July 30, 2012
July 26, 2012
This pie was made on one of those dusty summer days.
The kind of day where you wake up sleeping crazy diagonal in your bed with three pillows and a cat on your head… when the snooze button is more essential than luxurious.
The kind of day that’s cloudy cold… making you think that summer might be in its early farewells. The kind of day that requires a second and a half cup of coffee, a scarf until noon, and a phone call with your sister. The kind of day that feels somehow both unexpected and tender, in between sleep and dreams.
This pie was made on the kind of day that required a jolt of sunshine flavors and warm spices. This pie tastes exactly like what it feels like to hear someone you love call your name. That… with a touch of ginger.
July 24, 2012
I’ve been out in the world this summer. Taking in some new air and some new sites. It’s great. It’s totally necessary… I’m going to be hunkered down in my kitchen for Fall and Winter cooking up a few very big projects for you! For now, I’m living (and trying to exercise as much as possible) before I bust out the butter and caramel sauce this Fall. Big things coming! I can’t wait to tell you more about them.
For now I hope you’ll enjoy this Friday taking in some diptych. Two pictures. Two different locations. Just me trying to live.
Incidentally, Diptic is a pretty rad iPhone app that makes all of these pictures possible on the go.
Venice California sunset, unfiltered.
San Francisco sunset, glowing and brisk.
July 22, 2012
I know what you’re thinking. You really don’t even have to say it. I put the words ‘tomato’ and ‘cobbler’ in the same recipe title. Clearly something has gone wrong here. How can it be cobbler without peaches, blueberries, strawberries… or maybe even some sort of salty bacon topping? How can it be cobbler without crunchy oats and cinnamon?
Trust me… I definitely had my reservations when it came to this recipe. I like tomatoes…. but how much do I reeaallly like tomatoes. If I pick around all the big tomato chunks in my dad’s spaghetti sauce… does that mean this dish is going to stress me out? Wait. There are biscuits involved. Do biscuits rescue any dish? Yes. They do. … it’s go-time.
These tomatoes are a big deal. They’re juicy and sweet. They’re amazing plain or roasted. They’re just begging to be fussed over. Really… they need no biscuit salvation. They’re divine on their own.
July 17, 2012
Working in a busy restaurant is sort of like going on a diet. It’s strange.
You top plates with special food… food that you’ve made partially out of nightly work routine, and partially out of deep care and love. Food is hustled out to tables and enjoy amongst conversation, wine, and candle light… and then on to the next order, and the next order, and the next order, and the order after that.
Strangely… you rarely get to eat the food you make night after night. You rarely get to eat anything at all during a frenzied service. Ok, actually you sometimes get to eat… but it’s usually sometime after midnight standing in the walk-in cooler.
I worked in a restaurant that served the most beautiful fresh peach and summer tomato salad with a giant ball of mozzarella and a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar. These salads were bonkers popular and just flew out of the kitchen. For some reason it never dawned on me to make this treat in my own kitchen… it always just existed in the restaurant kitchen during service hours.
Welp! Not anymore…!
July 15, 2012
There are awesome things going on in my kitchen. Awesome things like… the oven is off. Awesome things like… the dishes are clean. Awesome things like… the cat’s new haircut means that there’s generally less cat hair everywhere. Ps. The cat learned this over the shoulder pose from the Olsen twins. Demure.
Since all I’m eating is popsicles and fried rice, let’s talk about inspiration. Have you seen the Internet? It’s all over!
The Everygirl is a new site by two excellent Chicago-living ladies, Danielle Moss and Alaina Kaczmarski. Everygirl is a really nice place to land. They have career features and interviews with women trying their best to live their dreams (Check out this feature with the Blogshop ladies). Everygirl also features fashions spots and health tips… but I super love that they have a finance section. It’s not often enough that people tell me to chill out on my credit card and to think once or twice about a Roth IRA… right!?
I still just swoooon major for this line of jewelry from Unearthen. Its design is exactly like its name: you know, from the ground. I’m not sure how much longer I can live without this watch. In reality the answer is… probably a long time, but I love it!
July 12, 2012
I really should come clean. This is a pretty obvious confession, but it’s worth stating.
The truth is, I only show you a small part of what goes on in my home kitchen. That usually looks like clean, overhead shots of neatly organized ingredients, piles of chocolate chunks, and stacks of cookies. We seem to have an understanding. I try to make things extra pretty and wonderfully delicious, and you (hopefully) run to your kitchen and bust out the butter.
I love making things pretty for you, but I sometimes worry that all of this sets up an unrealistic standard in your mind. Maybe that’s why I’m always over-sharing that my thighs rub together, I used to have frizzy bangs, and I’m unnaturally afraid of spiders. The styled shots make me want to confess my crazybrain… just to be more real.
Today, I thought I’d just relax a bit and give you a more full picture. It’s a relief, really. Let’s just cook!
We’re on the counter with the canisters out, a mess being made, and I’m totally butter-staining and corn spattering my new Clinton St. Bakery Cookbook. And go!
July 10, 2012
Some things are best learned the hard way. Actually, the hard way seems to be the only way I learn.
I’ve been learning things the hard way for decades… literally.
It turns out that it’s easier to just study for the spelling test rather than try to wrap your 3rd grade brain around right, wrong, and Catholic guilt. Plus… cheating is really hard when you’re in 3rd grade and cell phones don’t yet exist.
If I have to ask and lightly beg a dude to take me to the prom, I’m probably going with a fellow that doesn’t want to take me. This dating lesson is hard learned and often repeated countless times through dating life.
I’ve learned what it takes to keep lights on, heat running, and food in the fridge. The hard way… bills.
I’ve learned the hard way what it’s like to take someone for granted, to lose love that I’m still grasping for, to cut unfortunate bangs, and insist of fashion heels out of pure vanity.
I’ve learned the hard way what it’s like to make my own French Fries. Hard. Ok… not hard, just time-consuming. The sweet consolation? There’s hot fries at the end. Actually, hot fries are a running theme as I lick my wounds through all of my hard lessons learned. That’s called emotional eating…The fries, however, were never hand-cut and home-fried. Time consuming, yes…. but and a hard lesson I’ll teach myself (and enjoy) several times over.
July 8, 2012
I’m a big fan of lists. Grocery lists. To-do lists. Not to-do lists. To-read lists. Covet lists. I-totally-want-to-drink-that lists. I’m-jealous-of-your-hair lists. Wake-up-early-and-change-the-world lists. Sweep-the-dang-kitchen-floor lists.
My favorite, and most recent list is the Summer Bucket List: a dreamy list of things I want to do while the sun (and I) stay up late. Do you have one of these lists? ooh I hope so! Tracy and I have talked about our Summer Bucket List on the Joy the Baker Podcast (are you hip to that yet!?). Here’s a peek at the Bucket List happenings:
- Go on and Get Crafty!
- Walk around New York City like I know what’s up! Sometimes this is hard for a California girl… but I’m totally doing it riiiight now!
- It’s time for a public dance spectacle. Oooh ya. It’s real. As soon as I learn some moves I’m doing this!
- Eat too many hotdogs, in a pool, wearing floaties, during sunset. Sounds like the weirdest, most romantic eating contest ever. Awesome.
- Beach bonfire. With a trampoline. Does this only happen in The Big Lebowski?
Also on my list: Make Homemade Ketchup! It’s happening!
Yes… you can totally buy ketchup at the grocery in a squeeze bottle. Pffft. It’s so satisfying to make and majorly easy to customize. Buck-it! It’s summer!
July 4, 2012
Five Reasons Why Mondays Are Hard:
One. Seriously with all the email? Seriously?
Two. My waffle-to-nap ratio on Sunday was waaay out of whack. Too many waffles. Not nearly enough naps. Carbo loading without the marathon is downright exhausting.
Three. I already know that this super ambitions green juice cleanse is going to be a disaster. Coffee tastes better.
Four. There’s sand in my shoes. On Sunday this was charming. On Monday this is gross.
Five. Seriously with all the email? Seriously?
Mondays are the reason that there’s ice cream, chocolate, and salty pistachios. Ice cream cone dinner. Heck… if we can have nachos for breakfast, we can have cones for dinner. Yes… I realize I’m a maniac. I really do.
July 2, 2012
Just let this happen.
We really just need to… we really need to just let this happen.
Put an egg on absolutely anything and call it breakfast. That means that putting an egg on top of this melty mixture of warm corn chips, cheese, black beans, fresh corn and salsa is totally a legit breakfast.
It’s like a breakfast burrito, but more crunchy. It’s like breakfast tacos, but more crunchy. It’s like eggs over easy, on top of a crazy amount of crunchy chips. I promise that this breakfast will inspire at least 14 minutes of absolute breakfast table silence… aside from the crunching (you totally knew I was going to say that).
July 1, 2012
I’ve had a partnership in the works for a few months, and I’m so excited to bring it to you today!
Joy the Baker is partnering with LOST CRATES to ship out super rad, curated gifts, monthly or quarterly! Remember… in the 90′s, when your parents signed up for that wine of the month club and boxes of wine would randomly show up every few months? These gifts are just like that… except curated by Joy the Baker! These gifts might be something you can use in the kitchen, something you can bake up, a special treat you’ll want to keep in your purse, or something for your vanity. I’m sharing things that I love, and encouraging an experience… in or out of the kitchen.
You may recall that last year I started my own gift subscription program called ENJOY! Well… Enjoy is folding into Lost Crates!
Lost Crates is an incredible Chicago-based company that provides awesome curated gift boxes on a monthly and quarterly basis. They’ve got all sorts of crates! Cool stationary kits, housewares packages, and now…. The Joy the Baker Crate!! My partnership with Lost Crates will allow me to select cool monthly or quarterly gifts for you, and the program will be 100% supported by a team of people who work to help me design and ship gifts, as well as support your customer service needs. They’ve got great taste, loads of energy, and they’re super reliable. It’s a perfect pairing.
Sign up now for the Joy the Baker crate! We’d love to have you! Currently crates are available to United States subscribers. We love you dearly, but I’m afraid we aren’t able to accomodate international subscribers at this time. Should you have any questions about the program, wish to see examples of past gift boxes, or if you have any questions about your current Enjoy subscription, you can find some answers here.
Thank you for being here! Thank you for being excited about the things I love… doughnuts and otherwise.
I’m full of all sorts of ideas. Loads of ideas. I’m just brimming with them. Good ideas often include afternoon margaritas on a sunny patio. Bad ideas often include margaritas on a sunny patio without sunscreen. It’s a thin line between good and bad… the difference usually has to do with whether or not there was sunscreen involved.
This week’s awesome includes: eating too many fresh cherries and continuing my aggressive jean shorts tan. I’m also announcing an exciting partnership (tomorrow!!), and daydreaming about upcoming days in NYC (and how frizzy my hair will be) (seriously… how do you New Yorkers deal with the sweat and frizz?) (help!).
I hope your week is full of good ideas. Here’s a few should you need a little jumpstart.
Good idea: Simple Roasted Apricots with Honey Mascarpone.