The Joy Project

Little Moments of Big Love

Category: Entertaining

Cheesecake Strawberries

Turns out when I’m left alone on a Saturday night with a box of wine and no chaperones things can get pretty crazy.

I got caught up on my facebook, my email, my pinterest, and my celebrity gossip.  Finished a book, took a bath, swept the floor, and clipped the cat’s toe nails.  And still it was only ten o’clock.  So I decided to drink more wine and make this recipe from nutmeg nanny .  Turns out it’s easy enough to make, even while slightly intoxicated.



The Holidays

We didn’t give gifts this year.  Trying instead to be frugal, and creative, and sustainable.

But we still received gifts, you know?

Because we spent time together after time spent apart.  And cooked food with love.  And listened to music and played games and laughed.

I spent Christmas Eve night on a sofa sleeper in my mom’s living room.  Like a child.  Only also with my boyfriend.  So more like a poor, slutty, college student (is that statement redundant?).

And I might have accidentally gotten my family drunk at brunch.  Because this Christmas besides the gift of my love, I also gave a signature drink.

It was probably my favorite Christmas ever.

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The Honey Badger


I found this awesome cocktail on a cute blog called The Honey Badger.  Which is named in honor of this funny youtube video that went viral a little while back.

Anyhoo, the cocktail sounded delish so I decided to bring it as part of my contribution to Christmas day celebrations.

We had it at brunch.  It sounded safe.  But then my family all got drunk over their french toast and we had to take naps afterwards.

The honey badger is one crazy ass cocktail.

And later my mom kept asking for some of that nice Honey Beaver or  Honey Bastard and we all giggled.

You should make some and then watch the youtube video.

what you’ll need:

– 1 orange sliced into wedges
– 1 bottle of champagne (doesn’t even have to be the good stuff)
– 1 oz of st. germain (if you don’t have this in your liquor cabinet, or on your fancy bar cart – get it- immediately!!)
– 1 oz of honey syrup : so here’s the thing.  honey syrup sounds very fancy.  it’s not.  you do have to make it, but it’s really easy and it will most definitely get you respect amongst your peers once you have it in your arsenal.
– i encourage you to tell people that you make your own honey syrup, offer it up to them to put in their ice tea or just find a way to sneak it into conversation, like, “did you watch the bachelorette last night?  is that honey syrup?”

what to do:

– first you need to make the aforementioned honey syrup.
– heat 1 cup honey and 1 cup water in a pan, stirring until it simmers then remove from heat.  once cooled you can pour it into a cute jam jar or glass bottle and store in the fridge.


– add 1 oz of the cooled honey syrup to your favorite cocktail glass
– also add the st. germain


– squeeze one of the orange wedges into the mixture and plop the wedge into the glass
– top off the glass with champagne, give it a quick stir and you’re all set.


Pippin The Dear Deer

I don’t understand this.  But I love it.


That’s Audrey Hepburn. With her pet deer, Pippin. But Pippin the deer was far more than just a random pen-kept part of a celebrity petting zoo — Hepburn lived with it, slept in the same bed with it and, apparently, got shitfaced with it.

Uh.  Okay.



Holiday Mix

I made this mix for the family holiday celebrations. It made me dance, or maybe that was the champagne…either way, enjoy!

Dog Days Are Over:  Florence + The Machine

He Can Only Hold Her: Amy Winehouse

Tired: Adele

Having A Party: Sam Cooke

I’d Rather Go Blind (Single): Etta James

You Send Me: Aretha Franklin

Respect: Otis Redding

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love): Natalie Cole

My Babe: Little Walter

Love and Happiness: Al Green

It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World: James Brown

Use Me: Bill Withers

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer: John Lee Hooker

Green Onions: Booker T. & The Mg’s

You Don’t Know Me: Ray Charles

Love Me Like A River Does: Melody Gardot

Divisadero: Balmorhea

Mushaboom (Mocky Remix): Feist


Mahi Mahi with Green Curry

OMG. I made this for dinner and it was amazeballs and really easy!

You gotta try it!

You’ll have way too much left over curry so save it to put over veggies and meat later in the week. Or half the recipe.

Also, I used low-fat coconut milk which worked just fine.  And I added broccoli and swiss chard because I like lots of green.

Find the Sunset magazine recipe here.

RBC Dinner Club

While on vacation a few years ago a nice Canadian man and his attractive son dubbed my girlfriends and I the Raunchy Book Club. I think this was on account of our knowledge of cerebral topics, endless supply of nerdy books and our propensity to do Mad Libs using sailor-like language.

We took it as a compliment and considered getting t-shirts made.

While on that same vacation we also perfected a method to dinner that includes only finger foods and lots of wine…perfect for sitting around and snacking during a long night of laughing, catching up, and swearing.  We’ve had many lovely RBC dinners since then. The concept always stays the same but the foods change; we love loads of stinky cheeses and fresh basil, membrillo, dried mango, dark chocolate with ginger, homemade bread, queso oaxaca and plenty of strawberries.

We call it “RBC dinner” and the beauty is that it requires zero cooking, little cleaning up, and everyone can bring something to contribute. It leaves the hostess free from stress and with plenty of energy and time to gossip and tell dirty jokes.

Last night Karen and I hosted our first RBC dinner with a man friend.

We had been hoping to get together with Charlie to cook fish tacos and impress him with our ability to wine and dine. But life happens and there never seemed to be enough time to put on a full proper dinner party. So we kept delaying.

Finally we broke down and asked Charlie to forgive us and forget the wining and dining and instead join us for RBC dinner in the car port. No stress zone; only things you could quickly make and bring to share. Karen made hummus, Charlie brought fruit salad. There was guacamole and angel food cake (from the store! gasp!) with fresh fruit and of course, plenty of wine.

We laughed and burned things in the chiminea and sat in the hammock and gossiped and focused on being with each other instead of trying to impress each other and it was wonderful.

RBC forever!

Pancake Breakfast

Oooooooh!  Doesn’t looking at these photos of Billy and Holly’s wedding just make you want to pee yourself with glee?!

I’d like to replicate the whole darn thing in my backyard right down to the pretty retro dresses and tiny stacks of pancakes, and have all my favorite gal pals over to celebrate springtime.

(Kara and Aunt Sus–will you come over too?)

Luckily I just planted some runuculus (which happens to be my favorite flower, ahem.) and some mint for mojitos and minty fruit salad.

We just need a pancake-serving cabana boy so we can relax and eat our syrup in peace.

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