Brown Sugar Roasted Fig Oatmeal

Brown Sugar Roasted Fig Oatmeal

I almost drove straight out of town, just to go-on and get-gone.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to go-on and get-gone without looking dramatic and explaining at least a portion of your crazy brain. Sometimes the long-shower-learn-to-deal is easier to explain than the go-on and get-gone.

I almost drove straight out of town, but instead I took a shower.

brown sugar roasted fig oatmeal

I almost drove straight out of town.  Just to go-on and get-gone.  Instead I drove to Clemence’s house for chocolate croissants, doughnuts, and fig picking with Malcolm, Olivia, baby Xavy in his rocking chair… and a chicken.

Sometimes the get-gone is closer to home than you think.  Sometimes you just need a wooden ladder, a fruiting tree, a lovely family, and a chicken in the street.

And oatmeal.

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Pepper Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwich


There are a lot of things I can’t figure out.   Read:  There are a lot of things I haven’t taken the time to figure out.

I can’t figure out dry-cleaning.  I think it has something to do with folding clothes perfectly then covering them in plastic.

I can’t figure out why people enjoy karaoke so much when it’s so clearly just the singing version of public speaking… which makes is SO MUCH WORSE YOU GUYS!

I can’t figure out why saying ‘yes’ is easier than saying ‘no’.  Actually I have figured that out.  The face of disappointment is terrifying.

I can’t figure out why Taylor Swifts “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is sooooo dang singable.  Help me.

There are a lot of things I CAN figure out… namely:  Shrimp and Grits and Potato Chip Sandwiches.

And while I still may stumble on the grammatical difference between laying and lying… I know that at least… at the very least, I can make an AMAZING (seriously…) spicy grilled cheese sandwich.  The rest I can Google.  Amen.

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I-Can’t-Even-Deal-Right-Now Dessert

i can't even deal right now

Alternate titles of this post include:

If You Cancel My Flight One More Time, I Swear To God I’ll Eat a King-Size Snickers Bar and You’ll Be Sorry (but will you?)

Only A Milkshake Can Fix This

Get That Salad Out Of My Face, Please

I Need A Hug.. no wait… I Need French Fries

Seriously.  Stop Hugging Me and Please Bring Me Fries (and a King-Size Snickers Bar)

I’m Eating My Feelings, and My Feelings Are… Granola…?

This Is What It Looks Like to Not Eat The King-Size Snickers Bar (and remain sane)


I’m Being Dramatic

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Spicy Sausage and Sweet Pepper Pizza


‘All good pizzas come in pairs.’  Isn’t that an old English proverb?

I’m sure it is… because it’s totally true.

This is the sister pizza to the Hatch Chili and Fresh Corn No-Knead Pizza I made a few weeks back.  The recipe makes two glorious pizzas… a fact that is nothing short of glorious, especially considering the upcoming Friday.  I’m a firm believer that everyone should eat pizza, on a couch, off of a paper towel on Friday.  Is that a basic human right?  No.  Oh how I wish it were.

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Notes to Self: Part Five

My Notes 1, page 49

so continues the series on Joy the Baker.  I make notes to myself.   How to live.   How not to live… and how it’s ok if I burn the cookies. 

YOU’RE STILL SPEAKING IN ‘SEX AND THE CITY’.  Yes, it’s a television show, but it’s also a language… and yes, it’s weird that you’re speaking it.

You’d think you’d be past all of this, Joy.   You saw Sex in the City 2.  You cried public tears of shame (well… except for the part when those baller Abu Dhabi ladies revealed all their gems and Gucci).  You know that the Sex and The City revolution is over.  Why why why are you still speaking in Carries and Charlottes?

I’ll tell you why. (This is the part where I switch from you’s to I’s.)  In an interview last month I was asked if I’d choose Big or Aidan.  It seriously took me a solid 45 seconds to figure out what they were talking about… and then I thought REALLY!?  Define myself by choosing between two perfectly archetypal men from a ten year old television show!?  Good grief it’s not over.  But see… I’m sometimes guilty of using the same Sex and the City language.

Let’s just lay it all out there.  Am I a Carrie or a Charlotte?

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Fried Guacamole

fried guacamole

I’ve got some sort of county fair mindset going on here.

You know… the fry-every-delicious-thing-you-can-get-your-hand-on mindset.

Should I ever start frying things like Oreo Cookies, brownies, or butter… please send help (and kale).

I hope you’ll allow me a moment to explain.  I was really hoping to turn something crisp and savory into something that looked like little candies.  A totally reasonable thing to do, right?  Inside of these little rolls is a creamy bright combination of avocado and lime.  The ends are tied with scallion greens and the little pouches are fried.

The fact that this little gem of an idea turned into something called Fried Guacamole is really just circumstance.

In other words… send help (and kale).

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Into the Fall

getting ready for fall

I feel like I need to see where I’ve been in order to figure out where I’m going.  I mean that in the most food sense of the phrase.

I need to start thinking about apples instead of peaches, and caramelized onions instead of avocados.  I can get there… I can totally get there with time.

Right now, I just want to hold onto these Indian Summer afternoons and gloriously late sunsets.

Caramelized Mushrooms and Dumplings.  It’s like Chicken Pot Pie without the chicken and with extra mushrooms and biscuits.  It’s savory greatness.

Book Tour Note:  I have a feeling that VERMONT will get me into the mood for the Fall holidays.  I’ll be in Vermont celebrating the King Arthur Grand Opening weekend this coming Saturday, September 22!  I would LOVE to see you!  

Ps.  I hope to be signing books in Boston in early December.  More details to follow!  

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Fore Street Mussels from Portland, Maine

maine mussels

I’d like to introduce you to the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  It’s buttery, nutty, ocean salty, and comes from a place in Portland, Maine.  What follows might be considered a photographic love letter to the people and places I encountered in Maine.  I just feel so lucky to be able to recreate a piece of my memories at home, in my kitchen.

maine mussels

The people at Fore Street restaurant make magic (and mussels) come out of this kitchen space.  The restaurant feels like you’re sitting in someone’s home… with a bunch of strangers, wine, and amazing food (and you don’t have to help with the dishes).  If I had a list of favorite restaurants around the country, Fore Street would top the list.  It tastes like home, elevated to its highest level.

My meal there certainly elevated my home kitchen, because I took their famous mussels and made them in my home kitchen.  Then I sat on the couch, with wine and bread and a ridiculous amount of napkins… and more bread.

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Chewy Cat Treats for Cats


Dear Kitten,

It’s time to celebrate two years together.

Two years of purring and tenderness.  Two years of crying for food at five in the morning.  Two years of  sleeping in what you know is my spot on the couch.  Two years of lint rolling all of my clothes.  Two years of also keeping a lint roller in my car.

Two years of tricking my friends with your cuteness and leg rubs.  Two years of attacking my shins.  Two years of belly rubs turned forearm attacks.  Two years of trying to get outside.  Two years of climbing the walls… literally.  Two years of sneaking into my food shots.

Two years of sitting in and on everything I need.  Two years of sleeping at the foot of my bed… and attacking my feet at the slightest sign of movement.  Two years of keeping me company.  Two years of scaring my catsitters.  Two years of making me laugh.  Two years of making my boyfriends run screaming.  Two years of eating exactly everything I make… including that pancake you snuck off the pan while I was photographing.

Two years of trying to convince me that you don’t love me… when I know you do… because I love you back.  And I made you treats so quit your yappin’, and no you can’t go outside.


ps.  We’ll always have Cat Land.

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Baked Chili Cheese Fries


We’re back in the mix, aren’t we.

Back from vacation.  Back to school.  Back rifling through the closet for our cowl neck sweaters.  Back contemplating hot tea and where the pumpkin comes from in pumpkin lattes.

I love Fall.  I’m totally in to win.  Most Fall nights I just want to appreciate the comforts of a big grey sweater and two fingers of fine bourbon (who says that!?… I do).  The only trouble is that I go into Fall kicking and screaming…. like the jerky-est five-year old you’ve ever met… that’s me.  The fact is, I’m being crispy for no reason.  Crispy in attitude… and no one likes that.

I thought I’d transfer my crisp demeanor to the oven.  It’s time for fries, like major.


These Baked Chili Cheese Fries are one of my favorite recipes in the Joy the Baker Cookbook.  Yea… I bake from my own book because I’m weird, and sometimes I just really need fries from the oven.

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Maple Pecan Granola and a trip to Maine


I fell in love.

I fell in love with the state of Maine.

Last week I lovingly, though hapazardly thrust tofu lemon cremes your way.  I did so from my phone on a bus driving through Maine.

See… I went on a vacation and for a work-brain maniac like mine, it seemed… hard.  Which (I know I know I know) sounds bonkers dumb.

I went to a place that solved many, if not all, of my work-brain maniac problems.  Maine Maine the state of Maine!  Maine doesn’t glorify work-brain-busy.  Maine glorifies big blue skies, small farms, chicken coops, bee-keeping, and the connection of people over, well… my connection to the internet.  It was just what I needed and I’m absolutely smitten.

Today I want to show you a particular part of my trip to Maine.  It involved big sails, gusting winds, sailors, lobster, and big hearts.  This leg of my Maine journey left me craving the comfort of Maple Granola… and that’s what bring us to this here point.

To follow:  gratituous pictures of boats and lobster.

maine is awesome!

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Gluten-free Banana Breakfast Dumplings with Vanilla Bean Maple Butter


Let’s do a thing.  Let’s call it breakfast.  Let’s call it dumplings.  Let’s call it another awesome giveaway!!

A breakfast dumpling is the what you might call a thick, fluffy, too-thick-and-fluffy-for-its-own-good pancake.  It’s a sweet and tender combination that involves sugar, carbs, and ripe bananas.  It’s a bit of breakfast genius.  It’s too good to remain on a plate.  It’s nap inducing.

To make matters that much more awesome, these breakfast dumplings are paired with a giveaway!  Get right on into it!

This summer I partnered with Lost Crates.  Lost Crates is a gift subscription program that ships off awesome curated gift crates every month.  It’s my way of sharing some of the products and companies that I love with you… every month… in your mailbox.

I explain all the details of Lost Crates here on Joy the Baker… or your could go straight to the Lost Crates source.

Lost Crates and I want you to be a part of the good times!

Giveaway Alert:  3 lucky readers will win a four-month subscription to Lost Crates!  That means you get monthly gifts until the end of the year.  Giveaway details to follow.  First let’s talk breakfast dumplings.


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When You Comment on My Blog

joy the baker

It’s important to speak the things that remain unspoken… or rather, type the things that remain untyped.

When you comment on my blog, I see you and I appreciate you.  I know it takes precious minutes out of your important day to scroll down the page, type in your information, and leave a message for me.  I know that you don’t have to do this at all.  I know that you could easily click over to Smitten Kitchen (which would be awesome), that you could click the other tab in your browser and continue watching Bachelor Pad on Hulu (because that’s totally what I would do), that you could go make yourself another cup of coffee (duh).  Instead you take the time to say hello to me.  That makes you amazing.

I see you, and I appreciate you.  I read your comments from my phone first thing in the morning.  I read your comments when I’m waiting in line at the grocery.  When I’m at a restaurant and my companion has run to the restroom… I’m reading your comments.  Truth is… I love you in a weird way.  I think we’re friends.    Other truth is… I try my hardest to respond to all of your questions and concerns in the comment section, and I’m not always the best at it.  Just as a tip:  I’m pretty stellar at responding to people on Twitter.  That’s true.  Despite my flaws, I am indebted to you.

I’m here to graciously offer my gratitude.  I really do appreciate that you come here and take the time to let me know that you are, in fact, here.  It really means so much to me.  Without your comments… I’m kinda just a weird girl that makes too many cookies and talks to her cat.  Thank you for making me more than that (although I’d be totally fine with being a cookie-maker-cat-speaker).  I appreciate you, and I don’t take your presence for granted.  I find you to be a blessing in my life.