Spinach Salad with Dukkah

Spinach Salad with Dukkah // shutterbean

I got my first letter yesterday from the child we started sponsoring this month. She’s a 10 year old girl who lives in a small village in Togo, with her mother & brother. She drew us the cutest picture of a hen and wrote to tell us that she loves spaghetti, sewing, running, and the color pink. There was a line designated for “question for your sponsor” and she filled it in with, “What do you like to eat?” I found it incredibly heart warming/ironic that the first thing she wanted to know about me what was food related. That’s usually how I get to know a person. I love her already.

Spinach Salad with Dukkah // shutterbean

One of my favorite things to eat is salad. I’ve always liked how it doesn’t take much to create a wonderful salad. Some salads benefit from many ingredients and some are so incredibly simple that they rely on the strength of a good dressing. As a child I remember always being excited to go to restaurants with salad bars (especially if they had croutons!). It was like walking into an art studio with all of the paints, canvases & brushes lined up on a table. Options! Choices! FUN! Salads are so incredibly personal and your favorite ingredients can tell you a lot about yourself. Salads make me feel healthy. Salads make me feel good about ordering french fries or garlic twists ;)

Spinach Salad with Dukkah // shutterbean

It’s taken me a very long time to embrace the olive and understand its place in a salad. I think I finally embraced it! It’s one of the essential ingredients in this salad. It adds a sharp tangy and saltiness in the same way the feta does. The red onions make it spicy, the spinach provides a tender bite and the avocados bring a much needed creamy element to the salad. The dukkah dressing creates a bit of smokiness (Casey asked if there was bacon in it!) and rounds out all flavors. I used a store bought dukkah, but can’t wait to try making my own!

So, there you have it. Salad is my favorite. Always & forever.

You best believe I’m gonna draw her a picture of a salad in my next letter.

Garlic Herb Bread Twists

Garlic Herb Bread Twists // shutterbean

Has anyone ever ordered garlic bread twists from a pizza place WITHOUT a pizza? They always tempt us when they’re on a menu, and yeah- we do get them but we eat them in ADDITION to the pizza and it’s almost always CARB OVERLOAD. The question I’m faced with…do I eat one more piece of pizza or one more bread twist? It’s agony.

Garlic Herb Bread Twists // shutterbean

But, here’s the thing. We ate these Garlic Herb Bread Twists on their own. No pizza was involved and it was glorious!

Garlic Herb Bread Twists // shutterbean

There was no holy crap, I feel bloated feeling. No OMG what did I just jam into my face feeling.  No negotiation with myself that I’ll just eat a bread twist instead of a piece of pizza because that’s like sooo much less cheese. I just got the whoa those were really good and I might buy store bought pizza dough every week so this goes into the rotation feeling.  They’re crunchy, garlic infused, cheesy, herby, CARBY and totally delicious.

My Everyday Life: Week 8

Here’s what this past week looked like:

The sidewalk read my mind.

My Everyday Life // week 8

I love lists, Friday!


  1. I LOVE BILL MURRAY.  Oh and Kristin Wiig too!  That is all.
  2. Salary Needed to Buy a Home in 25 Cities (San Francisco! Sigh…)
  3. A guide of you need when you’re having a party!
  4. I loved reading Emma’s post about success & changing dreams 
  5. This meme made me giggle.
  6. My model name would be Racy Pourpre
  7. If you’re obsessed with True Detective, you should read this.
  8. I’ve always been so fascinated with ARMY FOOD.
  9. Some very interesting maps of San Francisco.
  10. I want to watch Teen Witch now….
  11. 10 Signs You’re A Total Pisces. Casey is one :)
  12. This salad looks amazing.
  13. Such a well written post about marriage.
  14. Arm yourself before you get your hair done did.
  15. This hostess cupcake bundt cake is GENIUS.
  16. Go Ninja Go Ninja GO. I totally forgot he sang that song.
  17. Peanut Butter COOKIE BUTTER?!! ZOMG.
  18. My Hidden Talent: Painting
  19. Finished Notes from a Blue Bike (LOVED IT!) and am starting this book now.
  20. This kinda gives me the heebee jeeebees.

but wait theres more

There’s a new Joy the Baker podcast! We’re on episode ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN. I can’t believe we’ve recorded that many. This week we talk about Joy’s trip to Uganda, True Detective, living at home as an adult, real men who crochet, etc!


Apples Under My Bed used the made a spread from my Super Spinach Salad dressing

Green Eyes adapted my Herbed Flatbread 

Thoroughly Nourished Life adapted my Flourless Chocolate Coconut Drops

Bright & Illustrious also made my Flourless Chocolate Coconut Drops


Affogato Speciale

Affogato Speciale // shutterbean

Whenever we see an Affogato on a dessert menu, Casey and I simultaneously blurt out AFFOGATO GIVE YOU SOMETHING. It’s a silly little line we picked up from the TV show Kitchen Confidential (Bradley Cooper was in it…not Anthony Bourdain). We just can’t help ourselves!

Affogato Speciale // shutterbean

We have an espresso espresso machine, espresso beans, and a big bottle of Amaretto just hanging out in our liquor cabinet but we rarely have ice cream (cuz we eat it all) and we almost NEVER have chocolate stout at home. But when I saw this recipe I was intrigued. Chocolate stout??? And amaretto? Extra items were immediately procured. Let’s seriously elevate the affogato! What we have here is a grown up root beer float! It’s bitter. It’s sweet. It’s slightly chocolatey and super foamy because of the stout! It would be a real crowd pleaser if you’re looking to impress guests at a party. I highly suggest you say- Affogato show you this cool recipe I found on Shutterbean.

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

My brother and I like to have these conversations about what dishes we enjoyed the most while growing up. My mom’s Lemon Chicken always comes up in the top 5 because THE SAUCE OMG THE SAUCE. We would fight over the crispy burnt onions on the edges of the glass baking dish; my mom never had to work hard to scrub the pan. Having a sibling who also loves crispy bits was a just a weeeeee bit dangerous. Fights ensued and then came taunting. Growing up is fun!

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Now, I’m the only person in my family that likes crispy bits (totally awesome!) but Cooper and I BOTH are pizza crust people so I guess there’s that…We fight over Casey’s crust…

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Let’s get back to the sauce. It’s dreamy/tangy and the onions are mostly soft while some of them are crispy!  My parents were out of town and I didn’t want to bug my mom asking her for the recipe so I came up with my own interpretation.  First I used olive oil instead of butter. If you want to sub butter for olive oil, she uses about 1 stick. Or– you can go half & half. Either way, it makes a delicious sauce. The olive oil is just as good.  My mom also uses chicken thighs on the bone while I go boneless. Casey doesn’t like having to cut around the bones (I don’t blame him!) so we almost always go boneless.  She also dredges the chicken in flour before she bakes it. Doesn’t do much for the texture but I assume it thickens the sauce? I also added a bit of parsley at the very end to garnish and some sliced lemons in the mix. Fancy!

Any who- this is a pretty quick/easy recipe with a big impact. I almost always serve it with rice and a side of broccoli. I hope one day you’ll have people talking about how it’s one of your top 10 meals. Enjoy and thanks, Mom!