Rocky Road to Hell

If there’s any road to hell it should be the Rocky Road to Hell

So it has been a while my sweets!  Over 6 weeks since a blog post and around 4 weeks since baking!!!  WHY?!  I hear you cry…Why indeed…Well we’ve finally bit the bullet and got our kitchen done.  It was looking tired, 70’s (and not in a good way) and was proving to be a health, not to mention sanity, risk!

Now it’s so puuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrty though…LOOK!!!

New kitchen excitement

Pastry cabinet revamped and ready for baking

What’s more the oven does what it says!  I know this seems bonkers to you all, but the old oven took a lot of getting used to…eventually I sussed that you needed to set the temperature to 20 degrees less than the fan temperature a recipe recommended, plus reduce your cooking time to around 10 mins less.  This made baking similar to a game of Russian Roulette.  This beauty however, says 170 degrees and cooks at 170 degrees…bliss!

Anyway…to the recipe!  This monstrosity of a recipe came from the need to make my gal-pal Lucy a cake for her 30th birthday which was last Thursday.  She’s not a huge cake fan but LOVES Rocky Road so I knew I needed to do my own twist on this classic…having never made it before…strangely! Continue reading »

Spiced Pear & Ginger Cake

Spiced Pear and Ginger Cake – Moist, light and gingery!

I have been raving about wanting to make this cake for AGES! At the start of the summer Cathy, Nic and I went to The Wild Trapeze in Heaton, Newcastle.  It’s a fab, quirky little joint and does some amazing cakes.  I spotted this cake and knew I had to try it…a beautiful mix of spices, moist cake and tangy cream cheese with the amazing kick of fiery ginger.  Even though the chef was very cagey about his recipe I was determined to try and replicate this.  It is a work in progress and the pear flavour; being quite a mild fruit, is hard to get through, so I have plans to remake this with a middle sliced tinned pear layer…Mmmmm!  Despite that this works really well and if you fancy something to couple with a coffee, this is the cake to make…it also lasts a couple of days and reaps many slices…you will need a fork to eat it with though :) Continue reading »

White & Nerdy Shortbread

Delicious geeky morsels for your nerdy friends!

So these beauties were created for a variety of reasons and I shall proceed to outline them, much to your bore and my delight:

  1. I LOVE Nerds…not just the one I am engaged to but also the tasty crunchy candies from Wonka that you either pay a fortune for in an Americandy shop OR if you’re lucky get HUGE boxes for at a fraction of the price in Poundland!
  2. I was going to the Zoo…A planned Edinburgh Zoo trip meant picnic edibles had to be created for Grant, Becca, Daz and me whilst we gallivanted around the Zoo on a Sunday.
  3. \I enjoy putting random twists on normal recipes
  4. My mates love Nerds…especially JoJo at school who loves my Nerd cupcakes.
  5. This recipe gave me the chance to make shortbread which I used to make every weekend at my Dad’s when I was little because it was the only thing I could make…
  6. As a result reason 6 has warranted it’s name…My Dad is a fan of Weird Al Yankovich…if you haven’t heard him, you should, he’s funny and provides pastiche takes on songs; one being White & Nerdy which you can watch here and giggle at whilst eating these…

So enjoy putting this tasty traybake together and put your own twist on it! Continue reading »

Caramel & Chocolate Ben & Jerry’s style Ice Cream…Ooooh served with caramelised bananas!

Ice cream a la ZoBird!

I LOVE ice cream…anybody who knows me, knows that besides cake, chocolate and various other sins ice cream is my ultimate indulgence.  Much to Di Meos delight in Whitley Bay; especially during the summer months, I frequent their establishment consuming all double creamy, frozen goodness until I feel sick with my bestie Ollie…Believe me it’s embarrassing when the whole Di Meo family know you!!!  Anyhoo…I went to Urban Outfitters and found the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.  Originally published in 1987 (so we’re talking pre-Caramel Chew Chew and pre-Phish food) this book is like every ice cream makers dream.  I will hasten to add that I would never refer to myself as an ice cream ‘maker’ passe, but now that I have made my first batch I believe that I should at least continue to produce such delicious delights and in turn be able to coin the term – ZoBird’s Ices…now that does have a ring to it, doesn’t it?!

So read on if you are brave and would like to trial out some Ben & Jerry action…IMPORTANT NOTE…this is a very easy recipe, you DO NOT need an ice cream maker and consequently may end up with an ice cream addiction paired with an ever-increasing waistband….Don’t say I didn’t warn you!  Continue reading »

Side Dish Spectacular – USA stylee (of course!)

I’m back!!!!  I know you’ve all missed me but it’s been a mental few weeks.  In between planning a staff Christmas party, the school Christmas show, a trip ‘darn sarff’ to see family and hosting our New Year’s Eve shenanigans; I have been baking and cooking but not logging it on here…same on me I know!  Anyhoo, i’m back in the baking-saddle and ready to share some more tantalising delights with you.  What better way to start 2013 than with a savoury sensation….Mac ‘n’Cheese and BBQ Baked Beans…hold your drooling peeps this ones a belter!!!

Delicious ingredients…ASSEMBLE!!!! – Vegas mug optional!

Continue reading »

Curds & Whey – A Double Bake Special – Yorkshire Curd Tart

Yorkshire Curd Tart

As all best ideas started, we were standing in the Town Wall in Newcastle, pretty merry and talking of things past: videos, tape cassettes and Beetamax! The conversation came round to our good mate Chris reminiscing of a Yorkshire Curd Tart…What?!  We cried, surely you mean a Custard Tart.  He was adamant it was different and so we google’d away until we found a recipe he agreed on.  Seeing this as a challenge and being promised as his ‘bestest person ever’ I set out to make it…only to discover much to our previous declaration, it really isn’t like custard tart! Continue reading »

ZoBird’s version of the Pieminister Matador!

Pieminister at London Bridge!

Some very exciting things happened this week!  Firstly I broke up for half term; whoooop says all fellow teachers, ‘lazy gits’ scowls everyone else!  Secondly I went to London with a friend to see our mate Rachael who moved down there a couple of months ago. Thirdly we went to Pieminister!!!!!  If you’ve never been here you MUST go, the pies are epic, with amazing flavour combinations, perfect accompaniments and lovely friendly staff…a visit should be compulsory when you visit London.  As you can see in the picture above I got very excited to be there and after purchasing the Matador decided I would need to make this myself at home. Continue reading »

Pumpkin Pinata’s – Happy Halloween!!!

Pumpkin Pinata’s – A spooky surprise in each one!

I was forwarded the link to an amazing blog called Handmade Charlotte, an awesome collection of handmade goodies to trial at home to keep little kids entertained.  Instantly I stumbled across these beauties and just knew they would put a smile on the grown-ups faces in my life…needless to say they did and I will never cease to be amazed how happy cakes and indeed chocolatey surprises inside cakes can make people! Check out how I made them and why not head over to Handmade Charlotte too… Continue reading »

21 Layer Crepe Cake!

21 Layer Crepe Cake!

So there we are watching Diner’s Drive-In’s and Dives on the Food Network channel and on the screen appears a Crepe special based in a wonderful little American diner.  Guy Fieri is there chatting away to the chef (heavily tattooed and alternative :) )when they exclaim their special is a 21 Layer Crepe Pie!  Grant and I were fixed to the TV and made a mental note of the process…our own little twist can be seen with instructions below! Continue reading »

Welcome!

Welcome to Zobird’s Cookabilly Kitchen!

I’ll be bringing you recipes, pictures and more from my kitchen very soon, however please bear with me while I get to grips with this newfangled website thing!