May 2016 A Note from Marcy
Free Apple Cranberry Lawsuit Muffins!
And the May 2016 Best Gifts for Spring from BB
Good morning on this holidayl Monday (in Canada). As a bonus treat, I have put together a round-up of some special products I've been profiling, everything from kitchen things to a new perfume, May 2016 Great Gifts and Products for Spring.
Although I am working on the June issue of BB, I am pleased to share a classic favorite: New Edition Famous Lawsuit Buttermilk Muffins.
Pretty in Pink for May or a Mother's Day Feast, enjoy Free French Strawberry Shortcake, Anzac Bars or FREE Sweet and Tart Rhubarb Pie Dough Strudel. Visit www.Betterbaking.com.
Dear Bakers and Friends,
Whenever it’s time for the monthly Note from Marcy missive, I always check previous issues of BB to see what I wrote that particular month a year ago, five years ago or as far back as the first Note from Marcy in May of 1997. I sniff around to see a theme, a feeling or culinary sensibility.
Most of my May editorials have that ‘spring and hope springs eternal’ vibe which is what a tender May day, with its shoots new rhubarb, Lily of the Valley, and geese winging north is all about. It’s also the month we tip our hats mothers and the sisterhood (be it friends or sibs). Accordingly, I tend to choose baking that’s light and a tad feminine; over the years, there have been teas and scones aplenty. In some past issues, you can also sense the relief in returning to regular, post Passover baking.
While it’s nice to stroll through baking nostalgia, the new BB website launch is a few weeks from now. It’s gorgeous! I expect there to be growing pains for all of us but it will be worth it in terms of how beautiful it looks and how efficiently it will operate (for instance: if you lose your password, it’s you that can get a new one!). My biggest mandate for the new site will be adding photos. BB began before there were (affordable) digital cameras. By the time I got one, BB had over 1500 recipes. So I am starting where I am: adding recipe photos as I can. (Btw there are now over 2550 recipes on this site; the variety is astonishing). My other mandate is a series of E-Baking books with specialized topics. Want to vote? Biscotti, Bagels, Holiday Cookies or Veggie Burgers - what would YOU like to see first? (Write and let me know)
Next week or so, I will also bring you my annual Best Mother’s Day Gift line-up which always features a few amazing perfumes to consider along with some other treats for your moms or as a treat to yourselves. Stay tuned for some amazing gift ideas in crystal, yoga bags, and beautiful journals and perfumes.
Over the years, as host of Betterbaking.com, I’ve been through a few incarnations of taste. I started with the basics I knew best (carrot cake, lots of cheesecakes and bran muffins). Then I segued to what I now refer to as my ‘over-the-top’ baking era (decadent brownies stuffed with Oreos, Fried Oreos, Nutella in everything and double-fudge everything). Now I’m in a new era which is light, globally-flavored foods and the baking is varied – between classic, light, rustic, healthy or more gently ‘over-the-top’. Part of this is just natural evolution: it’s where I am and it’s where the outer food world is as well. Combinations of flavors and international tastes rule and overall, things are rather interesting – and run the gamut of extra healthy (coconut oil, vegan, vitamin-packed waters, Kombucha, chia, hemp and organic everything – all good things) to the next big Cronut (aka: warm pretzels, babka, gourmet donuts and seedy sourdough breads).
But what I noticed about my own baking is that I’m gently tweaking it or changing simple elements or overhauling in service to freshening the recipe or making it more contemporary. In short, I know better now, I bake better and so shall you. Anzac Cookies become Anzac Bars; French Toast gets stuffed and the usual strawberry shortcake with a biscuit base is now uplifted into a French layer cake. Little changes, big results. Much like life. Take another way home, change your perfume, buy another flower for the house, repurpose your furniture - in other words, see everything again for the first time. It’s the epitome of mindfulness when you stop and take a breath and realize – there’s another way to do things. It’s uplifting. In my own case, where I’ve been stubborn, I now say: why not? Where I’ve had a strong stance, I now question it. Even the most maverick among us can get too stuck too to our guns: in our food, our décor, the books we read, the same yoga or aqua fit class we’re married to. In changing it up, you’ll find your spirit also breathes in fresh new air. At the least, you might return to what you already love with renewed vows.
I wish you happy baking this merry month of May. 1, 16
Master Baker, Author
May 2016 Recipes of the Month
FREE French Strawberry Shortcake
Pretty in pink, a wonderful golden cake that is American as strawberry shortcake but with French flair.
Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast with Cidered Apples
Perfect in time for a spring luncheon or Mother’s Day Brunch. Great make-ahead fare.
A chewy, crisp bar based on the famed oatmeal cookie. The cherries really perk this up but omit them if you just want the pure taste of butter, brown sugar in a chewy oatmeal bar. (It's a good base for a granola bar btw - just add the right stuff)
Soft Cherry Biscotti
A gorgeous sweet and a touch tangy (if you use sour cherries) biscotti that features a special spice and an optional sugar cookie. This is the one to dip in a cuppa tea or espresso.
Cranberry Feta Sandwich FREE
Tangy, sweet and salty, the perfect sandwich.
Sweet and Tart Rhubarb Pie Dough Strudel FREE
What's spring without the first taste of rhubarb?
Alphahores or Famous Tango Cookies
These cookies are finally trending – and it’s long overdue. I first created my recipe for these almond scented shortbread, filled with luscious dulce de leche caramel filling when I started tango. It’s my all time favorite cookie alongside shortbread, Tollhouse and Oatmeal. The New York Times had these featured last week (I prefer my recipe) and we (me via the Washington Post) also coincided with babka features. Great baking minds think alike.
Chianti, Black Olive and Parmesan Biscotti
Like the crunch of biscotti but want a savory (salty) munch instead? These are sort of like wine-and-cheese sticks, tender/crisp bites that are nicely eaten, out of hand, with a glass of wine or sangria.
White Chocolate Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
These are moist, incredibly fragrant, health: all in all: a delicious muffin. Coconut oil makes these extra healthy (and the whole-wheat flour) but you can use all butter if you prefer. What makes these amazing is the taste, texture and moistness! These are sooooo satisfying.
Baklavah Scones FREE
Amazing baklavah flavors packed into a handy scone. All the taste, half the work.
My Famous Restaurant Style Caesar Salad with Sour Dough Garlic Croutons
Why do we girls love our salad? Can’t beat a classic or can you? Next time a restaurant wants to charge $16 and more for this legend, make your own. Pack it to go or enjoy it watching Billions.
Maple Rosemary Sweet and Salty Bar Nuts
One friend called this recipe pure crack. I don’t know what she means (and I am relatively sure she’s never had crack unless it’s a fault in her house foundation). But it could be because I ate half of them on the way over to her house, intending to give her the whole jar as a gift. She ate the rest before I left our coffee hour.
Thai Shrimp Satays
Global gourmet is so easy. Add some basmati rice and curried corn salad and you have a banquet. Good hot or cold.
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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.
- 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, Valentineâ€™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 - April 2005 - When Harry Met Salad
- 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 Doesnâ€™t Get Him, Valentineâ€™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 - Itâ€™s All Greek To Me Issue and The Evils of Multi-Tasking
- A Note from Marcy - July 2004 - The Gone Fishinâ€™ Issue/Summer in the River City, A Bakerâ€™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 Feminineâ€¦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 â€“ 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 Bakerâ€™s Beginnings Part 1
- A Note from Marcy - September 2003 - Welcome To Wheatland, a bakerâ€™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
- February 2009 Baker's Stash
- April 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash
- October 2008 Baker's Stash
- May 2010 Baker's Stash
- February 2009 Issue Baking by Heart Copy
- March 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash
- April 2009 Baker's Stash