A Few Notable Notes and I Dipped Your Chips In Chocolate

Chocolate Dipped BBQ Chips

Chocolate Dipped BBQ Chips

Hey friends!  

We need to talk about a few things.  I’ll keep this short because it’s Wednesday and you look super busy.  Actually, your hair looks fantastic, but your body looks busy (and otherwise perfect)… but busy.  Besides, I really have to get back to watching Bachelor in Paradise… which is actually one of the things I was going to talk to you about so we’re moving along quite well.  

First things first.  We need to talk about Snapchat.  The old people (I’m talking about me and my 30something year old peers) have descended upon Snapchat… so technically it’s officially OVER, but we’re going to ride the wave to shore like the adult professionals we are.  Joining in on the weirdness now would be your best bet.  I’m joythebaker on Snapchat if you want to follow me.  It’s weird.  Spoiler alert:  I’m weird.  So… I’ll see you there?  Great / I’m sorry.

Second things second.  Crinkle Cut Barbecue Potato Chips, when purchased with dark chocolate, coconut oil, and sea salt make an excellent snack.  Stoner-level excellent.  The chocolate is melted down with a bit of coconut oil, for smoothness and sheen.  Chips (BBQ!!!) are dipped and sprinkled with salt and left to harden slightly in the refrigerator.  The result is a sweet, salty, chocolate bonanza.  

Now would be a good time to look up the word bonanza.  

bonanza (n.) a situation or event that creates a sudden increase in wealth, good fortune, or profits. 

Yes.  We nailed it.  

Other things I’ve dipped in chocolate:  regular potato chips (also delicious), ice cream cones, and peanut butter cookies.  

Best of luck with all this Wednesday business.  At least your hair looks great.  

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Buttery Layered Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttery Layered Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttery Layered Buttermilk Biscuits

Now, you know I love a biscuit!  Now that I live in the south, I take my biscuits more seriously than ever.  Buttery and tender, up for just about any pairing from coffee to chicken.  I hold my biscuits to very high standards, they must be buttery and rise tall, the perfect balance of salty and sweet, with just a hint of crunch on top and a doughy tenderness inside.  

Because I hold my biscuits to very high standards, I’m always looking for ways to enhance the magic.  The answer:  better butter and a fold or two.  

Let’s go back to basics and make a better biscuit!  

Buttery Layered Buttermilk Biscuits

The fewer the ingredients in baked goods, the more important it is to use really quality ingredients.  

We’re using Land O Lakes® European Style Super Premium Butter for these biscuits.  

You guys, this butter is fantastic!  European-style butter extra creamy and higher in fat than traditional butter made here in the US.  Extra creamy and more fat makes for extra flakey biscuits.  We’re going to use salted butter in these biscuits for that alluring, extra-salty bite.   

This post is in collaboration with Land O Lakes®.  Photographs by Jon Melendez.  

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Let It Be Sunday!

Let It Be Sunday!

Let It Be Sunday!

Hello, my friends!  I’m happy it’s Sunday.  I’m happy we’re here together.  Remember last week when I was like aaaahhhh I CAN’T DEAL!  Well.. it was a beast, but I’m a fighter.  I’m back in the mix feeling positive.  Thank you for your kind words.  

How have we come to the end of our Summer days?  I can hardly believe it, and I need to get hustling on my Summer Bucket List.  I know that our summer days are coming to a close because all of the college kids have come back to town to live it up (and presumably get educated) at Loyola and Tulane.  It’s nothing but flip flops and snapchat everywhere I turn Uptown.  I wish I were kidding. 

I hope you are relentless in your enjoyment of this day.  It’s a good one and we’re lucky to be breathing in it.  

Here are some of the things this week has brought us: 

•  This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in the southeast.  Here’s a map of what the flooding looked like in New Orleans:   Anatomy of a Flood.  New Orleans is strong and steady.  Strong and steady.  

 “Since 1980, more than 260,000 black men have been killed in America.  Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans, is on a crusade to stop the killing.”  A Matter of Black Lives Thank you for the link, Theresa!  

•  When the truth hurts.  Is it better to know the hard truths we face about our health and relationships or is it better to stay in the dark?  Interested in a candle in the dark?  A flashlight?  Something less than a floodlight?  No.  Whole truth, even when it hurts.  This is a lesson I’m learning all the way.  

•  The Incredible Life and Haunting Death of World Traveler Harry Devert.  You lived so big and well.  Rest in peace.  

•  Remember when we were all hooked on the Serial Podcast? Update: New Evidence in Favor of Adnan Syed Could Overturn Conviction.   

•  Charming and wise:  How To Age Gracefully

•  I adore Jessica Koslow of the Los Angeles restaurant Sqirl.  She makes the most lovely, thoughtful and earnest food:  A sneaky sort of complicated simplicity.  

•  A few years ago, Jessica Koslow taught me how to make jam.  Bonkers awesome!   

•  Eating late is bad for you.  Confirmed.  But when else am I going to eat all these BBQ potato chips?  I don’t understand.   I don’t.  

•  Are we in a situation where we can’t not like Taylor Swift?  Yes.    

•  I posted my Instagram tips and Vogue Magazine posted their Instagram tips.  One of us was mean and snarky, one of use wasn’t.  Guess.

•  Eat Boutique is one of my favorite food shops on the Internet.  Just the most lovely food gifts.  It’s founder, Maggie Battista is coming out with a new book! Food Gift Love 

•  Now would be the best time to get in ALL OF THE SUMMER TELEVISION WATCHING before it’s too late.  Here’s what I binged.  It felt so good / so bad.  Lifetime Network’s Unreal, a play on the popular show The Bachelor.  Dude this show….

I also watched ALL of HBO’s The Jinx over the course of two airline flights.  Have you seen this show!? Did it deeply disturb you?  GAWD!

•  Reading:  Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye

•  Who is your Fall beauty muse?  Mine is Sade.  Mine is always Sade.  

Have a beautiful day!  I’m rooting for you in it. 

xo Joy

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Six Ways To Make Instagram Both Beautiful and Bearable

Joy the Baker Instagram Tips

Joy the Baker Instagram Tips

Hey friends!  Can we talk about Instagram?  Does it feel like it’s gotten out of our hands?  Like everyone is everywhere doing everything (with cocktails) and we’re… distinctly not?   Instagram has become a beautiful and nearly unbearable place.  Here are my tips to contributing and carrying on.  

•  First, we all owe one another an apology.  I’ll go first.  I’m sorry I make everything look perfect on Instagram.  In fact, nothing is perfect. Everyone is, in fact, doing the same thing.. hiding their pain and disguising their anxieties behind various overhead shots of coffee and doughnuts.  I’m sorry.  I’m guilty of the same.  Let’s forgive people in advance for their perceived perfection, see past it and love each other anyway.  

•  Let’s be generous with our likes.  I mean, why not? We follow each other for a reason and that reason is probably that we like each other, or you have cute kids, or a sweet looking cat, or go on excellent food adventures, or have a great sense of humor.  Double tap.  Like.  Or unfollow in which case… peace out, nothing personal. 

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Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée

Here’s what happens when you add a blow torch to your kitchen arsenal:  you find an excuse to toast or brûlée everything in sight.  When you have fire from a portable gun, why wouldn’t you top everything in sugar and crisp it?  It’s foolish not to, frankly.

Can we make nachos with a kitchen torch?  There’s only one way to find out.  

Let’s focus on the matter at hand:  buttery shortbread crust, sweet and tangy Meyer lemon filling, topped with caramelized and crisp sugar.  Brûléed sugar, because we have actual torch fire in our hands.  

Classic lemon bars, with a small stroke of genius.  

This recipe was inspired by Christina of Dessert For Two.  I happen to believe in dessert for too many, but Christina is reasonable and disciplined where I am not.  Old habits (die hard).  

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Let It Be Sunday!

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hallelujah, Sunday!  

We made it to the day of rest which means we’re entitled to sleep in and forget about the pile of dishes in the sink.  I don’t know about you, but I had a doozy of a week.  The kind that requires all of your patience and skill, and even a little help from your friends.  I have a blog post I’ve had in the Drafts section of my blog (meaning it’s still a work in progress) titled On Having A Hard Time.  It’s about… having a hard time.  I’ve been waiting until I have more answers and solutions to post the dang thing but lately I’ve realized that it doesn’t work that way.  The learning is always.  The answers and solutions are elusive.  We’re all just trying to figure this nonsense out.  So, let it happen. 

This week.  Despite the doozy:  

•  I’ve been thinking a lot this month about James Foley, the journalist that was executed last year by ISIS. He went out in the world,sought dangerous places, and tried to find the truth for us.  Watch this:  James Foley on his capture and captivity in Gaddafi’s Libya.  

•  The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy.  Get down in the ditch and listen.  I’m learning to be better all the time, aren’t you? 

•  How To Live Wisely, a college course. 

•  I don’t know much about football beyond the sound of crashing helmets and blown whistles.  The rules and downs and flags confuse me, but I do love professional sports for the humanity that emerges.  This is a great read:  How Marvin Gaye’s NFL Try Out Changed His Career.  

•  Dinner and Deception.  The thrill of the fine-dining dinner con.  

•  Don’t bother explaining yourself:  How To Project Power.  

•  An Adult’s Guide To Snapchat.  We’re working through this together.  Trying to pick the pieces of your mind from the floor and carry on.  

•  Cinnamon Toast Milk Ice Cream from The Candid Appetite.  He combined cold cereal with ice cream and really it’s just rude.  Deliciously RUDE.  

•  A most lovely book cake out this week!  Voracious by Cara Nicoletti.  She also has a story here:  What Wasn’t Said About An Hours D’oeuvre.  

•  Is the turtleneck the new blazer?  Or wait… should we wear turtlenecks with our blazers all Murphy Brown style?  

It’s a short list this week.  I know.  Would not be a good time for a nap?  I thought so.  

xo Joy

How To Make The Best BLT Sandwich – Pro Tips from a Professional

The Best BLT

The Best BLT

Ok.  So maybe I’m not a professional BLT magic maker in the strictest sense of the word professional.  A professional BLT magic maker is a good-hearted line cook who sneaks extra bacon into your sandwich.  I’m just an enthusiast.  A professional enthusiast… can we leave it at that?  

Here are my Top Seven Tips to making the best BLT!  You think you know… but you have no idea.  

Willa Jean Bread

•  Let’s start with bread!  Bread should either be perfect, or perfectly horrible.  Let me explain.  The best BLTs are made on fresh bakery-baked bakery bread.  The more times you mention the word ‘bakery’, the better the bread.  I chose a soft loaf of bakery-baked white bread from Willa Jean Bakery in New Orleans.  

If you can’t, or don’t want to, get your hands on bakery-baked bakery bread, go with grocery store sliced white bread… I’m taking like, Wonder Bread.  It’s so soft and fluffy…  I need a pillow made out of Wonder Bread to snack myself to sleep every night. Thanks.   

Also, bonus… you can choose whatever bread makes you feel good.  You’re grown. 

•  To toast or not to toast.  TOAST!  We’re not heathens (well… we are, but we’re still going to toast our bread like civilized people).  

You can toast your bread in the toaster oven, to your desired shade of golden brown.  (You don’t need me to tell you this.)  

You can toast your bread under the oven broiler where you will forget it and find yourself with blackened bread pucks.  

You can be like me and rub your sliced bread in lard and sizzle them in a cast iron skillet until mostly browned and a little burnt on both sides.  I mean… I just said lard and meant it. 

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Spicy Hot Shrimp

Spicy Hot Fried Shrimp

Spicy Hot Fried Shrimp

If you were in Nashville Tennessee this Spring, sometime between the months of March and May, you may have noticed a distinct shortage of chicken.  That’s because I was in town… eating all of it.  

All of the chicken. 

Nashville makes the best chicken.  Fried.  Roasted.  Flamed.  It’s all good.  

One of my favorite bites of chicken came from Hattie B’s, where they fry very very spicy chicken and serve very very refreshing sweet tea.  Pickled and white bread, too.  Essentials for spice management.  

Spicy Hot Fried Shrimp

I’ve spent the summer mostly not in Nashville.  I’ve missed the chicken.  

I miss the chicken so I fried some shrimp.  It seemed like the New Orleans thing to do.  

These fried shrimp are doused in hot hot hot Hattie B’s inspired sauce.  Have some sweet tea, a cold beer, and a fire extinguisher at the ready.  We’re talking fire-hot. 

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Let It Be Sunday!

Let It Be Sunday!

Let It Be Sunday!

I can toast all of the marshmallows in Orleans Parish and tell you all about it every which way, but really… these Sunday posts have become my favorite to gather and write.  

This week I’m looking for creative ways not to melt or fly into a heat-induced rage.  The solution, I’ve found, lies somewhere between popsicles for dinner and plane tickets to more temperate states.  Like… I’d appreciate a frozen banana on the beach in Santa Cruz exactly right now.  

The Internet has some words and ideas for us.  I hope you have your coffee and a few minutes to spare.  

•  I’m fast approaching the ‘I’m Too Old For This‘ age and general mindset.  

•  Since everyone I know is having a baby, this is an important read: How To Visit New Babies.  Apparently you’re not supposed to bring a parade and a bunch of scary clowns.

•  Science says that having a kid is one of the crappiest things that can happen to you.  Science, simmer down… geez.  

•  What Houseguests Really Notice When They Come Visit aka Hide Everything in the Closet, Including the Dog. 

•  I read this on an airplane and cried.  How To Write a Condolence Note from Cup of Jo.    

•  Sushi Chef: Miki Isumisawa and her all female sushi restaurant.  Passion, dedication, vision, and guts.  That’s all it takes.  (ps.  That’s a lot.) 

•  Think about it… Facebook Should Pay All Of Us.  

•  Sometimes, Love is a Mother F*cker.  And that’s just the truth.  

•  Remember that time aaalll the super sexy supermodels fell in love with Adam Sandler?  Ugh.  Rose McGowan is starting a revolution.  

•  There’s no graceful transition into this next link.  It’s about the menstrual cycle… because period underwear is a thing… and it might just work! 

•  What will happen if I don’t take out my phone?  You may accidentally make eye contact with another human being.  BE CAREFUL! 

•  My friend Jessica turned me onto a new podcast called Mystery Show.  I particularly love this episode about Britney Spears and a book.  

•  Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach Pie!  For the saltine crackers as crust, and the sweetened condensed milk in the lemon filling. For the ease and lack of pretension.  Because it’s PIE!  I would like to shake Bill Smith’s hands.  One of those firm-handed, high arm swinging handshakes.  With eye contact.  

•  A good while ago I made these Lemon Ricotta Waffles with poppy seeds.  I was smart and they were delicious! Get thee a waffle iron (or fish it out from the back cabinet).   

•  Sound the alarms.  This Caramelized Banana Rice Pudding is all the way out of control.  

•  Instantly craving these Swedish Meatballs with Cucumber and Radish Pickles.  DINNER!

Another day in the world.  We better make it a good one!

xo Joy

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Pepperoni Pineapple and Hatch Chile Pizza

Pepperoni, Pineapple, and Hatch Chile Pizza

Pepperoni, Pineapple, and Hatch Chile Pizza

I have to be honest… I don’t believe in bad pizza.  It doesn’t exist.  Where there is bread and melted cheese, sometimes sausage and olive, sometimes pepperoni and pineapple… there is some dang good pizza. 

Frozen, warmed-over, school-lunch, cold from the fridge, so hot all the cheese slides off, any which way… it’s pizza and it’s delicious.  

I have high standards when it comes to wine and chocolate chip cookies.  Low standards when it comes to pizza and reality television.  

Let’s do this. 

Pepperoni, Pineapple, and Hatch Chile Pizza


Pizza party.  

PS.  It’s exciting that it’s Hatch Chile Pepper season again.  These special peppers from New Mexico are just the right spicy.  Last year we made Roasted Tomato and Hatch Chile Salsa.  That was juuuust fine. 

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Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Cake with Salted Caramel

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

I remember the first time I went to the grocery store by myself, for myself.  It was the day I realized I could buy cheese puffs, a candy bar, and a strawberry-kiwi Snapple… call it dinner, and no one would argue with me.  


I’d experiment with different combinations of ridiculous dinner purchases just to make sure it was all possible.  Top Ramen and marshmallows and chocolate milk?  You’re going to let me get away with this, Mrs Cashier?  Amazing.  You mean I don’t have to buy broccoli and steam it and eat it cold?  I love you.  

Downside.  Be prepared to pay for your own weird food when you’re grown and making poor dinner decisions.

This cake is made in that spirit.  I’m here to tell you that we can combine graham crackers, pecans, salted caramel, vanilla ice cream, AND toasted marshmallows and call it CAKE!  And then we get to eat it so… what more could you want? (A pony and Beyonce’s vacation wardrobe… but focus!!  We have marshmallows on our ice cream cake!)

Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream cake with Salted Caramel

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Strawberry Watermelon Lime Juice

Watermelon Strawberry Lime Juice

Watermelon Strawberry Lime Juice

Before Joy the Baker was Joy the Baker…. Joy the Baker was a low-level, middle school candy hustler.  

I used to buy candy from the ice cream truck after school, repurpose it, work it and twerk it, and re-sell the candy to other kids… at a markup of course.  I was in it for the glory and profit.  

There was a method to the hustle:  buy blow-pop lollipops, jolly rancher hard candy strips, and starburst candies.  Get them home and into the kitchen without them being confiscated by big sister or hungry mama.  

I’d unwrap the lollipops.  Somehow… and this part is hazy… heat the jolly rancher bar and wrap it around the lollipop.  Then heat the starburst candy and smash it on top of the blow-pop creating a MEGA three in one candy experience.  Four in one candy experience if you count the bubble gum inside the lollipop.  I think there was boiling water and tweezers involved.  The memory is murky. 

I’d wrap these candy knobs in plastic wrap and sell them at school.    Is that allowed?  Who knows. 

Where did this candy creation come from!?  These were the days before Pinterest.  How did we have any good ideas at all? 

Does anyone have any idea what I’m talking about?  Surely I didn’t invent this Franken-candy on my own.  Did you meld candy in your middle school years in order to hustle them and garner middle-school fame?    

I mention my monster candy creation because one sip of this juice brought be right back to my candy layering days.  In other words, this juice tastes just like candy, and it’s pink, and cold, and otherwise delicious. 

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Let It Be Sunday!

Let It Be Sunday!

Let It Be Sunday!

Hi friends!  Happy Sunday!

Tron and I have spent the last few days getting our house straightened up.  He has some cat toy organizing he wanted to do and I’ve been desperate to hang some pictures up on the walls and make my desk a place that inspires productivity and not just complete and utter Internet distraction.  

It’s the kind of hot here in New Orleans that makes your feet heavy and even your eyes blink slower.  No one is moving very quickly from here to there and that’s just the way it is.  Tron ordered a pair of clippers from Amazon and promises he won’t claw my face off if I trim his fur.  So far I don’t believe him.  

If you need me this afternoon, I’ll be sitting on my kitchen counter watching Brown Butter Ice Cream churn in my ice cream maker.  If it’s as delicious as it sounds, I’ll share the recipe with you next week!  

I hope you have a most lovely Sunday!  Here’s what we’re reading:

•  The New Science of Sentencing.  Should prison sentences be based on the potential to commit future crimes?  Dangerous game.  

•  Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?  Privately funded, high-tech crime fighting.  I lived in the French Quarter during this particular madness and we needed a Batman.  

•  When Louisiana is in the blood:  Patter and Patois (Thank you for the link Katherine!)

•  Why our futures depend on libraries, reading, and daydreaming (and maybe putting down our cellphones).  

•  When I’m Gone:  I cried some and then a lot.  

•  I like when married people write about being married.  The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give.  “Epic failure is part of being human, and it’s definitely part of being married. It’s part of what being alive means, occasionally screwing up in expensive ways. And that’s part of what marriage means, sometimes hating this other person but staying together because you promised you would. And then, days or weeks later, waking up and loving him again, loving him still.”

•  Mindy Kaling’s Guide To Killer Confidence.  Yes. Yes. Yes.  Work hard.  Earn it.  Don’t hate yourself. 

•  Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse:  As romance gets swiped from the screen, some twentysomethings aren’t liking what they see.

What about thirty somethings?  Doomed.  Quick question, do we even respect ourselves or each other… like, AT ALL anymore? 

•  The Internet is so obsessed with itself. 2015 is the year the old internet died.  I feel like the Internet is a new thing we’re still getting used to… how’s that for crazy-talk?

•  That one time Tamar Adler made hotdogs from scratch.

•  Jon Stewart and ‘The Daily Show’: 9 Essential Moments.  I miss Even Stevphen.  

•  I’m sweating from shoulder to shin.  Would now be a good time to talk about how to start a soup club? Maybe we could make it a slushy club, starting with these Bourbon Slush Punches or Fresh Raspberry Gin Slushies.  

•  Speaking of french fries (I know we weren’t…): French Fry Toppings of the World. (There’s a lot of punctuation going on in the previous sentence.  Most of it is incorrect.)

•  Hop on the bandwagon of this 31 Day Drawing Challenge?

•  Pink and orange inspiration via summer dress.  

•  Gorgeous.  I’m ready for it.  Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream.  

•  Question:  Can we take back the camel toe? 

•  I need to stay home long enough to brew my own kombucha before I start thinking about brewing my own root beer.  FOCUS.  

It’s your Sunday!  I hope it’s a great one!

xo Joy

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Watermelon Wedge with Kale, Jalapeño, and Avocado

Watermelon Wedge Salad

Watermelon Wedge Salad

“I’m not so sure about watermelon and green salad.”  

I hear you.  I hear you, fan of donuts and caramels and watermelon margaritas.  Watermelon and greens?  Suspicious.  I totally get it.  

Just imagine this watermelon as a crisp, slightly sweet, juicy and delicious plate upon which you eat your salad from.  Except it’s an edible plate.  A plate that you’re going to eat.  Because actually it’s just fruit and it really is delicious with a slightly spicy kale salad.  

Its August.  We’re melting.  But we’re not going down without a fight.  Watermelon and greens to the rescue. 

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The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Best Thing I Ever Ate - BBQ

Best Thing I Ever Ate - Maple Bar

There’s a show on The Food Network called ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’.  I think it runs somewhere between Sandra Lee making something weirdly boozy, and Alton Brown making chefs cook with both hands tied behind their backs.  ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’ details the best plates, usually cheese topped or caramel dripping, of today’s celebrity chefs.  It’s fun to live vicariously.  You’ll need some snacks for viewing.  Don’t go into this endeavor hungry.

Inspired by The Food Network and Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere, here’s my list of the good, the delicious, and the gooey.   

Also… I’m tempted to cut this list very short and say that this mango and coconut dark chocolate bar I’m currently eating in bed is the best thing I have ever eaten.  

•  The best Maple Buttermilk Donuts from Top Pot in Seattle.  The key in the thick layer of maple glaze over the dense but cake donut.  They’re hard to share.  

This Strawberry Black Pepper Donut, the ones I made in my own kitchen, might have been the best donuts I’ve ever had.  That’s not a humble brag.  They were really delicious.   Read more

Let It Be Sunday!

let it be sunday

Can I please not talk about Cecil the Lion?  I’ll be honest… I don’t really know what’s going on, and I don’t want to know.  Why are people still hunting lions?   

I hope this summer Sunday finds you well caffeinated and mellowing out… not having a full on / ultra mega / whoa what the heck weekend panic like I’ve had.  It’s the first of another month and all of the tasks of the hour, day, month, and year tend to pile up in my brain.  I’m probably the only person this happens to.  Lucky you, right?

Thankfully, the sun keeps shining, the moon waxes and wanes, and the waves keep crashing.  Panics be damned.  

Here are some of the words of the week, minus the lion. 

•  “President Obama just became the first sitting president to travel from the White House to the big house and visit a federal prison to make the case (one that seems to have some bipartisan agreement) that it’s time to take a hard look at the hard time the American justice system serves out to thousands of non-violent drug offenders.”  Cool Hand Barry.  

 Related:  From a first arrest to a life sentence

•  We’re coming up on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  How a low-level drug dealer rescued a lot of people during Hurricane Katrina.

•  How brand new words are spreading across the nation.  What does it mean if I don’t know most of the words on this list?  I live on Mars?  On fleek.  So help us God.  

•  6 Amazing Female Athletes That Deserve To Be Famous, Like Yesterday. Pitcher Virne Jackie Mitchell?  Go on with your bad self.  

•  What if feels like to go viral.  Please no. 

•  Necessary.  How to meditate anywhere.  I call this spacing out. 

•  The $30 Dinner Party.  Yes, we’re adding gin to the Cucumber Mint Water.  Blowing the budget on gin. 

•  Shutterbean made Elderflower Sherbert like a very clever woman.  

•   I have this blazer and every time I wear it, people are like wait.. what!?  It’s an affordable (and yes, polyester) statement piece.  

•  Next book on my reading list is Making Piece: a memoir of loss, love, and pie by Beth Howard.  Beth writes the blog The World Needs More Pie and is currently traveling the globe teaching people the wonders of pie.  This is a woman after my heart.    

Have a happy Sunday!  You’re lovely.

xo Joy

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Cinnamon Sugar Funnel Cake with Peaches and Raspberries

Cinnamon Sugar Funnel Cake

Some things are better left a mystery.  It’s best not to know how many grams of fat are in a really good Pina Colada.  When drinks come with umbrellas and a side of fruit… all bets are way way off.

 It’s best not to know how many miles you’ve run when your knees are sweaty, your breath is just about gone, and you’re dog tired.  It’s the knowing that will have you talking your run-brain into stopping after the next tenth of a mile.  Maybe that’s just me. 

It’s best not to know how many people hate-follow you on Instagram photos because… how is that even a thing that people have time to do!? Good grief.  

It was best to be oblivious to the fact that we can make funnel cake… yes, the fried state fair delicacy… right in our very homes.  But now that we know, it feels like out duty to not unknown… and thus, eat a whole heck of a lot of funnel cake. 

It’s just that things get a little out of hand once you know you can make things like funnel cake and Beer Battered Onion Rings and Homemade Ranch Sauce right in your kitchen… in your very own kitchen… and you don’t even have to be wearing pants (although you should for hot oil safety… seriously).  

Cinnamon Sugar Funnel Cake

I should also mention that making homemade funnel is pretty dang easy.  There’s one part where we get nervous and hold our breaths a bit… but other than that, too easy.  We’re in real trouble now. 

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Charred Fresh Corn Cakes

Fresh Corn Cakes

Fresh Corn Cakes

You mean to tell me that I get to walk into a grocery store these days and choose between soft ripe peaches, juicy strawberries, big-ol raspberries AND fresh corn on the cob!? It’s just too good.  Everything is like candy.  Candy that I can char over an open flame and smash into savory pancakes.  

I might need someone to hold my hand and tell me everything is going to be alright when summer fades and Winter tubers are all we have to get excited about.  

Spoiled.  Consider me spoiled.  

Now let’s make some cakes! 

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HP Sprout and Food Inspiration

HPsprout + Joy the Baker wrapping paper

HPsprout + Joy the Baker wrapping paper

A Working List of Things We Do With Food

We stir it, mix it, fry it, and flip it.  

Whisk it.  Beat it.  Rest it.  Rise it.  

Smear it. 

Sneak it.  

Shovel it.  

Did I say fry it?  Bake it.  Sauté it and steam it.  

We stand over food with a camera.  We sit in front of food with love in our eyes.  We shovel cold leftovers in out mouths with little shame.  We sneak it from bulk bins at the grocery store because we’re hangry and that’s just going to be that.  

We adore it.  We appreciate it.  We thrive from it.  

And now… well, we can scan our food into fancy computers and make big, bright, poppy paper out of it, because… the world is new and exciting always.   

I’ve been playing around with the new HP Sprout computer (and also totally playing with my food) and can I just say…. WHOA!  The computer can scan anything, even 3-D object, to create mega-unique design products.  And… for someone like me, who can be a little design challenged, scanning and scooting (technical term) design elements with my fingers and a touch screen is pretty fantastic.  

*This post is sponsored by HP Sprout.  They made a really cool computer and I wanted to show you what I made with it. 

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Let It Be Sunday!

Happy weekend-ing!  I’m think I have what can only be described as a wind-blown sunburn.  You’d think after 34 years I’d know the limitations of my pale, un-yielding, un-tanning skin.  

I hope this finds you living your summer days well.  With ice-cold drinks, outdoor picnics, lazy beach days, and enough sunscreen to know better.  I’m crossing things off the Summer Bucket List with a smile on my face.  This Amos Lee concert at the Hollywood Bowl with happy parents and picnic tables was ultra dreamy!

I think of you often.  Most sincerely I do.  I hope your weekend in filled with love and happiness.  

Here’s what the Internet has for us this week: 

•  NASA’s 3 Billion Mile Journey to Pluto, Explained.  My brain breaks when I read this.  

•  Schtoon: (verb) to steal someone’s chair when they get up to do something.  “That cat schtooned my chair when I got up to do something.”  I LOVE this:  The Made-Up Words Project

•  Cheeseburger Ethics:  do professional ethicists behave better than laypeople and WHAT, WHY NOT!? 

•  I think that if Harper Lee had wanted to publish Go Set A Watchman SHE WOULD HAVE!  There… I said it. 

•  Some dude straight RAN THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL like a boss.  

•  The man who makes today’s comedy: Judd Apatow for Rolling Stone.  

•  Forever likable and forever hard-working Dave Grohl.  

 I know it’s just whipping already delicious cheese into a flurry… but it’s still really really delicious.  Add olive oil, lemon, and almost too much black pepper for best results:  Whipped Ricotta with olive oil 

•  Between the new dress I have to buy, the plane ticket to your lovely… so lovely, beach destination wedding, and the gift because you registered for three thousand dollar bedsheets WHERE!?… I’d love to attend your wedding but I can’t afford it.

•  A memoir about what happens when you get rid of all your stuff. It’s extreme life-styling.  I really like the idea of asking “does this thing add value to my life” to every item in my house?  TronCat  gets wide-eyed and nervous when I bat that question around.  

•  They’ve gone and done it… they’ve ruined kale.  

•  The Chef Who Saved My Life.  Jacques Pepin really is the one and only.  

•  I thought hard about making a Summer reading list for us, then realized we should all just read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and call it a day.  It’s so good.    Stop everything and read it, thanks. 

•  Cupcakes and Cashmere:  15 Best Things I Ever Ate.  I need to make a list like this, or just go eat a bunch of waffles… which is what I really want to do.  

•  Lemon Chia Chews.  Healthful, summer-travel-friendly, and otherwise delicious! 

•  These copper and black knives are super chic. 

•  What Does $100 Buy You In Different Cities Across The US? I mean… chill out California.  

 Stand clear of the closing doors, please:  The Most Recognizable Voice In NYC.  I love this glimpse into a part of the world I take for granted.  

•  We like pink and red candy.  That’s just the way of our world.  “I’ll take the yellow Gummy Bears….” said no one ever.  

Have a most lovely Sunday!  I think you’re supreme.

xo Joy

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