Joy the Baker

Triple Berry Dutch Baby

April 13, 2014

Triple Berry Dutch Baby

It’s all well and good until someone has to stand in front of the stove and flip the pancakes.

It’s a thankless job and I wouldn’t wish pancake flipping onto anyone’s relaxed weekend.

Luckily, where there are a few eggs, a bit of flour and milk, and a big ol’ handful of berries…. there is a Dutch Baby.  Pancake sans flip.

Triple Berry Dutch Baby

Dutch Babies exist in the delicious land between pancake and popover.  They’re tender and eggy, light and crunchy.  They’re also quite a spectacle coming out of the oven.  They’re show-offs.  It’s cool.  Breakfast can be dramatic.

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Milky Salted Caramel

April 10, 2014

drinking caramel

There’s this really cool thing that happens when you get to do what you love for a living.  Well… it’s that you do what you love.  For me that usually means an abundance of butter, caramel, and chocolate chunks.  There’s also a ton of dishes, camera batteries, and a few good hours on the computer.

There’s another thing that happens when you get to do what you love for a living.  Despite the butter and caramel, what you love becomes… work.  We all know that work is sometimes UGH.

Then there’s this other thing that happens when you’re lucky enough to do what you love for a living, and it feels like work, and you start to feel UGH… you start to feel entirely ungrateful for your very fortunate circumstances.  That’s just honest.  Not good, but honest.  It’s like you’re not allowed to be discontent where passion and career meet.

french broad chocolate

I’ve been in Asheville, North Carolina this week.  I’m trying to wade through a few work projects.  It’s awesome… and it’s ugh… and it’s awesome!

Do you know what I mean?

I’ve taken a few super great work breaks in Asheville.  Work breaks must involve either wine or chocolate so naturally I found myself at French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

french broad

The chocolate dipped shortbread at French Broad Chocolate is out of this world.  Don’t even get me started on the mochas.  Don’t even talk to me about their Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

Major delicious.  Good inspiration.

milky salted caramel

And so!  Milky Salted Caramel.  Because work is sometimes work, but caramel helps.  Caramel always helps.

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Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Baked Potatoes

April 8, 2014

roasted broccoli and cheddar baked potatoes

I needed someone to talk me into making baked potatoes.  Silly, really.  Why would I need someone to hold my hand through placing a raw vegetable in the oven and waiting for it to be soft?  Is it really that hard or more of a mental block?  Clearly… mental.

Enter:  Nigel Slater and Tender.

I talk about the book Tender all the time because it’s a book of poetry dedicated to vegetables.  I like to just thumb through it for inspiration.  This go-round I felt inspired to step in the kitchen and (dramatic pause because this is really dramatic) bake.a.potato.  Totally life changing… I know.

roasted broccoli and cheddar baked potatoes

Why roast a potato when you can salt-roast a potato.  I mean.. right!? I’ve had salt-roasting in my brain ever since HonestlyYUM salt-roasted a Branzino.

Adding roasted broccoli and melted cheddar cheese makes these special potatoes a dinner of their own.  Potato dinner!  Better than my usual popcorn dinner.  Let’s roast!

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Espresso, Almond, and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Pudding Cups

April 7, 2014

Espresso Almond and Ghirardelli Chocolate Pudding Cups

Every day I need a treat.  I need a little something that says ‘Hey, I see you trying to get through this day standing on your own two feet and you deserve this special something just for you”.

Sometimes that treat is a whole milk cappuccino with extra cinnamon.  Whole milk tastes like ice cream to me.  It’s just too good.  Sometimes that treat is a high-kick dance along to old school Beastie Boys… because, yea I’m still listening to Beastie Boys.  Often times that treat is a piece of chocolate.  A piece usually turns into a good portion of the chocolate bar… but then again, you knew that.

It’s Monday.  We’re going to need a little something to savor.  Reach for the chocolate… Or!  Better yet, make these creamy, crunchy, salty, sweet, chocolate studded pudding cups!  Actually… get someone to make it for you.  That’s the real savor.

Espresso Almond and Ghirardelli Chocolate Pudding Cups


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Spring Things!

April 4, 2014

Spring Essentials

 I feel like I’m grasping tight to the things around me these days.  I’m probably the first to shrug off the change of season, the change of moving cities, and the change of traveling a ton as no big deal…. but it all adds up to matter and I have to admit I feel a little crazy in the brain.

This season I’ve started a new workout routine.  Since I’ve moved away from my beloved SoulCycle in California, I’ve started practicing Bikram Yoga in New Orleans.  I’m terrible.  Who knew bending could be so dang challenging?

I’ve also taken out my Tender cookbook (a Spring go-to) and am daydreaming my way through Donald Link’s Down South cookbook in an effort to acclimate myself to my new city and surroundings.

Here are a few more Spring flings I’m into these days.  Though the list says these things are ‘essentials’, clearly this is just a list of sparkly indulgences. I’ll take the life changes, new growth, and sparkling trinkets all in kind.

1•• I am very pale.  That’s just the color of my skin.  I’m totally into it… until I want to wear shorts.  Faux Mineral Fake Tan, I thank you.  My legs thank you.  The public at large thanks you.  

2••  I absolutely LOVE this Ellovi Body Butter.  It feels super nourishing and it’s only six ingredients!  Macadamia Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, and Hemp Oil are the main ingredients.  Smells good.  Feels good!

3•• I’m thinking of sporting short fingernails with Blue Orchid Nail Polish as the weather gets warmer.  

4•• Pale nude lipstick like this Pearl Lipstick blends with any outfit and is less noticeable when I forget I have lipstick on and smear the whole deal all over my face.  You know?

5•• When I was a teenager my mom told me that I had a ‘hat face’.  I don’t think that’s a real term, but she meant that I look good in hats.  I ran with it and have been wearing Blossom hats ever since.  In other news, this Straw Bucket Hat helps update the Blossom days and also helps steer clear of sunburnt scalps.  

6•• Pale Pink Ankle Strap Flats  for just kicking’ around in the sun.

7•• A little pastel sparkle in these Periwinkle Dangle Earrings.  Let’s be honest… I wear a lot of jeans and white tshirts.  I always need a little sparkle. 

8•• Two Tone Sunnies.  It’s face fashion that I totally love.

9•• I always have a notebook in my bag where I can scratch down frenzied notes.  In my dreams I’m the girl that lingers with coffee in City Park and paints a little mossy tree scene.  First I’ll need to ditch the frenzy and add a Watercolor Moleskin Notebook.

10•• For my watercolor endeavors I’ll also need this little Traveling Watercolor Set.  I think this set would also make a great gift… just saying’.

11•• Everything everything in the Grey Canvas Backpack and it’s go-time!

12•• Jus By Julie is here to help us bring a bit of Spring cleaning to our insides.  I did their three-day juice cleanse and it was different from any other juice cleanse I’ve ever done.  Jus By Julie is more smoothie than juice.  All the fiber is still in the juice so the juices actually keep you full.  It’s a revelation.

Because they’re rad, Jus By Julie is offering you 20% off your order with code: JOY20JUS

13•• We can talk about juice and we can talk about booze.  It’s all about balance.  Prairie Vodka graces my little bar cart these day.  I’m a fan.

14•• Julep Cups are going to be essential for the upcoming Derby Party!  There will be bourbon and Chocolate Pecan Pie present.  I’m hat shopping now.  Get on the bandwagon!

I love you!  Have a wonderful weekend!


Tiny Strawberry Cream Scones

April 2, 2014

tiny strawberry cream scones

Remember yesterday’s April Fools’ Day post?  The one where I mocked marble and farm tables and food blogging in general?  Yea…. well, here I am living in the the very world I lovingly mocked.  In penance I offer you with baby scones.  I set the marble aside for today because that would just be too much.  The farm table I can’t help.  Thank you for letting me mock us and myself.

tiny strawberry cream scones

I’m excited to tell you about these scones!

Sure… I’m always excited to tell you about scones.  That’s a constant.

But these scones are special!  They’re definitely more scone that biscuit.  In my world I’m generally trying to pass of biscuits as scones, but this isn’t that.

These Cream Scones are just that:  cream!  There’s no cold butter, no eggs, and no buttermilk.  Just cream, flour, and a few fixins!

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How To Be The Best Food Blogger Of All

April 1, 2014

you're the best blogger ever!

Listen guys… I’ve been in this blogging game for a long long time.  Six years?  I basically know everything there is to know.  Nothing is new… except everything is new once in a while.  Blogging is easy!  I’ll show you how to do it.

10 Quick, Easy, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Salted Caramel Tips To Be The Best Food Blogger On The World Wide Web.

You’ll just need a few of the items listed below and a big happy smile that never leaves your face ever ever.  Let’s go!

you're the best food blogger ever

1. A piece of marble pastry slab is the key to success.  It’s the best way to fake a fancy marble countertop when you’re really just working on tragic tan tile counters.  These Ikea dish towels with the classy red stripe say hipster chic all the way .  You’re also going to need something gold, a glass spoon of some sort, and something with a feather on it… just go with it.  In general, buy every kitchen linen you come in contact with.  You’re going to need it.

2.  All wooden items on your food blog must be worn and dilapidated, preferably from an old barn.  Spoons must be tarnished and rusted.  It’s true that you might not want to eat rust or splinters, but at least it looks really cool.  The plan always is to look really cool.  Never forget.

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

March 30, 2014

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

There’s a very specific sort of kitchen math that runs through my brain every time I stare into my refrigerator and try to figure out what to make.

Six carrots + 8 radishes + 2 sticks of butter + half a pot of leftover chicken soup + 1/2 bundle wilting kale + block of cream cheese – one bagel’s worth of cream cheese + yesterday’s pudding experiment.

Unfortunately the hungrier I am when I approach the refrigerator, the more difficult it is the process this math.

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

If I made the radishes a snack.  If I combine the wilted kale with the leftover chicken soup.  If I pray that there’s oil enough, eggs enough, canned pineapple enough, sugar enough,  and flour enough… maybe just maybe I can produce Carrot Cake Cupcakes from a good long stare in the fridge.

I wish for you the same success!

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Roasted Potato Galette with cheddar and chives

March 27, 2014

Roasted Potato Galette

Most people have fight or flight reactions when it comes to stressful, life or death situations.  You know… you see a bear and your instincts quickly decide if you’re going to run screaming, or throw up your fists like a prize-fighter.  I realized this week that in stressful situations I don’t really have fight or flight survival instincts… I have carb on carb instincts.

Enter:  Potato with Pie Crust.

It’s roasted, spiced, cheesed, and chived.  It’s everything my survival instincts tell me to do when things get dicey.

Also to be fair… I’d totally run from a bear… in a zig-zag like someone was shooting a gun at me.  I dunno.  My survival instincts come only from Jack Bauer in old episodes of 24.

Thank goodness for carbs.

Roasted Potato Galette

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Banana, Leche y Cafe con Chocolate

March 26, 2014

banana, leche y cafe con chocolate

It’s so hard to keep that vacation feeling.  That feeling that lets me linger in bed to read a book instead of jumping up to chase the alarm and caffeine.  The smell of sunscreen, the sound of the ocean, the beauty that I don’t immediately need to Instagram.  Clean sheets, card games, lazy laughs.  It’s so good.  It always feels like waaaaay more than I deserve, with a teeny-tiny sprinkle of something that I’ve earned, but really it’s just a big fat blessing.

I spent some quality time on a tiny stretch of beach on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica last week.  Way more than I deserve.  I learned a lot.

sunset surfer with dog

I learned a lot about sunsets and how to sit and enjoy them with surfers and beach dogs.

banana, leche y cafe con chocolate

I also learned some how to survive the heat of the dry season in Costa Rica:  liquids!  For real.  I spent the entire week flailing around in the waves with a surfboard tethered to my leg and developed a healthy thirst… totally undeserved based on my surfing skills, but healthy nonetheless.

One of my favorite smoothies of choice in Costa Rica was Bananas y Leche: a simple mixture of bananas and milk.  Of course, because few things are just left to be as they are in my kitchen… of course I added coffee and chocolate.

This smoothie is just what I needed to help that vacation feeling linger a bit.  The cancelled flights and rushed airports can really harsh the vacation buzz.   Nothing a little Banana, Leche y Cafe con Chocolate can’t help! I mean… right?

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12 Ways To Tart Up Spring

March 24, 2014

springtime lemon recipes

I’ve been compiling lists of what I want to come out of my new kitchen this Spring and Summer. I’m excited!  I love when the warmer months creep in and the sun stays with us longer. Lemons, raspberries, lavender, and tender greens feel like perfect brain food for Spring-time inspiration.

I have dreams of growing my own salad lettuce indoors, and dreams of a small balcony strawberry patch.  To be real, my black thumb may get in the way of all of that.  I hope to tie some knots into some sort of macrame hanging something or other.  I have loads of colorful hopes.

I do keep coming back to one bright Spring-y ingredient:  lemons!  I have a few lemon-tart recipes coming up soon, but boy-oh-boy do you have plenty of lemon to work with while I put those recipes together for you!

lemon raspberry rolls

12 reasons you should step into the kitchen with a big bag of lemons this week!

These Lemon Raspberry Breakfast Rolls have gooey soft, raspberry-studded centers.  Lemon is a lovely compliment to sweet raspberries.  These rolls are the Spring version to Winter’s cozy cinnamon roll.  One caveat:  if you make these you have to invite me over.  I’ll bring the coffee.  We’ll be friends.

Tart lemon sorbet combined with creamy milk and graham cracker crumbs.  Combined we can call it a Lemon Meringue Pie Milkshake and drink one on a Saturday afternoon because we really really should.

Lemon Olive Oil and Parsley Quinoa Cakes are dinner when paired with a big green salad, and breakfast when paired with soft-cooked eggs.  They also freeze well!  They’re my current version of a veggie burger.  I’m working on a sturdy grillable veggie burger for our summertime grilling.  Soon soon!

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A Dedication

March 20, 2014

costa rica waterfall

Hello friends!  I’ve been in Costa Rica this week getting a sunburn on my scalp, eating ceviche like it’s going out of style, learning how to surf, and mostly thinking thoughts about what I’m going to cook for you this Spring and into our future.  I needed a bit of a get away to think my thoughts.  Maybe my brain works best from under a sun burnt scalp.  That’s probably it.

I’ve also been reading a lot of non-Internet words on this little getaway.  Books… those are non-Internet words.  They’re pretty cool.

East of Eden is my very favorite book of all time.  It’s John Steinbeck at his absolute everything.  It’s epic and heartbreaking and if you haven’t had your heart destroyed by this book then I would recommend that you add this work of art to your Spring reading list.

I took some time to read the dedication to East of Eden this week.  Something that I had skipped in my regular life of haphazard efficiency.  The dedication alone stopped me dead in my tracks.  The dedication alone is a compilation of words more beautiful that I’ve ever written in my whole life.  Just the dedication!  How’s that for something?

Steinbeck dedicated East of Eden to his dear friend and editor Pascal ‘Pat’ Covici.   This:

Dear Pat,
You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, “Why don’t you make something for me?”
I asked you what you wanted, and you said, “A box.”
“What for?”
“To put things in.”
“What kind of things?”
“Whatever you have,” you said.
Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts- the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.
And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.
And still the box is not full.

Steinbeck typed up East of Eden, literally carved a beautiful box for it, and delivered the box and manuscript along with this letter to his friend Pat.  I instantly feel like I need to do more beautiful ad poetic things with my life.  More sunset appreciation, restful pondering, and maybe more poetic musings with a pen and bar napkin.  Something, right?

Here’s to our Spring and our Steinbeck.

Ps.  The dork in me in now reading Steinbeck and Covici: The Story of a Friendship.  Just let it happen.


Turkey and Bacon Meatloaf

March 19, 2014

turkey bacon meatloaf

I’ve had a bee in my bonnet for the last few weeks.  The bee in my bonnet was meatloaf shaped and dang persistent.

I’ll be the first to admit that meatloaf is kind of a weird thing to make these days.  Is it retro cool or vintage chic yet?  Or is it still just… meatloaf?

turkey bacon meatloaf

This meatloaf features ground turkey, crispy cooked bacon, deeply caramelized onions, and softened garlic.  It’s lighter than a beef meatloaf but boy of boy does the bacon pull off a miracle in this meatloaf.  It’s all the salty and savory I needed to calm the bee in my bonnet.

I imagine that if I had an actual bee in my bonnet, it would be far less delicious and basically a panic situation. But really, why am I wearing a bonnet in the first place?  Asking for trouble.

turkey bacon meatloaf

Let’s start with chopped onions, garlic, and chopped bacon in a sauté pan.  It’s a very good beginning!

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Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

March 17, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

We all have our favorite bites.  My favorite bite of a brownie is the slightly burnt corner edge.  My favorite sips of coffee are the first and the last.  My favorite part of the pepperoni pizza roll is the soft gooey center.  If you leave me alone with a tray of these Pepperoni Pizza Rolls, be prepared to come back to just the outsides because my favorite bite is the gooey center of every.single.roll.

I stand by the fact that the best part of baking is sharing what you create with people who you love.  Baking is totally a love language.  If you can share your favorite bites?… now that’s something special.  If you were to ask me to share the gooey center pizza roll bite, it would probably take me a good while before I said yes.  That’s just real.

baking a difference


Remember last Fall?  Last Fall I shared my partnership with Fleischmann’s® Yeast, Fleischmann’s® Simply Homemade® Baking Mixes, and Karo® Syrup as a part of their Baking a Difference Program to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program.  I love this charity because they focus on ending childhood hunger in America.  If I can help that cause with a bit of baking, I’m all in!  One in five children in the U.S. struggle with hunger and cannot rely on having access to the daily nutritious food they need to grow and thrive, and the No Kid Hungry campaign works to end that hunger.  Big deal, right?

Last fall we made Salty Pretzel Vanilla Caramel Corn with much success, and now we get to talk about a really cool free e-cookbook and Pepperoni Pizza Rolls!

Pizza Rolls for charity?  Yea… that’s totally a thing.

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

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Sesame Kale Salad with Roasted Almonds

March 17, 2014

Sesame Kale Salad with Roasted Almonds

I’m in need of some greens.  The gnarly kind.  The kind that bite back.

Clearly kale is the answer.   It’s clean and crunchy and that’s where we’re starting for today.

Sesame Kale Salad with Roasted Almonds

The very back of the pantry is like a treasure trove of forgotten bottles and spices.  I dug out my neglected bottle of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar for this clean and crunchy salad.  They’re just the right ingredients to tame the taste and texture of raw kale.

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Pimm’s Cup Cocktail

March 13, 2014

Pimm's Cup Cocktail

Spring is teasing us.

It feels like the sun is juuuust about ready to creep out and stay.  Well… it feels that way up until the time the rain pours down.

Despite Spring’s indecision, I happen to think it’s time for a Spring cocktail!

joy the baker + napoleon house

napoleon house

napoleon house 1

I ventured out into the French Quarter on a particularly sunny afternoon just after a rainstorm.  It’s just a short walk from my front door to the Napoleon House, a building build 200 years ago.  It’s first tenant, Nicholas Girod, was the mayor of New Orleans in the early 1800′s.  In 1821, Girod offered his beautiful home up to Napoleon who was living in exile.  Nice, right?  Napoleon couldn’t make it… he died first.

Even though Napoleon never stepped foot in this house, the name stuck and now the Napoleon House is a restaurant and bar filled with history and old smarmy (I mean that in a good way) waiters.

Pimm's Cup Cocktail

The Napoleon House is known for their Pimm’s Cup Cocktails.  Because I’m a girl who likes extra cucumber slices and a good dose of ginger ale, there’s no reason I can’t recreate these at home!  And so it is.

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Vanilla Honey

March 12, 2014

Vanilla Honey

I moved from Los Angeles to Burlington, Vermont when I was eighteen years old.  I decided, with all of my eighteen years of wisdom, that I didn’t want to rush off to college, and that instead… I would rush off to scoop ice cream for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream in Vermont.


From my bedroom, safe within the walls of my parents’ house, I was so certain of so many things.  I would sit on my bed at night and pat myself on the back for the courage innate in my decision to move across the country.  I felt bold and sure.  It’s so easy to be bold and sure when you’re parents are sitting in the next room.

I packed my bags, boarded a plane to New Hampshire, boarded a bus to Vermont, put my feet on the ground and proceeded to f.r.e.a.k o.u.t.  My parents weren’t in the next room.  I wasn’t surrounded by a binding support system.  What do you mean I have to pay my own light bills!?  This is thoroughly confusing and 100% terrifying.

Shortly after landing in Vermont, my trusty eighteen years of experience quickly began to falter.  Obviously.

A new friend was kind enough to let me stay in her small and charming Burlington apartment while she stayed with her girlfriend.  She gave me a key, a tour of her collection of Dave Matthews and Ella Fitzgerald CDs and I closed the door on the big scary world I felt totally ill-prepared for.

Over the course of a week in my new surroundings I didn’t leave the house.  Not once.  Nope!  Are you kidding?  Outside was filled with strangers!  Instead of exploring,  I ate every last bit of food my host had in her cabinets.  She had just gone apple picking, I remember.  If she was hoping to make apple sauce upon her return, she was sore out of luck.

I ate a lot of apples.  I took a lot of baths.  I listened to waaaay too much Dave Matthews Band.  I searched for that bravery I had previously been so proud of.

I found that courage eventually… mostly because I had only eaten apples for a week and I needed a sandwich.  Hunger drove me out.  Stepping off the porch and into the streets of Burlington felt big.  Like I was alone in a thing and I had to learn how to make it work… and also manage figure out how to learn some things and have some fun.

With the thirty-two years of experience I have now, stepping out of the door in a new place isn’t as hard.  It’s mostly dang exciting.  Thank goodness years  come with little bits of wisdom.

Still though… a few days ago I found myself hibernating here in New Orleans.  For a few moments I could feel the strangeness of the ground below my feet.   I understand that feeling now and try to make it more energizing than frightening.

Vanilla Honey

All of this is to say that, in the strangeness… when I was trying to find my courage over my fear, I reached for a jar and stirred two things together.  Sometimes the small things help to distract the mind.

Megan Gordon has some wonderfully simple instructions for infused honey in her new book Whole Grain Mornings.  I reached for a vanilla bean and a jar of honey and this is the culmination of those efforts.

Small and big.  It’s all allowed.

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Brown Butter Banana Bread

March 10, 2014

Brown Butter Banana Bread

I’ve unpacked the moving boxes of the essentials:  sock slippers, gin, loaf pan, spatula, and mixing bowl.  I’ve managed to find the fancy candles I love,  a few pictures of my family, and the face wash.  The cookbooks are lined up on the book shelf, color-coded just like Shutterbean taught me.

I’m just far enough in the whole moving process to miss home.  Strange because I am home.  It’s just that I have to build up a familiarity to this new space. I don’t yet know its nuances.

What I do know is that I’m mostly responsible for feeling at home where I’m home.  It’s a state of mind.  It’s coming to understand the different shade of light.  It’s the different sounds of the street.  It’s the familiar smell of comfort.  Banana Bread feels like home, so Banana Bread it is!

Brown Butter Banana Bread

We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel here.  This banana bread is more about settling in and planting roots.  It’s tastes just like home to me, and so it is!

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Notes From The Road

March 9, 2014

notes from the road

Thank you for bearing with me last week as I trekked from Los Angeles to New Orleans in a little Corolla with a very large orange cat.  I sure did see a lot of road and sky!  Palm Springs has the windmill game on lock.  Arizona surprised me with its dreaminess.  New Mexico has the biggest sky.  Texas made me lonesome for… something, I’m not sure what.  Louisiana was swampy and mysterious.  It’s strange, but even after a month of packing, driving across the country felt more like a road trip that a permanent move.  It’s funny how home became so connected with my little Venice bungalow.  I think it will take a lot of days to undo that.

Tron Cat fared remarkably well on the 30 hour road trip.  For as much of a beast as he is when I’m in the kitchen, he was surprisingly compliant and docile in his crate in the passenger seat of my car.  He only had a few freak-outs… but to be fair, I had a few mid-trip freak-outs myself.   It’s nothing a few cat treats and sour gummy candies can’t soothe.

On the road I filled my ears with The Moth Podcast (really beautiful, real storytelling),  NPR’s Fresh Air (I LOVE this recent episode with American Hustle’s David O. Russell), and 99% Invisible (I listened to every episode they made because it’s fascinating and obscure bits of pop culture).  Turns out I also know every single word to Fiona Apple’s “When The Pawn…”, so there’s that.

the quarter

Out of the car and into the French Quarter in three days!  Just like that!

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Ode To A Kitchen

March 3, 2014

in the kitchen

                                                                                                                             photo by Leela Cyd

I’ve never really told you much about my kitchen.  Strange considering most of the creations that appear on this blog originate in this little room.

My kitchen is small and humble.  White-walled.  At first glance you’d probably shrug your shoulders and think something between ‘meh’ and ‘well this would be charming if Joy would consider doing her dishes’.

When I tell you that I’ve created two cookbooks, hundreds of Joy the Baker blog posts, and cooked for catering events in this kitchen you’d probably want to pat me on the back and pour us both a shot of bourbon.  Sooo… yea.

The dishes pile up quickly.  The oven is small and earnest.  The refrigerator holds two bottles of ketchup and little else.  It’s hip, and really… it’s never encountered a cook like me.  Flour and butter everywhere!!

I’m leaving this little space soon and headed to New Orleans.  It’s always a bit of a brain-bend to leave the space where you’ve created so much.  There’s something sacred about those spaces.  I want to share it with you before we go.

ode to a kitchen1

On the main kitchen shelf are a few of my favorite everyday staples.  From left to right:  Homemade Bourbon Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Salt, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (from the Indian market because they have the best and cheapest spices), Jacobsen Salt Co, Pasolivo Lemon Olive Oil, Turbinado Sugar for coffee times, Apple Cider Vinegar, Grey Sea Salt (I’m a baker that really likes salt), my best friend Rachel’s tiny pepper grinder that I borrowed then stole, lastly garlic.

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The Book

The Web Series



Maple Blueberry Scones
Feta and Chive Sour Cream Scones
Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits
The Ultimate Club Sandwich
Pickles and Brie Grilled Cheese
Cranberry Brie Grilled Cheese

Joy, Recently

Triple Berry Dutch Baby
Milky Salted Caramel
Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Baked Potatoes
Espresso, Almond, and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Pudding Cups
Spring Things!
Tiny Strawberry Cream Scones
How To Be The Best Food Blogger Of All
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
Roasted Potato Galette with cheddar and chives