Monday, June 14, 2010

Family Style Dinner & A Banana Dessert!

Yesterday afternoon, my family (which included my parents, 2 younger brothers and 1 older sister) and I, along with my aunt, uncle and their 3 sons got together to go to lunch at an Italian restaurant called Buca di Beppo. It's an Italian family-style restaurant that offers anything from your typical sit-down atmosphere. Bizarre (but definitely intriguing) imagery adorns the walls of not only the dining area but also the bathrooms! Red checkered table cloths clash incredulously against the various chotskis and Christmas lights composing the rooms. And here, when they say family-style dining, they mean FAMILY-style. The portion sizes are MAMMOTH. Good thing their food is pretty amazing! Below is a photo of the very tasty selections I was able to order with only minor accommodations needed:
From left to right, you can see a bit of the side salad, a slice of bruschetta (sans the Parmesan cheese) and a heaping pile of spaghetti with marinara sauce. A very classic meal but incredibly delightful nonetheless. The excited expression on my face pretty much sums up my experience at this wonderful restaurant. =)

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After lunch, we all piled back into our vehicles and headed over to my house where I played host and baked a tasty evening treat. Behold the...
Banana Walnut Coffee Cake!

What began as a simple vegan coffee cake, transformed into a heavenly banana dessert when I realized the very ripe banana sitting on the counter practically begging to be used. After a quick mashing, into the batter it went! And what banana dessert couldn't use some chopped walnuts in the batter? Certainly not this one! A quick chop with the food processor and the walnuts were also ready for action!

After a brief wait in the oven and then a bit more on the counter, the dessert was finally ready to go. I sliced it up, served it on little plates and then we dug right in. Boy oh boy was it good! The texture of the bananas, the handful of crunchy walnuts baked inside the soft cake along with the crumbly topping was a perfect combination of flavors. Deee-lish! Not surprisingly, this cake was gobbled up in record time.

Alright, that's all for now.

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