Oh JoyOh Joy

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Hope you guys had a great weekend! We had a super relaxing long weekend in Santa Barbara for our mini babymoon {pics to come this week}. I spent the time without my computer, didn't check email, and had no set plans or agenda...tough for a self-employed Type A...but so so needed. We stopped by the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market on Saturday, and I was excited to find some Yellow Barhi Dates from Flying Disc Ranch. They're only in season from September to November so it's been a year since I last enjoyed some. Picked at an earlier stage—before they have the chance to turn brown and dry—the crunchy dates taste like a mix of an apple and coconut with a bit of bitterness. They're crunchy, sweet, and delicious... — Joy

{photo by Oh Joy. Dates can be mail-ordered from Flying Disc Ranch or Shields Date Garden}

oh yum...


How fun is the packaging of Justin's Nut Butter? The flavors look delicious and would be perfect as a sweet, creamy, and protein-packed snack...must try asap... — Joy

{available for purchase right here}

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Have you guys ever had a purple yam before? Oh my...if you like yams, purple yams are seriously the best of the yammy bunch. Typically used in Asia, they're sweeter, denser, and closer to the consistency of a sweet potato than your traditional orange yam. This one above is from one of my favorite LA restaurants, Jar, which Bob brought home the other night after going there for a work dinner. The simply baked yam is topped with sour cream and chives {like a baked potato} and then smushed open while piping hot. But the sweetness and texture is seriously out of this world {and they're good for you!}. Next time you're at an Asian grocery store and spot some purple yams, they're a must try. — Joy

{photo by Oh Joy}

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If you can believe it, I've actually been LESS into sweets and dessert since getting pregnant. That doesn't mean I won't still enjoy a scoop of ice cream or a slice of pie, but I don't crave cake and cookies the way I used to before baby. The things I want most are fruity, sour, and vinegar-y in nature, so these drinking vinegars from by Som from Pok Pok have been my newest treat. Som translates to "orange" in Thai but is also used to address things that are sour in taste. The vinegars come really concentrate, so I simply add 1:4 or 1:5 ratio of the drinking vinegar to sparkling water...and it's a light, refreshing, sour soda treat {and you don't taste the vinegar}! — Joy

[photos by Oh Joy, drinking glasses from Fishs Eddy, another recipe for drinking vinegar found here}

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My current cravings seem to include sour & vinegary things like lemonade and pickles...or buttery chocolate things...like croissants! So I finally stocked up on a box from Trader Joe's after a recommendation from Julie. While I'd love them to have twice as much chocolate oozing out, they're flaky and buttery and offer that freshly baked feeling that I couldn't normally get at home. A morning feast! — Joy

{photo by Oh Joy}

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When working from home, I often find myself forgetting about lunch {too engrossed in work} or too lazy to whip up something from scratch. So I love it when I can stock my freezer with a few staples that make an easy lunch even more special with a few fresh toppings...like these Gorditas from Trader Joe's! The corn masa pouches are filled with cheese, beans, and roasted chile. I love topping them with sour cream, corn salsa, and hot peppers {shown above}...or another favorite topper...avocados and bacon jam! — Joy

jam sessions...

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I have deep affection towards any kind of "something of the month" club...whether it be bacon, fruit, cheese {or shoes!}, so I love the idea of sending these artisanal jam sessions to the fruit jam enthusiasts in my life. Dagstani & Sons in Denver makes small-batch jam that is sourced locally, organic, and wild whenever possible for pairings that are out of this world. I had a chance to taste the Meyer Lemons and Cara Cara Oranges and the Pear Vanilla jams, and they taste like grown-up candy in a jar. I partnered the Pear Vanilla jam with goat cheese, mixing the sweetness of the jam with the slightly tart goat cheese for a creamy, salty, and sweet version of cheese and crackers... — Joy

{top photo by Michael Wright, bottom photos by Oh Joy, jam from Dagstani & Sons*}

{taste it}: pupusa...


Originating from El Salvador, a pupusa is a thick, hand-made corn tortilla {made with rice flour or corn flour} that is filled with cheese, meat, and/or beans. One of my favorites in Los Angeles is Delmys Pupuseria located at the Silver Lake Farmer's Market on Saturdays or the Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sundays. Topped with pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and sour cream, it's rich, savory, chewy, tangy, and spicy...a perfect {and hearty} weekend snack!

{photo by Oh Joy}

{taste tested}: magic milk straws...



I've never been a big fan of straight milk. I love it in ice cream, I love it in a latte, I love it in cheese...but pure milk on it's own has never been my thing. However, ever since my friend Kelley told me about these straws last year, I knew it might be the solution to my calcium-deficient woes and had to get my hands on some!

While Got Milk's Magic Milk Straws were probably made to lure kids into getting more Vitamin D, I have to say they're kinda my new best friend. Available in chocolate, strawberry, cookies n' cream, and vanilla...simply sip on any kind of milk with the straw and it tastes transforms into that flavor! The little flavor buds slowly dissolve giving you enough sweetness for one full glass. I kid you not, I had 4 glasses of milk within 2 days just cause this is so fun and GOOD! And, for these chilly nights lately, it does wonders in a warm glass of milk. The straw contents melt faster in heated milk, leaving you with best approximation of a warm milkshake that I've been able to find or create.

{photos by Oh Joy}

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...roasted pumpkin marshmallows {coated in guanaja chocolate} from the San Fracisco-based Tell Tale Society's December bag. I've been sending this mixed bag of sweet & savory delights to friends & colleagues recently as gifts and just treated myself to one this month...and LOVE it...

{photo by Oh Joy}