Beyond the Kitchen

Up and At ‘Em with Joy the Baker


If you’ve hung around these parts long enough, you may have pieced together a few facts about me.  You probably know that I have a strange and undying affection for pancakes.  You probably know that my family loves biscuits, and I’ve been known to drop an entire cake all over the counter top instead of on the cake plate.

You may know that  I shoot all of the food on this website with a Canon Rebel XSi and a 100mm macro lens.  It’s fancy for me.  Only a few months ago, my camera was worth more than my car.  I love this camera, but for everyday shooting… for the shots on the fly and on the go, I reach for my camera phone.  I know, it sounds crazy, right!?  It’s just that sometimes my little iphone is the easiest way for me to document my happenings on the sly.

Below are some fun facts and camera phone pictures from my life this year.  It’s a little peek into my world.  Some food.  Some shopping.  Some reading and some wine.  I just want you to see that not everything in my life is as staged and well lit as the stuff that I show you on my dining room table.

I’ll spare you all the shameless self portraits I may or may not have taken with my phone.  Ok… I’m embarrassed.  Come on… let’s play Joy the Baker’s camera phone life.


Fun Fact:  The Suzzallo Reading Room at the University of Washington is one of my favorite places in the world.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep while trying to study in that library.  I’ve even fallen asleep and missed the last bus home.  Overnight at the library?  Let me tell you… not all that cozy.


Fun Fact:  I’m not good at window shopping.  I hate window shopping.  I looooooove regular shopping.  What?  Colorful shirts and necklaces?  Yes. Want.  Please and thank you.


I fly from Los Angeles of the Bay Area often.  It’s only a 45 minute flight and I’m pretty convinced that I might die every time the plane takes off.  It’s not that I’m afraid of flying, it’s just that being way up in the sky and moving super fast kinda wigs me out.  This brings me to my next point:  the vodka tonic.  Have one…. not two.  Two is a mistake.  Trust me.


Sometimes I sit near dudes like this on the plane.  Whoa!  Nice jacket!  Sir, you look like a rock and roll dinosaur.  I mean that in a really awesome way.  One question, can I pet you?  Seriously.


All of that flying from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, the plane cocktails, and the rock and roll dinosaur petting, is to get to this guy.  Hey Simon.  Hi.  I think he likes the Suzzallo Reading Room too.


Sure, Simon’s cat Orion probably looks like a cat.  Orion is actually a shark.  He is unrelenting and agile.  He will attack your toes in the middle of the night with exactly no remorse.  He’s looking pretty smug.  He always wins the toe battle, but I win the being human battle.  Wait… does that count for anything?


Some Sundays I sneak off to my local library, sit on a crowded couch and read books.  Here’s why that’s awesome:  it’s free, it’s cooler than Starbucks, kids know to be quiet, and the people watching is too legit to quit.


Fun Fact:  I can make you a beautiful chocolate wedding cake, but please please please don’t ask me to make you a cup of hot chocolate in the microwave.  This task is either more confusing than it looks, or I totally suck.  You decide.


It’s possible that sometimes I eat a container of Tic-Tacs for lunch.  It’s never a good idea.  It always gives me a belly ache.  Wintergreen, how you tempt me so!


When I need more than Tic-Tacs, my Dad never lets me down.  His tacos make the world right.  Plus, look at that smile!


Philippe’s French Dip in Los Angeles is one of my favorite places to eat.  When my parents were dating they used to go to Philippe’s .  When my Grandfather worked at the post office, he used to go to Philippe’s.  I’m convinced their au jus is in my blood.  Hot dang it’s good!


Me:  Hey!  Friend!  Take a picture of me holding my gelato!

Friend:  Really?  Joy?  Really?  I’m trying to order my gelato.  Can you wait?

Me:  No!  Quick!  Take a picture of me!

Friend:  Ok… but you know you’re totally annoying, right?

Me:  Right.


Then there’s work.  I work in a restaurant that I love love love.  But wait… what restaurant?  Why won’t I tell you where it is?  It’s not that I don’t think you’re all lovely.  It’s not that I don’t have deep and tender affection for you… it’s just that I have to try to save myself from the potential creeps that might be quietly lurking around here.  You understand, right?

Here’s the view from the top on market day.  Zak is unpacking produce from the farmer’s market.  Pretty dreamy, the produce that is.  Zak’s not such a sight for sore eyes either… but don’t tell him I said so.


Here’s a view from the bottom on cheese day.  Boxes and boxes of gorgeous Italian cheese.  More fun to eat than unpack.  Fact.


Sometimes I’ll walk past these beauties in the kitchen at the restaurant.  Octopodes.   Does this gross you out?  A little?  Yea.. me too.


Is this better?  Loads and loads of cookbooks?  Yea… I thought so.


Fun Fact:  That was a dang good cookie.


My one pot garden has grown leaps and bounds since this photo was taken.  Also, a spider has moved into the pot.  A spider!!!!!! In my garden!!!!! I know… it’s normal. It’s good.  It’s not that I’m afraid of spiders… it’s just that I’m totally and completely afraid of spiders.

That spider is important.  It will eat little critters that try to hurt my precious tomatoes.  Still, I don’t exactly like it.


I’m working on videos.  This means a lot of cables and buttons and lighting.  It’s fun… you’ll see.


My friends and I?  We like to eat.  We like to eat and drink.  Here, friend Rachel works on a giant bowl of Japanese noodles.  There’s a hard boiled egg in that bowl.  I know because I took a giant bite out of it.  Success!


We like to combine food, holiday and competition.  Remember the Easter Day Cupcake Bake Off?  Yea… we did that.  Here, Dean talks about her crazy sausage cupcakes with sage butter.  Holy heck!


We also like to drink from brown paper bags.  This is a blind Sauvignon Blanc taste testing.  Which is from Chile?  Which is from California?  Which is from France?  Let’s talk about it…. ok, now let’s drink it all!  Sweet.


I live in Los Angeles, and this sort of scene and the related traffic jam is a weekly occurrence.  It’s really not all that bad.  Truth be told, I think it’s kinda cool.


Geez!  Giant rose!  If you can guess the amount of petals in this rose you win the rose.  Ok… not really.

Life is pretty rosy these days.    Hope you enjoyed the peek into my camera phone world!