Friday, March 29, 2013

Sugar, Tobi & COFFEE #Giveaway

Hello!  I got the ultimate privilege to interview Sugar Dubois today!  Sit back and enjoy!!!

Welcome to ForgetthehouseworkI’mreading Sugar! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks for having me Tobi! It isn’t often I’m asked to come and talk nothing but coffee and cake, so I’m happy to be here! Well as you know my name is Tula “Sugar” Dubois. I live in Superior Wisconsin, which is just a few miles south of Duluth Minnesota. I am a ballroom dance instructor and former ballroom dance competitor. I live in the lodge my father bought when I was a year old and named “Sugar’s”. I’ve been fortunate to live there for the last 27 years. After my parent’s passed away I added a ballroom onto the lodge because it was always a dream of mine to teach others the love of dance.
So you’ve lived there your entire life?
Almost, we moved to the lodge when I was one after we left Canada. My father was a cabinetmaker and spent most of his adult life making cabinets for the businesses and homes on the lake.
So I’m dying to know why they call you Sugar. Is it because that’s what the lodge is named?
That’s a funny story! Actually my father named the lodge after me. You see my mother was a baker. She made pies and sold them to the local restaurant so that she could stay home with me. Well as you know I have a sweet tooth, so when my mother baked I often tasted her wares. My father would come home and give me a kiss and say “You taste as sweet as Sugar little girl.” It wasn’t long and he started calling me ‘Sugar Lips’. Eventually it was shortened to Sugar and everyone called me that. Everyone but my mother that is! She called me Tula till the day she died. Now the only time I hear my real name is when my brother Jesse is mad at me!
I bet that hardly ever happens!
Only once a week or so!
Now that we know a little about you, let’s talk coffee! A little bird told me you like coffee, is this true?

I’m giggling over here! Do I like coffee??? Let’s see....No, I don’t like coffee. I LOVE coffee! I’m a self proclaimed coffeeaholic; my mom Sharon calls me a coffee whore (all in good fun of course). My brother once threw on the lights and sirens to get me to Starbucks before I faded away (Shhh don’t tell his chief.)
That’s funny and I can totally see Jesse doing that! So your favorite coffee is Starbucks?
Oh no, not by a long shot! If I’m out I’ll always pick up a Cinnamon dolce latte, but when I’m home I don’t drink Starbucks. At home I have a coffee cupboard....
Oh this sounds intriguing. You have a coffee cupboard? What is your favorite coffee in the cupboard?
That’s a no-brainer, Fitger’s Creme Liqueur! It’s a vanilla nut liqueur flavored bean and it’s my every day coffee. Okay, I will admit it’s my “have to have every day” coffee. I honestly can’t live without it. It’s a sweet, mellow brew that you can intensify or mellow just by how heavy or fine you grind it. They have seven different types of coffee, but I think I win the award for most Creme Liqueur purchased :-)
That sounds really good! Fitger’s sounds familiar is that a local place?
Oh it’s good Tobi, I’ll send you some! Fitger’s is a local inn and mall just across the bridge from me in Duluth Minnesota. It used to be a brewery back in the 1800s and it has been turned into quite the shopping and eating destination. It still houses a microbrewery as a matter of fact. I only go for the coffee though *wink*.

So your coffee cupboard filled with just Fitger’s coffee then?
Oh no! That is my favorite but my coffee cupboard is filled with every coffee imaginable from every country! Juhla, which is a Finnish coffee, I get from a local soccer player who brings it back for me when he comes to Duluth. It’s a very smooth coffee with no bitterness. I get a Guatemalan and Tanzanian brew from Beaner’s in Duluth. They are both kind of smoky and have a hint of caramel to them, both really good for after dinner coffee. My German coffee comes from a little storefront I found on the internet and is dark and intense, but not bitter. It’s very clean, but strong.
Wow, you are hardcore! I’m guessing there is no Folgers in your cupboard?

Folgers? Umm no. I quit drinking that when I was 8!
Wait 8? You were drinking coffee when you were 8???
You sound surprised Tobi! *grin* I was a coffee aficionado by 8.
So that begs the question, when did you start drinking coffee??
My first cup of coffee was in 1985, I was three.  Don’t worry it was decaf! I swear there was probably more milk and sugar in it than coffee, but it was like sweet heaven on my tongue.
I’m laughing at the image of a 3-year-old sipping coffee! Your mother allowed this??
Well my mother kinda wasn’t home! She had gone off to a Tupperware party and my dad decided it was time for me to be a big girl. My dad loved coffee. He drank so much coffee it actually emanated from his pores I swear! It was a special father/daughter thing for us. As I got older I learned to drink it the way it was meant to be drank and it’s possible it did stunt my growth, but living on Lake Superior in the dead of January you will do just about anything to stay warm!
My next question Sugar is, how much coffee do you drink in a day?
Okay now I’m snorting I’m laughing so hard! Ahem, not as much as my brother would lead you to believe. I drink between 16 and 24 cups a day.
OMG Sugar that’s A LOT of coffee!
Was that a question or a statement? It’s not really that much coffee is it? Those are 6 ounce cups so you know not like 24 travel mugs or anything.......
Sure....... So if you drink that much coffee how many coffee pots do you own?
Well let’s see.... I have my Keurig one cup for when I need a fast fix, I have a 12 cup Mr. Coffee that only brews Fitger’s because it’s seasoned just the way I need it to make the perfect cup of Creme Liqueur.
Wait, you have a coffee pot just for one kind of coffee????
Err yes, doesn’t everyone? Anyway, I also have my double burner Bunn for when I have company and my four cup coffee maker in the ballroom, so that’s four, only four. And of course the two new ones I always keep on hand in the basement just in case one goes down.....
You have a coffee maker in the ballroom???
Doesn’t everyone? *Grin*
I’m going to agree with Jesse now and call you a coffee expert! I hear you also like to bake using coffee. What’s your favorite coffee recipe?
Coffee cake of course! But not the kind you eat for breakfast. Well okay I eat this for breakfast, but don’t tell anyone. It’s called Coffee Lover’s Indulgence and it’s a chocolate bundt cake made with Fitger’s Expresso. It’s the most requested cake for parties! I’ll email you the recipe if you want it.
If I want it? Of course I want it! I’m not nearly the coffee aficionado you are, but if I can combine coffee and chocolate in one sitting I’m there!
That’s funny; I’ve been known to say the same thing! I like you Tobi; you’re my kind of girl!
I think you and me would get along like coffee and cream, Sugar! I hope someday we can meet in person and share a cup of joe! It was great chatting with you this morning and thank you for the cake recipe. Do you mind if I share it with my readers?
Not at all Tobi! Share it and enjoy, it’s really a fantastic cake for any occasion, including breakfast! :-) Thanks again for having me and letting me air my coffee addiction in public, I don’t get to do that nearly enough. I’ve been in denial for the past 24 years and now that it’s out in the open I feel like I can move on, with another cup of coffee!

Coffee Lover’s Indulgence Cake
2 cups strong coffee cooled (I use Fitger’s Expresso, but if you have the unfortunate lack of that, any type of dark strong coffee will do. I usually use 8 teaspoons for the 2 cups of water when I brew it)
2/3 cup oil
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 t. vanilla
2 cups white sugar
3 cups flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 cup powered cocoa
Mix the first 5 together and then sift the last 4 ingredients into the bowl beating lightly till well mixed. Pour into greased bundt pan and bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes (can use 9X13 just adjust baking time). Cool and frost.
1 tablespoon butter
10 mini marshmallows
1/4 cup coffee
Cook till melted and bubbly
Add 1/2 back semisweet chocolate chips and stir adding more coffee until frosting is pouring consistency. Let cool a bit and pour over top of cooled cake and top with Heath and almonds. You can use store bought chocolate frosting if you’d rather.

Did you LOVE Sugar as much as I?  Grab a copy of Sugar's Dance and Sugar's Song!
Sugar's Dance
Sugar's Song

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  1. Great interview Tobi and Sugar! Seems you two cooked this up while I was sleeping. I'm quite surprised you managed to get Sugar to tell you how much coffee she drinks, she must really like you ;-) Off to have another cup myself and then visit Sugar myself as I continue her story in Sugar's Night.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Katie!!! I really had fun! ;) Can't wait to get to know Sugar even better!

  2. That's a whole TRUCK load of coffee!! And what's wrong with that?! Awesome interview ladies!

    Mandy x

    1. Hi Mandy! Sugar (and I) actually almost buy our coffee by the truckload! Next time I'll call you since I know how much you like TRUCKS! Time for more coffee!

  3. Wow - Sugar!!! I like coffee but you are coffeeholic. Great post ladies, coffee AND cake is perfection....

    1. Hi Linn! Nice to see you here :-) Coffeeholic? Yes, it's true. She can accept that though ;-) Try the cake, it's better than coffee :-)

  4. Sugar, it's so lovely to see you here! You know I love coffee. Can't commet on Fitgers but have entered the giveaway (hope that's okay as international entrant) so I can maybe get to try some 'real' Sugar coffee (already have a copy of the books)!!!!! For the moment, I have to say I'm a German coffee afficionado but I know Sugar takes a dim view on that, LOL. Great interview, it was lovely to see you here. Rock on, great feature.

    1. Awe Nicky my girl I will make you a Fitger's convert yet! Sugar likes her German brew, just less often than Fitger's ;-) Good luck on the giveaway and thanks for stopping by!

  5. Yes, I probably do. There is never a bad time to drink it!

    1. Amen Colette!!! Thanks for stopping by! <3

    2. No Colette there is never a bad time to drink coffee. I drink it in the bath, I drink it in the car, I drink it in the bar, I drink it yard and I drink it in the barn! LOL Thanks for stopping by and good luck on the giveaway!

  6. A book, coffee, and a cake recipe that includes chocolate . My oh my the stars have certainly aligned for me this morning! Great interview. Nice to meet you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Regina! Sugar's a great read!!!

    2. Thanks for stopping by Regina! That cake is the best cake EVER. I must make it at least twice a month! Coffee, cake and books, my three most favorite things in that order :-)

  7. Wow. I think you have me beat,Sugar. Only 3 mugs a day for me and those are not all the way full since I don't want to spill.

    1. HI Veronica thanks for stopping by Tobi's blog! Oh boy 3 mugs yeah Sugar does 3 mugs in the first 10 minutes she is up! She likes to get the blood flowing ;-) thanks for stopping by and good luck with the giveaway!

  8. Coffee, coffee, how I love thee! Coffee makes life and everything so much better! Today I wore my t-shirt: Coffee before Talkie! I can easily drink a pot of coffee alone although I prefer not to ... sigh... as my kidneys don't appreciate it!

    1. Coffee before talkie, I love it! I think Sugar needs a shirt like that, I'm pretty sure Van would agree :) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy making the cake and knowing that your kidneys will love it too!

  9. No way! I drink at most three cups, but when my youngest is mad at me he threatens my much loved beverage. "No coffee for you, mom!"

    1. Ohhhhhh my kids are opposite, they say "Gee mom you're kinda crabby, have you had coffee today?" Sugar drinks A LOT of coffee, but she works hard, so it evens out ;) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the cake, its a favorite here with Sugar Burgers!

  10. I almost didn't get a chance to type this comment, as I am busy prepping my thermos of coffee and big Tim Horton's 24 oz mug (for the drive) for work today. I'll hold a caffeine contest with you any day, Sugar. (aicend no fair distracting me with a little wink or an attempt to play footsie ... oh, sure, you can try - in fact, I almost wish you would! - but it won't work)
    Do you go through a thermos-PLUS each work day? (And that doesn't count the couple of cups I've already had this morning at home!!)
    p.s. nice site, nice page - and thanx for recipe, too! Have to talk my daughter into trying to make it!

    1. Oh Andrew, you really are young un aren't you? Sugar goes through thermoses! She has a coffee pot in her ballroom for golly's sake! LOL Glad you enjoy your brew as much as she does, fellow coffee drinks must stick together! The cake is to die for and very easy to make, my 8-year-old son helps me make it all the time. Thanks for stopping by for a visit, and I think Sugar could distract you with footsie any day, she has several feet to choose from ;)

  11. I drink coffee on and off during the day, but I try not to drink it too late in the day. I like it with French Vanilla flavoring. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Definitely. It was a huge mistake picking a college with a Starbucks on campus- I'm there all the time! My standard go-to is an iced caramel macchiato.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. I am indeed a coffee-lover; hazelnut lattes bring me great joy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  14. I think 5 cups a day... the number of cups of coffee you drink a day!! :)

  15. I drink way less coffee, lol. I have maybe 1-3 cups a week if that. I drank a lot of coffee when my son was born, but now he's a toddler. I work full time, but I survive on coke zero and tea.

  16. I loved coffee since fourth grade, although my parents try to stop me from drinking 3 cups a day! Now that I'm a bit older, however, I can finally control myself but who can ever resist coffee and cake?! Not me. >.<