Banana Bread Blam!

November 27, 2012 § 6 Comments

So, Thanksgiving is done. How was yours? Oh, you had turkey? And your grandpa said something racist? NEAT!

Anyway, that’s over, and now a month of rampant consumerism and cold winds and awful music about wanting snow and then we get snow and everyone all, SNOW SUCKS IT TOOK ME TWICE AS LONG TO GET TO WORK TODAY.

But look, at least it’s baking weather, amirite? After Thanksgiving, we had some ripened bananas hanging around, because who the shit eats bananas on Thanksgiving. So, I thought, “I’ll make some banana bread, and I’ll put some mother fucking streusel on it.” Because if I had my way, there’d be streusel over everything.

Everything.

What You’ll Need How Much
ripened bananas 4
sugar 3/4 c
vegetable oil 3/4 c
eggs 2
vanilla 2 t
flour, all-purpose or whole grain 2 c
baking soda 1 t
baking powder 1/2 t
salt 1/2 t
For the streusel topping
dark brown sugar (make your own!) 3 T
sugar 3 T
flour, all-purpose 1/2 c
cold butter, unsalted 5 T

What You’ll Do

1) I know it’s been awhile, but you all remember me raising hell about getting together your mise en place (see the Glossary if you don’t know French) before you start cooking, yeah? Well, do it.

2) Then, preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and make ready for the goods by lubing up a 9″x5″ loaf pan with some butter or vegetable oil. Use the old school aluminum if you know what’s good for you. Non-stick bakeware is for dummies who like to burn their shit.

3) Now it’s time to get down with the get-down. We’re going to make the streusel. In a medium bowl, combine the 1/2c flour, and 3T each of brown and white sugar. Toss it all together good. Then, cut the butter into it with a pastry cutter until it looks like delicious pea gravel. Like so. Then, set aside in a cool place.

STREUSEL OVER E-VER-Y-THING

4) Now for the main attraction: in a large bowl, add the sugar and the bananas, and mash the holy goodness out of them. Use a wooden spoon, ya puss. Leave the Kitchen Aid alone for this one.

5) Add the wet ingredients, which is the vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs, you know, if you’re stupid and don’t know what “wet” means. Stir it all up good, until the oil is well incorporated into the mashed ‘nanners.

6) In another bowl, combine the dry goods: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then, dump it all at once into the large bowl of ‘nanner-mixture.

7) Stir this until just incorporated. Stir gently. If you stir too much, even with a wooden spoon, you’ll get the glutens all worked into a tizzy, and you don’t want that. The less tizzied the glutens, the more kick ass the ‘nanner bread.

8) Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan, and dump all that streussely wonderbutter on top.

9) Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

10) Wait. WAIT! Let it cool about 20-30 minutes in the pan. Use a knife to cut around the edges, and dump it out on to a cutting board.

11) Now, cut’chu off a slice, and put it in your face. Blam.

The I Ate Us Is Over.

November 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

As of today, I’m back. Last week, I had a number of people ask me what ever became of this blog. While chatting with the wife about it over the weekend, she came up with an idea: you know, just don’t try to post as often.

Before, I was trying to post three times a week. Now, I’m going to post once a month. Actually, twice. But one of the posts is going to be directing readers to Hobart, an online magazine where I’m currently writing a monthly bourbon column. Some months, I might get frisky and post an extra restaurant review or something, but generally, you can count on at least 2 posts a month here.

So, as the above picture suggests, this return post is about this month’s column at Hobart, wherein I review Dickel No. 12, and have something of a nihlist breakdown. Here’s an excerpt:

This month’s column was going to be about quitting my last job, but what’s the point. It was mostly uninteresting anyway. Everyone was happy for me and I put in my final two weeks without mess or fuss. And let’s face it, that column was likely going to devolve into masturbatory backslapping and pithy advice about working hard and not expecting breaks and all that rot and rubbish.

Tonight, I spent three hours with friends discussing whether we wanted to continue making sandwiches for the Indy poor. Afterwards, I was involved in an argument about whether people from our church should be scolded for parking in spots not actually designated for parking.

In 100 years, the likelihood of either of these conversations being important is slim to nil. The world feels so big and tired and broken.

Neat.

Buttermilk Coffee Cake

June 21, 2012 § 6 Comments

I’ve recently made a pact with myself to only eat 2 heavy desserts a week. Heavy desserts qualifies as ice cream, cake, brownies, etc. You know. Stuff that’ll stretch your belt buckle. Fruit and granola and stuff like that is fair game.

This coffee cake.

This coffee cake is not fair game. I’m warning you. But, I’ll follow that disclaimer with, “But it’s fucking delicious.”

I mean. How could it not be? It’s sugar and butter and cinnamon and flour. You could take a shit on this coffee cake, and it’d only serve as a topping. It’s that good. And moist. Not like other coffee/crumb cakes that kind of crumble into a dry mess of powder. This is not that kind of cake. This has 2 sticks of butter in it. I mean. Come on.

What You’ll Need How Much
all-purpose flour 3 c
brown sugar (make your own!) 2 c
butter 2 c
baking powder 2 t
baking soda 1/2 t
ground cinnamon 1 1/2 t
ground nutmeg 1/2 t
eggs, beaten 2
buttermilk 1 1/2 c

What You’ll Do

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13″ x 9″ aluminum baking pan.

2) In a large bowl, use a fork to mix the flour, brown sugar, and salt.

3) Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter (You let it come to room temperature, right? No? Well, go here for a protip on how to soften the butter without microwaving it.) until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of the crumb mixture.

4) Stir the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining crumb mixture.

5) In another bowl, combine the beaten eggs and buttermilk.

6) Add the egg mixture to the crumb mixture all at one time until just incorporated. Don’t overwork that shit. You’ll stiffen the glutens, and no one wants stiff glutens in their cake. No one.

7) Spoon the batter into the greased pan. Remember that cup of crumb mixture we set aside? Grab that and give the batter a good, even dusting with that goodness.

8) Toss that in the oven and let it go for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.

9) Serve that shit warm out of the oven. Serve it with coffee.

10) You heard me. Put it in your face!

Chow Down Midtown

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is the last week for Chow Down Midtown, and I’d be an ass not to let everyone know about it, given that I’m a food blogger who lives in Midtown Indianapolis. Basically, it’s all the best restaurants within a 3 mile radius of my house serving up 3 course meals for $30–either per plate, dinner for two, or some of the normally cheaper restaurants like Bebop’s Pizza and Brics are offering family deals. Parcha Sweets is offering their 9″ Black & White Mousse Cake with New Belgium Fat Tire Beer Sauce (serves 16-20, or you know, 4 fat people), which is normally $42 or something.

Last day of this goodness is this Saturday, so check out the menu offerings on the Chow Down Midtown site, and make plans with your honey or your friends if you’re lonely. Some of the best food in Indy lives here in Midtown.

Happy Bourbon Day!

June 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

As though I need an excuse to drink bourbon, today is National Bourbon Day, a day to commemorate the birth of that sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. Evidently that happened today way back in 1789 (or so The Awl says). I’m not quite sure how accurate that is. This overly official and touristy looking site says they’ve been making it since 1776.

I’m sure there’re plenty of urban legends about when the bung was popped (LOL) from that first glorious barrel in Uncle Eli’s hay barn, but you know what? After a few shots of the goodness, I’m going to have no fucks to give. What matters is that it exists.

And, as my Internet buddy Daniel McCord says, “It’s a fucking bourbon. Drink it!”

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

June 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

You should read this. Mainly, I love how she settles on this:

As Michael Pollen says (everywhere, but first in In Defense of Food), “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Keep it simple, stupid. The more rules & restrictions, the more you stress, the more you crave foods you “can’t have” & the more you dislike eating–which should be a total joy!

Week In Food: 6/11 – 6/18

June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week’s meat-light week went pretty okay. Of course, then I celebrated yesterday by eating a big ass sausage at a birthday party BBQ.

Not much to report this week, actually. We actually haven’t gotten around to planning our meals this week, but given that we’ve gotten 4 zucchini, a yellow squash, a few heads of Romaine lettuce about to bolt (thus ready to harvest), and about 4 cups of green beans from our garden this week, I’m assuming it’s going to involve those ingredients.

Also, I’m challenging myself (and Britt is, too) to eat no desserts or sugary drinks this week, except for berries and fresh fruit. I’m allowing myself honey in my Greek yogurt. Other than that, nothing.

Quick rumination: why do so many of our foods look phallic in nature? Sausage, squashes, Romaine hearts, even green beans in a sad way. Even nature is a misogynist ass.