Big Train Chai Spiced Banana Bread

One of my favorite addictions is Big Train Chai. If you’re a chai tea fan then I’d pray you know who they are. Big Train makes one of the best blends of the drink spice that I have found. So when I had a bag of bananas on the verge of extinction, it all just came together.

I love a good quick bread. There’s no waiting for anything to rise, or biting your nails over why it didn’t proof. Just smash, mix and stir. It doesn’t get much better than that. Banana bread is great for breakfast, you can cut slices and batter it in a little bit of egg, milk and cinnamon. Sear it in your skillet for french toast. It’s an awesome grab and go item if you’re busy and I’ve even seen it as a dessert sandwich with Nutella and marshmallow fluff! Yum!

Chai-Spiced Banana Bread Recipe

 Ingredients
  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar (can easily reduce to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoon Nielsen Massey vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 T. Big Train Chai Spice (powder mix)
  • smidge of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. First, smash bananas with two forks. Use a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and chai. Dust the baking soda and salt over the mixture and combine. Last, add the flour to the mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 45 min. to 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve. Enjoy!

Sweet Relief Bake Sale!…Come Eat for the Cause.

It’s been over 2 years since the first Sweet Relief bake sale raised over $1000 for the Nashville flood relief efforts. In light of recent events, we felt it’s a good time to resurrect this event and show our support for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This Saturday, November 10th, Nashville’s food bloggers unite to raise money for the hurricane relief efforts, with all proceeds benefiting the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. The Sweet Relief bake sale will run from 1:00 pm until 4:00pm (or until the goodies are gone!) at the Well coffee shop in Green Hills. All proceeds from the event will benefit Community Food Bank of New Jersey and their efforts to provide relief to victims of hurricane Sandy.

Be sure to come by and show your support by enjoying sweets for a great cause!

Sweet Relief: Nashville Food Blogger Bake Sale for Hurricane Relief
Saturday, November 10th, 1:00-4:00pm
The Well Coffee Shop, 2035 Richard Jones Road in Green Hills (map)

Are you planning on coming? RSVP on Facebook!

We’re also excited that several Green Hills businesses including Parnassus Books will be donating a portion of their proceeds to the cause during the hours of the bake sale. Stay tuned for a full list of participating businesses. A good way to make your trip to Green Hills worthwhile, and maybe get some early holiday shopping done?

Want to bake?
While we’re calling this a food blogger bake sale, it doesn’t mean you can’t participate if you don’t have a blog. Food bloggers, non-food bloggers, and food blog fans are more than welcome to participate! We’re looking for helpers and bakers regardless of blogging status. Be creative! Some ideas for what you could bring include cookies, sandwich cookies, cupcakes, brownies, rice krispie treats, cake pops, whoopie pies, homemade candy, cinnamon rolls, quick breads, muffins, pretzels, etc. If you do plan to bake, here are a few requests:

All baked goods should be dropped off at The Well between 12:15 and 12:45 on Saturday.
If you cannot drop your baked goods off at the specified time, please get in touch. We have folks in East Nashville, West Nashville, and Germantown who are willing to collect baked goods ahead of time.
Everything will be priced at $2, please bake accordingly. You may decide to, for example, package 2-3 small cookies together in a bag or cut your brownies to a specific size you feel warrants a $2 price tag.
Please package your baked goods to make it easy for folks to purchase and take it with them. The packaging doesn’t have to be fancy, but loose cookies or messy cake slices floating around can be problematic. Treat bags, cello wrap, or gift boxes are great options. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just functional.
Feel free to label your baked goods so people know what they are, we’ll also have little signs the day of so that everything is clearly labeled.
Feel free also to bring your blog business cards or package them with your treats. Even better if you feel like sharing the recipe on your blog!

Since we have less than a week to get the word out about this event, please do all you can to promote it. You can use the graphic above to promote the event on your blog. If you need a different format/size or a print version, just shoot me an email and I’ll happily send it your way.

Please don’t hesitate to email Lindsay if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, etc. Thanks in advance for you help in making this event a huge success! See you Saturday!

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Pumpkin Smore’s Cupcakes with Espresso Caramel

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1  T.  pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

For the pumpkin cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the butter and both sugars. Beat with a hand-held mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time. Incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

4oz.Cream Cheese (room temp)
1.5 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt

Whip cream cheese with hand held mixer until light and fluffy. Then, add remaining ingredients until desired consistency is reached.

Marshmallows

Preheat oven to Broil. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray and evenly distribute marshmallows.Now, you will have to bend down and stay in front of the oven or else you will start a fire. Watch the mallows until they are browned to your liking and remove quickly. you will be able to pick up marshmallows ans lie them on top of the icing once cooled.

Caramel

Here’s the link for the caramel sauce. You are simply going to add 1 shot of your favorite espresso with the heavy cream and butter.

Assembly: Last but not least. you are going to pipe the caramel sauce into the center of the cooled cupcakes. Ice them accordingly and add your marshmallows on top. This recipe is not for the faint or weary. Enjoy!

Mint & Basil Cantaloupe Granita

Sometimes ice cream just won’t cut it, wait, scratch that! Ice cream will always cut it but sometimes your taste buds desire a different chilling experience. And you can get it all in this simple granita recipe that will satisfy your thirst and relieve your hot weather blues. I remember the first time I discovered this stuff. I made it with Blue Raspberry Kool-Aid. No, not grape, don’t judge me, but it was still amazing. I hope you love it now as much as I did then.

Mint & Basil Cantaloupe Granita

1 medium cantaloupe
1/4 granulated sugar
1/4 orange juice
5-8 leaves fresh mint
4-5 leaves fresh basil

1. Cut your cantaloupe in half. Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds. Now you can either opt to scoop the fruit out using the ice cream scoop. Or resort to that culinary talent and cut the fruit into quarters and filet it off the rind.

2. Place fruit into blender or food processor with the sugar, orange juice, and herbs. You might need to do this in smaller batches if it won’t all fit, which is fine.

3. Taste mixture to check for sugar content. You might desire to add more. If not, pour mixture into a 13×13 cake pan, or casserole dish. Place in the freezer. You can either let it freeze over night or if you wish to use it same day. Then start 3 hours prior to usage, and you can revisit the mixture every thirty minutes for a broken glass like texture or fully freeze and scrape with a fork or ice cream scoop for a more snow-like consistency. Either way enjoy!

Garnish: I used a little coarse flake kosher salt, because I think cantaloupe and salt work so well together; or just some fresh berries will work.

The Peach Truck…Summer Obsession!

How painful to only enjoy good peaches from June to July. Everyone knows a good ripe, juicy peach is often hard to find with local commercial chains peddling the unripened, often mealy ones. Most civilians aren’t aware that leaving them in a paper bag for a couple of days is the remedy.

The Peach Truck typically takes this process out of the equation by bringing you the best peaches from his aunt & uncle’s very own peach farm in Fort Valley, Goergia. The farm is located southwest of Macon on 1500 acres of supple peaches awaiting Nashville local chefs and foodies alike to whip up salivating culinary creations.

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I spoke with Steven Rose briefly, the man behind the tweets and pickup truck instagram shots. He says briefly after he and his wife married and began their lives in Nashville. He had somewhat of a hard time finding peaches to his satisfaction. He shared this hardship with his aunt and uncle who inspired him to bring the edible candy up the interstate to you and me.

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We ran into Annie Downs. Check out the awesome christian author @ http://annieblogs.com/

You can find these incredibly delicious peaches outside of denim clothiers imogene & willie’s in the 12 South Neighborhood. As well as the Nashville Farmer’s Market located off Rosa Parks Blvd. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to find out how you can your hands on these summer obsessions. But sorry, you’ll have to wait till next summer because peach season’s over. Unless you know something we don’t.

Peach Recipe. Here’s a simple but delicious Peach Cobbler with a White Chocolate Sauce you can make with your bag of peaches.

5 peaches (pealed,opt.)
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 T. granulated sugar

Topping

1/2 c. AP flour
1 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
smidge of kosher salt
3 T. room temp. unsalted butter
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

White Chocolate Sauce

2 oz. White Chocolate discs or shaved bark
1 T. vegetable oil

1.  Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Cut your peaches into bite size pieces. Toss in lemon juice and sugar. Set aside

2. Add first 4 dry ingredients for topping, set aside. Using a hand held blender, blend together your butter, egg, and vanilla. Add your dry ingredients a little at a time until all combined.

3. You can opt to use two 12 oz. ramekins or a 1.5 qt baking dish. Place sugared peaches in the bottom of ramekins or dish. I like to add a couple of dollops of butter in at the last minute. Completely optional, about a T. Spoon your batter over the top of the mixture. Don’t worry about covering it evenly. It will spread. Bake for 40 min. or until top of cobbler is lightly browned around the edges and peaches are bubbling around the sides.

4. Put the the white chocolate & oil into a microwave safe dish. Temper in 20 sec. intervals using a spoon to stir the mixture in between the intervals until completely melted. Top off your cobbler and Enjoy!