January 2010 Baker's Stash
Photo Credit Ryan Szulc, from The New Best of BetterBaking.com
A shot of baking in action from BB Test Kitchens.
Dear Friends and Fellow Bakers,
Happy New Year and welcome to 2010 and a brand new season of baking.
In this issue, I’ve given you some heartwarming cooking to go with the baking. As the warmth of the holidays leaves and all we are left with the chill factor of a brisk day in January, I thought we could all use some hearth-style cooking. Inasmuch as I love baking, I am up for a hot soup, and some great chicken and beef casseroles. Add a rustic bread or two, and I’m ready for more baking.
As for the baking in this issue, it’s a range of comforting things that are all M.I.A. What is MIA? Not missing-in-action recipes but Make It Again recipes. It’s an expression coined by Louise, one of my testers. She dubbed the most winning recipes of mine MIA. Funny, often times I can’t find a recipe in my own files and for me, that is another MIA sort of recipe.
Specifically, what recipes get an MIA seal of approval? To me, such recipes should be easy, ingredients are at hand (no special trips out, on a cold, winter night), the flavors are outstanding, the texture is remarkable and no one can stop raving and asking, ‘when are you making that again”. Hence, MIA. Anything less than a memorable recipe, in a sea of superb recipes, really doesn’t merit your time, energy and muffins.
I also would like to share a little story. It’s about abundance. Given the economy, I think you will find it cheering. It falls into ‘one never knows’ about anything.
A few years ago, I met a fellow single mother at one of my son’s baseball teams. She was plucky and down to earth and had two sons. Like me, she was self-employed. I will tell you what she did in a sentence of two. One day she told me, that single or not, wealthy or not, she was taking her two boys for a vacation to Florida and Disney World. How could she afford to go? She was taking them by bus (from Montreal!) and they had saved up cash to do this. She intended (and did so) to load up on food to eat all the way down to save on restaurant meals. They had a great trip and I was ever amazed at her courage and resolve, and how she did what she wanted to do – but in her style and by her means. Anyway, I asked what she did and she told me she made cotton tote bags for stores and promotional purposes. I thought cookbooks were hard work. I wondered how one could make a living making cotton tote bags. That was 6 years ago. Who could have foreseen that tote bags would be the new thing. Tote bags, like graphic tee-shirts, are the hottest trend. They are fashionable, fun, and politically correct, being oh-so-green. I see this tote-bag lady in my gym from time to time. She flies to Florida now, and all over the world, getting price quotes for her tote bags (some of which have made it to Bloomingdales and Barnes and Noble, among other fine clients). She bought her boys each a condominium and found love with a man that was at first her employee and now her husband. I still remember thinking she was brave to live her life on her terms. And now I also think she was wiser and more visionary than I knew. Abundance is everywhere ….potentially.
And on that note, I wish you all the best for the year ahead, happy baking, and an abundance of all the things you want to put in your tote bag of life.
Best Ever Sticky Chicky
Sticky chicky or chicken or whatever you want to call it, this luscious chicken recipe has as many variations as there are chickens. Given my druthers, I would make this with bone-out but skin-on, chicken breasts. It is as good with chicken parts (drumsticks lovers take heart) and that is how we tested our quintessential ‘sticky chicky’ in the BB Test Kitchen. If you can, marinate this overnight. But if not – it is still stupendous: sticky, sweet, garlicky, tangy……great. Serve with a green salad a fluffy, coriander and cilantro infused basmati rice.
Braised Short Ribs or Pot Roast FREE!!!
Onion soup powder, wine, and ketchup? Yup, it makes for an easy to assemble main dish of tender, deeply flavorful shorts rib or a nice, tender, sliceable pot roast. If you prefer stew, use 3 pounds of lean stewing meat to replace the short ribs. Adding potatoes to the meat during the last hour of roasting makes this an all-in-one meal. You can also try this in your crock pot.
Italian Market Restaurant Soup with Chorizo !!FREE!!
This is my best soups. Of course, I always think and consequently declare that but this one is outstanding. The larger chunks of vegetables make it different than usual homemade vegetable soups as do the hunks of chorizo (cooked) sausage which give the soup a bit more body. Serve this rustic soup in crockery bowls, with hunks of garlic croutons on top, with an Asiago gratin.
Golden Popover Chicken
A recipe I am legend for – in unofficial circles. This is an easy dish with a dramatic and unique presentation that is wonderfully inviting. Browned chicken pieces line a casserole and then a special, savory popover batter is poured over. The batter puffs up and the result is golden hunks of chicken, nested in a crispy, tender golden popover crust. Serve the optional mushroom sauce on the side with a green salad. This recipe launched my food career when it won a main dish contest years ago, when I was but a teen. Although I became a pastry chef and baker (and not officially a cook or cuisiniere), I took that first (and only) blue ribbon as a sign of culinary calling. This recipe, regardless of the trends of the day, still makes anyone at my table spontaneously go 'wow'.
Thai Hot and Sour Soup
A magnificent version of this amazing soup. No need to go out or order out. Just find great big bowls that you can shlurp from.
Asiago and Cheddar Walnut Bread (or Rolls)
This savory bread (or buns) is rustic, satisfying and very different. The buttery nuttiness of the pecans goes well with the buttery, nippy taste of the Asiago. Use Wisconsin Asiago for this. A sponge made the night before, is the foundation of this great recipe.
Apple Cider Biscotti
I love spice, love apples, and am long smitten with the rustic, heart-healthy goodness of oats. Put it all together in a luscious biscotti to nibble on and the love affair begins. In Prairie ‘n pioneer days, dried apples were something to rely on in winter baking. In this biscotti, the dried apple is another apple-y dimension. Dried apples are available wherever you find dried fruits such as apricots and cranberries. Plump them first to make them softer and get the full flavor out of them. I sometimes glaze these with an confectioners’ sugar glaze that uses apple cider or apple brandy (Calvabec or Calvados) as the liquid (versus water or milk)
Fudge Toffee Scones
Chocolate and butter marry up in a quick little tea pastry, aka not-your-average scone. These are brownies in taste, but pastry in texture. Small hunks of semi-sweet chocolate bars spruce up the deal. Delectable, decadent, delicious! Chopped up Heath Bars or Skor Bars are like buried treasure in these desserty-scones. Knead the dough gently or leave the batter soft and scoop and plop to create tender drop scones. Deposit a square of milk chocolate on each scone as it comes out of the oven if you like for an oozing finale
Double Bran Muffins
Two types of bran: wheat bran and oat bran, plus some golden, crunchy wheatgerm make these the healthiest muffins around. They are gorgeous, dark, moist, incredibly flavorful 'healthy' muffins, that keep for a week or so, and freeze like a dream. The secret is to let the batter rest in the fridge so it will stiffen a bit and the bran will moisten thoroughly. You should see some nice tops on these. These don't use bran cereal - they use real bran. All the ingredients - buttermilk, honey, touch of spice, touch of orange zest creates a bran muffin symphony. You can also change the dried fruits around.
Double Oatmeal Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
Shame on you if you tell anyone in the family these have flax seed and wheat germ in them! These are: fantastic. Something about the flax seed (ground) and wheat germ makes these especially golden and crunchy crisp. The dried cranberries add flair but of course, raisins or chocolate chips is another way to go. But for goodness sakes, if you go around telling everyone they are healthy, don’t blame me if your kids balk. What I like about these cookies is that you get heart-healthy oatmeal and more, making each cookie a thing of substance, as well as a wonderful cookie-jar cookie in its own right.
Nothing beats the taste of bakery style cheese Danish but this quicker cake is pretty satisfying and half the effort. It is not a dough but a yeasted cake, topped with sweetened cream cheese Danish filling. This elegant, slice-able Danish is for pros and beginners both and is satisfying to the last crumb.
Gianduja & Dulce de Leche Squares !! FREE!!!
How can something to instant and quick be so darned good? Easy, when you start with dulce de leche, Nutella, some graham crackers and inventiveness.
Another decadent Baker in a Hurry treat. Gianduja is another term for chocolate-hazelnut heaven. Adding dulce or a caramel spin makes this dessert irresistible
Apricot Crumb Cake
A moist pound cake with an almond studded crumb topping. Great with apricots 0r you can do half cranberries and half apricots.
Ever wonder what you fan do with sponge toffee? It looks so good but eats so sticky! It is, however, perfect for some funky baking. Buttermilk makes a good stand in for sour cream if you’ve a mind to use it. For some reason, post holidays, there is always sponge toffee on sale in stores around here.
Sponge Toffee Streusel Sour Cream Coffeecake
Another sponge toffee creation.Sponge toffee crunched up into a streusel is the crowning glory on this wonderful coffeecake. Ever wonder what you fan do with sponge toffee? It looks so good but eats too sticky! It is, however, perfect for some funky baking. Buttermilk makes a good stand in for sour cream if you’ve a mind to use it. This caves in a bit after baking (because of the cream cheese topping) but is a golden delight.
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.
- December 2017 A Note from Marcy - December 2017
- November 2017 A Note from Marcy - November 2017
- October 2017 A Note from Marcy - October 2017
- September 2017 A Note from Marcy - September 2017
- August 2017 A Note from Marcy - August 2017
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- March 2017 A Note from Marcy - March 2017
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- December 2016 A Note from Marcy - December 2016
- Winter 2016 BB Best Gifts Round-Up - December 2016
- November 2016 A Note from Marcy - November 2016
- October 2016 A Note from Marcy - October 2016
- September 2016 A Note from Marcy - September 2016
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- July 2016 A Note from Marcy - June 2016
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- March 2016 A Note from Marcy - March 2016
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- December 2015 A Note from Marcy - December 2015
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- June 2013 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - June 2013
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- December 2012 A Note from Marcy - December 2012
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- August 2012 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - August 2012
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- April 2012 Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - April 2012
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- December 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - December 2011
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- October 2011 Note From Marcy Baker's Stash - October 2011
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- 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
- 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
- 2003-2009 Note from Marcy Archives
- December 2017 A Note from Marcy
- October 2008 Baker's Stash
- May 2017 Big Product Review Feature
- February 2009 Issue Baking by Heart Copy
- March 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash
- Karine Joncas Cosmetics
- April 2009 Baker's Stash
- April 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash
- May 2010 Baker's Stash
- February 2009 Baker's Stash
- PREVIOUS NOTES FROM MARCY 2004 - 2017