Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"I Don't Really Have a Sweet Tooth"... PUHLEEEASE

Stone Hearth Pizza - Cambridge, MA

Spicy Banana Pepper Pizza
     If you do it right, pizza can totally be a good post-workout food. After a Saturday workout, Jake and I headed to Stone Hearth Pizza to use up a Living Social deal I'd been hanging on to for eons. Stone Hearth's motto of "Know Better Pizza" is based on their principle of using local, sustainable and organic ingredients to make everything from scratch. Love it. We went with their Spicy Banana Pepper pizza, which had their signature tomato sauce, a mozzarella/provolone blend, housemade sausage, spicy banana peppers, scallions and dollops of ricotta cheese all over it. Everything about this pizza was awesome. The sauce definitely had a unique homemade flavor and wasn't full of sugar like some sauces pizza joints use. The juice from the banana peppers gave the already delicious cheese and even better flavor. I'm not too familiar with ricotta cheese, but every bite that had a dollop of the it was just incredible. And I'm totally convinced that scallions with cheese always take whatever you're eating to the next level.
     It's impossible to get just one thing when the menu looks so great, so we also split a Chicken, Spinach,
Chicken, Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stromboli
and Sundried Tomato Stromboli. It had roasted chicken, fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes mixed with local goat cheese, garlic-infused olive oil, and sprinkled with fresh parmesan. This was by far the best stromboli I've ever had. Yea, that's not saying much because I've only had a few in my life, but it was SO good. The best part? Totally the goat cheese and sundried tomato combo. Those two strong flavors just played so well off one another. Another thing I liked about it was that there wasn't too much breading. The other stromboli's I've had before had much thicker crust and not as much internal beauty. This one had a thinner crust, and there was more room for goodies inside.

Emack & Bolio's - Cambridge, MA

 I keep hearing all this huff and puff about Emack & Bolio's being some of the best ice cream in Boston. So, naturally, after having "lunch," Jake and I hopped over to the one in Porter Square to satisfy our sweet tooth. Aside from the guy behind the desk being a total loser and not liking ice cream, I was impressed. They had a ton of really unique flavors you wouldn't normally see at other ice cream shops. I ended up going with the salted caramel chocolate pretzel ice cream in a chocolate dipped, sprinkle covered cone. Such a good choice! I would've liked the ice cream base to be chocolate rather than vanilla, but it still was amazing. It was even slightly refreshing because it wasn't overly sugary or overly caramel-y. My favorite part though were the nearly full chocolate covered pretzels.
     And of course we HAD to get a piece of chocolate dipped pineapple, a peanut butter cup, and a piece of peppermint bark. All were delicious, especially the peppermint bark. I tried to save half of it, but Jake was not having that. Dude behind the counter must've been able to tell we were lightweights because he gave us the smallest piece. Butthead.

Swiss Bakers - Allston, MA

     I had seen that this place posted up in a really random location in Allston, and anything with the word "Bakers" in the name has to be pretty hard to screw up. Alyse had been talking about it to Jimmy and I, so
the next day we decided there wasn't any other option but to go. The whole restaurant had an interesting/weird feel to it. There were literally a gazillion people working behind the counter, following us as we browsed through everything, and telling us about each one of their products. Kind of annoying, kind of informative, kind of unnecessary. Whatever. After about 20 minutes of indecisiveness (for good reason), I got their Pretzel Longstix and a MiniSwirl Croissant. The pretzel longstix was incredibly fluffy and had an amazing harder thin shell on the outside, like the most perfect pretzel you could ever imagine would have. And the coarse chunks of salt... mmmm. I love salt. The MiniSwirl Croissant was kind of like a cinnamon roll in croissant form. It had what seemed like finely chopped hazelnut hunks all throughout it and it had a crispness on the edges from whatever sweetness they must've brushed it with. Oh and the white hunks on top of in the photo isn't salt, it's pearl sugar. "Everyone asks that." Yea... duh... because it looks like salt. Hahaha, but it reminded me of puffy rice cereal, in sugar form. The whole thing was delicious.
     Jimmy also let me try his pretzel croissant, which was not as pretzel-y as I expected. More just croissant like. He had a puffy little doughnut "filled" with some raspberry goo that was good, but not crazy exceptional.  However, his ham and swiss cheese stuffed croissant? Lord that incredible. I'd smash 10 of those. Easy.

Banana Trail Mix Bread - Jimmy's Kitchen, Brighton, MA
Banana Trail Mix Bread

     Things I could eat non-stop and never get sick of: baked goods, trail mix (and a ton of other things, but we won't get into that). I found this recipe for Banana Trail Mix Bread on Pinterest and Cookie + Katie, but I still tweaked it a little bit. Apparently you can make muffins if you want too. Truthfully, you're totally fine to just throw in any trail mix ingredients you feel like, so these quantities are only estimates. I just dumped. I roped Jimmy into making it with me because he had ten thousand bananas in his freezer waiting to be used. If I could summarize, this bread is basically banana bread with any sort of trail mix ingredients you like. If that means double the chocolate chips, double the chocolate chips (I doubled the chocolate chips). This bread is pretty dense, but absolutely delicious and amazing with some melted butter. Truthfully, it's not all that bad for you either!

Banana Trail Mix Bread

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips (went a little overboard)
1/4 cup canola oil (Kate used 1/2 cup coconut oil)
2 ripe bananas, mashed 
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut, then mix in all your trail mix ingredients.

3) In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the oil, mashed banana, honey, egg and vanilla.

4) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup coconut.

5) Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes or longer. Let the bread cool in the pan before slicing. Warning: This bread is dense and not very easy to slice.

No comments :

Post a Comment