Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

What if there could be a treat that was like Rice Krispie treats, but also like a bowl of kettle corn, and then also salty, but then dotted with an obnoxious amount of sprinkles?  That would be good news.  Actually, that would be what’s happening here!

It’s success and celebration, all in a popcorn bowl.  

Happy Monday!  Just go for it: sprinkle and marshmallow everything today.   

Related:  I’m really into aggressively-flavored popcorn… Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Here’s how this magic happens.  Fresh popped popcorn (from scratch is my favorite), corn flakes for crisp and crunch, marshmallows and butter because we’re obnoxious geniuses, and sea salt because sweet needs salt.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Butter and marshmallows are melted down into a syrup.  If you’re thinking that this mixture resembled Rice Krispie Treats, you’re right.  

Related:  Malty and Salty Brown Butter Treats.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

I used a buttered sheet pan to assemble the popcorn.  More marshmallow coverage.  More room to spread and stir.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Warm buttery marshmallows drizzled over the popcorn and corn flakes and stirred.  Salt and sprinkles too.  Salt for balance and sprinkles for love and happiness.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

I would humbly suggest putting on the movie Step Brothers, pouring yourself a big glass of orange juice (my favorite with popcorn), and maybe a few wet wipes too.  Things could get a little sticky.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Sweet and salty, crunchy and sprinkled, buttery and perfect.


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For the Popcorn
  1. 1/4 cup canola oil
  2. heaping 1/3 cup yellow corn kernels
  3. (or about 12 cups of popcorn)
  4. salt, to taste
  5. 2 heaping cups corn flakes
For the Marshmallow Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing a pan
  2. 1-16 ounce bag mini marshmallows
  3. salt, to taste
  4. rainbow sprinkles, to delight
Instructions
  1. To make the popcorn, in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the corn kernels in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Place the lid over the pan, keeping the lid slightly ajar.
  2. Allow popcorn to begin popping. When popping slows, remove from heat and sprinkle lightly with salt. Shake into a large bowl.
  3. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter and add marshmallows. Stir the mixture until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Spread popcorn across the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle corn flakes over the popcorn. Drizzle the warm marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and cornflakes. You may find that you don’t need to use all of the marshmallow mixture. Use enough for a light coating of the popcorn and cornflakes. Use a large spoon to evenly coat all of the popcorn and cornflakes.
  6. Sprinkle generously with salt and sprinkles and enjoy immediately.

Let It Be Sunday

sunday

Hello friends!  I hope this morning finds you happy and rested, ready for buttery toast and a leisurely morning. I’m back in New Orleans making the biggest mess of my kitchen just for you.  We’ve got fruit pies, avocado things, and a crazy marshmallow concoction coming your way in the next few days.  I hope you’re into it!

Have the most lovely day.  Let’s be good to the people around us.  

The Internet, distilled:  

•  One hundred and fifty years ago this week, President Lincoln was assassinated.  Here’s the story of The Insane Story of The Guy Who Killed The Guy Who Killed Lincoln.  

•  One Company’s New Minimum Wage: ,000 a year.  How? The CEO cut his own million dollar salary to increase the salary of his employees over three years.  Yea… think about it. 

•  The Fascinating, Never-Ending Job of Painting the Golden Gate Bridge.  Tall towers and tight corners, over and over again, amen.  

•  Taking Back Detroit, portraits of a city and its people.  

•  The Time Has Come To Redefine Old Age.  Maybe we should define old age by whether or not you SnapChat.  Related:  I’m not on SnapChat.  I’m old. 

•  Something to make us all feel old and technologically inept:  Instagram’s TMZ.  

•  Really interesting:  The Making of Dr. Oz, how an award-winning doctor turned away from science and embraced fame.  

•  Let’s learn Why Knuckles Crack.  

•  What’s So Special About 350 degrees F?  The science of what happens behind the oven door from The Kitchn.  

•  When I first moved to New Orleans, Jessica Bride graciously invited me into her home to teach me how to make a Louisiana specialty: crawfish pie.  She invited her photographer friend Gabrielle, and I was quickly welcomed into their food-loving friendship. Crawfish Pie and the power of cooking with strangers.  

•  The ladies of Spoon Fork Bacon have a new and beautiful book out!  I’m baking from it this afternoon.  It’s The Perfect Egg.

•  For when we need our shoes to say a lot about who we are.     

•  Speaking of things we wear.  How about this for our new Spring Dress?  I like. 

•  New high or new low?  Custom Printed Pet Photo Pillows.  

Happy Sunday!  I love you.  xo

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

The days really are warming.  There are the prettiest strawberries in the market.  It might almost be time to daydream about watermelon wedges.  But… I still need soup.  The unapologetically comforting kind of soup with soft carrots, big bites of chicken, almost too much thyme, and the fluffiest floating dumplings.  

It’s Winter comforts in Spring.  Let’s bridge the gap.  You know… like wearing a light scarf or shoes with no socks… except this is food and way way delicious.    

Chicken and Dumplings

Boneless and skinless chicken thighs to start.  I like chicken thighs because they’re more fatty and flavorful than chicken breast.  Always go for flavor!  

The meat is seasoned well and browned in hot hot olive oil.  This is where the layers of flavor begin.  

Chicken and Dumplings

The holy trinity for soups!  Necessary and proper:  diced onions, sliced carrots, and sliced celery.  Oh… a little garlic too, because YES! 

Chicken and Dumplings

Once the chicken is browned on each side it is removed from the pot and our vegetables are sautéed in the chicken oil.  Dried thyme is added too.  The saute heat helps bloom the flavor of dried seasoning. 

Layers.  More layers of flavor.  

Chicken and Dumplings

Once the veggies are softened a bit, time for the return of the chicken, this time with a bay leaf and chicken stock.  

This is when the soup becomes soup!  Veggies cooked down and chicken cooked through! 

Chicken and Dumplings

Green peas and fresh parsley to really brighten the whole pot.  

Chicken and Dumplings

Once the chicken is simmered to tender and cooked through, I remove it from the pan and chop-shred it.  Technical term.  I also burn the heck outta my fingers because the chicken is super steamy and I’m too impatient to wait for it to cool.  Be like me! 

Chicken and Dumplings

Soup simmers and we make our dumplings.  

Of course there’s butter.  

I actually used King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Blend for these dumplings and they were delicious!  

Chicken and Dumplings

The butter is broken down into the seasoned flour mixture.  A beaten egg and a bit of buttermilk to bring the dumpling dough together!  

Chicken and Dumplings

The batter will be homogenous, a little sticky but not too wet.  

Chicken and Dumplings

Ok!  Game face! Time to dollop dumpling batter into simmering soup!  (This is totally the best part!)

Chicken and Dumplings

Grab a small spoon from the silverware drawer.  Heap it up with about 2 tablespoons of dough and zing it right into the simmering soup.  

Zing it! 

Once all the dumplings are in and simmering, we cover the pot for 10 minutes to let the dumplings simmer and cook.  It’s tremendous… like little biscuits in hot soup!  

Chicken and Dumplings

Warm and classic comfort in a bowl.  And no… you’re not allowed to fish out all of the dumplings for your own consumption.  I already thought of that and beat you to it.  

Chicken and Dumplings


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For the Soup
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  3. salt and pepper to season chicken thighs
  4. 1 large yellow onion, coarsely diced
  5. 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  6. 4 ribs celery, trimmed and sliced
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  9. 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 1 cup frozen peas
  12. 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  13. salt and pepper to taste
For the Dumplings
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  6. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold
  7. 1 large egg, beaten
  8. 1/4 cup buttermilk, cold
Instructions
  1. To make the soup, place oil in a heavy bottom soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in the soup pan to brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Chicken won’t be fully cooked through but it will return to the pot to simmer a bit later.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme to the pot. Stir and saute until the onions are cooked through and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot. Add the bay leaf and chicken stock.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are cooked through and softened, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken when it is cooked through and carefully chop and shred it. Return the chicken to the pan.
  7. While the soup simmers. Make the dumplings. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, thyme, and pepper. Add the butter and use your fingers to break it down into the flour mixture creating small flecks of butter throughout the mixture.
  8. Add the beaten egg and buttermilk and stir until just combined. Try not to over-stir the dumpling dough.
  9. When the vegetables in the soup are cooked through and the chicken is chopped and returned to the pot, bring the soup to a light simmer and season to taste. Stir in peas and parsley. Use a small spoon to gently dollop about 2 tablespoons of dough into the simmering soup.
  10. The dumpling may sink, but will rise to the surface of the soup as it cooks. Add all of the dumplings.
  11. Cover the pot. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. After 10 minutes the dumplings should be cooked through. Remove from heat and serve warm!
Adapted from Whole Foods Market

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello my friends! 

It’s Sunday and I hope you’re ready for some Spring sunshine and frothy cappuccinos.  Maybe treat yourself to a donut. Treat a friend to a donut.  Do things that make you smile.  

I’ve been missing my California home these days.  Something about California air just feels familiar and settling to me.  You can take the girl outta California… but you can’t take California outta the girl (no matter how many times I try to say y’all).  Above photo by Jon Melendez (who just made a Jambalaya Pizza!!).  

Enjoy this beautiful day.  

Here’s the easy of the Internet this week:  

•  We need to keep talking about this California drought business:  are almonds and other nuts really drought villains?

•  An art director on Why She Wears The Same Thing To Work Everyday.  In my world it’s more like, Why I Wear The Same Dress For A Week Straight:  laze and convenience and security. 

•  5 Things You Should Know About Hillary Clinton.  Bonus thing:  she’s a boss. 

•  From the series “Why I Teach”:  Why I Teach My Students To Be Brave.

•  Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work, Here’s What Does.  I mean… with a title like this you haaave to click, right?  Spoiler alert:  write a list and make a plan.  

•  “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”  50 of the most beautiful lines in The Great Gatsby.  

•  Women Answer Questions Men Are Too Afraid To Ask.  On bras and why it takes us so long to get ready… straight face emoji. 

•  It’s Spring and I feel like now is the time to put root vegetables in our desserts.  Don’t worry… it’s cool.  It’s going to be good.  I promise!  Chocolate Beet Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting.  

•  Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Crispy Goat Cheese.  I’d eat my fill.  

•  What if your name was Beyonce… but you weren’t Beyonce.  Are You Beyonce, Beyonce, or Just Regular Beyonce?  It’s complicated.   

Have a most lovely Sunday!

xo Joy

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

Reading Terminal Market

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

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

Here’s a look inside: 

Reading Terminal Market

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

The Reading Terminal Market

Fresh fried donuts at Beiler’s Donuts and Salads.  To the right of those donuts is a giant hot oil bath for the dough.  This is my kind of beauty.  

Reading Terminal Market

So many Amish donuts to choose from.  The Apple Fritter!  Don’t go without it.  

Reading Terminal Market

Every juice you could ever imagine from Lancaster County Dairy.  

Reading Terminal Market

What are we going to do with all this fish? 

Reading Terminal Market

Every single cut and chop and link at L Halteman Family Country Foods.  

Reading Terminal Market

Roasting coffee at Old City Coffee.  I dream of having a coffee roaster like this in my basement.  Also, I dream of having a basement.  

Reading Market Terminal

 They take their grilled cheese and olives very seriously at Valley Shepard Creamery and Meltkraft Grilled Cheese.  

Reading Terminal Market

The bread at Metropolitan Bakery is gorgeous, and they also know a thing or two about homemade fig bars and canneles!  

Reading Market Terminal

As a west coast girl, I can safely say that I don’t know enough about cannolis. Thank you Termini Brothers Bakery for the education. I’ll never be the same.  

Reading Market Terminal

Reading Terminal Market

Roast pork.  Cannolis.  Loaves of bread.  Fresh fried donuts.  Coffee.  Ice cream and candy and juice and meat and fish and every-dang-thing.  What’s really nice is the gathering.  The way people sit and chat and hold their babies and take a moment to eat and be while the world bustles around them.  The Reading Terminal Market is special.

I hope your day is great!  

xo Joy 

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate Cookies

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

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

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

Peanut Butter.

Bacon.  

Dark Chocolate.  

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

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

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

These cookies are so easy you’re going to feel like you’re cheating… like you’re getting way with something… like you’re part human and part bacon-cooking genius.  (Because bacon-cooking geniuses aren’t human.  We all know that.)

Peanut butter plus two sugars:  granulated and brown.  A one to one ratio.  Once cup peanut butter and one cup sugar.  

We’re off to a good start. 

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

An egg too.  

Maybe a dash of vanilla extract if you’re feeling extra fancy.  

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

And we can’t forget the baking soda.  

But that’s it!

There’s no flour in these cookies.  They’re the ultimate in gluten-free because there never was any gluten to begin with!

The cookies stick together with the magic of peanut butter and egg.  It’s a baking science that we should just acknowledge, accept, and appreciate. 

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

The cookie batter will be rather thick, a bit greasy (don’t be scared), and maybe a bit grainy, too (still don’t be scared).  

Add chopped bacon and chocolate:  generous and aggressive.  

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

Rolled into large balls making sure to get lots of bacon and chocolate in each cookie.  

Rolled in sugar.  That’s just the way of the peanut butter cookie.  

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate

Big, stacked, sweet, salty, peanut butter-y GOOD!  

If you’re still reading this please stop.  Stop right now and go make these.  They will win you friends, lovers, allies, and admirers. These are true words.   

Peanut Butter Bacon and Dark Chocolate Cookies


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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
  2. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. about 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and coarsely chopped
  7. 1 large handful dark chocolate pieces
  8. granulated sugar for coating cookies.
Instructions
  1. To cook the bacon, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay uncooked bacon on top of the foil in a single layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cooked through, browned, and crisp. Remove from the oven and place on a plate to cool before chopping for the cookies.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined. Add egg and baking soda and mix until well combined. Fold in cooked bacon and chocolate pieces.
  4. Roll into large walnut sized balls and if you’d like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before placing on the cookie sheet and creating a cris-cross pattern with a fork.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to… your mouth.
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello friends!  

Happy Easter!  Happy Spring!  

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

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

(picture above from HubBub Coffee.) 

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

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

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

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

•  Ellen Pao and The Sexism You Can Quite Prove.  

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

 Should Grown Men Use Emoji? (straight face emoji)   

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely day, my friends!  Catchya tomorrow! 

xo Joy

Cheddar Croissant Donuts with Honey Mustard

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

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

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

Well… here’s how!  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

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

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

We need to talk about puff pastry because not all puff pastry is created equal.  

This recipe works best with square-shaped, definitely all-butter, thawed puff pastry.  I love Dufour which is a little pricey, but totally worth the dollars.  It’s made with butter, not weirdo fats.  I like butter.  I’m an enthusiast.  

Tri-folded square-shaped puff pastry is also handy in terms of how we’re going to fold cheese into this business.  

Two pieces of puff pastry are thawed to a cold room temperature then carefully unfolded and slightly rolled out on a lightly floured work surface.  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Sliced cheese (I used colby jack, but sharp cheddar would also be great) is placed onto the puff pastry.  You can also grate the cheese if you don’t want to slice it.  Just get some cheese on there.  It’s not rocket science (I mean… right?). 

Good idea:  Spread a bit of whole grain mustard on top of the cheddar and puff pastry.  Added flavor and great glue as you place the other piece of puff pastry on top of the cheese layer.  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

The two layers of puff pastry with cheddar and mustard sandwiches in between… the whole thing is folded into thirds.  

The puff pastry should be relatively cold.  Not firm, just a bit of a chill.  It will make rolling the filled dough easier.  If your puff pastry (or kitchen) is too warm, just pop the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes.  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Roll the filled puff pastry to about 1/3-inch thickness. 

Just roll gently.  Try not to tear where the cheddar and puff tasty come together.  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Two biscuit cutters:  one big, one small.  That’s what makes a donut.   

Cut circles into the cheddar filled dough.  These little jammers are hitting the fryer! 

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Never underestimate the power of a donut hole, especially if it’s filled with cheddar.  In fact, you’ll want to slice more little donut holes from the excess donut.  

Fry as much as you can, really.  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

Now… hot oil frying isn’t as scary and daunting as you might think.

I used a large heavy-bottom pot with about 2-inches of canola oil.  A fry thermometer is essential.  It’s really important to know how hot your oil is as you’re cooking so you know that your donuts cook and brown without absorbing too much oil.  

As the donuts cook, you’ll find that some of the cheese cooks out of the donut.  Don’t worry.  There will still be plenty of melty goodness in the donuts when the come out of the oil.  

Fry.  Flip once or twice.  Get golden.  Remove. Drain on paper towel.  Bring the oil back up to temperature.  Fry another batch.  

That’s how this goes.  

Cheddar Croissant Donuts

 Warm croissant donuts are lightly glazed with a mixture of whole grain mustard and honey.  If you have chives on hand, chop those up and sprinkle your donuts!  That’s the best idea.  

Enjoy warm or at room temperature the day they’re made.  They’re delicious.  Call somebody… you can’t be the only one all up in this goodness! 

Cheddar Croissant Donuts with honey mustard

Yields 10


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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
30 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
30 min

Ingredients
  1. 2 sheets square shaped, all butter puff pastry (I like Dufour)
  2. all-purpose flour for dusting the counter
  3. 9 small slices cheddar cheese
  4. 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard, divided
  5. 1 tablespoon honey
  6. fresh cracked black pepper
  7. chives for topping (optional)
  8. canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Allow the puff pastry to come to a cool room temperature. Puff pastry can defrost in the refrigerator overnight or come to room temperature on the kitchen counter in about 30 minutes.
  2. Separate and unfold the puff pastry. Be careful not to tear the puff pastry as you unfold it.
  3. Place on a lightly floured work surface and gently roll with a rolling pin to extend the dough on all sides to about a 1/8-inch thickness. Roll the second puff pastry in the same way and set aside.
  4. Place slices on cheese on one piece of the rolled puff pastry. No need to cover the entire surface with cheese, just spread it across the rolled puff pastry.
  5. Spread the cheese topped puff pastry with just about 1 tablespoon of mustard.
  6. Add the second rolled sheet of puff pastry evenly on top of the cheese and mustard. Lightly press.
  7. Fold the right third of dough across the center, and the left third of dough across the center.
  8. The dough should still have a faint chill to it which will make it easier to roll. If the dough is too warm, place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling.
  9. Roll dough out to a 1/3-inch thickness. Roll gently, being sure not to tear through the puff pastry and expose the cheese.
  10. Use two round biscuit cutters to cut the circles. The large round should be about 3-inches in diameter and the smaller round should be about 1-inch in diameter. Cut large circles of dough out and cut smaller circles out of the large circles. We’re going to fry all of it!
  11. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan with a candy/fry thermometer attached to the side, heat oil to 350 degrees F.
  12. Fry the donuts and holes in small batches, flipping one or twice, until the donuts are golden brown on all sides.
  13. Remove from the fryer and allow to rest on a sheet of paper towels.
  14. Continue to fry until all of the donuts and holes are golden.
  15. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard, honey, and pepper. Stir and lightly brush onto the warm donuts. Sprinkle with chives, if using. Enjoy immediately!
Adapted from The Kitchen
Adapted from The Kitchen

New Favorite Spring Cookbooks

JTB Cookbook Collage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let It Be Sunday

Let It Be Sunday

Hello friends!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

•  Feminist Ben and Jerry’s flavors.  Because.   

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

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

•  Our president + The Wire creator David Simon.  

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

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

•  The X-Files.  Come on BACK!  

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

xo Joy