Thursday, March 20, 2014

Two Birds Gets a Visitor...

It's been just over six months since we opened our doors. And before our doors could open we were required to pass an inspection from the Douglas County Heath Department. We passed that one, pretty obviously. Well, a few weeks ago we were visited once again. This is the first time since the initial opening inspection.

After the inspection is finished, the inspector rates a food establishment based on the number of critical and non-critical violations it receives. However, I am not so sure what the cut-off numbers are for each rating.

The ratings range from 'fair' to 'superior', fair being the lowest grade and superior the highest. The following descriptions come directly from

Superior - The establishment understands and routinely corrects sanitation deficiencies on a day-to-day basis and does not wait for a health inspection before doing so. in addition, at least 75 percent of employees and management of a superior food establishment must have successfully completed a food safety training course conducted by this department, or its equivalent.
Excellent - The establishment routinely corrects most sanitation deficiencies and immediately corrects the minor violations found at the time of inspection.
Standard - The establishment generally corrects most sanitation deficiencies on a routine basis and corrects violations found at the time of inspection in the time allowed by the inspecting health officer.
Fair - The establishment barely meets minimum standards required by state and local food safety codes. Serious and minor sanitation deficiencies are found on each inspection. Sanitation deficiencies are not corrected on a routine basis and repeat inspections are often a necessary part of regulating these establishments to help assure minimum food safety conditions.
Thanks to our super awesome cleaning skills, as well as the thorough and informative food safety class that Trilety and I took almost four years ago, we got our gold star, a superior rating (Trilety's moment of glory) Happy birds :-)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Adventures with Two Birds: Episode 1

These Two Birds go on lots of adventures together, so along with important Bakery Information we post in our blog, we will also fill you on the fun we have outside the shop.

Early last fall, Megan and I visited her dad (Mike) at the airport where he serves as Operations Supervisor for the Omaha Airport Authority. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! He works overnights, so we went under cover of darkness and in the cloak of a truck to check out the midnight runways!

Megan and I shared the same favorite thing from the trip; the pump station! These pump stations bale out groundwater that could bubble to the surface and compromise the safety of the runways. The interior of the structure was loud, and each shaft we looked down was full of sand and water. . . .I can't imagine what subterranean secrets were held there.

Beyond the pumps, there was also Situation Rooms, Glowing X's, and Empty Fed Ex planes! See below for a photographic illustration of our Airport Adventure!

A view of the Runway from inside the Airport Truck. 
It looks like we're ready to Take Off.

How do you know when a runway is closed? 
There will be a Huge Blinking Illuminated "X" on it!
This is it fully lit.

This is the X mid-lit

This is the mid-blink X

This is me in front of the Fully Lit X!

This is a side-view of the X. . . this could be the best yard art ever.

We learned that shipping crates are not all square, but instead are varying shapes that can Lego & Tetris into the interior of these freight planes - Exciting New Fact.

Sometimes an Occupied Situation Room is exciting, but more often than not, 
these Two Birds prefer a Vacant Situation Room

From left, Megan, Mike (Megan's Dad), and Trilety

Our Hungarian Nut Roll recipe is based on a recipe that Mike's Mom, Henrietta (aka Butch), used to bake every Christmas. For a while, we omitted the raisins from the recipe, but Mike's adorably gruff ribbing was the impetus for the raisins going back in the roll. 

Megan's father is a joy to be around, he's generous and strong, and has the swagger and language of a man straight out of a 1940's Detective film. We had a ball with him that night, and hope to be invited back to the airport again. 

What are your adventures?

~ Trilety

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Two Birds Holiday

This is our first holiday season at Two Birds Bakery, and we're excited about decorating our space and offering some delightful holiday treats for all of you!

Here's a quick rundown of our seasonal treats:

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles (vegan)
A rich chocolate and peppermint cookie that's been rolled in vegan powdered sugar - good alone, and even better with cocoa! ($3.50 for six cookies)

Merry Cherry Cookies
This is a cookie that Megan grew up with and loves to this day. The Merry Cherry cookie is a citrusy butter cookie that's been rolled in ground walnuts and topped with a brilliant candied cherry. ($3.50 for six cookies)

Baklava (vegan)
Layers of vegan phyllo dough are filled with almonds and cardamom, and drizzled with an agave syrup. No butter in this baklava! ($1.50 per piece)

Baklava (dairy free but not vegan)
Layers of dairy free phyllo dough are filled with almonds and cardamom, and drizzled with a honey syrup. No butter in this baklava either. . . .we always use olive oil! ($1.75 per piece) 

Pecan Pie (vegan)
Pecan pies aren't just for Thanksgiving, they're for the whole holiday season! We use grade B maple syrup and brown rice syrup, instead of corn syrup, to sweeten this vegan version of a traditional favorite. ($19 per pie)

Holiday Hungarian Nut Roll
We've added plump raisins to the nut roll for the holidays. Buy them by the slice, or purchase a whole roll that's wrapped up like a holiday package in parchment and twine! ($2.85 per slice or $39 for the whole roll)

Coconut Macaroons
Always gluten free and so tasty! You can have them dipped in chocolate too! ($3.50 for six macaroons) 

Think about bringing Two Birds baked goods to your holiday gatherings; we have a little something for everyone! 

We also have some great holiday gift boxes as a way to give locally sourced gifts to the delight of your friends and family!

Visit to India Box ($9.50)
Includes: 12 Midnight in India cookies and 2 Curry of Kali Muffins

Holiday Birdie Box ($19.50)
Includes: 6 Merry Cherry Cookies, 6 Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles, 4 Pieces of Baklava, and 2 slices of Hungarian Nut Roll w/ raisins

Old School Box ($17.00)
Includes: 2 Cinnamon Rolls, 2 Coffee Cake Muffins (vegan), 6 Vegan/Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, and 6 Megan's Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Holidays and hope to see you around the bakery!

~ Trilety

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Goddess Muffin

I would like to introduce our newest muffin. This is the Gluten-Free Goddess Muffin. We were inspired to develop the recipe by Omaha Integrative Care. Dietician Lindsay Martian visited us several weeks ago with the idea that we could make a "fertility muffin", that is, a muffin that has ingredients that promote fertility. Key ingredients include sweet potato, chia seeds, natural sweeteners, full-fat dairy, cinnamon, and gluten-free flours. Voila!

We use organic sweet potato puree, grade B maple syrup, whole milk from Prairieland Dairy, butter (local when available), cinnamon, our own gluten-free flour mix, and top it with chia seeds. 

This muffin is full of goodness. It is the food of goddesses as well as man, woman and child. Although it was developed as to promote fertility, it is also just plain tasty and good for you. Gentlemen, please don't shy away!

Look at these Goddess Muffins peeking over their sign!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cookies for Breakfast, Cookies All Day Long!

What kind of cookie is good for breakfast?! Our Rum Kissed Raisin cookie is full of oatmeal, coconut, rum-soaked-raisins, local butter, and local eggs. And as Megan reminded me, "eggs are for breakfast!" Oatmeal doesn't need to be served only in a bowl.

So here's the story on our Rum-Kissed Raisin cookies. . . . Megan developed the recipe for this little oatmeal cookie, and in it she specifies: "Heat rum and raisins on the stove until simmering. Turn off the heat, cover and soak the raisins for half an hour until they plump up." But one day while I was preparing cookies, I heated the rum/raisins and instead of draining them after 30 minutes, I walked away and ate lunch. So. . . .after 60 minutes of bathing in a pot of warm rum, the raisins had softened and easily released their rummy juices into the cookie dough.  Upon first realizing my flub, Megan reminded what Bob Ross says, "We don't make mistakes; we have happy accidents."

Now these cookies truly deserve the name "Rum Kissed," whereas before they were simply "Rum Pecked". Come grab a kiss from these two birds, oh and some cookies!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sgt. Pepper's Strawberry Fields Muffin!

We are continuing to spotlight each of our items for your salivary and literary enjoyment!

(Megan is sitting across from me and played me animated clips of a cartoon character called Gir, who she says I reminder her of, and I can see the resemblance.)

Today we're spotlighting the Sgt. Pepper's Strawberry Fields Muffin! It's a strawberry, black pepper, walnut muffin, and oh boy is it delicious!

This vegan muffin's base is built of spelt flour, grade B maple syrup, canola oil, walnuts, and soy milk. A dollop of strawberry jam is nestled in the center of the muffin and also adorns the top of the muffin. The slight heat of the black pepper is balanced to sweet perfection by the jam.

We first tried this muffin with fresh strawberries rather than jam, but the fruit sank and made the muffin wet. At a 2010 muffin tasting, one of Megan's friends (unfortunately we can't recall who, but we're looking for our notes from that event so that we can give the person their congratulatory due!) suggested we add a dollop of strawberry jam to the center and the top rather than using fresh fruit. Splendid!

At that same tasting, while taking suggestions for names, we went with a name that Megan's brother Jason came up with; "Muffin 51" because it's alien! While we loved this name, it didn't give an apt description of what you'd get in the muffin, so my friend Richard suggested the "Sgt. Pepper's Strawberry Fields" muffin - clever AND descriptive.

We love this muffin. Our friend Joni loves this muffin. Richard, who named the muffin, loves this muffin. Don't fear the black pepper, strawberry, walnut muffin. . .love the muffin. . .love it!

Here it is, stop in and taste the Sgt. Pepper!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Curry of Kali

Some of our muffin and cookie flavor combos are unique, surprising, and untraditional. This is the first post in a series we've been wanting to do, in which we highlight our products one-by-one.

The Curry of Kali muffin fits all of the descriptors listed above. The combination of curry spice, coconut, and dates sounds odd for a muffin, but I assure that it is a completely joyful experience for anyone's palate. Customers who were skeptical at first were hooked after one sample! Also, out of our four vegan muffin offerings, it is my personal favorite.

Vegan? Yes, the muffin is vegan! There are no eggs, no dairy, no animal products of any kind in the Curry of Kali muffin, which also makes it accessible to those with allergies to dairy and/or eggs.

We make all of our vegan muffins with spelt flour instead of unbleached white flour. Spelt is an ancient species of wheat and has more protein than whole wheat, which makes it healthy too!

So where does this crazy muffin name come from? Curry of Kali is an odd name it seems. But it has a story, like most things. Three years ago, while we were hosting a muffin-tastings to test our recipes, our friend Kali Baker suggested the name, in honor of Kali (Kä-lē) the Hindu goddess of empowerment, time and eternal energy. Curry of Kali is a fury of flavors and is oh so good for you!

Curry of Kali muffin says "eat me!"

Have a super Labor Day weekend everybody!!