Big, Fat, and Juicy Blackberries!
These turned out so good.
So perfect in every way.
Here is my personal recipe:
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick softened butter
4 overripe bananas
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour bottoms of muffin tins or two loaf pans. Choose two 8×4 loaves or 18 regular muffins.
Beat softened butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and slowly mash in bananas until everything is incorporated.
Slowly stir in flour, baking soda and salt.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Bake on center rack at 350º 25-30 minutes for muffins or 55 minutes for loaf pans, until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool at least 20 minutes before removing from pan to avoid tearing on the bottom side.
I don’t like giving places bad reviews. Especially when I walk into the place and it’s everything I would want a tiny little neighborhood bistro to be.
Awesome local art on the walls, quirky retro salt shakers, trivial pursuit cards stacked up next to the sugar caddy beckoning you to play, and most importantly, a fantastic-looking menu full of tasty breakfast/ lunch options.
I have heard good things about Sky Blue Coffee & Bistro from a lot of people recently and was very excited to try it out for myself.
Upon my arrival, I stood around for a few seconds and then just sat myself because the server looked really busy.
It was a rainy day, dreary, humid, and I was ready for a pick-me-up.
The dining room at Sky Blue is tiny and cozy, with these sweet retro-printed vinyl tablecloths that I absolutely loved.
We sat there for quite awhile before I even had a menu and then a bit longer before I had anything to drink.
Eventually I put my order in.
I ordered Buttermilk pancakes, home fries, and veggie sausage.
I also ordered coffee and I was very pleased to see (and taste!) that it was Drew’s Brews locally roasted coffee. http://www.drewsbrewscoffee.com/
So, I must say that I’m okay with waiting a reasonable amount of time for food.
I’m pretty patient when I know that what I’m about to eat is going to be worth the wait.
That being said, I waited nearly 45 minutes for a few simple breakfast items when the whole place had emptied out except for one other table.
The pancakes were good except for one fact, that the bottoms were scortched to holy hell.
I mean…you burn it, remake it. Please don’t hide it by presenting the pretty side up.
I can taste the charred part when I eat it!!
I also had to wait another 5 minutes to et the server’s attention to get some butter.
(maybe they should put that in a ramekin on the side with the syrup they bring? Just a thought…)
Unfortunately the part I was most excited about, my potatoes, were completely cold.
The ketchup the server brought us was nearly frozen which did not help the cold potatoes whatsoever.
One of the veggie sausages was delicious and not too dry, and the next one was hard as a rock and stayed on the plate untouched.
The coffee was great, although brewed a bit weaker than Marche serves Drews Brews.
The flavor and seasoning of the potatoes was lovely and had the temperature been correct I would be raving about them.
Maybe it was the rain, the fact that it was the end of breakfast service…who knows.
Every review can’t be glowing I suppose, but it sucks because I live to support my community restaurants and was kinda bummed that I couldn’t gush relentlessly about Sky Blue the way I have about other East Nashville Bistro’s like Marche.
I will be back. But I will probably order the omelet next time.
Sharp Cheddar Cheese is my friend. My really good friend. We have a history together that involves long nights and loaded chicken nachos, and I’ll spare you the details… but trust me, we are close.
One of my favorite ways to indulge in my good friend Mr. Cheese is by grilling him on thick hearty wheat bread with ripe tomatoes.
I buy Milton’s wheat bread because it is thick and delicious and full of yummy grains and seeds.
There is also no high fructose corn syrup!!
Shredded cheese melts faster!
And heirloom tomatoes taste better!
Look at this big boy!
He’s all “Herro Jamie, slice me up and eat me ASAP”
And I was all “Okay Mr. Tomato I think I will totally slice you up and eat you, thankyouverymuch.”
Dang. What a gorgeous tie-dyed tomato!
Here is a close-up!
This variety is called “pineapple.”
This tomato was sugary sweet and mixed so exceptionally well with all that salty cheddar cheese.
I swear that Milton’s wheat bread toasts better than any other hearty wheat bread I have bought and tested out. It is so thick that is doesn’t get soggy when fried and just has the perfect crunch when you bite into it.
I’m so glad that you are are part of my life Mr. Cheese.
Vegan’s just don’t know how great you are.
But I do.
There is a super dumb test circulating on Facebook that is supposed to determine how “white” you are by asking you a few simple questions.
Apparently I am very white. Over 60% white. What!? I’ve got all sorts of Native American in my blood, somewhere……down the family tree….it’s there….maybe.
Anyway, the question that got me, asked about whether you have a deep and abiding love for shopping at Costco.
And I guess that’s where I failed the test miserably ….cuz mama loves her some Costco field trips.
Anyway…on my last trip to Costco, one of the nice sample ladies was handing out Morningstar Farm’s Chipotle Black Bean Burger samples and I ate two of them in a row much to the complete and obvious dismay of Sample lady.
They were so good I immediately raced to the freezer section and tossed one of the giant sized boxes in my cart and then doubled back around to the sample stand to grab another sample while she wasn’t paying attention.
I have no shame.
I mean c’mon…I pay to have a membership there…I’ll eat as many samples as I want to!
(BTW you can totally make a lunch out of hitting up all of the Costco sample stands if you do it right)
Okay, so onto the Black Bean Burgers that I love so much!
I already threw the box that they came in away and this is the only picture I could find:
I have a lot of experience with store-bought black bean burgers and these are by far the very best I have tried. For starters, the patty is gigantic!
I love the fact that you can actually see the chunks of pepper, corn, and black bean in the burger as well.
They are so good by themselves with yellow mustard or ketchup, and also super tasty in quesadillas.
Which is what I do with them most often.
Simply pop the burger in the toaster over for 10 minutes and then slice up into little chunks
Top with sour cream and freshly prepared barack-a-mole, and enjoy!
And people need to stop hating on Costco so hard. Seriously.
I cut open one of my Farmer’s Market Bell Peppers for my Hummus tray the other day and found a surprise.
An entirely separate pepper growing inside it! How rad is that?
I cut open that pepper later and it had little seeds and everything.
It had a buttery garlic smell that was different from the way the outer Bell Pepper smelled.
What’s that about?
It is no secret if you keep up with my food blog that I’m a huge Greek Yogurt advocate.
Fage yogurt is one on my favorite things to snack on when I need something sweet and healthy.
I did a review not too long ago expressing my affection for its whipped and tart deliciousness.
And then I took a glamour shot of us together so I would remember our love always:
You can read the FAGE review that I did here:
Just in case you have been living under a rock, greek yogurt is creamy, tart, fluffy, and packed with protein. It taunts you with its palate teasing yogurty goodness and leaves you crying into your plastic yogurt container when it’s all gone.
I was curious as to whether my devotion to Fage could be tainted by another yogurt brand so when I was in Whole Foods Market last week, I decided to try Chobani brand greek yogurt.
(which unlike Fage comes in a non-fat with fruit version)
I tried their Blueberry offering.
It was kind of scary looking until I stirred it up.
Chobani has the distinct tart taste of greek yogurt, but the consistency is not much different from regular Yoplait yogurt.
Chobani is delicious and creamy, although not at all thick and fluffy at all like my beloved Fage.
Regardless of the lack of fluff, the texture was nice and smooth and there were actually whole berries in the yogurt (not just sugar-laden puree).
Chabani is seriously tasty stuff.
It was tart, sweet, and much better that traditional yogurt.
Alas, I need that thick fluffy action in my yogurt.
I’m not sure I can go back to regular-textured yogurt now.
Fage has basically ruined other yogurt for me.
Isn’t that the tell tale sign of true love?
Check out Chobani’s website and coupon offer here: http://www.chobani.com/
I’ve been trying to perfect my chocolate chip cookie recipe for months now. I am happy to report that I’ve pretty much achieved cookie perfection. I follow the standard Tollhouse cookie recipe:
tweaking it ever so slightly by adding more chocolate chips than the recipe calls for, adding dark chocolate chunks as well, using one egg, and one egg yolk, and by refrigerating the dough for 48 hours before baking.
Baking them for 15 minutes @ 350 degrees has yielded me a cookie that once slightly cooled, is crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. They are also soft and perfect several days after baking!!