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:

Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon Cream Filling on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Pineapple Squares by Add a Pinch (like lemon squares, but with pineapple!)
Beehive Cake (Brown Butter Banana Cake and Honey Buttercream) by Zoë Bakes

Beehive Cake, photo by Zoë

Belt Bust’n Cookie Bars by Bakers Royale
Sweet Corn Hash by Joy the Baker

Sweet Corn Hash, photo by Joy

Stuff I Already Made:

Weekend breakfasts sometimes take on a life of their own around here:

Two eggs over easy and a piece of sausage on a bed of avocado and salsa

That’s not all I’ve made by far, though! This week I’m preparing for a BIG EVENT Saturday that I can’t wait to tell you all about. Must keep a lid on it for now, though. Here’s a sneak preview of the things I’ve been working on:


Stay tuned for the big reveal on Sunday!

Places I Went and Stuff I Ate:

I finally tried Five Guys‘ hot dogs — amazing, as everyone said! I’m not crazy about their burgers now that I’ve had Cookout’s, but I love their fries and now their hot dogs. They’re split and grilled before being piled into a bun with toppings. Too bad Five Guys is so expensive; just a cheese hot dog with a coke cost me $7. Seems a little steep. I did notice that the restaurant uses local potatoes, though, which is admirable.

I also found a fantastic new bakery and Indian cafe in Charlotte — that’s right, Indian food and a bakery under one roof! It’s called Cakes ‘n Flakes. I regret not popping in until now. I had a samosa smothered in a chickpea curry and chutney, and a mango layer cake for dessert. Both were great, but I especially loved the samosa! It was only $4.50 for a great lunch-sized portion. Ahem, are you listenin’, Five Guys?!


I also finally tried Loco Lime, which I loved! It’s seriously one of my new favorite restaurants. My favorite part was the fried plantains, but everything was really enjoyable. I had flautas with a great slaw on top, and also tried the crab enchiladas. Their salsa doesn’t beat On the Border salsa, but then again, I’m an OTB salsa junky and probably biased.


What a great food week!

Stuff That DOES NOT Rock:

I know — usually this section tells you all about something that rocks. This week, something decidedly does not rock. Byrd, my toy poodle (Willow Bird Baking is her namesake), has intervertebral disc disease. In English, that means she has bulging discs in her back. She’s been resting to calm this episode, but the doctor says it won’t ever fully go away. Playing fetch is her favorite thing in the universe, so to say I’m bummed is an understatement. She’s only 5 years old! He did say she should be able to enjoy moderate activity between episodes, so I’m hopeful that includes fetch.

The picture of Byrd that makes me cry everytime. That pig has long since been dismantled…

Sorry to end on a sad note — maybe you can help. Tell me what fantastic recipes you’ve discovered online this week. What fun food experiences have you had?

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17 Comments on Willow Bird Weekly

  1. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    June 24, 2011 at 6:05 am (12 years ago)

    So sorry to hear about your dog:-( I’ve seen so many pancake recipes that I need to try this week. They were all over the blogs!

  2. Vanessa
    June 24, 2011 at 8:18 am (12 years ago)

    I hope Byrd will be okay!! That breakfast looks amazing. All of your makings look good! How did the fruit leather turn out??

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      June 27, 2011 at 12:12 am (12 years ago)

      Thanks, Vanessa! The fruit leather is yummy! It has a brighter fresh-fruit flavor than the packaged kind.

  3. Fran at fransfavs.com
    June 24, 2011 at 8:19 am (12 years ago)

    Sounds like Byrd has exactly the right owner to get her through this–sorry to hear, though! Re smiles, Brookies, a dessert I made this weekend made us all smile. It’s a combo of a cookie and brownie in one. It was very yummy! I’ve just posted it on my blog, fransfavs.com. I’ve only recently discovered your site and enjoy it very much!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      June 27, 2011 at 12:12 am (12 years ago)

      Oh, brookies sound amazing! I’m going to run over and see. Thanks so much, Fran.

  4. natalie (the sweets life)
    June 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm (12 years ago)

    I made Tracey’s blueberry streusel bars this week and they are AWESOME! Two thumbs up!

    Can’t wait to see more about Saturday’s event! 🙂

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      June 27, 2011 at 12:13 am (12 years ago)

      Ooh, so glad to hear you enjoyed them! I LOVE fruity bars like that. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks, Natalie!

  5. onceuponarecipe
    June 24, 2011 at 11:39 pm (12 years ago)

    Aww, I hope Byrd feels better soon! My pooch (Bella) sends her a big slobbery kiss! 🙂 I found a rice pudding recipe in the new Fine Cooking that claims to be the “best ever.” I can’t wait to try it – it will be a blog entry for sure. Take care and have a lovely weekend.

  6. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking
    June 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm (12 years ago)

    So sorry about Byrd!!! She’s precious!
    The strawberry fruit leather looks amazing and is one of my favorite things! I still eat Fruit Roll-Ups when I buy them for the kids and I’m WELL past the age of being a kid.
    Seeing those makes me think it’s time to pull the food dehydrator out of the closet and finally learn how to use it. I needed a jump-start, and this was perfect! Thanks!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      June 27, 2011 at 12:18 am (12 years ago)

      Thanks, Lynne!! Hope you love your fruit leather — I found that homemade had an even brighter fruity zing than the packaged kind (and I’m another “big kid” who loves the packaged kind…)!

  7. Maranda
    July 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm (12 years ago)

    Poor Byrd!!! I love that Beehive cake! And now I want a hot dog real bad!


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