Lifestyle

Greetings! I hope everyone’s been having a fresh and joyous start to 2014. December was a crazy month and I’m sorry I couldn’t do more posting, although there was plenty of baking  and pastry activity taking place.  There was a lot of Megan Joy Cakes work and another trip to Aspen: Right before Christmas I did a high altitude baking class with The Vail Mountain Club. It was held at one of the member’s beautiful homes and we made apple breton pie, pumpkin cheesecake snickerdoodles, and a hot chocolate torte. It was a lot of fun.   Shortly after, I left to go to Indiana for a week so I could celebrate Christmas with my family. At my grandma Jone’s Christmas Eve dinner, we enjoyed my favorite honey-glazed rolls. They are [...]

This Thanksgiving I was really missing my mom’s pecan pie. She usually makes it the night before, and sometimes we sneak a sliver before bed. If not, we definitely break into it in the morning. I love having pie for breakfast. My first winter out here I had to bake mini pecan tartlets for a banquet event. I even used a ‘high altitude recipe’ from a very popular high altitude cookbook. They bubbled out over their crusts and tasted nothing like pecan pie should- hard and chewy- rather than soft and gooey. After that I kind of dismissed pecan pie baking at altitude. I was under the impression that it was impossible from my first-hand attempts, as well as what I had read on the Internet. A week or two [...]

Hostess may be closing its doors, but Megan Joy Confections is not! This upcoming weekend, on November 24th, is Small Business Saturday, founded by American Express. Small Business Saturday always falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s main purpose is to support small businesses across the country- either by helping business owners get the most out of the day or by directing consumers on where to go to support local businesses in their community. In honor of Small Business Saturday, Yeti’s Grind Coffeehouse and I will be teaming up to promote both of our own small businesses. We figured with all of the attention that Hostess is receiving right now, people have Twinkies on their brains. And the best way to enjoy a Twinkie (or Ho-Ho, or Ding Dong) [...]

Hello high altitude dwellers and friends, I am pleased to announce two things: 1. We have been receiving rain! In the last two weeks, the showers and thunderstorms have been a big help. The mountains and grasses are a little greener again, and new wildflowers are popping up. Thanks to all who sent rain karma this way. 2. My pastries and treats will now be available at Yeti’s Grind coffeehouse in Vail Village, under Solaris. You will be able to find them Saturdays and Sundays, freshly baked and loaded with local ingredients. They will vary between “Honest Twinkies”, assorted fruit tarts, mini cakes, and other French-inspired pastries. You can follow me on Twitter to see what goodies I’ll be delivering each weekend. For custom ordering, baking classes, entertaining ideas, and [...]

The past several weeks I have been doing a lot of traveling. Most recently, I was in the Midwest visiting my family, which was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Sometimes I don’t understand why I live so far away. But that kind of distance certainly brings clarity- when I am given the time to be with them, I don’t take it for granted anymore. I spent many breezy afternoons and evenings cooking in the kitchen with my mom. I spent many hours discussing future business dreams with my dad. Laughing with my brothers. Sitting outside on the deck. And going for walks around the lake in the late evenings. It was lovely. I visited with both of my grandmas, one who I hadn’t seen in three years. I also met up with [...]

Oh my. I am so excited for this weekend. I will be returning to the place where it all began for me, Chicago. My first big taste of professional kitchens. A food scene. The who’s who in the industry. Long hours doing stages and learning the livelihood of being on your feet. All. The. Time. It was in that very city that I first started seriously food blogging. Every day after class I’d bring home my ‘lessons’ and the natural light of my apartment made for some spectacular food photography sessions. In the very beginning of 2009, I was enrolled as a student at The French Pastry School. I learned how to make the most tender, flaky, buttery croissants. And whimsical pretty things. My first wedding cake. European-style entremets and [...]

What’s a great ‘getaway’ trip for mountain folk? Somewhere hot and sandy! I recently took a little trip to Moab, Utah with one of my best friends, Mere. It was the perfect escape. We left after work in the late afternoon and drove with the sunset. The terrain changes quite remarkably from Vail to Moab; Vail is filled with dramatic mountain peaks coated in pine trees, while Moab is red and rocky. The drive was easy and so was the view. I made a bunch of food for us to have on hand. We wanted to spend a lot of time in the national parks, and we were unsure as to how the food scene was in Moab. We also didn’t want to spend tons of money on marked-up meals. [...]

Last weekend, my friend and I were out at a bar in town. A drunk tourist guy beside us started going on and on about how casually dressed everyone was. “What’s with all the flannel?!” he drawled, gesturing around. I flashed back to when I lived in Chicago, and my life before becoming a pastry chef, when I had to wear heels to work everyday. And iron my shirts. I thought about how I had to dress up if I wanted to get good service at certain establishments. And I thought about gray, dreary winter days holed up inside. His comment offended me a little bit. I felt myself growing defensive. There are many things that make the high Rockies lifestyle different, but perhaps that’s why I’ve settled here for [...]

Earlier this week, my parents and little brother arrived. Cam was on his spring break from college. I was so flattered they decided to use his week off by coming out to visit me! We had a really lovely time. The weather was typical March weather in the mountains- blue skies, sunshine, warm temps, and of course, a few flurries. There was quite a bit of cooking and baking. The evening they arrived, I wanted to make dinner since they had been traveling all day. I ended up making elk flatbread pizzas- homemade dough, balsamic pomegranate syrup, fresh arugula, smoked fontina cheese, and grilled elk. I could go on and on about how much I love elk meat. It is so delicious! This was the first time Cam and dad [...]

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