Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I've had a craving for banana bread lately and so I bought a bunch of bananas a few weeks ago and froze them after they ripened. Then this weekend, I baked a massive amount of banana desserts. One of them was this blueberry banana bread.
I had a box of plump, juicy, sweet blueberries, so I mixed some into the batter, and then also sprinkled some on top. I like the look of the berries on top of the bread. The sour cream in this bread keeps the bread incredibly moist for days. I really love this recipe and it's pretty simple to throw together.
Even though I know it's nothing new, every time I make banana bread, I am still amazed by what delicious desserts that can be made with overripe bananas. I can't think of any other fruit where people are happy the browner and more mushy it becomes.
This quick bread has been a great morning bite for my family this week as we continue on our neverending moving to a new place. It's been exhausting, horrible, and I never want to do it again. After my last move, I told myself I'd hire movers next time. And I was planning on hiring movers. Then we found a place so close by. So close that we thought it seemed silly to hiring movers. So we decided to move ourselves. BIG MISTAKE. One I have been regretting constantly for the last two weeks. It's mind boggling, the millions of tiny little things that are laying around and the hours upon hours it takes to pack and move them. We've been in the "almost done" stage for three days, and despite working hard, there seems to be no end in sight.
Blueberry Banana Bread (recipe adapted from Esther Nelson on allrecipes)
Yield: Two 7 x 3 inch loaves
3/8 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
8 ounces sour cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups blueberries
oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease two 7×3 inch loaf pans or line with parchment paper or foil.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed
bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and
flour. Stir in half the blueberries. Divide into prepared pans. Sprinkle remaining blueberries on the top surface of the batter.
Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
7905 Engineer Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92111
This past weekend we celebrated Baby Bro's girlfriend's bday. The birthday girl requested sushi for her birthday dinner. She originally wanted to try Sushi Ota, but the earliest reservation time we could get was 9:30. Way too late for dinner.
So then my sister asked me if I had any suggestions. The criteria were as follows: 1) somewhere new, 2) sushi, 3) close by. I immediately thought of Sushi Yaro. As you may recall, I've tried to eat at Sushi Yaro twice now, but failed because I went at the wrong hours.
Sushi Yaro is owned by sushi chef Sam, who is pretty well known in San Diego. By the time I learned of him through other bloggers, he had taken a break from the restaurant biz in San Diego. Now he is back with a new restaurant, so I have been eager to check it out.
Our reservation was for a Saturday night. When we arrived the place was packed. Being Saturday, I wasn't too surprised. However, the staff seemed surprised and overwhelmed by how busy they were. In fact they were so busy, that despite our reservation, we weren't seated until almost forty minutes after our reservation time. And we didn't all get our food until about an hour after that.
It was a bit frustrating, but it was hard to be annoyed because the staff was really friendly and kept apologizing.
Usually I'm not much of a sashimi eater, but it seems to have been growing on me. In fact, in the weeks leading up to this dinner, I had a serious craving for some fresh sushi. Since we were sitting at a table that night and not at the bar though, we didn't order much sashimi.
The menu can be found on their website. Here is what we had that night:
While we waited for our food, we were served bowls of shredded pickled radish.
Fried calamari. This was served with sweet potato fries. In addition to the regular dipping sauce, we were given some dumpling dipping sauce, which the waitress told us Sam said was delicious with the calamari.
Yaro Special #1
I loved the detail in the front and also the little butterfly on top of the stick.
Toro special that was on the board that night. For $9.50, we got 8 pieces of soft, yummy toro:
BBQ beef dinner, served with macaroni salad
Some of the sushi rolls have interesting names..One that caught our attention was "One night stand," which is basically a special roll of the chef's choice. When I read the name, I assumed that it just meant a roll that tastes unbelievably good. Birthday girl ordered the roll, and what was put in front of her is one of the most amusing food images I've ever seen:
Apparently the name actually comes from this presentation of the sushi…It had our table in a fit of giggles. The birthday girl turned all shades of red.
A spicy ramen that was on the board special
Six in a box:
This looked pretty intricate. The outside was seared. The inside has different fish that are placed in different compartments of the roll. There is also supposed to be uni in here, but I didn't taste or see it.I think it may have been overwhelmed by the other ingredients.
Another roll with an interesting name was the "Oh My God" roll. It's supposed to be very spicy, making one exclaim "Oh My God"
So how spicy was it? People had different reactions. For those who have a pretty weak tolerance like BF, it was really spicy and he did utter "Oh My God." Birthday girl was equally intolerant and had tears come to her eyes. However, for others at the table that have a higher tolerance, the roll wasn't so bad.
For anyone celebrating their birthday, they are presented with some ice cream mochi and candles and a song. There were quite a few birthdays being celebrated the night we went:
Towards the end of our meal, one of the waitresses came over to ask us how we had heard of Sushi Yaro because Sam was curious. I told her that we had learned of them through Kirk of mmm-yoso.
A few minutes later, another waitress popped in on us and asked us if we were students. I was confused by the question, and we told her that some were, some weren't. She said the reason she was asking was that they aren't used to getting new customers and that most people who show up are regulars, like Kirk. She seemed confused on how we knew Kirk. In hindsight, I should have explained that I knew Kirk through blogging, but I wasn't quite thinking straight that night (moving all day will do that to a person), so I don't think my answer really cleared anything up.
To end the night, we were treated to some complimentary beef skewers.
I love skewers of meat.
By this time, the sushi bar had quieted down. Sushi Chef Sam came over to talk to us for a little bit.
At the end of the night, I asked everyone what they thought. We all agreed that we would avoid coming here on a Saturday, but would enjoy coming here on a less crowded night and eating at the bar. Sam was so friendly and seemed like a great person to converse with while eating at the bar.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Out of all the baked donuts I've made, my favorite have been the sugar donut muffins. I've tried really hard to turn the batter into mini donuts, but these donut muffins seem to have an identity crisis. They bake and pop out easily as muffins, but they just don't seem to want to conform to a donut shape.
Usually I have no problem using my donut pan, but these babies just don't pop out easily. I've tried greasing, not greasing, baking longer, the results are still the same. I overbaked this batch in an attempt to make them come out easier.
I guess I will have to continue to search for a baked donut batter that I can successfully bake into mini donut shapes. I do love how these taste though, but I guess they are destined to stay as donut muffins.
A thick layer of frosting helped cover the uneven, hole filled tops of these donuts. I really like pastel spring/summer colors, so I made some frosting and added the slightest drop of food coloring.
Mini baked sugar donuts (adapted from Stylish Cuisine)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a donut pan with cooking spray
or vegetable oil.
2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and
nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable
oil, milk and vanilla extract.
4. Fill mini donut pan with batter, about 2/3 full.
5. Bake for 11-12 minutes
for mini donuts, until a tester inserted into the center comes out
6. Use a small spatula and loosen around the circle of the donut to help ease the removal from the pan.
7. Frost when cooled.