Joy the Baker

Candied Pecan Biscotti

April 29, 2012

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Today I was totally successful at inspiring frustration and anger in at least several people. At least several. Ooooh my goodness. Have you ever had one of these days?  It’s the kind of day when you think the world (or at least all of the people around you) have gone mad, only to realize that you are the common denominator… meaning that you, in fact, are the common jerk?  I’m completely talking about myself here. You are a kind and lovely person who never loses yourself to angrybears. I am not always as kind… and that’s why you inspire me.

Since I was in a crunchy attitude, I made the appropriate cookies.  These biscotti are crunchy and sweet… and I guarantee that, when served with a bitter cup of black coffee,  they inspire an attitude adjustment.  They help flip the switch.  Yes… I use food to adjust my feelings.  Welcome to my real life living.

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109 Comments

Lavender Lemonade

April 28, 2012

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I’m back from London, and I already miss the Queen, the polite taxi drivers, and Beefeater (the gin… and the red-coated dudes with the bear skin hats).

London is so lovely.  The only problem is that I always feel like I’m doing something disastrously rude or uncouth.  I don’t hold my fork and knife in the correct hands.  I’m not sure if I’m allowed to clink my tea cup.  Good grief, I think I just slurped my tea.  Holy smokes… that’s the third time I’ve almost been hit by a car.  Which way am I supposed to look down the street!?!?

I’m back in Venice where I can put my feet up on things, and slurp whatever I see fit.  There’s a super hippie drum circle taking place down the road… no matter what I do, I look pretty posh in comparison.

In honor of thirst and homecomings, I’ve gussied up a pitcher of lemonade using dried lavender.  It’s simple and divine.  Most likely Queen and drum circle approved.

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111 Comments

Buttered Crouton Salad with avocado and smoked salmon

April 24, 2012

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It’s a beautiful day when I start preparing a salad by taking out a crusty baguette and butter.

It’s a beautiful day when sunlight shines through my beer.

It’s a lovely day when I can successfully keep my giant kitten away from my smoked Alaskan salmon.

Also… it’s totally a wonderful day when I can find something simple and inspiring on the internet.  It’s a magical day when I see a person in the car next to me totally rocking out to Kelly Clarkson.  It’s a dang good day when I choose the fastest line at the grocery.

I find that beauty is simple, even if I’m not looking for it.

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80 Comments

Strawberry Jam Coconut Rice Pudding

April 22, 2012

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Where did you find comfort this weekend?

I found comfort in hazy, chilly mornings.  I found comfort in my  100% beat up house slippers.  There was comfort in bacon sandwiches.  I found comfort in taking things just a bit slower.

My crazy brain refuses to be slow.  It’s always thinking about cookie combinations, new podcasts, second books, and  the next the next the next.  I tried to be slower this weekend… because too much time is spent being not slow.  Can I give you some real-talk?  I think I take comfort in the fast crazy brain.  It’s hard for me to take comfort  in slow.  It makes me a little wonky bonkers.

I found a dish that fosters both comfort and reduced speeds. It’s rice pudding.  It’s totally rice pudding.

This vegan version is made with creamy coconut milk.  It’s swirled with big, chunky strawberry jam… and it’s utterly perfect.  Between the warm starch and sugars… I feel like this is super comfort, coma inducing food.

It’s Monday.  I know that this is no time to slow down and relax… but put this dish in the back on your brain.  Maybe this will be your perfect Wednesday night comfort food recipe.  And yes, rice pudding is totally dinner.

to london

I’m off to London for a few days.  I’m afraid it’s not for any book signing festivities.  I’ll be touring the city and drinking a questionable amount of gin.  I’m going to make new friends, put my eyes of some fresh sights, and I also plan on constantly wearing plaid socks. You’ll see little peaks of my journey as it unfolds… and if you really want to get all up in my business, Twitter was built for that sort of stalking.

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108 Comments

Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Creamy Peanut Butter Filling

April 19, 2012

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I do this thing that I know… I KNOW… is completely annoying.  I know it’s annoying, because I sometimes annoy myself doing it.

I make voices for things.

I make voices for… sometimes…everything.

Stray cat scampering across the street?  Squirrel running up a tree?  Shopping cart abandoned in the middle of the parking lot…?  I make voices for them.  They’re generally child-like with a hint of surly irreverence.  Ok… to be real… every voice is my (spot-on) impersonation of Eric Cartman from South Park.

My kitten.  My friend’s cat.  My neighbors dog.  …. all the same voice, usually making astute observations about how cute and fluffy they are.

I know this is a problem, and I know I’m powerless to stop it.

I tell you all this because I gave voice to these cookies.  I gave voice to them… I ate dang near all of them… and then I hid the rest of the cookies near the back of the fridge in hopes of selfishly consuming them later.

To be fair… the cookies told me to do it.  That’s my story.  Sticking to it.

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214 Comments

Coffee Coffee Cake Muffins

April 17, 2012

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I saw people in bikinis today.  People.  In.  Bikinis.

Friends… apparently it’s time.  Granted, I live in Los Angeles.  It’s SunnySunTown.

Just a few days ago I was eager and ready for summer.  Summer is great, right!?  Well… I was mostly thinking about watermelon, picnics, and late night tacos.  I was NOT thinking about bikinis.  I’m not ready to think about bikinis.  I’m medium ready to think about tankinis… and that’s about as far as it goes.

I tend to have really strange reactions to seeing people in bikinis.  I make muffins.  It’s sort of a knee-jerk reaction.  People are wearing very little clothes in public?  Right… right.  I’ll be right back.  I have to go make a dozen, and eat at least two muffins. (brb. no bigs)

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171 Comments

Gluten-free Lunch Waffles with apples and prosciutto

April 16, 2012

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I want waffles… all the time.  In my dreams, I replace all of the bread in my life with warm waffles.  Waffles with peanut butter and jelly.  Waffles with ham and cheese.  Waffles with ice cream and hot fudge.

Perhaps this is just a phase… equal to my cargo pants and cropped jean jacket phase.

Actually wait… I still maintain that I looked great in those cargo pants.  I wish someone would have told me not to actually carry cargo in my pockets though.  No one needs the bulk of a lady wallet and lipstick added to their thighs.  Fashion pockets, Joy.  Fashion pockets.

So… waffles!  Consider them delicious, freshly-made bread… and act accordingly.  Prosciutto, spinach, and tart apples slices are a wonderful place to start:  open-face sandwich style.

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121 Comments

Coconut Crab Rice

April 14, 2012

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I’m ready!

I’m ready for summer lunches with pink wine and dark sunglasses.  I’m ready to be almost annoyed by the big, bright sun in my face.  My love affair with Spring always makes me think of my absolute love-obsession with Summer.

This tropical rice dish totally has me ready to go sandal shopping and wear tie dye.

Perhaps I’m also considering a henna tattoo.   I dunno.  This rice has cast a spell.

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68 Comments

Ten (Super Rad) Blog Post Ideas

April 11, 2012

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Beyond being a baker, I’m also a blogger.  Had you noticed.  Yea… it’s a real thing.

Maybe you’re a blogger too!  There are tons of blogs these days.  They’re beautiful!  The internet has definitely become a more lovely place… thank you fashion and design bloggers.  For real.   With so much bright, fun, and creative ideas flowing… do you ever wonder HOW?  How do bloggers consistently come with new content, and new clever things to say?

Let me tell you a bit of truth… sometimes I just sit in front of the computer and wonder what… what what whaaat I could possibly write to you.  Should I tell you more about my cat?  No… probably not.  Should I tell you more about my nail polish obsession?  I should probably go easy on that.

Sometimes the work is effortless. Other times… it’s nice to fall back on a few tricks.

Here’s a list of Ten Super Awesome Blog Post Ideas.  Try working within these little bits of inspiration.  Sometimes we just need a nudge in a different direction.

From my blogging heart to yours,

Joy

ps.  The cupcakes?  They’re Twelve Cupcakes and Frosting with just one stick of butter… it’s like a party trick in your kitchen.

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148 Comments

Strawberry Cream Puffs with Milk Chocolate Sauce

April 9, 2012

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Some problems can only be solved by Fiona Apple songs.  Loud.  In headphones.  All up in my brain.  In the car.  Drowning out surroundings.

Fiona Apple reminds me of heartbreak that I no longer mourn.  Young loves from years ago.  Young loves that feel old now.  Loves that I feel faded into just good memories.  The sting is gone… and it’s all just sweet.  The memories are indulgent.  The drama so pleasingly removed.  It’s like watching a movie in my head… me and that cute boy I loved are the star.  It’s tender and earnest.. and there is good even when it gets sad.

It’s hard to imagine how my now will someday have this faded comfort of my current memories.  All of the now feels so… now… and pressing and urgent.  If I’m lucky, my now will be my sweet moments later.

But really… the now is sweet indeed.

I made pastry vessels for whipped strawberry cream…. then I covered the whole thing in chocolate.  I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to do this.. but I feel pretty much like a genius.

If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be sitting on a bed eating strawberry cream and NOT crying to this song… I wouldn’t have believed you.  I would have called you a liar… because that song would always and forever tear out my heart.  Or.. not!  Because now it just feels sweet, and tender, and reminds me of love and strawberries and cream.

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156 Comments

Simple Asparagus Lunch

April 6, 2012

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We are lucky enough to live in a world with both bright Spring asparagus and perfect eggs.  I approach both with extreme reverence… and then I smash them together on a plate and call it lunch.  Praise the Lord.

It’s time for another Simple Lunch!  I’m usually smashing lunch together on a baguette, as evidenced by this avocado, and these edamames.

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66 Comments

Kale and Quinoa Cakes

April 4, 2012

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Do you have an investment piece?  Wait… do you even know what an investment piece is?

Don’t feel bad… I’m just figuring this out myself.  An investment piece is a bonkers awesome, typically super expensive, designer dress that one (say… you!) might wear to a gala, ball, or um… red carpet event (because people totally do that).  Can you wear it to a wedding?  Only if you don’t look better than the bride.

Do you own an investment piece?  ….anytime a dress is called a ‘piece’, I know I can’t afford it… let’s just be real.

I don’t own a piece.

I do, however, own one Le Creuset pot in a dusty purple.  I have yet to figure out how to wear this to a gala… but luckily I haven’t been invited to any galas.

I don’t anticipate owning a piece.  I do anticipate a lot of blazers, summer shorts, and loose tank tops in my warm weather future.

While I may not have the luxury of investment pieces… I do have the luxury of just enough time to make these special little quinoa cakes.  They have kale in them!  They’re divine and sophisticated!  Just like galas.. but without the control top hose (…yea, that’s totally still a thing).

Kale and Quinoa Cakes

These little gems might remind you of the Lemon, Olive, and Parsley Quinoa Cakes I made last year.  They were a good idea.  Kale is totally a good idea too!

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126 Comments

Finding Inspiration

April 1, 2012

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Where do you find inspiration?  Up in the sky.  Down by your feet?  On Pinterest?  In a strange city, at a strange coffee shop! staring at a man that reminds you of Clark Kent, remembering how the feel of a newspaper is both romantic and informative?

I wanted to share some inspiration with you this morning.  It’s Monday.  We we need it… just like we need sunshine, creamy coffee, and frisky red wine…. or maybe that’s just me.

I love you.  No biggie.

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94 Comments

The Book

The Web Series

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Homefries

Maple Blueberry Scones
Feta and Chive Sour Cream Scones
Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits
The Ultimate Club Sandwich
Pickles and Brie Grilled Cheese
Cranberry Brie Grilled Cheese

Joy, Recently

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Poppy Seed Buttercream
Pistachio Crusted Asparagus with Feta
My Favorite Easter Eats
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Triple Berry Dutch Baby
Milky Salted Caramel
Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Baked Potatoes
Espresso, Almond, and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Pudding Cups
Spring Things!