Brown Butter Winter Citrus Pancakes


My goodness.  This world has these seasons planned out just perfectly.  Amidst super rain, chilly wind and grey skies, we get blood oranges, tangerines and grapefruit!

Big, bright, cheek puckering citrus is perfect for winter breakfast.  I know… it happened this morning.

I’d also like to thank the good world for creating coffee and hot cocoa and whole milk… and putting them all in my coffee cup this morning.

Just swell.


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Evelyn’s Chicken and Rice Casserole


Here’s some things to avoid doing on Christmas morning.

Don’t haphazardly put the casserole your aunt made  in a bag.

Don’t drive that casserole across town.

Don’t carry that casserole into a home with tile floors.

Don’t accidentally drop the stupid bag with the broken handle on the tile floor.

If you do that… everything will break.

If you drop the casserole and break the dish  you’ll surely have to throw everything away… no one wants to eat glass.

If you throw every broken thing away, you’ll make your aunt cry.

Don’t make your aunt cry on Christmas.  That would be totally stupid.  Do Not Do That.

And if you do… make your aunt a new casserole.  Duh.


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All the Things You Made

december collage

Good Lord.

I’m so full of food.

I probably won’t eat again until 2012.

But! Yesterday you attacked my comment section with the most lovely Christmas wishes and all sorts of excitement about the goodies coming out of your kitchen.

You reached back into my archives, put on your baking gloves (duh) and got goin’ in your kitchen to create some sugarlove for your families.  I’m so glad I could be a part of that!  Blame me for those tightening trousers.  I totally think it’s worth it.

Here’s what you made! Ps.  I’m proud of you.

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Pavlovas with Cranberry Orange Rosemary Sauce


Let’s add sweetened egg whites and cranberry sauce to the list of things my cat eats.

No… it’s not like I scooped a healthy portion of meringue into his bowl.  He prefers much more crafty measures… like jumping on the counter while I’m busy with my camera.

The only reason I know he’s such a crafty monster is because he emerged from the kitchen with a meringue covered, sticky cat face.

And… bath time.


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Butter Roasted Cauliflower


Winter has made it’s way to the California beach.  It’s rainy and cold and I’ve come to realize that I’m nearly insufferable when it comes to weather that isn’t sunshine and warmth.

I know I’m being a brat.  Please don’t school me with your actual weather dramas.  I know…  20 miles in the snow… up hill… both ways… being chased by snow wolves or something.

While I shake my fist at the rain and the wind and the puddles and the windshield wipers and yesterday when I slipped and fell on my butt outside of Whole Foods… I have really come to embrace on thing:  the darkness.

There’s a certain amount of comfort in this silver grey… and the way it transforms into a deep but bright black.  I even sleep with the curtains open now… so I can wake up in the middle of the night and see the dark outside.  Yes… I’m letting you in on my weird.


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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies


I know everything is supposed to be  red and green and blue and white this time of year.

I know…

But look for brown and delicious I made everything?

Ok… I’m being weird.  Mostly because I, for some reason, can’t bring myself to make Christmas tree sugar cookies.  I just don’t want to do it.

Besides,  brown and delicious things come from butter and brown sugar and cinnamon and apples.  Just let this happen.


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies


Yesterday I got an email letter.  It went a little something like this.

Dear Ms. the Baker,

Hi there… blah blah blaaah.  I often feel the urge to eat like a trucker.  Blah blah blaaaah.  I always want french fries and hot dogs and meat loaf and steak.  Blaah blaah blaaaaah.  Today I almost ate at a place called Burgers and Pie for lunch. Blaah blaah.  Instead of burgers and pie, I just dreamt up my fantasy dessert.  This bring me to my point.  Will you please, please, please make me some peanut butter brownies with pretzels?  I’ll be your best friend.

Blaah blah,


Ironically, this email letter was from my real life best friend, Rachel.

Rachel is prettier than me.  I’m ok with that… mostly because I can’t do anything about it.

Because I want to honor and maintain the best friendship between Rachel and I… I made her these brownies.  Good Lordy Almighty!  These might be the best thing to ever happen to me.

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Jalapeno Pepper Jack Scones


I stayed in bed this morning because there was a scary pile of dishes in the kitchen, a living room full of unpacked bags and a warm little man cat on the pillow next to me.

I dreamt my way through several snooze buttons.  I dreamt of shopping for sunglasses and shoes.  I dreamt of anything and everything better than shoe shopping.

Then, I remembered a very important fact about my kitchen.  Yes… there were scary dirty dishes everywhere… but there was also a package of Oreo cookies.


I got out of bed today because I wanted to eat Oreos.  I stayed out of bed because I wanted make spicy scones.

Things sort of worked out.  The Oreos are gone.  The scones are delicious.


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Delicious Hot Chocolate


Clearly you need something milky and chocolatey and warm and delicious to go with those marshmallows that I insisted you make.

Hot chocolate.  Made with all those random/open/half empty/spilling all over the cupboards bags of chocolate chips I have in my kitchen.

It only makes sense, don’t you think?

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Breville Mixer Winner!


Last week I offered you a beautiful Breville mixer as the grand finale to the November giveaway.

I made you work for it though… right?

I asked you to send me a picture of you with your favorite kitchen tool and daaaaang!  You really like to show off!

Your beautiful faces absolutely lit up my inbox.

So bright.  So shiny.  I just had to share.

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream


Dating someone new means meeting all sorts of new people.

Listen… I know I’m getting old and this isn’t my first jump into meeting the groups of friends, the work buddies, the casual friends, the bosses, the grandma, or the adopted dog of the strapping young gent that I’m dating.  Sadly, all this experience has made me no less awkward and devoid of grace.  I have a tendency towards embarrassing sweat, stuttering and knuckle cracking that is less than charming… Or!  I just talk about my kitten, or the family dog, or this giant white rabbit that attacked me in 4th grade and no one believed me but it TOTALLY happened… and then I just leave other people feeling weird… and it’s all just awkward.

Anyhow!  I’ve devised two personal tactics to detract from such boneheaded behavior:  wear a pretty dress and heels and always bring cupcakes (or cookies or brownies or granola… or pie).  This way, I feel pretty and I turn into a tall girl… and people instantly love me when I had them a box of chocolate and sugar.  It’s a little bit of a dirty trick and it works every time.


Sprinkles?  A lifesaver.  Who could resist?

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Breville Mixer Giveaway!


Your hair looks pretty today.  I totally love your shoes.  Those pants make your butt look incredible.  Can I borrow that scarf?

Today is a great day.  Dang near everything is stars and roses.

Today is the day that I get to offer you a super fine, extra swell, kicka*s mixer!  Yea.  This is totally a big deal.

The generous people of Chef’s Catalog would like you to have this GORGEOUS 5-quart Breville mixer.  This thing is an absolute powerhouse.  I suspect that it’ll get you through some major holiday baking, be the prettiest thing in your kitchen, make your husband do a double take, help raise your children, and become your absolute favorite baking tool.  These are my predictions.

Now!  How do you win this darling?

This is a two part process:

Leave a comment with this post AND send me a picture of you with your favorite kitchen tool.  Maybe you’re really into your whisk or your cast iron skillet.  Hold that puppy up and say cheese.  I want to see your shining face.  Send your picture to joythebakergiveaway at gmail dot com and you’re entered to win.

Winner will be selected by and giveaway ends Saturday December 4th at midnight.

November Giveaway Winners!

Week Four Giveaway Winners!

week four prizes

We did it!

An entire month of giveaways!  Man…. that was crazy.

I hope you have lots of delicious cups of tea with this Lavender Vanilla Sugar, Nicole V.  Win!

Jamie @ A Healthy JD!  You won the kitchen towels from Jenni20 Designs!

I hope you have a lovely place in your home for  Catina Jane’s art print, Linda P.  You win.

Amy I!!  Guess what?  You won all the awesome kitchen gear from Luminarc!

You won yourself a Le Creuset pie plate Joy H.  Ps-We have the same name.

Lauren S!  You won the brownie pan.  I hope you make loads of brownies this season!

Denise of ChezUs!  You won yesterday’s PamWares apron giveaway.  Jealous!

I like you.  I’m glad you’re here.

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