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!!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Finishing Construction...

And moving on with stocking and organizing the bakery. 

Over the past week, we purchased bowls, whisks, scrapers, towels, dish soap, sanitizer, mops and buckets, brooms and dustpans. There have been many little errands here and there, just like moving into a new home, but with bigger ovens, a urinal, and a Big Bertha sink that you could take a bath in... not that we would. Haha!

Amongst the practicalities and necessities, we are really excited to decorate and make the place our own, to give it our own special touch. I love the idea of plants in there for example, a nice contrast to the industrial metal of the kitchen.

As a bakery-warming gift, Barbi gave us two happy dancing penguin figures; two birds for Two Birds. These little guys are also a great contrast. Oh my gosh they are so happy!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dissection of a Photo

It'd be easy to confuse this blog for a construction blog and not a bakery blog at this point, but a remodel is necessary to create a bakery that is up to snuff (or code rather.) 

Here's a photo I took at our Progress Meeting yesterday, let's dissect it to see where we're at in the construction proces. . . .

1. Megan: That's Megan in the middle with the peach, ruffled shirt! She's pleased about our wood table (not pictured) and all the natural light.

2. Bakery case (to the right of Megan): That's our bakery case! It arrived with a dent, so now we are learning about insurance claims.

3. Trash Can (to the left of Megan): This trash can indicates that we are not yet open for business and work is still busily being done on our beloved little bakery.

4. Floor: The bamboo floor was finally installed! Now you'll be able to enter on a lovely, sustainable floor when you visit these two birds.

5. Barn Wood (on the wall): You've seen pictures of Jeff's awesome installation of Barbi's well aged barn wood before, but it's too beautiful not to highlight again.

6. Round Pendant Lamp: The lights are installed! These orb lamps provide an amazing amount of light to the bakery which will make for a most pleasant atmosphere.

7. Transom & Awning: Our new transom is being installed above our new commercial door, and you can see just a peek of our new burgundy colored awning.

8. Guy in the Red Shirt: He was a happy guy installing the transom. We like happy people!

Wow, a lot can be gleaned from a single photo. Thanks for visiting our blog; we can't wait for you to visit us at the bakery!

~ Trilety

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Slow Reveal

After the drywall went up, we started to see some of the fun aesthetics that will adorn our new space.

Tiles went up in the sink area and in the bathroom...

 We fought hard for this unisex bathroom, which means that Trilety, Barbi, myself, and our architects sat in front of the Omaha Plumbing Board to state our case for having one restroom instead of two.

Subway tile! This is the mop sink and 3-basin sink area.

Our huge mother of a hood was installed...

Huge! This is required above our convection oven and range.

Trilety and I planted...

We picked roses, lilac, day lilies, lavender and a blueberry bush!

And the barn wood, which we've talked to admittedly about, was installed on the north wall.

Thank you Jeff Chase for the installation, thank you Barbi for the barn wood, and thank you Jil Bunnimit for the cool idea! 

Needless to say (I hope), we are excited! Construction will officially be done in a few more weeks and we should be ready to open in late July or early August. Wow, we can't wait to have you over!

We update the blog every couple weeks so check back on us soon!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Windows & Walls

If eyes are windows to the soul, then windows should be wide open eyes.  And our little bakery may be all seeing, because in an effort to maximize natural light our design incorporates both exterior and interior windows.

Here's a partial view of the east facing exterior windows (photo was taken a few months ago at the start of the remodel.)

This wall of windows is original to the existing structure. 

We will have an interior window, that allows for both natural light and a clear line of sight, between our office and the kitchen. Here's a view of the door opening to our office (right), and the unfinished interior window opening (left), looking west from the future kitchen space into our office.

We will also have three windows above our three compartment sink that look into the side hallway that leads to the bathroom. 

This is where our sink will be! 
This view will be looking over the sink, through the windows to the hallway

This view is looking in those same windows from the hallway!

We're busy birds these days, but our facebook and twitter accounts should be live in June, our website live in July, and our equipment is scheduled to be installed the middle of June. . . .we're almost there and we thank our family and friends for the support along the way!

~ Trilety

Monday, May 6, 2013


Trilety introduced you to our Hungarian nut roll in her last post. And to give an update, we've finally figured out and solidified our variations to my grandma's original recipe. Woo! We spent all of last Monday in the kitchen at Barbi's farm in northwest Omaha. What a wonderful space to spend the day baking!

Grandma Butch (Henrietta Thomas) was my father's mother. My experience was that she was a strict but lovely woman. She raised four rowdy sons on her own and ended up with twenty-some grandchildren and more great-grandchildren before she passed away. She was a devout Catholic, always telling us to pray when we saw her. Pray for our parents, pray for each other, pray for the starving children around the world. I remember her babysitting my two brothers and me in the summers when we were out of school and our mom was at work during the day. She called the sofa a davenport, she made apple pies (I can still picture her hands cutting up apples), she made us take naps, and our cat was afraid of her.

Most, if not every, Christmas she made a Hungarian nut roll for the family. My dad's family would spend Christmas Eve together. When I was younger, I cared more about chocolate than nutty raisiny pastries, but over time her nut roll grew on me. I began to cherish it as a tradition unique to our family. And now I love that her recipe has been given to me. I didn't know Grandma Butch as well as I would have liked, but I would like to think that she'd be proud of me and proud that her recipe has inspired Trilety and me so much.

Henrietta (Grandma Butch) and me,  maybe 2004

As we continue to get our remaining ducks lined up for our store opening, we'll keep you updated on our progress. So many little things to do, and some big things too. One step at a time.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hungarian Nut Roll

Have you heard of a Hungarian Nut Roll? Well I hadn't until a couple of years ago when Megan said it may be a good item to sell in the bakery. For two years, based on the name and an incorrect assumption, I thought the nut roll was a sort of refrigerator cookie, and boy was I wrong! The Hungarian Nut roll is a sweet yeast dough that is rolled into a rectangle and spread with a filling of finely chopped walnuts and sugar, or a sweet poppyseed filling, then rolled up, baked, and sliced.

Megan and I have been practicing with her grandmother's secret Hungarian Nut Roll recipe, and in doing research on nut roll recipes I can say that I have yet to come across duplicate recipes so it seems all grandmothers' recipes are indeed secret! Megan's paternal grandmother, Henrietta Thomas, was known to her sons and grandchildren as Butch (I have loved this since hearing it years ago!) It seems Henrietta was strict, but could bake up a delicious Hungarian Nut Roll! 

Megan and I have been playing around with her grandmother's recipe, and it's been such fun experimenting in the kitchen. Do we stay with the same flour amount, or reduce it? Do we dice the apples or grate them? Do we keep the raisins or toss them? Do we add cinnamon or stick to nutmeg? After many attempts, our friends (and Doug's coworkers) are getting happy and fat!

I'm so excited that these two birds will be offering a traditional recipe from Megan's family. Both she and I have written about the connections of food before, the way our memories are coated in scent and taste; and the smell and taste of the Thomas heritage will be a cozy one indeed.

Here are some of our nut roll attempts. . . .

Hungarian Nut Roll slice and ready to be served

Hungarian Nut Roll just out of the oven

Hungarian Nut Roll with the Optional Icing!

Construction continues on the bakery, and we are getting more and more excited every day to start offering our baked goods to our friends, family, and community!

~ Trilety

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Construction Begins

On Monday, March 18th, our general contractor (Kirk Larson of Barry Larson and Son, Inc) started on our renovation project in the old post office on Main Street in Elkhorn. The first day was demolition day. How fun!

Since then, we have had one progress meeting (we will have one of these every two weeks until the end of the project). The progress meetings are attended by Trilety and Barbi and myself, as well as our architect, the general contractor, and any subcontractors involved at that time.

We ran into an issue with the plumbing. It had not been updated to Omaha code since Elkhorn was annexed in 2007. The pipe service was smaller than what is now required (3/4" instead of 1 1/2"). It's not an easy or minor thing to change, and there were no records of its size which is why it was a surprise. So our plumbing will be up to code, which the city really appreciates.

Though it made a lovely office space for Hayes Environmental, it was exciting to see the building in its skeletal state. All existing walls and carpeting and even ceiling had been torn out. Duct work will go into the ceiling, drywall will lay over the new framework, and plumbing fixtures will be installed.

This is estimated to be an 11-week project which will put completion at the beginning of June. At this point there are no major set-backs and we appear to be on schedule. With that said, we understand that set-backs can and often do occur so we'll have to keep you updated on the process.

And of course some photos:


Thanks for checking in!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Sticky Bun Conundrum

Sticky buns are good, but sticking to a bad idea isn't. Megan and I had originally decided not to offer Cinnamon Rolls at the bakery. Instead we were going to offer her grandmother's Hungarian Nut Roll as an alternative, and it IS a delightful alternative! Similar to Cinnamon Rolls, the Hungarian Nut Roll is a yeast based dough that is rolled up and sliced, but it is filled with dried fruits and nuts rather than cinnamon, sugar, and butter.

"Everyone does cinnamon rolls, and we want to be a little different, so we'll offer the Hungarian Nut Roll INSTEAD of Cinnamon Rolls," we said to each other. 

This was our plan. . . . . until. . . . my friend Doug signed up to bring cinnamon rolls to a chili cook-off at work and I said I'd help him bake a batch, rather than him buying rolls from the grocery store. (He's known for his Cheez-it contributions to work potlucks I'm told). 

Close Up of Still Warm Rolls
So we warmed our yeast in the water. We melted butter. We blended our flour with butter and eggs. He kneaded. The dough rose. He patted. I rolled and sliced. He buttered the pan. The oven baked. I iced. And he was a hit at work the next day with this old school (meaning small in size) batch of cinnamon rolls.

Pan View (my great grandmother's pan)
 Long story short, we ARE going to offer Cinnamon Rolls at Two Birds Bakery. 

And here's something I learned about cinnamon rolls. . . .it seems cinnamon is an anti-fungal, meaning it's a yeast killer, thus the cinnamon is swirled between layers and not mixed directly into the dough! To think, two enemies mingling into the sweetest of treats - maybe Cinnamon Rolls will bring peace. 

Soon, pictures of the Hungarian Nut Roll will be posted, and you'll see - even visually - it'll be hard to decide, so you'll just have to try both!

~ Trilety

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And Equipment

Over the past couple years we have been doing a lot of research. In order to get our loan, we had to compile a list of all equipment we would need to purchase for the bakery. And now, since we have our loan (hooray!), we are going to be pulling the trigger soon on buying some heavy-duty appliances.

Churchich Restaurant Equipment has been highly recommended to us by several restaurant owners in the area and so we started there. We visited a few weeks ago and discussed our needs with Debi Churchich. We gave her our list of needed equipment and a few days later she emailed a very thorough price quote, including all specifications of the equipment. After Trilety and I looked through the list we received from Debi, we decided on some major items such as a 3 basin sink with 2 drainboards, a 20 quart mixer, a 6 quart mixer, a stacked gas convection oven, and a big beautiful maple work table.

We also opted to put this super awesome hand sink in the kitchen. It is controlled with knee pedals instead of with handles. Like sensor activated hands free faucets, pedal sinks help to conserve water. They are also more sanitary.

More to come later. Getting pumped!


Monday, January 28, 2013

A Sneak Peek. . . .

In the last post, Megan gave a sneak peek of the barn wood that will be installed in the bakery. Since then, we've continued to make design choices. Take a look through the knot in the wood to see some of our decisions. . . . 

The style of your clothes says a lot about you. Style is a way to use your body as a palette for blending your creative tastes. The design process of the bakery is a lot like choosing a great outfit. . . . but an outfit that you'll wear for years, not hours. So for months, a group of us (me, Megan, Barbi, and the BVH team of Tom Miller, Nate Adams, and Jeff Davis) have been standing in front of the metaphorical closet trying to choose an outfit. The decisions have finally been finalized, and we're giving you a sneak peek at our wardrobe!

The durable kitchen floors will be a shade called Caribbean:

The floors in the public space will be bamboo, here's a link to the color we chose (it's called wheat, which is appropriate for a bakery!)

The tile in the kitchen will be 4x8-inch ice white glossy porcelain tile, and the bathroom tile will be 2x2-inch hexagonal tile in this lovely shade of ocean blue:
Color above, and Shape Below

We chose pendant style lights with a globe fixture that is similar, but not exact, to the photo below (we are super excited for these!)

Each day, we are coming closer and closer to starting the physical remodel of the bakery. We are a few weeks out from receiving final bids and scheduling the construction start date. . . . which means you are all much closer to the day you'll be able to stop in and enjoy our baked goods!

What's your style?

~ Trilety

Monday, January 14, 2013

Barn Wood Day

We're on our way to a brick and mortar kitchen. Our hope is that the renovation work will start within the next few months. In the meantime we are wrapping up the design work with our architects; making the final decisions about textures, textiles, finishes and fixtures. Fun! One element we've wanted to incorporate from the start of the design process is repurposed barn wood.

A fantastic designer friend of mine, Jil Bunnimit, showed me an image of a staggered wood treatment and thought it would be interesting to consider that for our bakery in some way. At the same time, Trilety's mom and our honorary third bird, Barbi, has two barns that are ready to be felled. And bingo! These birds will have a barn wood wall treatment in their bakery. Below is the design inspiration photo. The wood in our wall treatment will remain raw and rustic rather than painted.

wood treatment inspiration

A few months ago, in November, we (Trilety, Barbi and me) got out our crowbars and hammers and ripped up the side of Barbi's barn. Hard work and so much fun! Barbi bought new tools for this project. I felt so cool with my yellow crowbar!

on location

a pile of barn wood!
Trilety and Barbi
Meg and Trilety
We made a good dent that day but still have a ways to go in order to pull enough wood to cover the wall space in our bakery. Getting there, getting there!