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.
postcardfront
I must give our webmaster a shout-out. He keeps a cool demeanor no matter what crazy ideas I propose. Thank you Steve!!!
webmasterdraingw
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.
Capturemagnetbox
Ohio
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.
Captureaprons
Book
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!
cover
Witchscopes
Read what is in the stars for you this June.

Recipe
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
BIKE SHARE

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

FLORA
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

RESTAURANT
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.

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

maybook
FAT WITCH RECIPE

Often there is a healthy substitute for a baking ingredient. Check out Yogurt Brownies from my Fat Witch Bake Sale cookbook.
019YogurtBrown__025

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

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

Clean

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.
Capturefamersmarketstand

HOW ABOUT?
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.
Captureplasticspinach2
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.


PRODUCTS
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.

NYC RESTAURANT
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?

JAPAN
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.

BOOK LIST
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.

WITCHSCOPES

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

BAKING
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

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.
bus
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.
honeyseller
RESTAURANT
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

BOOK LIST
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.
marchbook
WITCHSCOPES
Here’s a look a YOUR March.

BAKING
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.
Capturemolasses2

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

LOVE

I love this wall. It is painted on a building on West 17th Street in Manhattan near Sixth Avenue.
Capturewall
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.
IMG_4603
IMG_4556

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.
glocksmith
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.

BOOK LIST
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.

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

RECIPE
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.
008RedVelvet_160

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

Crazy

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.

CRAZY #1
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

CRAZY #2
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.
IMG_1133

CRAZY #3
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?
kale


CRAZY #4

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.
citibike
CRAZY #5
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

BOOK LIST
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

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

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

The Witch </:)
fun starts here

Truth

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!
valentines

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.
mulinoevino
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.
recipe112020152x
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
READING LIST
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

Beginning

When colorful leaves appear on trees, it signals the year is ending.
At Fat Witch Bakery, it means the beginning of our busy season.

fallphoto1
Big news is that you can now do multiple shipping on our website.   You will get only one charge, but be able to ship different things to different people.  To do multiple shipping, you’ll have to create My Account at Fat Witch, but it’s easy!  Check out information on the left side of the HOME page.

You might want to be thinking of your Halloween gift list.  You’ve got one, don’t you?  Look for an eblast in early October with a 20% off PromoCode if you do Multiple Shipping.

Over the summer, I worked on new packaging.  Our Chelsea Market customers like our new take-away bags available when you make a purchase.  And, we have a new t-shirt available only at our Chelsea Market store.  We’re thinking about putting it on our website in 2016.   We’ll see how it sells in the store first.
photo2 photo3

Our new eco-friendly bag is available at our store and online www.fatwitch.com as well as our new mug.

newtotebag photo5

Of course my mind is on Halloween, my favorite holiday.  We give out Fat Witch Babies to all folks in costume on October 31.
photo6

Living in NYC & need a Fat Witch Fix Fast?  Check us out on AmazonFresh.  Go to www.amazon.com  and use search words “Fat Witch Bakery.”
photo7

Here’s to the start of a beautiful friendship in Japan!  You can now order Fat Witch online in Japan at www.fatwitch.co.jp.  Many Fat Witch products can shipped to you within Japan.  Our partners will be at local Osaka & Tokyo events this Fall.  We’ll keep you in-the-know of what’s going on via Twitter @fatwitch.  Some of the Witches are our New York recipes; some are deliciously geared to local Japanese ingredients.  How’s that for Witch sisterhood?

This Witch will have a book signing in Rhinebeck, NY on Saturday, October 17th.  If you are nearby, please stop in at Blue Cashew Book Store and say hello.  I will be ever so grateful for a friendly face.  Alice Waters  is doing a book-signing the next day.  She is one of my #heroes  (heroines).
drawing8

READING LIST
I always have books on my bedside table and many on my Kindle.  Reading is my great escape.  Here’s what’s up next for me:
Redeployment by Phil Klay and Personal History by Katharine Graham
personal          redeploy

HALLOWEEN
It’s getting near the time to decide what you’re going to hand out as treats for Halloween.  Go with apples if you must, but remember your reputation in the neighborhood is at stake.  If you don’t want to give out candy – a healthy baked bar is a delicious substitute.  See below for a recipe.

Here is what is in our Recipe Box for October.
recipe102015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read about your witchpower at with our Witchscopes.

Happy Halloween!
photo9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Witch </:)  fun starts here

Brooklyn

photo1Less than a decade ago, many friends moved to Brooklyn for a better neighborhood experience. Where was I when they were buying apartments for less $$$ than Manhattan?  Prices are now reversed. This Witch is too late to that real estate party.

The borough of Brooklyn has always had fabulous restaurants, but now the choices are beyond fab. This past August, my friend Paul and I ate dinner together a lot. I wrote earlier this year about our amazing meal at Take Root.  At the time, I wasn’t aware it had been listed as one of THE BEST by New York Magazine in 2014.

Here are a few other places we liked:

If you are curious what a local bar was like 100 years ago, go to Brooklyn Inn on Hoyt Street.  No fancy, fussy drinks here… just the basics with one bartender fueling up 20 people sitting on stools. Dark wood paneling and a tin ceiling top-off the century-old ambiance. Read a review here.
photo2

The Good Fork  (website) This Red Hook restaurant serves American cuisine with a Korean accent and is perfect for Sunday brunch. I loved their bibimbop.
bibimbop

French Louie
  (website) Their French-American cuisine is delicious. We loved the latest rage from France (probably already passé in Paris) of radishes plated to be scooped up in room temperature unsalted butter and a bit of shaved black olive.
photo4   photo5

If you are in lower Manhattan and in the mood for exercise, walk or bike over the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s easy!
brooklynbridgeIf you decide to take the pedestrian route over the East River, step down on the Brooklyn side, turn right under the bridge and slip into the River Cafe (website). If it’s a weekend, cozy up to the bar after 12pm and enjoy what I consider the best Bloody Marys in the City of New York.

These Bloody’s (New York-ese for Bloody Mary) have a quiet bite of horseradish combined with a zip of lemon and a celery stalk. The current bartender, Gary, told me they use the recipe created by the restaurant’s first bartender. Watching tugboats roll by at eye-level is a good way to spend an hour.
photo7   photo8


BESIDES BAKING

I love heirloom tomatoes.
photo9They are especially delicious at the end of the summer. Maybe it’s knowing soon they are not going to be available ripe off the vine that makes them taste even better. I picked out a couple late in August at my local farmer’s market. I coarsely chopped them along with an avocado, tossed both in freshly squeezed lemon juice, added diced scallions and surrounded the plate with taco chips. Had a Manhattan neighbor over for drinks (Oregon Pinot Noir) and served this guacamole riff.
photo10


READING LIST

ThousandSuns   margmead
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I gained a better understanding of Afghanistan. I am half-way through Jane Howard’s biography of Margaret Mead, A Life. She was an amazing woman, but I am getting bogged down with details. Printed in 1984.

Read about YOU this September at Witchscopes.

And don’t forget to bake… Blondies!
Blonde_014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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