Tom Kha Tofu (Thai Coconut Soup) - This is perfect for a chilly winter night. Check it out over at www.athoughtforfood.net @athoughtforfood #vegan #soup On Monday, we returned from a long weekend in Florida with my family. Yes, I know we were just in Hawaii (and there may be a trip coming up to Mexico. It’s really rough). This was a mini-reunion. My parents, sister (and her family), my aunt, uncle and cousins all traveled to Captiva. Even with the so-so weather, we all had a great time. We spent our one perfect day lounging on the beach and by the pool (heated to a perfect 80 degrees). My nieces were big fans and spent hours splashing around in their swimmies. On Sunday, we went to Bowman’s Beach in Sanibel for some shelling. Despite the clouds and wind, it was a fun (and very successful) experience and we came home with some gorgeous shells.

Exiting Logan Airport was a bit rough as I hadn’t packed a jacket with me. I wrapped myself up in a scarf and ran to the car as fast as I could. While we were away, we got a couple inches of snow. Now, it’s a little early to say, but the reports have been saying that we’re going to get our first major snow storm of the season this weekend.  To prepare for the nasty weather, I’m making sure we have enough firewood and bourbon to keep us warm and cozy. A big pot of soup, like this hearty, vegan Tom Kha Tofu (a take on Tom Kha Gai, which has chicken in it instead of tofu) will do the trick as well.
Tom Kha Tofu (Thai Coconut Soup) - This is perfect for a chilly winter night. Check it out over at www.athoughtforfood.net @athoughtforfood #vegan #soupTom Kha Tofu (Thai Coconut Soup) - This is perfect for a chilly winter night. Check it out over at www.athoughtforfood.net @athoughtforfood #vegan #soup View full post »

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  • January 20, 2016 - 8:52 am

    Katrina - This soup sounds dreamy! I love a good coconut soup and can’t wait to try it at home!ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2016 - 9:58 pm

    Kevin | Keviniscooking - Love the lines, “In preparation, I’m making sure we have enough firewood and bourbon to keep us warm and cozy. A big pot of soup, like this hearty, vegan Tom Kha Tofu will do the trick as well.” Now there’s some good prep!
    This just looks beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2016 - 10:20 pm

    Tieghan - Umm, this is like my dream food! Granted I am not really a tofu person, BUT all these flavors are SO my kind of flavors! Maybe I can give tofu another shot?!? Honestly, I have only tried it once and it just was not the right way,s i I think this soup is my second chance! Yup, I think so! :)ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2016 - 11:38 pm

    naomi - I don’t know if you want that first snow storm, but I’m so tired of the mild weather out here in SoCal, I’m throughly jealous!

    Either way, looks like you will be well prepared with this soup! I love it!!ReplyCancel

  • January 21, 2016 - 12:05 pm

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - All those warm and sun drenched places you mentioned…ahhhhh. Lovely soup, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2016 - 2:44 pm

    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living - We are snowed in this weekend and I happen to have all the ingredients for this beautiful soup – can’t wait to make it!ReplyCancel

  • January 25, 2016 - 8:28 pm

    Jeff the Chef - I have never had a soup like that. Thanks for the introduction. I love that your approach to keeping warm is bourbon!ReplyCancel

  • January 29, 2016 - 5:34 pm

    Liren - Oh Brian, how lovely. I don’t know if it’s the snow or simply the travel, but all I have been craving between my last night in NYC yesterday and my return to SF this morning is a big bowl of soup. I finally got it, and I’m still craving more. This fragrant and gorgeous soup must be made.ReplyCancel

Smart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.net

I decided early on that I wasn’t going to bring my camera to Hawaii. When I told people this, everyone was shocked. “Why? It’s so beautiful. Don’t you want to take pictures?” Yes, I did. And I planned on it. But I didn’t want to lug around expensive (and heavy) equipment. And I didn’t want to spend the whole time looking through a viewfinder. If I took pictures, I wanted to be fast and then put it away and enjoy the experience.

If you plan to travel this year, I suggest leaving the big DSLR at home and just capture moments with your phone. I think you’ll find it liberating. Here are a few things to think about when you’re taking pictures during your trip (and some examples from our time in Hawaii).

1. Capture your surroundings, from a distance and up close. 

Above all things, the scenery is what sticks with me the most when I travel. The beauty of a sandy beach, a drive at sunset, the way the waves crash against a cliff. When approaching landscape photography, I think about what’s compelling about these scene. What is it that I connect to? Are there interesting colors or textures? Is there action?

My approach varies from place to place. Sometimes I want to pull back and capture the vastness of the landscape: the sunsets over the Pacific or crowds snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. Other times, it’s a very specific detail, like the rocks and sand at the Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach in Maui or the bark of the rainbow eucalyptus trees that line the Road to Hana.

Smart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.net

Smart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.net

Smart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.netSmart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.net

Smart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.netSmart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.netSmart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.netSmart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.netSmart Phone Travel Photography Tips by @athoughtforfood - www.athoughtforfood.net View full post »

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  • January 14, 2016 - 7:23 pm

    Liren - You’re making me want to start planning! My last trip to Hawaii I also decided to ditch the big camera, and it was so liberating. You’ve captured your adventures so beautifully, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2016 - 1:09 am

    Agnes {Cashew Kitchen} - So many great tips here! I also often leave my camera at home when travelling. But what often happens is expect the same photo quality and forget to focus on the motif and not just rely on the technology to produce a good photograph. With only a phone I bet it’s easier to avoid over photographing, and only come home with a few, really interesting pictures instead of 2400 raw ones that wil make your computer crash haha *common scenario*. So I will take these tips with me the next time I travel somewhere!

    It looked like you had an awesome trip! A perfect combo of classic sunbathing vacation and genuine food culture. Got excited to go to Hawaii myself!

    Have a lovely day,
    AgnesReplyCancel

  • January 15, 2016 - 9:16 am
  • January 16, 2016 - 6:45 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] thing i read all week: tips for using your phone camera only – and leaving the big one home when […]ReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2016 - 2:04 pm

    Averie @ Averie Cooks - I love that you intentionally left your big camera and lenses at home! Amen! And every single photo is gorgeous and I especially love the 2nd one from the top with the palm trees, ocean, beach, the pops of pinky-red from the umbrellas. Looks like you guys had a trip of a lifetime!ReplyCancel

  • January 19, 2016 - 11:08 am

    Gail - Once again, you’ve taught me so much. Your creativity is sublime. I love the photo of Eric on the balcony, through the sheer drape. Excellent!ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2016 - 8:47 am

    Tom Kha Tofu (Thai Coconut Soup) » A Thought For Food - […] Monday, we returned from a long weekend in Florida with my family. Yes, I know we were just in Hawaii (and there may be a trip coming up to Mexico. It’s really rough). This was a mini-reunion. […]ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2016 - 10:19 pm

    Tieghan - These photos are BEAUTIFUL!! You just amazed me with your iPhone skills! :)ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2016 - 5:14 pm

    Snowed In Link Love | kcreatives - […] In case you always use your phone camera even though you have a really nice one.  Read this. […]ReplyCancel

  • January 26, 2016 - 9:22 am

    January Favourites | The Spice Adventuress - […] I should definitely put to practice these iPhone travel photography tips […]ReplyCancel

Tuna Sandwich with Pickled Radish, Fennel + White Bean Spread | www.athoughtforfood @athoughtforfood

You may be wondering why my first post of the year is a tuna sandwich. I don’t really have a good answer, only that I was craving one the other day and I thought, “You know, I bet people might actually like this.” And that’s about it. No other reason.

My relationship with tuna salad (I realize how bizarre that sounds) goes as far back as my junior year of high school, when I became pescatarian. We were a household that always brought our lunches (with the occasional exception when I’d order a side of fries and a sugar cookie from the cafeteria). Up until that point, I was a turkey sandwich guy. Maybe roast beef. Or, sometimes, my father would slice leftover meatloaf and place that on top of two pieces of bread with mayonnaise (I still give him a hard time about this). So, I needed to figure out what to bring. Which led me to tuna. And I ate lots and lots of it. Surprisingly, I never got sick of it (even more surprising was the fact that I still had friends who wanted to sit next to me as I devoured this fragrant lunch).

So, that’s my history with tuna. I’m still rather partial to it and will often throw it on top of salad, but recently I was just in the mood for a sandwich. I kept things on the healthier side by mixing the tuna with just a touch of mayo. The bread is spread with a creamy, garlicky white bean dip. Quick pickles will always add some depth (both in flavor and texture) to a sandwich, which is where the fennel and radish come into play. It may seem like a lot of elements, but, trust me, it’s worth it.
Tuna Sandwich with Pickled Radish, Fennel + White Bean Spread | www.athoughtforfood @athoughtforfoodTuna Sandwich with Pickled Radish, Fennel + White Bean Spread | www.athoughtforfood @athoughtforfoodTuna Sandwich with Pickled Radish, Fennel + White Bean Spread | www.athoughtforfood @athoughtforfood

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  • January 6, 2016 - 11:57 am

    Ryan | A Polished Palate - This recipe definitely makes tuna more appealing. It sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • January 6, 2016 - 1:13 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Loving aaaaaallll of this! I never liked tuna salad in high school (or younger). Perhaps because my mom used nonfat mayo and nonfat sour cream. Nonfat everything was big at the time. Now I LOVE tuna salad. Definitely trying this out. HNY!!ReplyCancel

  • January 6, 2016 - 9:46 pm

    Tieghan - You know, I have never had tuna salad. My family is not big on seafood, but my dad and I love it!! Must try this sandwich soon, it looks Killer!!ReplyCancel

  • January 7, 2016 - 10:10 am

    Jeff the Chef - Tuna gets a bad rap because of all the stir-it-up-with-some-mayo versions we’ve been assaulted with. Tuna sandwiches – like yours – can be extraordinary.ReplyCancel

  • January 7, 2016 - 11:31 am

    Alison Lewis - so gorgeous Brian! Your site looks amazingReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2016 - 10:18 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - And now I’m craving a tuna sandwich. You make this humble sammy look pretty awesome, Brian! Love the pickled veggies and bean spread.ReplyCancel

  • January 8, 2016 - 12:21 pm

    Cailee - YUM! This looks lovely. I love the crisp bread :) That’s just the best! …and your history with tuna sounds so nostalgic! Don’t you just love food that ‘brings you back’?! So fun! Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • January 10, 2016 - 3:03 pm

    Platter Talk - I can think of no better way to usher in the new year than with a good tuna sandwich. I honestly don’t think I have ever seen a better looking one than what you have featured right here; I think it’s going to be a very good year! Happy we found your site; great work!!ReplyCancel