Red Kale and Grape Salad | A Thought For Food

We’re getting down to our last few weeks of enjoying the Cape house. It’s hard to believe that we’re so close to shutting things down. We won’t be there these next few weekends as we have other things going on, but we definitely have a couple more days to enjoy it this fall. As much as I love the summer weather, this is some of the best time to spend on the Cape. The tourists have left and things are generally more relaxed. It’s warm enough to hang outside for a bit, but at night we can bundle up by a roaring fire.

One of the weekends we have coming up is a trip to New York. Earlier this year, my parents got us tickets to see Fun Home for our anniversary. We decided on a matinee so that we’d have our night open. It’s rare that we spend a night in New York, so I decided to try my hand at getting reservations at Le Bernardin, one of my bucket list restaurants. On September 1st, I called to see what we could get. Dial. Busy. Again… dial, busy. Again… and again. And again. After 40 minutes and over a hundred attempts, I finally got through. 5:30 or 10. Those were our options. I went with 5:30. Seeing that we’re doing the tasting menu, I expect we’ll be there for at least three hours. Then we’ll have the night to walk around and check out some bars. Or we’ll roll ourselves to bed and pass out at 9 o’clock.

So, let’s see here. Where to begin with this salad? I went back and forth a bit about what direction I wanted to go with this. I had thought about adding all sorts of things to it, like broiled shrimp or quinoa or avocado, but when it came down to it I just wanted to provide something that could stand on its own or, if one felt so inclined could also add their other favorite toppings. This is not a salad that is lacking flavor. It’s sweet, salty, smoky, creamy. It will leave your mouth tingly, but in the best possible way (thank you Chipotle Tabasco!).

Red Kale and Grape Salad | A Thought For FoodRed Kale and Grape Salad | A Thought For FoodRed Kale and Grape Salad | A Thought For Food

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tabasco. Over the course of the year, I’ve created recipes featuring the Tabasco Family of Flavors. All opinions expressed on my site are my own.

You can check out my recap from my trip to visiting Tabasco here and my recipes for Smokey Shrimp Burgers, a Watermelon Shrub Spritzer, and Charred Corn and Mango Salsa.

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  • September 30, 2015 - 8:37 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - There really is something cozy about an East Coast beach town when the visitors dwindle and the weather starts to cool off. I remember going to my Aunt’s beach house on LBI a few times during the fall, and the vibe is so different. Enjoy your last few weeks! Loving the vibrant colors and flavors of this salad.ReplyCancel

  • September 30, 2015 - 11:23 pm

    Tieghan - I am having a huge thing with grapes right now. Meaning I want to put them in all my savory foods. This salad is calling my name and I love the addition of the spice!

    Also, New York! SO fun! :)ReplyCancel

  • October 1, 2015 - 9:12 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - Fall on the Cape…that sounds absolutely perfect to me right now. And this salad – what a lovely combination of flavors and textures. I’ve started using grapes more – they’re highly underrated! :)ReplyCancel

Trader Vic Mai Tai | A Thought For Food

Booze. Cuz No Great Birthday Started With Anyone Eating Salad. My friends Mandy and Lany gave me this card while we were at the bar on Saturday for an early birthday celebration. It made us all chuckle, including the bartenders serving our group of 15. A few weeks ago, I made reservations at our favorite spot, The Baldwin Bar, which not only serves up fantastic Sichuan Chinese food, but beautifully crafted cocktails (including a perfectly made Trader Vic’s Mai Tai). We sat together at one long table and dined on bowls of Dan Dan noodles, platters of fried tilapia tossed with peppers and leeks, braised eggplant, and garlicky pea pod greens. Flaming cocktails were served. There was drinking and laughter and more drinking. 7 hours later, at 1:30 in the morning, Eric and I made our way home. Success.

So, today is my actual birthday. I’m now 31. Where did this last year go? Part of it was buried under snow. Some of it was spent in a hammock by the lake. We traveled to New Orleans, the Berkshires, and a number of times to the Cape. Overall, a good year. I’m proud of the work I’ve done and the growth of my business, but, more importantly, how I’ve found ways to balance my life a bit more… to take time for myself and for my relationships. It’s something I still struggle with, but I think I’m getting better at it. We have a lot of exciting things planned over the next few months, so I feel like I’m going to be in celebration mode for a while. Point being: I really can’t complain. Life is good.

Trader Vic Mai Tai | A Thought For Food

Trader Vic Mai Tai | A Thought For Food Trader VicView full post »

  • September 15, 2015 - 10:22 am

    Naomi - Happy birthday, Brian! Love this post – so full of so many good things to celebrate! And that card – THE BEST! Cheers friend, have a great time celebrating 😉ReplyCancel

  • September 15, 2015 - 8:36 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Happy Birthday!!! A perfect cocktail to celebrate with :)ReplyCancel

  • September 15, 2015 - 11:01 pm

    Tieghan - Umm, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We actually share birthday, who knew! :)

    I hope you had THE BEST DAY EVER!! Loving this drink!ReplyCancel

  • September 16, 2015 - 10:05 am

    Meredith - I need this drink in my life! It looks so delicious. Happy birthday to one of the most amazing bourbon-drinking photographers I know! Speaking of, we need another media trip soon – it’s been too long since a sunset happy hour. I hope it will be another fantastic year! Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • September 16, 2015 - 10:46 am

    Cookin Canuck - Happy Birthday, Brian! It sounds as though you had a fantastic year, and I hope you have many more adventures (and cocktails!) ahead of you this year.ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2015 - 11:11 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - Hope you had a great birthday, Brian. That dark rum puts me in the mood for all things fall! :)ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2015 - 6:51 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] our cocktail of choice today shall be the mai tai! […]ReplyCancel

There are many Americans with limited access to fresh produce. Read more about this issue over on the blog and learn how you can help. #drinkgooddogood #sponsored

I’ll admit that I sometimes take for-granted the wonderful produce Eric and I have access to. Our weekly vegetable pick up is full of locally grown, organic ingredients. For those items that might be missing, we’re within walking distance to a farmer’s market or grocery store. It’s a luxury, I know, and it’s one that many residents in areas around Boston and other cities don’t share.

Around the country, nearly 24 million Americans live in what are referred to as “food deserts.” In fact, there are 71,000 people in Boston who live without ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s nearly enough people to fill up half the Boston Common! Which is why I’m thrilled to be partnering with Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave on their Drink Good. Do Good. campaign to educate folks about food deserts in urban environments. Even in Boston, which is surrounded by countless farms, there are areas of the city where people do not have many options. Not all neighborhoods have stores or farmer’s markets, so for individuals without access to a car, it’s a challenge to acquire fresh ingredients. And, of course, there’s the issue of affordability. In parts of the city, like Dudley Square, 50% of the residents make $25,000 a year or less.

As a part of their Drink Good. Do Good. program, they’ll be donating up to 500,000 pounds of produce these communities. And you, dear readers, can help too! Simply take a photo of yourself holding a piece of fresh produce, post it on Instagram and use the hashtag #drinkgooddogood. Lastly, tag a friend to do the same. For every person who posts, Naked Juice will donate 10lbs of fresh produce.

Learn more about the Drink Good. Do Good. campaign here. 

There are many Americans with limited access to fresh produce. Read more about this issue over on the blog and learn how you can help. #drinkgooddogood #sponsoredThere are many Americans with limited access to fresh produce. Read more about this issue over on the blog and learn how you can help. #drinkgooddogood #sponsoredThere are many Americans with limited access to fresh produce. Read more about this issue over on the blog and learn how you can help. #drinkgooddogood #sponsored

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave. Working with these brands to get the message out about such an important issue is something I feel strongly about. As always, any opinions expressed in this post are my own.

  • September 4, 2015 - 11:07 am

    Heidi @foodiecrush - I LOVE this idea! I was stunned to see for myself that even in the heartland where corn fields dominate the landscape, it’s essentially a food desert because all of the corn is being used for ethanol and other products rather than eating and farmers don’t farm other produce because it isn’t money making. It’s mind boggling. I’ll totally post a selfie, or at least a photo of fresh veg at the farmer’s market :) Off to spread the word. How long will this initiative last?ReplyCancel

    • September 4, 2015 - 11:14 am

      Brian @ A Thought For Food - That’s another major issue as well. The documentary King Corn covered some of that. We don’t have that as much in these parts, but it certainly has an effect on other areas of the country.

      Thanks for taking part in the campaign! Good question about the duration. I’m assuming that it’ll at least run until they reach their goal.ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2015 - 10:18 pm

    Tieghan - Oh my gosh, this is so cool! What a great idea and beautiful photos too! :) Can’t wait to post some fresh veggies!ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2015 - 11:20 am

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Awesome initiative!! Thanks for sharing Brian.ReplyCancel

  • September 10, 2015 - 9:20 am

    Joanne - This is awesome. I’m pretty sure I can dig up some produce in my fridge to photograph myself with!ReplyCancel