Our Charlie Brown tomato plants keep growing. 


Who knew these poor suckers weren’t gonna gondown without a fight. 


Now to keep remembering to water them. Might be time to add the tomato cage..

Banana Bread Wednesday


Ingredients:

  • Two xl eggs
  • Three well ripened bananas
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups of Flour (all-purpose)
  • One cup of Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of whole milk or almond milk or Mocha Mix brand nondairy coffee creamer. 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you are using a clear, silver or silacone loaf pan, 325 degrees if using a dark pan. Adjust the racks so that you have one in the middle with enough clearance allow the bread to rise. 

Grease a loaf pan. 

  • I still use the butter method, but a good quality cooking spray will work as well.
  •  9 x 5 x 3 inch will work nicely.   

Mix the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and blended. 

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  • You can use an electric or hand mixer, or the old fashion way, with elbow grease and mix by hand. 

In a smaller bowl, mash the bananas. A  strong fork works or or place the pealed bananas in a ziplock bag and mash by hand. 

Mix in the milk (note: Almond Milk or Mocha Mix  both work as well), vanilla and cinnamon. Mix till blended. 

In another bowl (or a large liquid measuring cup, the one with an edge to make it easier to pour) mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  • After mixing the dry ingredients,  if you want add 1 cup of chocolate chips into the flour mix. 
  • By coating the chips with the flour, it helps them from sinking to bottom of loaf pan. 

Add the banana mixture to the blended sugar & butter mixture. 

Stir until combined. 

Add dry ingredients, mixing in just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared laof pan. 

 Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15minutes. 

  • When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean its done. 
  • Start checking at 1 hour. 

Remove from the oven, and let the bread still in the loaf pan, cool on a rack for 15 minutes. 

Gently slide a toothpick around the edges of the loaf pan to loosen the edges so that nothing is stuck. 


Remove bread from pan, invert back onto rack and cool completely before slicing or wrapping in plastic wrap.

 Warm weekend sunday

Im home again from a week in DC. It’s a sunday after a superwarm saturday here in San Francisco.

The monster Dino is walked, fed and napping. His Daddy is still sleeping but coffee is brewing. 


So I guess it’s breakfast time. let’s see what I can toss together;

Crustless mini egg, cheese, veggie & ham “quichatta-cups”. Sorta a cross between a less custardy quiche and a frattata baked in cupcake pans lined with my favorite silecone cups for easy removal and cleaning.


So while in the mood; whipped up a new recipe for a gluten-free take on a base to be used for strawberry shortcakes later today so a pal can enjoy while we eat ours topped over poundcake.

Fresh out of the oven they look ok. Taste and crumb isnt bad. Its’ dense, and could have baked longer; but given it’s a base for marinated strawberries in a chocolate-balsamic sauce it might be a perfect match.


Old School Lunch as a Post-Urban Walk Day

Lunch today hit the spot; after a short walk from the Saulsalito Ferry dock, we decided on a visit to The Lighthouse Cafe. Now this is an old school – diner style spot. Nothing fancy or glam. In fact its barely got room for some booths/tables & counter. But the food rocks. Check out the “dance” the cook team do, as the three of them navigate the open grill/prep area. With a casual and welcome feel, it’s bound to feel like you are a regular from day one. 

I had the dish called the Great Dane; underneath this perfectly egg is an incrdibly cooked round of ground beef, homemade pickles & beets alingside perfect morning potatoes. 

Paul  went classic with the house chicken club; but this isnt your “sliced chicken loaf” version, instead its got thick bacon and fresh, real lemon marinated chicken breast cooked right in front of us.


This is definately an “insiders favorite” worth sharing. 

The Lighthouse Cafe, 1311 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965.  (415) 331-3034

http://www.lighthouse-restaurants.com

Rocken old school Turkish and Lebanese flavors done right at Agora

On a recent visit here to DC for work, I got a chance to visit with some friends. On Friday night after a long workday my pal picked me up and we decided to take a walk for dinner. Not having reservations we were not really sure what we would find at 8 o’clock at night. We came by the restaurant, which he had tried before and spoke highly of, so figured we would give it a shot. Even without reservations, they really did great effort to fit a deuce in. Which in a busy city like DC or San Francisco you more often find the less then engaged hosts working the door barely raise an eyes when they say no reservation? 30 to 45 minutes wait and then they look back at the book. 
We were seated fairly quickly and by 830 had something to nibble on and wine at the table. The waitstaff could not have been more friendly or conscientious; while it was clear who was our waiter was, they definitely had a tagteam approach with other waitstaff walking by, offering to clear or bring something. So you had a feeling of being attended too without being smothered.

Dishes are tapas style which means several opportunities to taste lots of things We managed to polish, off between the two of us, six different dishes. I think the average they recommend is 2 to 3 per person. But ask the wait staff. They were great at suggesting (and telling me what I missed to note for next time). The octopus by the way was fork tender! Something not as easy to manage as sime think. The flatbread was crisp and lamb rich. Overall a win win place for drinks, md week dinner with pals, girls night out or special occassion. 

1527 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Web: http://agoradc.net/

Menu: http://agoradc.net/menus/dinner-menu

The battle ranges on…

  So I went with two new versions today;

The pale colored one (lower right) is a Black Pepper, Vanilla & Orange peel version adapted Valerie Bertinelli’s Helen’s Black Pepper Biscotti which I saw on the Food Network recently and was curious about. I just omitted the Walnuts.

 

They have a light taste with the black pepper finish and don’t taste overly sweet.  In this one, watch the second bake time if you don’t want them too brown. 
The darker ones (upper left) are a chocolate-coffee with mini M&M’s biscotti recipe that is traditionaly marbeled and adapted from a cookie card of my Mom’s. But I found it online here: http://www.recipecircus.com/recipes/VICBOOP/BISCOTTI/MARBLED_BISCOTTI.html but instead of marbled I went all chocolate and added more cocao powder to whole batter.

  
These came out denser than previous times and cracked while baking but that could be due in part to the dough being chilled. Flavor wise they still rocked!