Posts tagged ‘Bread’

{Healthy} Banana Oatmeal Bread

What do you do when you have multiple bananas that look like this?

How about call a friend with it?

Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, bananaphone!

Ya, maybe not. It kept dropping my calls…

Okay, next idea… Make banana bread with those “ugly,” brown bananas!

And not just any banana bread. Make my healthified healthy banana bread. Yes, it’s two times the healthy! I healthified (yes, it’s a word…) a recipe for healthy Banana-Oatmeal Bread from Cooking Light.

I took the original recipe, cut the sugar in half (1 cup became 1/2 cup) and replaced the 7 tbsp of oil with a pureed apple. You could also use 7 tbsp apple sauce. The rest of the recipe and instructions stayed the same, except I did bake the bread for not as long as original recipe called for (55mins instead of 70min). It was sort of an experiment and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the bread came out great!

The result was a slightly sweet, moist bread that was dense but not oily and had a nice bite to it, thanks to the oatmeal. I’m not a fan of super sweet or oily sweet-breads, so this bread is great for me. It doesn’t taste overly healthy either. My family loved it, too!

Need serving suggestions? For breakfast, schmear it with peanut butter and top with banana slices. Stick it in the toaster (oven) for a crispy, gooey treat. Follow my lead, and top it with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips for a simple but special dessert. Microwave it for maybe half a minute to up the amazingness… or just snag a piece straight out of the oven. I won’t tell.

I believe this recipe would make wonderful muffins.

The yellow banana below dreams of the day it’s mature and ripe enough to be made into banana bread.

But for now, that banana is “enjoying” its life as my bright yellow bananaphone…

I know, you’re jealous. 😉

Question: What is your favorite type of bread?

My favorite sweet bread is banana with chocolate chips and peanut butter, either inside or on top. My favorite “regular” breads are grainy breads and wheat baguette with dried fruit and nuts in it.


Sorry this is such last minute notice, but I wanted to let you know that due to summer plans, my posting will be very infrequent and irregular up through August. I am leaving today to work as a camp counselor at an overnight summer camp, where internet and phone service will be very limited. I’ll be sure to take lots of photos (especially of food, since food at camp rocks!) and I’ll try to post when I can. I’ll be back to my regular, weekly posts at the end of August. Thanks for baring (is that the correct spelling for the use? haha) with me, and I hope you’ll continue reading my blog!! I’ll miss stalking reading all of your lovely blogs, too.


May 30, 2011 at 9:00 am 4 comments

Top of the Hub

Top of the Hub: How I love thee! Let me count the ways…

Have you ever heard of Top of the Hub? It’s an award-winning restaurant on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building in Boston, Ma. I’ve wanted to go to for a long time, but I had never had the chance to go… until last week!

(Photo Source)

My dad came to visit me in Boston in between two business trips. He was here for only two days, but boy, were those some fun-packed two days! When I was suggesting dinner locations to him a week prior, I included the Top of the Hub. I mentioned the amazing views and food he had (and that it was out of my budget), and he offered to treat me to dinner there. This is one of the many reasons he’s my favorite dad. 😉

And let me just say: Oh. My. Word. Top of the Hub was everything I had imagined and more. I’ve had a lot of good food in my life, and the food I enjoyed here was definitely some of the best I’ve had. Each and every piece I chewed was so incredibly amazing.

The view was incredible, the weather was beautiful, and we could see for miles…

The view definitely put us both in an excellent mood.

(Side note: Isn’t my Bambi necklace adorable? I got it at Forever 21 a year ago and it makes me smile.)

Top of the Hub features an impressive menu. There was a prix-fixe menu and two tasting options, but my dad and I decided to choose from the regular menu.

After ordering, we were brought fresh bread and butter. I ate a slice of bread (x3) with nuts (walnuts?) and dried berries (cranberries?). It was delicious! We don’t get fresh bread like this in our dining halls (or any other good bread really), so I was in heaven already!

To start, I had the Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Walnuts, Pears, Vermont Goat Cheese, Port Wine Reduction, and Lemon Dressing. As soon as I read “goat cheese,” I knew this was the salad for me. Boy, do I miss good cheese!

I ordered the dressing on the side because I’m usually not a huge dressing fan. However, this dressing was special and deliciously tasty, and I dipped some forkfuls of salad into it. The dressing was sweet, creamy and slightly acidic and complemented the salad beautifully. I love salads that contain nuts, fruit, and cheese, so this was a great way to start my meal.

My dad ordered the Spicy Lobster Soup with Coconut Milk, Lemongrass, and Ginger. Of course, I had a spoonful or five! We agreed it was unbelievable and different from other lobster bisques/soups we’ve had – in a good way.  The soup was creamy but not heavy, slightly spicy yet sweet.

Next, my dad and I shared the Jonah and Lump Crabmeat Cake with Avocado Cream and Roasted Pepper Remoulade. I love crab cakes, and this one was great! The creamy remoulade was perfect for the creamy, savory (yet almost slightly sweet), smooth-textured crab cake.

Now on to something truly phenomenal. I was soon presented with the best cooked fish I’ve ever had: Main Cedar Plank-Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Peppercorn Maple Pecan Butter and Heirloom Sweet Potatoes. Yes, it was as good as it sounds and looks – and so much more!

Let’s just start with the fact that it’s on a cedar plank, an actual piece of wood! This didn’t make the fish taste woodsy or anything, but the aroma was quite refreshing. My guess is the plank helped in the cooking of the fish. (The server said the fish was pan-seared, then baked in an oven.) It also made for great presentation.

That fish was pure perfection. It cut like butter, was so smooth, and did not taste overly fishy. The peppercorn maple pecan butter brought the fish to the next level in so many ways. I mean, just look at it…

The butter brought out and enhanced the natural flavors of the fish: the sweet, peppery, creamy butter brought out those notes in the fish as well.

My dad ordered the Block Island Swordfish au Poivre with Potato Gnocchi, English Peas, Morel Mushrooms, and Cognac Cream. He prefers firm fish, so he was very pleased with his fish choice. We both loved the gnocchi (one of my favorite foods) and morel mushrooms in the sauce, as well.

Now, the grand finale: dessert! This was by far my favorite part of the entire meal. Would you expect any less of me?

It didn’t take me long to decide what I wanted. I read the first item on the menu and knew it was destined to be in my belly: Valrhona Warm Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Ice Cream and Burgundy Sauce (freshly baked to order). My dad chose to try a local specialty: Boston Cream Pie with Raspberry Sauce and Crème Anglaise (upper-right corner of photo below).

Let’s talk about this chocolate cake, or should I say heaven?

This photo says it all…

The (lava) cake was perfectly baked, rich, and not overly sweet. Baked and fluffy on the outside, molten chocolate batter on the inside. Oh, did it ooze with chocolate-y goodness!

I would have been quite happy with just the cake, but the blackberry ice cream in a sugar cookie crust brought it over the top. The ice cream was refreshing against the richness of the chocolate cake, and I ate the entire cookie base because it was oh so good.

My dad’s Boston cream pie was scrumptious. If you aren’t familiar with the dessert, Boston Cream Pie, it is “a round cake that is split and filled with a custard or cream filling and frosted with chocolate” (Wikipedia). The sponge cake was light and fluffy, the custard filling was light and vanilla-y, and the chocolate rounded out the flavors nicely. The petite cake was so cute!

I left the Top of the Hub very satisfied and not overly full, which made me even more happy when I didn’t think it was possible. Top of the Hub is absolutely amazing! I definitely recommend this restaurant if you are visiting Boston, celebrating a special event, or just in need of delicious food!

I hope you enjoyed my restaurant review. 🙂 As far as future posts go, I have a few ideas (trail mix chocolate bars, anyone?), but I’d love to hear from you guys! Please comment below on any topics you’d like to see me write on in a future post! Thanks!

PS. I’m inspired by the fish and dessert I ate and want to “recreate” them myself! Neither can be duplicated, but I’ll try my hand at sweet butter with fish and lava cake.  The lava cake will be a tricky one to “master,” but I’ll be sure to write a post when I get close. 🙂 You’ll have to wait until then though. In five short weeks, I’ll be home for break and have access to a kitchen once more!

Question 1: What is the best restaurant meal you’ve ever had? You just read about mine. 🙂

Question 2: What is your favorite dessert to order at a restaurant? More often than not, when freshly baked chocolate lava cake or cookies are on the menu (with ice cream!), that’s what I’ll order.

April 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm 12 comments

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