Oh Joy

fruity frozen sips... 3 Mar 2015

Fruity Frozen Sips / Oh Joy

Since I'm on a fruity kick lately, I'm all about ways to get my fruit juicing game on. Inspired by my love of color-blocking, we made these fruity frozen milk bottles which make for a super easy and colorful way to serve up the fruity fun for a girl's brunch or for a kids' birthday party.

Fruity Frozen Sips / Oh Joy

Simply fill glass milk bottles or small mason jars with juice (we used mango, grapefruit, and pineapple juice), then prop the jars at an angle in the freezer. Let them freeze until they're solid. When you're ready to serve the bottles, pull them out of the freezer and pour flat or sparkling water into the top half and finish off with a straw. The frozen section will stay cold for a while, so keep refilling your sips as needed for a pretty and punchy beverage!

P.S. Our fruity ice cubes from a couple years ago...

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

apple and pear nachos! 25 Feb 2015

Apple and Pear Nachos

I have to admit...I've been eating terribly lately. Because I'm nursing, I'm hungry ALL THE TIME up until the minute I fall asleep. Which means you'll find me snacking on chips, nachos, crackers, and chocolate at 10pm and then falling asleep soon after. I try and tell myself I'm burning off the calories by feeding my baby, but that excuse only works for so long. So, we challenged ourselves to come up with a fun and filling snack that I could eat after dinner, yet has good fats and some protein to keep me full through bedtime.

And so we came up with these Apple and Pear Nachos as an update to those full-of-toppings and not-so-healthy nachos we know and love. Here are three fruity alternatives using apple and pear slices topped with dried fruits, nuts, and other fun little ingredients...

Apple and Pear Nachos

1. Granny Smith apples with marshmallow fluff, pomegranate seeds, chocolate chips, and granola. 

Apple and Pear Nachos

2. Asian pear slices topped with nutella, dried mango, coconut, and toffee. 

Apple and Pear Nachos

3. Bartlett pears with dulce de leche spread (from Trader Joe's), sliced almonds, white chocolate chips, and pecans.

Simply slice the fruit horizontally (cutting through the core), cut out the seeds, and top with whatever you like! Just like regular nachos, the fun part is in the combinations you come up with as toppings. We tried out alternates to peanut butter, but of course, you can use classic peanut butter or almond butter as a spread for more protein. 

What other ingredients would you guys top these with?

{Photos by Casey Brodley, production and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

currently snacking on... 5 Feb 2015

Gray Malin x Compartes Chocolate Bars

Is it just me or do you also keep a bar of chocolate in your bedroom's nightstand? Maybe it's the thoughts of Valentine's Day swirling in my head or the fact that my sweet tooth is off the charts these days, but I'm currently snacking on my own box of chocolate à la these Gray Malin x Compartes chocolate bars. The "Sweet Sea" flavor (milk chocolate waffle cone with sea salt) is my fave and anything called "Beach Sprinkles" sounds so sweet in so many ways...

Gray Malin x Compartes Chocolate Bars

...and this packaging? Compartes always nails it with these gorgeous boxes!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

"kiss me" funfetti cookies... 4 Feb 2015

Kiss Me Funfetti Cookies

What would Valentine's Day be without a couple kisses for those you love? We made our kissable version of funfetti cookies as tokens of affection for friends and loved ones this upcoming holiday!

Kiss Me Cookies
(Makes approx. 15 cookies)

You'll need:
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter - softened at room temperature
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 large egg at room temperature
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 and 1/2 cup flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp cream of tartar
-1/2 cup sprinkles
-red and pink decorating frosting
-lip cookie cutter (part of this set)

Kiss Me Funfetti Cookies

Here's how: 

1. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute, then add the sugar and mix until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Set aside.

2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Then add the wet ingredients in 3 batches. Once combined, fold in the 1/2 cup sprinkles.

3. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. 

4. Preheat oven to 350F. 

5. Roll out dough to 1/4" in depth and use the lip cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Place the lip cookies on an no-stick cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes and move to wire rack to cool completely.

7. If the cookies have spread out and don't look super defined anymore (this could happen depending on your specific oven), you can use the cookies cutters to re-cut them while soft and define the shape once again.

8. Once the cookies are cooled, use the red and pink frosting to outline your lip cookies. Enjoy! 

P.S. Funfetti Biscotti!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, baking and styling by Julia Wester, adapted from this recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction.}

valentine's day funfetti biscotti! 27 Jan 2015

chocolate chip funfetti biscotti recipe

With Valentine's Day around the corner, we've baked up a couple sweet treats to make and give to your nearest and dearest. For something sweet (but not too sweet), biscotti is one of my favorite treats because they're like cookies that disguise themselves as a breakfast treat...or really, an all day treat. Here's our funfetti version!

Funfetti Biscotti
(Makes 15-18 pieces)

You'll need:
-3 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1 cup sugar
-3 eggs
-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
-1/8 cup shredded coconut and 1/8 cup sliced almonds
(or if you want to go nut-free, you can use 1/4 cup chocolate chips instead)
-1/4 cup of candy melts in white and pink
-pink sugar sprinkles 

almond coconut funfetti biscotti recipe

Here's how: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) set aside. 

3. In a larger bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Once fully blended together, whisk in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. 

4. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and then fold in the sprinkles and other additional toppings. 

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the dough to form a long rectangle. 

6. Top with pink sugar sprinkles and a few pinches of sea salt and bake for 25 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 250 degrees. Use a serrated knife to cut into 1 wide inch pieces and place them on their sides. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 more minutes. 

8. Follow the instructions for heating the candy melts. Once biscotti is cooled, dip ends into the candy melts. 

funfetti biscotti recipe

As a super easy way to package them up and give to friends, use permanent markers to draw fun shapes, words, or patterns on Ziploc bags!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester. Recipe inspired by and modified from this one by My Name is Yeh.} 

how to get your kids to drink more water... 19 Jan 2015

Fruit Water in Puj Phillup Cups

I don't know about you, but it can be really hard to get my kid to drink water. Ruby will say "How about some juice? How about some chocolate milk?" We try and stick to water or milk during the week and then let her have special drinks on the weekend. In an effort to get her excited about water, we recently started doing something so simple that I never even thought about...adding fruit to the water! I've never been much of a "add lemon to water" kind of girl so it didn't come naturally to me to try that with a toddler. But all of a sudden, water seems so much more fun now. And she loves getting to pick out what kind of fruit goes into her water.

Fruit Water

Her favorite combo right now is raspberries mixed with orange slices. And then the best part is getting to eat the fruit at the end as a reward for finishing the whole cup!

Fruit Water in Puj Phillup Cups

With an active toddler and a tiny babe, anything that makes the process of keeping the dirty dishes and cups to a minumum makes my life so much easier. These crazy cute Puj Phillup cups are a new favorite for our fruit water. They hang from adhesive hooks on the fridge and make it easy for Ruby to grab when she's ready to get a drink and to hang back up for later when she's done.

Puj Phillup Cups

Fruit Water in Puj Phillup Cups

We even use them for the whole family because everyone can have their own cup color to use throughout the day. Plus, anything that is safe and fun for my kids is a win-win for me. And now, we're all drinking more water which is never a bad thing...

P.S. I've long been a fan of Puj (even before they become a sponsor) and so excited that these Phillup cups are available for pre-sale now through 2/15!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Puj—a brand I've been using and loving for years. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and original content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

currently snacking on... 7 Jan 2015

Bond Celebration Bar

I'm not a big fan of making promises I can't keep, so while everyone else is cutting carbs and heading to the gym for the New Year, I'll be over here enjoying this chocolate bar that tastes like a birthday cake and looks like a party perfect for my mouth!

{Photo by Casey Brodley and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

{oh joy eats} dinette in echo park... 1 Dec 2014

Dinette / Los Angeles

Sometimes you come across a new spot that has a combination of a close proximity, casual service, and delicious options that make you go back...every...single...week. You're worried the guy at the counter will think, "You again?" (But then again, that's not a terrible thing to see repeat customers, I suppose.) That newish spot for me is Dinette in L.A.'s Echo Park.

Dinette / Los Angeles

Dinette / Los Angeles

Dinette / Los Angeles

By the owners of Cafe Stella in Silver Lake, it's basically a mini restaurant tucked in a street corner with a fancy take-out window in an up-and-coming area. There's a mix of beautiful baked goods that sit in the window that tease you and tempt you to buy a cookie or slice of pie along with your breakfast or lunch.

Dinette / Los Angeles

Dinette / Los Angeles

Dinette / Los Angeles

But my favorite is the simple, yet beautiful, breakfast which includes the lightest, fluffiest waffles I've ever had topped with bacon and a poached egg, a ham and egg topped toast, avocado toast, and mini quiches—all perfect for sharing. As a milk tea lover, I also love the cardamom iced milk tea for a morning pick-me-up at my new go-to spot.

Dinette | 1606 W. Sunset Blvd. | Los Angeles, CA 90026

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

currently snacking on... 24 Nov 2014

McFaddy Toffee

As we gear up for Thanksgiving, I've pulled out my stretchy pants to get ready for the feast ahead. Around this time, I'm constantly trying new treats to keep in mind for the upcoming gift-giving season, and I'm loving this spin on buttery, crunchy toffee by McFaddy Candy Co.

With flavors like salted toffee, strawberry kiss, green tea, and coconut, they're treats that I could imagine bringing as a hostess gift to an upcoming party or sending to that person in your life who already has everything...

{Photo by Casey Brodley and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy}

candied apples! 10 Nov 2014

Oh Joy Candy Apples

Oh Joy Candy Apples

With fall in full swing, we've been all about autumn treats lately. Pumpkin-everything, hot cocoa, and apples on sticks. Here's our version of the candied apple with a few our favorite toppings!

{Photos by Casey Brodley and styling by Julia Wester for Oh Joy. Fabric by Nani Iro from Shimgraphica.}

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