My Favorite Autumn Bakes

mashed potato waffles
the leftovers the leftovers to rise again
one more thing mr & mrs glasses ny notebook
jason priestley mac and cheese drip mugs

 

It’s about time we get down to it, wouldn’t you say?  Time to roast all of the vegetables, carve all of the pumpkins, peel all of the apples, and eat all of the mac and cheese.  It’s Autumn and we have every right to apple our doughnuts and put chicken in our pot pies.  Here are a few of my very favorite Autumn recipes… full of all sorts of comfort and joy.

•  My Dad’s Perfect Sweet Potato Pie is hands-down my favorite treat to bake during the chilly Autumn months.  And when I say ‘perfect’ I mean ‘without a single flaw’, and when I say ‘favorite’ I mean ‘heeck yes it’s the best thing in the world’… just so we’re clear.

•  This recipe for Morning Glory Oats is so warm and satisfying.  Finely shredded carrots, sweet currants, and steel-cut oats.  Who knew carrots belonged in a warm bowl of breakfast?  Think of this is carrot cake in a bowl with oats.  This recipe is from the book Whole Grain Mornings; an excellent book for Autumn.

•  Excuse me while I dip ALL of the things in chocolate and sprinkle ALL of the things with crumbled gingersnap cookies.  BRB:  Gingerbread Spiced Marshmallows

•  What would you say to waffles made out of leftover mashed potatoes, cheese, and chives?  If you’re a friend of mine you’d say YEA BOO LET’S DO!  Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles

•  This Salty Honey Pie hits my sweet tooth and my salt tooth.  I love the deeply golden color and flavor of this pie.  Recipe from the ever-present Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.

•  Scones for days!  These Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Brown Butter Glaze are tender and cake.  Perfect with one, two, three, four cups of coffee.  These scones are so moist from the pumpkin that they’re even delicious reheated several days after baking!

•   You know I support a baked doughnut.  It’s just cake shaped in a conveniently petit ring!  These Apple Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts have fresh shredded apples and warm cinnamon all up in the batter.  Perfect for Autumn weekend breakfast.  Perfect for being generally awesome.

•  Mac and Cheese with Minty Peas should be a  food group onto itself.  Why are we even fighting this?

•  Do you need convincing in order to take the time to make a  Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie from scratch?  It’s time consuming, yes… but truly such an indulgence.  Beyond!

I hope you have some quality kitchen times this weekend.  Big love from my hungry belly to yours!

xo

Homemade Decadence

homemade decadence cookbook

It’s only been two years in the making.  It’s only been roughly 1,459 pounds of butter (exaggeration), 78 quarts of heavy cream, a many many dozen eggs, a load of editing, photographing, housekeeping, and eating.  A lot of eating.  Today is the day that Homemade Decadence is here!

I know that I’ve asked you over the last few weeks to pre-order Homemade Decadence, but that’s only because I made it for you, I think it’s really great, and I want you to make things like Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies and Pecan Praline Pumpkin Pie.   Yea.. I went there.  125 gooey and delicious recipes.  125 glorious photos.  It’s all for you.

Thank you for all of your support.  Thank you for being as excited as I am about butter and sugar.  Thank you for baking from scratch.  Thank you for believing in cookies.  You’re everything!

Here are a few of my east coast book tour signing dates.  More dates will be announced soon, but I hope hope hope to see you in NYC and Philadelphia so soon!

Big ups to Jon Melendez for helping me photograph this book, and for the mega team at Clarkson Potter and ICM for helping me make a book that I’m really proud of.  Insert: all of the emojis.

I love you, byeee!

Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies

Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies

Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies

Six years in and I feel like throwing confetti (on my cookies)!  Thank you for your patience this weekend as my site was down to launch this new look.  That that you’re here and I’m here… why not take a look around… beats awkward eye contact.

Here (pretend I’m pointing) you’ll find cookies.  Not just any cookies, but the most colorful and buttery delicious cookies I could dream up.  This recipe happens to be from the cookbook I wrote that comes out TOMORROW!  You can still pre-order the book and receive a lovely print.  It’s not too late and you might be surprised by my stamina when it comes to pestering.

Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies Up at the top you’ll find a navigation bar that will take you to the many many recipes on the site, the cookbooks, the podcasts, and Bonkers Awesome videos.  It’s all there!

If you’re looking for New Orleans recommendations, click on the pretty water in the sidebar.

The site is not aaalll that different from our previous arrangement.  I want this still to be a place that feels familiar, delicious, and easy to navigate.  Big up (like, the biggest) to Kristin and Leah for making website dreams come true.

Tomorrow I’m going to be back yelling (probably literally) about Homemade Decadence.  Thank you in advance for understanding.

I love you.  Don’t make it weird.

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Let It Be Friday

Sylvain, French Quarter

Sylvain, French Quarter

Hello my friends!

I’m a bit early with this week’s link list because change is in the air.  This weekend Joy the Baker will be down as I redesign and rewrap my site.  I’ll be back Monday will all sorts of new sparkle and shine!  I’m really excited to show you some freshness.  If you’re planning on making any waffles or doughnuts this weekend, be sure to print out the recipes from this site today and bake the weekend away.

Here are some links to help get us through the slow hours of this Friday.  Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you on Monday!

•  Let’s chill out this Autumn and stay away from sickness.  It turns out that managing stress can keep us whole and healthy.  Grab the yoga matt, but do we still need to get a flu-shot?

•  Lots of feminism in the news and on my brain this week:   Etsy is trying to fix Tech’s Women Problem. Why aren’t you?  Conversely, Why Women Leave Tech… it has much more to do with tech culture than capabilities, DUH.

•  Jennifer Lawrence is on this month’s cover of vogue.  I really appreciate her words about her leaked nude photos.  Can we be better people than we are?  Geez.

•  A beautiful and thoughtful piece about New York, home, self, happiness, art and advertising:   FIND YOUR BEACH.

•  Vanity Fair on Daily Life in the capital of ISIS because “art evades censorship”.

 Social Networks are pushing us to the limits of friendship.  We can only handle 50 to 100 friends?  Phew.  No wonder I only have one maj.

•  Apparently I’m Taylor Swift’s favorite baker.  Totally normal aka WHAT?!

•  This Honey Almond Quinoa Granola looks incredible!

•  I would like a Therapy Cat. #thankyouverymuch

Thanks for your patience as I gussy up Joy the Baker this weekend.  I hope you have a lovely and restful weekend.

xo Joy

Maple Spiced Almond Milk with a hint of Pumpkin

maple spiced almond milk with a hint of pumpkin

maple spiced almond milk with a hint of pumpkin

Can you feel it, too?  Can you feel ALL the feelings happening to us? Is it the giant full moon hanging over our heads?  Is it something having to do with Mercury and retrograde and yadda yadda yadda?  The real question is, is there enough bourbon in the cabinet to make it right?  Of course there is.

I made this most lovely and comforting almond milk.  It required forethought and intention because despite (and because of) ALL of the feelings, I’m still a maker of delicious things.  This combination of delicious is creamy and sweet with a hint of spice and pumpkin.  Drink it from the jar.  Go for a milk mustache.  Howl at the moon.  (Too weird?)

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New Orleans + New York + Philadelphia Book Tour!

Joy the baker book tour!

East Coast Joy

Hello friends!

I can’t thank you enough for your tremendous and enthusiastic support of Homemade Decadence!  You’ll have a bright and shiny copy of the book in your hands in just a week!  I hope it is butter-stained and coated in flour in no time.  I’m so proud of this book and working very hard to make sure that we get together for some feel-good, snack-loaded events.

I will be traveling around a bit to meet you and sign your books this Autumn.  Here are the details of my east coast adventures.  More to follow as events are solidified.

Also, the pre-order print offer is still poppin’ off!  Don’t miss your print!  xo.

October 14th  •  NEW ORLEANS  •  Garden District Book Store  2727 Prytania Street New Orleans, LA 70130  •  Free signing with cookies from the cookbook!  •  6pm – 7:30pm

October 16th •  NEW YORK  •  Club Monaco 160 5th Ave New York, NY 10010  •  Free signing with cookies from the cookbook!  •   12:30pm – 2pm (lunch-time getaway!)

October 18th  •  NEW YORK  •  NYC Food and Wine Festival  •  The Kitchn Blogger Panel: How Food Blogging & Social Media Came to Town and Transformed How We Talk About Food  •  5:15pm – 6pm

October 19th •  BROOKLYN  •  Brooklyn Kitchen 100 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211  •  $40 includes a demo, Q&A, a copy of the cookbook, sweet and savory treats from the cookbook, beer from Brooklyn Brewery, and a photobooth(!!!).  $10 for all of these good times and goodies if you’d like to bring your own copy of the book to the signing.  •  TWO signing times, pick one and sign up:  2pm signing and 4pm signing.   I can’t wait to see you!  This is going to be fantastic!  Sign up here and the $10 option here!  

October 21st •  PHILADELPHIA  •  Parkway Central Library 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103  •  6pm book signing:  $40 includes a demo, Q&A, and a copy of the cookbook!  $25 for the demo and Q&A if you already have a copy of the book!  •  7:30pm book signing:  $25 includes a copy of the cookbook.  FREE to come to the book signing if you’ve already pre-ordered the book!  Sign up here! 

I’m so looking forward to meeting you and talking about all of the cookies… all of them.  It truly means so much that you would share your precious time with me.  That blows me away.  Thank you for being the most rad.

xo Joy

Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts

pumpkin bread with walnuts

pumpkin bread with walnuts

What a lovely start to October it has been.  I’ve reacquainted myself with my collection of jeans that seems to have somehow shrunken in the closet ever so slightly.  I mean… jeans shrink from neglect right?  It’d definitely not that I’ve moved to New Orleans, land of the beignet.  I have also rediscovered my awkwardly large collection of scarves.  Scarves are blankets we can wear in public… of course I own too many.

With the hint of crisp in the air, I’m also getting into pumpkin.  There’s no use fighting it.  Since I’m rediscovering old things as new, I thought I would remake my standard pumpkin bread recipe.  It offers a familiar comfort that I’m looking for these days.  This time I’ve used melted butter instead of vegetable oil and added the slightest dash of black pepper for intrigue.

Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts

Leaves are changing.  We’re discovering we own too many scarves and too small jeans.  We’re making our own Pumpkin Pie Spice.  We’re drinking hot lattes.  All signs point to Pumpkin Bread.  Let’s just be here.

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Let It Be Sunday

guns in the hands of artists

 

gins in the hands of artists

Let’s make this Sunday a sigh of relief.  I hope you’re taking some time to rest and recharge.  I have the windows open here in New Orleans, and (dare I say it) a cool breeze against my skin.  I’m scared to enjoy it too much because this might be a trick.

The above photo is from an exhibit called Guns in the Hands of Artists at the Jonathan Ferrera Gallery in New Orleans.  If you’re in town, it’s a must see.

Here are some weekend reads for you, for us:

•  Our recent history in the Middle East is complicated; our present inescapable.  This piece by George Packer for The New Yorker is thoughtful and filled with the questions we can’t ignore:  Two Speeches and a Tragedy.  

•  It feels like we’re supposed to simultaneously freak our and calm down about Ebola.  Panic / Don’t Panic.  Vox, has a quiz for us.

•  There is always some commotion in the world.  I think it’s hard to keep up with all the nuance, but it’s important to try.   A 15-Step Guide To Understanding Why Hong Kong Has Erupted In Protest

•  Last week a man jumped the fence at the White House and made his way aaallll the way into the East Room.  Uninvited.  Mega-rude.  Quite embarrassing for the Secret Service.  Here is An Ever Expanding List of Unwelcome Visitors to the White House.  “Get this crank out of here.” – President Roosevelt

•  Super smart start-ups are rethinking employee burn-out by offering a 2-week paid vacation before new employees start working.  Uh-mazing:  You Deserve a Pre-cation.  Don’t we all?

•  Mind, spirit, and brain.  This is a really fascinating weekend read:  Near Death Explained.

•  What do I know about marriage and parenthood?  Enough to read How American Parenting Is Killing the American Marriage and find it interesting.

•  This is what it looks like to spend $23,000 on a plane ticket.  I would never ever get off the plane k thaaaaanks.

•  Blogger Burnout: Finding an answer in the problem.  It’s so important to remember that most of my stresses are self-imposed and otherwise ridiculous and small-minded.  Thanks for your words, Grace!

•  I love this interview with  Elle Luna.  Why not try to do all the things that you want to do?  Thank you for sharing this with me, Whitney!

•  I Survived A Weekend With The Cult of Oprah.

•  On deck:  Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

•  All this week on  Instagram I’m offering a smoothie recipe every morning and a giveaway with Aloha.  Get in on the action if you’re into it!

Enjoy this day!  I think you’re great.

xo Joy

Weekend Casual Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

weekend casual cinnamon sugar popovers

weekend casual cinnamon sugar popovers

Can we talk about churros for a quick minute?  Churros are a fried doughnut often made with a light and eggy choux pastry dough.  They’re often fried in long strips, drowned in cinnamon and sugar, and wrapped in paper before devoured.  Most of my churro experience has come from childhood visits to the county fair or some Disney-themed amusement park where I would enjoyed churros roughly as tall as I was.  They were never exactly fresh, or warm, or particularly delicious but they were still fried dough with sugar and thus…. AMAZING!

It’s hard to make proper churros at home.  Most of us don’t have the ability to make 2 foot long strips of fried dough a reality.

Nooooo problemo.  I might have life-hacked us a baked churro!  These light and eggy popovers are doused in butter and cinnamon sugar and happily mimic the elusive churro.  Light, eggy, warm, and sweet.

Weekend Casual Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

 They’re best enjoyed hot from the oven, barely held by two fingers, standing over your kitchen counter, with your third cup of coffee because I’m thinkin’ about your weekend.

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Roasted Tomato and Pesto Grilled Cheese

Roasted Tomato Pesto and Brie Grilled Cheese

Roasted Tomato Pesto and Brie Grilled Cheese

Here’s what we’re going to do:

We’re going to go to our refrigerators and gather all of the delicious things.  If those things are roasted, pesto-ed, and melty… that’s ideal.

Truth be told, sometimes all I have in the fridge is orange juice and bendy celery… that’s why God invented bourbon and those Chinese take-out menus at the bottom of my junk drawer.  Orange juicy and bendy celery aren’t allowed in this sandwiches.  Not on this day… when there is precious Brie and pesto in the refrigerator.

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Free Print with Cookbook Pre-Order!

homemade decadence pre-order

Homemade Decadence Pre-order!

Hello friends!  I have fun news for you today!

As you know, my second cookbook Homemade Decadence comes out October 14th!  So soon!  The book is filled with 125 irresistibly sweet, salty, gooey, sticky, fluffy, creamy, crunchy treats.  I know because that’s what it says on the cover and that’s the sort of love and passion I put into every single recipe!  I’m really proud of this book.  I can’t wait for you to have it and fill your bellies with cookies and cake.

I want to thank those of you who have already pre-ordered the book and entice those of you who have yet to pre-order.  Here’s a little something special!

When you pre-order Homemade Decadence we’ll send you a free print of one of these four photos from the book!  The first 250 people who pre-order will also receive a signed book plate from me to add to their book!  

The prints are:

Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies / Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline

Lemon Blueberry Pie / Sour Cream Coffee Cake

All really delicious things that you should totally get baking’ as a pretty print for a  little extra inspiration.

In the book world, pre-orders are a big deal.  It helps convince book sellers that I’ve written a book that people are excited about! In turn, I promise to continue coming up with the most comforting and fun dessert recipes to share.  Pre-orders are a big deal and I appreciate your support and want to reward you with something pretty.  THANK YOU!  It really means so much to me!

Homemade Decadence is available for pre-order here:  Amazon /  Barnes & Noble   /  Indie Bound 

After ordering, click here to submit your proof of purchase and mailing address and we’ll ship you a pretty print (and book plate if you’re one of the first 250)!  If you’ve already pre-ordered (thank you!!), simply find your order number and submit for a print!

Tour stops and dates are taking shape and will be announced soon!!

I love you!  Have a happy day!

xo

Custom wrapping paper and gift tags in the video by Minted.

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Happy Sunday my friends! I hope your week has been full, productive, filled with coffee and salad and the occasional treat.  I’m working hard on a cookbook about BRUNCH while preparing to jump up and down for my second cookbook release Homemade Decadence.  I feel very blessed to live these days.

There is lots of riffraff on the Internet these days.  Here are some a few of my favorites from this week:

•  Let’s talk about technology.  The Brave New Phone Call.

•  Are you ready for a new social network!?  Don’t worry, I hear you screaming NOOOOOOO just below my own similar screams.  Despite our cries… Ello.  Is it the invite only anti-Facebook social network or is it just another pain in the rear?  According to The AtlantiEllo Says You’re Not A Product But You Are. SIGH.

•  “Defying expectations is one thing; winning a war in which victory has not yet been adequately defined is another.”  The Reluctant Loner President Builds a Coalition and Goes After Terrorists Across Syria because really bad things are still happening in Syria and Iraq.

• Co-creator of The Simpsons Sam Simon is in a philanthropic race against terminal cancer:  Always Leave Them Laughing.

 Why Men Never Remember Anything.  It’s not because they aren’t listening… it’s because as youths, boys are spoken to differently than girls.

•  I’m reading Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward.  It is heartbreaking and beautiful.

•  I often skip wearing an apron in the kitchen because I don’t want a shapeless / boxy piece of fabric to ruin my dinner party outfit.  Thankfully the new line of  Salt House Aprons keeps my fashion and kitchen vanity in mind with their lovely aprons.  My favorite is the Maxi.   I wear it high-waisted and it’s super chic.

•  Never buy that little jar of pre-made Pumpkin Pie Spice again:  Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

•  There are new episodes of my web series Bonkers Awesome ready for you on ulive!  I made the best caramel apples with the ladies of Liddabit Sweets and it was the best day!

•  New Joy the Baker Podcast for you: The GIF That Keeps On Giving.

•  Arugula Persimmon and Pomegranate looks divine.

•  Maple Pumpkin Latte Syrup.  I believe this will be quite delicious!

Let’s enjoy this day!  I love you, bye-bye!

My Favorite Travel Essentials

My Favorite Travel Essentials

My Favorite Travel Essentials

I have a tremendous amount of travel coming up this Fall. I’m hitting the road to promote my new cookbook Homemade Decadence, and I can’t wait to meet you, sign your book, and find the very best doughnut in every city I visit.  I’ll post more about the tour soon.  We’re still ironing out the details.  In the meantime I’m gathering my travel essentials because hitting the road without my favorite scarf and granola bar is just not cool at all.

I love to get-gone.  Travel feeds my brain and soul.  Travel also means leaving the comforts and variety of my closet and medicine cabinet.  I think packing should be extremely intentional with just a hint of indulgence.  We’re going to need the basics along with a few luxuries that we can enjoy along with our super special hotel room service.  We’re going for healthy, stress-free, happy travel.  Here are a few things that help!

1  •  I always pack away a Filtering Water Bottle in my carry-on.  With a charcoal filter built into the cap, I can make drinking water out of any faucet!  This comes in really handy in hotels that charge $8 for the bottle of water tempting me from the mini-bar.  I’m just sure to keep the bottle empty until I’m through airport security.  They love to snatch these little gems full of water and then lecture me.

2  • For as much as I talk about nail polish, you’d think my nails are immaculate.  False.  I’m usually rocking some sort of nail disarray.  I travel with these Nail Polish Remover Pads because I don’t want to get caught with janky nails when I have an important meeting.

3  • This Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Polish is the fastest and easiest polish on the go.  Two coats go on super easy and even, no base coat needed.  This is the best nail polish for an in-bed self-manicure.  You know?

4  • I’m not above the quick hand wash of a shirt in a hotel room sink.  There was usually some sort of barbecue sauce accident that requires the use of these Travel Laundry Detergent Pouches.  Also, one of these Tide To-Go in the purse is a really good idea where delicious food and silk are combined.

5  •  I don’t like to pile powder on my face so these Oil Absorbing Face Papers are perfect on the go.  They absorb any excess shine without adding more gunk… sometimes makeup feels like gunk.  

6  •  This creamy and smooth Pumpkin Face Mask is amazing!  It’s all-natural pumpkin and alpha-hydroxy acids for skin rejuvenation.  There’s also cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger which makes the pumpkin mask feel like pie in the best way.  I just spoon a bit into a carry-on toiletry container and head out!

7  •  A headache.  I won’t stand for it.  Usually it’s just that I need to drink an entire bottle of water to rehydrate, but these flat / no-water-needed / on-the-go  Headache Medicine pouches are soooo good to go!

8  •  It’s important that I get my greens even when I’m on the road eating all of the doughnuts.  I just pack away a few Aloha Daily Green packs and shake them into a small bottle or orange juice.  It’s great as an immunity and energy boost!   

9  •  I never understood the need for a luxury like Evian Face Spray until I was on a plane for 13 hours straight.  That’s not a humble brag. .. it’s more of a cry for help from my dry skin!  The recycled air on airplanes will quickly dry out my skin, so a quick spray feels both necessary and luxurious.

10  •  I’m an angry person if I don’t have Hand Lotion when I need it.  I’ve gone so far as to rub chapstick on my hands.  Desperate times.

11  •  Traveling well has a lot to do with maintaining proper moisture levels.  Face spray, hand lotion and now the most indulgent of all: EyeDew Eye Pads.  They’re a wonderful treat for under eye moisture.  Definitely a treat!

12  •  Plane travel requires a security blanket.  This Traveling Scarf is made of woven Turkish cotton and is super cozy, comfortable, and multi-purpose.  It can be a bath towel, beach towel, neck warmer, or head scarf.

13  •  I like having power in my purse.  This  External iPhone / USB charger ensure that my phone doesn’t die and I don’t have to glue myself to a crowded airport outlet.

14  •  I’m generally at my best when I’m well moisturized and not hungry.  I always have a  Kind Bars or some sort of chocolate in my purse.  It’s all about keeping hangry at bay.

15  •  The stress of finding enough overhead storage space for a carry-on is an issue I want to forever erase from my travel brain.  I’ve been challenging myself to only pack what can fit in an Under Seat Carry On and the liberation of less is real!

I hope this is a help to you if you’re hitting the road this Fall or this holiday (too soon?) season!  Last tip… don’t be the person that carries the giant travel pillow through the airport.  Those dang things are inflatable now, thank goodness.

Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles

vanilla bean sweet potato waffles

vanilla bean sweet potato waffles

It’s pretty amazing how the body’s cravings start to change as the we move through the seasons.  I sauntered (as I do…) past the sweet potatoes in the grocery store last week and they called out to me!  I collected an arm load and nestled them in my basket, but wait… whaaat!?  I haven’t thought of a sweet potato in months.  I’ve only had eyes for watermelon, pink wine, strawberries, and other such brightly colored summer delicacies.

The days they change and our bodies want to change along with them.  That’s pretty cool.  Until next year watermelon!

Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles

First there were Mashed Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Waffles.  Proof positive that smashed potatoes can and should be waffles.  These waffles are tender, sweet, and the prettiest breakfast!

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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

creamy roasted red pepper soup

creamy roasted red pepper soup

I’m notorious for making a giant pot of something-or-other and eating it (sometimes begrudgingly) all.week.long. Soups are good for long-term consumption especially if you add a small pat of butter and a splash of heavy cream after each subsequent reheating.  Did this soup get more delicious?  It sure did!

I can make it through four straight days of soup consumption before I revolt and treat myself to (really, anything but soup) a giant cheeseburger, french fries, and all of the bourbon.

Since we’re staring this Monday straight in the face, I thought I’d start our week off with a staple.  Something savory and healthful to get us through the week with grace and strength.  I’m rooting for us.

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Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

These days, the mornings are as dark as the nights and the air has just a faint mention of crisp Autumn.  I’m almost willing to believe that the stifling New Orleans heat won’t actually last forever.  Change is stirring.  Slowly, but stirring.  I had a nice visit this week to LoomedNOLA where they have the most lovely and luxurious hand-woven Turkish linens.  I found a soft new scarf.  I’m trying to will cool air with purchasing power.

The week, as always, is full of big and small.  I hope you have coffee and a huge pastry in hand for Sunday reading:

•  The most altruistic among us have larger brains and a more keen sense of others in distress.  Let’s talk about extreme altruists.  Brains of kidney donors seem build for generosity.  

•  No matter the size of our altruistic brains, I think Be The Match is a great way to give.

•  Not just other people’s problems:  Why The World Should Actually Care About Ebola.  

•  Seven days inside the life and death world of Syria’s first responders – the last hope for civilians caught in the chaos:  Whoever Saves a Life.  

•  Some Things You Can Do In Your Sleep, Literally.  Our brains are pretty sharp even in their sleep-state. I’d also like to volunteer myself to be a part of a sleep study.  How weird and cool would that be!?

 Presidential coffee preferences are a state secret.  I’m guessing that President Obama drinks his coffee with cream and sugar.  Or sugar and almond milk if Michelle is getting on his case.

•  Taking the time to turn off all the pings and dings to read some fiction.  It’s called Slow Reading… and it’s weird that we even have to give a special title to reading a book.  I highly recommend David Gilbert’s & Sons.  It’s a wondrous read.

•  Feeling particularly happy, accomplished, and confident?  Stay away from the Internet.  According to everything on the Internet:  You’re Doing It Wrong.  SIGH.

•  Mortality according to Lena Dunham.

•  Men I’ve Met At Corners.

•  I love Emily’s tips for Glowing Skin.  I’m trying this Matte and Shimmer Pencil and this peachy pink cheek stain.  One day I’ll master the wonders of bronzer… or not.  It’s cool.

•  Pale Pink Autumn Coat.  Why not?

•  All the reasons that Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show was a fashion icon for real.

•  Let’s be people who make Whole Wheat English Muffins.  Perfect as the weather cools down.  

Have a most happy Sunday!

I love you, buh-bye.

Sausage, Cheddar and Grits Frittata

Sausage, Cheddar, and Grits Frittata

Sausage Cheddar and Grits Frittata

I fell down such a strange Internet rabbit hole this week.  There were makeup tutorial videos, doomsday prepper podcasts, and a weird amount of frittata recipe googling.

While I still don’t know how to properly apply bronzer or survive the apocalypse, I can make one damn fine frittata.  Award-winning  (according to me).

Frittata is Italian for “I’m too lazy to make quiche crust.” It’s a simple baked egg dish that can house just about any filling that you can dream up and can be served morning, noon, or night.  Wow.  Frittata is also Italian for “Eat this. You’re welcome.” Don’t worry.  I’m fluent.

Whatever we do, can we not call it a crustless quiche?  That just sounds sad and lazy and makes me wonder who is enjoying crust without me.

Let’s talk about this frittata, because I sure did put grits in it, and I’m not even sorry.

Sausage Cheddar and Grits Frittata

 This frittata (as the name above would suggest) is home to spicy Italian sausage and cheddar cheese.  Eggs of course, because a frittata isn’t a frittata without eggs.  The HECK YES elements of this frittata are the dollops of cheesy chives grits that stud the dish.  Soft creamy eggs meets cheesy baked grits?  Spicy and sausage, too?  It’s a very good idea.

Weekend breakfast idea complete.  You should drink more coffee and keep your pajama pants on until at least 3pm.  For sure.

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Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn

Roy Choi's Furikake Kettle Corn

Roy Choi's Furikake Kettle Corn

I’m don’t have a cool party trick.  I’m not double jointed.  I’m not a gymnast or former cheerleader.  I can’t curse in Russian.  I never could do one of those beer funnel things.  My tap dancing skills really need some work (mostly because I never had them in the first place).  I can play a few jazz tunes on the piano, but that always ends up being more embarrassing than impressive.

In the absence of a party trick there is this:  Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn.  Praise the Lord above.  This is SO FOR REAL GOOD.

Roy Choi's Furikake Kettle Corn

There’s a lot we need to talk about.  I know that I’ve mentioned the work ‘furikake’ like it ain’t no thing and you might be like.. um, WHAT!?

Furikake is a sweet and savory Japanese spicy that is meant to be sprinkled over white rice.  In furikake you’ll find, dried fish flakes (bonito), seaweed bits, sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and (in the case of my furikake) wasabi.  It’s a magic seasoning that encompasses every sweet, salty, savory, and umami desire.  Find Wasabi Furikake (with fish flakes) here.  Find Furikake (without fish flakes) here.

To our kettle corn we also add Corn Pops (YES a cold cereal), finely chopped bacon (burnt is best), finely chopped dried pineapple, red pepper flakes, chives, and browned butter.

Should I step back a bit and let that sink in.  Those are some crazy flavor combinations.

This recipe comes from Roy Choi, the god-father of the food truck movement in Los Angeles.  This magic popcorn is served at his restaurant A-Frame in LA.  Happy Hour, get to it!

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Apple + Fennel with Pistachio + Apricot

apple + fennel with apricot + pistachio

It feels like we’re in the middle of things.  Like we have to begrudgingly set down our watermelon and water balloons and pick up our infinity scarf and pumpkin spice latte.  Seasons don’t happen in a snap.  There’s a transition period… a kind of grace that allows us to take a deep breath, absorb our days of sunshine and beach breezes to ready ourselves for the crisp nights and spiced cider.  What we crave in the transition can be tricky.  I find myself gobbling all of the peaches and dreaming of apple fritters.  Truth be told, I’m always dreaming of apple fritters, that’s no surprise.

apple + fennel with apricot + pistachio salad

This salad feels like a lovely transition.  Fresh apple and fennel make it easy to move into Autumn.  It’s no time to crank up the oven for a roast when I find myself still craving fresh and bright flavors.

We’re also adding fresh arugula for its peppery notes, salty roasted pistachios, sweet dried apricots, and salty parmesan cheese.  It’s all about balance!

This recipe is inspired by Chef Nathan Lyon.  His seasonal cookbook is a staple in my kitchen.

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Let It Be Sunday (+Monday)

let it be sunday

let it be sunday

I’ve been to Ohio and back this week.  Cincinnati to be exact.  I hosted a pie demonstration at the Cincinnati Food and Wine Festival where I made a pie, cracked some jokes, and made myself (if no one else) laugh.  I also stayed at the 21c Museum Hotel which might be the coolest hotel to ever be a hotel.

Bonus for this week:  I found a friendship bracelet on the ground, picked it up, and made the weird decision to keep it.  Judge me.  Go ahead.  I’m also working on a recipe for meringues that taste like chocolate chip cookies.  That’s a process.

There are things we should talk about.  These are them:

•  Eating: A Manifesto.  Hey ladies, we can stop torturing ourselves about the brownie and just eat the brownie.  My goodness the way we torture ourselves.  Thank you for linking to this, Molly.  It’s a sigh of relief.

•  Listed under things we still have to think about and will probably have to think about for a long time:  ISIS.  The president made a big speech about it and most of us, myself include were probably like… Ok.  Here we go.  Here’s our president making a speech about something.  But think about it; this doesn’t happen all that often.  When it happens it’s important.  When it happens it’s also very deliberate and well produced.  It’s a message and a production down to the detail.  This The Gist episode is an interesting look behind the production and nuance of a presidential speech:  Did You See Obama Pull A John Wayne Last Night?  It’s short and really interesting.

•  Something about this list of The New Establishment according to Vanity Fair makes me uncomfortable… and it’s not because I’m not on the list.  Something about it just makes my lips curl.  Maybe it’s because calling something The New Establishment makes it too too much and I like to think I’m not boss of me.

•  I just freed an innocent man from death row. And I’m still furious.  A think-piece.

•  This week was the anniversary of the September 11th tragedy.  Here’s the thing:  we’re going to think about this date every year until forever.  Two pieces really stood out to me in light of this week’s sad anniversary.  First, an F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on September 11th.  Imagine that one day you wake up and your job is to fly your plane into a hijacked civilian airplane and you decide to yes, do what is asked of you.  Second,  The Falling Man is a piece originally published in 2003 about Richard Drew’s infamous photograph of a man falling from The World Trade Center.  With a new and very powerful introduction from Tom Junod.  This is the part of life and times that is hard and complicated and in need of words.

•  When I was your age, I had to walk to school, through the snow, uphill both ways.  Yadda yadda yadda, Gramps.  25 of the Most Dangerous and Unusual Journeys To School In The World.

 Not Without Salt is a lovely blog by Ashley Rodriguez.  She is newly packaging her mega-delicious Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie in mixes.  I’m thinking this will make a great just-thinking-about-you gift!  Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.  All you need is a stick of softened butter and an egg!  I love it.

•  I love when high school students write food blogs:  Plentiful Plate.  Go on and get it!

•  You’ve been washing your face wrong, but here’s how to do it right (from a fancy French facialist).   Also, I’ve struggled with my skin in the past…. lke big time.  This clay mask has transformed my skin for the better. It’s all-natural and majorly effective.

•  Don’t Worry Be Yoncé

•  Simple Chocolate Cake with Ganache.  Hit it, don’t quit it.

Happy Sunday (+Monday)  friends and lovers.  I’m out.

xo Joy