To do any job for the better part of 10 years is both a challenge and a privilege. No matter what field you’re working in, the conditions, rules and people around you will change — and when it comes to the field of blogging, the landscape is constantly changing. So today I’m happy to celebrate one of my oldest blogging friends, Joy Cho. I’ve known and followed Joy’s blog, Oh Joy!, since the beginning and it’s been, well, a joy to see her achieve so many great successes in both her personal and professional life. I remember when Joy was engaged and living in Philadelphia and to see her now, living happily in Los Angeles with her two beautiful daughters and her husband, Bob, is a happy reminder of just how much life can change in a decade.
Joy has written and contributed to several books about creativity and blogging, but on April 7th she’s releasing her first book dedicated to what I see as the true core of her blog — finding ways to create and share happiness with others. Oh Joy!: 60 Ways to Create & Give Joy is a colorful, upbeat guide to simple projects that will bring a little smile into the lives of the people you love. From sweet treats you can make and package for friends to home decor projects like customized neon signs, Joy’s new book is all about finding time to do something for someone you care about — even in the smallest way. I think we’re all busy these days and finding time to do projects like this can be difficult or nearly impossible. But what I love about Joy’s book is that the vast majority of these projects can be done in 30 minutes or less, and require very little that you can’t find around your house already. This will be a wonderful handbook for anyone who wants to have some ideas on hand to use for special events, holidays, anniversaries or just moments when you want to make someone you love feel how appreciated they are. Today Joy is sharing a simple Striped Ombré Cake recipe from the book that would be a fun way to spruce up any spring or summer get-together. Click here to check out Joy’s new book online and click through to read the full recipe after the jump. Congrats, Joy! xo, grace
[Below is a highlight of this week’s posts and our favorite links from around the web]
- Dabito from Old Brand New rounded up beautiful kilim pillows under $25.
- Tips for getting decor deals on Craigslist.
- Bold embroidery artwork from one of our favorite Instagrammers.
- Garrett loves this gorgeous German glass tea kettle.
- Glass and resin doors with a dried flower inlay? We love this Japanese home inspired by teepee structures.
- We’re big fans of Johanna Basford’s work and her coloring book for adults just sold 1 million copies!
- Inside a Breaking Bad star’s colorful home.
- Beautiful and bright “carpets” made from forks, chocolate and straws.
- Must-Reads: How to shop for fabric on Etsy, Ways to Save on Moving Day
- Sneak Peeks: A Home Rooted in Hawaiian Heritage, A Historic VA home with an Austin Twist, A collaborative, creative home in the Midwest, A stone farmhouse with room to roam, Hidden Potential in a Michigan Home, A Ranch Home Brimming with Nostalgia, Peek Inside Saipua’s World’s End Farm.
- Recipes: Gluten-Free Apple Hand Pies
- City Guide: 24 Hours in London!
- Life & Business: Jonna Twiggs of Twiggs Bindery, Erin Dollar of Cotton & Flax
- DIY Projects: DIY Clay Platters
See how to make Joy’s Striped Ombré Cake after the jump!
STRIPED OMBRÉ CAKE RECIPE
Makes one 8-inch round cake
3 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan by greasing the sides and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
2. With a hand or stand mixer, whisk egg whites on medium-low until frothy, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to medium-high and gradually add sugar, whisking until firm peaks form.
3. With the speed on low, add the yolks one at a time, until incorporated.
4. Add the honey and whisk on low until just combined.
5. Sift the flour onto the egg mixture and fold it in with a rubber spatula until just combined.
6. Drizzle the milk on top of the batter and fold in until just combined.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the countertop 3 or 4 times to remove large air bubbles.
8. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until the top is evenly browned. Immediately run a thin metal spatula or knife around the pan to loosen the cake. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then invert on cooling rack.
STRIPED OMBRÉ CAKE HOW-TO
Pretty-up a simple cake with a technique that’s both beautiful and edible.
Striped Ombré Cake (recipe above, or a store-bought white cake)
Scissors or X-Acto knife
Freeze-dried cranberries (you can use other fruit to create different colors)
1. Make the base cake, using our recipe (or use a store-bought white cake).
2. In a spice or coffee grinder, blend the fruit to a fine powder.
3. Pour the fruit powder into a bowl and whisk with some powdered sugar to loosen up any clumps. Sift the mixture through a mesh sieve to remove any large pieces.
4. Divide into 5 small dishes and gradually add more powdered sugar to create a gradient of shades, from the most red to less red to white.
5. Cut cardstock into even strips (½-inch strips are shown on an 8-inch round cake).
6. Lay the first strip of paper and a larger sheet parallel to it. The space between will equal the width of your stripe.
7. Sift the first color in the open area, then move the large cardstock and strip over to create the next stripe, making sure to change the color after 1 or 2 stripes.
8. Repeat across the whole cake.
Tip: To store fruit and sugar mixture, keep it dry in an airtight container or small plastic bag.