Read, Eat, Drink: What No One Tells You About Publishing, Pesto Bread in a Jar, Dealer’s Choice Cocktails


If you haven’t already seen Curtis Sittenfeld’s list 24 Things No One Tells You About Publishing, scurry on over there and soak it up. Every single item on the list is absolutely, 100% true. And even better, it spurred Scott Berkun to write his own list of the 28 (Better) Things No One Tells You About Publishing, which is a bit more focused on the act of publishing rather than the craft of writing.

Between those two lists, you have 52 nuggets of truth about the way publishing really works!


Oh boy, do I have a good one for you today. Do you like easy, delicious, impressive, and simple recipes? Of course you do. We all do. Unless you’re Martha. In that case, try this recipe for a five-layer pastel cake that takes over 3 hours.

The rest of us: let’s enjoy this delicious Pesto Bread in a Jar recipe from Sweet Paul Magazine.

Pesto-Bread-in-a-Jar-3 Jarrett’s mom, Karen, was nice enough to come visit us this past weekend, and as we were strolling through Salt & Sundry at Union Market (stop #1 on my Historically Insignificant but Unapologetically Fun Tour of DC ), we came across the newest issues of Sweet Paul Magazine. Since Paul Lowe is one of our authors at Stonesong, I thought it would be fun to flip through them. And that’s when Karen spotted the Pesto Bread in a Jar.

Mind you, I’m a hopelessly incompetent baker and we had planned to keep our dinner that night simple with just fresh scallops and veggies. But this bread. It was The One. The only one that could properly complete our dinner.

So here it is, Pesto Bread in a Jar from the Spring 2015 issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. This bread is perfect served alongside eggs for an Easter brunch, or as a side for your first It’s-Officially-Spring dinner party. And, if you used taller jars, you could even put a lid on it and take it hiking!

Pesto Bread in a Jar

Pesto Bread in a Jar

 Makes 4 breads in pint-sized mason jars

1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup plus 1 cup warm water
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
¾ cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)

  1. Mix the yeast, honey, and ½ cup warm water in your largest mixing bowl and let it sit until it froths (about 5 minutes). If it doesn’t froth, your yeast is probably old and dead, and you have to start over. (My condolences.)
  2. Add the rest of the water, flour, oil, and salt to the bowl and mix until the dough is smooth.
  3. Cover the bowl and let it sit for about 40 minutes, during which it should double in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill each mason jar with a glob of dough (you’ll have to push it around with your spoon to get it semi-even on the bottom of the jar), then add a tablespoon or two of pesto. Keep layering like this until you have about 2-3 layers per jar, but make sure you end with a dough layer. The jars won’t be all the way full, but don’t worry—they’ll puff up while baking!
  5. Bake until golden for about 20 minutes (we needed closer to 25 minutes), then let cool on a wire rack.
  6. Serve one per person and encourage people to pick up the jars and have fun pulling the bread out with forks or fingers.

Recipe adapted from Spring 2015 issue of Sweet Paul Magazine.

Ultimate double thank-yous to Karen for nudging us both out of our comfort zones so we could try our hands at baking this beauty! And if you want more clever and delicious recipes like this, pick up Paul Lowe’s beautiful book Sweet Paul Eat & Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love.


Dealers Choice Bon Appetit

This week’s drink is dealer’s choice. Well, actually, it’s about dealer’s choice. According to Bon Appétit, when you walk into a bar and ask the bartender to surprise you with a custom creation, that creation probably isn’t quite as custom as you think.

Most people assume that a skilled bartender is inventing something new when you tell him you want “something with gin, but not too bitter”, but most of the time they’re following basic principles and simply improvising off of classic drink recipes. Read more about how it really works here: The Secret Truths of “Dealer’s Choice” at Bars.

Happy Spring to all!

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