Honey Chamomile Cupcakes and the Joy the Baker Cookbook!



Today is February 28, 2012.  Today is the day that felt a million years away in 2010 when I started writing the Joy the Baker Cookbook.  Now, February 28th, 2012 is as close as the present… and we’re living in it!

Today the Joy the Baker Cookbook is officially born into the world.  It’s 100 recipes and 100 photos.  We’re talking NEW recipes.  Things you haven’t seen here on Joy the Baker.  Might I humbly suggest you go to the store and stock up on butter and sugar?  You’ll need it.  You’ll love it.

This book is written and shot by me.  Tested and consumed by eager friends and family.  Believed in by agent Alison, editor Leslie, cheerleader Michael.  This book is made by me for YOU YOU YOU!  I know you eat popcorn for dinner.  I know you bake brownies for boys.  I know you’re just looking for an excuse to make biscuits for every meal of the day…. and I love you I love you I love you!!!

I’m going on a humble book tour as well!  I want to meet you!!  I want to sign your book!!  I want to circle pages of recipes you should make!!  And I totally want to come over to bake with you… but that might be difficult.  This book tour is funded by Joy the Baker and Co…. which means it’s funded by me… so please understand that if I can make it to your city, I absolutely will.  And if I can’t… well… I really wanted to.  Thank you for your love and understanding.  Check out the Book Tour stops and get excited!  Let’s meet and high-five and totally hug it out!

I’ll be at Vroman’s in Pasadena tonight (it’s Tuesday today…) at 7pm.  Be there!

If I’m not able to see your smiling face, how about following me on Facebook and on Twitter?  I’ll have all sorts of behind the scenes pictures of me being weird and nervous.  What could go wrong there?

You can best believe I’ll also be podcasting like a maniac over on the Joy the Baker Podcast at Homefries.

I want you to be everywhere I am!  Let’s do it!


Because today is such a wonderfully blessed day, I wanted to share a recipe from the book with you.  These cupcakes are an absolute favorite.

Chamomile Cupcakes with Honey Glaze.  These are delicate and ladylike… even if you eat six of them you’ll still be the picture of feminine grace.  I (sorta) promise.

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Caramelized Mushroom and Onion Biscuits



This is not my first rodeo.  I’ve been around the block a time or two when it comes to biscuits.  Sometimes I call them dumplings and put them on top of warm vegetables with savory gravy.  At Lent I hot cross my biscuits.

 Bacon and Brown Sugar really know how to make out with biscuit dough.  Creamy Chicken Pot Pie topped with Chive Biscuits will win the hearts of friends and lover.  I have proof, but I don’t have a diamond ring.  I have yet to figure out the recipe for diamond rings.  No hurry… on the real.


I’ve been around the block a time or two…. but this spot, this biscuit…  THIS!  I can’t even deal.

Golden and caramelized mushrooms and sweet onions mixed with buttery carbs!  Dangerous.  Delicious.  Take a ride around the block with these bad boys.  They’re everything ever.

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Easy Spicy Garlic Bread in a Pot


dutch oven bread

I got pulled over by a cop today.  He gave me a ticket.

Strangely enough… it was just about the nicest interaction I’ve had all day.

In California, drivers are not allowed to talk or text while driving a car.  Nice rule, right?  In California, drivers generally talk and text while driving a car.  If they have two cell phones… they talk aaand text.  It’s just a thing.  It’s horrible.

I answered my phone just as I was passed a police man on a motorcycle.  I didn’t see him as I was breaking the law… obviously.  Not but moments later, there he was behind me.  There were lights and such.  I dunno.  I didn’t pull over until I got a good dose of the siren.  See… I’ve never actually been pulled over.  The only thing I know about getting pulled over is advice given to me by my uncle when I was 13.  He said… always keep your hands on the steering wheel as a cop approaches your car so the officer doesn’t think you’re searching your purse for your lady gun to shoot him in the belly.

I kept my hands on the steering wheel.  Window up.  Radio (accidentially) blasting.  Awkward.

I rolled down the window, he told me what I had done wrong, I agreed (because I was totally doing a wrong thing)… and then somehow we ended up talking about his son, my parents, driving in Los Angeles, and whether or not I had a family of my own.  Seriously.  It was genuinely awesome…

And then he gave me a ticket.  That part sucked slightly… but really, I was in the wrong.  Do the time, pay the crime… that sort of thing.

Lessons learned:  don’t approach the phone while driving.  It’s illegal because it’s dangerous… and not like wearing 4-inch heels dangerous… but actually dangerous.  I get it.  Learned.

The truth of the matter is it was a lovely, $150 conversation with a stranger… with a gun.


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Simple Vegan Chocolate Cake



The Sunday Panics.

Do you get the Sunday Panics?  Let me describe the symptoms and you can tell me whether or not I’m a strangebird, or if you relate.  The Sunday Panics are most often characterized by:  afternoon over-caffeination, tremendous amounts of NOT quality time spent on Twitter, a kitchen full of dirty dishes, a lengthy and daunting weekly to-do list, a fair amount of brain worry, possible nail biting, an intense desire for take-out Chinese food, and low motivation coupled with nagging laziness guilt.

Do you ever get the Sunday Panics?

Yea…. me neither.   Of course not.

…except I totally do.


I’ve developed a cure for the Sunday Panics.

Movement! Up. Up.  UP!!  In the kitchen.  Make a super easy cake.  Definitely do the dishes.  Make the to-do list for the week, then set it aside to rest until Monday morning.  Write some greeting cards for friends.  Call your mama.  Enjoy cake during a several hour marathon of Grey’s Anatomy or Downton Abbey.  When all else fails… try bourbon in the shower and an early bedtime.  Give those Sunday Panics the boot!

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Parmesan and Herb Cheese Straws



I don’t know any good party card tricks.

I have one joke.  It goes exactly like this:

How do you catch a unique bird?

….. You nique (as in… sneak) up on it.

Yea.  It’s bad.  That’s totally not a good party joke unless you’re dressed as a clown and making balloon animals for 6 year olds.

I’m a little awkward when it comes to casual party conversation.  I’m awful when it comes to remembering names.  I’m not the kind of girl that sings karaoke or plays rock band… it’s really just better if I don’t partake in these sort of party activities.

You know where to find me at a party… the kitchen.  Obviously.  Can I help you with that potato salad?  Can I make you a cocktail?  Can I whip up some chocolate chip cookies?  Perhaps you’d like some sparkling water with cucumber.

And.  Come to think of it.  I totally do have one party trick!  Cheese straws.  They’re so easy… and they’ll so make you feel Martha Stewart-ish.


Also!  There’s an important note that has nothing to do with cheese, straws, or bad party jokes.

I’m going on book tour with the release of my first cookbook, the Joy the Baker Cookbook…  out on February 28th.

Check out where I’ll be on this little Book Tour.  I humbly request your smiling face meet mine!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding



I’m beating around the bush here… I apologize.

See, what I really need in my life is homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, I just haven’t gotten the nerve to make it yet.

What am I waiting for?  I’m waiting for the stars to align and my desk to clean itself.  I’m waiting for the perfect baguette to pair with this homemade Nutella.  I’m waiting for a larger food processor, and perhaps new a duvet cover to languish in.  I do a lot of languishing… not really.  I’m waiting for cashmere oven mitts and pearl earrings…. because I’m fancy… (again) not really.

I’m making excuses.  All of the recipes I’ve seen for homemade chocolate hazelnut spread call for powdered milk.  Wwwhhhyyyy??  So… until I wrap my head around this concept, or figure out a way to make a bonkers good spread without powdered milk, you’ll have to settle for (dang good) pudding.

Also… instead of beating around the bush, are you actually supposed to be beating the bush?  I don’t understand this.


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Pink Raised Doughnuts with Toasted Coconut



I carry around a list in my brain… a list of things that I’m in love with.  Actively in love with, everyday… just walking around in the world.

I’m in love with fresh ginger tea, jewels big and small, my perfect black cotton dress, girls with long wavy hair that I covet, day planners, mechanical pencils, and the smell of clean laundry.

This is aside from loving the people and pets around me.  This love is separate from family and friends.  This love sometimes steps to the back of my mind and I’m left feeling a little blaaaaaahhh…. until all the love comes rushing back and I remember that I’m totally in love with my life.

I mean… think about it.  Despite its messes and disappointments… and bills, there’s a lot to be in love with… even if it’s just the smell of your new shampoo, because it reminds you of toasted coconut.


I made these pretty pink doughnuts, and shared them with friends.  I decided that this Valentine’s Day… it’s important to be in love with life.

I don’t even care how cheesy that sounds… because it feels good, and tastes bonkers awesome.

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Arroz con Pollo



One a scale of 1 to romantic… where do you fall?

I fall at the medium-low level… let’s call if a 4.6.  Go easy on the candle light, long stem roses, and limo rides (unless there’s a hot tub in back).  I don’t need jewelry, but diamonds are always nice (it’s a paradox, I dunno…).  Carriage rides?  Meh.  Horse rides?  Cooler.  Horse ride followed by margaritas?  Now you’re on to something.

I’m not the heart locket and stuffed animal type.  I’m more the Le Creuset and expensive chocolate type.

I also think large pots of warm rice and chicken are an 8.7 on the romantic scale.

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I like coconut quite a lot.

I love coconut.  It’s important to me.

It’s so important that this is the perfect time and place to expound my love in link form.

Real Talk:  I spent the morning in the kitchen with a new coconut recipe that bonkers FAILED.  I’ll get coconut, hazelnut, and chocolate together somehow.  It’s in the future.

Coconut Almond Chocolate Biscuits. ((coconut flakes!))  With cherry jam?  Much success.

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Simple Edamame Toast



For lunch… let’s be real… it’s not always fancy salad and irresistible pretzel dogs.

Usually, at the lunch hour, I open the fridge and pile whatever I’ve got onto a few pieces of bread.  There’s usually salt and olive oil involved. I believe that those are ingredients that belong on damn near everything.

Remember when I made this simple lunch?

Yea… more things on bread with salt and olive oil.

dinner and dessert

Dinner and dessert are a different story.  Something warm and tender is awesome for dinner.  Chocolate is dessert… even if it has black beans in it.

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