Vegetables are at their ripest and most delicious near the end of the summer. In August, there’s an over-abundance of zucchini.photo#1


One of my go-to bloggers is Clotilde Dusoulier, who lives in a favorite section of Paris, Montmartre. She shops for ingredients brought into the city from nearby farms. She points out, when zucchini is on the stands, everyone gets creative with recipes. I made her signature pastry from her first cookbook: chocolate & zucchini cake. Deep chocolate flavor and what a delicious way to eat your vegetables!
augcookbook  photo#2


Recently, a vegetarian friend came for dinner, but I had little time to cook. Not to worry. I picked up zucchini from the farmer’s market. We started with zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese. The main dish was kind of a zucchini crostini. I dropped the zucchini whole into boiling water for 1 minute. Toasted bread got slathered with a little olive oil. Then I added fresh tomato slices, sliced zucchini laced with a very little bit of marinara sauce (from a jar) and baked on a pan at 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. 3 minutes before the pan came out of the oven, I sprinkled shredded cheese. Good sandwich/dinner. And wine is plant-based, eh?
photo#4zucchinicrostini  dinnerphoto#3


During the winter, I try not to complain about cold temperatures. NYC summers are awful with cement sidewalks and tall buildings intensifying the heat and humidity. That being said, there are outdoor bars/restaurants only open in the warmest months. With a summer cocktail in hand, I keep my whining to a minimum. Although I couldn’t find any place that serves a zucchini drink (I will work on that), here are two fun local spots:

The Frying Pan is as far west as one can go in Manhattan without plunging into the Hudson River. It is open May through October.     On 26th Street, just past the West Side Highway, walk over a trestle bridge to a few rusty boats, all serving drinks and food. Don’t expect much beyond the great view. However, the sunset is worth the fight for a stool at a bar around 8:30pm during the summer. Always check the website or call since weather and private events can change everything. 212-989-6363.
fryingpanphoto#6  fryingpanphoto#5

The Pavilion restaurant is a gem located at the top of Union Square in Manhattan that’s open until mid-October.  Most of the appetizers and main courses are made with ingredients from Union Square Farmer’s Market. Even if you only belly up to the bar, there’s a nice neighborhood vibe.  212-677-7818.
pavilionphoto#8  pavilionphoto#7

Check out what the stars have in store for you this August.

Happy End of Summer
fun starts now
The Witch </:)

Japan 2016

photo1  photo2
Last month I spent 2 weeks in Japan. I flew from New York (JFK), transferred in Tokyo (Narita) to Osaka (Kansai Airport). It was a business trip.

Fat Witch Bakery is now international! We opened a store in Kyoto, Japan.
Kyoto is a beautiful city 35 minutes north of Osaka via train or an hour by car.  Kyoto is filled with history, including the decision by US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, not to bomb it during WWII as it is symbolic of Japan. Kyoto was the capital centuries before Tokyo.
photo4At a press conference, I was asked, “Why Kyoto, not Tokyo for your bakery?” I answered, “Because Kyoto represents Japan.”

Two days before the store opened, I met with some Kyoto business women. I gave a talk about being an entrepreneur, of course with an interpreter. I did something very American and asked each attendee to introduce herself and say something about her business. There were many beautiful moments, and I was honored to have met such remarkable women.
photo5  photo6

Kyoto is the home of many old temples, including the Buddhist temple Kiyomizu-dera which was built in the 8th century and constructed without nails. There are still a few craftsmen who can build this way and are considered “national treasures.”
The magnificent bamboo path, Arashiyama is nearby. Although it is humid during the summer months, it is not to be missed.
On June 11, 2016, Fat Witch Bakery Japan officially opened. The store reflects traditional Kyoto/Japanese décor.
photo9 (2)
If you live in Japan, you can order Witches online and have the order shipped to you. I brought home many of the Japanese specialty brownies and have enjoyed giving them to friends. You can also order New York style Witches on the Japan website. And there is merchandise you can buy in Kyoto, but not in NYC and vice versa.
We received many congratulation bouquets of orchids from all over Japan. They were beautiful.
I was nervous. Despite my fears (being polite in a Japanese way), everyone was fantastic. I signed cards printed in the USA and customers posed for photos.
photo12  photo13

The generosity of spirit was all around; the Japanese bakery across the street sent over traditional treats.

OSAKA Cuisine
I did not spend all my time in Kyoto; I was in Osaka in the evenings.
Like the USA (East Coast and West Coast), Osaka is a little different from Tokyo. The Kansai area is known for delicious cuisine.
Okonomiyaki (pronounced o-con-o-me-ya-ki) is an Osaka specialty and one of my favorites. It is a Sunday-supper-kind-of meal. Okonomiyaki is a pancake made with freshly sliced cabbage, tossed with special flour, water, eggs, and topped with whatever is leftover in the refrigerator (often bacon, pork, shrimp or beef). There are a few Osaka restaurants that make it perfectly (just like Mom). Forget any place in NYC.
photo15  photo16

I was also taken to a restaurant that makes kushikatsu (pronounced ku-she-cat-su), another Osaka specialty. Absolutely delectable or as they say in Japan, “oishi” (pronounced o-she). Kushikatsu is similar to tempura, but deeper in flavor. The bartender knew someone from NYC was coming. LOL.
photo17  photo18A

I have a friend who lives in Osaka and one night she took me to a restaurant that seats only 14. Each seat at a table has a drawer that holds chopsticks, napkins and surprises (tiny Eiffel Towers). The chef/waiter/busboy/dishwasher was ONE person! If you are in Osaka and want a delicious experience (sort of French food), find CERCLE, but you need to make reservations about one month in advance. No website, only the telephone. I don’t know the number, but probably easier if a local calls and helps find the location.
photo20A  photo19

If you are visiting Osaka, not to be missed is the Osaka Castle. Think beyond Emperor and read up on Shogun(s). This 16th century palace is an authentic view into historic Japan.

The Japanese have a time-honored tradition of gift giving. It is called “omiyage” (pronounced o-me-ya-gay). It was important for me to bring omiyage for our partners. The price is not important, but thoughtfulness is. I brought Oregon hazelnuts, Vermont maple syrup and NY chocolate babka, a Jonathan Adler bowl, as well as Fat Witch NY key chains and t-shirts. In return, I was given a beautiful sake cup from a pottery in Nagasaki. I will always treasure it.

Over the past 6 months, our Japanese partners patiently listened to our baking recommendations. I thank them for always being open to American ways.

In return, we have learned much from them. With deepest respect, their packaging is beyond what we do in the USA! Although the world has already taken note of Japanese presentations, I give a tip of the Witch hat to perfection and we plan to copy many of their ideas!

My niece lives on Okinawa. She flew up to Osaka the day before the opening of the store in Kyoto. I traveled back with her the next evening to spend 2 days on the island. Okinawa is one of the USA’s biggest military bases. This is a plus and a minus for the local population. The plus is we provide jobs; the minus is we are on someone else’s land with our military presence. Acknowledged are the current protests.

The food on Okinawa is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine, so it was different from Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. We went to a traditional Okinawan restaurant for lunch – fabulous and, of course, the food was presented beautifully.
photo25 photo26
Flying back to the USA was a long trek. I started in Okinawa on a 7am flight to Tokyo. I spent 5 hours at Narita, but the shopping is always good at this airport!
After 25 hours in transit, it was wonderful to fly close to Manhattan and know I was HOME.
To celebrate Japan, we’ve created 4 recipes with ingredients and concepts inspired by our Japanese partners. The new Baby Witches will be available in our store on July 5 for at least the next 6 months.  They are delicious!!!!
Check out what the stars will tell you about your July.

Best Witches,
fun starts here

Start of Summer

PSST… online discount!
From 6/01/16 to 8/30/16 you can enter the code summerwitch and get a 15% discount at fatwitch.com.
I must give our webmaster a shout-out. He keeps a cool demeanor no matter what crazy ideas I propose. Thank you Steve!!!
New Gift Box
We have an exciting new 27 Baby Witch gift box in the works. Magnets will hold it all together. NIFTY! They will be available October, 2016. It’s exciting to come up with new packaging and alarming how long it takes from planning to the actual arrival of inventory.
Last month, I spent a long weekend with my friend Doug. Yep, he’s the Black & White Vegan Cookie guy in Fat Witch Bake Sale cookbook, pages 106 and 107. The highlight of the weekend was a food fundraising event where you wear an apron. I painted our aprons and we made the local news.
This month, I plan to do what I love best — curl up with a cookbook. I will be leafing through David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. He is a good writer and was the pastry chef at Chez Panisse in California. I enjoy his blogs immensely.  I hope to make some of his recipes soon!
Read what is in the stars for you this June.

Check out this month’s Recipe File. These are GR8 cookies… perfect baking for teacher thank-you’s. recipefileMilkChocThumb_075
Happy Summer!
fun starts here
The Witch  </:)

Bicycles & Flora

It’s National Bike Month!bikingmonthphoto

If a bike share program can work in New York City, it will work anywhere. This Witch goes from her Manhattan apartment in Union Square to Chelsea not on a broom, but on a bike. The cost in NYC is $155 a year. You take out a bike from a docking station for up to 45 minutes at a clip. There are also day and week passes, but make certain you re-dock every 30 minutes before overtime charges kick in.
citibike   bikepath

I occasionally have been known to yell back vulgarities to truck drivers who seem to love honking and driving very close to bikers. Riding along the Hudson River Greenway is a more leisurely experience. Everyone is polite, including me. There is a lot of flora on this biking/jogging path. Spring came late to NYC this year, so some trees were just popping out at the end of April.

hudsonbikepath3   hudsonriverbikepath1

Some of us live near an ocean, lake or river; some of us are nestled in the mountains; some live in between. Whether you put down roots in Los Angeles, Chicago or Katmandu, there are plants that flower. I’m guessing there are none in the arctic, so please don’t challenge me about “everywhere” on the planet. I am in awe of natural colors. How can you beat that yellow?  This red-orange?

floraphoto1   floraphoto2

When one goes with friends to see a play in NYC, the question is always, “Where should we go for dinner?” I recently discovered Marseille in the Theatre District in Midtown. Good food at reasonable prices. Find this nifty place on Ninth Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets.
restaurant2   Marseillecouscous

Speaking of theatre, this Witch has seen Hamilton.  It is definitely a theatrical experience not to be missed. Coming soon to a few other American cities.

Of course this Witch bought The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher. Interesting to learn about a long-gone era!


Often there is a healthy substitute for a baking ingredient. Check out Yogurt Brownies from my Fat Witch Bake Sale cookbook.

Find out what’s in the stars for you during May.

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


Spring cleaning is universal! Toss out, tidy up, and donate gently used goods to charitable organizations. I am not certain how I accumulate so much stuff. Every other month, I take bags of clothing to Grow NYC. They have a table in the Manhattan Union Square farmers market on some Saturdays. What doesn’t go to homeless shelters is pulverized and used for organic insulation. GR8 idea.

April 22nd is Earth Day. What if we all bought fewer products packaged in plastic? The plastic garbage island in the Pacific Ocean needs to get cleaned up, and one teenager has a brilliant plan.
Some stores around the world are doing pre-cycling. Of course the concept is as old as the first stores. You bring your own bag and containers and fill up on bulk items. Read the article in The New York Times, March 20 Spring Style Magazine.

goodhomephotoIt’s smart to be vigilant about cleaning supplies. Many products have toxic chemicals. Organic is safer. I will happily recommend a company because I can use their products without ill effects. BTW, I am one of those folks who often have allergic reactions to the usual cleaning products. Good Home is my solution.

Chai Wali is a fabulous addition to our neighborhood. I walked by the entrance of this new Harlem restaurant at Lenox Avenue and 124th Street several times. Recently, I decided to stop for lunch. It was a delightful surprise to find true Indian food near our Fat Witch Bakery production site.

Capturechaiwali   Capturechaiwalisalad

I had a wonderful meal of rice pancakes, surrounded by coconut chutney topped with a few drops of peppery hot oil. Delicious! I went back again and took a slight turn from traditional Indian cuisine by having a green salad with chick peas, carrots, and other fresh ingredients. I had it topped with Indian paneer. Their paneer cheese was not to my taste, but the papadum (lentil wafer) was absolutely the best I have ever eaten. I will go back and order a plateful with a side order of cilantro chutney. The background music of American Jazz is lovely. There is an outdoor garden. Oh, and did I tell you their Chai tea is amazing?

CapturelobsterAs you might know, the Japanese are cleaner than clean. At the end of last month, our Japanese partners visited us in NYC. The first thing we did was have American lobster from Maine. It is the best lobster in the world! I will go to Japan in June, and my July Blog will tell of my adventures. There will be much to share.

boywindThe Boy Who Harnessed Wind is an important book. If you are ever uncertain about what you can achieve, erase your doubts. This book contains a message for all of us. Never question your capabilities. Go ahead and do what is needed. I’ve already read the book, but I want to share the inspiration of William Kamkwamba.


Check out your April Witchscope. What do the stars tell you this month?

April is the perfect month to bake. Kahlua Cookies are one of my favorites. I love the sweet and the slightly bitter bite of these treats. Check it out in our Recipe File.
kahlua cookies
Happy April!
The Witch </:)
fun starts here


Random happenings help all of us get through life.

I often take the cross-town bus between my bakery inside Chelsea Market and my apartment in Union Square, Manhattan. The drivers sometimes wait for those of us running to get on after they have closed the doors. It’s random as they can easily turn the wheel and drive away.
I found this honey seller by chance at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. I kinda knew there were beekeepers in New York City, but it never really registered in my mind. Now, I happily contemplate beehives on rooftops in my neighborhood and all over the five boroughs!  Every morning I put a heaping teaspoon of Union Square honey in hot water and drink it as if it is the most delicious cup of coffee. It has helped with my allergies. I am fighting the blooms with the bee honey from the bees who are pollinating the blooms. I don’t care if it is psychological. I’m randomly rolling with it.
These days, most of the time when I eat out, I am heading over to trendy Brooklyn. Okiway in Bushwick (an up-and-coming neighborhood) was my latest excursion to the borough. Their specialty is okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese home-style meal made with shredded cabbage, flour, eggs and whatever is leftover in the refrigerator. It is a favorite of mine and occasionally I make it at home.

I was surprised to find a NYC restaurant that features it. I went with my friend Paul and frankly, I was disappointed. It tasted like cole slaw with bacon on top. Paul was okay with it, saying it was “tasty.” Then again, he had never had this dish before. I will make it for him.
Captureokiway  okonomiyake

This month I plan to read The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt. It is a novel based on a true story about an mathematical genius from India who wrote to someone at Cambridge asking to collaborate. Confession: the laundry room in my building has shelves where you leave your old books and pick up others. This book was a random choice and it looks interesting even though I am far from mathematically brilliant.
Here’s a look a YOUR March.

I bake at home all the time, and I admit to a sweet tooth. This molasses brownie recipe has the perfect sugar boost to keep all of my teeth happy. It will be in our recipe file during March.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The Witch </:)  fun starts here


I love this wall. It is painted on a building on West 17th Street in Manhattan near Sixth Avenue.
I love New Yorkers who wander away from NYC. They usually come back! Consider Jeffrey Tanenhaus who pedaled across the USA on a fat-tired (yes, that word is FAT) shared bike from Citi Bike. If you’re not from NYC, you should know that for a modest annual fee, you can rent a bike for unlimited trips of up to 45 minutes—any time of day or day of year. Jeffrey checked one out last August and continued biking until he reached California. His blog is worth the read and the photography worth the look. We’re not the first to acclaim his accomplishment. He was New York Magazine’s #8 reason to love NYC. Full disclosure: Jeffrey has done some of our social media for a few years. He is now on to bigger and better things, but it was a great ride.

NYC has local establishments that ya gotta love. Greenwich Locksmith is housed in space about 100 feet square. I’ve been getting keys made there for years. Phil is always friendly and told me recently that a bank is offering him money for the spot. Phil plans to hang in there until he doesn’t want to anymore. Thank you, Phil.
NYC used to have a multitude of stores where you would take your old books, get a nickel for each one and then over-spend taking home many more books. We’ve lost many of these independent stores, but not The Strand, which must own its building! An abundance of books are shelved on many floors. I peruse the cookbook section all the time and find treasures I didn’t knew I had to love.
Capturestrand1 Capturestrand2
Most New Yorkers live in apartments with small kitchens. As a result, we go out to eat a lot. And, when we eat at home, dinner is often bought from a local place. Almost every block has a restaurant or two. Some are run by chefs with investors, but many are operated by folks who love to cook and feed the neighborhood.

rainbowfalafel   Capturehummusplatter
The family-run Rainbow Falafel on East 17th street just before Union Square is one of my go-to places. It is so tiny that you might walk right by it. It’s about the size of a walk-in closet. NO tables, but always gracious service. If the weather is nice, have them pack up the best hummus and falafel in Manhattan and take the container to Union Square Park to enjoy while sitting on a bench.

wocancer   girltrain
I love to read. This month I plan to re-read A World Without Cancer. It has information everyone should know, written by Margaret I. Cuomo, MD. I am also about to start Girl On A Train by A.J. Waines. I hope it is an entertaining mystery to balance serious issues.

Check out what lovingly things February has in store for you by going to Witchscopes.

It’s always a good time to bake for those you love. I’m repeating our Red Velvet Brownie in our Recipe File. It’s worth making again and again. Absolutely do the cream cheese icing. You’ll love it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Witch </:) fun starts here


Most January blogs (including mine last year) talk about body cleansing, diet and re-joining the gym. Here’s to lifestyle changes! In 2016, I’ve decided to make those changes and include a few crazy things.

To start the year on the wrong foot, I’m going to cheat and put in something from last year. It’s great to create a list and immediately X-OUT the first item.

Go somewhere unknown and go alone. In August 2015, I was out of my mind with business decisions. I had lots of frequent flyer miles, so I decided to go somewhere I’ve never been for a long weekend in September. I looked at the Delta map and saw that Halifax, Nova Scotia was a direct flight from NYC and less than 2 hours. Yes, a passport was required. Upon landing, I was thrilled to be pointed towards immigration with “Hello, Bonjour.” Despite my best effort to sound French, responding with “bonjour,” each Canadian government employee answered me with, “hello.” Going to Halifax was a bit like taking the subway to Brooklyn or flying to Portland, Oregon. Everything’s hip, and about to be hipper. The restaurants are amazing with local produce. The seafood is delicious. Beer is craft-local and facial hair is on almost every man.
halifaxmussels  halifax3

I plan to figure out my perfect day of relaxing. And, I plan to make it happen. I am willing to bet my perfect day will be different than yours. I think mine will be sleeping late (8am), a long hot shower followed by a long walk, meeting a friend for lunch, reading a good book or perhaps watching a movie and around 6pm, a luscious dinner of lobster bits and a salad. And, back to bed at 9pm. Just writing this sounds lovely.

My 3rd Crazy will be eating something I don’t think I’ll like. I’m going to try to like kale. It’s supposed to have more nutrients per square millimeter than any other food. In 2015, I thought I would swear off cocktail parties if one more bowl of de-hydrated cheese infused kale bits was placed near the bottle of wine. This year, I will try kale at every restaurant I go to (if they have on the menu). Since New Yorkers eat out a lot, I am going to let myself cave after 3 attempts. And if I like something kale, I might become a better person which is a good thing. If I don’t, I will sit down to write, Anyone Else Tired of Kale?


My 4th Crazy will be to do something I’m sure I can do, but still presents a challenge. I ride #citibikes early weekend mornings on the Hudson River Path. No I’m not going to go on Manhattan avenues with traffic. That would be totally crazy. I will stay on the nice FLAT path with a river view. I am going to head north instead of south a few times this spring. I want to do 6 miles, not my usual 3 miles. Wish me luck.
My fear of heights is getting worse. I can no longer take friends or family to the top of Empire State Building. I definitely have not been to the Freedom Tower. I am going to rent The Walk on #netflix and ask my friend Paul to watch it with me. I am hoping to get over some of my fear by seeing this movie. BTW, Philippe Petit likes Blonde Babies.
poster   blondebabies

I love Jacques Pepin. I love his recipes and his French accent. I’m going to read his memoir, The Apprentice. Also, I plan to download The Mark and The Void by Paul Murray. We’ll see how far I get into a novel with international banking as a backdrop.
book1    book2

Try baking with white chocolate this month. Go out and buy the best you can find and then put on your apron!

Check out Witchscopes and see what January has in store for you.

The Witch </:)
fun starts here


The last month of the year is the busiest. Stressful? Yes, but to tell you the truth, it’s robo stress. In December, I’m on auto-pilot.

Friends ask what it is like working in a place that is baking and packaging 20 out of 24 hours. It’s crazy, but thrilling. We are cranking out huge orders and it is exciting to know our brownies are being shipped across the country. The emails (and sometimes hand-written notes) are fabulous encouragement to keep baking the same way we’ve been baking for over 20 years. holidaygifts
A bit of a pat on the back… we still bake in small batches and use the same ingredients we did 20 years ago. The real truth is that we just bake more. We do not use ingredients you can’t pronounce. eggs  floursugar  mixer

We do NOT add a nitrogen flush to the packaging for preservation. (European regulations insist that you do while in the USA they do not.)

Truth be told, the summer is stressful, but in a different way. We are planning and designing for the next 12 months. Imagine thinking about Valentine’s Day packaging on a NYC hot and humid July afternoon!

Another behind the scenes truth—we don’t buy followers on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media. I always knew this was possible, but Fat Witch Bakery has opted for transparency and genuine interactions.

Speaking of transparency, If my employees tell you that I sneak out late afternoon and grab a bite to eat with a glass of red wine, believe them. My new fave place is Mulino a Vino. It’s tucked away down half a flight of stairs on 14th Street near Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. Close enough to our store inside Chelsea Market and exotic enough to be interesting. If you are in NYC, try it. It is New York at its best—intimate, delicious and unique.
Take a look at what December has for you, truthfully.

December is the perfect month to bake. Not only do wonderful aromas fill your kitchen, but also you can gift the results. Nothing better than a home-made gift! Fat Witch Bakery recently worked on a sweet potato brownie to promote healthy eating. Many of the ingredients you already have in your cupboard.
Here’s the how-to video and here’s the recipe.

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

Thanksgiving Decisions

November means Thanksgiving decisions. Where are you going to be? Are you going to travel, or are folks traveling to you?
I love the traditional Thanksgiving meal. The only issue is preparation. I didn’t say “difficult,” it just takes a long time. As I’ve gotten older, I do one of three things:

#1 Host the meal
Get up at 6am and put the turkey in the oven. Then putter around the apartment for the next 6 hours setting the table(s) and basting the bird. Other folks bring side dishes. Around mid-morning, I Citi Bike over to our Chelsea Market store to snatch up dessert. I feel as if I am breaking in, even though it’s my bakery. I wonder if it would be called petty pastry theft? panofpumpkinwitches
#2 Go to someone else’s apartment/house for dinner
Bring a side dish and/or dessert and call it a day. Easy enough! I usually am asked to bring dessert. Again, I usually have to go get the Pumpkin Witches from the store before the subway ride.

#3 Go to a restaurant
I know, I know, this is not exactly what the pilgrims had in mind when they prepared a sit-down feast with the locals, but recently it is a viable option. Many restaurants have ramped up their Thanksgiving fare and are serving decent renditions of the traditional meal.
This year, I am going with option #3 with my family across the country in the Northwest. The Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon will be where I am on Turkey Day.

A word to the wise: if you are making dessert and also love cooking with pumpkin (with or without the spices), stock up on the cans NOW. cansofpumpkinThey are usually available only the last 3 months of the year. AND, truth be told, cans of pumpkin puree are fine! I made pureed pumpkin from the actual gourd once and only once… way too much work for this Witch. pumpkins
I am part way through Hamilton by Ron Chernow. I loved the Broadway theatre production. The book is detailed, to say the least. I plan to finish it no matter what. I am poring over Jennifer McHenry’s 5 Ingredient Baking cookbook. Wow, she’s not only a great baker, but also she did her own photography. Impressive!
book1    book2

Read about YOUR November on Witchscopes.

Bake and be thankful! See our November Recipe File. 020PecanBar_040