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Joy the Baker

Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:07:55 +0000


Sparkling Spiced Orange and Lemon Winter Tonics

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:07:55 +0000


Hello friends!

Let’s take good care this time of year.  Let’s fill our bodies with goodness in the midst of our holiday run-around.  This is my favorite time of year… mostly because of all the parties that include bourbon and pie – but there must be balance because balance keeps us happy, chill, and from losing our minds at the company holiday party.  (I did that one year and… well, I’m still here to tell the tale but it’s mostly a cautionary tale, ya feel me?) 

There are a few things I do to keep my cool and balance this time of year.  I keep my fridge stocked with vegetables that I’ll snack on (aggressively) before a holiday party.  (I’m notorious for not eating enough at a party.  You too?) I also make it a point (a strong, very important point) to stay hydrated this time of year.  And!  To keep a bright and spicy Winter beverage in the refrigerator for myself and guests.  

We’re making two warming tonics:  Blood Orange and Clove with DASANI Sparkling Blood Orange AND a Spiced Winter Lemonade with DASANI Sparkling Meyer Lemon.  Keeping things bright and juicy.  Getting our vitamins and staying strong and balanced through the end of the year.  Here we go!  

This post is in partnership with DASANI Sparkling Water! 

We’re making two sparkling Winter tonics.  Bring in some vitamin C and spice.  Bring in a hint of sweet and a whole lotta sparkle.  

Here’s what we’ll use: 

•  blood oranges

•  lemons

•  honey and simple syrup

•  Winter spices:  ground and whole cloves, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and fresh ginger.  These spices will warm our insides (hearts and all) this time of year.

Continue reading Sparkling Spiced Orange and Lemon Winter Tonics at Joy the Baker.

Baking 101: How To Make Pie Crust By Hand

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:09:53 +0000


Let’s talk about pie crust!  It’s important because hopefully you have a homemade Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie making it’s way to your holiday table this year.  Pies come in a few parts, homemade pie crust, loads of filling, and some sort of topping (crumble of crust) –  but every solid pie starts with a flaky crust.  

Making a pie from scratch can be intimidating.  I know it.  I really do.  I teach people how to make pie crust a lot and I know it’s scary.  I have a tremendous track record.  We’ve got this.  

There are a few tricks to making a flaky pie crust from scratch – believe in yourself (this goes a long way, I swear), keep your fat and your water cold, work fairly quickly, add more water if necessary, and knead gently but confidently.  

Here are some step-by-step photos to walk us through but leave a comment below if you have any burning pie crust questions!  

Others in the BAKING 101 SERIES:  

  •  Which Oven Rack Should I Use?

Continue reading Baking 101: How To Make Pie Crust By Hand at Joy the Baker.

Let It Be Sunday, 149!

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 13:50:53 +0000


Hello dear friends! A year ago this week I was in the kitchen at the White House, making holiday cookies with Ashley and Molly and oooohhh just the White House Pastry Chef.  Exactly 1 trillion things have happened since that time.  Just all the stuff that makes us cheer and cry, scream and wonder, and hopefully act more generously with our empathy and genuine curiosity for one another. Hopefully.  

I’ve been in San Francisco visiting my maj (a maj is a best friend, a major) this past week.  The skies are bright blue, the air feels easy, we’ve gotten to spend some really sweet and important time together, and as a bonus,  I’ve made a post 10pm webmd self diagnosis that I really think I’m right about. 

Everyday is a winding road.  Sheryl Crow had it right all along.   

Here’s some words from this week:  

•  Medium has a series of essays gathered together as Words That Matter.  There are all sorts of important writers and thinkers who have offered essays to the group including Margaret Atwood, Roxane Gay, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

Continue reading Let It Be Sunday, 149! at Joy the Baker.

Gingerbread Dutch Baby

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:34:55 +0000


I feel like we’re far enough past pumpkin spice season to really cozy into gingerbread time.   Beyond cookies and breads, we can get gingerbread flavors with a thin battered, fluffy and puffy Dutch Baby pancake.  It’s simple and thank goodness for that. 

A Dutch Baby is a perfect weekend activity because with minimal kitchen efforts, you can have a warm, doughnut-like pancake to hustle over to the couch to enjoy like the world is your own.  

Here’s how we do:  

A Dutch baby, this giant, fluffy, oven pancake is really pretty simple to make.  We’ll start by making a very thin pancake batter, pour it into a very hot cast iron skillet, and finish my slicing very large pieces onto our plates and into our hearts.

Continue reading Gingerbread Dutch Baby at Joy the Baker.

Cincinnati Chili Dinner

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 08:01:56 +0000


Earlier this year I discovered the wonders of a warmly spiced savory meat dish.  It was too long a time coming, but moussaka is in my heart to stay.  

This chili, some of you from Cincinnati are no doubt nodding your head with knowing, is a cinnamon + chili + cumin and clove spiced meat dish served two ways, three ways, or FIVE WAYS: over spaghetti pasta topped with diced white onions, grated cheddar cheese, and kidney beans.  

I’ve seen some of traditional, Mediterranean spiced Cincinnati Chili recipes that also include dark chocolate but this recipe opts out.  I can only go so far where spaghetti and cheddar are involved.  

This recipe bring on opinions.  It’s not often you combine ground cinnamon and ground beef without ruffling a feather or two.  The combination warm and comforting and the spice bring such an unexpected roundness to this hearty chili situation. 

As you know, I am not from Cincinnati,  but I’ve enjoyed this rendition of their fine chili soI wanted to share it with you.  If this chili is home to you – I appreciate your grace. 

This recipe is from our girl Ree’s latest cookbook Come and Get It!  It’s full of dang comforting home cooking so… so do as the title suggests, ya know? 

Ready for this? 

Here’s the grocery list, laid right out there. 

We’re making a simple chili that’s essentially a spiced meat sauce.  

We’ll need:  

•  ground beef and broth

•  onions and garlic

•  tomato sauce and paste

•  the spices that make this Cincinnati Chili exactly what it is:  chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice

•  vinegar and worcestershire sauce for depth and brightness

•  a big ol bundle of spaghetti pasta, grated cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and kidney beans

In a large Dutch oven we’ll cook down the onions and garlic.  It’s all about layering ingredients and flavor and everything savory and simmered starts with onions and garlic.  Once softened it’s time for ground beef.  

The fat is drained from the cooked beef and hello, hello it’s time for spice!

Continue reading Cincinnati Chili Dinner at Joy the Baker.