Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Heidelberg (OCTOBERFEST!)

I am a weirdo who can do without the beer this season, but good food?? I love good German food!

We just HAD to go to Heidelberg, one of the most famous German restaurant in NYC.
I've never been to Germany, so I just have to take people's word, when they say it's very very Authentic.

This restaurant reminded me of home. Very down home, comfy, woodsy, medium noise level-not from music, but from people talking and having fun.

I was a little frown face with their prices.  German restaurants I have been had been more reasonable with the same amount of food or more. Entree like above (Brat with red cabbage and potato salad) would cost about 25 dollars at Heidelberg. If it came with salad or soup, maybe I would understand, but...

But Of course the food is very tasty and we will certainly go back regardless of their pricing.

I had Brat with red cabbage and potato salad (the best!!). Jason had weiner schnitzel and an appetizer of potato pancakes. HUGE potato pancakes. we both took our left over home, and ate them the next day for dinner.
Oh and their mustard is to die for. I think they make it in-house:)

This here is Apple streudel. When we ordered it, we wondered, "is it home-made?".  We didn't need to ask that question:)  The waiter brought out the Apple streudel saying, "sorry about the shape, It just came out of the oven, so it's very soft. " It had Lots of apples and tons of cinnamon with (I believe) walnuts. Just the fragrance was enough to send me to a happy place. As you can see, it comes with a mountain of freshly whipped cream. When I had this, though I'm not German, I felt like I had a home cooked meal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chocolate banana bread

So I found the best Banana bread recipe!
I'm sure everyone has their own very best recipe... right?

Well, mine was my mother's. It's always so moist and flavorful. So I asked her for the recipe and it used 1 and 1/2 ripe banana for a loaf of banana bread.

I had looked all over the web for banana bread recipe and I wanted to try to use as much banana into a loaf as possible. And I found it!! this recipe crams 3 bananas in a loaf! It makes me feel healthier to have a slice for breakfast. it also means more natural sweetness from bananas, resulting in less sugar into the batter. This one is not wet, not dry, JUST RIGHT. Just a GOOD MOIST FINE CRUMBED banana bread!

I freeze my ripe bananas. I usually wait until they are So So ripe, like black spots have started to cover the whole banana. I then freeze them. So in 2-3weeks, I usually have enough over ripened bananas in the freezer to make a loaf of bread. I thaw the bananas on the counter top a few hours before I bake it. They get really mushy and slide right out of the skin. ewww :)

A few adaptations to the recipe for me are: I top the top with some semi sweet chocolate chips and some sprinkle of sugar. I also add a splash of cognac/whiskey to the batter. mmm
Also as a side note, at the stage of creaming the butter/sugar/ eggs, I try to really incorporate as much air into it. Enjoy!



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.
Spread slices with honey or serve with ice cream