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Willow Bird Weekly

Each week I bookmark tons of fascinating recipes, trek to interesting food-related places, find neat kitchen tricks, and make unique little dishes. Willow Bird Weekly is a miscellany of stuff I’ve collected throughout the week that I hope you’ll find entertaining.

Stuff I Can’t Wait to Make:

Cheesy Puff Pull Apart Bread on How Sweet It Is
Cranberry Pistachio Butter Cups by Mommie Cooks (and just think of the possibilities: cashew butter! almond butter!)
Chocolate Covered Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches by Sophistimom (via Good Life Eats)


Chocolate Covered Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches, photo by Jaime

Strawberry Milk Whoopie Pies by Sprinkle Bakes
Oatmeal Brownie Milky Way Bars by i am baker
Peach Shortcake by Ezra Pound Cake


Peach Shortcake, photo by Rebecca

Places I Went and Stuff I Ate:

Today I grabbed my already-beloved copy of Hélène Dujardin’s Plate to Pixel (I know you’ve been hearing about it everywhere, and for good reason — what an amazing, all-encompassing resource for food photographers!) and headed down to the local French bakery for a book signing. Sweet Tartelette herself was there and is definitely even sweeter in person! It was wonderful to meet Hélène.

Thanks to Taylor Mathis for organizing the book signing, and to the lovely folks who showed up.

Speaking of people I love, I love this girl!


Ashley

I’ve mentioned Ashley on the blog before — she teaches Spanish at the school where I teach language arts and cooking. Ashley left Monday to spend her summer in her beloved España completing the first half of a masters program. Before she left, though, she and her parents threw a lovely fiesta with a delicious roasted pork tenderloin with rosemary, couscous, lots of fun appetizers and desserts, and my favorite part: what I like to call the flaming pineapple! I hear Ashley’s mom was responsible for the fantastic presentation of the grilled pineapple bites. Too fun, and what a good idea for folks who love to entertain:

Stuff That Rocks:

You may have heard about the total lunar eclipse that occurred recently, but I for one am more impressed by BraveTart’s Total Eclipse of the Tart. You have to go see it. You just have to. I hear in North America we have to wait until December to see the real total eclipse, anyhow!

Also, stacked pies. What?! Apparently people do this?! It’s pure insanity, and y’all know I like some to do some crazy stacking when I get the chance. Cannot wait to stack a pie or two or three!


Stacked Pies, photo by Karen

And finally, something that totally rocks and is news to me: geocaching! Has a worldwide scavenger hunt really been going on without my knowledge for ten years? Speaking as someone who never grew out of the thrill of an Easter egg hunt, I can tell I’m going to adore this. I love the idea of being able to leave messages and ideas for someone across time and space, to lead someone to important places and important conclusions, to weave webs between strangers.

What fantastic recipes have you discovered online this week? What fun food experiences have you had? Anyone out there participate in geocaching?

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Willow Bird Weekly

Each week I bookmark tons of fascinating recipes, trek to interesting food-related places, find neat kitchen tricks, and make unique little dishes. Willow Bird Weekly is a miscellany of stuff I’ve collected throughout the week that I hope you’ll find entertaining.

Stuff I Can’t Wait to Make:

Coconut Shrimp Poppers with Chili Mango Cream on Pinch My Salt
Bacon Lovers Mac and Cheese by Annie’s Eats
Frozen Strawberry Squares by She Wears Many Hats


Frozen Strawberry Squares, photo by Amy

Coffee Pancakes by A Cozy Kitchen
Apricot Honey Almond Tart by Sass & Veracity
Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread by Joy the Baker


Stuff I Already Made:

This week was the last full week of school. After two full days and a short graduation next week, school’s out for summer! That’s usually bittersweet for me, but I’m looking forward to cleaning my apartment and getting things in order for next year.


Clare and Hannah

I’ll miss scenes like this, though! Yesterday was my last middle school Cookies enrichment class of the year, and the kids loved the Oatmeal White Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies they made.

My high school cooking classes also finished up this past week. I’ll be telling you about that in a post coming up soon. For now, I’ll just say that you should go read their awesome food blog, the Woodlawn Kitchen and tell them how fantastic they are!

Some individual students were even inspired to create their very own blogs: Sayre blogs at G.R.I.T.S. Gone Green (a food blog), Isaac at Memoirs of a Gaysha (a food and theatre blog), and Alexa at Swimming In A Raindrop (a food and photography blog).

Places I Went and Stuff I Ate:

On Thursday I returned to the Chow Down Uptown Food Truck Rally, the new weekly gathering of food trucks in Charlotte.

This time around I had to try the grilled cheese sandwich with pulled pork (!) and, from the always-impressive Roots Farm Food truck, pork belly sliders topped with blueberry chipotle sauce and cucumbers. Vanessa of Life Undeveloped accompanied me and shared her fried deviled eggs (which turned out to be a sort of deviled egg salad battered and deep fried).

It was a good week for grilled cheeses! In addition to my homemade grilled sharp cheddar and caramelized onions on beer bread and the grilled cheese with pulled pork above, I went to Firebirds with the parents for Memorial Day and had a grilled cheese with tomato and candied bacon.


I also got to hang out with my sweet little brother, who’s home for college. We went to eat some Serbian food and the best pizza in Charlotte at Intermezzo’s Pizzeria and Cafe.

Stuff That Rocks:

Did you know you can make homemade ice cream cones with your panini press?! I didn’t, but Panini Happy just posted these gorgeous cones and filled me in:


photo by Kathy

This is adds to the already-significant temptation to get an ice cream maker!

What fantastic recipes have you discovered online this week? What fun food experiences have you had?

If you liked this post, please:
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Filed under news

Willow Bird Weekly

Each week I bookmark tons of fascinating recipes, trek to interesting food-related places, find neat kitchen tricks, and make unique little dishes. I eat fun stuff, read fun stuff, sing fun stuff (okay, not relevant).

These things don’t warrant a blog post all their own, but I still want to share them! Introducing Willow Bird Weekly, a miscellany of stuff I’ve collected throughout the week that I hope you’ll find entertaining.

Stuff I Can’t Wait to Make:

Homemade Gingerale with Cucumber on Food52
Fish Tacos with Cucumber Salad and Lime Creme by Chez Us
Egg Nests by Simply Recipes


photo by Elise

Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam by Creative Culinary
Strawberry Black Pepper Biscuits by A Cozy Kitchen
Rootbeer Float Cake by Brown Eyed Baker
Fudge and Coconut Custard Pie by La Fuji Mama

Stuff I Already Made:

In addition to language arts and high school cooking, I teach a middle school Cookies enrichment class. I know: poor kids slaving away all day reading, writing, ‘rithmetic-ing, and making cookies. School is torture.


This week we made a special treat: Picky Palate’s Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. The students had sugar-coated fits of joy while eating. Thanks Olivia, Sam, Clare, Natalie, Arianna, and Matthew for doing such a great job in class.

Places I Went and Stuff I Ate:

The Chow Down Uptown Food Truck Rally is a new weekly gathering of food trucks in Charlotte. There have been two rallies so far, and I’ve hopped downtown to enjoy them both.

Food trucks are so flippin’ hip right now, y’all — I kind of feel like they’re an indicator of the coolness of a city (Queen City, please take note). Because they require less capital to start, food trucks can express all sorts of unique, homegrown food viewpoints. Their mobility facilitates the creation of a foodie fan base that can be a stepping stone to opening a successful restaurant. In short, food trucks are creative, dynamic, and just plain neat.



I enjoyed some mind-blowing food at both rallies: banh mi tacos, rillets with hoisin vinegar, zeppole, grouper tacos, carne asada tacos, cupcakes. But some of my favorite bites showed up yesterday at the Roots Farm Food truck; they had an organ meat extravaganza! I ate belly, heart (both pictured left to right, above), tongue, and crispy salt and vinegar skin (cracklin’) — all for the first time — and it was amazing. The belly, in particular, was one of the best things I’ve tasted in Charlotte.


Some Charlotte Food Blogger treats at our last picnic.

Another cool place I ventured this week was the Charlotte Food Bloggers meeting. Taylor Mathis and I decided it’d be fun for Queen City food blogger friends to gather for monthly field trips and meetings (i.e. picnics!)

This past Sunday we held our second meeting, which was strawberry-themed thanks to our pickin’ party the previous week. Go see the fabulous blogs of the CFB members here.

Stuff That Rocks:


The Willow and the Pina Colada

Organ meat isn’t all that showed up at the Food Truck Rally, though! The Southern Cake Queen, Emma, showed up with her cupcake truck. This is the food truck that has a cupcake named after Willow Bird Baking! That’s it on the left (above). It’s called the Willow and it’s made up of banana cake, vanilla buttercream, caramel drizzle, and a banana chip. I also had to buy a Pina Colada, because I have a thing for toasted coconut.

What fantastic recipes have you discovered online this week? What fun food experiences have you had?

If you liked this post, please:
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