Joy the Baker

Pumpkin, Millet, and Chocolate Muffins

October 30, 2011

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Apparently we’re quickly approaching November.  Wait… what!?  In the blink of an eye we’ll be eating turkey for Thanksgiving, wrapping holiday gifts, and kissing at midnight… that’s how fast this year is going!

What are we going to do about this? Is there some sort of pause button.

The only thing I can think do to do slow things down involves these healthy-ish Pumpkin Millet and Chocolate Muffins, a cup of milky tea, and Food and Wine Magazine.  Did you slow things down this weekend?  Was there pumpkin and chocolate, too?

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This is real life.  Warm muffin.  Milk tea.  Food magazine.

I don’t slow down very often… I’m a terrible relaxer.  A short moment that looks like this?  Yea… it’s a nice and necessary recharge.

Ps.  You should totally know that I ate three muffins… not just the one pictured here.  Three.  They’re small.  No biggie.

Oh!  My little bit of downtime has given me all sorts of holiday pie ideas.  Get your pie tins out!  It’s going to get delicious here.

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109 Comments

Super Simple Roasted Apples

October 27, 2011

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Under no circumstances do I want you to come to this blog, read it, and leave with the sense that I have my act together.  I don’t have my act together.  If it looks for a moment like I have my act together… I’m just barely holding on.  Hear these words.

I was reading a website last week, and the writer posted a picture of her nightstand.  Perfectly mundane.  Perfectly innocent.  Except… the nightstand had three things on it.  Something fancy made by Steve Jobs, something that probably smelled like roses in heaven, and a perfectly placed tube of designer lip gloss.  Perfect layered on perfect, with a dash of perfect. Maybe I freaked out a little on the inside.  Maybe my nightstand is a dusty clutter of books that I’m currently ignoring.  Maybe I can’t find my lip gloss… and if I could it surely would not be designer… and it surely would have cat hair on it.

I’m not much for comparing myself with others… but I am for comparing nightstands apparently.

Mine is not put together.

Also… while we’re here… you should also know that I have to throw my phone in the back seat of my car to keep myself from texting and driving.  All the way in the back.  Otherwise I can’t help myself.

Oh.  Sometimes I daydream about running into the boy I used to date earlier this year.  In my fantasy, I look fantastic… like fatally fantastic.  I’m also with my new (majorly amazingly tall) new boyfriend…. thus making this dummy dude feel like a total shrimp.  I so so so wish for that to happen.

See?  I’m fickle, and messy, and texty… AND I CAN TOTALLY COOK SOME APPLES!!!! So there…

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190 Comments

In the Stacks: my favorite things

October 26, 2011

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I am surrounded by stacks of books.  Well… stacks of books, semi sweet chocolate chips, and bobbypins.

I really wanted to share my books with you… mostly because reading aloud is lost on my cat.  New and old, these are the pages that currently surround me.

With the season getting more grey and brisk, I find myself sitting with these books even more.  Working out is sooooo summer.  It’s time for sweaters, slippers, and cozy book worming.

I was recently gifted Good Meat.  Gorgeous Gorgeous book!  I now know that I can make a French-style hamburger with salted herb butter.  I’m reading this book like a novel and dreaming about steaks and stews.

The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook inspired this perfect chocolate cake.  It’s a beautiful seasonal cookbook with umcomplicated recipes that inspire communal table dining.

Heidi wrote such a dreamy book.  Super Natural Every Day.  It’s full of health and quinoa.  In my dream life I eat as well as Heidi.  In my real life I just keep eating butter.

Do you have the Organic and Chic cookbook?  I’ve been talking about this book for a while now.  I love the cupcakes in this book.  The decorating is simply pretty and organic as heck.

There’s totally more…

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129 Comments

Grilled Ham, Cheese, Pickle, and Potato Chip Sandwich

October 23, 2011

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Who am I to tell you how to make a dang sandwich?

I don’t know how much mayonnaise you like to spread on your bread.  I don’t know how spicy you like your mustard.  I don’t know how cheesy you like your situation.  I can’t know how tall you like to stack your ham.

I don’t want to get into your sandwich making business.  It’s a personal thing.  I know.

But!  May I just offer you two humble suggestions?

Pickles and Potato Chips.  Inside.

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179 Comments

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

October 20, 2011

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This is the soup I suggest you eat this weekend after you devour three doughnuts at breakfast, and before you eat tacos and french fries for dinner.

It has broccoli and raw cashews in it.  It’s the picture of health.

Nevermind how much butter I put on that bread.  Let’s focus on our health.  Health after doughnuts and before tacos and fries. French Fry tacos should be a thing.  Is that a thing?  It needs to be a thing.

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126 Comments

Don’t be a Sexy Panda for Halloween and 8 other festive tips

October 18, 2011

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It’s almost Halloween.  I feel like we need to have a heart-to-heart before this holiday really takes hold.

We need to talk.  We really do.

1.  If you find yourself browsing Etsy in search of a tie to turn your cat into a businesscat for Halloween, you’re doing things right.

2.  If you find yourself entranced by the candy aisle at Target, you’re really on to something.  Although… if you’re contemplating Halloween peeps I would urge you to reconsider.

3.  If you think a gorilla costume seems like a good idea… for Halloween and just to have around the house: spot on.  Well played.

4.  If you’re considering entering a haunted house, INSIST on positioning yourself in the middle of your crowd of friends.  If you’re first or last in the group you’re probably going to die.  Haunted houses are scary and you’ll probably die.  I’d die.  Seriously.  I don’t belong in a haunted house.  I’d get my murder scream on.  No one likes that.

5.  Haunted Hay Ride?  Suspicious at best.

6.  Listen… if you’re buying the shoes for your Halloween outfit at a shoe store that also sells skimpy spandex outfits and furry handcuffs, I’m really really going to need you to stop that right now.

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284 Comments

Midnight Black Chocolate Pudding

October 17, 2011

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So there’s this thing about me.

I really really don’t like making Halloween treats.  Tombstone cupcakes.  Spider web cookies.  Witch finger snacks.  Please… just please.  I can’t get into it.  I don’t want things to look dead, or bugged, or dismembered.

I want things to look sweet and chocolatey and dripping with caramel… and not blood-colored caramel.  Please!

I feel like I should come clean now, before you expect some sort of zombie cake.

Oh.  Also… I don’t really have time to make tombstone cupcakes.  I’m dedicating most of my time to planning my super slutty panda bear costume.

I’m kidding.

…. I’m so so kidding.

Right?

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193 Comments

Lemon, Olive, and Parsley Quinoa Cakes

October 13, 2011

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Dear Success,

I got you.

I’ve got a jar of Sharpie markers on my desk, a frozen coffee cake in my freezer just waiting to be baked, a handful of people tell me they love me, and there’s spinach in my bowl.  See?  I’ve got you, Success.  We’re totally roommates… and I’m totally not letting you move out, ever.

It’s Friday!  Double Success!

Love,

Joy

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Look around.  I bet you live with success too!  …sometimes success is as simple as a jar of markers on your desk.

Enjoy your weekend!  I’m rooting for you.  Go do good things!

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152 Comments

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

October 12, 2011

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Now is not the time to be thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  Ignore the plastic Christmas trees at Costco… we still have time.  We have months.  The year is not over yet.  We can totally take it easy.

I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions.  They’re totally unrealistic, right?  I feel like my best intentions of dieting, cleaning, saving money, and being a better human in the world are all flushed down the toilet when I cut people off in traffic while eating doughnuts and throwing money out the window on January 2nd.  (Was that a run-on sentence?) ((Don’t answer that.))

Ok.  So I don’t throw money out the window.  Come on…

Let me get to the point.

I like to make mini resolutions.  I make a little resolution, in my crazybrain, each season.  Here we are in Autumn… and it’s time to rearrange my goals.  I totally nailed my summer goals of wearing bikini tops as bras and keeping my nails done-did.  Now it’s time to rearrange.

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This Autumn is all about loving hard, giving quality time to others, not texting at dinner, and wearing these friendship bracelets until they fall off my wrist.  I keep it simple.  It’s usually the simple intentions that influence the larger movements in my life.  Trust.  I’m not completely superficial.

Do you have some goals you’re going to make this Autumn?  Do they have anything to do with living right and making this awesome, yeasty coffee cake!?  Say yes!  Live right!

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185 Comments

Chocolate Coconut Almond Scones

October 10, 2011

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14 of the 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 thoughts going through my brainscape:

-  I’m 30.  I can’t shop at Forever 21.  First of all, I’m a Large…. and the shorts are still waay too tiny.  Secondly, I look much better in Anthropologie clothes.

-  I’m worth it.

-  Yea.  So I just stress-ate a bag of potato chips.  At least I just bought the small bag and not the giant bag… even though the giant bag was on sale.  I’m alright!

-  I wish I had claws so I could scratch my cat back.

-  At least I have scissors to give my cat awkward hair cuts when he’s sleeping.

-  I can’t sing, unless I’m alone and I’m pretending like I’m Adele… and then I still can’t sing.

-  No, sir.  Laundromat flirting is not my thing.  I see you trying to find an ‘in’.  Also… the fact that you’re wearing a bluetooth and that you brought your own wooden hangers to the laundromat makes it clear to me that you’re a serial killer.  I’ve seen CSI.  I’ve seen Dexter.  COME ON!

-  Well, if Hoarders weren’t such a mind-bending show, I wouldn’t have to watch it.  It’s really not my fault.

-  I’ll write that email… but first I’ll eat this cold burrito.

-  I’m looking at you and secretly wondering if you’re an extreme couponer.

-  Can I deep fry cupcakes?  No.

-  Some girls cry when they’re sad.  I cry when I’m bonkers angry.  That must be really creepy to people.  Like… killer creepy.

-  When did girls start wearing fake hair and fake eyelashes!?  Ladies… come on.  Can we all just work on the same playing field?  Geez.  You’re really making my hair look mousy.

-  What kind of scones should I make?  I know… sweet everything bagels…  Everything Scones!  I’m a genius.

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208 Comments

Inspiration

October 9, 2011

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Inspired by this cake.

Inspired by this woman.

Inspired by this partnership.

Inspired by this friendship.

Inspired by this man.

Inspired by this book.

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122 Comments

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

October 6, 2011

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Hello, today.

inspired by

This week was inspired by…dinner with a new friend on face plates.  Pea pasta with lemon.

This week was inspired by… making avocado crab toast with Jill.

This week was inspired by … this mama, in a chevron skirt with two babies.  I love how close her baby boy is playing next to her skirt.  She totally has a little baby in her arms too.  I like this mama.  I have a soft spot for Mr. Potato Head.  I want this to be me eventually (the mama… not the potato head).

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969 Comments

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

October 4, 2011

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I can and I will.

I can and I will.

That’s what I’ve been telling myself lately.  I can and I will… about everything.  I’ve also been saying YES to just about everything.  Do you know what can open up when you say Yes.. I can and I will?  Whoa.  Major.   Going to the gym?  Done.  Having an uncomfortable conversation you don’t want to have?  Done.  Offering a lady at the laundromat my laundry soap?  Done.  Paying that dang parking ticket.  Fine, done.  Helping a friend with a photo project.  Donedone.

I’m not looking for any sort of award.  I realize that this is all just everyday living… but it really is a lovely brainchange to think YES first… and I CAN second.  Really cool things can happen.  Like tacos… tacos can happen.

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Amendment:  I think the only thing I’ll say no to right now is… seeing that 3D dolphin-without-a-tail movie.  I can’t handle it… mostly because it would probably make me cry.  Ugh.

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194 Comments

Savings for You!

October 4, 2011

sponsor thank you!

I’ve been telling you a lot about Homefries U.  You know… that weekend where Tracy and I went nutso making cookies, pizzas, and friendship bracelets in Palm Springs?  All of that nuttiness wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome without some really lovely sponsors.

That is… really lovely sponsors who have really lovely things that they still want to do for YOU!

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21 Comments

Almost Vegan Zucchini Bread

October 2, 2011

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If I could have made a U-turn on the freeway, I would have… that’s how much I didn’t want to go to this party.

The sheer fact that I was forced to drive in a straight line at high speeds is why I made it to this party.

Now… nothing was wrong with the party.  It was set to be a perfectly fine evening of good food and tons of people that I didn’t know.  Food and new friends?  Come on Joy… get into it!

But sometimes it’s just hard to get into it… right?

I tried every trick in my book.  I painted my nails pretty.  That usually ups my game.  I shaved my legs even though I was wearing a long skirt… you know, for inner confidence.  I wore my favorite watch.  I wore my favorite ring.  I washed my car.  I said some prayers.  I even made this Almost Vegan Zucchini Bread.

I just couldn’t snap out of my recluse/hermit/ohmygod itotally justwant tostayat hhoooommmmeeee tendencies.

So I drove down the freeway to a party.

Guess what?

I had a good time.  Yea.  Totally.  Of course I had a good time.

Guess what else?

I was so so so glad to get home and sneak a slice of this bread and call it dessert.

Real life.  Happening.

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112 Comments

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