Current Issue
BB Past Issues
A Note From Marcy
Complete Recipe Index
Subscribe to BB
Subscriber Sign In
Free BB Classics
About Us
Contact Us
When Bakers Write - Features
Scent of A Baker
Books
Music and Dance
Product Reviews

A Note from Marcy

 A WEEKEND BAKING COLLECTION

 

Potato 'N Cheddar Scones FREE
Restaurant Style Chicken Vegetable Soup FREE
Plain, Simple, Beautiful Biscotti di Nonna


Macintosh Apple Buns Fabulous apple Danish in a snap. A collector's recipe.
Cuban Bread Get the fixin's while the bread is baking. A sandwich supreme.
One-Bowl Cinnamon Crumb Coffeecake A treat for drop by guests or a cozy weather cake
Country Pea Soup Savory and soothing
Yeasted Blueberry Scones Something different but outstanding-a sweet bread or scone?
Bagel Bread Chewy, deep golden crusted, cue the cream cheese
Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins Fruit, fiber, flavor.
Cinnamon Raisin Schnecken Buttery little pastries to tease the palate.
Pizza Hut Style Pizza Dough Panko or Japanese Bread crumbs are key. Kid easy, adult appeal.

 

THE VALENTINE'S DAY BAKING COLLECTION
Something for your sweetie and you and yours?

!!!FREE!!!  Valentine's Day Special Chocolate Chip Cookies Another winner for your CCC Collection
 Heart of Vanilla Shortbread Pure of heart.
 Something smooth, warm, and mellow for the cookies
(The last time we published this recipes, 2000 people downloaded it!)
Valentine's Day Truffle Raspberry Cake For someone really special
Caramel Toffee Turtle Bar Cheesecake An alternate flavor route to true love
Trending Decadent Warm Chocolate Cake There's a reason why some recipes are hot.
This is our best for your better half
Baby Belgium Chocolate Cheesecake For Two Decadence in a minimalist approach
Old Fashioned Sweet Yeast Rolls Lightly sweet, for tea time and sweet talk
Heart-Shaped Decadent Brownies Sinful and yet....angelic brownies in a pretty shape
Wedding For Bella Biscotti One of our biscotti best
So easy, so good, so pleasin'
Rocky Road Fudge What's Valentine's Day without da fudge?
French Chocolate Cookies Reprise of a sophisticated winner

A Note From Marcy

The Cupcake Runneth Over Issue of BetterBaking.Com
February 2005

!!!FREE!!! Classic Butter Vanilla Cupcakes 
Secret Pastry Chef Buttercream & Cupcake Frosting
Black and White Cupcakes with Truffle Frosting
Country Kitchen Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cupcakes with Double Chocolate Frosting
Oh-So Coconut Cupcakes

And more good stuff……


The Big Cookie or BisCookie

Sweet Blueberry Pie Filling Coffee Cake

Best Ever Sticky Chicky

"To love one's self is the beginning of a Lifelong romance'
Oscar Wilde

(OR He's Just Not Into You versus She Just Doesn't Get You)

Dear Friends and Fellow Bakers,

Do you ever feel like a kid – all energy, news and bubbling enthusiasm you hardly know where to begin? I do. I have been baking for weeks to bring you some special things for this lovely month, as well as speaking to artists for this and other upcoming BB covers, and in general, doing all the behind-the-scenes stitching together of another issue of baking and eclectic thoughts and words to match. While many of you have been sleeping and wondering what to wear to the Oscars, the village baker has been happily toiling away on this new issue. It always starts the same way: I am convinced there aren’t enough recipes or there are too many. Mostly, I fret about how to somehow combine baking and writing and yet, somehow, that too, gets solved. Each issue of BetterBaking.com, regardless that it is online, is indeed, a huge undertaking, as any monthly publication is. It is, as it has been, from day one, a labor of love. Your incredible letters and notes is what keeps BB ticking and convinces me, what we are about is so beyond ‘just baking’. It's not just about the bread". The spirit of BetterBaking.com visitors is unique. As a bunch, you are insightful, giving, energetic, upbeat people with hearts as big as a double oven restaurant range and a warmth to match. It is clear in each and every email I get. But baking is indeed, our meeting place and our starting point.

As an FYI, BB’s visitors are largely from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. and remarkably from the Philippines, the Netherlands, and Latin America. To all, and always, welcome.

Cupcakes, as you can see, are in, although no baker worth their salt needs trends to give them the all clear sign on cupcakes. Frankly, I am not surprised cupcakes are hot. They are a post carbohydrate hiatus perhaps, and a gentle way to re-introduce someone to baking or even a baker, back to the kitchen. Plus….cupcakes are small, neat  and consumer friendly in all the ways you would want (compact, easy, fuel efficient, and more flavors than Ford ever offered). ‘Course, no one lives by cupcakes alone (although I have tried) and I have rounded out the menu with some other recipes fresh from my kitchen to yours. These days, there are tons of different sizes (and shapes) of cupcake pans (or mini muffin pans) and liners, and decorations to be had. Most cupcakes freeze well and it goes without saying, they are a lovely Valentine's Day treat (but I will be sending out some more suggestions, name chocolaty things, soon). Smear on frosting any way you can but do try using a pastry bag and a star tip for the professional look. Even a poor job of it will result in rather luscious looking cupcakes. But enough on cake. Let’s talk…..other passions. 

She Just Doesn't Get You or Finding a Passion Of Your Own.... 

What’s on my mind lately is Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo book, He’s Just Not Into You (and my address is more towards Greg since he is an admitted rake in recovery) I know, it’s risky for a single woman to take on Greg but this is about the gist of what I figured out from this book. First, (and Greg will have you believe this of most men),  some men are rude and/or chronically ambivalent and only become ‘better’ men when/if they fall in love. In other words, they need the incentive to be upright citizens.

Two: never mind the iffy (and natural, awkward) pace of the dance of love; if it doesn’t happen by the second half hour of your favorite reality show,according to Greg,  it is not meant to be and ego, ‘he is just not into you[‘. So much for that thing called flow, the allowance for timing, different styles of courting, and the excruciatingly, exciting mixed messages that are part and parcel of romance. I mean, truly, if you read the New York Times Vows page it is clear that the path of true love is anything but a straight arrow.

What bothers me is that despite some perfectly helpful home truths on dating that will do a ton of women and men, a world of good, Behrendt paints a picture of most guys being total cads unless inspired to change and only with the motivation of enduring love in the offing…..which means, few men are gentlemen (patently untrue) and gals are just ‘wasting the pretty’. Silence is the new ‘no good news’ or as a friend of mine notes, ‘silence IS a message’.

He’s Just Not Into You is meant to make women gather their self-esteem, count their losses and the blessings and move quickly move on and up. Well, it works both ways. Somewhere someone should be writing the satirical come-back to He’s Just Not Into You because the fairer sex is not always fair, nice, and consistently good mannered either.

No one has dibs on bad form in the dating world. Since is pre-Valentine’s Day, and I have a few spare minutes, the least I can do is an outline for my own come-back book. It is called She Just Doesn’t Get You.  It is based on what I know from my own experiences, those of pals, and mostly, listening to all the gentlemen at the gym, on first dates, tango, platonic friends, who have generously shared their own side of things.
 
She Just Doesn’t Get You
Marcy Goldman

You’ve heard of He’s Just Not Into You? Here’s the other side of the dating coin! Dedicated to confused men everywhere.

Chapter One
She’s Hot, She’s Cold,You thought she was the one…..
How women think, enjoy being chased, and then abruptly get out of the game before you've finished pretending you also read Oprah magazine. If you’re a guy, you’re pegged Ambivalent, Can’t Commit, and Eternal Peter Pan.  For gals, it’s simply a matter of Changing Her Mind, a woman’s prerogative. Think you had her at café latte? Think again. She just doesn’t get you ….move on (and take your inner child with you).

Chapter Two
Electronically Yours…..Online Dating, ads, and long distance
SWF looking for SWM with BMW.......or "Loves to cuddle, take long walks, sit by the fire, watch dvd's and eat pasta puttanesca and looking for a guy to make me laugh” What is it with women who want a guy that makes them laugh? Is it you or are all women on line, beginning to seem the same? Are they looking for you or hoping to be found or simply, trolling the cyber seas.

Chapter Three
Missing In Action:
She doesn’t answer email, she’s always out, and four guys called her on her cell while you were seeing What the Bleep Do We Know…..the thrill and the gal are gone……and yet wasn’t the very last thing she said to you, coyly and sweetly, was “Call me!”. How to deal with Cinderella once the ball is gone and you still have to pay the cab fees on the pumpkin. Weren’t you courting and nice? Sure you were. But she just doesn’t get you plus you committed the worst of all possible sins: you were nice. Horrors.

Chapter Four
The Subject Was Roses
Gifts, guys, and dolls – or whadda you have to do/buy/ to make her love you?
The gift game and what it means or, she just doesn't get you. It’s a war out there, in the gift circuit – right gift, wrong timing, right time, wrong girl, right girl, right gift, wrong occasion. You could have been heroic in a million other, real ways but if you miss a beat on the present circuit, woe to you, sir.

Chapter Five
Feminine, Feminist, Feminine Feminist
Or, Rapunzel Meets Snow White Meets Medusa Meets Desdemona Meets Helen of Troy Meets Daddy’s Girl – or Fear of Female Archetypes in Contemporary Dating
They’ll get you coming and going and change their vote just when the tab comes to the table. We gals can’t lose, you gents can’t win.

Chapter Six
Ricky Don’t Lose That Number, or You Thought There was a Connection
By the time you drive home from that great first or third date, feeling euphoric and on to a good thing, she has already called 12 of her closest girlfriends, each and everyone who has convinced her you are not only ‘not the one’, but a lesser prospect and possibly an ax murderer. How could that special connection go so wrong, so quick? Easy: gabby girls. Meow.  Bottom line: real connections take real time. Until more time passes, the dust settles, and reality bites – you have no idea what sort of collision did just occur.

Chapter Six
Alas poor __________, We Knew Him Not
Alas, she’s knows you not because she is still hung up on your predecessor and until she is over him, she’s just doesn’t get you. Doesn’t matter you’re better looking, nicer, wiser, funnier; like anything else, people like the old model better. Good luck. For sure, she just doesn’t get you. She is still into …..him.

Chapter Seven
Let’s Just Be Friends or When Harry Met Sally in Real Life.
Right. Nuff said. If this made sense, there wouldn’t be any self-help and relationships section in Barnes and Noble.

Chapter Eight – A Matter of Timing or Timing is Everything
Everything went so well. You could swear this was It. Thing is, we all wander into each other’s lives, already running like plays set in motion. Who knows which part of the act you are in and what character you have. Accept there is a great mystery and if it was right, or time, she would indeed, get you.

Chapter Nine
Don’t Waste the Macho
Greg B’s version is, ‘Don’t waste the pretty’ – Ditto for guys: don’t waste the machismo.

Ok. I think it is out of my system!

Pop culture books aside, romance is always in the air for passion is love and romance’s legitimate child. Passion is the catchword these days and something everyone wants a taste of – single or not, married happily or not. Passion is addictive for when you are in the throes of it, you feel so alive, vital and incredibly positive. Who doesn’t thrill to the very word: passion? Indeed, the best and most familiar place to find passion does seem to be within the confines of a new romance. Which leaves the rest of us, most of the rest of the time……where, exactly?

Ah, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You do not have to spend the ‘in-between time’ waiting for passion to knock on your door.

Consider this: EACH time I am slated to present a talk on ‘finding passion in your life’ (a subject the Montreal Gazette advertises I offer as one of their public speakers), invariably, nay, consistently, the very night I have to give said speech, I feel blah. More than blah, I feel positively sucky. It is an unbelievably ironic occurrence. Yet, I have to go and bubble and captivate and somehow, pretend I am feeling….ah, well, passionate. High on life.  Right.

Midway through such evenings, a funny thing happens. I forget I could have been home watching Big Man on Campus and notice my audience responding to what I am saying. I discover that even at my worse there is still some energy left. My energy not only returns but also escalates. Turns out, I have something to say that seems to cheer, warm or make those people smile. My most ordinary moments become framed by their response.  Cleary, something ignites. By evening’s end, I am once again, back in the saddle of my own life. I remember I like people, or new rugulah recipes, or the look of the snow falling, as I drive home, with a musical remix of a Nora Jones song (which is, bless Nora, sort of like elevator music made into more elevator music, i.e. redundant) with my drive-thru acquired Iced Mocha Cappuccino with the fake whipped cream.

The same phenomena happens at tango where on occasion, I drag my feet and decide I will leave if no one asks me to dance in minus 2 seconds. But then I see some novice fellow sitting and not dancing and I ask him (when no one is looking). He turns out to be so appreciative that he passes his glow to me and before I know it, I am all smiles and boleos and the mood catches and my dance card fills up rather quickly. And the same thing again happens when I feel out of sorts and sniff out friends and other company and coffee turns into laughter and I realize, how perfectly swell the modest minute can be. I, (and you or anyone), can create something from nothing – sort of a stone soup, spiritually spurred into a vital simmer.

There are two things I conclude about all this. One is: you give, you get. To paraphrase, John F. Kennedy, ask not who can love you, ask who you can love.  Looking for passion as well as love (color yourself single, bored, having some marital or coupledom ennuie) is a poor woman and poor man’s game. It is like being empty, looking for another empty well to fill you up. I mean, how silly (but human) is that? Which is also why He’s Just Not Into You really does not make a dent on those of us who know we are goddesses, looking for gods. You want ‘full wells’ happily, accidentally, bumping into other full wells – not void ones hunting down other void ones to perhaps make one half full one (and also factoring the lack of fit between two full wells, which is also possible)

The second conclusion about all this is: if you wait long enough, something will catalyst you back into the passion lane. Unless you are an horrific hard sell, there is always something to fall in love with: the way that lady was nice to you in line at the bank, the store manager extending your rain check on chocolate chips, the person who returned your wallet, the man that let you have his parking space, the way the world responded to the recent Tsunami. Moreover, and this is perhaps the death knell of romantic love but the overdue birth of a solid ego: the truth is, lots of our best times, most unfettered, happy times are not on our second honeymoon, great first date, or dancing the perfect dance (although that is tough one to admit) or the roses on Valentine’s Day. It is when we are alone – totally, absolutely in love with our own lives, committed to the very moment at hand.

Funny thing is, you can choose this each and every hour or each day. Chances are, when you do that, you will find yourself rewarded with fine company and those great one-on-one times will be shared times in a host of ways.

In the film, Keeping the Faith, the old priest advises the younger one who is question his own devotion that the Church is sort of like a marriage. You ‘decide’, to fall in love again, every ten years or so. Similarly, you can ‘opt’ to fall in love with your own life and renew your vows, so to speak, each and every moment. You do not have to wait until someone entertains you or renews your option or is ‘into you’. You are the center of that marvelous party place called Passion. You are your own best.....soulmate. Accept no substitutes. It is not happening elsewhere; it is starting at home base. Say ‘yes’ to your own, inner proposal. And then, as the song goes, and each day, is will truly be…….Valentine’s Day.

I hope to drop by again with some more Valentine’s Day suggestions and perhaps a Super Bowl food idea or two. What do I know about the Super Bowl? Easy: three sons in Canada and an on-going hockey strike. It’s a no brainer.

As always, wishing you sweet times, both in and out of the kitchen,

Marcy Goldman
Editor, Host, Writer
www.BetterBaking.com


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, Ive 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.

Printer-Friendly VersionRecommend This Page

 BakerBoulanger / BetterBaking.com 1997-2003