Joy the Baker

The Best of 2012

December 30, 2012

best of 2012

 This year goes down in my personal history book as 100% major.  It’s been one of those years where I feel blessed far beyond what I even knew to ask for.  It’s been filled with gracious opportunity and a lot of hard work.  You are a huge part of my amazing year.  I mean that most sincerely.  Your loyalty and enthusiasm has changed the course of my life and I am deeply thankful.

With this new year, I hope that you are able to dive into the things that you love most.  I hope you feel beautiful most days.  I hope you act with kindness more often than not.  I hope you find inspiration in unexpected places.  I’m going to spend most of the new year writing a new cookbook for you.  But!  Before the book I’m making floral crowns for a New Year’s Eve Party… just because.

What follows are a few images from my year.  I hope they inspire you to reflect on the richness of your year.  By reflect I actually mean scroll through your cellphone pictures and reminisce.  It’s just a good life!

the best of 2012

I spent a good amount of quality time in the kitchen this year.

There was a lot of flour, a ton of parchment paper, some successes, and some failures.

These Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies fall under the success category.  To be sure.

the best of 2012

I went with my father to buy his first iPhone.

This was a big, big moment.  He’s playing it cool, but he’s actually really excited.

the best of 2012

We bought the iPhone.

Dad learned the basics…

the best of 2012

And then he texted my mom through the rest of our lunch together.

I understand…. I really do.

the best of 2012

There are days in Venice, California that are so still and feel so perfect.

I love when water is a mirror.

the best of 2012

I wrote a book that was published this year.  The Joy the Baker Cookbook.

I acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but that’s because I was trying to hide what a huge deal it was to me.

the best of 2012

If you have my book, I appreciate you and I thank you.

If you’ve checked my book out of the library, I appreciate you and I thank you.

If you’ve come to one of my book signs…. you blow my mind with your kindness and generosity.

If you received my cookbook for the holidays, I’m so so so excited for you to start baking!  Seriously.

The Table of Contents is my favorite page.  Weird and true.  I like spoons.

the best of 2012

San Francisco, you were so kind and generous with your time.  Thank you for the book tour LOVE!

the best of 2012

San Francisco, you let me wear my crazies outfit and my favorite shoes.  I appreciate you!

the best of 2012

Portland!  You blew me away.  I love you.  I just really do.

the best of 2012


Are you kidding me? I can’t even deal.

Each and every one of you that came out to my book signing, that stood in line, and let me scrawl and entire paragraph in your cookbooks… I find it hard to even express how much you have filled my heart.   I appreciate you.  I’m inspired by you.  I’m motivated by you.  I think about you every day.  I am so thankful that you come here and find recipes that inspire you.  I really do love you.

Ps.  You can see more book tour photos here.  It was an extravaganza, to be sure.

the best of 2012

These Mini Pretzel Dogs are one of my favorite recipes of 2012.

Comfort food and carbs.

the best of 2012

I’m the girl that makes Valentine’s Day cards from her and her cat.

So help me God.

the best of 2012

I feel very fortunate to celebrate birthdays with my parents.  This sundae is the salt of the earth.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

best of 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad! 63 is just 36 backwards… no big deal.

the best of 2012

This year I dined at The French Laundry.

The food.  The chefs.  The service.  Every single bit is just beyond special.

the best of 2012

Tucker Taylor and Lena Kwak made me feel super welcome at The French Laundry.  We picked vegetables and made waffles.  Everything : complete.

the best of 2012

My sister lives in Seattle near this building and tree combination.  I miss her nearness… but this picture makes me feel like we’re closer.

the best of 2012

This girl is a part of my heart.  She lives in St. Louis which is exactly too far away from Los Angeles.

We spent some time together this Spring.  Aaaand, I’m sorry my bra is showing.  Just… let it happen.

the best of 2012

I stood in front of Eliot’s childhood home in St. Louis.

English major dorking out.

the best of 2012

Sunrise.  Amtrak.  En route to Chicago.

It looks like dreams and sherbet.

the best of 2012

I’m going to need a bigger bowl, or a smaller cat.

the best of 2012

I rode bikes through the streets of Los Angeles with these renegades.  It felt right.


Can I tell you some truth?

This year was the first time I’ve used this passport.  I went to London.  I drank a lot of gin.  The passport stamp at Heathrow was wonderfully satisfying.


I arrived in London the day of the London marathon.


I then drank all the gin in the city and posed for a picture in front of a door.

the best of 2012

New Orleans stole my heart this year.

The people, the history, the celebrations.  New Orleans just shines!  I’m going back for Mardi Gras in 2013.  I’ll be the girl with her top still on, no beads, and two daiquiris.  Yea… let’s hang out.

the best of 2012

I’ve obviously travelled a lot this year.  It’s been such a blessing.

best of 2012

A boat tip to Maine cleared my mind this August.

best of 2012

It also inspired me to make these buttery garlic steamed mussels.

the best of 2012

Palm Springs, where the sun is like a spiky heating blanket.

the best of 2012

A motorcycle through wine country is equal parts exciting and exhausting.

the best of 2012

Time with Tracy from Shutterbean and Deb from Smitten Kitchen was so great.  We had frizzy hair and didn’t care at all.  Ok… I’m totally speaking for myself on that one.

the best of 2012

Two people know what happened after this bowl of ramen at Momofuku in NYC:  Tracy and her brother Ryan.  It had everything to do with too much gin.  I owe some people some apologies.

Tracy (and silent podcast partner/producer/awesome dude, Michael) have been a major part of my year.  We’ve podcasted and friendshipped all year long.  It’s real friendship, it’s real life: the Joy the Baker Podcast.

best of 2012

Lani and I spent some quality time on a mini road trip,  eating potato chips in the car and picking apples.  This cake is proof.

the best of 2012

Boston in December was a laugh… especially since I made my hosts take me on a tour based on the movie The Town.

Thank you Matt and Joe.  You counteracted my craziness with kindness.

the best of 2012

A shot a television segment for the Hallmark Channel last week.  I wore a lot of purple and made a lot of bacon.  It was awesome!

the best of 2012

Most currently I’m winding down in the beauty of 2012.  This particular winter day by the beach was big and blue.  I hope you’re closing the year with peace in your heart and some dance in your shoes!

I’m excited to live another year with you.  Let’s get into it!

xo joy

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