About Me

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I am an Operations Manager at a snack food company and I hold a Master's Degree in Food Studies from New York University. By night I hang out with my schnauzer and explore the city's newest, strangest, most delicious food and drinks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cooking Local: Banana Beer Bread

I love banana bread. When I was a kid I liked it with chocolate chips and more recently I've been baking dense, fudgy versions. I got the inspiration for this new recipe from Brooklyn Brewery's Brown Ale. The notes of caramel, chocolate, and coffee are a natural match for banana. Plus this recipe calls for half a bottle, so please give the other half a good home.

The result is a fluffy, complex banana bread with a moist crumb. I use a mix of regular and whole wheat flour so I can feel less guilty about eating this for breakfast.

 What you'll need:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 very ripe bananas (I store mine in the freezer once they start to go south)
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 6 oz (half a bottle) Brooklyn Brown Ale 
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking power and soda, and salt) together in a large bowl.
2.Mash up all but one of your bananas. Cut the last banana into coins. Mix together your wet ingredients in a small bowl. (Make sure the melted butter has cooled or it will cook your eggs!) Stir your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine. 

3.This makes one 9 x 13 loaf or two smaller loaves. Bake for 45 mins or longer- make sure the middle of the  bread doesn't jiggle when you remove it from the oven. 

After the bread cools, enjoy with coffee, chocolate milk, or of course, a Brown Ale. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Best of the Best: Cafe Luluc

I'm very pleased to have an opportunity to write about Cafe Luluc. A friend told me about the pancakes there, and so I made the trek to Cobble Hill on a Saturday morning to try them out.

The cafe is a small, busy spot, but after waiting just a few minutes my party of two was seated. We ordered the pancakes. There is only one variety here; no banana or chocolate chip varieties and no option to have your pancakes covered in whipped cream and strawberries.

And that is all for the best. Cafe Luluc serves the best pancakes I have ever tasted. I usually add lots of butter and a bit of syrup to my stack, but these flapjacks were perfect as is. Intensely buttery and slightly sweet, the cakes had crisp exteriors but were dense and rich inside. Half an order will fill you up but it is easy to keep eating these yummy, dreamy pancakes.

Cafe Luluc in Cobble Hill
214 Smith St
(between Baltic St & Butler St) 
BrooklynNY 11201

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sweet Reviews: Cousin John's Bakery

Only one block away from my apartment in Park Slope is the biggest danger I have encountered since moving here: Cousin John's Bakery. The narrow storefront on 7th Avenue is easy to miss, but once you discover the yummy goodness inside it will be hard to walk past. Better yet, the treats are priced to move.

The huge fruit tarts feature a thick buttery base topped with layered  peaches, apricots or pears. At $4 each, they make a great dessert for two.

I'm also a fan of the cookies ($1 each). Cousin John's has a new selection everyday and the staff are happy to tell you all about them.

But my favorite goody and in my opinion, the best deal, is the apple coffee cake. You get a big square for $2 dollars and the texture is perfect- the apples are not overcooked and the crumbly topping adds a luxurious sweetness.

There are plenty of tables to sit and enjoy your purchases and the kitchen is open so you can watch the bakers work their magic. I hope you'll join me for some coffee and cake at Cousin John's soon!

70 7th Avenue 
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 622-7333