Watermelon + Lime

Watermelon + Lime // shutterbean

CONFESSION TIME!! I didn’t really like watermelon until a couple of years ago. I mean…I loooooved watermelon Jolly Ranchers but that’s about it. Crazy, right?  All it took was this salad to change my mind about watermelon and then this one sold me for life. So…how do YOU like your watermelon? I love squeezing mine a little bit of fresh lime juice on top.  Some people love putting salt or chili powder on theirs (both good calls!). But for me, watermelon and lime is absolute perfection. I like the tang the lime brings to the party. It’s especially delicious when the watermelon is super cold on a hot summer day. Picture perfect emoji + watermelon emoji + lime emoji + twinkling star emoji + heart emoji.

HS: The Organized Pantry

ORGANIZED PANTRY // shutterbean

I’ve organized my pantry before and part of me was like… Do people really need to see my pantry again? It’s a chore that I (sadly) do once a year and I keep it up for the most part and then I FREAK OUT and want to bomb it when it gets out of control. You may be in the same boat too.  Let’s discuss that!  Things that race through my mind: Why didn’t I keep it clean?  What part is the hardest to keep organized? What makes me drop the ball?  I have noticed that the trigger for me to clean it out is always finding that I have repeats of pantry staples….and it’s because I’m not organized enough to know that I already have a jar of salsa in my pantry. I COULDN’T FREAKING SEE IT behind the chaos. The good news, is that every time I clean out my pantry, I come up with a new organizing scheme. I find that it’s best regroup and change your organizing habits to make way for new/better ideas. Let me show you!

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad // shutterbean

A few years ago I realized that I have a few weird issues when it comes to tomatoes. I also have feelings about eggs. Like…I will not eat a hard-boiled egg unless I make it myself and I will not eat a cherry tomato if it’s in a pre-packaged salad or at a salad bar. No. Just. NO.  I don’t always trust how fresh the tomato or egg is going to be…and I get scared (I know I’m being dumb) when I bite into an egg that’s overcooked and a tomato that’s tasteless, under ripe or rotten. All it takes is one bad experience and you can easily be done for…

No wonder my kid has picky eater issues.

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad // shutterbean

This salad, however has ALL THE THINGS I LOVE in it. And yes… the tomatoes were a divine mix of ripe mini heirlooms that I chose myself! They didn’t come in a package. Nope. After I mixed them with corn and  I stirred in the spicy/smoky lime dressing, I thought “Hey! Wait. This is practically salsa!”  But then I realized it’s so much more.

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad // shutterbean

It’s essentially summer in a salad. The sweet tomatoes and crunchy corn are balanced by the spicy lime dressing. The creamy avocados break up the texture party with the corn creates. If you wanna stretch it out, add the salad on top of crostini or mix in a bunch of arugula. Feta would be a welcomed addition!  You could always throw some tortilla chips up in and call it a taco salad…

My Everyday Life: Week 23

Here’s what this past week looked like:

I was in Los Angeles again this weekend. But this time for a project with Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. I got some quality MAJ time!

My Everyday Life: Week 23

I love lists, Friday!

I love lists FRIDAY!

    1. Anthony Bourdain’s tips on travel. Love that guy so much.
    2. I love Kristen and how she keeps it REAL.
    3. Roasted Strawberry Lemonade. Let’s kick off the summer with this!
    4. I get these emails all the time…and sometimes they’re really bad….
    5. Let’s have some epiphanies! 
    6. Peach & Blueberry Ricotta Slice (my dad would be ALL over this)
    7. Raw Vegan Tiramisu looks FAB!
    8. I just had Nancy’s Chopped salad in LA. I want to drink the dressing.
    9. This book dedication made me laugh.
    10. I want my summer to look like this.
    11. FOUR DOLLAR TOAST. Let’s keep talking about it til we can’t talk about it anymore.
    12. If I made this, I probably wouldn’t share it with anyone. #realtalk
    13. This is what marriage is. Congrats on your first of MANY years Lisa & Clay
    14. Normandy Beaches… 70 Years later. (WHOA)
    15. Welcome to the world, Curran!  Your parents are awesome people.
    16. Splurge alert! I bought this Stripe Maxi Dress at anthro. It’s so flattering & comfy.
    17. The Day I Left My Son in the Car- thought provoking for real.
    18. What happens when you mix a po’ boy and tacos! (AMAZING)
    19. Sam Smith AND Mary J. Blige. My life is complete!
    20. More Louis C.K. goodness for you.

but wait theres more

There’s a new Joy the Baker Podcast!  Check out episode #121.  We’re scheming on how to podcast with one of our favorite Instagram body building dude. Also- office romances. Yay or nay??!



Congrats, NIKKI!! I’m going to send you an email today. Stay tuned.


Taste of Divine put Whipped Coconut Cream on her Fruit Pizza!

Liz Takes the World made my Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Pizza

Tastefully Gluten Free made my Spicy Zucchini Frittata

In this Kitchen made my Mexican Popcorn


Cucumber Salmon Bites

Cucumber Salmon Bites // shutterbean

Sometimes I forget how much I love smoked salmon.  Here’s one of my favorite ways to eat it besides on a bagel is (that’s my first choice!). What we have above is a thick slice of cucumber with a dab of creme fraiche and a little sliver of smoked salmon on top. That’s it!  If you want some variations, how about adding fresh dill, a few capers or a small sliver of red onion? Cream cheese is just as good if you don’t have creme fraiche hanging out in your fridge (I rarely do!).  I added a little sriracha to the top of these beauties when no one was looking… It makes a perfect “appetizer” and could easily turn into dinner if you feel so inclined. See also: Salmon Cream Cheese! 

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip


Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip // shutterbean

As much as I like having people over for a sit down/fancy dinner, I almost always prefer a last minute spontaneous play-date/party.  The expectations are lower, it’s more carefree, and I haven’t agonized over how unkempt my house is. You busy tonight? No? Come over! Maybe bring a dessert or a drink mixer would be cool and we’ll hang out with the kids while I’ll fix us a cocktail. By the way, my house is a total mess. Oh? Yours is too? Cool.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip // shutterbean

Another thing I love about the spontaneity is that I can dig into my pantry/fridge and make something out of nothing. It feels like I’m having my own Iron Chef battle; I secretly love a good culinary challenge! I just don’t want you to be filming me nor do I want to be competing with a chef coat on.

Spontaneous Play-date Iron Chef Battle:

Something for the kids that’s nutritious but makes them think they’re eating something indulgent so we can get as many fruits & vegetables into their little bodies as possible.

Challenge Accepted.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip // shutterbean

After a little rooting around in the pantry & raiding the fridge, I came up with this party spread ready for a gaggle of ravenous pruney fingered kids fresh out of the pool. The star of the show is this Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Dip- made from three simple ingredients

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles // shutterbean

I didn’t like gin for YEARS. I blame it on tonic water. Tonic water is not my jam. My tongue puts grapefruit juice and tonic water in the same ahhhhhh what is that??! MAKE IT STOP!! category.

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles // shutterbean

It took me a long time to warm up to grapefruit…so maybe I have it in me to one day like tonic water? I dunno. The day I added ginger beer to gin (out of desperation!) was the day I liked GIN. In fact, it’s been my go-to alcohol for the past few years. Gin + Ginger Beer (sometimes ginger ale if that’s what we have on hand) with lime. Sometimes I add a few cucumber slices or strawberries (they taste really good when they’re gin infused!).

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles // shutterbean

And here we have my favorite cocktail in POPSICLE FORM!!! Cuz it’s summer and boozy popsicles might be on your bucket list!  These ones are super refreshing.  How could you go wrong with cucumber, ginger beer, lime and gin??! Dust off your popsicle molds and get at it!