Sunday, July 12, 2009

Banana Bread, Revised

I have tried the gluten-free & sugar-free recipe from Babycakes' cookbook; wasn't too impressed with the results. The bread was semi-dry, and had a bit of an off-taste. Although it required 6 bananas, the taste was lost somewhere among the other ingredients.

So, yesterday, when I noticed that I had some bananas entering their mature phase, I thought I'd bake them into a bread. Instead of following the Babycakes Banana Bread directions, I took my all-time fave banana bread recipe, and inspired by the Babycakes ingredients, revised it a bit. And the results... one of the most delicious banana breads I've ever made!

Here's my all gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan Banana Bread:

6 ripe bananas
4 ounces of coconut oil
4 ounces of canola oil
1/2 cup of brown rice sugar
1/2 cup of agave nectar
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tbs of vanilla
pinch of salt
2.5 cups of gluten-free flour
1 tsp of xantam gum
optional- nuts or vegan chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup

Mix all the ingredients together, and put into a loaf pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Test it with a toothpick or a knife until it comes out clean.

It's that simple!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Turkish Cuisine Westchester in White Plains

Inspired by the sun and mild temperatures, Hubby and I gathered our fleeces, and headed over to Sunset Cove in Tarrytown to watch the sun set lazily behind the mountains. Life seemed to stop and take a back seat...

But our stomachs didn't.

Another one of Hubby's clippings- this time from the Westchester Magazine-, we visited the Turkish Cuisine Westchester in White Plains. Not knowing what to expect- I find that most Turkish food, just like any ethnic food, is altered to the local tastes- I was pleasantly surprised.

It reminded me of the earlier version of Ali Baba on 33rd Street- only on a much smaller scale. There are about six tables (seating 2-4 at each) in the back, and a take-out counter space with 4-5 stools for solo eaters. This is not a place for elaborate dining- for that, you may head over to Mamaroneck to Turkish Meze, the same owners as this joint.

The menu is diverse- no side dishes- and the kitchen is flexible if you crave for anything that may not be on the menu. For me, it was the "ayran"- a savory yogurt drink that goes fancily with traditional Turkish meat dishes. I loved my Skewered Ground Meat (complemented by a side of green chili sauce- also on request) that was served with a heaping salad and rice (made in bay leaf broth). Hubby opted for the Grilled Lamb Chops- unfortunately, they were out- and then chose to have Meatballs. Turkish Cuisine does not have a liquor license, but they welcome if you decide to bring any with you. Both dishes were delicious, and the serving sizes were just-right.

There is so much on the menu that I'd like to sample, so I'll be going back for some more.

Turkish Cuisine Westchester
116 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 683 6111
Mon to Wed 11 am–9 pm
Thurs to Sat 11:30 am–3 am
Sun 11:30 am–9 pm

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Emma's Ale House

Last Sunday, on our way back from house-hunting, we made a turn onto Gedney Way to stop by Emma's Ale House, a new bar/restaurant in White Plains. Hubby had read about in the NYTimes, clipped the review and strategically placed it by the Tassimo for my reading pleasure.

Familiar with the watering holes in White Plains, I had mixed feelings going into the place- one time, when we had stopped by the Black Bear for a quick wings & beer during the football season, I had felt terribly "old" in my long-sleeved shirt and jeans. Looking around at the females who were in their "Sunday best"- faces fully made-up in revealing slinky (flimsy?) shirts-, I felt like I was as pristine as a nun. Thank goodness, Hubby never said a word, or he was perhaps enjoying the 'company' around us that he did not even notice my discomfort!!

From the moment you walk into Emma's, you're surrounded in dark & rich mahogany colors of old-school bars. To the left of the entrance, there's a large dining room- and on that Sunday, there were plenty of families dining with their little ones. We chose to stay to the right- a rather spacious area- where a long bar welcomed us. Hubby instantly commented on the beers on tap- happy to see the Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA from the local brewery, Captain Lawrence. We recognized the bartender- he was transferred from the Black Bear who share the same owners.

As we were watching the NCAA game on the flat-screen, I surveyed the clientele- a group of what seemed to be golf/sailing buddies with their wives, several young(er) couples enjoying the homemade chips on the bar, a few singletons, and groups of men and women cheering for their favorite college team...

Food was quite decent and prices reasonable- especially loved the soft pretzel sticks that preceded our dinner. Later, when I looked up their website, I noticed that Emma's is a Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association. Good news.

Making our way out of Emma's, I made a mental-note to come back.

Emma's Ale House
68 Gedney Way
White Plains, New York 10605
Phone: 914-683-EMMA
Fax: 914-683-6627
View Map & Directions