A Thought For Food » where ideas are brought to simmer

Shiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba Noodles

Decorating our little house has been a bit of a process. It had a lot of charm to start, but we knew that there were a few changes we’d want to make. Mainly, the wallpaper throughout. It had to go. It wasn’t offensive in any way. In fact, it was all very sweet, including the pineapples covering our entryway and hallway. Cute… but it had to go.

When we first moved in, we had the living room and dining room painted. The living room paper turned out to be a bit of a challenge. When the painter tried to remove chunks of the wallpaper, the plaster started to come down with it. In the end, we had to have quarter inch wallboard put up throughout the room.

We were expecting the hallway to pose a similar challenge, but, thankfully, it was smooth sailing. As soon as I walked through the front door, I was elated. It didn’t feel like we were coming into someone else’s home. It was our home. Of course, there’s still work to do. We have to decorate these newly painted walls. The process never seems to end.

While we had this work done, Eric and I spent a few days at my in-laws’ house. I had some time to do a little cooking and came up with a few dishes to share here. The beet dip was one… these soba noodles was the other. We always have a few packages in our cabinet and they make for a wonderful weeknight meal. I find broccoli, especially when charred a bit, to have a wonderful sweetness to it. Mixed with the shiitakes and the bright dressing, there are a lot of bold flavors going on in this bowl.

Shiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba NoodlesShiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba NoodlesShiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba NoodlesShiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba NoodlesShiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba NoodlesShiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba NoodlesShiitake Mushroom + Broccoli Soba NoodlesView full post »

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  • Tori@Gringalicious.comMarch 2, 2015 - 6:35 am

    This looks fantastic! I love the simplicity of it and your photos are making me so hungry!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanMarch 2, 2015 - 9:15 am

    I don’t know, pineapples on the walls sound pretty fun! :) ha!!

    Loving these noodles, totally my kind of meal!ReplyCancel

  • Cookin CanuckMarch 2, 2015 - 10:45 am

    There is something to be said for a good coat of paint to make a house feel fresh and new…and like your own! These soba noodles are something I could happily eat everyday, particularly with a good dose of those shiitake mushrooms.ReplyCancel

  • NaomiMarch 2, 2015 - 11:01 am

    This dish- so my kind of meal!

    And the house, I’m sure is coming along. The process is the best part-all the little joys when something is accomplished is the best feeling.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn @ A Toast to the Good LifeMarch 2, 2015 - 11:05 am

    This looks amazing! I am always eager to try soba noodles – but for some reason never do – but this recipes so good and easy! I’ll give it a whirl!ReplyCancel

  • GringaliciousMarch 2, 2015 - 11:34 am

    This looks fantastic! I love the simplicity of it and your photos are making me so hungry!ReplyCancel

  • Matt RobinsonMarch 2, 2015 - 12:16 pm

    Nothing better than making your house your own, lots of hard work but so fun. Especially if you can finish the day with a bowl of this. So good!ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceMarch 2, 2015 - 1:49 pm

    “In fact, it was all very sweet, including the pineapples covering our entryway and hallway. Cute… but it had to go.” HA!!! Somehow, I know that feeling. Glad to hear you guys are settling in well. This noodle dish looks super tasty! We recently made a variation of your miso-roasted vegetables, and they were awesome! Paired them with brown rice, soft-boiled eggs, and a spicy-tart dipping sauce.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesMarch 2, 2015 - 8:51 pm

    This looks so simply wonderful. I think I need to be making this soon! Happy decorating (and de-wallpapering…oh, what a chore!)ReplyCancel

  • Aida@TheCraftingFoodieMarch 3, 2015 - 12:49 am

    This looks absolutely delicious, and your photos are just gorgeous! I love stir-fry and soba noodles :)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & BitsMarch 3, 2015 - 1:51 am

    It’s funny to think that there was a time when pineapple wallpaper was in vogue!

    I always keep at least one or two packages of soba noodles around the house for a quick and easy meal too!ReplyCancel

Beet Dip with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese // A Thought For Food

There was a palpable energy on Friday night as we headed into the city for dinner. I suspect it’s because most people, like Eric and I, have been stuck inside for the last month. It was cold… brutally cold. So cold that it was dangerous to be outside for more than ten minutes. But that didn’t stop folks from going out. Boston businesses have been suffering, so seeing packed bars and restaurants was a nice sight.

This was a very social weekend for the two of us. There was dinner and drinks on Friday. On Saturday, we were invited over to our neighbors for “‘ninis and ‘tinis” (that’s panini and martinis). I got inspired to make some potato chips for the occasion, along with a bowl of cucumber salad. Six hours later and more than a few martinis in and we were all feeling pretty good.

Sunday was equally enjoyable (and, thankfully, warmer than it’s been recently).  We prepared brunch for some friends and then had more over to watch the Academy Awards. I put together a spread of baked brie, beet dip, and a large pot of wild rice and mushroom soup. We sat and ate and drank and laughed and said snarky things during the show. Is there anything better?

Going back to this beet dip. It’s an Ottolenghi creation and, therefore, it’s perfect. I first had it at a holiday party a few years back and have been anxious to make it ever since. And, so, now I have. Twice. In two days. It was that good. Minor adjustments have been made because, well, I’m not sure how many folks have za’atar in their spice cabinet. Of course, you can play around with this recipe as much as you’d like. The pepper certainly gives it some nice kick, but a little more couldn’t hurt. I also can’t get enough of the color. It’s striking and really brightens up a table. Just be aware that it’ll stain anything it touches, so keep it away from carpets and couches… and small children who might be likely to get it all over the place.

Beet Dip with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese // A Thought For FoodBeet Dip with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese // A Thought For FoodBeet Dip with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese // A Thought For FoodBeet Dip with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese // A Thought For FoodBeet Dip with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese // A Thought For FoodBeet Dip with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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  • Cooking With ErinFebruary 24, 2015 - 5:17 am

    Sending warm thoughts! This dip looks amazing and I have all the ingredients in the house right now – even za’atar. ;-) I could eat beets every day – why not in a party dip??ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarFebruary 24, 2015 - 7:52 am

    I just love the bright colour of this dip. Gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • amanda @ fake gingerFebruary 24, 2015 - 8:45 am

    This is stunning!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanFebruary 24, 2015 - 9:06 am

    You just cannot beat the color of this, so pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & BitsFebruary 24, 2015 - 9:46 am

    Ottolenghi recipes are always some of my favorites. I’m loving all the red beet hummus recipes I’m seeing lately. It adds such beautiful color to every dish!ReplyCancel

  • Millie | Add A LittleFebruary 24, 2015 - 11:29 am

    I love the colours and textures here – so delicious! The deep beetroot contrasting with the bright white goats cheese and crunchy hazelnuts!ReplyCancel

  • Anna | ANNAdventureFebruary 24, 2015 - 11:37 am

    Yum! This dip sounds awesome! I would never have thought to use beets but it makes total sense :)ReplyCancel

  • Christie Palmatier DaruwallaFebruary 24, 2015 - 1:46 pm

    I cannot wait to make this dip. We adore beets, plus it is an absolutely gorgeous color.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesFebruary 25, 2015 - 2:55 pm

    This is so pretty! I just love beets, must try this. Hope you’re staying warm out there!ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ The Lemon BowlFebruary 25, 2015 - 3:11 pm

    Ninis and Tinis = yes please! This dip looks to die for. I just made hazelnut granola yesterday and I’m wishing I had saved some for this dip!!ReplyCancel

  • Christina @ The Beautiful BalanceFebruary 25, 2015 - 9:47 pm

    Everything about this works. And I love your addition of honey. Cold winter or not this is perfect to have!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneFebruary 26, 2015 - 7:38 am

    That pretty-in-pink color, though. Totally red carpet worthy!!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanne Horak-DruiffFebruary 26, 2015 - 12:55 pm

    Hah – I so agree – if it’s an Ottolenghi recipe, it will be PERFECT! :) Love the look and sound of this – can’t waot for hubby’s beetroot harvest this year!ReplyCancel

  • Abbe @ This is How I CookFebruary 27, 2015 - 11:04 am

    I’ve made this also and totally love it! I prefer to wear a black shirt when I eat it. Just sayin’!ReplyCancel

  • […] Make this beautiful beet dip with goat cheese and hazelnuts the next time you entertain. (A Thought for Food.) […]ReplyCancel

  • Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It IsFebruary 28, 2015 - 7:34 am

    […] beet dip with hazelnuts and goat cheese. seriously […]ReplyCancel

  • […] beet dip with hazelnuts and goat cheese. seriously […]ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaMarch 1, 2015 - 10:11 am

    Big giant yum.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Nelson MakechnieMarch 1, 2015 - 12:36 pm

    Gorgeous – and so awesomely healthy. Thanks for this.ReplyCancel

  • […] house. I had some time to do a little cooking and came up with a few dishes to share here. The beet dip was one… these soba noodles was the other. We always have a few packages in our cabinet and they […]ReplyCancel

  • Fahmida MiahMarch 2, 2015 - 7:18 am

    I absolutely love your beetroot recipe. I am addicted to beetroots at the moment, from an eating and photography point of view. They are so wonderful to capture on camera. Don’t you just think nature’s colours are so gorgeous?.. look at that pretty pink-red.. I do prefer natural, fresh ingredients over anything processed any day! I will be making this soon! Thanks for the recipe http://www.intomytummy.comReplyCancel

  • A Taste Of MadnessMarch 2, 2015 - 11:05 am

    This is genius! I love beets! Also, the color is gorgeous!ReplyCancel

Seafood Stew // A Thought For Food

Another fifteen inches of snow fell on our neighborhood over the weekend. We spent most of Saturday preparing for this latest storm, clearing out the driveway as much as possible so that we’d have a place to shovel the new pile. Thankfully, it didn’t start until later in the evening. But by the time we awoke on Sunday, the mounds surrounding our house had grown. After some breakfast and a few hours of reading newspapers, Eric suited up for some shoveling. I offered to help, but he said he was ok with taking care of it. As this was the first Sunday I wasn’t working in over a month, I didn’t argue with him.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t helpful. I did what I could, getting some laundry and cooking done. Eric had talked about making a goat stew, the task of which soon became mine to take on. I’ve never cooked goat, but I had a feeling it needed a couple of hours of simmering time. As someone who doesn’t consume much meat and prepares it even less frequently, I feel a great deal of pride when a dish comes out tasting the way it’s supposed to. And as good as it tasted, it smelled equally delightful. How wonderful it’ll be when he walks through the door and can take in these wonderful aromas. 

As for my dinner, I had already planned on putting together a batch of seafood stew. Before the weekend, I’d stocked up on an assortment of fish and other sea creatures. This is my new obsession. Getting a little of a number of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. This time it was a combination of squid, shrimp, littleneck clams, bay scallops and salmon.  After a long day of shoveling, I poured us a glass of wine and ladled our his and his stews into our respective bowls. We threw a couple blankets on top of our laps and curled up on the couch. It wasn’t an official Valentine’s Day celebration, but it certainly was a nice reminder of the life we’ve built for ourselves and the little (and not so little things) we do for one another.

Seafood Stew // A Thought For FoodSeafood Stew // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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Miso-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms // A Thought For Food

Do you hear that sound? It’s me sobbing after yet another trip to shovel out our driveway. Yes, we live in New England and we expect to get snow here. That’s fine. But this… this is getting to be ridiculous. The worst part is that there’s nowhere to put these massive piles! It’s just packed in front of our house… and on our sidewalk… and around our driveway. It’s everywhere. I know I’m not the only one who was thinking, just a few weeks ago, that this winter hasn’t been that bad. It wasn’t! Really. Maybe an inch or two. That’s nothing! Well, Mother Nature is obviously pissed off about something. 72 inches in 17 days. It’s too much.

On these snowy days, cocktail hour comes early. After shoveling for the millionth time, we hunker down for bourbon and nibbles. We ran out of cheese (I know, sad day) and, so, I got a little creative with our appetizer with these roasted potatoes and mushrooms. I’m new to the miso craze (ok, maybe it’s not a craze… but I feel like I’ve been seeing it used more and more). It makes for a wonderful glaze on fish or vegetables, especially when some brown sugar is whisked in.

Miso-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms // A Thought For FoodMiso-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms // A Thought For FoodMiso-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms // A Thought For FoodMiso-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms // A Thought For FoodMiso-Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms // A Thought For FoodView full post »

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  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and HealthFebruary 11, 2015 - 12:13 am

    i dont know how you guys are dealing with SOOOOOOOOO much snow…stay safe.

    i have a whole tub of miso waiting to be used, thanks for this great idea.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarFebruary 11, 2015 - 7:20 am

    Definitely a fun flavour combination. Looks lovely!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanFebruary 11, 2015 - 9:17 am

    People here in CO are totally jealous of all your snow. In fact my brother are actually in Boston…just for the snow! haha! Hang in there!!

    Love these flavors, sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi @foodiecrushFebruary 11, 2015 - 9:32 am

    I’m with TIeghan, and completely jealous of all of your snow. You have more in your driveway than we do at Utah’s ski resorts and it’s killing me!ReplyCancel

  • Nutmeg NannyFebruary 11, 2015 - 9:33 am

    The older I get the less I love winter. While I’m a fan of staying home on snow days I’m not a fan of the shoveling, getting into a cold car and the high heat bill. I feel these roasted potatoes would be total comfort after a frozen shoveling session.ReplyCancel

  • MaryeFebruary 11, 2015 - 9:39 am

    Usually the one or two days of snow we get in Texas is plenty for me… I dislike the cold more and more. However, I LOVE the look of this dish.ReplyCancel

  • ChristieFebruary 11, 2015 - 12:17 pm

    It is a crazy winter you all are having up there. I can see the need for bourbon and these potatoes. I might not have to shovel snow here in Georgia, but I would be more than happy to eat a big plate of these gorgeous potatoes.ReplyCancel

  • Nik@ABrownTableFebruary 11, 2015 - 12:22 pm

    My first year without snow and I’m loving it. Come to California :) I saw some different kinds of miso recently at my Japanese market, I think a visit is due. This looks comforting and delicious.ReplyCancel

  • NaomiFebruary 11, 2015 - 12:32 pm

    Absolutely love this! And I’m sorry, but I’m still jealous of the snow. It’s 80 degrees in SoCal, so I’m craving winter!ReplyCancel

  • ANNAdventureFebruary 11, 2015 - 4:16 pm

    Yum!!! This sounds really delish! I would have never thought about cooking them with miso. Saving this recipe! :)ReplyCancel

  • EileenFebruary 11, 2015 - 4:20 pm

    Hearty roasted potatoes sound so good for a snowy day (or a lot of snowy days, as the case may be). Yay!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline ChurchFebruary 11, 2015 - 7:50 pm

    Miso + Mushrooms = umami bomb! Hadn’t thought to mix these two with potatoes but why not? Balancing miso with sugar is perfect.ReplyCancel

  • David CrowleyFebruary 12, 2015 - 1:47 am

    Interesting idea!ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte @ Drop Dead BreadFebruary 12, 2015 - 7:51 am

    These look delicious! They’ve gone straight on next week’s meal plan.ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceFebruary 13, 2015 - 5:39 pm

    You guys are really getting slammed this year with snow!! At least you can cozy up to these roasted potatoes. I’m definitely going to try this out, because I’m always looking for new roasted potato recipes.ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethFebruary 15, 2015 - 10:59 am

    I can imagine the snow’s a little much by now. I’ve spent the past few weeks feeling jealous (since we’ve had none), but enough is enough! Glad to know you’re well-appointed for the hibernation –– these potatoes sound wonderful! I’m allergic to miso, but just love the idea of these flavors together.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesFebruary 17, 2015 - 8:42 pm

    That IS alot of snow! Our family is a little disappointed with our snowfall here this year in MN. Last year, we got fresh snow every week and it was always so pretty and white. BUT. SO much work!ReplyCancel