Sugarbird's Sweet Nothings

I am passionate about food. And cooking. And baking. And running. Come and find a new recipe, a funny story, some strong opinions and whatever else I feel like throwing in the mix today.
May 1st, 2011

Rhubarb, Vanilla and Sour Cream Crumb Cake

I can’t remember the last time I had rhubarb. When I think of this long, leafy plant (which is technically a vegetable and not a fruit) I think of the rhubarb crumble and custard that my mom used to make when we were kids. I love sour things (I eat lemon, much to the bewilderment of anyone nearby) and I always loved the contrast of the very tart rhubarb and the smooth, creamy custard.

My green-fingered neighbour Geri has an enormous pot of rhubarb growing in her back garden, and when I was over there last weekend, Kevin mentioned that they did not know what to do with it all. It was a monster of a plant. ¬†I recalled that I had received a Delicious Magazine a while ago that had a few rhubarb recipes so I offered to take some off their hands and return it in the form of Rhubarb, Vanilla and Soured Cream Crumb Cake, and a Rhubarb and Orange Cheesecake. Kevin, being a huge fan of all things baked, jumped at the idea and on Friday they turned up at the door bearing a huge bunch of beautiful rhubarb, leaves and soil-covered stalks and all. Awesome ūüôā Read the rest of this entry »

April 7th, 2011

Fat Witch Gingerbread Bars

My favourite word fo the day, discovered reading an article by Julie Powell that I randomly came across online: stultifying Рto make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous. To render absurdly or wholly futile or ineffectual, especially by degrading or frustrating means: Menial work can stultify the mind.

Awesome word. I like learning new words. The English language is like a bottomless cup of coffee, just when you think you’ve had all you can, you get topped up and you miraculously find room for more, and its delicious.
 

 

I have to confess, I am a bit of a brownie addict. And it has become somthing of a mission of mine to make as many different variations of chocolate brownies as I can get my hands on. So when I came across the Fat Witch Brownies cook book when I was making my last self-indulgent-multiple-unnecessary-cookbook purchase, I had to have it. Even though it had to ship all the way from the states and took a few weeks to get here. I was worth the wait.

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April 5th, 2011

Family Baking Fun with Chocolate, Dulce De Leche, Hazelnut Cheesecake

My mom and sister visited me for the weekend. It was my mom’s birthday and mother’s day this weekend so it was a bit of a celebration bundle. I took them for pedicures, we went walking in the woods, we drank margaritas, we took funny photos with mac photobooth (hyserical. we laughed until we cried. i recommend it)¬†and we made cheesecake. Great way to spend a weekend.

Sarah (my darling sister) also enjoys baking but somehow it came up in conversation that she had never made a cheesecake before. so I took it upon myself to remedy that. I mean,¬†a girl who likes baking¬†can’t go through life never having made a cheesecake. Next thing you know she becomes scared of cheesecakes, has an unreasonable cheesecake phobia and is undetoing hypnotherapy for cheesecake related neuroses. Ok, I might be exaggerating slightly, but I just though my little sister should experience the joy of making a big, bad cheesecake.

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April 4th, 2011

Pistachio Petit Four Surprise Birthday Cake

Why not start my post with the pretty picture of the whole and beautiful cake? Because this is the best bit about making a cake. When its been hacked to pieces and everyone around you is munching it. Awesome. And it makes me happy looking at this picture. And right now, while injured and unable to run, with this annoying dull ache in my leg, I need pretty cake pictures to make me smile.

I was commissioned to make this birthday cake by my neighbour Kevin for a surprise birthday party for his wife Geri. This weekend was her 50th birthday, and after insisting that she did not want a 50th birthday party, he decided to throw her a 49.9th birthday party instead. And just to make sure that she could not object or get out of it at all, he made¬†it a surprise party so she knew absolutely nothing about it. As Kevin is a frequent devourer of my cookies, cakes and other tempting treats, he knew I would be delighted to make the cake for the party, which I was, provided I could come along and see the surprise on Geri’s face for myself. And just for good measure¬†we brought along my mom and sister who were visiting for the weekend. It worked out nicely as it was my mom’s birthday the very same day,¬†so I took advantage of the fact that Kevin was barbecuing and putting on a good party and celebrated with her as well.
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March 20th, 2011

Vodka Cream Pasta and Botched Biscotti

So the other night, after a hectic day, I wanted pasta. Pasta is the food I turn to when I want flavour, and comfort and ease. And I was in the mood for all three. But I wanted something a little different. Something with a twist. And thats when I remembered Vodka Cream Pasta that I had made once before. I found it on Smitten Kitchen and, like everything else on that gorgeous blog, it is sublime. And I have a big bottle of Smirnoff that is just the thing. Now I know some people may say that using fancy Smirnoff in cooking may be some kind of crime, but I think of it like wine. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it.

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