Design

Four Fun Things

Grocery store baked camembert

How do you turn grocery-store camembert (or brie) into something amazing? Bake it! “Baking has always been a way for cooks to coax an overripe, or a just-O.K. cheese, in the direction they like,” says the New York Times. Just wrap the wheel of cheese in puff pastry and bake until it’s browned. Then add whatever you’d like — walnuts, honey, onion, bacon, fruit preserves, radicchio leaves, anything. Because, says the New York Times, “there’s no such thing as a bad baked Camembert.”

spanx camo leggings

The other day, my friend came over wearing a chambray shirt with these camo leggings. She looked so cute — and revealed the leggings were from Spanx! Apparently, they also come in black and jean-style. Have you ever tried them?

linsey laidlaw kitchen

UM. Did you know about the trick for hanging a picture using a fork? How many hours of my life have I wasted trying to get the wire onto the tiny nail? Well, watch this 13-second video. (It’s kind of like how to walk on ice or how not to get lipstick on a wine glass — one of those little tricks I’ll always remember.)

new yorker cartoons

Do you follow New Yorker cartoons on Instagram? They’ve been killing it, more than ever, with their uncannily true-to-life commentary. ;)

P.S. More fun things, including the best work advice.

(Cheese photo by Paola & Murray. Nail trick via Kottke. Apartment photo of Linsey Laidlaw’s home tour by Alpha Smoot. New Yorker cartoon by Gahan Wilson from 2010.)

  1. Marie says...

    Hello all CupOfJo readers aka international gang of friends I have never met…

    https://bbc.in/2DcLcaW I reccomend this BBC article to everyone these days, and I really think it would fit a 15 things-post. It was originally posted by Norwegian broadcaster NRK, and quickly became the most read article ever in Norwegian. Now translated into english through a cooperation with BBC.

    It completely changed the way I look at video games. Impossible not to be moved. Hope some of you readers enjoy it. <3

  2. Betsy says...

    I have the Spanx camo leggings. Got mine at Anthropologie last fall during a 30% off event. Seen them at Nordy as well. I do really like them, but they come up in front to just underneath my bra strap. Kind of annoying, but not terrible. Will have to try with a denim shirt once the weather warms up. Sounds so cute. What kind of shoes did she have on??

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she was wearing clogs. so cute!

    • Betsy says...

      Oh clogs! So cute. Guess they are making a comeback. I have a pair in my closet, that I just couldn’t get rid of. So out they will come, when the weather gets a little warmer. Thanks, Joanna!

  3. Tricia M says...

    Oh my goodness, what have I been doing? The fork trick is amazing! This is what I love about “A cup of Jo”, you never know what you’ll discover. Love the new photo Joanna.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! xoxo

  4. Claire says...

    yes to baked camembert.
    I love the cartoon because it is true and funny about making more of the same mistakes.
    I would look awful in the camouflage leggings, cute as they are.
    That fork trick has changed my life.

  5. Hannah says...

    what in the world is “grocery store camembert”? Isn’t that where you generally buy cheese, the grocery store? oy vey

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes of course — but for cheese other than feta, cheddar, etc., there are so many wonderful neighborhood cheese shops! maybe not in every small town/suburb, but definitely in cities. they’re typically not snobby or more expensive — they’re usually really friendly and wonderful.

    • Sasha L says...

      The tiny town I grew up in had a cheese shop. It’s long time closed now, along with the butcher shop, the donut shop, the book shop, the tiny neighborhood grocery shops, etc, but I think long ago almost everywhere had small speciality shops.

  6. Cynthia says...

    Love the camo trend. Even though I have to wear camo to work ;)

  7. Lisa C. says...

    Does anyone know where the table is from in the picture that shows the kitchen?

    • I *think*ours is the same one… we also got lucky And found it on Craigslist believe it or not, but I’m *almost* sure it is the “Big Sur” table from Crate and Barrel. Good luck!

  8. Loesie says...

    About the baked Camembert: I reaaallllly like that with cold raspberry jam and some big home made fries! Seriously the best! Same for goat cheese nomnomnom…

  9. Tabitha says...

    I LOVE the garlic-herb baked camembert from the Smitten Kitchen Everyday cookbook (which you can find online too thankfully! https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herb-and-garlic-baked-camembert). It’s really quick because there’s no puff pastry to thaw/ cook through and the flavor is AMAZING! I usually skip the thyme and it’s always to die for. It’s my go-to party appetizer.

    For a (very Southern) no-bake option, my Mom always has softened cream cheese with hot pepper jelly on top to go with crackers at Christmas, and it’s delicious! I somehow missed it this past year and I’m still craving it!

    • Jenny says...

      Second the garlic-herb baked camembert from SK recommendation! It’s soooo delicious (I include the thyme but am sure it’s delicious either way), and super easy!

    • Sarah says...

      Ooooo thanks for the heads up about the Camembert! I have that cookbook but haven’t tried that one yet!

  10. Ha, courtney – 38weeks here too and wholeheartedly agree that leggings are the ONLY pants! And make the perfect outfit with most of my husband’s sweaters that suddenly seem super appealing :)

  11. Kay says...

    The fork trick – absolute genius!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this.
    I did not know that Spanx did leggings, I will be looking for them over here in England. Anything that is comfy gets my go ahead.

  12. Gayle Wilson says...

    The fork trick is awesome! Especially after spending 10 minutes trying to get a picture to hang on a nail in the wall the other day.

  13. Stef says...

    My go to party dish is a wheel of brie topped with raspberry jam, wrapped and baked in crescent rolls (just don’t separate the rolls and use it as one sheet). Serve with sliced apples. ALWAYS A HIT.

  14. Lauren says...

    I have those Spanx leggings in the maternity style and they are great! I have simple, cheap cotton ones too from the Gap, but the Spanx ones give a lot of bump support if you are out and about so I would say they are worth the splurge.

  15. Lena says...

    Cool fork trick, but the kitchen pictured there is dreamy.

  16. Chantal says...

    I have the Spanx black legging bought them at Anthropologie. they are so confotable. Loved them, very slimming effect.

  17. Celeste says...

    ha! That fork trick made me just say, “NO.” out loud because I realized all those times I exhausted my arms (and patience) trying to hang art was completely avoidable. People are so smart.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha same!!

  18. One of my coworkers wears the coolest leggings – and they’re usually always Spanx! The faux leather ones are particularly great.

  19. Bringing baked brie to a party is a good way to keep getting invited to parties. I like to add just a tiny bit of brown sugar and pecans.

    P.S. Sasha L, if you’re on here, you might just be my favorite person ever! My husband walked in the door earlier and the dogs didn’t bark once. It’s taken a lot of treats and even more patience, but I’m seeing progress. Thank you for the tips!

    • Sasha L says...

      What?!? No way. Bec, it’s my birthday and this little message is just the best!!
      So glad to be of help ❤️ I agree about the baked Brie making people popular. When someone walks in with one everyone says “ooooohhhhhh!”

    • Jes says...

      I must know what these dog tips are! My almost-one-year-old Greater Swiss Mountain Dog goes berserk every time someone rings our buzzer.

    • Yayyy! Happy birthday, Sasha! I hope that today is the best and I’ll pretend that any dog barking that does happen around here is just them singing for you! I actually shared two of your comments on my last 19 for 2019 update because they were so good (I linked my name in case you want to peek – you’re famous in my house right now!).

      Jes: It’s a combination of time outs and giving them treats when they’re being quiet and saying the word quiet very softly. Walking in the door is normally a bark fest at our house, but we’ve had a lot of success with Sasha’s method. I wonder if you could do the same with ringing the door bell and having them practice being quiet. After we get coming in the house down, I’m going to try to desensitize them to the mailman and our neighbor’s cat. Good luck!

    • Sasha L says...

      Jes, mostly it’s not barking back at them when they bark and creating a routine and being consistent. When someone comes to the door (usually I know ahead of time and do this before a knock, but I do the same with a surprise too), I put dogs in my bedroom and give a treat. I use as few words as possible, especially if barking. My dogs know pointing and following so I point at bedroom and “come on”. If it’s ok to let them out at some point to greet, they are way calmer. And since I’ve been doing this awhile they know they’ll get treats. For random barking I’ll say quietly “quiet” and shhh. If they continue, into the bedroom and get treats again. If they are in back yard and barking they have to come in. They’ve learned to be completely quiet when my husband comes home from work as well, which used to be pretty frantic.

      Honestly the hardest part is getting my husband not to shout when they start barking, which, you guessed it, leads to more barking. Maybe if I treated him? 😉

      Thanks for the kind words Bec!! 🤗

  20. Katie says...

    I’m on my second pair of the spanx leggings that look like leather. They are the best thing ever.

  21. jeannie says...

    That fork trick is amazing! I will definitely be using it.

  22. Raquel says...

    Hi Jo,

    This is totally unrelated to the post (although I am going to baking camembert this weekend now) BUT I just received this my Goodreads letter this morning and I think our Cup of Jo ladies will enjoy these recommendations:

    https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1490-43-new-upcoming-books-to-discover-this-black-history-month?ref_=pe_3097180_386942320&rto=x_gr_e_nl_general&utm_campaign=feb052019&utm_content=Black.History.Reading&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

    Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, raquel!!! checking these out right now…

  23. Awads says...

    i have mastered how to walk on ice, but what about heels? i’ve tried my whole life (51 years!) to NOT look like limping fool in heels, but i just don’t get it. is there a trick? how do people walk in stilettos? a video tutorial would be great!

    • Bron says...

      Practise walking in heels at the supermarket. The trolley/shopping cart is a great stabiliser.

    • JessicaD says...

      @Awads, I am totally with you. I stomp in heels. And that’s the look that no one is going for…

  24. Elle says...

    The fork thing is mind blowing.

  25. Katherine says...

    WOW WOW WOW THE FORK HANGER HOLY COW 🤯

  26. Liz says...

    Wince! Leggings aren’t pants! That’s showing me more than I want to see.

    • Eloise says...

      I’m not a “leggings in public” person but a shirt/tunic solves that particular problem!

    • meredith says...

      That’s just a modeling photo – when worn with an untucked shirt that hits near your hips – they are awesome for any body type, imo. But I hear you. Your frame of mind is exactly how I feel about bikinis. Why should I have to show so much to the world when I can just decide to wear very cute board shorts and a tee shirt over a bikini top? SO LIFECHANGING. Even though I am considered skinny by others I now enjoy the beach so much more when I am not thinking about how I look in a bikini!

    • k says...

      …then don’t look? No reason to police other people’s clothing choices, and surprise, we all have relatively similar anatomy, and there’s no shame in *gasp* having a vagina.

    • Renee says...

      Yikes! Let’s celebrate our bodies, whichever way we want to present them and not shame. As women we see too much. Please be mindful of your comments.

    • K says...

      Meh… we’ve been hearing the “leggings aren’t pants” pearl-clutching ever since leggings came back in style… an entire decade ago! Maybe it’s time to release the pearls, and revel in the joy of stretchy, comfy, (sometimes even sexy!) leggings-as-pants! Or at least be happy for those of us who enjoy them and rely on this mantra: “Good for you, not for me” :)

    • Courtney says...

      I’m currently 38 weeks pregnant and can vouch that leggings are DEFINITELY pants!

    • Sasha L says...

      I’m going to make popcorn. Anyone else want some?

    • How about “to each their own”? I don’t wear leggings out of the house because it makes ME uncomfortable, and I’m allowed to feel that way. Love ’em? Wear them all day every day because you’re allowed to feel that way. Stop slamming each other from both sides.

    • Raquel says...

      Sasha L, I will join you!!