It’s been a great day to “B” alive Ha, get it?
Thank you for the lovely comments about my Blogger Secret Ingredient recipe! More on that uber-exciting contest at the end of this post!
BETTA BANANA BREAD
I went on a GREAT run this morning – it was wonderful to feel the crisp fall air! It definitely pushed me to go further than I would on a warmer, muggier day. I think this means I will do it more often – at least until it gets below 40 degrees. I calculated my mileage on Google Pedometer and went just over 4 miles at just over an 8 minute/mile pace. This pace is good for me right now, but I was going all out and I definitely do not think I could run much further than 4 miles at this point. But with all the races that I’ve been reading about in the blogosphere lately, I’m becoming more and more motivated to quicken my pace and – eventually – go even farther.
The reason I mention the run is that while I was out, I literally day dreamed of making banana bread! I knew I had a couple of extra ripe bananas and I’ve been meaning to make a better banana bread recipe than I did the last time I made it. I don’t mean to bash my own recipe, but it definitely wasn’t the best banana bread I’ve ever had – and I knew I could do better. So I switched up the recipe and I like this version much better.
Ingredients (makes 16 small slices):
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
- 3 tbsp. Promise Light Buttery Spread
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 2 medium mashed bananas (200g)
Preheat oven to 350*
Combine dry, combine wet, combine wet and dry You know the drill. I left my batter a little lumpy because I wanted to be able to see some banana chunks in the bread. Then I poured it into a greased circular bread pan and baked it at 350* for 45-55 minutes (depending on oven). The bread should be a golden brown color and cooked around the edges.
It came out looking much more fabulous this time! It had more of an actual crumbly bread texture – the last time it was a little too firm – and smelled spectacular throughout my place.
I proceeded to cut the loaf into 16 tiny slices so that I could prolong the enjoyment.
And then, of course, I had to try a slice to see how it compared in taste!
This bread is SO moist. As you can see in the picture, the banana chunks really give it a wet texture. And yet, on the far right of the slice, you can see more of the bread, crumbly texture. I personally like the fact that you get a little bit of both. I think the applesauce also helped keep it moist. I gave a slice to my roommate for an unbiased judgment. Here are her thoughts:
- She really liked the fruity sweetness present throughout
- She would have liked it to be a little less moist (perhaps more flour?)
- As a healthy treat, it was a wonderful choice
- Overall, she really enjoyed it!
Nutrition Information (per slice):
- 60 calories
- 1g fat
- 11g carbohydrates
- 1g fiber
- 2g protein
BIG BITE NITE
At the beginning of the school year, it’s customary for the local eateries near my campus to have an event called Big Bite Nite, where students can show their I.D. cards and be treated to free food. It literally takes over the whole city and you can walk blocks and blocks to get appetizers, dinner and dessert Basically, it’s a foodie’s dream. Tonight, I went with my roommate and took plenty of pictures!
So as you can see, we started out at Whole Foods, where we were given a bag filled with goodies, including menus and coupons (!!). The first sample was from Whole Foods: cheese pizza and a vegan Asian brown rice salad. I didn’t eat the pizza (too greasy looking for my taste and I knew there’d be plenty more food to come), but the salad was delicious.
Our next stop was a local coffee shop, where they were handing out their most raved about drink: iced mochas! These are absolutely sensational. I’ve had them in the past, and they have the perfect balance of coffee, cream/milk and mocha syrup!
Then it was on to one of my favorite Japanese restaurants, Koi, which was dishing out to-go containers of edamame and fortune cookies! These were a bit difficult to eat while walking, so I have them saved in my fridge for later!
The next two stops were in unison: Potbelly and Pita Pete’s, which I’ve blogged about before and absolutely adore. Potbelly’s was serving chocolate chip cookies. I ate about 1/2 of mine because it was nothing special and I knew we still had a long way to go. Pita Pete’s served up some of their homemade pita chips and hummus, both of which are amazing! I ate ’em all.
The next two back-to-back stops were argo tea and Lulu’s, a Dim Sum restaurant I’ve never tried before. At argo, I tried a sample of the Carolina Honey tea, but it tasted like pure honey, so after about two sips I couldn’t take it anymore But I happily finished my entire Lulu’s egg roll with sweet and sour sauce. It was perfect. Who else just loves egg rolls?
The next stop on our trek was an Italian restaurant called Bravo, which served up the most amazing tiramisu EVER! I’m serious – tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, so I’ve had it many times before…and this one was the best I have ever had! The cake was extra spongy and had a distinct coffee taste, and the creamy topping was better than ever. “Bravo,” Bravo!
Then we headed over to Cosi. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know very well my obsession with this place. Well, to further prove why I adore it, they were providing GINORMOUS samples of my favorite sandwich – Tuscan Pesto Chicken!
After falling in love with Cosi all over again, the roomie and I headed to a local restaurant called Pomegranate, which serves up Mediterranean food at good prices. I was a little hummus-ed out at this point, so I just had the deliciously fresh pita bread.
Oh, and it must be mentioned that this place had a little extra flair:
Who knew that there was such thing as a PITA costume?? Halloween, anyone?!
The final stop on our tour – are you getting full yet? – was a place called J.K. Sweet, which has always intrigued me because of its combination of Asian cuisine and Edy’s ice cream. Interesting, no? They served a beef stir-fry with a scoop of Edy’s vanilla. I only had a bite of the stir-fry because it wasn’t so great, but you can never turn down Edy’s. Well, at least I can’t!
Wowza! Quite the assortment, right? As you can probably guess, I was pretty stuffed by the time Big Bite Nite was over. But it was amazing. I got a $5.00 off coupon to use at Whole Foods, so look for a big grocery shop in the near future!
BLOGGER SECRET INGREDIENT
Tonight is the final call for this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient contest, featuring butternut squash! I am so impressed by all of the entries I’ve received! You are all so creative! Tonight, I will post all the entries I have received below, so please check to make sure your name is on the list! If I’m missing anybody, please let me know – I sincerely apologize, and will add you before making the final decision!
Rose – On a Lobster Placemat – Butternut Squash Fries
Meghann – The Inner Workings of a College Graduate – Butternut Squash Strata
Chandra – Chandra’s Shenanigans – Butternut Squash Ravioli
Jessica – Apples and Butter – Butternut Squash Gnocchi
Christie – What I Ate Yesterday – Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
Olga – Healthing It – Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins
Jen – Running with Food – Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Pizza with Figs, Goat Cheese & Toasted Walnuts, Butternut Squash and Navy Bean Soup, and Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash, Ham, Sage and Toasted Walnuts
Jess – See Jess Run – Stuffed Acorn Squash (substitution based on pantry contents!)
Mi – Whole Foods for Whole Me – Butternut Squash Apple Butter
Lauren – athlEAT – Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
Maggie – Say Yes to Salad – Butternut Squash “Pad Thai”
Erin – Care to Eat – Butternut Pancakes
Caroline – The Broccoli Hut – Butternut Squash Oatmeal and Yogurt
Melissa – Trying to Heal – Butternut Squash Hash
Christie – Sportsnutritionliving – Butternut Squash Veggie Stir Fry in Tomato Sauce
Krista – Krista’s Kravings – Butternut Squash & Turnip Bake
Brittany – Eating Bird Food – Butternut Squash Pesto Pizza
Shannon – Tri to Cook – Butternut Squash Puree and Butternut Snack Bites
Kat – Blog Reader (hey!) – Stuffed Butternut Squash With Barley and Smoked Turkey
I will announce the winner after discussing the entries with Bobby tomorrow! I need to have an outside opinion because it’s very hard to choose with so much creativity going on! After I announce the winner, I will also choose the next blogger to take on the contest responsibilities – yay!
Whew, this was a long one I hope you enjoyed! I can’t believe the weekend is over already! What are your plans for this week?
Sweet dreams, loverlies! And Happy Monday!