Friday, September 26, 2008

Nationals Game

Rode on up to DC to catch a Nationals' game this past weekend. It was my first time in their park and I have to say that it's fabulous! Reminds me a bit of Turner Field.

The team itself........meh, I've seen better. Cubbies anyone? ;)

Food choices abound, including a fav of mine- 5 Guys! But, I only sampled the Boardwalk Fries which were neither noteworthy, nor salty. Unlike the peanuts, which are a no-fail in whatever ballpark you find yourself.

And for fun---

Tip from B: Someone should really rethink this brand name:

You're welcome.

Fall cometh........

........the temperature declines into the 60's and the rain softly patters on rooftops here in Central VA, my thoughts turn to what else? Tomato Soup! And grilled cheese!

I also have to share that I love using up odds and ends of pantry stores. I get a weird sense of accomplishment from doing this. I enjoy challenging myself to see how much leftover crap I can get into a dish that's still edible.

Also, hubs is sick and tomato soup is his fav. Turns out, this meal is a win-win for us both ;)

B's Tomato Soup
Serves 2

2 large, ripe tomatos (I had Hanover)
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
2 tspn tomato paste
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 small onion, chopped (or half a medium)
1 small stalk celery, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Sour Cream

*Chive for garnish, optional

Quarter and seed the tomatos. Throw everything except the sour cream in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cut to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. It's at this pt. the tomato skins loosen and you should be able to easily extract them with a set of tongs. (wouldn't hurt if you left them in either, it's a personal choice).

Once soup is done simmering, I hit it with a stick blender. If you don't have one, a regular blender would be fine. Just make sure to take the middle portion out of the lid to vent the hot liquid!

Ladle up the soup and hit it with a dollop of sour cream (although creme fraiche would be lovely if you have some, but if you'll recall, I'm trying to use up leftovers. So, sour cream it is!)

Serve w/a nice buttery grilled cheese (we like Irish Cheddar) and Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Must See TV...

Richmond, mark your calendars and/or set your DVR's for PBS at 6 pm, Sunday October 5th.

Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow are taking a road trip full of feasting. This is a 13 part series discovering the rich traditions of Spanish foods called Spain....on the road again.

I'm partic. excited about watching this b/c Mark Bittman (NY Times food columnist and cookbook author) is joining the crew!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Popkins & The National

This past Friday found me anxiously anticipating the arrival of The Cult at The National. Would they still be any good live? Would the lead singer still be hot? All the important, universe-impacting, hard-hitting questions.......... :)

Prior to arriving at The National, our crew met up at Popkins for a pre-show bite and a beer. It should be noted that Popkins has a new chef who has instituted a new menu w/a bit of French flair. The menu has poutines (which I may one day get around to trying), steak frites, tons of seafood options, various sandwiches on buttery, toasted egg bread, "pizettes" and many other items that will encourage one to drool. Maybe I'm the last to know, b/c it's been a while since I've dropped in here, but just wanted to pass the info along like any good blogger!

My friend and I tried the Pizettes. I had the mozzarella, tomato, basil and my friend tried the goat cheese, caramelized shallot and ham. Hers won me over, hands down. (Duh! It had GOAT cheese on it!) Salty, sweet delicious. Mine, not so much. The sauce was too thick for my tastes as well as too sweet. The crust gave itself away as pre-frozen, thawed and baked. We all agreed we missed the former chef's thin pizza crust. (Lesson: Don't cut corners! People notice!)

In closing, I would like to go back and try a few main course items to get an overall feel for the food again. I am sad that the chopped salad is gone, I really used to look forward to having it.

As far as The National, it did not disappoint! I am, by self-definition "old" (btw- over 30 does = old ;) ) and therefore like to sit down while enjoying a few hours of music. Our group was very lucky to find a handful of seats together on the upper deck/balcony.

Otherwise, it was standing room only on the floor and packed from corner to corner. They have a bar upstairs and down that have easy access and pretty good service, considering the amount of folks they are serving. The upper deck has bathrooms located in the back hallway, so you don't have to go all the way back downstairs to hit the ladies/gents (*I mention this b/c it's such a luxury. If you've ever been to The Riv in Chicago, you know what I mean!)

Opened in 1923, the interior seems to be restored, with a big, white, plaster dome in the middle of the ceiling and a romanesque frieze moulding all around the top walls of the theatre. I really love that as a city, we're trying to hang onto and restore our downtown/Jackson ward area.

The show itself was phenomenal with the encore consisting of, of course-- Fire Woman and Sanctuary. These guys really know how to please their fans and they have still got "it." My fav part of the show (other than the encore) was when Ian Astbury gave a shout out to the Jonas Brothers for "keeping it real" and being "Dirty Little Rock Stars."

Inlaw Visit = Canal Tour in Richmond

To quote my husband, "The Richmond Canal tour is worth $5, but not 6.........." Sunday, after Hanna, was a beautiful, clear, no-humidity day. So in all, a lovely day to tour the canal. Of course we got there 1 minute past the time the first tour was heading out. So, we bought our tickets and opted to saunter up to Stool Pigeons for a Mimosa while we waited for the next tour to come around.
I think it's hard to hear the tour guide and the tour itself deserves a script that has more meat and structure. There's so much history in the bottom area that is significant that wasn't even touched upon.
My 2 fav parts of the tour were the mention of our lucky strike factory in The Shawshank Redemption as well as the turtles hanging out on the banks and swimming freely next to the tour boat :)

I also got a really sweet shot of downtown on our way back in:

Our lunch consisted of a trip to Zuppa. (I've talked about it on here recently). Which was not as crazy packed for lunch as it is for the work crowd during the week. The French Dip is still delicious and I've discovered that their chili cheese fries are worth an honorary mention. Crispy fries, tasty chili w/real cheese (no canned, goopy plasticky stuff). This is a "must stop" for lunch sometime if/when you're down in the bottom.

Inlaw Visit = Daytrip to Norfolk

I've been negligent in reporting our recent daytrip to Norfolk. Mainly b/c I've been trying to recover from our marathon tour of the entire state of VA and DC ;)

My father-in-law had his heart set on the boat tour of the Naval base in Norfolk. And as luck would have it, Hanna blew through on Saturday. So then, the following Monday when we went to Norfolk, it was gorgeous. The tour itself is $15 and 2 hours long. Basically, 1 hour of a tour out and 1 hour listening to a random selection of songs on your way back to port.

The tour boat itself (above) has an air conditioned cabin below and a canvas covered deck above. With a little shade and a breeze, our journey was quite pleasant. However, I couldn't care less about the tour. I'm like, "Oh! There's a big grey boat! Annnnnnnnnnnd another big great boat.......oh. and a big.grey.boat." *Yawn!* *Insert fork in my eye* And let's be honest, Norfolk is not the most pleasant of waterfronts to behold, no matter how useful it may be. ;)

I was astounded ,however, at the 90 million ton Disney cruise ship they had suspended in dry dock.

The high point of my day, as per usual, was lunch. We ended up at local watering hole, Hell's Kitchen. Hubs and I both agree that if we lived in Norfolk, this would be our local joint. One of their recent fun "events" was "80's Prom Nite." The menu, as expected, is hot, hot, hot! I ordered the buffalo flounder sandwich. It was lite, crispy and melted in my mouth. The side of "fries" are more like rounds or home fries. The rest of our table ordered the buffalo chicken cheesesteak and the crabcake sandwich. Fries all around.

Silence ensued upon delivery of our order. Except for an occasional head nod and reflexive, "Mmmmmmm........." The verdict is that we would all go back any day to eat ourselves silly.

On a side note, we walked down to Waterside. Basically b/c it was there and the inlaws had never seen it. After popping in, I'm wondering why we thought they NEEDED to see it, other than the fact it was right next to where our tour boat docked. What a pit. Seriously, why am I going to Joe's to order CHAIN seafood when I'm sitting right on a hotbed of local seafood restaurants that are Xinfinity more worth patronizing? It really ticked me off to see all the chains, but I should've known better than to go in there, so I deserve what I get I suppose :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Anthony Bourdain--

This is making me LOL today......(and I say this as a lover of AB and all things No Reservations. I mean, who doesn't love a show about food that starts off with a parental warning?)

What will you eat?

Copied from River City Food & Wine:

Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that Very Good Taste from the UK thinks every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s the deal:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. (mine are in green b/c it's hard to see bold on a black background)
3) Red out any items that you would never consider eating.

Here is my list (with a few comments thrown in):

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda

31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar

37. Clotted cream tea (at the Ritz in Chicago)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (do Jello shots count?)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects(I have to confess, my ant was covered in chocolate)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV(thank you trucker friend who brings back Canadian beer!)

59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs (my uncles caught the frogs and made these for me as a child)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. (like RCF&W-- I consider Charlie Trotter's to be sufficient)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Monday, September 8, 2008

Last nite w/inlaws = Arroz con Pollo

A secret stash of saffron + finding chorizo at the local Bodega Latina = making Brandon Eats' Arroz con Pollo for dinner.

This meal is so rich in flavor and fragrance, it's a treat for the senses.
PS-- I had the leftovers for lunch today (T9.9.08) and it's a good thing my mama was no where near or she would've gotten smacked. It's twice as good the next day..........

Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)*
from Brandon Eats

2 TB. olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 double-sized cubes (like Knorr) chicken bouillon
4 cups hot water
2 very large pinches saffron (lightly toasted in a small pan ahead of time)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 c. Bomba rice or Aborio rice
1 lb. real SPANISH chorizo, sliced into 1/2” rounds (NO SUBSTITUTIONS)
6-8 pieces of chicken, skinned, rinsed and patted dry

Sauté the garlic, red pepper, and onion over medium heat in large, wide cast-iron skillet until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken and sauté until golden brown. Dissolve bouillon in hot water; stir in tomato paste; add to pan. Sprinkle with saffron and stir. Add rice and chorizo; bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering with the pan covered.

Cook slowly until all of the liquid is gone (20 to 30 minutes: keep a close eye on it), and the rice is cooked.

* Mine cooked for about 45 minutes in this instance.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The perfect meal...


The.perfect. meal.

My mother-in-law can rock out some salsa y'all! This was our dinner tonite after a day of touring the city of Richmond. And man, it hit the spot! Viva la Texas! ;) We hit up the Bodega Latina on Broad St. around the corner from my house and I have to share that their tomatos cost half of what Kroger charges and were twice as ripe! Their jalepenos had awesome kick that really made our salsa sing.

My MIL and I made a discovery together tonite. Both of us had added canned, diced tomatos to salsa in the past to "red" it up. I only had crushed plum tomatos in my pantry, so we added those, it turned out delicious, much to our delight! It sweetened up the salsa and gave it an amazing color and texture.

I topped everything off with a Carta Blanca. It's basically the Miller Lite of Mexican beers and my all time favorite summer beer.

Martha's Salsa

1 large, very ripe tomato
4 smallish jalepenos, seeded & deveined
14 oz crushed, roma/plum tomatos
Juice of half a lime
Pinch of salt & pepper (to taste)
1/4 of a small onion
2 large cloves of garlic

Throw everything in the food processor and let 'er rip!

Inlaw Visit = Lasagna!

Inevitably, if we have out of town guests, I will make and freeze a lasagna at least a week ahead of time. I'll pull it out and put it in the fridge 24 hours in advance to thaw and then leave it out for an hour on the counter before I cook it off for dinner.

I've been "test driving" lasagna recipes for years, but none of them seemed to hit the "just right" button in my mouth. So, recently, I combined 2 great recipes to make what I think is a knock out 5 layer combination. I hope you try it and think so too!

I will also typically buy the short and deep tin lasagna pan from the grocery store for ease of clean up. So, take that into account as far as amount of ingredients, height of layers etc.

So, for the sauce, I was inspired by Ina's Turkey Lasagna. For the cheese mixture, I was inspired by Rachel's Special Occasion Lasagna. I ended up adding a ton more mozzarella and parmesan along the way, so here we go!

PS-- This recipe has now officially set the landspeed record in our house for fastest disappearing lasagna ever! We only had 2 pieces leftover after the first round and they were consumed asap the following day. I think this recipe might be a keeper! ;)

5 Layer Lasagna for Company

1 large lasagna pan
1 lb box lasagna noodles (will need 15 noodles total)
1 lb bag of part skim mozzarella

3/4 cup small curd low fat cottage cheese, drained
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup (6 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. fresh chopped parsley

2 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 - 1 1/2 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (roma/plum)
3 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 c chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tspn kosher salt
3/4 tspn freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, only 1 or 2 minutes less than directed.

Mix up items for cheese mixture (using only a 1/4 c. parm) and set aside.

Heat oil in large pan or dutch oven, add onion and garlic. Cook/sweat for approx. 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add turkey sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add tomatos, tomato paste, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened.

To assemble Lasagna:

Layer a ladle of sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Lay three noodles, lengthwise across pan. Add two ladels of sauce on top of noodles. Add a ladle and a half of cheese mixture and then a handful+ of mozzarella. Repeat. Be sparing w/sauce and cheeses and you will want to have 5 layers when you are done. For the top and final layer, merely ladle the sauce that is left across the noodles and top with mozzarella cheese and remaining 3/4 c. of parmesan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until browned at the edges and bubbly. Enjoy!

Inlaw Visit = Trip to Monticello

You never have to twist my arm to take you to Monticello. Few places truly stir my soul quite like Thomas Jefferson's home place. In fact, you could probably say it's amongst my top favorite 5 places on Earth. And TJ is my fav president for four reasons:

1. He was a red-head
2. He was a lefty
3. He had the soul of an artist and a poet
4. He was the original American "foodie" (thanks for reminding me of the obvious joelen! lol!)

If you guessed this is really not a food related post, you'd almost be correct. :) I didn't eat anything at Monticello (unless you count the pack of Lance crackers I consumed while taking in the view), but I do have a few culinary references for you. I'll try and let the pics do most of the talking.

If you haven't been here, I highly encourage you to go anytime between April and October on a cool clear day. You'll feel like you're standing on the edge of the universe looking at a 360 degree view of the shenandoah valley.

During Jefferson's time, his house was considered the "curiousity of the neighborhood" as it did not embody the Georgian characteristics of the day. The kitchen was also not in a separate building, but underneath the house, with the cook's room being right next door:

My very favorite part of every visit, is a trip to the garden. Below you'll see the entry gate. The garden and vineyard/orchards below are each built into terraces.

There are benches all along "Mulberry Row" (a row of mulberry's on the top terrace above the garden level) that you can park on to enjoy the amazing view.

"I have lived temperately," Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1819, "eating little animal food, and that as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet." Jefferson's favorite were English peas. A man after my own heart :)

He also kept fruit orchards which are still tended.

Thomas Jefferson has been described as America's "first distinguished viticulturist," and "the greatest patron of wine and winegrowing that this country has yet had."

And the most food-related item in this post-- Barboursville 2004 Octagon -- a.m.a.z.i.n.g. That's all I'm going to say- you need to try some for yourself. Hands down my favorite red. Ever. And you can pick a bottle up at Monticello, at Barboursville vineyard or a local wine shop in VA. Salut!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Inlaw Visit = Trip to DC

When you live in VA and family visits from TX, invariably you end up in DC. The good news is, we have finally become experts in the "DC Tour" business. We rely on parking at Union Station and taking the Old Town Trolly around the museum district. And really, if you are looking at a trip around DC, the trolly is the way to go!

Being a foodie, of course the highlight of our daytrip for me was lunch! I had heard about the cafe tucked away in the National Museum of the American Indian and how it served authentic native foods. I wanted to share that this cafe definitely lived up to the hype! But, like anything else tucked into a tourist mecca, the price tag is a bit high. Four of us ate for $85. But, we all agreed, it was worth every penny!

The name of this spot is Mitsitam Café, which, according to their website, means "Let’s eat!" in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples. It also allows "visitors the opportunity to enjoy the indigenous cuisines of the Americas and to explore the history of Native foods. The café features Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America, and the Great Plains. Each food station depicts regional lifeways related to cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes."
Three of our party loaded up with the buffalo ribeye steak, cut fresh and wood grilled to order right in front of you. I added mashed new potatos w/corn and wild mushrooms as well as a sour dough roll and blueberry tart. My husb. opted for the buffalo burger, which he really enjoyed.

The steak smelled like a strong cigar to my husband and it definitely had a "charred" odor that had me a little worried before we got to the table, but it was all for naught. The meat melted in my mouth and whatever wood they were using gave it amazing flavor. I would also like to mention that it was also seasoned perfectly which is my usual complaint about steak. That potatos with gravy disappeared effortlessly as it melted on the tongue. I have to admit I expected the blueberry tart to be cloyingly sweet, as most tarts with custard are. Not so in this case, the tart was perfectly balanced w/a light, crispy crust, tart berries and a winsomely vanilla custard.

And I will tell you, the dessert selection is ridiculous! Carrot cake, apple crisp, fruit tarts, cookies, chocolate covered peanuts, key lime tarts, bread pudding and even tres leche cake! So, even if you run by here too late for lunch, it would be great for a mid-afternoon sugar "pick-me-up." :)
I would definitely recommend popping into this cafe for a treat if you're touring the area!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spinach & Cheese Strata

This is a no fail, 'you've got your crap together' kind of breakfast.
Perfect for visiting family and friends so you can spend time socializing instead of slaving in the ktichen.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've had plenty of strata's in my lifetime. Enough, in fact, to know what I don't want in one = slimy, gooey, slushy, mushy get the picture/texture. And that's why I love this recipe. It's like a fluffy, cheesy omelet w/crispy cheese toast on top.

If you aren't a fan of gruyere, feel free to substitute a sharp, vermont or irish white cheddar. That would be equally delicious. Enjoy!

Spinach and Cheese Strata
Gourmet February 2003
Active time: 30 min
Start to finish: 10 hr (includes chilling)
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

1 (10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed (1 inch) French or Italian bread (1/2 lb)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then finely chop.
Cook onion in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach, then remove from heat.

Spread one third of bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow ceramic baking dish and top evenly with one third of spinach mixture.

Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice (ending with cheeses). Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata.

Chill strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 8 hours (for bread to absorb custard). Preheat oven to 350°F.

Let strata stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes.Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cooks' note: • Strata can be chilled up to 1 day.Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.

The Inlaws are coming! Yay.

And you know what that means........yep, I'm actually cooking again! Since I've been such a negligent blogger, I thought I would make it up to the TWO of you who read this, to give you my much coveted banana bread recipe that I have recently made for my inlaw's impending arrival. And yes, this is an original recipe.

I typically make this recipe for friends who are sick or who have had loved ones pass away. Now, I'm not saying I'm a culinary queen or anything, but "mystery" ailments have been cropping up alot lately........... ;)
You'll also note that I make this in an angel food pan as opposed to a loaf pan. Cooks quicker as well as more evenly.
B's Banana Bread

5 Tbsp butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 tspn vanilla
1 1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 tspn baking powder
1/2 c. sour cream
Optional: 1/3 c. chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

* Beat butter in a large bowl @ medium speed until light and fluffy.
* Add both sugars and beat well into butter.
* Add eggs & vanilla, beat until blended. Add banana and beat on high for 30 seconds.
* Combine flour, baking soda, salt & baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
* Add 1/2 of flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour mixture.
* Fold in nuts at this time if using
* Pour into non-stick (or non-stick sprayed) angel food pan

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.