My Plates


I don’t have one painting or picture hung on my walls.

I like white walls.   …I also don’t own a hammer.  No biggie.

I do, however, have a kitchen full of pretty plates, little cups, and wooden bowls.

I like to eat off of my art.

Since so many of you have asked me about my plates… well, here’s a few answers.

The answers mostly have to do with the Anthropologie sale table… just so you know.

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Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes



I’m totally a good person to surprise.

If you tell me that you’re stuck in Seattle working all weekend, and you can’t come down for my birthday,  I’ll believe you.  I’ll believe you, because I love you and you’re not a liar.

If you tell me that you’re working away in Phoenix, and you simple can’t get away to celebrate my birthday,  I’ll believe you.  I’ll believe you, because I love you and you’re not a liar.

You’re going out of town to visit our grandparents?  Really?  You have to go this weekend when you knew it was my birthday?  Um… ok.  It must be important.  Go on.  I believe you.  yadda yadda yadda… you’re not a liar.

This birthday.  Oh man! I was hit with surprise, after surprise, after surprise.

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Hi there, dear friends.

It’s me Joy.

I’m the girl that writes this blog.  Yea… hi.  Me.  Right.

For the last three months, I’ve been working on a big project.  Today.  Today Today Today is the day that this project grows wings and flies away into the Internet.  That’s happening.  Right now.

I’d like to introduce you to Homefries.

Homefries is a network of four podcasts.  Audio podcasts.  For your ears.  There’s a video with details and such.

Before you watch the video and explore Homefries, let me tell you more.  Seriously… this is some good business.

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Spinach and Potato Breakfast Hash


My produce dude at Whole Foods might know me just as well as some of my closest friends.  We’ve built quite the relationship.

Yea.. he’s MY produce dude.  Miguel gets to work at 4am.

He’s in the produce restocking business… and he has to get his ducks in a row before 7am rolls around, and the store opens.

I saunter in around 7:30am.  I generally have ridiculous bedhead, sunglasses on indoors, a scarf wrapped around my head, and lip gloss… always lip gloss.  Miguel has seen some truly unfortunate morning fashion choices.  Maybe he judges.  If so, at least he does so with kind eyes.

Maybe I look like one of those dishevelled,  incognito super famous people… except that I’m not at all.

Miguel always greets me.  We talk about what I’m about to cook.  He picks up an apple and slices it for me to sample.  He tells me about how many beers he is going to drink when he gets off of work, and what he’s going to do with his family over the weekend.  That’s about as much conversation as I can muster at such an early hour.

I think he and I have high-fived once.  I initiated it… surely it was awkward.

He gave me a smushed avocado once, and I acted like he was giving me a brick of gold.  Also awkward.


I wonder what Miguel is doing right now.

Probably stacking potatoes and chatting up the girl that does her produce shopping everyday at 10:30am.  She probably likes apple slices too.

Hm… she’s probably more chatty and less awkward.  But I’m probably cuter.

And yes… I’m totally comparing myself to a fictional girl I just made up in my head.  Whatevs.  I’m over it.

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Midnight Snacking

midnight snacking

My kitchen is clean.  It’s nearly spotless.

This is a huge problem.  This means I haven’t been cooking.

Wait.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been eating… because sweet Lord have I been eating.  I’ve been eating by the fistful.  Usually large bowls of pasta late at night.  Also, snacks.  A mean amount of snacks.  At midnight.

That makes them midnight snacks.

To make me feel better about myself… I’d like you to get on this midnight snack bandwagon as well.  Please… we’re in this together, right?

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Love and Sugar

love and sugar

There’s something happening in my email inbox.  I’ve gotten lots… and I mean LOTS of emails from you about what to bake for boys.

Boys in the dorm room down the hall from you, boys that you work with, boys that live far away from you, boys boys boys.

You people are crushin’  hard. I like this.  I say thumbs-up.  I say dive in, head first!… as long as you’re not diving into the shallow end, and you’ve waited an hour after eating, and you’re wearing your floaties… other than that… dive in!

Or just slip n slide it… but go for it.  It’s Spring, why not love somebody!?

You come to me with your boy and baking questions… you know I’m no expert, right?  I mean… clearly.  I’ve addressed this issue before, but I think it’s worth revisiting.  I’d like to answer all of you boy/baking questions in one fell swoop (I love that expression.  It makes me feel like Braveheart… but prettier).

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ship these Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies to a boy that you like that’s far away.  Cool these cookies completely.  Wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in a zip lock bag and package in a shoe box (scratch off the shoe size if you have gigantic feel like I do).  Stuff with tissue and other packing supplies.  Include note that says something to the effect of:  hey.  obviously I like you… like a lot.  I baked you cookies and shipped them to you in a box that I decorated with crayon-drawn hearts.  Ask me on a proper date.  Like a gentleman.  Please bring flowers.  Love, (your name)

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Hot Chocolate Popovers


Pictured above are 12 toasted marshmallows.  Warm, gooey, sweet, toasty good.

The rest of the bag of marshmallows… I ate those standing in front of the oven waiting for these little puffs to bake.

… Then I went to the store and bought another bag.

… Because I have a problem.  … And marshmallows are so soft so soft so delicious.


Have you ever made popovers?  So simple.

Popovers are like puffy pancake doughnuts.  Aren’t those good words?  Yes.

Also… toasted marshmallows.  Buy two bags.  Don’t feel bad.

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Gluten-free Toasted Coconut Waffles with maple cream


I’m totally on a gluten-free kick.

… and it’s all because of coconut flour.

I am a master of all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, pastry flour, and… gi-normous bowls of pasta.  I’ve packed gluten-free-free food items into every meal for ever and ever.  Delicious.

But then coconut flour came along… and not I’m totally obsessed.


Coconut flour is high in fiber, and has a good amount of protein.  It’s a very absorbent flour, so you’ll use much much less coconut flour than you would all-purpose flour.  It thickens a batter even as it’s just being stirred into the wet ingredients.  Why?  Fiber?  Fiber is absorbent, and good for you.  Duh.

Coconut flour also has a slight sweetness to it.  It’s really a cool, and approachable alternative to all-purpose flour.  If you’re thinking that you might want to take on a bit of gluten-free baking… coconut flour is the way to go.  I like Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour… and they didn’t pay me to say that… they just make great flours.

Try new things!  They’re delicious!

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On Turning TwentyOne


If you’re turning twenty one (21!!) today… May 7, 2011, I’d like to humbly offer you some advice, as your elder of 9 whopping years.

I know you’re not asking for advice.  I know I’m not an expert at life…  I just have a few gems I want you to take with you.

One:  Raw honey and baking soda make a really lovely face scrub.  True.  Try it!

Two:  Eat something green everyday.

Three:  Chill out on the Facebook.  Seriously.  It’s not real life.

Four:  Learn how to sew something.  Anything.  At least learn how to sew your buttons back on your shirts.

Five:  If your button up shirt is bulging at the boobs… wear another shirt.  OR, just unbutton that button.  We’re talking exposed bra.   You’ll need to wear a necklace or two if you’re going to go this route.  You’re also going to need to walk tall and own it…. and stay away from public transportation.

Six:  Make lists on Post-It notes and knock em out, cross em off, get things done.

Seven:  Look people in the eye and listen when they speak.  It’s a nice touch.  It’s the opposite of Facebook.

Eight:  Is your resting face… the expression that you have when you’re just hanging out watching Real Housewives of Orange County… is that face bitchy?  Change that.  Try not to look bitchy when you’re just hanging out.

Nine:  Don’t drink too much rum… ever.

Ten:  Don’t be one of those girls that carries one of those long, giant cocktail cups around the streets of Las Vegas.  It really gives the wrong impression.  You’ll also have to pee a lot.

Eleven:  If a guy is a jerk, he’s dead to you.  You don’t need that bologna.  Eat an ice cream cone and move the heck on.

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Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktails



I’d smile at rum.  Coy… but not really coy.

I’d say hello to vodka.  I’d wave, and smile with teeth.

I’d totally make out with gin… tonic and lime everywhere.

But bourbon.  I’d marry bourbon… as long as bourbon understands that I often stay up until 3 am writing silly blog posts, with a scarf on my head, a shaky leg, and post-it notes everywhere.  But I have a feeling that bourbon understands me.  I’m not too worried.


Little itty bitty kitchen peek.

What is pleasantly cropped out of this picture is my cat in the kitchen sink attacking the dirty kitchen sponge.

Livin’ classy.

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Green Goddess Tea Sandwiches


What do mothers want for Mother’s Day?

Breakfast in bed?  Flowers?  Jars of honey?  Hand sewn pot holders?

Crown of daisies?  Wads of cash?  A high five?

Gum?  Altoids?  Pet goldfish?

I’m hoping the answer is lunch with tea sandwiches and cocktails…. cause that’s what’s going to happen for my mom.

I’m making lunch.  I’m setting the table.  I’m using the fancy linens.  I’m also doing the dishes.  I should buy flowers too… someone remind me.

I think my mamabear is most stoked about the clean dishes… let’s be real.

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I need you.   Did you know that?

I’ve had the shaky leg lately.  I’ve eaten waaaay too much popcorn in full-on fits of what can only be described as ‘nervous eating’.  I’ve more to-do lists than I care to admit.  I shouldn’t even mention this weird pacing and sweeping the floor habit that I have.

I think I’ve been a little anxious in the world.  Earthquakes. Taxes.  Tornadoes.  Bin Ladens.  I dunno.  I’m feeling it.

There’s this thing I do when I’m anxious… I try to make other people feel better.  Thinking about making other people feel good makes me feel good.  So!  I pick up a pen, bust out my box of stationary, and write letters.  I know how much I like to receive letters, and I feel compelled to pass on that sensation.

I know I’ve written a handful of you letters for my 30 Things Before 30 Years post, but I wanted to broaden my reach.  I want to write more of you.  Can I?

Here’s the deal:

Send your address, or the address of someone you think might really enjoy a handwritten (albeit entirely silly) letter.  I will, in all likelihood (and in due time) write you a letter.  If you receive a letter, please (please!) snap a quick photograph of you and said letter to email to me.  Deal?

I have a feeling I’m going to need to stock up on stationary.

Oh!  And I should mention that if you entrust your address to me, I will only use it for purposes of friendly letter writing… I won’t stalk you… although if I did stalk you, I’d probably bring cookies.  So.  You know.  Not so bad.

Email you mailing address to: joy the baker is my penpal (at) gmail (dot) com.  No spaces… silly.

Check your mail.

Ps.  I sometimes use crayons.  I’m one of the cool kids.

Pps.  Judging by the response so far… I’m really going to need additional stationery.

Ppps.  An update.  It’s been less than 24 hours, and I’ve received nearly 1,000 addresses.  I’m stoked.  I’m amazed.  I’m going to get a hand cramp.  I’ve written six letters so far.  Six.  Keep the addresses coming.  I love you.