Joy the Baker

White Bean Bundt Cake

March 29, 2012

white bean cake

 Five Things I would encourage you to do this weekend:

One:  Give yourself some time to DO and NOT DO.  Sleep in or take an after-pancake nap.  Then clean out a kitchen drawer… or tackle a bathroom shelf or two.  Do and Don’t… it’s all a balance, right?

Two:  Read something special.  I’m reading An Everlasting Meal.  It’s not a cookbook.  It’s not a memoir.  It’s a book about life and the kitchen.  It feels so different and so good.

Three:  Make the call.  Call you mother.  Call your uncle.  Call your neighbor.  There’s not enough time in the day, especially when things like Twitter and Pinterest exist.  I understand.  Listen… just ignore the stupid Facebook timeline thing that’s totally annoying, and pick up the phone to tell you’re Great Aunt Mary that you love her and you think she’s the most awesome old lady around.  Those things are important.  Facebook timeline is not… don’t let them trick you.

Four:  Buy a new lipstick.  I love how a new lip color changes how I feel about my wardrobe.  Girl talk!

Five:  Maybe you have to work all weekend.  I know… that’s real life.  Why not come home, order good Chinese food, sweep your apartment floor while you’re waiting for delivery, then quickly eat your take-out while you watch an old episode of The Walking Dead.  Eat somewhat quickly… before the zombie mess gets too gross.  Aaaannnddd… you just got a glimpse of how I really live.

white bean cake

Five things!  Enjoy them, or just totally ignore me.  Either way I’m glad you’re here.

Oh!  I made a cake with beans in it!  I have a mad fascination with sneaking beans into things.  Black Bean Brownies!  Major.  A new favorite for life.

I also have a huge fascination with big, chunky, flaked coconut.  I’ve made doughnuts, and I’m downright obsessed with this kale and coconut concoction.  I’m just really into this coconut.  This sneaky bean cake is just the latest victim of coconut sprinkling.  Get into it!

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176 Comments

Salty Sesame and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 27, 2012

chocolate sesame cookies

Three (top notch) (totally awesome) (majorly job applicable) (important!) skills I’d like to add to my job resume.  (Yes… this is a place my mind wanders.)

-  Outrageous use of punctuation and constant abuse of sentence structure.  While at first troublesome and awkward, the abuse does (over time) lend itself to a conversational and relatable tone.

-  Able to catch any cell phone as it falls through the air towards the floor.  It’s a super power… I’ve got it.

-  Adept at combining busy prints with colorful plaids in office wear outfits… without causing serious blindness.

Bonus!

-  Consistent cookies at work.  I bring em.  I mean, come on!

Wait… do people still know how to write resumes?  Is that still a thing kids learn in school, or is everyone just building the Internet these days?  What’s going on… and when did I start sounding like a kooky old lady!?

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182 Comments

Spinach, today!

March 25, 2012

spinach pasta

Spinach, today! is totally going to be the name of my new and forthcoming vegetarian zine.  I’m getting into the zine business… with spinach.  It’s super niche.  Ok… that’s not true at all.

I’ve got a whole brain full of buttery (and peanut buttery) treats I want to make in the next few weeks… but I really should clean out my crisper first.

I’ve got spinach for days… so I’m eating spinach for days.

Here’s how it’s going down the hatch:

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59 Comments

Gluten-Free Asparagus Quiche

March 20, 2012

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I ride my bike like a stone-cold maniac.  I tear through the streets, whip around corners, weave through cars, and am otherwise reckless.  If I look cocky on my bike… that’s because I’m usually listening to Jay-Z rap me things about being super rich and super awesome… and it translates into my pedal.  There comes a time in every bike ride when I have a decision to make.  I’m probably tired.  I’m probably thirsty.  I’m definitely wanting french fries and/or wine.  The decision is this:  up the hill?  or around the hill?

Take the hill or glide the easy way home?

I always take the hill.  It’s just a thing.  I can’t let myself slide home, not sweaty, and not out of breath.  Always take the hill.

To be clear… I’m not friends with the hill.  I hate the hill.  The hill is totally not cool.  But!  I always have to tackle that thing.

I think I try to live my whole life by always taking the challenge.  It’s hard, right?  It feels totally nerve-wracking.  It’s all kicking and screaming. Sometimes taking the challenge happens in front of a whole crowd of happy strangers.  Sometimes it’s just you, alone in the kitchen, putting together a quiche with ingredients you’ve never used before.  Whichever way it happens… always take the dang hill.  It takes your breath away, in the best way possible.

As you know, I’m currently taking on the awesome challenge of a national book tour for the Joy the Baker Cookbook.  No biggie…. um, total biggie!  These past weeks have been the most nerve-wracking, exhilarating, and exciting times in my life.  Truly.  Meeting you… meeting YOU has been 100% incredible.  More amazing than I ever could have imagined.

I want you to see this incredible journey!  I’ve been up and down the west coast, and I made a very special stop at the French Laundry in Yountville, California.  I made friends with their gardener,  I chef-ed it up in their test kitchen, and I made a quiche using the new gluten-free flour called Cup4Cup.  It’s awesome.

The book tour journey  has blown my mind! And!! It’s not over!  I’m so excited to see you in the midwest and east coast in the coming weeks.

Peep the video!  You’re in it!  It’s the real deal.

Thank you Chef Keller, Mimi, Lena, Tucker, Tracy, and of course… Michael.

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Because I was so inspired by this last week of book touring, I came home for a few days and wanted to give Cup4Cup gluten-free flour a try in my own kitchen.  I’m totally into it!  This is not a sponsored post.  This is me taking on the challenge of gluten-free baking, and being totally amazed by how easy it was.  I’m excited and I want to share… plain and simple.

Bike riding, book touring, or baking… always take the hill!

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244 Comments

Super Spinach Smoothie

March 19, 2012

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This is my undo smoothie.  This is my redo smoothie.

This is my no you can’t add bourbon to that smoothie.

This is my ooooh geeez, I can’t eat any more brioche smoothie.

This is my whats wrong with you!?  stop thinking about pie and waffles!!! smoothie.

It can’t all be pink doughnuts and pickle fries.

Think smoothie.  It really is a relief.

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99 Comments

Chocolate Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake

March 17, 2012

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What comforts you these days?

My immediate comforts include pastel Easter candy, pizza from Delancey in Seattle, and hot coffee on hot coffee on hot coffee.  I’m also soothed by caramel colored bourbon from  small glass tea cups… that’s how ladies (and grandmothers) drink their bourbon.  Why are all of my comforts food related?

I’m also comforted by old episodes of Seinfeld (who doesn’t like cashmere!?), copious amounts of post-it notes, over-sized grey sweaters,  black leather wedge heels, and surprisingly…. I’ve been comforted by crowds of strangers.  Thank you, people.  I love you tremendous.

Chocolate and orange are also deep in my comfort brain sensors.  Pound cake as a vehicle is just supreme.

book tour

Hello, Portland!  You sure do know how to make a lady and her cookbook feel welcome!  Thank you for coming out in the rain.  Thank you for bringing me spoons to sign, lip stain to wear, and bright blue nail polish.  It’s like you know me… because you totally do.  You are true people.  Thank you for all your smiles and love.

Please find, in the back left of the above photograph, someone holding up a little red baby.  Sweet Jesus… I love you.

book tour

HeyHey Seattle, you look pretty in rain and grey… especially when you accent it with pink and turquoise.  I love a good crash of color.

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Chocolate and orange and chaos.  Too many plates.  Two cups of tea.  Orange bites, and thick sliced cake.

I like when dessert settings appear cacophonous, and tend toward the delicious!

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155 Comments

Biscuits, Lunch, and Dinner

March 13, 2012

coconut almond

Never mind the fact that I’m sitting alone in a Portland hotel room, nervous-eating tortillas out of a bag.  Never mind that.  That’s neither here nor there.  Well… that’s actually here, and happening.  Suffice it to say that this book tour has me out in the world doing things that I wouldn’t normally do.  It’s awesome, exciting, and tortilla binge inducing.  That’s a complicated phrase.

Can we daydream about something while I sit here and work on this tortilla stack?  In my daydream are biscuits (which are totally breakfast), lunch (which I wish could always be fries), and dinner (which I always want to be mashed potatoes… but isn’t).   Come over.  Daydream with me.  I’ll totally share my bag of tortillas.

(…gosh I wish I weren’t so weird.)

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92 Comments

Edamame and Toasted Coconut in Avocado

March 11, 2012

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It’s not that I forget that you darling people come here to read my blog and make cakes, and weird vegan soups.

I never forget it.  Ever.

… sometimes I clam up, and I’m not sure what I could possibly write that might seem of interest to you.

… other times, I just write to myself.  It’s like putting my head in a box, and pretending that I’m the only one in this little blog world of mine.  That usually works.  That’s when I start writing letters to my future husband, or start droning on and on about getting pulled over by the cops.

Can I tell you something real?  (We’re somewhere in between me clamming up, and me putting my head in a box right now…)  Real talk:  I feel the rumble inside.  The rumble usually means that it’s time for a new tattoo, a sky dive, a cliff dive, an international flight, or a shark tank.  Something is rumbling… and I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out.  I do know that my desk is not going to get any cleaner in the process.  That can wait.

Does this happen to you?

The solution usually requires more than salad… but salad will suffice for now.  It has to, until I get my hands on a shark tank (and a shark).

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101 Comments

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

March 8, 2012

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‘Big Picture’ life thoughts:

Be kind.  Be kinder than you think yourself possible.  Be passionate.  Live fully, wholly, and unapologetically. Apologize when you’re a bonehead… for real.  Show gratitude.  Express joy.  Feel pain.  Empathize… with eye contact.  Slow down, breathe deeply.  Love hard… always.  Celebrate big and small.  Gather and  share.  Be brave.  Show praise.

‘Small Picture’ thoughts:

Where the heck are my car keys?  Why does this sweater look stupid?  Do I really need a set of matching towels in my bathroom, or are these hand-me-downs cool?  Wait… did I pay that bill?   I know you’re scared, Joy… do it anyway.  Don’t forget to feed the cat.  Don’t forget to write that email.  Don’t forget to write that other email, and send that picture, and write up that recipe.  Don’t forget to try and write it all down on that long list of other things you’re trying to forget. Don’t forget to sleep some.  Set your TV recorder?  Can’t.  Hopeless. Wait… slow down.  Chill out.  Try to think more ‘big picture’ life thoughts.  Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

‘Big picture and Small picture’ thought:

How many more things can I make with biscuit dough… like, now!

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213 Comments

Baked Lemon Risotto

March 4, 2012

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Here’s a look at what’s going on inside my oven and a peek at what’s going on waaaay outside of my oven.

The good news:  I made beautifully creamy, starchy, and flavorful risotto using my oven and not my stovetop.  One stir!  That’s all you need.  While I know that this seems sacrilegious for any dish claiming the name Risotto… this rice is simple creamy starch.  So completely satisfying.

The great news:  I got to meet some of your beautiful faces in San Francisco this Sunday afternoon!  Thank you for all of you gorgeous-souled people who came out to Omnivore Books!

book tour seattle

I’ll tell you now, and I’ll tell you approximately 1 million more times…  I LOVE being out in the world meeting you all.  I am so thankful.  So humbled.  So stoked to take pictures with you and talk about yams.  You are incredible.

Can we talk rice?  Are you down?

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187 Comments

Irish Coffee

March 3, 2012

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I thought I might offer you just a bit of inspiration.  It’s warm and brown.  It’s sweet and creamy.

I’ve always overlooked this cocktail for things with fancy cubed ice, grapefruit infusions, and handmade bitters… but the simplicity of this cocktail is no joke!  It needs no muss or fuss.  It needs no fancy mustached man in a vest and spectacles to make it for you.  This can happen right at home on your tiny kitchen counter, and can be enjoyed on your couch while you question your sanity in watching moooore  reruns of Jersey Shore.

I’m not implying that you have a tiny kitchen counter, that you’re crazy, or that you’re watching the Jersey Shore.  Um… I’m clearly just talking about myself. Not proud.  Just real.

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71 Comments

Coffee Bacon Sandwiches

March 1, 2012

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You guys!  Um… everything is seriously BONKERS right now!

a) there’s coffee on my bacon.

b) there’s a TON of you at my first book signing.

c)  i’m out in the world wearing a blazer and pretending that I’m not shy.

And things have only just begun to get crazy.  I’m about to get crazy (and totally wear a blazer) in a city near you!

But first, Coffee Bacon… yet another recipe from the Joy the Baker Cookbook, and one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever shoved into my face.

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181 Comments

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