you so much.  

Whole Roasted Onions

whole roasted onions

  whole roasted onions

Here’s how this is going to go down, my friends:  whole roasted sweet yellow onions, roasted with olive oil and butter, roasted with rosemary, roasted whole, roasted to sweet submission.  

It’s cold.  I mean… really cold.  Here’s our chance to crank up the oven, throw these onions inside and lean against the oven door as they transform from sharp and bite-y to soft and sweet.  

Oh wait… you might be one of those people who think they don’t like onions.   I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.  You exclusively like whole roasted onions.  

Now let’s carry on. 

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Homemade Kitchen Hand Scrub and a little kitchen sparkle

Homemade Kitchen Hand Scrub and a little kitchen sparkle

Homemade Kitchen Hand Scrub and a little kitchen sparkle

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  Kitchen towel tucked into the belt loop of my jeans, forearms covered in a mysterious amount of flour, scraps of crust on the kitchen table dangerously close to my camera and laptop, and dishes in the sink… always with dishes in the sink.  

I spend so much time in the kitchen… trying to make it both my cooking zone and office… that I am always looking for ways to make the space feel sparkly and special even when it’s dusted in flour and filled with dishes.  

My secret:  a little floral kitchen bouquet with fresh herbs, a pretty soap dispenser for dish soap, a homemade sugar scrub with lemon and rosemary, and (since we must scrub pots and pans) pretty kitchen sink sponges.  Just little touches to make my space feel like my own.  

So!  I recently teamed up with ocelo™ brand to introduce their Sparkle Chain and fun new sweepstakes. They’re encouraging everyone to add a bit of sparkle and personality in their kitchen. 

What Sparkle do you have in your kitchen?  Pretty flowers, loads of cookbooks, homemade hand scrub? Upload a photo via Instagram and use #sparklechain and #sweeps and tag @ocelobrand and @joythebaker to be entered for a chance to win a package of cute kitchen sparkle from ocelo™ brand. Click here for more details and the official rules.

Let’s make ourselves a special kitchen hand scrub.  It’s moisturizing, helps get rid of funky kitchen smells… I’m looking at you onions and garlic.  

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