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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Go Banana's!

So I was craving Banana Bread and Nancy found an easy looking recipe (Banana Banana Bread) on (a great shared recipe site.)

I tweaked it a bit because it seemed like it might need more flavor and I have to say it turned out to be a yummy B-Bread!  I preferred it cold vs. hot which is really odd, but it is what it is.


2 Cups plus 4 Tablespoons Cake Flour - All purpose flour is fine, but use only 2 Cups
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2  tsp. Salt
1/2 cup softened butter
4 ripe Banana's
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Sugar
2 Eggs - Room Temperature
1 tsp. Vanilla


Add Walnuts, Cranberries or Chocolate Chips as desired.
Can be poured into mini loafs or muffin tins...Adjust baking time as needed.


Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.
In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl mash banana's together with butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until well mixed.
Fold in dry mixture until well incorporated.

Pour into bread pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.



Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a miracle...a dog food miracle!

Even though I don't think she's crazy about me, my Aunt Paige is my favorite Aunt. She works at Banfield Vet at PetsMart and because of that, Mom took me there today. We sorta just wanted to get out of the house and peek in on what Paige was doing. Well...Eureka!!!!!!!!!!! This lady was walking around the store selling dog food and you will never guess that Mom actually bought me something new. Yes, she did. Yes!!! she did!!! She did. I swear.

It went down like this: this woman stopped to admire how darn cute I am and of course Mom was eating it up and talking to her. Next thing you know, we're in the dog food aisle and this woman is talking Mom into a food that the vet recommends because it has glucosamine for special dogs like me who have had bad backs and now has a bad hip. She told Mom to mix it with my Science Diet Lite at first and then ween me off SDL onto the new food. Ha ha ha....I fooled all of them. I spent a good 15 minutes picking out the little SDL chunks and just eating the new food which is really, really yummy. I like it so much they put my photo on the bag.

Life is good. Until I get sick of this food. I'll report back.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Soups On!

You know it's been raining in Nor*Cal for what seems like 142 day now...Okay, that is clearly an exaggeration, but, when you miss the sun it certainly seems much longer than it actually is.  One of the few things that I can take comfort in when its gray and gloomy is Winter Food.  You know what I mean the homey, gut warming foods that your mom made.  To me Winter Food are entrees like meatloaf, spaghetti, pot roast and mashed potatoes and of course stews and soups.

I decided to head to the Nugget Market for dinner because I had had a big lunch and because I didn't want to cook.  Something warm and already made sounded great.  I entered the store and picked up some fresh fruit and then headed over to the deli and bakery.  I wandered past the chinese kitchen and wrinkled my nose, I mozied past the sushi and decided no, I glanced at the salad bar and the hot baked items and nothing was screaming "take me home."  Then as I was turning the corner for the bakery I glanced at the soup bar. 

OMG, YES!  Soup is exactly what I didn't even know I wanted!  My little happy place got happier and everything was shiny again.  I wanted to sing out loud but of course I was still in the store so I contained the excitement to the inside and just giggled a little maniacally.

As luck would have it the Nugget had a huge steaming pot of Chicken Noodle, and let me tell ya I love me some chicken noodle soup!  I grabbed a half pint container and ladeled a really fragrant soup with thick noodles and chunks of chicken and veggies.  Then I grabbed a rustic demi baguette and headed home.  Don't worry I paid first...

I got home and sliced some of the baguette and added some strawberries to my plate and let me tell you people it was uber yumminess.  The chicken noodle had a nice base soup that was not too thick but not watery.  There were carrots, celery and onion,, the noodles were perfect and the chicken was tender.  Pulling it all together was oregano and maybe sage and certainly salt and pepper. 

 I don't know what the Nugget puts into thier soups but I have enjoyed every one that I have tried and this was no exception.  So, if you are ever get that 142 rainy day feeling I suggest a lovely Winter Meal from the Nugget soup kitchen (or your local market) that only costs about $5.00 and is sure to drive those blues away.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another Weekend, Another Burger...

Another quick and tasty burger from the Food A Go-Go kitchens.  The provolone cheese, double onion ciabatta burger.


1 lb. ground beef

Deli sliced Provolone cheese

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

2 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. cracked Pepper

1 tbs. Powdered Ground Mustard

1 tsp. Liquid Smoke

1 fresh loaf Ciabatta bread

1 Tomato (optional)

1 Bag of Seneca Crisped Onions

Mayo and Ketchup to taste


Set ground beef out until it reaches room temperature.  In a bowl add beef, mustard, liquid smoke, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Mix well and form patties to the size you prefer; monster or slider.

Heat skillet to medium high heat and thinly coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil.  Place the burgers into pan and cook about 3 - 4 minutes per side for medium rare burgers.  Of course grilling works great too!

When you flip the burgers wait one minute and then add the provolone cheese, this gives it time to melt thoroughly.

Remove burgers and allow them to rest for a minute or two, while they are resting place slices of ciabatta bread face down in pan and toast to desired warmth.

Spread mayo and ketchup on the ciabatta bread and add tomatoes, then pile with onion crisps and top with the burger. 

Take plenty of napkins with you to the table and enjoy scarfing this bad boy!  Oh, and remember to give me your feedback, I would love to know what you think.


There is nothing small about Starbucks Petites

Everyone knows I love coffee.  In fact I love it so very much that I carry the unofficial title of "Coffee Whore."  I start every morning with a double espresso and follow it up a couple of hours later with an Iced Mocha...And, sometimes another espresso.  Occasionally, I have a small cup at home in the afternoon.  Shut Up, Don't Judge Me!!!  I quit smoking, I quit drinking and I quit other illegal substances, so I will drink as much coffee as I want dammit! 

Errrrrm, I apologize the large amounts of caffeine sometimes make me a little edgy and obnoxious...

Sooooo anyway I really enjoy coffee, and I love, Love, LOVE Starbucks coffee.  I have a Starbucks just about every day.  It's not that I don't enjoy other coffees, in fact Peet's Major Dickason's blend is my abso fav of all time.  But, as much as people complain about a Starbucks on every corner the truth is that there IS a Starbucks on every corner.  I know where they are, I know the best times to go and I feel like family when the barista's greet me by name, so Starbucks is the choice of this over caffinated blogger. 

As much as I love Starbucks coffee I generally don't eat the food at Starbucks, I have found that the "food" is generally like eating cardboard, flavorless and dry.  However, the sweets at Starbucks are pretty tasty treats and thier latest offerings really hit the mark for me.   Starbucks Petites are bite sized desserts but they are not small on appeal or flavor.

The above picture is of a few of the new treats; clockwise from bottom left is carrot cake,salted caramel bar, lemon square and a rocky road cake pop. The entire menu includes cake pops in three flavors (tiramisu, birthday cake and rocky road) and tiny cakes such as lemon, red velvet, carrot and a few regional flavors all of which run $1.50 each with a second treat for only $1.00 

I really enjoyed all of these petite treats, but lemme tell ya the salted caramel was absolutely divine!  The cake pop was much like a brownie which I am NOT complaining about, I loved it.  The lemon was good, but not the best ever and the carrot was tasty, light and sweet.  I enjoyed these enough to want to try other flavors and I think the concept is brilliant because I often just want a small bite of sweet when I enjoy my coffee.

Take it from this over caffeinated, sarcastic Coffee Whore, Starbucks petites are small in size, small in price and big on flavor and smiles.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Campaigning for a new dog food...please vote for me

If you are a fan of our blog, and let's face it, who isn' know me. I am Betsy Lou. The dog who gets Science Diet Light every night of her life. I am so bored with it I could bark. Well, I am asking for your help. Please send a message to my mom (Taste of Chicago) and ask her to try Blue dog food. It's organic. And it looks tasty. Tell her I promise not to beg for treats if she buys me this food. It's supposed to make me live longer (and actually WANT to because I'm eating interesting food).
I will be eternally greatful for your support. I won't even bark at you when you come over if I can get your support.
Help a dog out?

Stop Worrying...Start Wine-ing

GoRoma. It's an Italian place near my office who caters and they are fabulous. Not only do they bring free lunches (Tilapia for me and my co-worker today) to the people who order, but they deliver plenty of fresh, hot, fantastic Italian food. Luckily for me, half the people didn't show up for our focus group today which means there's enough left over food in our refridgerator right now to feed a small army. Not sure if they are a local only type establishment.

We have tonight: Salad. Breadsticks. Cheese Ravioli. Rigatoni. Fettucini Alfredo. Cookies. Of course you know that I will not eat this. It's all for Jim and/or Paige. LOL. Yeah, ok.
I can say that now because I am full from nibbling all day. The Tilapia was so so so good. Smothered in a garlic butter and lemon sauce. With spinach on the side. I will order from them again the first time the opportunity presents itself. Odds are, in about 3 hours I'll be raiding the fridge. :(

Friday, March 04, 2011

Buono Beef Parmesan Chips

I had these chips when PETE brought them home one night. They were fantastic. At my new job, we cater from Buono Beef often and there are sometimes leftover chips if we are lucky. They are incredible! Like each chip was hand dipped into oil and then lightly seasoned in salt, pepper and parmesan. I wish I could find a picture of these on line. I fear I may have to go there myself and order some (incredibly priced at only $1.75 for a full bag) just to take a photo.

In fact, I accept that challenge. I will do it ASAP... It's all for the good of the blog.