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Recipes by Nancy Young Articles

Leave winter without leaving the house

By Nancy Young with photographs by Tanner Young and Elspeth Young

If you dream of some peak at the sun or ache for a long weekend of warmth, you know you live in northern climes and it's winter. But if a ticket to Crete, Corsica, or Cannes wasn't  one of your stocking stuffers on Christmas morning, spend a leisurely breakfast with a large bowl of sunshiny oranges, clementines, or mangoes, some rosewater-scented honey, and one of the slightly indulgent delicacies described here. Then dream away... Read more »

Tags: 2014, Bread making, Recipes by Nancy Young

Black Friday and dark chocolate

By Nancy Young
We liked this Victorian summation of Christmas shopping, above, from an 1876 etching reflecting the fact that nothing much about the urge for bouts of seasonal spending has changed in 137 years.  The poem that originally accompanied it, spoke of  "shopping, shop, shop, shopping," until everyone was "dropping, drop, drop, dropping."  And that was even before "shop, shop, shopping" already commenced as soon as the pumpkin pie had been served up on Thanksgiving Day, and Black Friday became a synonym for a make-or-break Holiday business season... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 14 No. 1, 2013, Christmas, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

Bartlett variations

By Nancy Young
Bartlett pears are early, inviting, and sweet. Good recommendations, but they do have one flaw--they mature with something of the propensities of lemmings--one leaps over the ripeness rampart and all the others immediately follow. One day they're hard and green, and a few days later they're speckled and squishy. But another fiat in their favor, of course, is that when ripe they can be made into so many other commendable comestibles--the pear jams and "Davy's Cake" from Anne at School, for example... Read more »

Tags: 2013, Recipes by Nancy Young

Staying after school

By Nancy Young
 Our Twain issue steamboated itself out to subscribers last week, a little slow due to a stem-to-stern overhaul of The Journal's working space (the second, and hopefully, final one this year!)
So this week we're already deeply entrenched in Dickens' Little Dorrit in order to make up for lost time; and since all sorts of make-up work is heavy on our minds, we wanted to take a moment to share a few things here on this very neglected Newsroom section.
First, we had no opportunity to use two beloved Winslow Homer paintings in Mississippi Summer, but since they're perfect for back-to-school days and particularly for staying in from recess or staying after school to do do make-up work, we've shared them here... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 12 No. 6, Vol. 13 No. 5, 2013, Music, Recipes by Nancy Young

Wholegrain chocolate bread

By Nancy Young Cocoa is the powder derived from the cocoa bean. The bean is derived from the cocoa tree. The cocoa tree was apparently derived from the Garden of Eden virtually unscathed, but obviously lonely. It waited patiently, however, for its derived powder to be joined with some pleasing fat, so it could again become a celestial food—which is now known as chocolate, and which I indulge in whenever I get the chance.
This bread resulted a few days ago from a combination of the need to use up an aging orange coupled with the need to devour chocolate... Read more »

Tags: 2013, Recipes by Nancy Young

Eastertide brioches and bouchons

By Nancy Young

For the first time ever the spring issue of the journal didn't make it out before Easter.  We blame the demise of two computers and their attendant files for the delay--luckily Tanner, our resident computer whiz, saved the work, but a new computer and reconfiguration ate up too many of the days of March.  (Of course, the issue will still be appearing in mailboxes soon!) 

By way of a modest apology, we're sending out a couple of easy, but scrumptious Eastertide baking ideas--Brioche a Tweets and Almond Bouchons as well as our wishes for a lovely and memorable Easter Sunday... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 7 No. 4, Vol. 13 No. 2, 2013, Bread making, Brioche a tete, Easter, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

Early winter pleasures

By Nancy Young

At "The Violent Study Club," one of Betsy's planned poetry readings on a snowy night was James Russell Lowell's The First Snowfall (Betsy refers to it by it's first line in Betsy's Wedding).  It's a lovely, touching poem, and we include the first four stanzas here not only in salute to Betsy and Lowell, but to the first major snowfall of the season that's been "heaping field and highway" since about noon today.  (It arrived a little early for the gloaming part, however... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 12 No. 6, 2012, Recipes by Nancy Young, Recommended reading

Goodbye summer! Back to school

By Nancy Young
Kate Douglas Wiggin and her sister, Nora Archibald Smith, have been our companions all summer long.  While reading Kate's autobiography, My Garden of Memory and Nora's biography Kate Douglas Wiggin As Her Sister Knew Her, our home has been filled with dinner-table stories of Kate's early sallies into the Kindergarten movement, community theater at Quillcote's Barn, or her chance meeting with Charles Dickens on a New England train.  We've quoted their quips and read long sections aloud to any passerby—quite as besotted with Kate and Nora as they were with Dickens... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 12 No. 5, 2012, Floral arrangements, Home quotes, Recipes by Nancy Young, Recommended reading

Catching up

By Nancy Young
 Though it's a month since the most recent issue of The Storybook Home Journal, Our Mutual Friend, wended its way through the US Posts, it's been way too long since we caught up posting sans that venerable institution, so here's what we hope will present a reasonably creditable reparation. We didn't have space to include Elspeth's water-colored label that we used in our own version of clearing Old John Harmon's mounds, so we send it in its easy-to-download form here for anyone's personal use--whether gardening is involved or not... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 12 No. 4, 2012, Beauty and home, Floral arrangements, Flowers and garden, Recipes by Nancy Young

Memorial Day and summer picnics

By Nancy Young

" Putting down her pail, Emily thinned out the too lavish lilies of the valley.  She raked the dead leaves, clipped the long grass, and dug a hole on each mound, into which she sank an empty jar.  Taking her pail, she went to a nearby pump for water.  She filled the jars and inserted the still dewy bouquets."  Emily of Deep Valley

There are few books that capture the essence of Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) as endearingly as Maud Hart Lovelace's Emily of Deep Valley, which commences and ends with the sweet small town celebrations of the holiday... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 4 No. 4, 2012, Bread making, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

Tying up loose ends

By Nancy Young

The last while has left us a little frazzled and frayed at our too-busy fringes, and consequently article-bereft, so we thought today to be an ideal time to smooth ourselves out, and tie up some needful loose ends.  First and foremost, we wanted to acknowledge these kind notes from subscribers from upstate New York, the East Midlands in England, America's Deep South and the upper Pacific Coast:  (Thanks so much, Flo, Rowena, Susana, and Mary Anne!)

"To all at The Studio, I just want to say I was talking to my best friend a few days ago and she had tried Nancy's recipe for "Wheaten Griddle Bread," and as soon as I could this afternoon, I made the recipe... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 11 No. 3, Vol. 11 No. 4, Vol. 12 No. 2, Vol. 12 No. 3, 2012, Bread making, Recipes by Nancy Young, The Veranda

When life hands you sour tangerines, make this cake

By Nancy Young

They were alluringly large and alluringly priced.  I didn't resist.  Six pounds of sour, and never improving clemmies later, have me revisiting the Greyfriars' Bobby issue for my marmalade recipe, and also making up this intensely flavorful concoction that wavers pleasingly between cake and confection, and lingers nicely on the tongue.  When early spring snow flies, it provides a quick trip to Provence, Florence, or Torrance.  It's especially transporting teamed with the orange-mascarpone spread coming in the springtime Mansfield Park issue... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 11 No. 3, 2012, Recipes by Nancy Young

Snowmen for snow-less days

By Nancy Young
 With this year's low snowfall over most of those of us accustomed to freezing flurries and blustery blizzards, there's little to miss about shoveling walks, navigating slippery roads or tending to frostbitten toes.  In the snow-free garden even freeze-dried pansies are pretty and there are delicious days that suggest spring.  For those aching to sled or ski or build snowmen, however, this year's so-far-quiet-winter (with emphasis in Utah on the so far, the snow's likely to arrive in time to thoroughly white-out the vernal equinox) is a bit of a non-starter... Read more »

Tags: 2012, Bread making, Recipes by Nancy Young

Thanksgiving gluten-free alternative to stuffing...

By Nancy Young
Facing the first Thanksgiving with our newest sweetheart-of-a-niece-in-law just diagnosed with gluten intolerance, this was our concoction designed to give some of the satisfactions of stuffing, without the wheat-laden woes. Of course it doesn't go inside the bird, but it's as moist and satisfying as it if had. And while it's unlikely that anyone's going to mistake it for grandma's stuffing in a blind taste test, it's a very nice, very filling side dish all on its own.  We thought we'd share it in case any of you face similar challenges either for yourselves or your holiday guests... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

Christmas is coming!

By Nancy Young
Heidi's Christmas is almost here!  We're just putting the finishing touches on this latest issue of The Storybook Home Journal, featuring the delights and magic of a Christmas on the Alm.  While you're waiting, mix up a batch of Cup O' Cocoa Cake Batter and bake away!  You can use some left-over hot chocolate or cocoa from one of these cold autumn evenings as the third of a cup of "very dark cocoa" called for in the recipe, or use the equivalent as listed below... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 12 No. 1, 2011, Christmas, Recipes by Nancy Young

Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Pie

By Nancy Young

Unlike most recipes researched for The Storybook Home Journal, we've named this for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, not because we have the slightest proof that either Washington Irving, Brom Bones, or Ichabod Crane ever dined upon it, though "yellow pumpkins" from Baltus Van Tassel's acres suggested to Ichabod's mind " the most luxurious of pies"--but because it's a rich, wholegrain practically-meal-in-itself pumpkin dessert that, like generous Mynheer Van Tassel, is "satisfied with its own wealth, but not proud of it... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

After Just David: Pasta Soup

By Nancy Young

 We were going to toss this recipe in with "Pot-Boilers Pâté" as a great use for the broth that remains after boiling the meatloaf; but ran out of space so we decided to share it here. But even if you don't have any cooking liquid leftover from making the recipe featured on page 21 of the Just David issue of The Storybook Home Journal, you can still create this rich and simple pasta soup by substituting any nice savory beef or chicken stock. It's especially nice if you've got a really fabulous homemade one... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Recipes by Nancy Young

Just Just David and Pane Siciliano with a twist

By Nancy Young
 As our work commenced on our late summer issue of The Storybook Home Journal, in the end we were too besotted by Eleanor H. Porter's endearing novel, Just David, to be satisfied by sandwiching it in between a summer anthology also starring the Miss Billy Books and Six Star Ranch. So we decided to adapt our editorial calendar to feature just-Just-David for our summer jaunt with Eleanor.  Miss Billy and Texas will simply have to wait while we go back to school with Anne Shirley, spend Christmas in the Alps with Heidi, and while away winter evenings with Rachel Ray... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Recipes by Nancy Young

More from Mr. Jeremy Fisher's larder

By Nancy Young
There may not always be time to create a full Jeremy Fisher "Roasted Rosemary Grasshopper" presentation-loaf prior to a Miss Potter-style picnic or party; but using the same dough (pages 12-13 of Summering in Sawrey with Beatrix Potter) you can still create sandwiches--not from butterflies like Jeremy's--but from "Hopper Heads" simply by following the instructions below, allowing to cool completely, then adding your favorite sandwich fillings.  They may be the only truly welcome insect near the Lily-Pond!

Click on the images, below, to enlarge text instructions... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 11 No. 4, 2011, Recipes by Nancy Young

Summer on the way and The Tales of Beatrix Potter

By Nancy Young
Summering in Sawrey is at last on its way, regrettably slowed by Al's chemotherapy and hospital time, as well as some surgery on my part (with a second surgery to come soon.)  Thanks to all our subscribers for their patience, as well as their concern and prayers!  

The "Good Bunny Supper Cake" featured on pages 16 and 17 of The Kitchen—though more authentic to Peter Rabbit's tale when fixed with blackberries—may be even better with this summer's blueberries substituted for an equal amount of the seedless blackberries called for in the recipe... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Beauty and home, Recipes by Nancy Young

When mangoes are at the market

By Nancy Young
 Of course, mangoes are a luxuriant fruit when eaten fresh—richly perfumed and slightly tart.  But if you catch a really good sale—or if the fruit gets overripe, or never seems to get quite ripe enough—try this easy-to-create, pectin-free jam.  It's wonderful on toast, waffles, omelets, yogurt or ice cream. If the sugar is omitted, or greatly reduced, it also makes a fabulous sauce for fish, curried meat, or slathered onto really good bread as a substitute for mayo in turkey or roast beef sandwiches... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Recipes by Nancy Young

Bretagne Cinnamon Bread, a pastry for Mother's Day

By Nancy Young
 If not-nearly-as-fattening-as-it-tastes is a recommendation—this bread is bliss.  It's perfect for Mother's Day, even if you're both giver and recipient, because it's easy to create as well as luscious.  We concocted it alongside the "Grand Leddy Bannock" for Greyfriars Bobby, but since it's nearer a huge, and continentally chic sticky bun, rather than a Selkirk Bannock, we saved it for the site.   
If the instructions below seem unclear, simply use the same process to create the pastry layers, that appear on page 17 of Greyfriars Bobby... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Holidays, Mothers Day, Recipes by Nancy Young

Betsy And The Great World

By Nancy Young
Betsy Ray and her Great World is finally making its way into yours. One of the recipes that we ran out of room for in the SBH Kitchen article, "A Tray Full of Everything," was Bavarian Breakfast Bread—meant to be from Betsy's stay in Munich. It's too delicious (and too quick to concoct!) to be entirely omitted; so we serve it up here instead, while Betsy and the Great World and other recipes from all over Betsy's Europe wend their way through the mails.

Bavarian Breakfast Bread By Nancy Young 2 cups milk, warmed to about 115°
1 tablespoon dried yeast
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
About 5 cups or more flour, white or whole wheat (5 cups will do it if it's whole wheat, may be closer to 6 cups if it's white)
1 cup raisins
A little beaten egg

Place the milk in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and stir in the yeast... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Recipes by Nancy Young

Betsy And the Great World coming soon

By Nancy Young
We're concocting some sweet and savory indulgences perfect to carry "on a tray" to delight the senses or soothe away sorrows a la Betsy and the Great World. (The chocolate's simply to get us through all the tough formulating, taste-testing, and the subsequent waiting while goodies bake away in the oven. We're an impatient lot.)
We're also busy delving into 1914 French fashion, developing some shutters fit for an Alpine "Paradise," decorating with Italy in mind, and much more.

(Artwork, above, by Alfred Stevens... Read more »

Tags: 2011, Recipes by Nancy Young

Cheeryble Cherry Sauce

By Nancy Young
Total palate recall may be less than perfect, but this cherry sauce—served up with baked ham at many a memorable holiday meal during my childhood—comes close. Though my mother has long since lost the original recipe, here's a happy (and quickly whipped up!) approximation that satisfied even my discriminating siblings at this year's family Christmas party. Serve it warm with anything from ham and pork roast to ice cream or French toast.

In keeping with our Dickens Christmas, we've christened it after two of Dickens' most delightful characters, the Cheeryble brothers, from Nicholas Nickleby... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Christmas, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

The season of quince jelly

By Nancy Young
Even though the flowering quince (Chaenomeles japonica) that thrives near our espaliered apple trees isn't a true quince (Cydonia oblonga), it still proffers up a small basketful of tart fruit every autumn—made all the better for a touch of frost. Since we don't use any pesticides on them, we simply cut them up and toss them into the steam juicer.
The resulting juice is neither abundant nor delicious (think in terms of a dissolved aspirin tablet); but when mixed with some cane sugar to taste, (no pectin is necessary, since these quinces are practically pure pectin!) and placed in a preheated 350 degree oven, until it becomes very syrupy—it make an exquisite jelly... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Recipes by Nancy Young

Zaletti Cake by Nancy Young

By Nancy Young
Zaletti are addictive little Venetian cookies that happily feel both indulgent and wholesome due to their buttery, wholegrain base and raisin-rich sweetness. While I love them in their cookie persona, I don't always have time to roll and cut--so I came up with a zaletti cake that I could prepare quickly to get the flavor I love with a modest outlay of time. They can be cut into squares large or small, or, if I want to upscale them a bit, I can cut them with a biscuit cutter, as shown, since there's always some willing victim circling the kitchen ready to devour any oddly-shaped scraps... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Recipes by Nancy Young

Triple Chocolate Berry Cake for Father's Day

By Nancy Young Dads take a lot of bad raps. As far back as my childhood--and that's pretty far--"Father Knows Best" meant that Jane Wyman as Mother actually knew best and Father, played by Robert Young, bumbled his way--albeit it with some grace--through a half hour of Betty-Bud-and-Kathy antics each week. Dads were always beaten at board games by their grade-school-age children in commercials, and everyone from Ricky Ricardo to Fred Flintstone had no clue when their wives were expecting, and went into panic attacks when those wives went into labor... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

Mother's Day Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Muffins

By Nancy Young

6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons unrefined or refined sugar
grated rind of one large lime
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
juice of one large lime
2 teaspoons baking powder
a fat pinch of salt (optional)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and pan spray muffin or popover tin(s). In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, honey, lime rind, and vanilla... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Holidays, Mothers Day, Recipes by Nancy Young

Recreating Sarah Orne Jewett's Deephaven

By Nancy Young
We've been working on the recipes for our next Journal issue, featuring Sarah Orne Jewett's enchanting novel, Deephaven. "Deephaven Clam Chowder" was the last recipe to create and test--in fact, we finished it today. The "Kitchen" article is entitled "An Unreasonably Good Supper" and features ingredients that can be foraged and scavenged from the coastline and forest. (Or simply picked up at the supermarket.) The pencil drawing, right, is by Al R. Young.... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Recipes by Nancy Young

Easter baking

By Nancy Young
We're enjoying working on the edible parts of the next issue of The Storybook Home Journal, which will feature Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables. We're decorating cakes and cookies in the shape of eggs, chicks, and rabbits, celebrating the Pyncheon cent shop and "Chanticleer the rooster and his two wives."... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Easter, Holidays, Recipes by Nancy Young

Mission Fig Bread

By Nancy Young This isn't an inexpensive bread to make (it's around $1.50-2.00 per loaf) unless you are the proud possessor of your own fig trees: however, making it at home is much less costly than buying it at some chic, intimate Parisian bakery, and that's even before you've paid for the flight to France. We like it with pears, or cream cheese, or any cheese, or very dark chocolate.

Mission Fig Bread by Nancy Young


3 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon dried yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
3 or more cups white flour
About 10 ounces black mission figs, stems removed and sliced

Topping (optional)
1-2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pour the warm water into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, sprinkle in the yeast, and allow it to proof for about for five minutes or so... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Recipes by Nancy Young

Cozied-in weekend

By Nancy Young For snowy Saturdays (like today!) we like the leisurely pace of a good read and the scents of buttery brioches baking in the oven. We emphasized regional French brioche baking and whimsical brioche shapes in The Count of Monte Cristo issue of The Storybook Home Journal; but this less-traditional, easily assembled version is also ideal for slowed-down, snowed-in weekend brunches and lunches.

Whole Wheat Weekend Brioche by Nancy Young

1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup favorite sugar (optional)
9 tablespoons butter
4 large eggs, lightly beaten (reserve 1 tablespoon for glazing loaves)
1 scant tablespoon salt
4-6 cups whole wheat flour
A little cream (optional)

In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, stir together the water, yeast and sugar, if using, and allow to proof--about five minutes... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Brioche a tete, Recipes by Nancy Young

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake by Nancy Young

By Nancy Young
If I've got more leftover oatmeal than I need for After Breakfast Bread, I make Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake at the same time. They're both easy to make, and use a lot of shared ingredients. I make the bread dough first, and while the dough's on its first rise, I make the cake batter and bake the cake. The bread is usually ready to shape by then, and there's only about a half- hour wait before the bread can be baked, and the oven is well preheated.

This cake is unusually quick to make, and has all the health benefits of wholegrains and all the delights of chocolate... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Recipes by Nancy Young

After-Breakfast Bread by Nancy Young

By Nancy Young Most days for more than 30 years, I've baked everyday loaves for our family. I've studied bread, read bread, proofed, poolished [sic], pounded, punched down, and produced bread of every shape and description I could dream of. Perfect bread is like a perfect garden--ever elusive. The last loaves may have been better--the next loaves may be ideal; and the present loaves are almost gone already (despite any flaws.)

I'll try to document what I've learned here--not because of some exquisite expertise--but because I've never come across another bread-baking addict without learning something from them, and perhaps some of my own discoveries may be new to someone else... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Recipes by Nancy Young

Rosemary and Olive Oil Loaves by Nancy Young

By Nancy Young
3 cups warm water (about 110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon dried yeast
2-3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped fine
1/2 cup olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups, or more, white flour
1 tablespoon salt

extra olive oil for brushing
sea salt

Stir yeast into warm water in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Allow yeast to proof for five to ten minutes. Add remaining ingredients and using paddle attachment, beat well for three minutes... Read more »

Tags: 2009, Recipes by Nancy Young