Spectacular Views

Lately it seems, I am in the company of birds.  Having made this little Hummingbird Cake over Easter…

I decided to fashion a bird’s nest made of pecans to grace the top of the cake, complete with some speckled malted milk eggs – (which happen to be the most memorable Easter candy from my childhood…oh nostalgia).  It was quite the hit, although I thought it was a tad too rich and sweet and missing a bit of oomph.  Next time, I think I’ll try the recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery cookbook – it seems more fitting anyway.

And one adorable Robin bird thought our wine cork wreath on the front door would make the perfect location for her nest (which she skillfully built atop of the wreath).  I noticed it just the other day when I was about to walk through the door.  Being challenged in the stature department, I grabbed a stool so I could peer inside the nest, and sure enough…

I call the Robin “Mama” and she’s very protective of those gorgeous little gems.  Whenever she sees or hears me coming, she flies off to a nearby tree (the same tree every time) and squawks, as if to say “steer clear of my turf, you!”  Needless to say, I’m going to have to get a key copied so I can enter the house from the side door and not disrupt the babies.  I’m very excited about this and am wondering how long it will be before they hatch!

As for another certain bird, my boyfriend Jay is directing Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, and it opens this Thursday night!

On another note, I still need to tell you about the Canard aux Framboises we recently made, because it was truly stunning.  In fact, out of all the amazing “Oh my God!” exclaiming, several sighs worthy meals Jay and I have made, this one might take the cake.  I’ll thank Blue Kitchen profusely for that, and tell you to make it asap!  The rich demi glace and raspberry sauce was one of the greatest things to have ever graced my palette.  We also whipped up some sauteed broccoli with almonds and parmesan and some buttermilk mashed potatoes – is that kind of like serving a hot dog with haricots verts?  Oh well, I say if steak frites is okay, there ain’t nothin’ wrong with fancy duck and mashed potatoes!  Some exquisite vanilla bean raspberry creme brulee did just fine for our finale.  Everything was complimented nicely.

And speaking of “taking the cake,” I’ve been in the mood for some cake, big time.  Luckily, during my shift at the bakery yesterday, I got to try some freshly made Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, complete with strawberry buttercream icing that was to die for, and dear God that thing was good.  I’m still thinking about it.  Since the recipe is allegedly “top secret,” I’m going to attempt to recreate it in the near future, finding a wonderful buttermilk cake recipe and adding strawberries to it and then making an icing out of strawberries, butter, powdered sugar and shortening.  Mmm, can’t wait, and I can’t wait for strawberry picking season either, which is just around the bend…

Strawberry shortcake, strawberry dumplings, strawberry buttermilk cake, here I come!  I plan on making Edna Lewis’ Busy Day cake and pairing it with some macerated strawberries and fresh whipped cream, for my take on strawberry shortcake.

Warmer weather also means it’s time for me to make one of my summer favorites…Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding, which also is “OMG” inducing.  If you want someone to do something for you, like maybe give you a special top secret recipe, make them this pudding.  You will succeed.  They will succumb after the first bite.  Hmmm, maybe I should bring some in to the bakery…

One last thing.  I forgot to mention the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes I made for St. Patrick’s Day, from Smitten Kitchen. I wasn’t too fond of the actual cake and I guess I can attribute that to the Guinness, unfortunately, but the ganache filling lurking in the center of these little devils, and the Bailey’s buttercream icing were pretty fabulous.

And while cupcakes are on the agenda…

I also made some chocolate ones with cream cheese icing a few weeks back, although I made a culinary faux pas…I made a rich chocolate cake recipe (by miss Molly Wizenberg) and turned them into cupcakes.  They were delicious, rich and chocolatey – enhanced by some freshly brewed coffee in the batter.  However, they were meant to go with chocolate icing and I was in the mood for cream cheese.  Now I know this makes for a weird combination.  Cream cheese icing should go with a less complex tasting chocolate cake.  This combo just clashed, since the chocolate/coffee flavor was so pronounced.  Ah the trial and error of baking…

Nonetheless, they were still pretty.  See?

I shall now leave you with this mini nifty little estrogen-induced playlist to tickle your ears…

  • On the Radio – Regina Spektor
  • With Arms Outstretched – Rilo Kiley
  • Spectacular Views- Rilo Kiley
  • Willie – Cat Power
  • Field Below – Regina Spektor

*Thank you Rilo Kiley for the post title*


1 Comment

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One response to “Spectacular Views

  1. Very nice! Keep up the good work! Nice photos, too!

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