Surprise!

Life brings surprises. NYC Buses running during a blizzard? Someone playing a grand piano in Washington Square?
 

It’s always a surprise to find out where my NYC neighbors are from. Brooklyn, Boston, Tokyo and Tehran… and that’s just one floor of a NYC apartment building.

NYC harbor used to be abundant with oysters. The streets were paved with pulverized shells for 200 years. If you want to surprise yourself with a good non-fiction book, read The Big Oyster.

Oysters are one of my passions. That slimy slap of seafood goes against everything I consider okay about food. I understand if you find them repugnant. Then again, if you’ve never tried, you can’t imagine the surprising taste levels you will encounter.

My 2 oyster rules that surprisingly, I never break, are:

1. Eat oysters ONLY in months with an ‘R.’ (This is Boston teaching – I misspent my youth there.) Non-farmed oysters are ‘hatching’ during the late spring and summer. FYI, most oysters are now “farmed.” I am not certain what my opinion is.
2. Eat only local. Why a Pacific Ocean oyster that took 72 hours to get on a plate in a NYC restaurant? I will never have oysters in Chicago.

Oysters keep water clean! Many East Coast cities are now re-building oyster beds to clean up their harbor water.

DON’T FORGET TO BAKE!
Surprise friends and lovers with heart-shaped brownies!

Check out your surprising February.

The Witch
</:)
Stay sweet and surprise someone you love with a Valentine.

Happy 2018! 🍾


December was a busy month at Fat Witch Bakery. We baked, packaged and shipped brownies 20 hours a day. It was grand! ❤️

We were busy, so I wasn’t able to get out-of-town. However, I shared dirty martini’s (several times) with my favorite NYC neighbors. I brought the vodka (Tito’s) and the nabes provided olives and snacks. Good fences might make good neighbors, but I think good vodka does it better.

BESIDES BAKING
You have to be better than I am at keeping New Year resolutions. I usually cave by January 7th and go back to old habits. Unabashedly I say, I own a bakery, not a spa. That being said, I am pledging to make a unique combo of fruits and vegetables meal every month.

This is my January salute to sweet and savory.

I LOVE acorn squash. I’m not certain if it’s because of the depth of flavor and/or because it’s the perfect vehicle for butter. I was inspired by (I took out the bread crumbs and added more butter) a recipe from James McNair’s SQUASH cookbook. It came out in 1989, so it might be out-of-print.

FYI, Mr. McNair put crispy fried bacon on top just before serving. I do not, but worth considering!

DON’T FORGET TO BAKE
Here’s a sweet recipe to use up extra bananas!

READ YOUR Witchscope to see how 2018 starts!

Best Witches for 2018! 🍾 🍸

The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Presents

We have special Baby Witches for December. White Chocolate Babies with Cranberries sound good? Peppermint Patties baked into our brownie sound amazing? A Fat Witch Baby with a Santa hat the perfect stocking stuffer? They are all perfect presents! Available at the Fat Witch store inside Chelsea Market.

When I am in Japan, I become obsessed with food presentation. Everything is packaged elegantly. Even grab-and-go airport gifts are inspiration.

At Fat Witch Bakery, we believe our products must be put together beautifully. We think YOU deserve the best of both – quality and presentation.

Baking is good for you.

Check out what’s happening, naughty you and nice you, at Witchscopes.

Remember, holidays are to be enjoyed!

Ho Ho Ho Holidays,
The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Friday Family Fun on Fifth Avenue

There’s more to Manhattan than celebrity chef restaurants and late night bar scenes. Activities for families are in abundance.

If you are in NYC over the Thanksgiving holiday, you’ll soon discover the Macy’s Day Parade overtakes the morning of Thanksgiving. Watch it on TV is my family’s mantra. We roast a turkey and do the traditional sides, including stuffing from The Silver Palette Cookbook.

On Black Friday  (November 24) our Chelsea Market store will be open 9am to 9pm. If you are anything like my group, you might be more in the mood for walking than shopping. We like to stroll down Fifth Avenue starting at 110th Street, the top of Central Park. Not only is the “hike” delightful on a crisp November morning, but the Museum of the City of New York is at 104th Street.

If you choose to skip the NYC focus, try the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. The entrance to the Cooper-Hewitt is on East 91st Street. It’s FREE. If for nothing else, the Beaux Art architecture is worth the visit.

If you’re getting a bit hungry and forgot to pack snacks, the best of the best hot dog stands in Manhattan are in front of The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue from 86 to 83 Streets. And the museum ain’t bad either, but will be crowded. If The Met is a must-do-destination for you, I suggest going in the morning, skipping all of the above.
 

My group usually ventures into Central Park around 72nd Street and walks down The MALL. No, not a shopping center, but a lovely straight line stroll connecting with the Literary Walk. I always thought this was called ‘Author’s Walk’ with statues of famous writers. I am surmising from recent online research it is now called ‘The Literary Walk.’ OKAY, OKAY.

For a small (compared to other cities), and wonderful experience, there is a zoo inside Central Park. Thank goodness the gorillas were long ago transferred to the Bronx Zoo and have more roaming room. Now there are only small animals. The entrance is to your right on 64th Street going downtown on Fifth Avenue. Yes, there is a fee to get in, but if you don’t want to pay, you can peek at the seal pool and get a sense of urban wild animal-viewing.
 


Check out how wickedly sweet your November will be!

Don’t forget to bake!

Best Witches,
The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Time to Fly


October is my favorite month of the year. One reason is that trees are in splendid array. All NYC parks are magnificent places to walk. This is Marcus Garvey Park (we locals call it Mount Morris Park) in Harlem. Gorgeous!

My favorite trick-or-treat favor will be available on our website fatwitch.com on October 1 and in our store October 5.

We’ve got 5 giveaways at our store inside Chelsea Market this October. Our Facebook page  will post what day and what gives! Also check our Twitter feed @fatwitch.

Do you know that in Manhattan, kids trick or treat at stores? Our Chelsea Market bakery gives out 2,000 Fat Witch Babies to everyone in costume. Other Chelsea Market stores give out treats, too. The concourse is decorated!
 

I’m pretty certain my apartment is a favorite with the kids in my building. I used to put a huge bowl of Fat Witch Babies in front of my door. Some trick or treaters took a lot which left few for others. Sooooo… this year, I’m making it a “girls” night with drinks from 5-8pm. We will take turns opening the door. It’ll be a spirited Halloween! We witches plan to BOOs it up! Hope we don’t scare the ghosts and goblins.

Eat, drink and be scary this Halloween!

Don’t forget to bake.

Check out your be-witching October!

The Witch </:)
fun starts here
If You’ve Got It, Haunt It

My Summer Vacation

I love looking at other people’s photo albums. If you’re not in the travel-log-gazing group, forgive this blog about my August vacation. I was with family on the Oregon coast. We rented a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Sunsets were spectacular!

Everyone helped cooking meals. There was never a complaint about what was served. Why is dinner prepared by someone else more delicious?

This Witch managed to get Chinook salmon at $16 per pound. I promise I was not an ugly New Yorker! Honestly, I would have paid more. The first photo is of our dinner just off the boat in the Port of Garibaldi just before filleting. It was the best salmon I’ve ever had. We grilled it with a little butter and a little dill. WHOA!
 

We are an old-fashioned group. Evenings were filled with Scrabble and the card game Nerts kids vs adults (BTW, kids won most of the time).

We took a steam engine train along the coast. A nice #tickettoride, but I was glad we booked the shortest time. Definitely worth doing!
 

Crabbing on Tillamook Bay was a great adventure! We added the take to an okonomiyaki dinner. Absolutely fantastic!

I always have a READING LIST and especially when on vacation. My books run the gamut from smart to sassy to strictly entertainment. Here’s what I read while on the Oregon Coast:
   

Check out your September!
And don‘t forget to bake.

The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Harlem

Harlem is the most musical part of Manhattan! Duke Ellington’s Take the A Train is one of many songs that pay tribute to this ultra-interesting neighborhood of NYC.

The Apollo Theatre is still going strong.

Always on my go-to-list is Studio Museum of Harlem. Exhibits are well-curated and every show is interesting. I love a good museum gift shop and this one is terrific.
 

Across the street from Studio Museum of Harlem is my favorite statue, Adam Clayton Powell. I particularly love it after a snowfall…the flakes adorn his coat-tails. Will take a photo next winter.

When you walk around Harlem, you can’t help but notice the community gardens on almost every block. The most fantastic is Harlem Grown with 10 ‘farms’ in Harlem. Produce such as stevia, cabbage, and strawberries are free when ripe. This is a great concept. Fat Witch will be working with them in the near future.

Baking dessert is easy when you use one of my recipes.

YOUR August with a look at Harlem brownstones: Witchscopes.

The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Summer in the HOT City

NYC is hot during the summer. Temperatures are in the high 80s or low 90s. However, there are a lot of cool things to do! Many locals have departed the city, so consider this time of the year an invitation to enjoy everything with fewer peeps.

Recent controversy might have you wanting to see a FREE live performance of Shakespeare in the Park. The Julius Caesar production ended June 18, but A Midsummer’s Night Dream starts in mid-July. Always a delight!

If you do venture to Central Park for theatre or hike in what we New Yorkers call ‘nature,’ the Neue Galerie is nearby. Leaving Central Park on the east side, it is across Fifth Avenue on 86th Street.

Neue Galerie is a small museum with a restaurant that serves late breakfast, lunch and early dinner. Glimpse some of Klimt’s work and enjoy a meal at Café Sabarsky with the few locals still in Manhattan. Of course, the Austrian pastries are divine.

How about going to the CHELSEA area of Manhattan? It will be hot, and you won’t find much shade, but a stroll on the High Line is a must.

I am not suggesting the High Line because the 10th Avenue & 14th Street exit winds up a short block away from Chelsea Market.

Fat Witch Bakery is inside Chelsea Market!

I’m suggesting the High Line because this elevated track is a unique experience and FREE.

The High Line might not have happened. 20 years ago, the neighborhood bigwigs wanted this railway torn down! We are lucky the powerful did NOT prevail.

Inside Chelsea Market, Num Pang is great for a grab-and-go Cambodian sandwich. My favorite is Ginger BBQ Brisket. Sloppy, greasy and oh so delicious.
 

Nearby on Hudson Street, Brunetti is a great place for a late afternoon appetizer or dinner. The lobster pizza with squid ink crust is fantastic. Good selection of wines also!
 

A cool thing to bake (not much baking time) is my lemon/grapefruit bar.

Check out what the stars say about your July.

The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Osaka, Japan

Fat Witch Bakery participated in an event at Hankyu Department Store in mid-May. It was exciting to be part of the New York Food Fair in Osaka, Japan.
 

Our booth was strategically placed at the entrance to the show.

Often the lines were 25 people deep. I drew the Witch face on this card over 1500 times!
 

We baked in Japan and created two special Witches for the event: Fat Witch Original with Oregon Hazelnuts and White Chocolate Witch with Maple. We sold them unwrapped. The demand for delicious was amazing!

Some of the things we sold are not available in NYC. Schedule an appointment at www.fatwitch.co.jp  to find out how to get this great stuff only in Japan.
 

We baked many Baby Witches. Customers were able to select the ones they wanted and put them into a gift box.

Everyday around 11:30am, the pizza man would perform to 60s-ish music. This guy was worth walking from our booth to see him “toss pizza dough.”
 

We also created a video that was projected on a huge wall near our booth. Thank you Hankyu Department Store!

I took one day off and went to Fushimi in Kyoto. The Torii path is fantastic. The shrines are protected by fox statues. For good luck, you can draw a face and hang it up. Fat Witch logo!
 
Don’t forget to bake this June.

Check out what’s in your stars!

Have fun this June,
The Witch </:)

Tokyo 2017

I returned from Japan 3 weeks ago. Some of my family came with me this trip and we had a great time. We started in Tokyo. Truth be told, I am intimidated by the enormity of this city.  New York has 8 million people; Tokyo is a city of over 13 million. Because it is so vast, we visited only a few places.

Of course we went to the Sky Tree. It was raining, but I was still terrified looking down from 350 meters.  Could not go near that window edge!
 

We took a harbor cruise of Tokyo Bay. I signed us up for the least expensive buffet dinner as I figured we would be more interested in the sights than the food. Fog blocked being able to see the Tokyo bridges and the food was terrible! This Witch does NOT recommend unless a clear, breezy, warm evening.

If you want to do another touristy thing, go to the Harajuku area, known for shopping. If the weather is nice, you will see local teenage girls on a bridge dressed as “dolls.”
The Harajuku area of Tokyo re-enforces the juxtaposition always prominent in Japanese culture: the refined and the crazy. When we were there it was raining, so no Harajuku girls.

We went instead to the Meiji Shrine, which is elegant and worth seeing. The first photo is clip art as I didn’t get a good shot of the shrine!

Scoop water over your hands to cleanse your soul like the locals. And… we were lucky to see a Shinto wedding pass by. 

On another day, we gazed at the Imperial Palace  and my favorite military sculpture  near the palace.

We took the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka.  It is called the shinkansen in Japan. 200 miles per hour! Most locals go for the unreserved seats, but we had our tickets ahead of time.
 

I’ll write more about Osaka and Kyoto soon. I am going back to Osaka for an event mid-May.

Don’t forget to bake!

Check out what the stars say about your May!

The Witch </:)
Fat Witch Bakery
fun starts here