Category Archives: Tasty Bites

TASTY BITES // the staycation getaway cocktail

 photo drinkie.jpg

Hello, M.K readers! Remember us? It’s Lindsay & John / Bird & Cleaver; we make food. Seems like we’ve been away forever. Duty calls, we suppose. For what it’s worth, we’ve missed being here, and we are glad to be back!

In the past few weeks, we have spent a large amount of time watching many of our friends heading off for vacations and fun adventures. Being that it is not vacation season for us, all we can do is wish them well…….. annnnnd be secretly jealous of all their impending fun. In particular, the one that is most on our minds is a tropical beach honeymoon! Ugh. Of course, it had to be on the week when it actually started to get a little colder; a cruel reminder of the impending seasonal changes. We just have to keep telling ourselves, our time will come.  Not the honeymoon part; that was ages ago. We are really just interested in the beach relaxation part. Well, that and sipping anything with an umbrella in it! Somehow, we are just going to have to tough it out. Soon enough, it will be our turn to get outta town for a little tropical down time. Until then, we will just have to pretend we’re someplace exotic, right from the comfort of our own home. We think this tasty libation ought to do the trick.

the getaway 

2 oz vodka
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/2 lime
2 oz coconut water
2 oz orange juice
3-4 mint leaves + more for garnish

Muddle tamarind paste, vodka, lime and mint until all juice is released from lime. Add orange juice and coconut water. Shake 45 seconds.  Strain over ice. Refreshing, tangy  and deeeelicious. Enjoy!

Want more Tasty Bites? Go here. If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow @birdandclever for more delicious photos.

 photo BirdCleaver.jpg

tasty bites // mmmm sriracha fries!

 photo sricha_fries.jpg

We love simple, especially when it comes to food. However, to do something simple, does not always mean it’s just a thrown together creation. There are rules, folks. So stick to em’, if you want to end up on top. Take these fries, for example. Sure, you could just grab a bag from the store. Or if you are slightly more ambitious, grab a bag of taters, and get to cutting. Either way, most folks would just toss those suckers straight into a bubbling pot of oil, and wait for the magic to happen. But, we say no! This is not the way. Not that we don’t appreciate a fried treat every once in a while, it’s just that there are better ways, friends. Healthier ways. Tastier ways. Simpler ways, to get tasty frites. Please allow us to show you the way. Did we mention that they are covered in salty, spicy sriracha-flavored, goodness?! OH YES. You can thank us later.

sriracha fries

    • 5-6 medium russet potatoes, cut into fries
    • 2 tablespoons sriracha
    • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    • sriracha salt (recipe here)

Place potatoes in large bowl and cover with cool water.  Let sit for 30 minutes, dump water and cover again.  Let sit for another 30 minutes.* *This step removes the starch and allows the fries to get crispy in the oven.

Dump water and towel dry potatoes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine oil and sriracha. Toss with fries.

Place on two large baking sheets in a single layer.  Sprinkle with sriracha salt. Place fries in oven and bake for fifteen minutes.  Using tongs, move fries around so they can bake evenly.  Return to oven.  Check on them again after 10 minutes.  Continue process until fries are golden brown, crispy and cooked through.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Enjoy!

Want more Tasty Bites? Go here. Also, if you are on instagram, be sure to follow@birdandclever for more fabulous photos.

 photo BirdCleaver.jpg

TASTY BITES // brownie cookies

 photo choco_cookies.jpg

As far as we are concerned, when it comes to sweets, it doesn’t get much better than a good old fashioned cookie. A well executed cookie is a beautiful thing. It has to have just the right amount of sweetness, a touch of salt, a little crunch, and a perfectly chewy center. The best of the best are deceptively simple creations. These are the ones that have been tweaked 100’s of times until there is just the right amount of everything, while at the same time not being overly complicated. Because no one likes a fussy cookie! Often times, they are family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, and are closely guarded secrets. Mmmmmm, secrets.

Aside from being extremely well-balanced and very tasty, this recipe is barely any of the other things mentioned above. Heck, it’s barely even a cookie. Because honestly, for as much as we love cookies, we are also pretty fond of brownies. When we couldn’t decide between the two, a recipe was born.

Not a family secret. Not the culmination of 100’s attempts at perfection. Not really a cookie. Not exactly a brownie. Just chocolatey, chewy, sweet, salty, and delicious. So, if any of these things sound good to you, we think these might be just your thing! Enjoy.

 brownie cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  •  3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 12 oz bag choc chips, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt half of the chocolate chips with half of a stick of butter, stirring a few times, until smooth, about 7 minutes.Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine other half stick of butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer (fitted with paddle attachment) and cream for about a minute.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat on medium-high speed for about five minutes. Add vanilla. Beat on low to combine.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt. Whisk well to combine.

Fold in chocolate mixture into egg mixture.

Fold in flour mixture. Fold in remaining chocolate chips.

Place dough in freezer for one hour, or alternately chill dough in the fridge overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Drop cookie dough by tablespoon onto cookie sheet, leaving two inches between each cookie.

Repeat with remaining dough.  Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes before baking.

Bake for eight minutes.  Let cool slightly on cookie sheet.  Enjoy!

Want more Tasty Bites? Go here. Also, if you are on instagram, be sure to follow@birdandclever for more stunning photos.

 photo BirdCleaver.jpg

TASTY BITES // tip toe-ing into fall

 photo barley2.jpg

We can’t believe it’s already here. The last week of summer! Well, our summer at least. As of next Monday, school is back in session. Even though the boys have missed their friends, I am pretty sure they are not quite ready to give up these care free days. They are not exactly looking forward to early mornings and enforced bedtimes. Not to mention, they will have to put on shirts, and comb their hair! Who the heck has time for that?! But, like it or not, it’s coming. The end is near! For us, and you.

What in the world does this have to do with a recipe? Well, I am glad you asked. The beginning of the school year is always a tough transition for every aspect of our lives , even for food. We go from eating whatever we want, whenever we want, to planning and thinking ahead. Not to mention, that we are working with a considerably smaller window of time to make things happen. So, it is always nice when we have a couple things already made in the fridge for those times when we are running a little behind.

This week’s dish is perfect for that: roasted root vegetable and barley salad. Easy to make, and perfect for any meal. It is hearty, healthy, and full of flavor. Just whip it up, and use it as you need it. Throw an egg on it, and it makes an awesome breakfast. Eat it all by itself as a quick lunch. Warm it up as a side for an easy dinner. Or our personal favorite, eat it straight out of the bowl in your underwear, in the middle of the night. Really, it’s perfect for everything. We might not be quite ready for the end of summer, but with a little planning, we might just survive another year.

 photo barley1.jpg

roasted root vegetable + barley salad


  • 4 cups fingerling, or other small potato. Cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups assorted root vegetables (carrot, parsnip,turnip, beet, etc.) cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • 3 cups cooked barley (about 1 cup uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine potatoes, vegetables, garlic and mushrooms together in a shallow baking dish. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-50 minutes, until vegetable are tender and beginning to brown. Remove garlic, set aside. In a large bowl, combine vegetables, barley, chives. Add dressing 2 Tb. at a time until you reach your preferred taste. Garnish with parsley (and an egg, if you’re into it). Serve and enjoy!

 cider vinegar dressing
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dijon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • reserved garlic

In a small bowl, smash reserved garlic with tines of a fork until totally smooth. Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and mustard, mix to combine. Whisk in oil until mixture is totally emulsified.

Want more Tasty Bites? Go here. If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow @birdandclever for more delicious photos.

 photo BirdCleaver.jpg

TASTY BITES // the sungold zinger

 photo Sungold.jpg

Alix sent us this little ditty quite some time ago. She said “Check this out! Seems like it would be right up your alley”. Boy, does she know us! We love trying fun new cocktails; and with the addition of one of our favorite ingredients, (that’d be tomato), this one promised to be sublime. We absolutely could not wait to try it! And so we did. We rushed right out, gathered the necessary supplies, and got to mixin’. And….it was not good. Not that it was terrible, but just kind of blah. What gives? The idea is totally solid. The technique and execution is correct. How could this not be amazing? It had to be the ingredients. Even though we knew better, we tried to get by with out-of-season tomatoes in a pinch. And, we got burned.

So, we waited. And waited. We waited until our own little tomatoes were at the peak of ripeness to try it again. Holy wow! What a difference a couple of weeks can make. With fresh ingredients that are in season, this cocktail wasn’t even in the same ball park as the first one. It was tangy, and perfectly sweet. With a finish that you can only get from a perfectly ripe tomato, this was the cocktail we were hoping for. This one is definitely going to be our go to cocktail from now on. Well, at least for one month out of the year. Thanks for recipe, Alix!

sungold zinger
(recipe from Range)
  • 3-4 sungold tomatoes
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 oz agave syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 oz 209 gin
Muddle the tomatoes, salt and syrup together in a mixing glass. Add lemon juice and gin and shake well with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with another tomato on rim (or some fresh tomato leaves) and enjoy!

Want more Tasty Bites? Go here. If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow @birdandclever for more delicious photos.

 photo BirdCleaver.jpg