EAT (out)/ EXPERIENCE

Banana Bread and WKRC Local 12 (video included)

A dear friend of mine just reminded me that the very first thing I ever made for her was my banana-chip bread.  This made me smile.  While banana bread is not bound to a particular season, to me, winter calls for warm banana bread.  Whether you slice it and spread a little butter on top, serve it with a warm cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk, you can’t go wrong. Banana bread is breakfast, afternoon snack, and evening treat.   

Mini-loaves

This is my go-to recipe because I love baking with honey (local honey if possible) rather than sugar.  If you want to go even healthier, replace the oil with applesauce.  Also, I’m messy enough in the kitchen, so I appreciate that this dish is pretty much whipped up in one bowl.  I don’t need to fuss around with a bunch of dishes.  

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (or 3) large bananas mashed
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • Optional add-ins: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, blueberries, fresh banana slices, etc.  Tip- If baking with blueberries or other fruit, toss in a bit of flour (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom).
  • Optional toppings: Swirl a bit of nutella, peanut butter, or cinnamon on the top; not only does it look gorgeous, it tastes great.  

Getting ready to whisk it up!

Get creative with your mix-in ingredients.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or a mini loaf pan.  
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk.
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined.
  4. If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, fold them in now.
  5. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and swirl in topping if desired.  
  6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  If you’ve added mix-ins, it will need a bit longer.   
  7. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack for cooling.  

A couple years ago I purchased an 8-cavity mini loaf pan and it’s totally changed my bread game. First of all, if you’re being good, it’s a single serving (if it’s more than a single serving, let me live in denial please).  Secondly, these mini loaves make perfect pick-me-ups for friends, family, and coworkers.  Lastly, I like experimenting with mix-ins and toppings.  For example, in this batch, I had two blueberry banana (topped with sugar crystals), two banana nut, two banana chip (topped with a nutella swirl), and two regular (topped with a cinnamon swirl).  

Making banana bread on WKRC local 12.

If you’re feeling really fancy, bag up your individual mini loaves, add a cute label. . . maybe some ribbon, and deliver!

Mr. Chippy. Mr. Berry. Mr. Nutty.

Check out Bob Herzog and John Lomax whisking up some bread with me in the studio at WKRC 12! The video is below.

GO THERE (WKRC local 12, the kitchen)!  TRY THAT (banana bread, mini loaves, baking for others)!

EAT (out)

Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop

C’mon.  The name alone got me thru the front door!  If you’re bold enough to name your restaurant DOPE, then I’m trusting you to deliver the goods; well, in this case, the noodles.  Trust me friends, if you dig rice and noodle bowls, this place is a super fly retreat from the cold days of winter.  Totally!  And it’s all 90’s all the time in this noodle house.  90’s movie posters and CD covers serve as decor while quotes from 90’s stars such as Vanilla Ice and Christina Aguilera line the menu board.  Oh, and that stellar 90’s playlist had me dancing and singing (sorry to those sitting beside me) through the entire meal.  Couldn’t stop, wouldn’t stop! I was gettin jiggy with it.

While Dope Noodle and Dumpling Shop, located on Court Street, is only open for lunch right now, the simple, straightforward menu is Asian comfort food at its best.  My husband gets all the credit for finding this one.  We spent a few days of our Christmas vacation doing what we love most, playing tourists in this city we love so much!  For our meal, we started with the pan seared pork dumplings with a killer roasted garlic sriracha aioli and cilantro.   Boo Ya!

Our main course consisted of two noodle bowls: Hella Spicy Miso Ramen and The Grammy’s Laksa.  I got a little nervous about the Hella Spicy so I asked for it to be a little less than “hella spicy” but I should have ordered it as the chef intended it to be.  I ended up adding some extra spicy anyway.  This subtly rich and earthy miso broth is topped with an incredible BBQ pork, half-boiled egg, and green onion.  It was the bomb.  I slurped every single drop out of that bowl.  My husband favored The Grammy’s Laksa with its savory curry broth and lemon grass- reminiscent of a good Thai Curry dish, but with the coziness of chicken noodle soup.

My verdict?  Dope Noodle and Dumpling Shop is a must stop for lunch.  It’s a fresh little space with a super fly menu.  Next time, I’m totally ordering the Oops! I Drink Again Brisket.  In the words of Britney Spears (I can’t believe I just typed that), “hit me baby one more time!”

GO THERE (Dope!)!  TRY THAT (Hella Spicy Miso Ramen, Pan Seared Pork Dumplings)!

Dope! Noodle and Dumpling Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato