Hello Fellow Bakers and Friends of BetterBaking.Com,
Welcome to the ‘Ovenbird’, Spring Baking Issue of BB! Or, Birds of a Feather bake together.....
Our beautiful, commissioned cover art is by Lissi Kaplan.
(Reprints of Heavenly Wheat are available at www.lissikaplan.com)
Bonus Recipes for April
Farm House Rhubarb Bread FREE!!!
Bits of sugared rhubarb peak out of this slightly sweet, orange ‘n vanilla bread.Makes two loaves, one as a gift or freeze one. This is also French Toast bread, bread pudding bread, and coffee klatch heaven.
Yes, Victoria, there is a scone version of the Breakfast Cookie! This was an inspired idea from one of our visitors those email subject line was simply: Loved the Breakfast Cookies; Begging for A Scone! So here it is, still warm and fragrant in the BB Test Kitchen, by request for Victoria and for everyone else. Why ‘famous’ scones? It’s the power of positive thinking or baking with Wayne Dyer. And please don’t tell everyone these are good for them. They are really and truly ‘great baking’ first and foremost. Nicely crusty on the outside, amber colored within, and bursting with good things that are all pulled together in a mindful way, these are, despite their healthy and rustic grains pedigree, rather delicate (and absolutely wonderful!).
The Featured Recipes for April 2005
Bistro Asparagus and Herb Quiche !!!Free!!!!
April in Paris is more like it, with this classic outdoor café fare. Welcome spring!
Sour Cream Devil's Food Cake
This is a Devil may care cake. So old-fashioned, so good. Pour yourself a tall, cold one. And make it 2%. Works as a layer cake too for an upcoming, spring birthday.
Maple mood with a Latin beat. Eggs are for spring; flan is for anytime.
This is crème caramel Cuban style. Pure maple syrup instead of burnt caramel makes a sumptuous bottom.
On the run, need nutrition with staying power? Cookie up.
Clip this recipe now! You’ll be making these a lot, especially if you are in any marathons, walking or running.
Belgium Sugar Yeast Apricot Tart A lean but tender yeasted pastry dough, touch of sugar, smidge of butter, topped with diced apricots and wow! If this is Tuesday, this must be Belgium all right.
Strawberry Raspberry Rhubarb Pie Root for rhubarb and berries in this country fair treat that would take the blue ribbon from coast to coast.
Famed Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins Department stores used to have bakeries. Can you imagine?
A nice, moist, simple, vanilla-free muffin.
The BB Passover Collection
Cola Brisket, Chicken Soup, Homemade Horseradish, Gefilte Fish and tons more in Recipe Index…….
Paradise or Eat-It-As-A-Main-Dish Haroses !!!Free!!!
Passover Layered Salad
My Famous Matzoh Caramel Buttercrunch !!!Free!!!!
Passover Molten Chocolate Baby Cakes
Quick and Easy Passover Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
Passover Chocolate Walnut Truffle Torte
Passover Apple Cherry Crisp
When Harry Met Salad……the monthly essay from Marcy
Spring IS sprung and, this from a person who loves to cozy up and bake, did it not seem like the most endless winter on record? Maybe it was the blitz of testing soda breads while munching on both hamantashen and hot cross buns at the same time. It’s all a blur that is fading fast as the snow is melting. Montreal at least, is finally waking up, as evidenced by the outdoor cafes, chock full of café-sipping, people watching patrons. In these parts, we take the first sign of sun and post-frost to head out to the many bistros in town. We cling to our coffee cups as much for liquid refreshment as a heat source. Heck, it’s still only 40 F but we’ll take it.
This April Fool’s Day features a BB spring bouquet of great baking, along with some Passover recipes. Take a look at www.jewishmuseum.org for some unique and beautiful Passover gifts and serving pieces. The matzoh plate is a kick, but the artful haroses dish and Seder plates are riveting.
Spring is also wake-up time in terms of appetite, don’t you find? You have to coax your tastes and make that transition to another bill of fare. Salmon, asparagus, maple and rhubarb are nice forays into April. I confess – spring notwithstanding, I am fussy on some things I eat – a veritable high maintenance kind of gal or maybe it is a chef thing. Speaking of which, as a chef and host, I always make sure everyone gets what they want, and I am particularly attuned to who likes what or prefers this or that. I pride myself perceiving other people’s taste. As to their own food, most chefs are not difficult but we are….particular. Give us anything someone else made, cooked or baked and we are totally grateful and accepting –unless it is something another chef made and then we are impossible.
I would not have thought I was particular myself until recently, when it was pointed out to me I am indeed, a pain, as a diner. Are you? Do you know others who are? Actually, I am not so much fussy; actually, as akin to, Meg Ryan/Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally, I just want things as I want them, just simple things, done well, for the most part. Like….for instance…….
I am probably worst when it comes to coffee. You know that ‘orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages’ lyric from the Simon and Garfunkle At the Zoo? I can hear someone futzing about and ruin coffee from a planet away. For starters, I cannot abide instant coffee and if that is all there is, I will take tea but only if there is milk and not half-in-half or heavens, coffee mate and only if there is real sugar and not….sugar substitutes in which case I will have only water or nothing.
I pretty well despise flavored coffees (hazelnut almond vanilla cappuccino) but adore flavored teas (Apple Cinnamon Lemon Sunset). Go figure. But if it is a flavored tea, then hold the milk. And if it is coffee we are having, then I request light cream and can tolerate half-in-half but only because as a Canadian being polite to American friends and hosts (we Canucks just cannot get what half-in-half is. Half what?).
I love most types of coffee beans and blends but none that are flavored but rarely opt for the Big Coffee Drinks with the Berlitz graduate names. Secretly I want to become a Starbucks barrista just so I can tap coffee and do that coffee shorthand for the orders on the paper cups. When at Starbucks, or anywhere else that serves coffee, I tend to blend the drinks –like, half this, half that or one third their dark blend, and then one-third the Light Note and the final component is a smidge of Yukon Gold, in a mezzo cup. I like brewed coffee but mostly from a Melitta paper filter single cup drip, not keen on pod coffee, or Bodums, which are pretty and hospitable but better for tea, but even then, I would prefer a fine China teapot or Japanese iron one. I also like Jasmine tea but get carsick on green tea. And heaven help you if you dump sugar and cream in my coffee or similarly address my tea! I will do it myself! I like it…..how I like it.
To continue with potables - while I cook and bake with alcohol, I am a tea-totaller. So, when at a bar or restaurant, I opt for bottled water, but preferably Pelligrino over Perrier but will take Perrier but either/or, in a wine glass and preferably mixed with Schweppes Bitter Lemon, on crushed ice with a lime twist. If there is no bitter lemon (and there rarely is), then I prefer grapefruit juice (it is an acid thing) and if not, fine, cranberry juice….unless they have mango juice in which case I will have half Perrier with half mango and a lime twist with crushed ice in a wine glass. Unless I am trying to look soignée and will order coffee in a bar which I think is pretty sophisticated for no reason I can offer. On a date, I am, in a word, hell. Only one guy was kind enough to order the Mango/Perrier/lime twist combo with me, not even blanching when I did so. I should have married that one.
At hotdog joints, I avoid the burgers and the hotdogs when I am out with the boys. Woefully, I insist on a BLT which fewer and fewer hotdog places make and when it is a BLT, I want it with cheese (need the extra protein or ‘sense of meat’) and no butter and no mayonnaise and preferably (there is that word again) on whole-wheat. The boys dread this……because often I, or one of them, does the whole BLT recitation only to find out they do not have it or won’t serve it after breakfast or whatever in which case….I will have a veggie burger until they are out of that or don’t offer it and then I will have - yes, you guessed it - a burger….after all. I make the boys want to scream. “What?” I say, what IS it? (When I peruse other people’s shopping carts and ask them what they are baking with the packet of yeast I see in their order, the boys leave the store.)
Then there is my peccadillo over chopsticks. I prefer them to forks and while I do not travel with my own pair or have something from the PBS Gift collection in my handbag, I do use them at home for Asian cuisine, but also Caesar salad, and everything else almost but toast. Chopsticks make dining special and more refined. I like the pointed end ones, not the wood ones unless they are teak and well polished. While I do not carry chopsticks in my purse, I am thinking of getting a mini, stainless steel Peugeot pepper grinder and a portable hot sauce thingie for a mini hot sauce to take along. Well, come on –you only go ‘round once – why not?
I choose cheeses that smell like barns in spring, milk chocolate over dark chocolate (a professional lapse; most pastry chefs adore bittersweet), and stale chocolate covered marshmallows on a stick. Other than all this, I am NOT fussy! If I am, I know I am not alone. Consider:
A few Aprils ago, fellow baking authors Elinor Klivans and Rose Levy Bernambaum, as well as food writer Judy Kancigor were in Montreal for a food conference we were all attending. It was like your own cookbook shelf coming to life, as authors we all know, strolled through belle Montreal. I invited many cookbook friends over to visit but the most memorable was the time spent with fellow bakers, Rose Levy Beranbaum and Elinor Klivans. We email during the years, talk occasionally but this was a rare time to sit down and just 'be'.
I live in the suburbs and Rose and Elinor endured an horrendous, taxi ride from hell to get to my place, early one Saturday morning. When I finally rescued them, mid-route, at a mall nearby (the cabbie simply could not find my place), they all but fell into my arms like long lost sisters fresh off a sea journey.
”Never mind, I said, “Forget it. At my house, we’ll have tea, coffee, chat and talk shop’.
The two of them, as well as cookbook author, happily piled into my car and we headed to my home, three bakers we. Talk about girl talk! We could barely finish arguing over silpats and gas versus convection and whether agents are worth it and how we all starting baking altogether when the subject would flit yet again.
And tea, we certainly did have:
For Elinor: tea (Assam with a touch of English Breakfast for Elinor, brewed in a 3 cup China pot with a refresher pot of simmered spring water)
For Rose: scorching hot, in a small mug, no sugar, tiny bit cream…and
For me, coffee with an embarrassing amount of sugar (well it only is if someone else witnesses it), little cream, in a teacup and saucer.
We talked of food and what we all liked and how we were all fussy as anything and frankly, no one noticed because we were all just as bad to the point we were……normal. That is how cookbook people are perhaps. At least we are excused via métier. I was in a Sisterhood of We Want It As We Want It. Last, I served a honey cake, which won raves from my esteemed guests.
What’s the recipe? They asked.
Uh uh, ladies, was the reply. Buy the book, I said, to the sound of mirth, great chortles and requests for more hot tea (but with fresh water) and another coffee (but in a new mug) and one more slice of .
Happy spring to all you Oven Birds!
Editor, Host, Head Baker
Previous Monthly Essays from A Note From Marcy:
Essays to tickle your funny bone, wake up your inner baker, twinge on your heartstrings, or make you smile and say, ‘I’ve know the feeling; I know the place”. If you missed an essay, or a season in baking or inner sensibility, we invite you to stroll through our archived Notes From Marcy.
- March 2018 A Note From Marcy - March 2018
- February 2018 A Note from Marcy - February 2018
- December 2017 A Note from Marcy - December 2017
- November 2017 A Note from Marcy - November 2017
- October 2017 A Note from Marcy - October 2017
- September 2017 A Note from Marcy - September 2017
- August 2017 A Note from Marcy - August 2017
- July 2017 A Note from Marcy - July 2017
- June 2017 A Note from Marcy - June 2017
- May 2017 A Note from Marcy - May 2017
- April 2017 A Note from Marcy - April 2017
- March 2017 A Note from Marcy - March 2017
- February A Note from Marcy - February 2017
- Betterbaking.com 2017 All Recipes Listing - January 2017
- January 2017 A Note from Marcy - January 2017
- Winter 2016 BB Best Gifts Round-Up - December 2016
- December 2016 A Note from Marcy - December 2016
- November 2016 A Note from Marcy - November 2016
- October 2016 A Note from Marcy - October 2016
- September 2016 A Note from Marcy - September 2016
- August 2016 A Note from Marcy - August 2016
- July 2016 A Note from Marcy - June 2016
- June 2016 A Note from Marcy - June 2016
- May 2016 A Note from Marcy - May 2016
- April 2016 A Note from Marcy - April 2016
- March 2016 A Note from Marcy - March 2016
- February 2016 A Note from Marcy - February 2016
- January 2016 A Note from Marcy - January 2016
- December 2015 A Note from Marcy - December 2015
- November 2015 A Note from Marcy - November 2015
- September 2015 A Note from Marcy - September 2015
- August 2015 A Note from Marcy - August 2015
- July 2015 A Note from Marcy - July 2015
- June 2015 A Note from Marcy - June 2015
- May 2015 A Note from Marcy - May 2015
- April 2015 A Note from Marcy - April 2015
- March 2015 A Note from Marcy - March 2015
- February 2015 A Note from Marcy - February 2015
- January 2015 A Note from Marcy - January 2015
- December 2014 A Note from Marcy - December 2014
- November 2014 A Note From Marcy - November 2014
- October A Note from Marcy - October 2014
- September 2014 A Note from Marcy - September 2014
- August 2014 A Note from Marcy - August 2014
- July 2014 A Note from Marcy - July 2014
- June 2014 A Note from Marcy - June 2014
- May 2014 A Note from Marcy - May 2014
- April 2014 A Note from Marcy - April 2014
- March 2014 A Note from Marcy - March 2014
- February 2014 A Note from Marcy - February 2014
- January 2014 A Note from Marcy - January 2014
- December 2013 A Note from Marcy - December 2013
- November 2013 A Note from Marcy - November 2013
- October 2013 A Note from Marcy - October 2013
- September 2013 A Note from Marcy - September 2013
- August 2013 A Note from Marcy - August 2013
- July 2013 A Note from Marcy - July 2013
- June 2013 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - June 2013
- May 2013 A Note from Marcy - May 2013
- April 2013 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - April 2013
- March 2013 A Note from Marcy - March 2013
- February 2013 A Note from Marcy - February 2013
- January 2013 A Note from Marcy - January 2013
- December 2012 A Note from Marcy - December 2012
- November 2012 A Note from Marcy - November 2012
- October 2012 A Note from Marcy - October 2012
- September 2012 A Note from Marcy - September 2012
- August 2012 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - August 2012
- July 2012 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - July 2012
- May 2012 A Note from Marcy - May 2012
- April 2012 Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - April 2012
- March 2012 A Note From Marcy - March 2012
- February 2012 A Note from Marcy - February 2012
- January 2012 A Note from Marcy - January 2012
- December 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - December 2011
- November 2011 Note from Marcy Bakers Stash - November 2011
- October 2011 Note From Marcy Baker's Stash - October 2011
- September 2011 A Note from Marcy - September 2011
- August 2011 (1) Note From Marcy - August 2011
- June 2011 Note from Marcy - June 2011
- May 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - May 2011
- March 2011 A Note From Marcy - March 2011
- February 2011 A Note From Marcy, Baker's Stash - February 2011
- January 2011 A Note from Marcy - January 2011
- December 2010 Baker's Stash - December 2010
- November 2010 Baker's Stash - November 2010
- October 2010 Note from Marcy & Baker's Stash - October 2010
- September 2010 Note from Marcy & Baker's Stash - September 2010
- August 2010 Baker's Stash - August 2010
- July 2010 Baker's Stash, A Note from Marcy - July 2010
- June 2010 Baker's Stash - June 2010
- April 2010 BAKER'S STASH - April 2010
- March 2010 Baker's Stash, A Note From Marcy - March 2010
- 2003-2007 PAST ISSUES Note from Marcy & Recipes - February 2010
- January 2010 Baker's Stash - January 2010
- December 2009 Baker's Stash - December 2009
- September 2009 Baker's Stash - September 2009
- April 2009 Bakers Stash - April 2009
- March 2009 Baker's Stash Baking With Mom, Feminist in the Kitchen and some Retro - March 2009
- February 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash - February 2009
- January 2009 Baker's Stash - January 2009
- December 2008 Baker's Stash - December 2008
- November 2008 A Note From Marcy - November 2008
- September 2008 Baker's Stash - September 2008
- A note from Marcy - December 2007
- A Note from Marcy - February 2007 - An Oreo Love Affair
- A Note from Marcy - January 2007 - When Bakers Cook, Recipes deChef
- A Note from Marcy - December 2006 - Shortbread and Other Favorite Things
- A Note from Marcy - November 2006 - Thank Goodness for Pie
- A Note from Marcy - October 2006 - A Salute to Chocolate Chip Cookies
- A Note from Marcy - September 2006 - The Back to School Carrot Cake Issue
- A Note From Marcy - August 2006 - The Sourdough Magic Issue
- A Note from Marcy - July 2006 - The Annual BB Picnic Issue
- A Note from Marcy - June 2006 - The Bountiful Berry Issue
- A Note from Marcy - May 2006 - Pride and Pastry or Tea With Jane
- A Note from Marcy - April 2006 - The Breakfast Baking Issue and Fresh Starts
- A Note from Marcy March 2006 Passion - Gettin' Some - March 2006 - Havana A Heat Wave, Baking with A Latin Beat and The Passion Play
- A Note from Marcy - February 2006 - Memoirs of A Geisha Baking, Valentine’s Sweets
- A Note from Marcy - January 2006 - The You're Toast, A Salute To Slicing Loaves and More
- A Note from Marcy - December 2005 - Bake It Forward, Gift Baking Issue
- A Note from Marcy - November 2005 - Open Hearth Hosting or Guess Who's Coming For Dinner
- A Note from Marcy - October 2005 - It All Happens for a Reason or Sometimes Bread Just Doesn't Rise.....
- A Note from Marcy - September 2005 - Baking By the Code
- A Note from Marcy - August 2005 - The Tao of Pie
- A Note from Marcy - July 2005 - The Journey of the Journal plus Twix Bars!
- A Note from Marcy - June 2005 - A Pastry Chefs Trial by Cheesecakes
- A Note from Marcy - May 2005 - The Frontier Baking Issue/Living Big in a Small Venue
- A Note from Marcy - March 2005 - Baking with an Irish Broque; A Romance in the Dairy Queen One Fine March
- A Note from Marcy - February 2005 - She Just Doesn’t Get Him, Valentine’s Day Rebuttal and Cupcakes Galore
- A Note from Marcy - January 2005 - The Art of Changing and Making Space in a New Year
- A Note from Marcy - December 2004 - The Shall We Dance or Shall We Bake, Holiday Baking Issue and an Ode to Dance
- A Note from Marcy - November 2004 - The Bread and Soup Issue and How A Canadian Became Americanized (sort of)
- A Note from Marcy - October 2004 - The Field of Dreams Issue, Baseball and the Baker
- A Note from Marcy - September 2004 - The Catcher of the Rye Issue, What Falls Away, the Sweet Taste of Forgiveness and Letting Go
- A Note from Marcy - August 2004 - It’s All Greek To Me Issue and The Evils of Multi-Tasking
- A Note from Marcy - July 2004 - The Gone Fishin’ Issue/Summer in the River City, A Baker’s Musical
- A Note from Marcy - June 2004 - The All That Jazz Issue, How To Scat and Improvise in Wheat
- A Note from Marcy - May 2004 - The Bread and Roses Issue, Goddess, Feminist or Feminine…and Fudge
- A Note from Marcy - April 2004 - Waiting for Happy, or If I Won the Lotto
- A Note from Marcy - March 2004 - Meet You in the Bookstore, My Love Affair with Books
- A Note from Marcy - February 2004 - Sweets for the Sweet, a Valentine From the Baker
- A Note from Marcy - January 2004 - How To Eat Right or Resolution 2004 – How Not To Diet
- A Note From Marcy - December 2003 - The Sugar and Spice Issue
- A Note from Marcy - November 2003 - How To Weather the Weather, or Keeping Cozy in Late Fall
- A Note from Marcy - October 2003 (Part 2) - They Laughed When I Got Up To Bake, Hotel School Trials
- A Note from Marcy - October 2003 (Part 1) - How I Got Into Baking, A Baker’s Beginnings Part 1
- A Note from Marcy - September 2003 - Welcome To Wheatland, a baker’s fantasy or Camelot in Flour
- A Note from Marcy - August 2003 - Notes on Homemade Krispie Kreme Doughnuts
- A Note From Marcy - July 2003 - Memories of Summer Music Camp or Baking to Birdland
- A Note From Marcy - June 2003 - How to Play Hooky in Summer, An Urban Adventure
- May 2017 Big Product Review Feature
- February 2009 Baker's Stash
- Karine Joncas Cosmetics
- April 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash
- October 2008 Baker's Stash
- Archived A Note from Marcy 2003 - 2017
- May 2010 Baker's Stash
- February 2009 Issue Baking by Heart Copy
- March 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash
- April 2009 Baker's Stash
- Archived Newsletters, A Note from Marcy 2004 - 2017
- 2003-2009 Note from Marcy Archives