The event was held at Read It & Eat in Lincoln Park, a culinary bookstore that also holds cooking classes and author demos like this one. Joy was in the middle of a tour to promote her third cookbook, Over Easy, which celebrates all things brunch.
During the demo, Joy showed us mixing methods for butter and buttermilk that would ensure maximum biscuit fluffiness. For the jam, she jazzed up canned peach preserves by adding lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, and bourbon (as you do). Two jam-slathered biscuit halves and a slice of country ham combined for a lovely two-bite sandwich.
Throughout the event, Joy was just as friendly, sharp, and playful as her writing had suggested all these years. When she signed my book, we chatted like we’d known each other a while; she just had a way of making everyone feel at ease (a shared love of good food will often do that). I can’t wait to start trying some of these brunch recipes – first stop: French toast breakfast burritos.
Why it’s another 2013 Best Bite: My roommate whipped these up using her favorite online source for creative pancake recipes, Joy the Baker. I think the peanut butter-bacon-banana combination speaks for itself – three of the greatest breakfast flavors fused together in a sweet-and-salty griddled disc. It was also one of those blissful spring mornings in Chicago, when the thrill of doing anything outside is still fresh, so it was a no-brainer to devour them out on our balcony alongside red grapes and big mugs of coffee. I’m convinced that everything tastes extra-special when eaten in that sunny spot.
Each day in December, I’m celebrating my best bites (and sips) in 2012, posted in chronological order.
Why They’re Best Bites: These two dishes epitomized summer cooking for me, so I’m combining them into one post. Both came from recipes that caught my eye online, and relied almost exclusively on ingredients from my neighborhood farmers’ market. For the crostini, I subbed in local nectarines instead of peaches, along with local mozzarella, local bread, and the juiciest local heirloom tomato I could find. With basil, balsamic, and freshly ground pepper to top it off, these crostini were bursting with flavor and could stand alone as a meal. The watermelon used in the salad also came from the market, its sweeter-than-normal flesh contrasted against the salty feta and crunchy pumpkin seeds. The salad paired great with grilled meat, but would also make an excellent first course on its own. Both dishes involved minimal preparation and just let the seasonal produce speak for itself, exactly how summer meals should be.