Joy the Baker

Snap Pea, Watermelon, and Edamame Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

July 9, 2014

Snap Pea, Edamame, and Watermelon Salad

I’m in need of a California salad.  The kind that’s heavy on the green, unique, full of protein and surprises, and just generally sexy.  The kind of salad that would wear super expensive yoga pants… if a salad could wear yoga pants (because that totally makes sense).  The kind of salad that Gwyneth Paltrow would order if she were slumming it.  You know the stuff.

That’s exactly the sort of salad I’ve been craving.

Besides… I’ve had a watermelon on the counter staring me down and this week I’ve found the perfect combination of hunger, energy, and guilt to actually slice into it.

Come on, let’s salad!

Snap Pea, Watermelon, and Edamame Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

This recipe is inspired by The Lemonade Cookbook.  Loads of great sandwich, salad, and well… lemonade inspiration in this super fresh, California cuisine book.

I love combining greens and sweet fruit in the summer.  It’s pretty amazing that watermelon and onions can find their way into a dish together and work as a team, right?

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Black and White Baked Doughnuts

July 7, 2014

Black and White Cake Doughnuts

I’d never go so far as to say that baked doughnuts are better than fried doughnuts.  That’s downright madness.  Perhaps we can we all just agree that they’re good… like, really really good.  Right?

Baked doughnuts are the real life version of Homer Simpson doughnuts that we get to eat without being cartoons ourselves.  They’re emoji doughnuts, in our hands, for our bellies.  Just a little bit of magic.  That’s all I’m saying.

I do have a history with baked doughnuts.  Call me biased.  See:  Brown Butter with Chocolate Glaze or Double Chocolate Cake or Sweet Apple Cinnamon.  

Black and White Brown Butter Baked Doughnuts

Today I’ve combined my love for cartoon-esque baked doughnuts with my love for Black and White Cookies and a bonus rainbow cloth because we’re worth it.

Let’s doughnut like we always do!

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Let It Be Sunday

July 5, 2014

let it be sunday today

Hello, friends!  I hope you’re enjoying an extra long, extra summery weekend!  I’ve spent a few days living without air conditioning here in New Orleans and I’m happy to report that… it’s actually OK thanks most definitely to La Croix sparking water, Watermelon Sangria, and a steady diet of hot dogs.

I love these mid-summer days because it feels like we’re allowed to slow down, go on vacation, eat too many hot dogs, and go easy on the emails.  We’re  so far away from the mishmash-y stress of baking turkeys and holiday shopping, that this season… with its unruly temperatures and back sweat, is one of my very favorites.

I recently treated myself to the 90′s via a pair of Adidas Shell-Toe Sneakers.  I only coveted these shoes from afar in the actual 90′s, but I feel super confident wearing them now.  They’re the perfect classic-meets-sporty accompaniment to short skirts and sundresses.  Also, let it be known that when it comes to cookies I know exactly what I’m talking about, but when it comes to fashion… well, my instincts may not be as sharp.  Thankfully, HonestlyWTF tells me I’m not totally off my rocker.  Yay for fashions!

Here’s what else is on my mind and in my purse this week:

•  I have deep affection for the The French Laundry.  If you’re not familiar with The French Laundry, it’s a restaurant in Yountville, California (up near Napa) by Chef Thomas Keller.  I’ve been fortunate enough to eat there twice, take a tour through their garden and kitchen, and cook in their test kitchen.  The French Laundry is a food experience… which sounds like the worst thing I could possibly say if it weren’t actually true.  More than that… it’s the most exquisite display of hospitality, care, and attention to detail with food at its core.  It’s beyond.  These Lessons Learned From Working at the French Laundry from various chefs who have worked in The French Laundry kitchen feels like it feeds my heart.  It says more about Chef Keller and his staff than it does about how to… braise a lamb, or something.  It’s lovely.

•  On a scale of one to weird… how strange is it that I’m really into hand cream sunscreen.  This might have something to do with the fact that I used to be obsessed with the crazy veins on my grandmothers hands when I was a child.  I see signs of those veins in my own hands, and while I know that aging in awesome/horrible/inevitable… sunscreen helps, right?

•  I can’t be outside in New Orleans for more than an hour without one of these Ursa Major Face Wipes.  Also… now that my air conditioning is on the fritz, these have become a necessity indoors as well.

•  I love this super loose and super stripy blouse.

•  Kids these days!  They don’t know how to write in cursive and they don’t know how to date!  That… and other things old people say:  Why College Students Need A Class On Dating.  

•  Dooce went to South East Asia with The Exodus Road and reading through some of her journey (i.e.: this post, Independence) has been fascinating to me.   This post from Jaime of The Very Worst Missionary really struck me.  It’s about finding the right words to say when you’re in such an extreme, so very different situation.  It feels like everyday on the Internet is about trying to find the right words.  Sometimes those words are more important than others.

• Why am I completely fascinated my the Atomic Clock this week?  Lasers and cesium atoms.  You know the drill.

•  You Have As Many Hours In The Day As Beyonce… but do we, really?  The answer has a lot to do with laundry.  No, I Actually Don’t Have As Many Hours In The Day As Beyonce.

Have a wonderful Sunday!  Tomorrow we doughnut!

xo xo


Peanut Butter Banana Bonbons

July 1, 2014

Peanut Butter Banana Bonbons

I lay in bed some mornings trying to will my food brain into action.

On the particular morning that these Banana Bonbon things were born into my brain, I was lying in bed thinking that I’d really like to eat Oreo cookies… but I’d like them to be frozen… and then maybe I could smear peanut butter on top… except that’s crazy… crazy good!!!

No food brain.  No.  Be reasonable.  (That’s what I think to myself as I lay in bed thinking about Oreo cookies first thing in the morning.)  We need more fruit.  Can we turn bananas into cookies?  Yes.  Let’s add peanut butter… and probably chocolate while we’re at it… and we’re going to need something crunchy… peanuts!   And let’s pull that awesome coconut oil trick to make a the chocolate as smooth as can be.

Alright food brain.  Good job!  Essentially you’ve created a chocolate-dipped frozen banana and found a way to smash peanut butter inside.  You started with Oreos cookies and, well… here we are.

Peanut Butter Banana Bonbons

Think of these frozen treats as mini banana peanut butter sandwiches dipped in chocolate an topped with peanuts.  It’s beyond easy and might be one of the better ideas ever on the Internet.  Speaking of the Internet, these treats are aaaallll over the dang thing, which just goes to show that no matter how hard my food brain works, it’s impossible to think of anything brand-spankin’ new.  Still though…. still delicious!  Just saying…

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Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

June 30, 2014

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

I think we’re obligated to treat ourselves to some proper summer days this season.  Lazy days with sunshine, iced tea, and a cool breeze if we can get it.

I had a proper Summer Sunday this past weekend, and I have the pink toasted skin to prove it.  I tend to be really bad at sitting on the beach with loads of free time and not even one bar of cell service, but the shores of Mississippi are slowly teaching me a thing or two about slowing down and unwinding.  I’m also re-reading Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways which is very much like food for the soul.

Speaking of food… that’s why we’re here, right?

Hot summer days calls for light and fresh foods… and beignets, but that’s always.

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

I have been craving a shrimp cocktail dish that doesn’t involve cocktail glasses filled with sweet ketchup and dangling pink shrimp.  I found this recipe for something called Mexican Shrimp Cocktail that combines my love for avocado and salsa with my love for shrimp cocktail.  It’s fresh and spicy and I totally used store bought Pico de Gallo because all of that chopping would work up an unnecessary sweat.

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Let It Be Sunday

June 29, 2014

let it be sunday

Happy Sunday!  Here we are on the Internet!

This week, my friend Tracy and I were trying to nail down (via text message, of course) our feelings about the Internet.  It’s feeling big these days.  Bigger than usual.  It’s feeling fast these days… and I’m not talking about the speed at which web pages load.  The Internet feels more than ever like a big machine of content that we’re all ingesting 2 seconds at a time.  A recipe that will take me days to develop, shoot, edit, and write will take a reader a cool twooooo seconds to sweep through.  There are a lot of things to decide in those two seconds:  if you like it, if it’s pretty, if it applies to your immediate future, if it makes you hungry, if it makes you hate me, if it’s grain-free enough, and if it’s Pinterest worthy.  That’s a lot to run through and it all happens so so fast!

I’m not complaining. That’s the game we’re in.  This is totally what I signed up for.  I think.  More than that… I’m pretty sure this is my dream job!  But can’t we all just take a moment to acknowledge that it’s WEIRD!?  It’s totally weird, right?  Yes.  The answer is yes.

Can we talk about the picture above with me and my perfect grocery bag?  I’m trying to decide if I’m the girl that walks around New Orleans with tulips and kale in a bag.  In the bottom of that bag you’ll find: a box of  Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast cereal, a box cake mix (yellow), a tub of chocolate cake frosting (GASP!), three plastic bags, two umbrellas, and three old receipts.  Also not pictured:  sweat running down my back.  That’s how real it is.

I’ll love the Internet forever and always, speed and all.  Here are a few of the places I spent a quality two seconds (or so) this week:

•  I’m learning about EGGS this week.  I’m trying to achieve the perfect soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs.  So far I’ve found the most success dunking my cold uncooked eggs into boiling water and allowing them to simmer for 6 minutes.  Shocking them in ice water is essential for a soft egg and an easy peel.  There’s a lot to know about how to cook a humble egg.  I’ve found this very helpful:  The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs.

•  Turning the oven on to make lasagna is 100% out of the question.  A Lasagna Grilled Cheese Sandwich feels much more reasonable.

•  I love gatherings on the Internet especially when they involve POPSICLES!  It’s Popsicle Week with Wit and Vinegar and thirtysomeodd other major food talents from across the land.  Some of my favorite popsicles from Popsicle Week include 4-Ingredients Strawberry Cream Pops,  Creamy Cinnamon Horchata Popscicles, and Raspberry Lemon Yogurt Popscicles.

•  Fargo was one of the best shows on television this Spring.  Did you get into it!?

•  4th of July doesn’t have to be over the top with the red white and blue.  In my secret life, in my very uncomplicated food mind I want to eat a boxed cake sheet cake with Cool Whip frosting, strawberries, and blueberries.  That’s right.  I want a plain old FLAG CAKE!  Blasphemy.

•  I want to go somewhere that requires the Bon Voyage Passport Case, this tropical-themed backpack, and also… I’d like to take my own bed and the comforts of home with me. What do you mean I can’t have the best of both worlds!?

•  Hello.  Nice to meet you.  I’m Joy “Bedtime Procrastination” Wilson.

•  In our heart of hearts we must KNOW that disappearing photo-sharing apps don’t really disappear our photos.  Right?  Will Facebook’s attempt at the app be a success?  Please say noooooooo.

•  This episode of NPR’s  Fresh Air with Jenny Slate and Gillian Robespierre is really interesting.  She talks about how she got fired from Saturday Night Live after one super mistake.  It’s really fascinating.  You might remember Jenny Slate from  Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.

I hope you have the happiest of Sundays!  Be at the beach!  I love you!  Bye for now.


Joy the Baker + Scratch Nail Wraps

June 26, 2014

Joy the Baker + Scratch Nail Wraps

Life is full of all sorts of simple pleasures.  Among them:  creamy iced coffee, pictures of cats wearing hats, eucalyptus scented candles, and pretty  nails!  Right?    

This July I’ve paired with  Scratch Nail Wraps (!!!) to design and bring you a set of lovely, bright, summer-inspired nail wraps!  Nail wraps are surprisingly durable nail stickers that go over bare or painted nails and transform plain nails into fancy nail-art nails!

 I’m really excited about this limited-edition collections, and I’m really excited about having darling nails without a ton of muss and fuss!  Seriously!

Joy the Baker + Scratch Nails

Let’s talk about the set!

July’s monthly manicure set will include:  a set of watercolor brush nail wraps, a set of cute daisy nail wraps, a set of picnic inspired nail wraps, a recipe card featuring a summer cocktail, and a set of flamingo cocktail stirrers and paper straws to properly adorn your cocktail!

It’s a summer treat-yo-self or a summer treat-yo-friend!!!

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Beet Lemonade

June 25, 2014

beet lemonade

I am the thirstiest person.   I’ve taken a city-wide poll, and yep… it’s me.  I win the prize for the thirstiest human.

I’m trying to get creative with the cold beverages that I take in this summer.  I’ve been brewing my own black tea which is remarkably easy, reasonably priced, and delicious.  Adding fresh mint (stems and leaves) into the brewing tea makes it fancy in a flash.  I’m also a huge fan of adding cucumber and lemon slices to water, smashed strawberries to sparkling water, and a splash of orange juice in my iced green tea.

None of it feels particularly genius though it is pretty dang refreshing.

This lemonade though… this neon magenta lemonade feels like a small stroke of genius.  Sweet, tart, and big bright pink!  Let’s drink.

If you’re feeling like you’d like to add a glug of vodka into this lemonade refresher… well, I get you.  Go on and get it!

Beet Lemonade

Let’s start with the basics:  fresh lemons juiced up just right, granulated sugar, filtered water, and raw, grated beet (about 1/4 cup). Yes, actual beet root!

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Strawberry Raspberry Crostata

June 22, 2014

strawberry raspberry crostata

I’m on  a mission to make new friends.  I’m in a new city, I don’t know many people, and I work from home on the Internet…. so, I’m really good friends with my cat, but at some point that’s just going to get weird.

Meeting new friends in my 30′s, outside of the context of work relationships and school relationships has been interesting.  By interesting I mean, um… how do I do this!?  It seems that calling people, making plans, not flaking on plans, and making eye contact is a good start because I’m slowing amassing a group of awesome ladies in this new city.  Slowly but surely.

Strawberry Raspberry Crostat

A few weeks before I moved to New Orleans from Los Angeles I received an email from Anna of The Yellow Table.  She was in the midst of planning her cross-country dinner party road trip to support her upcoming cookbook, and wanted to host  dinner in my New Orleans home… that I didn’t even live in yet.  I said SURE because it seems like once you start making crazy moves across the country, crazy dinner parties make total sense.

The days run away, as they do… and before I knew it, Anna was in town with bags of groceries to cook in my New Orleans kitchen.  Around the table we gathered a group of total strangers/new friends:  Juley, Summer, Hannah, Rebecca, Anna, and Elise.

We laughed, talked in the imagined voices of our pets, and shared the most lovely dinner of shrimp and couscous, watermelon and feta.

I made this Strawberry Raspberry Crostata for dessert because making friends out of strangers often involves some sort of berry and fruit.  Try it.  Totally works.

Strawberry Raspberry Crostata

Recipes that start with this sort of beauty hardly seem fair.  Summer is such a show-off.

Fresh strawberries are rinsed and sliced thick.  Fresh raspberries are rinsed and snacked on before adding by the handful to the strawberry bowl.

We’re also going to need some sugar, cornstarch for thickening, a squeeze of lemon, and a dash of Grand Marnier because we’re fancy.

I like how this feels.

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Let It Be Friday!

June 19, 2014

let it be friday

Hello friends!

I’ve been traveling a lot this week and I’m pretty sure I know which way is up, but also… maybe not so much.  I was in New York City walking the streets with copies of Homemade Decadence and little bags of chocolate chip cookies trying to entice just about every magazine editor in the city.  This weekend I’m in Aspen at the Food and Wine Festival drinking as much wine and taking as many pictures as possible.  I’m bound to have a few celebrity chef star-struck moments.  I think Tyler Florence is going to be at the festival, and if you listen to the Joy the Baker Podcast, you know I must find my way to him.

All good things.  Blessings, really.  Aaaand I’m going to need some introvert time for the rest of the summer.  I can only pretend not to be the shy person I really am in quick bursts.

I hope you’ve had a great week and I hope you’re looking forward to a perfect summer weekend.  Let there be sangria and sunscreen.  Pie too!

Here are a few things on my mind and on the Internet:

• I’m working on making new friends in New Orleans.  It’s been really wonderful to have new faces and perspectives come into my life.  It’s really inspiring.  This month I hosted a dinner Anna Watson Carl of The Yellow Table.  She’s traveling around the country gathering strangers and friends around dinner tables to promote her new cookbook!  It seemed like the perfect fit for my friend-making endeavors.  We filled my humble dinner table with new friends and beautiful food.  I’ll share the Strawberry Raspberry Crostata I made for the party next week!

•  If you need a berry dessert for the weekend, because heck yes you do… right!?  Peach and Raspberry Crumble is supreme.

• I’m super smitten with these Toucan stud earrings!  This season’s pineapple / tropical trend continues.

• I talked about facing fears and slowing down on The Jess Lively Podcast .  She has a great show!  Check it out!

•  This Boozey Bourbon Milk Tea with Bourbon Soaked Boba sounds soooooo very good!!

•  My friend Kristin told me about an awesome website about New Orleans!  It’s called Invade (  It’s a locals look into where to go, what to do, who to know, and what music to listen to.  If you plan on visiting New Orleans definitely check this site!

•  I Already Want To Take A Nap Tomorrow

•  I really want to make Fresh Spring Rolls this summer. I also want to make fresh Jelly Doughnuts.  Actually… maybe I just want to eat Spring Rolls and Jelly Doughnuts.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if I really want to make something or if I just want to gobble it up.

Have a lovely weekend!  If you’re interested in following my Aspen Food and Wine adventures, find me on Instagram @joythebaker.  If not, I’ll be back in my kitchen next week taking pictures of food and my cat.  You know…


Salty and Malty Brown Butter Treats

June 17, 2014

salty and malty brown butter treats

Let’s set aside our pretentious and our kale.  We won’t need them.

We’re also going to set aside any tinges of guilt or doubt.

What we’re going to do is smash candy into our crispy rice treats… and we’re also going to feel really good about it.

Shall we?

Salty and Malty Brown Butter Treats

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Tuna, Kale, and Egg Salad

June 15, 2014

tuna kale and egg salad

Sometimes I spend so much time painting my own nails, that by the time they’re complete, I’m entirely disenchanted  with the finished product. (Ridiculous sentence to start a blog post with.  Don’t be like me.)

The same goes for cakes.  The longer I spend folding, baking,  cooling, and frosting a cake, the less I want to slice into it in the end.  Sad story, right?

The same can be said for laundry, obviously.  Gathering, washing, drying, air drying, folding, putting away. AAHHH.  Laundry is boring and totally not delicious… so, duh.

This salad though… in and out.  No exorbitant amount of slicing and dicing.  Just enough to create a pretty pretty salad and also enjoy your efforts.  It’s the ideal balance of greens, health, and kitchen time.

Tuna Kale and Egg Salad

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Our Summer Reading List

June 12, 2014
the vacationers the leftovers to rise again
one more thing mr & mrs glasses ny notebook
jason priestley cat dish towel drip mugs
euphoria candle jtb vanilla salt

I bought a Kindle Reader.  I did.  I turned in my iPad and treated myself to a reader.  Why?  Because no one should carry Infinite Jest any farther than one’s reading nook.  It’s pretentious, not to mention you’ll likely injure your back.

See.. Infinite Jest is currently my ‘foundation book’.  I read a ‘foundation book’ and then keep a lighter alternate book.  I usually call my alternate book my ‘side boo’ which is… well, true.

It’s summer and it’s time to find some new reads!  Last Winter we dove into sad end of the pool with Break Your Heart Winter Reading which seemed perfect for the chilly days.  Nowadays, the shorter my dress the lighter my book needs to be.  I mean… let’s just live a little.

I asked you on Twitter what you’re reading this summer, and your reading list is inspired and enviable.  I took it upon myself to share your genius and claim part of it as my own.  Here’s what we’re reading this summer!!

•  The Vacationers by Emma Straub •  I always love a story that winds through the life of a family.

•  The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta • You know, before the HBO show comes out!

•  To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris • Let’s try to figure out the meaning of life, and maybe laugh about it along the way.

• One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak • Tell me more, dude from The Office.  Tell me more.

• The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick • I love it for the title alone.  I love it because it’s by the same author as The Silver Linings Playbook which I didn’t actually read, but I saw the movie and the dance competition scene made me spontaneously fist-pump. Right?  Let’s read this!

• Everything Is Perfect When You’re A Liar by Kelly Oxford • Is this a book about Pinterest?  Might could be.

• Jason Priestley: a memoir by Jason Priestley • Hold uuupppp.  Brandon Walsh wrote a book?  Does he talk about Kelly?  Does he talk about Andrea?  Peach Pit!?  Game over.  I’m all the way in.

• Think Like A Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner •  Clearly, judging by my fascination with Jason Priestly, I’m already thinking like a freak.  This book is more about unconventional analysis than weird 90′s fascinations.

•  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd • My mom and Oprah told me to read this book.  This needs to happen.

• Euphoria by Lily King • A love triangle in the jungle.  Duh.

• The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt • It’s only won the Pulitzer Prize.  What are we waiting for!?

• It Chooses You by Miranda July • Girl crush status forever and always on Miranda July.  This book is based on the stories behind the Penny Saver, a Los Angeles classified rag.  Bound to be exactly right.

Sooo… don’t be coy!  What are you reading this summer?



Vegan Coconut and Pistachio Ice Cream

June 12, 2014

Vegan Coconut and Pistachio Ice Cream

This ice cream is the product of a good, old-fashioned, pantry stare. You know… the kind of quality time you spend staring blankly into your pantry trying to will potato chips to appear with your mind?  The kind of quality time you spend staring into the pantry wishing that all of the dried pasta, dried, beans, and jarred sauces would magically cook themselves up extra warm and cheesy so you don’t have to move a muscle.

Alas, muscled must be moved.

Luckily, this recipe is supreme in its simplicity!  These were all ingredients staring back at me from the pantry!  Coconut milk (the light variety), toasted coconut flakes, pistachios (I must have forgotten they were in there because I surely would have snacked on them if I knew), and sugar (of course).  We’re going to need an ice cream maker and a freezer, too.

Vegan Toasted Coconut and Pistachio Ice Cream

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Beer Battered Onion Rings and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

June 9, 2014

Beer Battered Onion Rings with Buttermilk Ranch Dip

We’re looking down the barrel at Father’s Day so it’s time to start thinking about beer and bow ties and burly dudes with beards bouncing babies on their laps, right?

It’s hard for me to pin down the right Father’s Day celebration.  My dad is unique, he likes classic literature, pie, gossip, and emojis.  It’s like… what do you get the man that already has everything?  Seriously.

Mother’s Day celebrations seem easier.  I’m pretty sure most moms just want a mimosa and a little peace a quiet.  Dads are more of a wildcard.

Can onion rings be the answer?  I’m pretty sure the answer is HECK YES, because I’ve never seen anyone (beard or not) walk away from homemade onion rings and ranch dressing.

Beer Battered Onion Rings with Buttermilk Ranch Dip

Let’s start with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing because onion rings must be dipped, on the real on the reg.

I mean… we can do it for the dads.

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Snickerdoodle Strawberry Shortcakes

June 6, 2014

strawberry shortcake

I’ve been in California most of the week under the fog of one of those really unfortunate summer colds.  A raw throat and clogged nose just feels so unjust when the sun is shining and people are drinking margaritas in bikini tops.  I mean… really.  I’m waving the white flag.

I’m hoping that sweet strawberries will help ease me back into tip-top summer shape, because right now I’m sitting on the sidelines, missing the margaritas (and the bikini tops, too?).  At the very least, my benched status has cinnamon sugar shortcakes and extra juicy strawberries.  I’ll be back in the game soon, so soon!  Please/Thanks!

Snickerdoodle Strawberry Shortcake

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Let It Be Wednesday

June 4, 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

I’m back under sunny California skies this week, and I must say… the dry air is lovely and the burgers are fantastic! Also my hair is instantly flat, which kinda feels weird now.

I plan on living it up while in Cali.  Actually, I’m always trying to live it up.

This week I’m going to visit my favorite Los Angeles spots.

I’m going to eat as much In n Out as I can.  In six days I think I can make it there three times.  That shouldn’t be too out of line.

I’m going to have one of Zoe Nathan‘s doughnuts at Huckleberry because she seriously (most seriously) makes the best doughnuts in the entire city.

I’m going to have a Negroni and Eveleigh.  I’m going to have an ice cream at Sweet Rose Creamery, followed shortly thereafter by an ice cream at Scoops.

I’m going to need a French Dip Sandwich from Philippes, and a sunset view from the new Ace Hotel downtown.

Then definitely a trip to Soul Cycle.  And a nap.

I can fall right back into a Los Angeles routine.  If you’re ever visiting, I wrote all about some of the best spots around town here:  I Love You, Los Angeles.  It’s true.  I really do love it!

In other news, it’s Wednesday.  Another day in a regular ol’ life.  Right?  Here’s what is in my brain and on the Internet:

•  Oh Joy and Love, Taza have created a new app!  It’s called Pippit! It’s pretty rad!  It’s Instagram meets blog feeds meets shopping.  I can only imagine how much work and collaboration it took to put together!  Check it out.  I’m joythebaker (duh) if you want in on my action.

•  Exciting news!  I designed three sets of awesome, summer-inspired nail wraps with Scratch Nail Wraps and you can order a box now through their monthly manicure subscription! The box comes with the three sets of nail wraps from Joy the Baker, a bonus nail polish, and cocktail recipe card and a cute little bonus gift too!  I’ll give more peeks inside the box soon, but the nails above are part of the collection!

• There are a few things I simply can’t buy at the grocery store because I’ll eat the entire bag in one sitting, without fail, because I have noooo will power!  Those pink and white frosted animal crackers!?  Don’t even look at me!  They’re my favorite thing in the world and I absolutely can’t  buy them.  I’d now like to introduce you to Pink Frosted Animal Cracker shower wash!? So… would smelling like the cookies be heaven or torture?  And what are the chances I chug the bottle?

• Matias Antuiga celebrated his 40th birthday by running 40 marathons in 40 days.  I swear… I run a mile and I’VE HAD IT!  Can we talk about Pink Frosted Animal Crackers again?

Why You Hate Work.  Thank you New York Times.  The part about answering emails until you fall asleep was all too real.  Also… I don’t hate work, it’s just the emails that are such a beast.

•  Everyone is getting married and wearing flower crowns and all I want to do is eat this Mostly Veggie Baked Macaroni forever and ever.

If you need me today I’ll be dreaming up Strawberry Filled Doughnuts for us to make next week.  Also, I love you.  Happy Wednesday!


Sunset Happy Hour Cocktails

June 3, 2014

sunset cocktail trio

I knew New Orleans would feel different from my little beach bungalow in Venice, California.  That’s why you move across the country, right?

I knew the air would be thicker in New Orleans,  I figured the walls would be older, the people more talkative, the fried chicken more readily devoured.  The Mississippi is much more brown than the dull grey/green tones of the Pacific Ocean.  The cobble stone streets in my neighborhood are like a vortex you can fall into if you’re not diligent… like quicksand.  It’s different from the sandy beach and paved bike paths of California.

I sometimes feel like I’m underwater, without the water.  Does that make sense? It must have something to do with the fact that I’m hanging out below sea level.  It’s a real feeling.

Louisiana sunset


The sunsets though… the sunsets in Louisiana have a really familiar quality.  They have the same dusty pink, brilliant orange, and stunning blue.  It feels very similar to the sunsets     I’d watch sitting in the sand in California.

Lately I’ve wanted my cocktails to match my sunset.  It’s my little way of creating a Pinterest-worthy moment  (just a moment) out of my day.. when the brilliant orange of my cocktail resembles the brilliant orange of the setting sun.  That moment of synergy feels really good.

As the days get warmer I find myself wanting to drink ALL the drinks.  It’s so hot and humid, I’m a bottomless pit of fresh juice.

We’ve talked about Juicing here before, but I totally understand that not all of us have the space, funds, or desire to have a fancy juicer in our kitchen cupboards.  It felt like a definite splurge item to me in terms of both funds and space.  I get it.

I keep a few Evolution Fresh Juices on hand because Evolution Fresh does all of the hard work of cold-pressing for us! Their juices are fresh and bright and sooooo perfect sunset inspired cocktails!  No big fancy juicer required.

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Turkey Sloppy Joes with Buttery Buns

June 1, 2014

turkey sloppy joes with buttery buns

There was a girl singing Summertime (and the living is easy) outside of my window as I made these Sloppy Joes today.  She wasn’t the best singer in the world.  I imagine that if I had the gall to sing in public, I’d be just around average as well.  A lot of times it’s way more about feel and guts when it comes to singing in the streets.  You just have to step out there and mean in.  That’s just about everything.

I’m feel the same way when I step in the kitchen to make bread.  Feel and guts, every time.

Turkey Sloppy Joes with Buttery Buns

I’ve had every intention of making homemade hamburger-type buns for (no joke) two years now.  Two years!?

I think that’s called self-procrastination.  Sometimes even the best laid plans take years to activate.  Feel and guts!  I’m telling  you.  It’s so real.

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Campfire Scones

May 29, 2014

campfire scones

Let’s go camping!  I’ll bring the steak to grill, the potatoes to bake, the entire martini bar, and enough bug repellant to upset every bug in a ten mile radius.  I’ll build the fire, too.  And maybe we could string a few lights for decoration… because we’ll definitely need all of our outgoing Instagram photos to look juuuust outdoorsy enough.   We’ll eat really well and just happen to look really great doing it!  Let’s not forget our matching flannels.  Obviously.

Now if I could just borrow your sleeping bag, and tent, and bear stick, and wolf-away ninja sword, and spider vacuum, and any other terribly essential camping survival gear… we’ll be good to go!  Are we going to need a fire extinguisher?  Please say no.

That… or we could just stay home, eat steak in the courtyard, and crank up the oven for a moment to enjoy these toasty chocolate scones.  It might be easier than the whole camping endeavor.  Maybe.

campfire scones

My friend Tracy sent me a text last weekend.  It was a photo of a toasted marshmallow-y scone-y deal from Shortcake during her recent trip to Los Angeles.  Los Angeles is like the opposite of camping, so naturally they have to add camping elements to their food.

Tracy’s text message was full of enough high-fives and exclamation points to coax me into making my own version of Campfire Scones.   This feels quite right!  Thanks, Tracy!  No tents.

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homemade decadence

The Web Series



Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut
Sweet Corn Pancakes
Roasted Apricot Breakfast
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie
Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pie
Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars
Homemade Hot Dog Buns
The Ultimate Club Sandwich
Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich

Joy, Recently

Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn
Apple + Fennel with Pistachio + Apricot
Let It Be Sunday (+Monday)
Fall 2014 Cookbooks!
Baking Bootcamp: Apple Pie Biscuits
Beer Brownies
Let It Be Sunday
Oatmeal Cookie Granola
Vegan Banana Pecan Muffins