All posts by Editor

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

Baking

At Fat Witch, we bake like you do at home, just in bigger batches.

We use ingredients you can pronounce and know. BTW, we use American ingredients, from the chocolate (processed in USA) to the butter, eggs, flour and sugar. Since brownies are an original American recipe, we stay true to our base!

Baking is about precision. I was a young witch with arithmetic abilities. If you have not seen the movie, Hidden Figures — make it a priority. FYI, the first formula young Catherine Goble finished is true mathematics!

I hope you enjoy baking as much as I do. It’s why I wrote 2 cookbooks. I’ve shared what I know about baking brownies and bars as well as my personal recipes for cakes and cookies. We are doing a 2 for 1 cookbook offer on our website available until May 31. If you buy either one, you’ll get the other cookbook for free. What’s sweeter than this?

April 22 is Earth Day. At Fat Witch Bakery, we believe in working towards a clean environment. 95% of our staff takes public transportation to and from work. We are among the folks you see on NYC subways and buses.

Regarding the environment, we admit imperfection. We use some plastic bags at our store because they are stronger than paper ones. We’ve designed them to be as attractive as possible so you will keep and re-use many times. On the bottom, we remind you.

Bright Ideas is on our HOME page. Please send your green idea as we would like to illustrate and share it.

Check out what the stars predict for your April at Witchscopes.

And don’t forget to bake!

The Witch </:)
fun starts here

 

Alexander Hamilton

HAMILTON is the biggest Broadway hit ever in NYC. It is a hip-hop version of the life of Alexander Hamilton, first Treasury Secretary of the USA. Hamilton’s face is on the American $10 bill. The play is still performed in NYC and now, other USA cities. HAMILTON will open in London, England in the fall of 2017. The Blue Coats are coming!!!

Take a Shot
I saw the show when it was first on Broadway. I am not so clever to be able sniff out what will become a sold-out hit. The reality is that a family member was coming to NYC and I wanted to take him to the theatre. NYC theatres are smaller and more intimate than most other cities.

A savvy friend told me to get tickets to a new musical and I took her advice. One Wednesday afternoon I walked up to the box office on West 46th Street and said I wanted two tickets to the Saturday evening performance. I got great seats with the original cast. Those $150 seats now sell for much more and a different cast.
The Room and It Happens
If the play HAMILTON comes near to where you live, this Witch suggests seeing it. It is one-of-a-kind theatre as well as educational.

My favorite song from the play is The Room Where It Happens. It could be because I live in New York and found the first NORTH/SOUTH compromise interesting. The South (Washington, D.C.) got the capital city moved from NYC and the North (New York) got to be initially in charge of the Federal banking system.

History and Its Eyes
Alexander and Eliza Hamilton are buried in Trinity Church graveyard in lower Manhattan.

NYC has quite a number of Alexander Hamilton statues. New Yorkers like him! There is one in Central Park, directly behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Another is in front of Hamilton Hall at Columbia University where Hamilton went to college. It was called King’s College in his day, but most of that campus was destroyed during the Revolutionary War. There is another in front of St. Luke’s church in Hamilton Heights. There are probably more this Witch has not yet discovered.
   

Quiet Uptown
I took a subway up to the Hamilton House in Harlem on West 141st Street. It’s part of the National Park system and free. The house is called Hamilton Grange as it was countryside when Hamilton lived there. When you go, make sure you see the informational movie(s).  Here’s a picture of Hamilton’s portable desk. The first laptop?
Dine with Me Inside
If you want to experience the ambience of an 18th century restaurant, go to Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan. It has been serving meals for over 250 years. Today, the food is not fantastic, but the atmosphere is authentic. George Washington gave a farewell speech to his commanders at this restaurant. And, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr dined together there a few weeks before they dueled. We know how that ended! There is a museum upstairs.


Recipe That Comes Next

I researched what Alexander Hamilton and his revolutionary compatriots might have enjoyed for dessert in 1776.
English pound cake is on the list. Pound cake was named for the weight of each ingredient (butter, flour, eggs, sugar) back in the day. American modern recipes use less of each ingredient, especially butter.

I know the founding fathers drank rum brought up from the Caribbean, so I added a tiny bit. And, I threw in some raisins as they were available in the 18th Century. Here is my Witch version of pound cake:

Witch Pound Cake </:)
Ingredients
½ lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rum
1 tablespoon honey
4 extra large eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup raisins

Directions
Grease and flour 8” loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light.
Add the rum and honey and mix well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder directly into the bowl.
Mix until just combined.
Stir in the raisins.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with only crumbs.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a cake rack for 60-90 minutes.  You can remove the loaf and wrap in aluminum foil.  Okay to freeze for up to 4 weeks.  Thaw for 2 hours before serving.
Slice just before serving.

Your Story
Hamilton was a Capricorn and a great reader. This Witch is certain he would want to know what his stars predict. Read about your March on Witchscopes.

The Witch </:)
fun starts here

BTW, if you’ve seen Hamilton or heard the soundtrack, you’ll notice my tweaking of headers in this blog.

❤ NYC

I walk by this  wall on my way home from my Chelsea Market store to Union Square almost every day. It reminds me why I ❤ living in NYC. I know not everything about New York is beloved. New York is not the most beautiful city in the world. Paris has that honor. And, like Parisians, we are often brusque and impolite. However, NYC has an amazing array of cultures, cuisines, languages and crafts unmatched anywhere.

Many restaurants serve fantastic cuisine in our 5 boroughs. Himalayan fusion sound interesting? Try Café Serai at Rubin Art Museum.

We have the best street hot dogs in the world. Hmmm, could folks from Copenhagen challenge this? How about calling it a tie?

There are one-of-a-kind shops: Tender Buttons is one of them. Yes, you buy buttons and just might rub elbows with a celebrity.

The most famous museums in NYC are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, but there are others. The Firemen’s Museum is among the tiny gems worth discovering.

Party balloons get delivered.

And… we protect our mail!

Read about YOUR February.

And, don’t forget to bake for your sweethearts.

Enjoy winter!
The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

December is always busy, but this year I managed to sneak away for 4 days to Oregon.  It was a new experience to leave baking behind and enjoy Christmas Day.  This Witch hopes to make it a tradition.

It’s a new year and here’s what’s new at Fat Witch Bakery.

Favors Page
We’ve created a FAVORs Page on our website.  Fat Witch loves being the something sweet for your special occasion.  You will need to call us, as all favors are custom.  888-41WITCH (888-419-4824).

27 Baby Magnet Box
This gift box is as magical as the 27 Baby Witches inside.  It is held together by magnets. You will be spell-bound!  Available online and in our Chelsea Market store.

Japanese Collection
Last year we opened a store in Kyoto, Japan.  In Chelsea Market in NYC, we sell Baby Witches, inspired by the Kyoto recipes, but baked in NYC.  Delicious!  Available soon on our website.

Valentine’s Day
Be a sweetheart!  Our tiny bags have been a hit (October, December), so we created a limited edition for Valentine’s Day.  Available online January 14 and in our Chelsea Market store after February 1, while supplies last.

In Japan, women give men Valentine’s sweets.  And, if you are an ex-pat, and want to send American inspired brownies, here’s where to go.  Our Kyoto store has fantastic gift boxes (available only in Japan)!

Check out YOUR January at our Witchscopes.

Here’s to the best 2017 EVER!
The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Ends

Fat Witch Bakery is so busy in December that sometimes we end up extra-loading the last available rack. It’s all good. More racks next year!
photo1
Sending our brownies across the USA is exciting. We are a small bakery with production space in upper Manhattan and ship 7,500 brownies almost every day in December. It takes a bit of magic to rearrange racks to end up with gifts to be shipped.
photo2
We manage to stay talking with each other, although sometimes with a bit of a witchy 
attitude. At the end of the day, we go home and get ready for the next. ☺

One of the items we often sell out of is Witch Ends, which are created by cutting off the edges from pans of Fat Witch Original and Carmel Witch brownies. Thank goodness our sales are increasing so we can keep up. One of these days, we will need to bake just for this product.
photo3  photo4

I have been pondering lately about popular thinking. At one point in time, people thought the world was flat. Up until the 16th century, this seemed logical. Thank goodness some observant folk noticed ships dropping off the horizon. What one saw was not really the end.

At the other end of the Pacific Ocean from California is Asia. 2016 has been a great year! We opened a shop in Kyoto, Japan.
photo5
Despite being at the end of popularity for this book, I loved it. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is delightful. On a winter afternoon, it’s the perfect read. BTW, it was originally written in Swedish. While I usually steer clear of novels translated into English, this book is a charmer in any language.
decbook
Check out your December Witchscopes.
And, don’t forget to bake.
photo6  happyholidaysdrawing

Happy Holidays!
The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Lettuce Soup

You might be doing a double-take after reading the title of this blog. When I told a friend, she said, “Huh? Let us oop?” Maybe I slur my words.

I started making lettuce soup a couple of months ago after I heard about it on radio’s The Splendid Table. Lynne Rossetto Kasper suggested lettuce soup to a call-in listener who wondered what to do with an over-abundance of home-grown lettuce. FYI, other chefs make it, including Emeril.

Lettuce soup will be the starter at my vegetable forward Thanksgiving meal. Hence, the emphasis on greens from the get-go.

Here’s how I’ve been making Lettuce Soup for the past 2 months, experimenting on adventurous friends.

I buy my lettuce (and most of my produce) at the Manhattan Union Square farmer’s market.  It is as fresh as one can get unless one makes a living off the earth. If there are no local vegetable stands near you, grocery store Romaine or a Mesclun mix should be fine, but I would steer clear of Iceberg (too much water). You can substitute fresh spinach for a heartier flavor.
photo1
Here’s my version of Lettuce Soup:

Saute 1 medium onion coarsely chopped with 3-4 peeled whole cloves of garlic for 5-7 minutes in olive oil in a deep pan. Pour in a quart of vegetable broth (use chicken broth if you prefer a deeper flavor). Add water to boost the volume, if needed. Bring all to a boil and then toss in torn lettuce and stir. Do not worry about pieces being the same size. Cook for 2 minutes on reduced heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Put everything into a blender (2 separate portions unless you have a really big blender/Cuisinart) on chop for 1 minute or less. You are not looking for a complete puree. You are trying for a soup that has lettuce in small bits. The Splendid Table recommended blending in yogurt to the soup stock. I stir in 2 tablespoons at the last minute before serving. On Thanksgiving, I will boil a carrot and slice it paper-thin. Going for presentation as well as taste!
photo2

Next up will be Turkey Risotto, a riff on tradition. My risotto will incorporate cooked turkey breast, mushrooms, asparagus and sit on top of fresh chives. There are many online risotto recipes. Discover what suits you. I add the turkey, mushrooms and asparagus near the end so they are not over-cooked. I plate the risotto on top of uncut chives. Again, going for the visuals.

There are many things to do with Arborio rice. Get creative! Remember 1 cup of uncooked rice will yield about 3 cups cooked.

Every main dish deserves side dishes. My vegetable forward meal will include Brussels sprouts which are abundant in the fall. Of course, I go to the farmer’s market. I cut the sprouts off the stem, wash and slice in half. I toss the slices with sesame oil and saute for a few minutes. I transfer the pieces to a shallow ceramic pan with about a half inch of water and braise for 20 minutes in the oven at 300 degrees and then broil for 1-2 minutes.
photo3   photo4

A nod to the traditional will be on the menu. I will use the NY Times Cookbook (from way-back) recipe for home-made cranberry sauce. I put in half the sugar and don’t bother with the almonds. There are also tons of online recipes and usually instructions are on the package. You’ll never buy a can of cranberry sauce again once you see how easy it is to make your own. I scoop the prepared cranberries onto a slice of orange for a tang of flavor and color.

I think the meal will be a winner, even if not the usual spread.
photo5
For dessert, the morning of the 24th I’ll bike over Chelsea Market to lift some Pumpkin Witches from Fat Witch Bakery. If you don’t live in NYC, you can bake these delicious treats from the recipe in Fat Witch Brownie cookbook, pages 126 and 127.
cookbookphoto6a

I have never been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at street level.  I’ve often watched it from a friend’s Central Park West apartment. Not this year, I will be making Lettuce Soup.
photo7

May your Thanksgiving be bountiful with friends and family!
pilgrimwitch
The Witch </:)
fun starts here