Move over, banana bread. Make way for banana upside down cake.
There’s no denying banana bread is so comforting, so nostalgic, and so easy to make.
But I think it’s high-time to branch out of that ol’ banana rut.
It’s time to flip things around. Upside down to be precise.
As in “Banana Polenta Upside Down Cake.”
This delightful recipe is from “Vanilla Table” (Jacqui Small LLP) by Natasha Macaller, a pastry chef and restaurant consultant who splits her time between London, Los Angeles and New Zealand.
As the name implies, this cookbook, of which I received a review copy, showcases vanilla in every recipe, both savory and sweet.
If you’ve ever accidentally left out vanilla extract from a cookie recipe — ahem, yes, I have so blundered on one occasion — you know exactly how flat tasting it ends up. Vanilla adds an unmistakable lovely, natural sweetness to anything it touches.
It’s guaranteed to be a sweet time when yours truly teams with Executive Pastry Chef Samantha Miotke of Palo Alto’s Mayfield Bakery & Cafe for a delightful cooking demo 2 p.m. Sept. 19 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Miotke was hooked on creating sugary treats ever since she was a little girl, playing with her Easy-Bake Oven.
Pretty tomato tartines at Kristi Marie’s in Redwood City.
If you’ve spent anytime in Menlo Park, you know the Borrone name.
As in the beloved Cafe Borrone next door to the equally cherished Kepler’s Books on El Camino Real.
Rose and Roy Borrone opened the European-style cafe more than a quarter century ago.
Their son Peter and his wife then opened the wood-fired pizza joint, Vesta, three years ago in Redwood City in the same location the first Cafe Borrone was established before it moved to Menlo Park.
And just a month ago, following in the family’s footsteps, Rose’s and Roy’s youngest daughter Kristi opened Kristi Marie’s bakery in downtown Redwood City with her husband Zu Tarazi. The couple previously owned Station 1 restaurant in Woodside.
The colorful sign painted on the side of the building.
Owners Kristi Borrone and Zu Tarazi.
The slender, shoebox-sized space once housed a hair salon. Now, it’s where Kristi and former Station 1 Sous Chef Alex Avery turn out sweets with Tarazi lending a hand with the savory side.
Start the morning off right with this oatmeal puff made in the microwave.
With school back in swing, mornings are even more hectic than usual.
There’s no excuse to skimp on breakfast, though. Not when you can make a whole-grain one loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, and fruit in a microwave in a flash.
That’s the beauty of “Minute-Oatmeal Puffs with Anise and Grapes.”
The recipe is from “Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. The book is by Maria Speck, a food journalist and cookbook writer who lives in Massachusetts.
As the name implies, this cookbook is all about cooking with grains, many of which are gluten-free, too. Inside you’ll find info on everything from black rice to red quinoa to farro to golden Kamut berries, and delicious ways to enjoy them morning, noon and night. You’ll be inspired to try new grains in dishes such as “Lemon Pancakes with Millet and Amaranth” and “Spelt Spaghetti with Lemony Parsnips and Olives.”
This gluten-free oatmeal puff caught my attention not only because oatmeal is a staple in my pantry, but because of the microwave trick similar to making a mug cake.
Golden with a tinge of green, Vino Verde is made to be enjoyed young.
I’ve been intrigued by Vinho Verde since taking an illuminating wine class a couple years ago at the International Culinary Center in Campbell.
Among the discussions we got into was the best wine to accompany sushi.
I’d had my share of sake, Sauvignon Blanc and Chablis with my nigiri. But when our instructor, Master Sommelier Jesse Becker, mentioned he loved Vinho Verde with sushi, that was a new one on me.
The Portuguese wine is not a particular varietal per se. Instead, the name refers to “green wine,” meaning a young one, meant to be enjoyed readily, rather than tucked away in a cellar for years.