About Us

Penelope’s Kitchen is a gourmet bake shop located in La Jolla, California and serving the greater San Diego area via hand delivery or pick-up and all of North America via mail delivery. We specialize in deliciously exceptional cookies, cupcakes, and cakes.  Our Decorated Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cupcakes and Cakes are enjoyed by ALL lovers of sweet treats.

Other specialty food items include homemade bread and chutneys!  We also are available to cater your special get-together from holiday parties to birthday parties to family celebrations.

Penelope’s Kitchen can help make your event – or even just your day – truly spectacular.

Our cookies and cupcakes are baked in small batches, hand-rolled or dropped, and hand-decorated.  Our cakes are baked one at a time to your specifications. All our baked goods are carefully and lovingly made from scratch with organic, pesticide-free, and local ingredients whenever possible, and only the finest, all-natural ingredients always. And all are either vegan (no dairy, no eggs, lots of flavor and goodness) or gluten-free vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no wheat, lots of flavor and goodness).

We are passionately committed to delivering delicious, magnificent-looking cookies, cupcakes, and cakes to each customer.  Our goal is to delight your senses and please your palate and keep you coming back for more!

My name is Natasha and I am a long-time yoga practitioner and newbie instructor in San Diego, California who loves to cook and bake. I consider my activities in the kitchen to be part of my yoga practice. Like other dimensions of my practice, my cooking and baking help me focus my attention and calm my mind.  My yoga practice, including my cooking and baking, helps me to achieve a deeper connection with and insight into my true self. My yoga practice helps me cultivate a spacious heart and radiant energy for the benefit of all.

Yoga is not just asana (physical poses to develop and maintain flexibility, strength, endurance in the body). Yoga is also about developing flexibility, strength, and endurance in the heart and mind. At times, we all need help to continue on our journey.

I wish, therefore, to offer a daily inspiration that I have found in the words of  people wiser than me so that each day all of us together can more easily recommit to being mindful and growing compassion for ourselves and others.

I’d also like to share with you every few days an original recipe or food or cooking insight to awaken your culinary energy and creativity. I hope I can help you keep it simple, have fun, and prepare delicious and healthy food.

I call my blog Penelope’s Kitchen, because my yoga and my cooking are inspired by
my little diluted tortoise shell cat, Penelope. Penelope is named for the faithful, patient, cautious, and graceful wife of Odysseus in Homer’s The Odyssey.  Penelope is my  constant companion in the kitchen and on my yoga mat.

When Philip and I first moved into our townhouse, Penelope, who is apprehensive as
well as cautious, quickly discovered that she could hide from loud noises and strange people on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet just to the left of the sink. All my plastic food containers of every size and dimension were crowding the bottom shelf, and the shoe boxes containing my herbs, spices and flavor extracts were on the top shelf. Penelope managed to scrunch herself up behind the shoe boxes.

Startled to discover that Penelope was squeezing herself into what must have been an
uncomfortably small space, I moved my herbs and spices to another cabinet and placed a soft towel on the vacated shelf for Penelope. She became my cat in the cabinet.

Each morning, Penelope knows to expect either a full yoga session or a meditation
practice only, if it’s a yoga studio day. When I practice yoga at home, Penelope sits nearby. During savasana, she snuggles against my side, purring loudly. For the first five minutes of my meditation practice, she sits in my lap and then moves to sit directly in front of my crossed legs lowering her head in her own meditation seated pose. She flicks her ears ever so slightly when I end my practice by directing a “namaste” her way.

Whether she’s in her cabinet or in one of her other favorite spots, Penelope provides me with unconditional friendship and genuine joy. I glance her way and I am comforted. I stroke her gently and I am calmed. She’s not always a sweet cat. She doesn’t want me to pick her up too much, she sits in my lap at her pleasure and for only moments at a time, she wants things her way, and she tries to bite me if I somehow annoy her. But she always brings out the best in me—patience, kindness, empathy.  Each day, she
inspires and invites me to live abiding in my authentic self.