Hello friends and happy Sunday! I’ve been baking nearly nonstop this week and the true salvation has been this new pair of (rather ugly) kitchen slippers. You know those cushy kitchen mats some of us have in long-stand areas of our kitchen? These shoes are like attaching those mats to your feet. I have no regrets and hundreds of sugar cookies.
This week our friend Toby is here with our links. I loved them and I think you will too. Here’s Toby!
Hello again, JTB friends! Thank you so much for your ideas last month on gluten free Thanksgiving sides. I ended up making these Artichoke Nibles suggested by commenter Linda, from a 1971 Sunset Magazine recipe, and my Dad was quite pleased. Next up, we’re going to New York over winter break and I’m dying to know…do any of you live there or have you been lately? Where should we eat?! I lived there a million years ago in my 20s and now I’m returning with my family in tow. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, here are some links that brought me…joy. Happy, happy holidays! Xo, Toby
• More and more, I’m finding myself seeking the positive news stories in my feed. Some days, this can be a Herculean task. Other days, the good stories jump right out at you. Thankfully, this article on a 6-year-old farmer surfaced in the middle of a particularly drab afternoon, and I now have a new hero. (The Lily)
• Per Joy’s advice, I’m planning to bring this Confetti Shortbread to the annual cookie swap. I specifically asked Joy which of her recipes are the easiest to make because, um, I’m not the most proficient baker. I love how festive these are and I’ll take any excuse I can get to pack in extra sprinkles. (Joy the Baker)
• We all know there’s no such thing as “too many cookies” during the month of December. So feast your eyes on Edith Zimmerman’s lovely drawings that detail the history of springerles. (Drawinglinks)
• The newsletter I open first these days is Hunter Harris’s Hung Up, a spunky breakdown of the latest celeb and pop culture news. Her Succession power ranking recaps are just as funny as the show itself. (Substack)
• My favorite holiday shopping took place via El Cholo’s Kid, a small business that sells technicolor bags made from recycled materials. Each one is so irresistibly poppy, you don’t even need to wrap them. (El Cholo’s Kid)
• Speaking of presents, there’s absolutely nothing better than giving your loved ones the right books. Here’s the ultimate guide to finding the best books for the women in your life. (What’s Up Moms)
• Pause for one moment to revel in the names of these spices, made specifically for lovers of books, TV, and puns. Shallot’s Web, ya’ll. (The Book Club CookBook)
• Living with young children, I’m inundated with toys so I found this profile on the business birth of Cabbage Patch Kids and Pokémon extremely fascinating. (Inc.)
• I adore grandmothers. Mine was the love of my life and I miss her every day. So I was very pleased to see this poem arrive in my Poem-a-Day email—one of the best newsletters out there fyi—no more grandma poems. A lot of stodgy writing professors out there will tell you never to write about grandmothers. Poet Yolanda Wisher takes that advice and shakes it on its head. (Poets.org)
• We’ve been watching the Beatles doc with big, dopey grins on our faces. So I of course loved this think piece on creativity under pressure + the importance of taking the slow road. (Disney+, Steven Johnson)
• Whether Nicole Byer is hosting Nailed It, laughing on one of her many podcasts, or pole dancing on Instagram, I’ll take her in every form. Her new special, Big Beautiful Weirdo, delivers 60 minutes worth of lols, including one especially funny bit about going to the hospital for her broken ankle. (Netflix
• A new account to delight your eyes: Screenshots of flowers in the Sopranos. Simplicity at its best. (Sopranosflowers)
• Please hold for this ??33-foot-long giant phantom jellyfish. It has a symbiotic relationship with a little white fish, making it both adorable and beautiful. (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)
• In all the sketch artist goss you need to know, Jane Rosenberg, courtroom artist in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, is having a moment. Her job requires prescription binoculars and sounds intense but also oddly captivating. (New York Mag)
• “If you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed with the world lately, you’re not alone. Arooj Aftab is right there with you. The Brooklyn-based Pakistani musician transforms her worries into tranquil music.” I’ve listened to this 20-minute segment three times now and can confirm the truth in that statement. (NPR)
Thank you for these gems, Toby!
My love to you all. xo Joy
So many good reads!!
My advice for New York is… get inspired! I mostly walk around and eat at the place that gives me more inspiration! But if I have to pick a couple: Eataly and Shake Shack!
Hi Toby..just be prepared, due to Covid increase they are starting with restrictions again. Need to wear masks indoors and most restaurants will ask to see your Covid cards. Have a great time, special time for a visit.
Thank you for the intro to Arooj Aftab – now following on Spotify – how beautiful!
Hi Toby! I live in NYC and I have a lot of opinions about food (especially dessert). Some favorites you may want to try:
* Levain Bakery for mega-decadent chocolate chip cookies
* Chip City for equally decadent cookies, in bold flavors
* Alice’s Tea Cup for afternoon tea
* Zabar’s café for black and white cookies
* Tiger Sugar for brown sugar milk boba
* Patisserie Chanson for kouign amann
* Rice to riches for rice pudding
* Milk and Cream Cereal Bar for cereal ice cream
* Emily for Detroit-style pizza (needs reserving well in advance)
* Thai Villa for anything Thai (as long as you like Thai food on the sweeter side)
* P.S. Kitchen for vegan brunch
* Buddha Bodai for vegetarian dim sum
* Sweetgreen (if there isn’t one near you) — this salad place made me like salad
* Los Tacos No. 1 for the city’s best tacos
* Old Tbilisi Garden for Georgian food (the country, not the state)
If you do try any of these places (or others that you end up enjoying), I’d love to hear about it!
laura, this list is awesome. thank you so much!! Milk Bar is already on our itinerary because my son loves Bake Squad :) but I can’t wait to dive into your other recs. xo
Great place in NYC, just went with my daughter who lives in Manhattan, Cervos!!! No reservations, Portuguese and raw bar. Great food and cocktails and saw Stanley Tucci and wife waiting to get in while we were eating ? also went to some awesome French place for oysters in Brooklyn but can’t remember the name. Have fun, NY is fun again??????
Hello!! I tried the Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies this week and have them scooped and frozen ready for baking this week. That was a genius idea, thank you! My family is enjoying eating them raw and frozen already!
LOVE my Oofos! I have several pairs. Check out the clogs too.
I live in NY, specifically Brooklyn. Here’s a few places to get some good eats:
Ramen in Brooklyn – http://chukobk.com/
Vietnamese food in the Village – https://www.saigonshack.com/
Hot chocolate and ice cream in Harlem – https://www.sugarhillcreamery.com/
Mexican food in Brooklyn – https://www.calexico.com/
Vegan food in Manhattan, with uptown and downtown locations – https://www.peacefoodnyc.com/
Noodle bar with uptown and downtown Manhattan locations – https://momofukunoodlebar.com/
Delicious Italian food in Harlem – http://www.pisticcinyc.com/
Wow, amazing round up today! I am loving Arooj Aftab’s music and will seek out more of her work — I literally feel like my blood pressure decreased. Am inspired by Kendall the 6 year old farmer and just donated to her GoFundMe to expand operations to include more children. And the interview with Jane Rosenberg, courtroom artist, was fascinating! Thank you so much!
This was a great Sunday Let It Be. I am loving El Cholo’s kid bags and the 6-year-old farmer. Great work, Toby!
Wow. You are just full of good stuff today! The music- beautiful. The OOFOS? I’ll have to try them. Been wearing Dansko in the kitchen for years but very clunky. How do y’all keep a handle on your weight with all the baking and cooking?
Thanks Joy and Toby!
Ditto on the OOFOS, I love mine!! Thank you Toby for such a great selection-can’t wait to dive in.
Happy Sunday Joy! Herewith my playlist with cozy winter songs for the last month of the year. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2Yq7JuUIRGNGTftP7GFpvT?si=49afadf9657a4205
Joy! Why can’t I find your sugar cookie cut out recipe? They look perfect and I want to make them asap!