Recipes Savory

Real Life Dinner


I have a real life.

I know… epic.  You have a real life too.  I’m not trying to pat myself on the back or anything.

I just wanted to remind you that I totally have a real life.  It’s imperfect and blurry.  It’s messy and florescent.  It’s crooked and underexposed.

It’s quiet… with the occasional solo dance party.  It’s awkward.  It’s sometimes frustrating.  It’s often times blessed.  There’s a lot of food in this life of mine… and it’s not always in focus.  It’s just not.

For some reason, I think it’s important that you know this.

Can I show you dinner?  Real life… I made this at 7pm in my poorly lit kitchen… and ate it off the coffee table… dinner.


Before dinner can be made, dinner must be shopped for, dinner must be stood in line for.

I’m the girl that answers emails in line at the grocery store.  I just am.

I also wear sunglasses in the grocery store… it’s LA, and that’s totally allowed- if not encouraged.



Groceries home.  I’m going to make salad-y things, and tomato-y things with mussels, herbs, and wine.

Real life:  I found an easy recipe on the internet.  I read it.  I bought the stuff, and I just want dinner (and wine time) to happen quickly.

Spicy Steamed Mussels with Garlic and Herbs.


There’s chopping to be done, so I chop.  Leftover kielbasa, sliced garlic, and green onions.


Directly behind me, my cat is rummaging around in the cabinet under the sink.

He’s learned how to open cabinet doors by himself.  He’s like that velociraptor in Jurassic Park.  Yes… that terrifying.  Don’t believe me?  Come live with me for a day.  It’s actually scary.

Anyhow… this animal opens my cabinet, rummages around, spills stuff onto the kitchen floor… stuff for me to trip over, then he saunters away.


After chopping and slicing, these little bits get cooked in olive oil.

Heavy on the red pepper flakes.  Spicy spicetown.


Fresh basil and thyme for the chopping.

I love to finish dinner with fresh herbs.  It makes me feel like I’ve turned my house into a restaurant… mostly because herbs make food taste better.


Salad for dinner too!?

I’m incredibly civilized.  Don’t be fooled… I often have popcorn for dinner.  I made a salad because I had company over.  Casual company… but still company.

When you have company over.. you have to make a salad, right?


Real life: I was too lazy to dig for my spatula so the sides of my pan are coated in tomato sauce.  Also… I totally burnt my first round of toast.  Like, hardcore.  Like, I almost set the house of fire burnt.  Black as the day is long.  And the day is long…. really long.

Joy the Baker burns toast.  This is a true fact.


I’ve never made mussels before.  They seem like the kind of food that you only eat in restaurants.  Nope.  These are so easy and delicious.


I tend to eat dinner alone and standing.  I hear it’s great for digestion.  Gravity and such.  No…  I totally don’t hear that.  Whatevs.

This time around, because I have company, I’m classing it up… we’re eating hunched over my tiny coffee table.

Not ideal, but I totally have linen napkins.


Real life dinner done and delicious.

All thats left now are dishes, and leftovers… and dessert to rummage through the freezer for.

Spicy Steamed Mussels with Garlic and Herbs. I love this recipe!  It feels like Mario Batali cooked you dinner.  And I made it in about 25 minutes.  Major!  Oh… I added capers and kielbasa, and a bit of thyme instead of oregano.

ps.  I wish I could make  YOU dinner.  pps.  I love you.  ppps.  No biggie.