Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market

Hey friends! I’ve been here, there, and everywhere lately eating dang near every single thing I can get my hand on from New Orleans, north to Philadelphia.  This week I’ve been in Philadelphia where I’ve found GOOD everywhere I’ve gone:  good people, good coffee, seriously good bagels, good donuts, and what might be one of my favorite places in the country:  The Reading Terminal Market.  

The Reading Terminal Market is Philadelphia’s indoor public market, packed to the gills with fresh produce, local meats and fish, Amish baked goods, quality coffee, cannolis like whoa, and the best roast pork sandwich is all the land.  I love the Reading Terminal Market because the quality and range of food is bonkers… I can nerd out about food around every corner of this market… but the people that fill the stalls, aisles, and countertops are free of food-person pretensions (eye roll) and just there because they know what’s good.  It’s the most wonderful place.  

Here’s a look inside: 

Reading Terminal Market

Every countertop has people gathered.  Dutch Eating Place for lunch ooorrr the best Roast Pork Sandwich with broccoli rabe and peppers from  DiNic’s Roast Pork and Beef.  Seriously with that sandwich… outta control. 

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Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate Cookies

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

These cookies are asking for your attention.  Not so much begging or pleading, but asking nicely for you to pay attention.  

They’re here to tell you that they’re a little to big, a little too sweet, have a little too much bacon, and yea… too much chocolate, too.  They’re crisp and they don’t care about your affection for chewy.  They’re gluten-free, but really… they never needed gluten in the first place.  They’re the boss.  They know it.  Don’t play.

Peanut Butter.

Bacon.  

Dark Chocolate.  

Get on the bandwagon before these cookies raise their voice.  Nobody wants that. 

See also:  Peanut Butter Bacon Pancakes.  Sorry.  Also, not sorry. 

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello friends!  

Happy Easter!  Happy Spring!  

How are you feeling this week?  Standing with both feet on the ground?  Wearing a good scarf?  Beating back allergies?  drinking too much coffee?  Me too.  All of the same.  

Last week I was in Nashville.  This week I’m eating and coffee-ing my way through Philadelphia.  I’ve run away from home.  That’s the long and short of it.  

(picture above from HubBub Coffee.) 

What happened in the world and on the Internet this week?  These things, I think:  

•  Amazon’s new Dash Button.    Household items, reordered at the touch of a button.  But doesn’t this take away from standing in line at the grocery store on a Friday night buying a bottle of wine, tampons, cat liter, and a box of mac and cheese?  I feel like there’s real glory in that.  Now… either I’m getting old or I’m just in a constant state of “who are we and what have we become”.  The Horror of Amazon’s New Dash Button.  

•  “As we increasingly outsource our memories to devices, we may be forgetting the pleasures of imperfect recall.”  Remembrance of Things Lost

•  Completely heartbreaking and totally inspiring:  Teenagers Facing Early Death, On Their Terms.  

•  Ellen Pao and The Sexism You Can Quite Prove.  

•  Almonds are drinking all of California’s water.  10% of California’s Water Goes To Almond Farming

 Should Grown Men Use Emoji? (straight face emoji)   

•  Weekend read about Mad Men as we enter the final season:  The Shock of the Pretty.  

•  Billy on the Street with David Letterman.  Thank you!  

•  Watch a Calligrapher Perfectly Draw Famous Logos From Scratch with Pen and Ink.  

•  The one-way ticket to Mars you were hoping for may not be such a good idea.  YA THINK!? 

Have a lovely day, my friends!  Catchya tomorrow! 

xo Joy

Cheddar Croissant Donuts with Honey Mustard

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Can you even remember who you were before you knew that we could turn donuts into croissants and croissants into donuts?  I can’t remember either.  None of that time must have been important.  It’s like life before Instagram… can we even call that life?  

 What if we add cheese to croissant donuts?  What kind of maniacs would we be?  Like mad scientists with cheese on our lips and honey mustard in our hair.  

Well… here’s how!  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Golden brown.  Melty cheddar.  Not a care in the world… well, fewer cares at least.

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New Favorite Spring Cookbooks

JTB Cookbook Collage

The trees are starting to flower.  Strawberries are starting to fill the shelves at the grocery store.  Easter candy is taunting me at every turn.  The combination of cut grass and sunshine feels extra special.  It’s Spring, y’all!  

(Still experimenting with the word y’all.  Hold on tight.)

Now, it’s not that I need any more cookbooks on my kitchen shelves.  It’s just that I can’t help myself.  These cookbooks feel like works of art to me and everyone needs some kitchen inspiration.  

Here’s what I’m loving, besides Pistachio Crusted Asparagus with feta and parsley… just sayin’.  

•  Date Night In  This thoughtful cookbook from Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt is exactly the right book to reach for when it’s time to open a bottle of wine, hop in the kitchen, and chat-cook… a technical term for getting all up in the kitchen and connecting.  Wonderful for both romance and friendship.  

•  Seven Spoons from Tara O’Brady is just gorgeous!  The recipes are unique, but not too outside of the box to not feel comforting.  I have the Braised Beef Short Ribs on my shortlist.  

•  Food 52’s Genius Recipes  is a staple in my kitchen.  This book understands my needs for the perfect pasta sauce on a Wednesday night when all I want to do is eat popchips and pink wine.  This book inspires dinner everyday.  

•  I’m very protective of my good bowls.  I have three of them.  They’re almost as wide as a place, with a shallow but helpful lip.  Perfect for when you want to eat aggressive amounts of pasta, or an embarrassing amount of beans and rice.  These bowls + The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon.  I’m all set.  

•  I was in Charleston, SC last week and wandered into biscuit heaven:  Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits.  So buttery. So fluffy.  So substantial.  It was pretty perfect.  So… Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions

•  We can never go wrong with a good cookie.  Cookie Love from Mindy Segal.  Elevated, fool-proof and extra delicious cookies.  Don’t forget the salt.  

•  Aimee Wimbush- Bourque of Simple Bites has written a lovely book about food, homesteading, and family.  It’s enough to just abut convince me to plant a tomato tree.  I have a black thumb… are they even called tomato trees?  Brown Eggs and Jam Jars

•  The amazing and brilliant Christina Tosi and her sweet sweet life.  Milk Bar Life:  Recipes and Stories

•  It’s exactly what you need it to be sometimes: Dessert For Two, the pretty and practical new book from Christina Lane.  Me and Tron and set for dessert into the future.  

 Sasha Martin cooked a meal and fed her family from every country in the world over the course of 195 weeks.  It’s the story of food and forgiveness and it’s really beautiful: Life From Scratch

 It turns out that photographers and indie rock stars can make some pretty beautiful and inspiring cookbooks!  I have this book pre-ordered and would like to invite you to dinner.  K?  Twenty Dinners 

 Also on my pre-order list is The Dirty Apron Cookbook.  Simple dinners, confidence building technique, and plenty of flavor inspiration.  

Oh, also… here are some of my favorite cookbooks from last summer.  And… now I want ceviche and donuts, separately but in abundance. 

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello friends!  

We’re well into this Sunday and it feels all the way like Spring.  I hope your brunch table runneth over.  

I’ve been in Nashville this week eating everything I can get my hands on and wearing cowboy boots like I know what I’m doing.  I don’t… I barely know what I’m doing, but the boots help with the confidence.  

This week has been a lot, hasn’t it?  Here is what’s what.  

•  Germanwings flight 9525.  “When one person is responsible for 150 lives, it is more than just suicide.”  From Slate.  

•  We work from home, hang out with out cats, take pictures of our home coffee, watch HBO Go while we blog and email and order gluten-free crackers on Amazon.  Is it true?  Are we The Shut-In Economy

•  Let’s go ahead and opt out of everything.  Opting out of group texts and reply-all emails being the most important of all.

•  The perfect bean to save the hot and hungry planet.  

•  Mariel Hemingway on Woody Allen.  It’s important.  

•  Feminist Ben and Jerry’s flavors.  Because.   

•  Tim Cook on running Apple.  Also, he plans to give away all his wealth after he pays for his nephews college education.  

 •  Meerkat app and Periscope.  What in the world is going on?  No, seriously.  Are we going to be ok?  

•  Our president + The Wire creator David Simon.  

•  Remember when your parents had “The Talk” with you?  Ugh.  From NYMag:  Let’s Talk Frankly About Sex.

•  Just in case you need to see everything Don Draper wore on Mad Men.  

•  The X-Files.  Come on BACK!  

Have the most lovely day!  Don’t let the Sunday night stresses get atcha.  Wine and pudding help.  Wine and chocolate pudding.  

xo Joy

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Roasted Strawberry and Dumpling Skillet Cake

Roasted Strawberry and Dumpling Skillet

Roasted Strawberry and Dumpling Skillet

I was looking for rainbow carrots.  I was thinking we’d roast some carrots… you know, sit around a plate of carrots and just chat.

And then, nope.  

Turns out strawberries are in season!  Now.  Already.  It’s time!

Maybe still a little too soon for the white jeans and the flip flops (shut up California and Florida), but strawberries are here and we have major reason to celebrate (with dumplings).  

Come with it! 

Roasted Strawberry and Dumpling Skillet

 Strawberries have yet to reach their peek in sweetness and extreme loveliness.  When in doubt: ROAST! And there better be butter and a little bit of sugar.

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New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

It’s taken me entirely too long to get to soak my red beans.  A year!  I’ve lived in New Orleans a year and I’ve never soaked my red beans to make a pot of Red Beans and Rice.  Some nerve, really.  

Red Beans and Rice is a Monday night New Orleans tradition.  I thought Monday nights were reserved for red wine, salty popcorn, and M&M dinner… turns out I was totally mistaken.  All the way wrong.  

Red Beans and Rice is a Monday tradition because Monday was considered the “wash-day”…. laundry.  Red Beans could cook on the stove, mostly unattended, all day while the laundry was done.  Also, Red Beans could be made with the precious ham hock reserved from Sunday supper.  In other words, everything makes sense.  Ham, red beans, Monday laundry.  New Orleans is doing it right and I need to get my act (and my laundry) together.  

New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

Let’s get this pot on the stove!  

Classic Camellia Red Beans, dried but soaked.  

Major soup flavors like onion, garlic, celery, pepper, and pancetta.  

Parsley and thyme for fresh herb notes.  Bay leaf for base flavors. Good chicken stock for roundness.  

Lastly, smoked sausage, sliced, for that perfect layer of salty smoky pork.  

Rice too!  And it’s almost dinner! 

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Let It Be Sunday

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Happy Sunday, friends!  

I have three hopes for you today:  

I hope there’s champagne in your orange juice and fresh flowers in  a vase.  What luxuries… seriously.  

I hope you make yourself a big pot of Roasted Garlic Soup and not care a lick about the garlic breath you might have for the next full week or so.  (Kidding… it’s not really that bad.)

I sincerely hope you take some time to slow it all down today.  Leave and the muss and fuss for Monday and Wednesday.  

(photo above from Young Blood, Atlanta.)  

This was a week.  We’re carrying on through the year, aren’t we? 

•  There is an election this coming week in Nigeria, but what’s really most pressing there is Boko Haram.  This from the NYT:  Nigerian Army Noticeably Absent From Town Liberated from Boko Haram.  

•  We live in an age of irrational parenting.  I don’t even want to let my housecat out on the patio, so I totally understand this.

•  Seven years ago Los Angeles banned the expansion of fast food restaurants in South LA in an effort to curb obesity rates.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work.  

•  In a world that has a review for dang-near everything on the planet, I mean… who can we trust?  Inside The Mad Mad World of TripAdvisor.  

•  Have you seen the new HBO show ‘The Jinx’?  Probably yes.  You’re much more on top of things than me.  I juuust now figured out that House of Cards is back and new.  I have yet to see ‘The Jinx’, but woweee how we blur real life and entertainment:   The Queasy Finale of ‘The Jinx’

•  Ben Dorcy has been a roadie since 1950.  Let’s wrap our brain around that kinda life and then read all about him:  The First Roadie Ever 

•  I haven’t read this yet, but here’s a peek into my Internet-land weekend reads:  The Woman Who Froze In Fargo.  

•  There’s an app for that:  You phone buzzes when you approach places where women made history (aka herstory).  

•  Ask a Wine Pro:  Pronouncing Wine Words.  When you want to do more than wince and point.  

•  I will eat hummus until the cows come home.  Related: I don’t want to talk about my breath.  Thanks.  Green Goddess Hummus

•  New Orleans love!  We have a new happy place:  St. Roch Market.  

•  Kate Spade and her forever-clever clutches:  Wedding Belles.  

Happy day to you and us!

xo Joy

How To Brown Butter

How To Brown Butter

How To Brown Butter

Browning butter is one of those life skills that should be taught to everyone alongside things like:  how to change a tire,  how to tip at a restaurant, how to ride a bike with no hands, and how to mince garlic.  Everyone should know.  

It’s a good thing I’m here.  I don’t know how to change a tire… but I’m here with butter.  

We talk about Browned Butter a lot.  I’m always trying to wrestle you into adding it to Banana Bread, Baked Donuts, and Grapefruit White Chocolate Cookies

Browned Butter is butter cooked until it has melted into a liquid, the water has cooked out, and the milk solids begin to toast and brown to a delicious and nutty state.  

When incorporated into desserts like breads, donuts, and cookies, it subtly deepens the flavor from delicious to ‘ohmygod who made these cookies!?!?’.  That’s the power of browned butter.  Here’s how to make the magic.  

How To Brown Butter

Step One:  Butter (cold or room temperature, preferably unsalted) meets a lightly colored, medium skillet or saucepan.  

It’s important that the bottom of the pan be lightly colored so you can actually see the butter browning.  In a black-bottom pan, you’re left guessing (and probably burning).  A white or silver-bottomed pan is best.  

Place the butter in the pan and place the pan over a stovetop set to medium heat.  Gently place your arms on your hips, assume a good attitude and peaceful face, and standby.  

How To Brown Butter

Step Two:  Allow to butter to melt.  No stick of butter has ever browned without melting first.  

No need to stir of swirl.  Just let the business melt.   

Daydream a bit.  That might be nice.  

Whatever you do, do not multitask.  As soon as you step away from your pan, it’s scientifically proven, you’re going to burn your butter.  

Step Three:  Now we’re going places!  

Once the butter has melted into a liquid, it will start popping and crackling.  That’s the water cooking out of the butter.  Once the water cooks out, the milk solids in the butter will begin to brown.  

So… first popping, then browning.  

Swirl the pan around if you’re feeling restless or chef-y.  Don’t even think about stepping away from your butter. 

How To Brown Butter

Step Four:  Getting there!  

Once the crackling subsides, the butter will begin to brown.  This means that little brown bits will start to appear on the bottom of the pan.  The actual melted butter liquid won’t brown, but rather, the milk solids will begin to brown at the bottom of a pan.  

Use a heat-proof spatula to stir the browning milk solids off the bottom of the pan so they brown more slowly and evenly.  

Once you see the butter browning on the bottom of the pan, the rest of the process will move pretty quickly.  But don’t forget you’re in charge!

To prevent the butter from browning too quickly and burning, simply remove the pan from the heat source.  The heat of the pan alone will slowly brown the butter.  Leaving the pan over the heat source will brown the butter much more quickly, forcing ninja-like reflexes upon you.  

Once the butter solids are browned to golden, immediately remove the pan from the heat (if you haven’t already), and remove the butter from the pan.  The pan is still hot, even when it’s not over direct heat, and will quickly burn the butter solids.  So remove the butter from the pan!  Burnt butter is not as good as Browned butter.  That’s also been scientifically proven. 

How To Brown Butter

Just as the butter browns to golden, a trombone parade should be passing by your house, confetti should fall from your kitchen ceiling, the bathroom will magically clean itself, kittens will trot by wearing party hats, and a unicorn with a bag of hot french fries should be waiting at your front door.  

If those things don’t happen, you’ve done it wrong.  

Golden, nutty, fragrant browned butter is now ready for your favorite recipes!  I humbly suggest The Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Known To Man… but maybe I’m biased.  

Happy butter browning! 

How To Be A Better Baker

How To Be a Better Baker

How To Be a Better Baker

We talk a lot about doughnuts and waffles.  We talk about my cat a bit too much.  We talk about New Orleans and beignets and parades, and beads.  We could, if you’re at all interested, talk about how many peanut butter cups I just shoved in my mouth.  That conversation would be short and barely interesting.  6.  That’s the number. 

Today let’s talk about 7 ways to be a better baker.  A few small tweaks and little nuggets of advice to build confidence in the kitchen.  Read through and leave a comment below if any questions come up for you!  I want us to be the best bakers we can be.  

Cookie dough above: Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies.  

1.  You’re only as good as your relationship with your oven.

Well, unless you’re a raw pastry chef, in which case, cheers to you.  No need to have the fanciest, latest and greatest oven.   It’s more about your relationships, how well you know each other, and how readily you accept all the quirks.  

Some ovens have hot spots, little zones in that hotbox that are hotter than others.  Get familiar the hot spots by seeing how a cake browns in the oven.  Is one side more golden or burnt than another?  Take note and rotate the your cakes and breads during baking.  

Stop what you’re doing right now and invest in an oven thermometer. A gauge inside the oven is the only way to know how hot the hot is.  Sometimes the dial doesn’t reflect the actual heat correctly.  

2.   Yes you have to follow the directions, mostly. 

Baking is a delicate balance of flours, moisture, leavening, and heat.  A recipe is there to hold your hand, lead the way, and give you a high-five at the end.  You’ve got to trust the recipe to be good. Sometimes they’re not, but you have to trust the process, cold butter, buttermilk and all.  

Here’s how to read a recipe.  It’s nice to know how to read a map.  

3.   If you’re not using a scale, here’s we measure flour. It’s important. 

4.  Waste Not, Want Not

So often I end up with a container full of egg whites after making ice cream, a small handful of pecans, and leftover fresh herbs from various baking projects.  Don’t throw these things away or let them languish to death in the refrigerator. Delicious treats come from leftovers!  Don’t let em go!

• Turn egg whites into crisp Vanilla Bean and Cocoa Nib Meringues!  

•  Toss pecans, and whatever other nuts you have on hand into a batch of Oatmeal Cookie Granola!

•  Smash leftover herbs into butter with lots of salt and call it Super Herb Butter.  Delicious done!  

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello friends!  Welcome to another Sunday!  This weekend my new neighborhood, the Irish Channel, is alive with green beer, Irish pride, and lots of dudes in green cumberbunds handing fake flower out to ladies in the Irish Channel Parade.  You’re supposed to kiss the dude on the cheek when they give you a flower… kiss them on the cheek and ignore the fact that they’re a sweaty stranger with a fake flower… or maybe embrace that actually?  It’s New Orleans.  You’re supposed to just go with it even though it feels like a swampy episode of The Bachelor.

Along with all the green, it’s Easter candy (and yes… Lent) season and if you’re not careful, I’m going to buy every single Cadbury Easter candy-coated mini eggs.  I’m not even kidding. 

Cheers to you, your cozy pajamas, and that extra cup of hot tea.  

The Internet, for us:  

•  Hey guys, we’re drinking whiskey too fast. Why does it have to be old before its time? 

•  The Good, The Bad, and The Hangry

•  Quick note:  Exhaustion is not a status symbol.  

•  I own one Nicholas Newcomb mug and it’s a treasure in my kitchen.  Nicholas Newcomb studio visit on Design Sponge.    

•  Before I Go:  A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time. 

•  California has about one year of water left.  Will you ration now? Still real.  

•  It’s Ikea’s World, We Just Live In It and hate those tiny frustrating screw driver things. 

•  Vegan BBQ Lentils with Millet Polenta is beautiful and food.  

•  Pickling Spring Vegetables (and other things I’ll probably never do but will be equipt with knowledge about. )  

•  A friend recommended I read The Piano Tuner.  Let’s do it! 

•  New news in lipstick technology:  Color Changing Lip Paint.  

I love you as much as you love Sunday.  Enjoy!

xo Joy

Brown Butter Banana Skillet Cake with Strawberries and Pecans

Brown Butter Banana Skillet Cake with Strawberries and Pecans

Brown Butter Banana Skillet Cake with Strawberries and Pecans

I always have the best intentions when I buy a bundle of bananas. ! daydream about protein-packed green smoothies.  I toy with the idea of afternoon snacks with almond butter.  I know I’ll eat them for breakfast with a cup of black coffee and a smile on my face.

Unfortunately, exactly none of that actually happens, and I’m left with a shameful bundle of brown bananas on my countertop a week later.  

It never fails.  It never does.  

A bundle of bananas is meant for cake.  Destiny.  Sightly under baked with strawberries and pecans.  Let’s!  

Brown Butter Banana Skillet Cake with Strawberries and Pecans

Make and bake in the skillet!  It’s really the best.  If you aren’t a neurotic food blogger like me, you won’t need a million bowls big and small to bring together this skillet cake.  Just a skillet, and spoon, and good attitude. 

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Sweet and Sour Green Juice

Sweet and Sour Green Juice

Sweet and Sour Green Juice

If you found me sitting on my living room floor drinking this green juice, eating peanut butter with a spoon straight from the container, and blasting 90’s Ani DiFranco, well… you could chalk that up to awesome taste, cool life-stylings, or… more likely, single real-life independent-woman cat-lady instincts come to life.  Related:  please listen to Dilate asap.  

I also have my old pair of Dr Martens from 1997 and I always think that oooonnneee day they might make sense on my body again. I know that will never be true, but a girl can hope.  

Can we just get on with the juice? My peanut butter and Ani consumption are always part of the deal.  You can dig it. 

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Gluten-Free and Gluten-Full Zucchini Pistachio Bread

Gluten-Free and Gluten-Full Zucchini Pistachio Bread

Gluten-Free and Gluten-Full Zucchini Pistachio Bread

First things first when moving into a new kitchen:  figure out where to put your silverware and your stand mixer.  Second things second when moving into a new kitchen:  make some sort of spiced quick-bread to make the whole house smell exactly like home.  

I’m a strong believer in this theory.  It’s important to make a house smell like a home, and no amount of banana bread scented candles will do the trick.  They would do the opposite of the trick.  

Last time I moved:  banana bread.  

This go’round:  zucchini bread two ways, gluten-free and waaay gluten-full.  Experiments and good smells all up in this new kitchen!

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Let It Be Monday

Let It Be Monday

Let It Be Monday

Welcome to a new week, my friends!  It’s Monday Funday and if you’re not all the way into it, here’s a few helpful tips to get into it:  11 Little Ways To Get Through This Monday.  

We’re not going to talk about this whole weird dress color controversy.  We can just let that one go, right?  I hope this week holds good hair, hot coffee, easy emailing, and general good vibes.   I’m settling into my new kitchen and have some delicious things in store for us.  There’s a donut thing happening with cheese and mustard.  We need to talk about that soon.  

The Internet, for us: 

•  Leonard Nimoy:  What I’ve Learned.  

•  The Elastic Brain.  Can neuroscience expand the mind of a child past childhood?  

•  Scott Budnick, producer of the Hangover movies, is one of the most effective advocates for prison reform in California:  Outside Man.  Here’s a challenging article about what happens when we send teenagers to adult prisons for non-violent crimes: A Boy Among Men.  

•  George Harrison’s memorial tree in Griffith Park is destroyed by beetles.  There’s got to be an emoji sequence for this kind of irony, right?   

•  Rage against the tyranny of sitting:  The Standing Desk.  

•  Slot Machine Science.  Put a Wheel of Fortune wheel on a slot machine and count me all the way in! 

•  Let’s imagine all the things we can do with Brie Cheese.  

•  The tidying trend.  Let’s do it!  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  

•  New rule:  no WebMD searches after 8pm and if we scroll through more than 3 pages we’re cut off because we’re officially freaking ourselves out.  Also… Looking Up Symptoms Online?  These Companies Are Tracking You.  Nooooooooo. 

I love you and Happy Monday!

xo

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Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Brownies

Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Brownies

Hey can I borrow your kitchen?  Mine is a mess. It’s half of a mess.  I’ve managed to unpack my favorite coffee mugs, my stand mixer, and my mason jars.  I’ve basically unpacked everything pretty.  The rest?  The drudgery?  Not interested. Those will stay in a box for a good while until I lose my mind and can’t live without my boring black plastic tongs for another second. 

So… I’m going to need to borrow your kitchen.  I’ll come in with random bags of baking groceries.  I’ll raid your cabinets for mixing bowls and wooden spoons and I’ll make us some brownies.  

Working in your kitchen will be much better then unpacking my own.  I think they call this avoidance. Really delicious avoidance. 

Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Brownies

My friend Gabrielle let me use her pretty marble kitchen.  I made a mess, but there were brownies in the end.  Forgiveness through chocolate. 

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Kitchen On The Move

Byebye French Quarter

Byebye French Quarter

I feel like I haven’t been in my kitchen in ages!  

Well… I’ve been in my kitchen, it just hasn’t been to cook.  I’ve packed up my French Quarter kitchen and moved it box my box, beater by beater, to the Irish Channel.  It’s a process!  Do you know how many spoons I have?  A weird amount of spoons.  

Thank you for your patience with me as I get my life, my brain, and my kitchen sorted.  The thing is… I’m still the only person that writes this blog.  It’s just me, making all the donuts I want, and coming here to tell you about them.  That makes times like these… when I don’t have a stockpile of already shot and edited recipes, a little awkward.  Also, moving is hard on the brain, too.  I’ve considered using the packing tape to adhere my car keys to my forehead so I can stop losing them.  This blog is the real life (the super styled, extra delicious version) of my kitchen, so maybe this is a good time to take a few deep breaths and let it be what it is.  

Tron would agree.  It took him a day and a half to pack up all his toys and he’s a little stressed out.

Enough about me.  How are you?  Sincerely.  What’s inspiring you these days?  What are you hungry for?  Can I make you a Sazerac?  I’m practicing.  How should I christen my kitchen?  Stew?  Banana bread?  Chocolate chip cookies?  I need your guidance.  I think I packed my brain alongside my whisks.  

More soon.  Straight from the oven… something good, I promise. 

xo.  

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

I was having one of those days where I was certain that everyone in the world around me was mostly thoughtless, unkind, and out to drive reeeeaallly slowly, and ruin my day.  Turns out, if you feel like every single person around you is a dolt, it’s time to look within, get yourself a snack, and simmer all the way down.  It’s not them; it’s you… or in my specific case, me.  The cure to my crunchy day was a cup of coffee, a breakfast sandwich, and a stop to look at the beautiful blooming Magnolia trees.  

I need to call my mom and say hello.  It’s been too long and she’s probably getting worried.  She’s also probably reading this…  I’ll call you, Mom! 

Here’s what the Internet wants us to know this week:  it’s cold so we’re moving to Mars.   

•  What the heck is going on in Boston!? Boston’s Winter From Hell.  Would it help if we sent them all of our sunshine and space heaters? 

•  My Own Life:  Oliver Sacks On Learning He Has Terminal Cancer.  “I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential.”

•  One Way Ticket To Mars.  No, please. 

•  Life lessons from The Kitchn.  We know this to be true, but we need a reminder:  Five Times To Say “No Thank You” and Three Things To Do When You Hear It.  

•  Hey, you guys!  Eggs Are Back (along with a list of new dietary guidelines)!  Get excited.  We’re all about whole foods and egg yolks.  Full disclosure:  I read this article while eating boxed mac and cheese, straight from the pot, at 12:21am.  I’M DOING IT RIGHT.  Stay tuned for Joy the Baker dietary guidelines.  Coming soon.

•  Let your brain soak up these election-style Oscar predictions.

•  Shopping while hungry, beware!  “Findings suggest that hunger creates an acquisitive mindset that encourages people to get more stuff in general—no matter if it is offered for free or carrying a price tag.” Hungry Makes You Buy More Stuff, Even If It’s Not Food.  

•  Quick note:  Humans can only distinguish between about 30 shades of gray.    

•  Gray vs Grey

•  Excuse me while I eat 100% of this Taco Salad.  

•  Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips.  Don’t be mad at it.  

I love you.  Happy Sunday!  

xo

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I Love You, New Orleans

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras
New Orleans, you beast.  You wild, unpredictable, crazy fun, wholly overwhelming place.  New Orleans isn’t just a city… it’s a spirit and culture.  It’s a lady and a trouble-maker.  It’s palpable and  irresistible, and will not be ignored.  New Orleans, you excite me.  New Orleans, I’m hungry.  New Orleans, I love you.  

I’ve lived for the past year as a new New Orleanian.  Fresh in this world.  Wide eyes.  Lost in the streets.  Enamored by the sights and sounds.  And sometimes… well, I’m a little overwhelmed by new city.  There’s a lot for this California girl to learn about the Deep South.  A lot to learn about Southern hospitality, being a neighborly neighbor, oyster eating, and brunch.  Those are all the easy things to learn.  

I’ve spent the past year living smack-dab in the middle of the French Quarter.  It’s been nutty:  filled with music and art and always new tourist friends.  I’m saying goodbye to the French Quarter and moving my kitchen, all my cookbooks, and TronCat… Uptown.  Let’s go cook in a new kitchen!  I can’t wait to share my new space with you.  It’s quaint and you’re invited over for cookies, always.  

Here are a few things I’ve learned so far in New Orleans:  

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