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{flavor stories} spicy + tangy...

Lately I've been working on some new video ideas—like a video version of a column we used to have here called Flavor Stories. I love emphasizing flavors and thinking about how two different ones can work together. So the new video version of Flavor Stories will show you how I like to marry two of my favorite tastes. Today, it's all about spicy and tangy in this super easy shrimp stir-fry recipe. The best part is...all of these take less than 30 minutes to make! Hope you guys enjoy it!

P.S. You can follow along with all the Oh Joy videos by subscribing to my YouTube channel right here!

P.P.S. You can pin the dish right here. And here's the printed recipe below...


{flavor stories} mini peach pavlovas...

oh joy! | flavor stories | mini peach pavlovas

Lately I've been trying to think of just about any way to bake with fresh peaches. Our peach season came early this year but surprisingly it's lasted late into August and brought some of the sweetest peaches around. Almost all the baskets I've bought have been near perfect! 

oh joy! | flavor stories | mini peach pavlovas

In fact, I'm not sure why I hadn't previously thought of topping mini pavlovas with them. Pavlovas are one of the simplest desserts out there, and I think peaches complement them perfectly. 

oh joy! | flavor stories | mini peach pavlovas

For the photos you see here I used this recipe from Nigella Lawson except I substituted the fresh berries with a couple sliced and macerated peaches {to macerate, submerge a couple pitted and sliced peaches in Riesling Indian Summer Ice Wine for about 30 minutes prior to serving}. I also whipped up a quick batch of white chocolate ganache and served it at room temperature drizzled on top. 

oh joy! | flavor stories | mini peach pavlovas

Or for a chocolate alternative, skip the stonefruit and add a touch of cocoa powder to the pavlova mix and serve with fresh seasonal berries. Enjoy!


{photos and styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

{flavor stories} summer berry tarts...

oh joy | flavor stories | summer berry tarts

It's that time of year— that time when just about every berry you can imagine is in season. When roadside stands are overflowing with all types of fresh fruit. Just this past weekend I found, tayberries, black, golden and red raspberries, pink gooseberries, wild blueberries and tiny black currants, it was pretty great!

oh joy | flavor stories | summer berry tarts

All those berries got me to thinking that a simple berry tart would be great for bringing along to summer picnics and potlucks! So, I whipped up these simple berry tarts and I just knew they'd be something you guys would want to know about!

You'll need:
— 12 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed 
— 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted {approximately}
— 1/2 cup graulated sugar {approximately}
— 1 recipe pastry cream
— assorted fresh berrries {your choice}
— confectioners sugar for dusting {optional}

 {This recipe yields 24 tarts, if you'd prefer 16 use only 8 sheets and store the remainder of the phyllo and pastry cream well wrapped in the refridgerator for up to 5 days.}

oh joy | flavor stories | summer berry tarts

Here's how:
1. Make one batch of pastry cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
3. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo pastry on your work service and using a pastry brush, brush with butter then sprinkle with sugar and follow with 3 more sheets {cover the remaining with a damp cloth}.
4. Use a bowl with an approximate rim diameter of 4" placed upsidedown as a guide and cut 8 rounds. Discard the scraps and repeat.
5. Gingerly fit each round into a lightly greased muffin tin. Repeat.
6. Scoop approximately 2 1/2 tablespoons of pastry cream into each shell.
7. Sprinkle with fresh berries.
8. Store leftover pastry cream or phyllo in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
9. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crispy.
10. Cool on a wire rack.
11. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediatley.

For a tasty stonefruit alternative, skip the berries and replace with a pitted & quartered fresh apricot and sliced skin-on almonds. Enjoy!


{photos by Michael Graydon, styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}


{flavor stories} chocolate & cherry pudding...


To me, dessert makes just about any dinner better! That said, I often find there's not enough time to make both from scratch. So, this recipe for chocolate pudding is not only delicious, but it's also really quick to prepare. Make the pudding just before you start preparing your main course, and it'll be ready to enjoy once dinner is finished!


You'll need:
— 1 batch homemade chocolate pudding
— 1/2 cup whipping cream
— a couple teaspoons sugar
— 8-12 cream filled chocolate wafers
— fresh cherries
— cocoa powder for dusting 


Here's how:
1. Make one batch of chocolate pudding and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
2. Whip cream with a touch of sugar.
3. Pit and quarter cherries.
4. Spoon chilled pudding into a shallow dish and garnish with whipped cream and cherries.
5. Serve alongside a couple wafers and a dusting of cocoa powder.

These would be great with other fruit too—simply substitute the cherries for fresh raspberries or strawberries. Enjoy!


{photos by Michael Graydon, styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

{flavor stories} fancy french toast...


I love making French toast on the weekends. It's a bit fancy, so it makes a regular breakfast feel a little more special. Plus, with the addition of this tropical fruit salsa and coconut yogurt, it's a like a vacation without leaving home... 


You'll need:
— 1 batch tropical fruit salsa {It's easy, trust me! All you need is equal parts diced ataulfo mango, fresh pineapple and nectarine + 1/2 as much diced banana and the contents of 1/2 a vanilla bean.}
— 1 batch french toast {I like making it with baguette} 
— a few dollops of coconut yogurt {I like this one, but don't stir the fruit from the bottom in} 
— toasted sliced almonds {optional}
— toasted coconut {optional}
— 1/4 pint cape gooseberries {optional} 


Here's how:
1. To make the tropical fruit salsa, peel and dice the fruit and mix with the contents of half a vanilla bean cut lengthwise. Cover and refrigerate {this can be done a day ahead}.   
2. Make one batch of french toast.
3. Serve immediately with a dollop of coconut yogurt and a couple spoonfuls of salsa {if you can't find coconut yogurt, mix a touch of toasted shredded coconut into vanilla yogurt} .
4. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds, toasted coconut, and cape gooseberries.


Finally, the tropical fruit salsa is great for brunch on its own, too. You can skip the french toast altogether, and serve it in parfait glasses garnished with cape gooseberries. Enjoy!


{photos by Michael Graydon, styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

{flavor stories} strawberry & cream popovers...


Perfect for a summer afternoon, these strawberry & cream popovers might just be my new favorite thing! They're a non-traditional take on the classic strawberry shortcake—think cream puff meets popover meets first of the season strawberries...yum!


Plus, they're super simple {and quick!} to make. Not only do they have a delightfully moist center and a perfectly crisp exterior, the mixture of vanilla pudding and fresh whipped cream is pretty darn delicious!

You'll need:
1 recipe for vanilla pudding, chilled
1 recipe for popovers, baked + cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened whipped cream
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced {smaller berries will work best}
confectioners sugar to garnish


Here's how:
1. Make a batch of vanilla pudding and refrigerate. 
2. Make one recipe of popovers, but omit the thyme leaves and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and an additional teaspoon of sugar. Plus, replace the regular muffin tin {optional} with one meant for mini muffins {you'll have to bake three times which will yield between 32-36 popovers}. Let popovers cool on a wire rack.
3. Wash and slice a pint of fresh strawberries and set aside.
4. Whip about a cup of whipping cream with a touch of confectioner's sugar until it forms soft peaks.
5. Fold together equal parts whipped cream and vanilla pudding {you'll probably have leftover pudding}
6. Lay a couple sliced berries on each popover, add a spoonful of the cream mixture, then place a few more sliced strawberries on top and dust with confectioner's sugar.
7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

While I think they'd be great with just about any fruit, I'd love to try them with fresh raspberries and toasted sliced almonds! 


{photos by Michael Graydon, styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

{flavor stories} chocolate dipped coconut rochers...


One of my favorite tropical flavors is coconut, so I decided to make coconut rochers this week! They're a basic variation on the traditional coconut macaroon made a bit fancy with their pretty shape. They take less than an hour to prepare and are surprisingly simple to make. And, their crispy and lightly golden exterior and soft coconut center make them perfect for dipping in dark chocolate!


You'll need...
100 grams unsweetened coconut, finely shredded
65 grams sugar
50 grams egg whites, lightly whisked
1/2 vanilla bean, split length wise and scraped
a handful of dark or coating chocolate, melted {optional}


Here's how...
1. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, vanilla and coconut.
2. Pour in egg whites and mix until fully combined.
3. Divide into 10 portions and squeeze each into a small mass. Next, form each into a small pyramid.
4. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325˚F for 15 minutes or until the base and tip are golden brown. 
5. Let cool on a wire rack.
6. If dipping in dark chocolate, temper your chocolate and dip each base {learn more about tempering chocolate here}. Let dry on parchment paper. If dipping in coating chocolate, tempering is not necessary, just melt, dip and dry. For a milk chocolate alternative skip the last step and instead add a handful of finely chopped milk chocolate into the coconut mixture.


I like them best day of, but leftovers can be kept for up to 3 days. Enjoy!


{photos and styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

{flavor stories} sakura candy corn...


I've had a thing for popcorn lately and a hankering for candy corn. So, I decided to try a take on a childhood favorite made sweeter with nonpareils and sakura {cherry blossom} extract. And you know what? It turned out better {and cuter!} than I could have imagined!


Sakura Candy Corn
4 cups white popcorn, popped
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch of fleur de sel
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
5 drops sakura extract {or 1 tsp vanilla extract} 
a touch of pink food dye {optional}
a handful of white or primary nonpareils {optional}

Here's how: Place the popcorn in a large bowl and set aside. On high-heat in a small saucepan, cook sugar and water until it reaches 290F {just under hard crack} on a candy thermometer. Add the soda and fleur de sel and swirl until combined {it will be a little frothy}. Remove from heat and add the butter, extract, and color and stir until combined. Quickly pour over popcorn and fold together until the sugar mixture coats most of the popcorn. Immediately sprinkle with the nonpareils. Let cool for 10 minutes.  


My version is pretty in pastel pink and white and makes a sweet gift when packaged in small glassine bags and tied with kraft twist ties like these from Knot and Bow. I also love these recipes for Chili-Lime, Caramel and Fleur de sel and Spicy Sweet popcorn. Plus, one day soon I'd really love to try these Buttered Popcorn Sundaes!

So tell me folks, do you have any popcorn secrets you'd like to share—a favorite flavor combination or a must-know tip about this crunchy snack?


{photos and styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

{flavor stories} spring grapefruit tartlets...


With April just around the corner, it's the perfect time of year for spring-inspired sweets! The cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom here, and I find myself wanting desserts in the same pretty pink hue. So, these grapefruit tartlets do just that. Plus they're light, airy, and simple to make.


The night before I want to make the tarts, I make a quick batch of grapefruit jelly and a small batch of sweet dough. This one looks good, but just make the recipe in tartlet shells instead of a large tart shell. That said, if you don't want to be fiddling around with making pastry you can purchase pre-made tartlet shells in your grocer's freezer section.

Grapefruit & Vanilla Bean Jelly
500 ml fresh grapefruit juice, strained
100 grams sugar
10 ml fresh lemon juice, strained
1/2 a vanilla bean, scraped
10 grams leaf gelatin {available here}

Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water until pliable. In a small saucepan, heat both juices, sugar, and vanilla bean until sugar is just about dissolved but the juice is not boiling. Remove from heat. Squeeze the water from the gelatin leaves and drop into the warm juice and stir. Remove vanilla pod and pour gelatin and juice mixture into a square 8"x8" pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.To remove the jelly from the pan, slide a sharp knife along the edges and flip it onto a piece of parchment paper {you may have to help it a little with a spatula or by placing a warm cloth on the bottom side of the pan until it releases}. You can refrigerate leftovers for up to three days in a covered container.


To assemble the tarts, cut the jelly into small cubes and spoon directly in baked and cooled shells. Garnish with chantilly cream and serve right away! Plus, the grapefruit and vanilla jelly is great all on its own too. I couldn't stop snacking on it!


*For a fun alternative, omit both the grapefruit jelly and the chatilly cream and try filling your tart shells with rhubarb or grapefruit curd and finishing them with toasted Italian meringue.

{photos by Michael Graydon, styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

{flavor stories} grilled cheese sandwiches...


I like a good hearty sandwich, but I love a grilled cheese! I can't decide exactly which I like best so I thought I'd share what I've been making lately. Last week, I tried sliced and buttered baguette with chopped olives, mozzarella, provolone and casalingo salami. It was something like a muffuletta with the ingredients inside, while on the outside it was treated like a panini. I made it on a cast iron grill pan, using the weight of another heavy skillet to gently press the sandwich as each side got toasty. This way {since I don't have a panini press} they turn out just as great.


And then a few nights ago, I tried buttered raisin bread with white cheddar, casalingo salami, sliced fuji apples and my winter pesto—which includes a handful of picked arugula, half a handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, a splash of olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and a generous handful of walnuts ground together with a mortar & pestleand those were really delicious!


*For a vegetarian alternative skip the meat, these sandwiches are just as great without.

So tell me folks, what are you favorite grilled cheese flavors? I'd love to try a new combination!

{photos and styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}