Oh JoyOh Joy

{oh joy eats dessert with} alison conklin...


Who Alison Conklin, Photographer who captures love, sweetness, desserts and everything in between. She's also a wife and mother of two adorable boys.

Where Philadelphia

Time 2:15 pm

What's a typical dessert for you? Both of my children love to bake —so more often than not, dessert will involve cookies that we have just baked. I love the coconut cupcakes from Brown Betty Bakery in Philadelphia. They are moist and sweet, and they remind me of the wedding cake that my husband and I had when we were married in Santa Barbara, CA. I got hooked when I recently photographed Brown Betty's beautiful desserts for their first cookbook {coming out this fall}, and ever since then I have been obsessed.

What's your dream dessert? I love the combination of sweet and salty, so any dessert involving toffee or maple flavors pretty much has my name written all over it. I am also a huge fan of freshly whipped cream. There is something so decadent about homemade whip cream.  

How often do you treat yourself to dessert? I usually have dessert after dinner...and on some days for dinner!

Thanks Alison!
— Joanna

{photos by Alison}

{oh joy eats dessert with} tara o'brady...


Who Tara O'Brady, freelance food writer, mother of two young lads, and the one behind Seven Spoons

Where Niagara, Ontario

Time 2:21 p.m

What's a typical dessert for you? I'll admit a particular fondness for ice cream. Strawberry Swirl with lots of vanilla bean in spring, Raspberry Ripple with lemon curd and crushed meringue in summer, Espresso Caramel studded with cookies in winter, and this chocolate one pretty much any time of the year. Give me a bowl and a spoon, and I'm happy. Our 6-year-old named these {above} Sugar Buns, so that's the name that's stuck—he believes the sugar crust is the best part, and I won't argue. But sugar is just the beginning, and then that swirl is made up of lots of good stuff including browned butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, crystallized ginger for some zing, and fresh orange zest to set it all off. The dough is flaky and a texture in-between a traditional sweet roll and a danish. And these aren't for after meals only. They're the sort of sweet to keep around to have with tea or coffee at any time of day {as a bonus, they look pretty out on the counter}

What's your dream dessert? A plate of galettes cancalaises or the mille-feuille from Olivier Roellinger's Grain de Vanille in Cancale, France. Either would embody the very definition of dreamy.

How often do you treat yourself to dessert? As often as possible.

Thanks Tara!
— Joanna

{photo of dessert by Tara, photo of Tara by her husband Sean}

{oh joy eats lunch with} fig & fauna...


Who Sisters-in-law Megan Martin, author of Fig & Fauna, farmer, and owner of Onblonde Pet Spa & Rose Martin, photographer and weaver

Where Jupiter, Florida

Time 11:30 am

What's a typical lunch for you? We usually assemble salads and omelets with ingredients from our farm or leftovers from previous dinners {which are sometimes the best!}. Today, we have made Kale and Feta Crustless Quiche with Borage Tea.

What's your dream/ideal lunch? Fish tacos or Reuben's at the beach. We love to picnic seaside, but we just don't celebrate lunch there as often as we would like to!

Dessert with lunch?  Never. But a honey sweetened tea or cafè con leche is often a must.

Thanks Megan and Rose!
— Joanna

{photo of lunch by Rose, photo of Maria by William Martin}

{oh joy eats lunch with} adrianna adarme...


Who  Adrianna Adarme, food blogger

Where  Los Angeles, California

Time 1:30pm

What's a typical lunch for you? If I'm in the kitchen recipe testing, then I usually skip lunch and instead have a collection of bites throughout the day. Sometimes it's a few tablespoons of soup at 10 am, a single pancake at 1 pm, and a breakfast scone at 6 pm — it's definitely weird, but I love it! If I'm writing, then I usually head to my favorite coffee shop, Coffee Commissary, where I'll grab a ham and cheese croissant with a latte. Today, I am having my quick and easy go-to lunch — avocado on toast. If I have an egg I'm not using, I'll poach it and place it atop with some grated Parmesan, or, in this case, a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper. 

What's your dream/ideal lunch? My dream lunch would take place on a cold winter's day. I'd be in a cozy bistro eating a big bowl of mussels with a side of French fries. And if I'm feeling a little crazy, a big glass of pinot noir. 

Dessert with lunch? I always skip dessert and go straight for a cappuccino or a strong cup of coffee.

Thanks Adrianna!

— Joanna

{photo of lunch by Adrianna, photof of Adrianna by Teri Lyn Fisher}

{oh joy eats dessert with} julie craig...


Who Julie Marie Craig, baker at Cups & Cakes, photographer & blogger

Where Benicia, California

Time 8 pm

What's a typical dessert for you? A typical dessert for me is something that I made. Other than that, I always try to make my desserts unique—something new, that I have never had, a combination of new flavors, or recreate something that I loved {eg. goat cheese is normally a big seller for me in desserts, especially when combined in a gooey brownie}. Today I am having cherry ganache with a shortbread crust

What's your dream dessert? The raspberry macaron from Stohrer in Paris. I had it one time probably 4 years ago and have literally had dreams about it ever since. 

How often do you treat yourself to dessert? Since I work at a bakery and bake whenever I can at home for the blog, it has become a daily occurrence!

Thanks Julie!
— Joanna

{photos by Julie}

{oh joy eats lunch with} andria sato...


Who  Andria Sato, owner of Lilikoi Design + Letterpress

Where  Venice, California

Time 1:15 pm

What's a typical lunch for you? Since my schedule is always changing {spending days in the studio on the press, meetings with industry professionals or clients, etc} a typical lunch or my go-to meal is something light and will keep me going—like a big salad with grilled salmon or roasted chicken and a side of kale. I can usually find it or make it at home and travel with it anywhere I go. Today I'm having grilled wild salmon over spinach, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and white beans.

What's your dream/ideal lunch? My dream lunch would have to be on a day off of work so I could take a 2-3 hour lunch in a beautiful outdoor space either near the ocean with a beautiful view or a patio in an urban setting with lots of trees. It would involve plenty of delicious vegetable dishes, crusty bread, and fresh crab and oysters. Oh, and my husband Jeff! Live music would be amazing, too, but I think I might be pushing it!

Dessert with lunch?  Yes, a large glass of Pinot Noir {it's good for the heart}!

Thanks Andria!
— Joanna

{photo of lunch by Andria, photo of Andria by Jeff Sato}

{oh joy eats lunch with} sara forte...


Who  Sara Forte, author of Sprouted Kitchen Blog and Cookbook

Where  Dana Point, California

Time 12pm. Sounds cliche, huh? I'm a frequent snacker, but that seems to be the time I actually sit down and eat something instead of grazing.

What's a typical lunch for you? My lunch is usually a bowl of greens piled with leftovers of whatever roasted vegetables, grains, dip, and what not I have around from recipe testing. I am really not particular, so as long as I've got a ton of greens, a protein, gluten-free grain and some avocado/hummus/vinaigrette to make it taste, I'm a happy girl. If we are making something for the blog, that becomes second lunch for us. I married a hungry man, so there is a lot of eating going on around here! Today it's a roasted tomato soup that we made recently for the blog and has been one of the most popular recipes yet. The ingredient list is short, but by roasting the tomatoes and onions, the soup has a lot of flavor. I'll just throw in some beans or have a piece of toast along side, and lunch is served! 

What's your dream/ideal lunch? If we're going to say "dream", I'm going big. I would love a big huge yard with a long table that's open for people to come sit around, touch base about their days, and share food. The lunch would be light and healthy with iced tea and a few treats. Oh, and there would be teleportation, so my blogger friends from all over the country could come sit at the table, too.

Dessert with lunch?  Always. It doesn't have to be much—a handful of chocolaty trail mix, a gingersnap, a spoonful of ice cream over the sink... but something to seal the deal.

Thanks Sara!
— Joanna

{photos by Hugh Forte}

{oh joy eats dessert with} joy the baker...


Who Joy the Baker {also known as Joy Wilson}: blogger, cookbook author, and professional lover of butter

Where Los Angeles, California

Time 10:45 am

What's a typical dessert for you? I love breakfast-like fried eggs and hearty potatoes drenched in hot sauce and ketchup. Love. What makes a good breakfast even better is "Breakfast Dessert". It's three mini pancakes you douse in pure maple syrup and enjoy with sweet, milky coffee just after you finish your eggs and potatoes. Breakfast Dessert might not be mainstream just yet... but I'm trying to bring people into the fold. Today, I've made chocolate chunk buttermilk pancakes with smashed raspberries.

What's your dream dessert? My dream dessert is Coconut Cream Pie with chocolate shavings and hot coffee. I'd eat that day and night.

How often do you treat yourself to dessert?  I'm a baker. I eat dessert every day... sometimes more than once a day. I have a carton of peanut butter cups on my desk right now...that's all I'm sayin'.

Thanks Joy!
— Joanna

{photo of dessert by Joy, photo of Caitlin by Michael Friedman}

{oh joy eats lunch with} maria del mar sacasa...


Who  Maria del Mar Sacasa, food stylist, recipe developer & and writer 

Where  Upper West Side, New York City

Time 12 pm

What's a typical lunch for you? Typical lunches are nonexistant—at shoots, it's delivery or catering. On the run, I subsist on an extra-large bag of peanut M&Ms. If developing recipes—for my blog and namely for my Let them Eat Cake and Dulces columns on Serious Eats—I'll eat cake batter, melted chocolate, whipped cream, etc. and ultimately, the finished dessert after I've photographed it. However, there often are civilized lunches for which I even abandon the kitchen counter and sit down. On these occasions I mostly "MacGyver" leftovers, which is how today's lovely sandwich came to be. For dinner last night, I made garlicky, smoked paprika pork tenderloin with brown sugar-roasted butternut squash and apples spiked with Aleppo pepper and lemon zest. Today, the velvety squash and tart, fleshy apples were tucked between pieces of crusty, olive oil-drizzled bread and layered with baby arugula, butter, and pungent Stilton. 

What's your dream/ideal lunch? Something traditional from home {Nicaragua}, like grilled churrasco, rice, beans, and fried sweet plantains with cheese...made by my mom!

Dessert with lunch?  Yes, there's always room! I usually have whatever I've been baking for my columns— otherwise cookies or pieces of bittersweet chocolate with dried fruit and Maldon salt. 

Thanks Maria!
— Joanna

{photo of lunch by Maria, photo of Maria by her husband Octavio Sacasa}

{oh joy eats dessert with} caitlin van horn...


Who  Caitlin (Coco) Van Horn - graphic designer, photo stylist, and mother hen of Roost

Where Birmingham, Alabama

Time 4:15pm - I tend to eat dessert at the oddest of hours! 

What's a typical dessert for you? Living with a grain, lactose, and processed sugar free diet you would think I wouldn't have the luxury of enjoying desserts, but on the contrary there is always something sweet in our house. My favorite indulgences are baked goods made with almond flour. Muffins, scones, cakes, and quick breads are easy to whip up and satisfying on a cold winter's day. Currently in my pantry, I have spiced ginger muffins, which pair perfectly with a glass of mulled cider. Today it's a vanilla and clove panna cotta made with coconut milk and topped with honeyed persimmon and pomegranate seeds. 

What's your dream/ideal dessert? A picnic in the Cotswolds of England with banbury cakes and scones {grain free of course!}, proper tea, a few sheep and my dearest friends.

How often do you treat yourself to dessert?  I usually bake a sweet morsel for my husband and I once a week...making it a special occasion.

Thanks Caitlin!
— Joanna

{photo of dessert by Caitlin, photo of Caitlin by her husband Jordan}