Bluer than blue? No reason with free Oatmeal Blueberry Squares to cheer you up. Blueberries, you pick 'em, you bake 'em and enjoy.
Dear Fellow Bakers and Friends,
How is it I finally get used to summer in its very last month? I balk and resist the heat and the unstructured sunny days (the very reverse behavior of most people who adore summer) and then one day, usually around August lst, I realize – wow – summer is my friend. I should take some vacation. And I will – as soon as this newsletter gets delivered in your mailbox.
This month' s Baker's Stash is bluer-than-blue – a sweet ode to blueberries. You pick 'em, I bake 'em. I’ve given you a smattering of free blueberry recipes but there are tons more in the Complete Recipe Archives from pies to blueberry cinnamon buns to blueberry biscotti and more.
Speaking of newsletters, specifically the BB newsletter. Don’t panic but I am morphing my BB newsletters or Notes from Marcy to blog entries(www.BetterBakingBlog.com). The main site, my belovedwww.BetterBaking.com will still be the place to get news of the baker, products, and where to find the Complete Recipe Archives, Twitter (Free) Recipe, and purchase recipes (if you care to). But I guess this is my last traditional, monthly Note from Marcy. But just think of the joy to be had when I am freed up to create more recipes, unimpeded by webmastering beyond my baking ken. It's all an evolution but that's about the gist.
(Register for the www.BetterBakingBlog!)
Best of all Betterbaking.com website will still be the mother ship, a recipe resource whereas the BetterBaking blog will be my more personal or chatty culinary address.
BB Recipe subscriptions are still most welcome as long as BB doesn’t get forgotten by browsers or doesn’t succumb to technical difficulties. And you can always purchase a single recipe from my Recipe Archives (or buy a cookbook). As always, there will still be recipe freebies. If you have a BB subscription, your access doesn't change and again, new recipes are being added all the time (as well as updated, tested, polished and perfected)
After 14 years, it’s become increasingly clear I cannot keep BB in a state-of-the-art mode (stop chuckling) nor spread myself so thin (the skills needed to hoist a website of this size are varied and required in quantity as well as quality). Seriously the truth is what I love best is writing and baking. Yet most of my energies these past few years have been about becoming a website geek (you will be surprised to know there is no team or staffers, other than recipe testers, providing this website – it is just moi). I always thought there would be some sort of digital cavalry or handlers to assist me but I’ve been playing Atlas with an apron.
By the way, you should also know that there’s not one great idea, large or small that I haven’t thought or received from one of you that I wanted to do but been impeded by constraints of resources of all sorts.
What has kept me going is my passion for reaching out to all of you and sharing thoughts about life, great products I’ve found, books, films, and music I’ve inhaled and yes, recipes I couldn’t wait to type up, put online and share those too with all of you. I’ve surfed the challenges and somehow produced BB each month. I wanted to thank you all too for your patience when you’ve encountered broken links or editorial glitches and stayed with me. So I ask you to still stay tuned but just start considering the BB Blog as a new meeting place.
What you can expect in the next few months, as I sort this out, is a somewhat more static website (no more monthly newsletters but recipes are always being updated; and the art on the front page might stay the same - I haven't decided). But the blog will be the more current communication. As always, if you need baking help – just email me.
Other than that, I am still between books but have a few super proposals circulating. What do I pitch? Oh my goodness – baking books, cooking book, tango memoirs and a book called How To Fall in Love because oddly, aside from my French Country Bread, it’s one of the things I am rather good at. A curious talent in this day and age. Tango has been amazing; you can always expect at least a great dance or two with some stranger and that has been a great joy. I’ve also honed my aromatherapy/apothecary cabinet – this old-fashioned thing that houses oils, perfumes, incense, candles and all manner of scents to play with. I am studying the Bach Flower Remedies (it’s about floral drops that address the emotional, spiritual part of whatever is ailing you) and turned a spare room into a forest. Somehow my green thumb has improved and now I have a den that looks like Walden Pond – brimming with trees, herbal plants and orchids.
And somehow, despite the heat and lazy days, a few wonderful testers and I are almost at the end of testing my cooking book.
Like many of you, I’ve also used this summer to freshen my abode. I’ve painted and floored, washed windows, and reinvented my décor (early Adirondacks). The next investment will be a special writer’s desk (no more IKEA and Craigslist desks for me) from http://www.camlenfurniture.com/
I have a hunch I am moving forward to a new era of allot of writing and publishing. I want to feel cozy and enjoy my home office. So, rather than my home office being an afterthought, utilitarian place, I am making it a retreat. No boys allowed! When it’s done, I’ll take a shot and post it online. I've always believed in meeting destiny halfway. By that I mean, prepare for things so they will feel as welcome 'on the way' to you as they do when they finally arrive. Hence: a new desk and office, courtesy of empty nest and my new higher horizons.
Other than that, I am into a serious cupcake baking mode, reading The Help and just discovered www.LawofAttractionMag.com. Their first issue came out recently and I hope to be contributing a piece on bread and the art of manifestation. What? Never mind….wait and see. I also hope to be contributing some features to Canada’s famed Baker’s Journal Magazine this fall.
What am I wearing in perfume these days? Three amazing scents that stop people in their tracks: Jean Paul Gautier’s Classique (apricot, musk, rose, iris and vanilla), Estee Lauder’s artful Sensuous Nude and the stunning L’Air by Nina Ricci. (which reminds me, register too at www.MistressofScents.com for perfume write-ups and more). On my wish list before summer ends? Chanel’s Cristalle –it’s a perfect summer perfume.
And on that fragrant note, I wish you a wonderful August and share a few free recipes. (And stay tuned at the blog - I am working on Sour Cherry Squares and writing up this delectable chocolate cake I was supposed to take to a garden party pot luck but it came out so well and looked so delicious I just couldn't part with it. The baker went to the party (carrot cake as my Plus One) and the chocolate cake stayed home. ....lest you think I am too generous - it turns out, I am human)
Oatmeal Blueberry Squares A classic re-visited. A sturdy oatmeal bar crust houses a fresh blueberry filling.
Use a touch of cornstarch to thicken the filling, use a bit more if you prefer a very firm filling. Some of the crust doubles as the topping for these bars that are a combination of lightly spiced oatmeal crust with the tang of the fruit. You can also part chopped cranberries or replace a cup of raspberries for the blueberries. These are so darned good!
Free Sweet Blueberry Pie Filling Coffee Cake Everyone needs something easy, fruity, and a good keeping cake. This one works with any pie filling but blueberry makes for a fabulous tasting and good looking cake. The crumb topping is just the perfect final touch.
Free Yeasted Blueberry Scones
These yeasted scones are an adaptation of a recipe given to me by George Fenn. According to George, the bakery was started by the late Don Lloyd in 1949 and they were/are renowned for Don's Scones. In summer they make hundreds of these daily and this part of Muscoda loves them; this recipe should make a fan out of you too.
Free Twitter Recipe Yin Yang Cream Cheese Stuffed Brownies
A yin and yang treat of the highest order. Imagine a moist, fudgy brownie that is marbled throughout with New York style cheesecake filling? Can't envision it? Just bake up a batch!
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.