A Thought For Food » where ideas are brought to simmer

Sometimes it’s a challenge to come up with a creative dish.  I’m finding that I’m hitting a routine again where I’m making the same dinners over and over again and, well, it’s getting a little boring.  When this happens, drastic measures must be taken.  Ignored are the boxes of pasta in our pantry.  The same goes for couscous and rice.  Then I look to see what’s left.

I reached my breaking point one recent night.  We happened to be particularly low on ingredients. The shelves in our cabinet were stocked with just a few cans of garbanzos.  The fridge was filled with greens, including two heads of cabbage. Oh, and a massive bag of carrots.  A bean salad, maybe? Naaaaaaah.


When I’m in a rut, I tend to refer to my handy dandy Cuisinart food processor for some guidance.  I’m telling you, friends, I don’t know what I’d do without this thing.  I’ll use mine at least three times a week to make anything from pesto to cookie dough (easiest way to make shortbread).

So, I glanced over at the little guy with pleading eyes. HELP ME! And then… vwahla!  Falafel.  Within 30 minutes I had a satisfying, vegetarian meal.  And it didn’t involve pasta.  Or couscous.  Or rice.  Just beans, shredded carrot, and some fresh herbs and spices.

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  • YuriSeptember 21, 2011 - 12:40 am

    Twitter has been full of great recipes today, first the green tea mille crepe over at @zenchef and now this… Love the purple cabbage cups and the *baked* falafels :)ReplyCancel

  • VijithaSeptember 21, 2011 - 12:44 am

    I love falafels and like the twist with cooked garbanzo beans. I tried making falafels with black eyed peas and Indian lentils. Serving it in a cabbage cups is a great idea. Baked ones are healthier and it will be South beach friendly too. I am going to try it for sure.ReplyCancel

  • RosaSeptember 21, 2011 - 1:24 am

    Falafels are so delicious and so is tahini dressing. Your recipe is fabulous! I love those purple cabbage cups. Creativity usually comes when there’s a lack of ingredients…



  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenSeptember 21, 2011 - 2:48 am

    I love that these are oven baked. So fast and healthy!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren @ Healthy Food For LivingSeptember 21, 2011 - 6:28 am

    I’ve found that sometimes it is the instances where I have few ingredients to work with when I get the most creative. This falafel recipe sounds great; and I’m completely with you regarding my food processor: I use it practically every day and couldn’t imagine my life without it ;).

    I need to try these!ReplyCancel

  • Rosie @ SweetapolitaSeptember 21, 2011 - 7:12 am

    I love this recipe, and I love any reason to use my food processor! I agree with Sylvie – I love that these are baked. I think I could make these, Brian :) Lovely, lovely photos (particularly the top photo – stunning).ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisSeptember 21, 2011 - 7:35 am

    I have been wanting to make falafel, but didn’t know where to start, thanks so much for sharing your recipe and that outstanding tahini dressing! I know my girls will love it!ReplyCancel

  • A Plum By Any Other NameSeptember 21, 2011 - 7:47 am

    Baking the falafel is not only easier than frying … but with my birthday coming up soon it will leave plenty of space for cake. Can’t wait to try this out!ReplyCancel

  • GailSeptember 21, 2011 - 7:50 am

    BAKED falafel! FABULOUS, Brian! I’m adding this to winter roster of meals. xoxoReplyCancel

  • MeetaSeptember 21, 2011 - 7:52 am

    Love falafel – food I grew up on living in the Middle East for most of my younger years. I have a recipe on the blog too, like that these are baked. Hope you had a great Birthday Brian!ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloafSeptember 21, 2011 - 8:02 am

    I love inspirational moments like this – wonderful creations from store cupboard staples! These look absolutely delicious – and love that they aren’t deep fried either.ReplyCancel

  • CandaceSeptember 21, 2011 - 8:04 am

    I had no idea that making falafel was so easy and that they were baked make them even better. These look absolutely fantastic and I love the lemon tahini dressing! I’m going to check my kitchen to see if I have everything to make these. If not, they are going on the menu plan for sure. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I can’t wait to make these!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleSeptember 21, 2011 - 8:32 am

    I’d have to agree that my food processor is one of my favorite appliances in the kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • natalie (the sweets life)September 21, 2011 - 8:32 am

    falafel has been on my ‘to make’ list FOREVER and i still haven’t gotten around to it. yours look wonderful!

    ps. i share the love for the food processor!!ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.September 21, 2011 - 8:33 am

    fabulous as always!ReplyCancel

  • Anita MenonSeptember 21, 2011 - 8:46 am

    looks so good. One of my go to foods in the vegetarian department.ReplyCancel

  • nicoleSeptember 21, 2011 - 8:46 am

    we have several cans of garbanzo beans in our cabinets. I am going to have to stop getting take out falafel and make it myself one day.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie @ Cooking for My KidsSeptember 21, 2011 - 9:06 am

    This looks amazingly delicious. I cannot wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • The Tiffin GirlSeptember 21, 2011 - 10:27 am

    Baked falafels are a genius idea! I make them often, but I flatten them into patties so I can stuff them into pita pockets.

    I usually make tzatziki sauce, but I’ll have to try your sauce next time. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Beth MichelleSeptember 21, 2011 - 11:00 am

    Your falafel looks so yummy! I love how you used cabbage in place of pita bread. I will have to try that sometime. Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and DessertsSeptember 21, 2011 - 11:47 am

    I have never tried Falafel before, but it sounds wonderful! The Tahini Dressing sounds like the perfect pairing for this. Seems like you might be out of your rut!ReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a ChocoholicSeptember 21, 2011 - 12:03 pm

    I love falafel but never made it myself. Awesome job coming up with this!ReplyCancel

  • MikeVFMKSeptember 21, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    Brian, I love love love falafels. But I rarely if ever make it. I also get in a rut and it’s so good to come up with new, delicious ideas! Likee this! Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • GeorgieSeptember 21, 2011 - 1:02 pm

    This is “really” good stuff! You have the most interesting presentation and the food and photography is constantly gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ A Cambridge StorySeptember 21, 2011 - 1:05 pm

    Love that you served this in cabbage! I think random inspiration prompted by an empty pantry is the best kind!ReplyCancel

  • JeanetteSeptember 21, 2011 - 2:30 pm

    I’ve never made falafel before, but I love that these are more healthy and baked.ReplyCancel

  • MargaretSeptember 21, 2011 - 5:20 pm

    I love that this was created out of what was in your pantry. I think when we are left with limited ingredients we often come up with the most creative dish. These falafels look delicious. Btw, I love the picture of someone holding your food. I assume it’s E? I’d love to be your hand model one day! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Easy Peasy OrganicSeptember 21, 2011 - 5:31 pm

    My life seems suddenly devoid of Cuisinarts …ReplyCancel

  • Barbara | Creative CulinarySeptember 21, 2011 - 5:48 pm

    I think I come up with some of my most creative dishes when I’m forced to use limited ingredients on hand. That being said, I seldom think of them as something photo or blog worthy since there were just a quick mesh of ingredients; not something I’ve planned. I should revise that way of thinking maybe? I know this sure looks good!ReplyCancel

  • Hester aka The Chef DocSeptember 21, 2011 - 7:51 pm

    Oh fab, Brian. I like that you bake the falafels instead of fry them. I’d like to try this healthier alternative. Thanks for sharing the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionSeptember 21, 2011 - 8:51 pm

    Oh, this dish sounds amazing… I often get in a rut and have trouble getting out. Getting out the food processor is a brilliant idea. Especially if it yields a dish like this :)ReplyCancel

  • Lora ~ cakeduchessSeptember 21, 2011 - 10:10 pm

    I love falafel and never thought of adding carrots to batter…so healthy and delicious. I get in a rut and challenge myself to make something totally different and it is always so refreshing:)ReplyCancel

  • JoanneSeptember 22, 2011 - 7:08 am

    Falafel is one of those things that I crave…every second of every day. I love that you served it in those gorgeous cabbage cups! Such a beautiful meal…I would never believe that it was a clean-out-the-pantry type of endeavor.ReplyCancel

  • Kulsum@JourneykitchenSeptember 22, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    Gorgeous. Being born and brought up in Middle East its no suprise I love falafels but your lemon tahini dressing got me drooling!ReplyCancel

  • KitaSeptember 22, 2011 - 1:17 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I love my food processor either! These falafel look beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa {With Style and Grace}September 22, 2011 - 4:26 pm

    this recipe looks incredible. must make!ReplyCancel

  • merry jenniferSeptember 22, 2011 - 7:42 pm

    I’ve had falafel, but I’ve never made it. Yours is the first recipe that had me *really* wanting to make it. And believing I can.
    Thanks, Brian.ReplyCancel

  • bunkycooksSeptember 22, 2011 - 9:03 pm

    I love falafel as street food, but now I may need to try it at home.ReplyCancel

  • Kim BeeSeptember 23, 2011 - 12:15 am

    Congrats on top 9! This is really out of this world. Great recipe and wonderful pics.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarSeptember 23, 2011 - 7:01 am

    This sounds delightful! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • AprilSeptember 23, 2011 - 9:22 am

    congrats on the top 9! I actually added this to my to do list a couple of days ago :)ReplyCancel

  • HollySeptember 23, 2011 - 9:52 am

    I never knew how easy falafel is to make. I know I have a can of garbanzo beans lying around, and I’ll definitely be trying this!ReplyCancel

  • Brooks at CakewalkerSeptember 23, 2011 - 10:36 am

    Brian, this entry is a terrific routine-breaker! MY area is devoid of good falafel houses, so to have this accessible recipe brings it straight to my kitchen – thank you for sharing it. I appreciate the baked falafel vs. the commonplace fried versions. Congratulations on making the Top 9. Bravo!ReplyCancel

  • saraSeptember 23, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    love love love. the food processor is a god send, I’m not sure what I was doing without one for a few years. The dressing, in cabbage, mmm my favorite kind of meal.ReplyCancel

  • JennSeptember 23, 2011 - 2:12 pm

    This sounds super refreshing, I think I will try it this weekend! And I love that these are baked instead of fried :)ReplyCancel

  • ChristineSeptember 23, 2011 - 3:26 pm

    Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!ReplyCancel

  • SharonSeptember 24, 2011 - 3:32 pm

    Love falafel but never tried making at home, you have inspired to now though!! I happen to have some cans of garbanzo beans laying around so looks like could go on next weeks menu!! Love the idea of the cabbage cups, thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • CurtSeptember 25, 2011 - 9:38 am

    This sounds very good. I like all the cumin in there. Even 1 teaspoon can go a long way.ReplyCancel

  • Chez UsSeptember 26, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    I have falafel on my to-make list; just never get around to it. You have made it look so easy, that now I am inspired even more.ReplyCancel

  • Sneh | Cook RepublicSeptember 26, 2011 - 5:40 pm

    Lovely recipe! Love the opening shot, so fresh and inviting!ReplyCancel

  • RanjaniOctober 9, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    What a perfect impromptu meal!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanOctober 22, 2011 - 4:12 pm

    MMMNNNN. . . I LOVES me some falafel.

    No estoy seguro si hay una differencia entre Chick Peas y Garbonzos.ReplyCancel

  • normaOctober 27, 2011 - 6:56 am

    Congrats on Foodbuzz. I remember the first time I had Falafel. A little joint right across the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan about 20 years ago and it is still one of my favorite to go dishes.ReplyCancel

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  • MaiaSeptember 18, 2011 - 3:04 am

    The colors on those macarons are lovely – as is the beautiful blonde chef you captured in action!ReplyCancel

  • Jon VSeptember 18, 2011 - 6:58 am

    Lovely photos. The macarons are my pick… After our recent Japan trip I have definitely gotten into them!ReplyCancel

  • merry jenniferSeptember 18, 2011 - 8:52 am


  • Mike@The Culinary LensSeptember 18, 2011 - 9:53 am

    This is so much my kind of post I love all of it…ReplyCancel

  • GailSeptember 18, 2011 - 10:02 am

    SO beautiful, Brian. Your photos are so thoughtfully shot, so thoughtfully assembled…..I love seeing Sundays through your eyes.ReplyCancel

  • sippitysupSeptember 18, 2011 - 11:06 am

    Boston must be awash in great bakeries. I have been enjoying the cookbook from flour lately. GREGReplyCancel

  • JulieDSeptember 18, 2011 - 12:07 pm

    So beautiful, Brian! Wish I was there too. :) Looks like you all had so much fun, I can’t wait to read more about it.ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethSeptember 18, 2011 - 12:28 pm

    Those macarons look OUT OF THIS WORLD. As do the croissants. Please bring it all back to Boston :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionSeptember 18, 2011 - 2:37 pm

    Love it, Brian… I always love your bakery/pastry photos!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaSeptember 18, 2011 - 3:18 pm

    Very pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara | Creative CulinarySeptember 18, 2011 - 3:18 pm

    Love the behind the scenes look at the folks who get the work done. And beautiful work it is.ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenSeptember 18, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    I’ll take one of everything, thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Diane {Created by Diane}September 18, 2011 - 3:42 pm

    everything looks delicious, my sweet tooth needs some attention now :)ReplyCancel

  • LizSeptember 18, 2011 - 6:38 pm

    Oh, my. I feel compelled to jump in my car and drive to Ohio immediately. Fabulous photos~ReplyCancel

  • JeanetteSeptember 18, 2011 - 9:09 pm

    Love this Silent Sunday series – my kids love macarons!ReplyCancel

  • Baking SerendipitySeptember 18, 2011 - 11:48 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! Love the Columbus address…makes me miss Ohio :)ReplyCancel

  • Brooks at CakewalkerSeptember 18, 2011 - 11:59 pm

    Brian, I love your work. The images speak volumes!ReplyCancel

  • JenniferSeptember 19, 2011 - 12:15 am

    Their macarons are slightly bigger (which I LOVE) and the pricing is way cheaper (which I also LOVE) at 1.25 dollars a piece. Here in Houston they sell them like $2 .00 to 2.oo+ a piece, which I think is crazy. Thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • SimoneSeptember 19, 2011 - 2:52 am

    Wow, I love the photo reportage of this place. Looks brilliant and if I lived any closer… I would definitely be paying a visit.ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.September 19, 2011 - 8:17 am

    awesome post and photos Brian!ReplyCancel

  • Beth MichelleSeptember 19, 2011 - 9:08 am

    Beautiful photos! Everything looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Cookin' CanuckSeptember 19, 2011 - 10:42 am

    What a wonderful array of goodies. I wouldn’t know where to start!ReplyCancel

  • jenniferSeptember 19, 2011 - 6:51 pm

    I’ve been there. I really liked the feel of the place – and their pastries.ReplyCancel

  • JackieSeptember 19, 2011 - 11:28 pm

    I try to go to Pistacia Vera at least every month or two, especially since they rotate macaron flavors…everything I’ve ever had there is just so wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • BestfoodiesSeptember 20, 2011 - 1:56 pm

    Wow everything looks amazing. I am only about 3 hours from Columbus, your photos make the drive seem worth it. I hope it get to go there someday!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneSeptember 20, 2011 - 11:02 pm

    I just gained fifty pounds from reading this. And honestly…I couldn’t be happier about it. Those photos are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • sweetsugarbelleSeptember 21, 2011 - 8:54 am

    Gorgeous, as ALWAYS!ReplyCancel

  • […] around the US and I to a whirlwind tour of the Columbus food scene. The other guests captured some fabulous shots of the food we ate and drank. I took pictures in the […]ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanOctober 22, 2011 - 4:13 pm

    Mmnnnn. . . I LOVES me some Pistacia.

    Creo que si, Creo que no, pero creo que estoy seguro que creo en algo.ReplyCancel

  • normaOctober 27, 2011 - 7:15 am

    If ever in the area….ReplyCancel

  • […] might want to check out in the Columbus area, such as The Brothers Drake Meadery, Cafe Brioso, and Pistacia Vera. […]ReplyCancel

CarrotCake8 copy

Today is my 27th birthday.  On one hand, I wonder, “Where has the time gone?” and, on the other, I think, “Am I really still that young?”

Birthdays always make me reflect.  Reflect on the past year.  Reflect on my life as a whole.  I like to use this time to think about all the wonderful things that I have around me and look back on all the amazing opportunities I have been given.  But, most of all, I like to see how much I’ve changed and what I’ve done to make sure that those changes have occurred.

And boy has a lot happened over this last year.  I’ve met some incredible people who have challenged me to become a better cook and photographer.  I’ve left my comfort zone to make sure that I not only build relationships with people through e-mails and actually meet them in person.  And I’ve moved forward with pursuing a career in photography, something I’ve grown quite passionate about over the past couple of years.

Eric and I traveled to California and ate one of the best meals of our lives at The French Laundry.  We bought a new car… our biggest single purchase together (after dinner at The French Laundry).  We became uncles again.  And our other niece now lives in the same city as us.

In the last year, I also lost my grandfather.  There’s no denying the fact that this has effected the path that I’ve chosen to take.  Life is just too short to let happiness pass you by.

By my next birthday, I expect that my life will change even more.  I expect that things will happen over this next year that will scare me, that will inspire me, and, most of all, that will make me a better person.


A few months ago, I talked about a bucket list that I want to complete by the end of 2011.  And it’s my pleasure to announce that I can cross one of the items off.  I made my first layer cake!  Was it the prettiest? No.  Was it darn tasty? Yes.  Am I ready to make another one?  You betcha!

I already know that over the next year, I hope to improve my cake baking skills.  Icing will be a big part of it.  So, expect some more cakes in the future.

This cake recipe comes from the delightful Rosie, of the blog Sweetapolita, who was kind enough to help guide me as I put this baby together.  It has all of my favorite flavors and, as soon as I saw the recipe and rave reviews on Rosie’s site, I knew this was going to be the one for me.

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  • EthanSeptember 15, 2011 - 12:17 am

    Happy birthday friend! I hope there was a candle to make a wish on that great looking layer cake!ReplyCancel

    • BrianSeptember 15, 2011 - 7:30 am

      Ethan – there’s no time for candles… had to dig right into the cake. :-) Thank you my friend!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa {With Style and Grace}September 15, 2011 - 12:23 am

    HAPPY happy Birthday, love!!! Hope you have a wonderful day, doing all the things that make you smile and being with those you love. Now, go enjoy that beautiful cake!! ps. I’m proud of you. xxReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenSeptember 15, 2011 - 12:26 am

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Brian! Your cake is perfection: nice and high with a thick layer of frosting – yum! Enjoy your day.ReplyCancel

  • Diane {Created by Diane}September 15, 2011 - 12:40 am

    Happy Birthday!
    It’s my son’s birthday also :)
    Your cake looks wonderful. I hope you have a a year full of wishes coming true!ReplyCancel

  • Baker StreetSeptember 15, 2011 - 12:41 am

    Your cake looks perfect brian! Happy Birthday. Hope the coming year is everything you want it to be.ReplyCancel

  • TiaSeptember 15, 2011 - 12:58 am

    Happy Birthday! The cake looks amazing and sounds even better. Definitely adding it to my list to try. Enjoy your day!!ReplyCancel

  • SukainaSeptember 15, 2011 - 1:17 am

    Happy Birthday Brian! 27 only hey?! I hope this next year is definately one for great ventures and massive inspirations. Lovely layer cake BTW!ReplyCancel

  • RosaSeptember 15, 2011 - 1:23 am

    That carrot cake looks and sounds amazing! Happy Birthday!



  • Nancy @SensitivePantrySeptember 15, 2011 - 7:31 am

    Happy Birthday, Brian! Love this cake–I’m impressed that this is the first one you chose to make. I bet it was fabulous. It certainly looks it!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen)September 15, 2011 - 7:38 am

    Happy birthday! I’m excited to celebrate with you today!

    My way of finding success with layer cakes only came after my youngest sister attended pastry school. She is now our official cake baker. ;)ReplyCancel

  • MichelleSeptember 15, 2011 - 7:39 am

    Happy birthday, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • JóhannaSeptember 15, 2011 - 7:47 am

    Happy birthday Brian.
    I love following your blog; the food and the photos are just a delight.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren @ Healthy Food For LivingSeptember 15, 2011 - 7:50 am

    I hope you have a fantastic day, Brian! The cake looks outstanding – carrot cake it my favorite, and it’s perfect for a birthday celebration.ReplyCancel

  • Rosie @ SweetapolitaSeptember 15, 2011 - 7:58 am

    Happy Birthday, Brian–sweet, funny, talented, warm, supportive, kind, amazing, handsome Brian! I’m so truly pleased that we became friends this past year, and I always love reading your posts; I find them really comforting, with both your words and photos. I can’t imagine life in the food blogging community without you! ;)

    I adore these photos you took of the cake, and true, I do always adore your photos, but I particularly love these–and not just because they’re cake, I swear. I struggled with photographing this cake because it’s not the most photogenic, but you managed to make it shine in these photos.

    It sounds like you’ve had a very eventful year, and I wish you nothing but love, success, and luck this year and every year to come. Now for goodness sake, go eat more cake!

    Love, Rosie xoReplyCancel

  • bunkycooksSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:03 am

    Happy Birthday Brian! Yes, you are still young and there’s so much life ahead! Have a great day. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sneh | Cook RepublicSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:05 am

    Wish you a very Happy Birthday Brian! Well done on an amazing layer cake, it looks beautiful! I am so glad that you are getting out there and doing the things you love, pursuing your dreams. Here is hoping the coming year brings you unexpected joys, endless laughter and adventurous turns everywhere you go!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ A Cambridge StorySeptember 15, 2011 - 8:16 am

    Happy birthday! Personally, I think the cake looks darn pretty!ReplyCancel

  • SMITH BITESSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:26 am

    happy birthday Brian – you’re one of my favorite friends . . . shhhhhhhh . . . don’t tell . . . LOVE this cake and i’m sure it tasted fabulous!! cannot wait to see what else is on your bucket list for next year! (((HUGS)))ReplyCancel

  • MikeVFMKSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:30 am

    Happy Birthday Brian! What a wonderful cake to celebrate with!! Wishing you a year filled with love, laughter and happiness and one filled with beautiful milestones!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:40 am

    MMnnnn!. . . I LOVES me some zingy zanginess.

    A veces, una zanahoria es solamente una zanahoria.ReplyCancel

  • MedejaSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:53 am

    Happy Bday! That cake looks so good! just too good :)ReplyCancel

  • Margie SamuelsSeptember 15, 2011 - 9:35 am

    Happy, happy birthday, my wonderful son……there is not a day that you don’t bring light and love
    to everyone around you. How blessed we are that we have you. My birthday wish for you is that
    you find the fulfillment of your dreams this year. I love you very much……..up to the moon and back!ReplyCancel

  • art and lemonsSeptember 15, 2011 - 9:36 am

    Happy Birthday! It was a pleasure meeting you a few months ago and I can now say I’m hooked on this gorgeous blog of yours along with this carrot cake. Keep knocking ‘em off the list…ReplyCancel

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveSeptember 15, 2011 - 10:00 am

    I know the feeling. At 35, I sorta feel like a kid and an old woman rolled into one. ;)

    That cake… let’s just say this make you BFF material.ReplyCancel

  • JamieSeptember 15, 2011 - 10:41 am

    Wishing you an incredibly happy birthday season (is one day really enough?) and all good things. Hugs!!! xoReplyCancel

  • AdryonSeptember 15, 2011 - 11:10 am

    Happy Birthday!!! May all your wishes come true. Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • MeganSeptember 15, 2011 - 11:13 am

    I think the cake looks beautiful! And it sounds like you had a wonderful year. Happy birthday on the best day to have a birthday!!! :)ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethSeptember 15, 2011 - 11:27 am

    A happy birthday to you Brian and I hope that this next year brings you all sorts of amazing challenges and accomplishments. A bucket list is a great way to do it!

    The cake looks simple delightful and it looks like it turned out just fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly SenyeiSeptember 15, 2011 - 12:39 pm

    This cake looks fantastic, and I absolutely love the mix of ginger and carrots. Looking forward to continuing to follow your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Bev WeidnerSeptember 15, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Happy Birthday! Please tell me you plan on face-planting that.ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.September 15, 2011 - 1:27 pm

    omg this looks fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • SomaSeptember 15, 2011 - 1:48 pm

    Happy Birthday! and 27 is still very very young! Ginger and Carrots pairs beautifully and this is one warm good looking cake… have a wonderful Day!ReplyCancel

  • Angie's RecipesSeptember 15, 2011 - 2:36 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!
    Do pamper yourself with one more slice of cake! Looks delish!ReplyCancel

  • Jun BelenSeptember 15, 2011 - 4:56 pm

    Happy happy birthday, Brian!! Your birthday cake looks delicious!!ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloafSeptember 15, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    Congratulations on another year and all that you’ve achieved…including this completely scrumptious looking cake. I always fall back on a simple cream cheese frosting with carrot cake, but love the idea of including white chocolate. Great post.ReplyCancel

  • JoeyfromSCSeptember 15, 2011 - 5:19 pm

    Happy Birthday!! My lil bro turned 25 yesterday & my other bro turns 31 on 9/20 lol-All you Virgos:) ha

    LOVE this recipe! wow..I’m drooling ha..thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria - Ozarks Crescent MuralSeptember 15, 2011 - 5:21 pm

    Happy Birthday! My condolences for the loss of your grandfather.ReplyCancel

  • VijithaSeptember 15, 2011 - 5:56 pm

    A very happy birthday to you. May this year bring you lot of happiness and goodness in life. Have a blessed year and the cake looks super yummy.ReplyCancel

  • heatherSeptember 15, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    Here’s wishing you many happy moments today, tomorrow and every day this year. This is quite the celebration cake! Orange and ginger definitely kick it up.



  • KristaSeptember 15, 2011 - 11:19 pm

    Happy Birthday! I am an absolute fan of your blog, and tickled that you made a carrot cake (looks beautiful by the way) for your birthday – my favorite birthday cake!ReplyCancel

  • SusieSeptember 15, 2011 - 11:46 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!! The cake looks amazing, they aren’t suppose to be perfect. They just have to taste amazing!!! Nothing in life is perfect and there is no exceptions for cake. I hope you had a wonderful day. :)ReplyCancel

  • The CilantropistSeptember 16, 2011 - 6:39 am

    I love the thick layer of frosting on this cake, and going with a Sweetapolita cake is always a smart idea! :) So glad to call you a friend, and can’t wait to see what this next year holds for you. Happy Birthday!ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethSeptember 16, 2011 - 8:53 am

    Happy happy birthday Brian!! Carrot cake is my all time favorite cake. My friend made me an amazing carrot cake for my 21st birthday. I wish I could conjure that now. I’m very strict though and only deem cream cheese frosting as an acceptable accompaniment. Though the white chocolate does sound lovelyReplyCancel

  • Island VittlesSeptember 16, 2011 - 11:29 am

    Yumm! I love making birthday cakes, although I`ve never made my own….I think I`ll put that on my bucket list — then I`ll get exactly what I want! Happy B-day. TheresaReplyCancel

  • KimberleySeptember 16, 2011 - 2:52 pm

    Brian! Happy Birthday. I can’t believe you’re only turning 27!! – but I say that because you’ve got a wisdom about you that makes you seem wise beyond your years. Hope you’ve had the grandest week.ReplyCancel

  • foodwanderingsSeptember 16, 2011 - 7:44 pm

    Happy B-day Brian!! I hope you had a wonderful day. The cake looks absolutely delicious!!ReplyCancel

  • KitaSeptember 18, 2011 - 10:08 am

    Happy belated birthday! What a wonderfully delicious slice of cake to be enjoying for your 27th! The ginger and carrot cake sound like a wonderful combination, especially with the burst of citrus from the orange.ReplyCancel

  • Russell van KraayenburgSeptember 18, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    Happy birthday! What a scrumptious way to celebrate.ReplyCancel

  • LirenSeptember 18, 2011 - 11:26 pm

    Brian, I just realized that I never got a chance to properly greet you happy birthday here in this space, whilst gazing at that gorgeous slice of cake. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate all your successes and big steps this year. It has been such a joy to watch how much you have accomplished. Here’s to another year of exciting change ahead!ReplyCancel

  • MonetSeptember 19, 2011 - 11:15 pm

    Ah, my sweet friend. Happiest birthday! You are precious, and i know that this next year is going to brim with more love, good food and joy. And thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! Your cake turned out just perfect in my book. I’m hungry again (we just finished dinner a couple of hours ago). Yummy..as always. Much love from Austin!ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionSeptember 20, 2011 - 11:19 am

    Belated happy birthday, Brian (though, I think I may have actually remembered to wish you an “on-time” happy birthday on Twitter… I hope!). 27, you say? I remember that one well (I have just a few years on you!). So glad you had a good year. Best wishes for the year to come… I know it will be amazing!

    And, now the cake… For your first layer cake, that looks pretty amazing. And, the flavors sound just divine. As soon as I finish writing this comment, I will be running to the fridge to see if I have all of the ingredients to make this for dinner. I mean dessert. :)ReplyCancel

  • olgaSeptember 26, 2011 - 5:24 pm

    Happy Birthday!! Carrot cake is my favorite – so I’ll certainly be making this in the near future, I hope!! I’ve one question – you measure a lot of your dry ingredients in mL – is there a reason for that? I’ve been doing mine in grams, but is that less precise?ReplyCancel

  • KristenSeptember 26, 2011 - 11:14 pm

    I missed coming over to your site to wish you a happy birthday. You are so young, yet you’ve experienced so much. I’m 10 years older than you and have to tell you, you are in for the best 10 years ever. It goes by like a flash, but there is so much life to experience at this age. Enjoy exploring and growing!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanne @ CookSister!October 19, 2011 - 11:16 am

    Happy belated birthday, handsome ;) It certainly has been quite a year for you. Isn’t it interesting how a profound loss can make you see the world in a totally different way and spur you on to do what you really want to do instead of marking time. Glad to hear that I am not the only one who came very late in life to layer cakes – yours looks great (and I LOVE carrot & ginger together!)ReplyCancel

  • normaNovember 15, 2011 - 5:28 am

    Printed it!ReplyCancel


I’m not going to say it.  I promise you I’m not going to say those dreadful things that everyone has been talking about.  You know what I’m talking about.  The end of summer.

I refuse to acknowledge that we’re done and I’m going to make the most out of these next few weeks by continuing to eat all of the bounty that graces my CSA box.  Most recently, we’ve seen an influx in tomatoes… primarily of the heirloom variety.


We’re counting down to our last couple of months before we close up the Cape house.  The meals that we have while we are down there are what I will miss the most.  Lunches are divinely rustic.  Cheese plates, crusty bread, grilled fish from the night before, cucumber salad, slices of perfectly ripe melon and, of course, a glass of crisp white wine.

A few weekends ago, I brought with me my latest treasure, a volume of Canal House Cooking that has some extraordinary recipes (paired with stunning photographs), with the intent to make something from it.  Within moments of perusing the pages, I had my heart set on one.  There are few things that delight me more than slices of fresh tomatoes.  And have I mentioned my love for blue cheese?  And anchovies?  You see why I had to make this recipe.

We gathered around the picnic table that overlooks the lake and chowed down on the platter.  A simple pleasure, indeed.  One that makes you grin within moments of your first bite.  One that’s hard to forget.

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  • Dan @ Dan's Good SideSeptember 12, 2011 - 12:10 am

    Why do heirloom tomatoes always come at the end of the summer season. Why???? Always so bittersweet…I even had to wear a puffy vest today. I think fall will officially be in my city tomorrow morning…Sigh… :(

    Nice salad though! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Nelly RodriguezSeptember 12, 2011 - 12:12 am

    The end of summer…amazing but so much to look forward in the fall! Love this, SPECIALLY the anchovies! Gorgeous as always Brian…ReplyCancel

  • Samantha @ Ferraro KitchenSeptember 12, 2011 - 12:19 am

    This is beautiful! I am infatuated with heirlooms…and to pair salty beauties with it is graceful!ReplyCancel

  • RosaSeptember 12, 2011 - 1:37 am

    A beautiful combination of flavors and ingredients. This salad looks so scrumptious!



  • LirenSeptember 12, 2011 - 1:43 am

    Oh, I hear you! I am still hanging on to summer, especially with the gorgeous tomatoes. Love everything on the plate, Brian. Rustic simplicity at its best.ReplyCancel

  • VijithaSeptember 12, 2011 - 1:46 am

    Sweet tomatoes with salty anchovies is brilliant. What a wonderful salad to end the summer? Yum yum yum!!!ReplyCancel

  • MikeVFMKSeptember 12, 2011 - 7:16 am

    Brian, the end of summer is indeed here. But the fact that heirloom tomatoes grace our markets makes it a bit sweeter. And it allows for such a beautiful salad like this.ReplyCancel

  • Anneli FaiersSeptember 12, 2011 - 7:17 am

    Blue cheese and anchovies, 2 of my very favourite ingredients! So simple and yet so packs a punch!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleSeptember 12, 2011 - 8:58 am

    This is a beautiful dish to celebrate the end-of-summer!ReplyCancel

  • SaraSeptember 12, 2011 - 9:34 am

    I have been all over anchovy dressing lately–how did they ever get such a bad rap? (I wonder if most people don’t realize they are in Ceasar dressing, hmmmm…). I will be making this tonight, though maybe with goat or feta. (Don’t have blue cheese on hand, not sure why!) I have been toying with the idea of subscribing to the Canal House Cooking series. I requested Gastronomica last year for Christmas instead, but….ReplyCancel

    • BrianSeptember 12, 2011 - 9:47 pm

      I think this would make for a marvelous gift. These books are beautifully produced.ReplyCancel

  • Bev WeidnerSeptember 12, 2011 - 9:51 am

    I have just collapsed and become a pile of human happiness.


  • Erin @ A Nesting ExperienceSeptember 12, 2011 - 10:09 am

    Not sure about the anchovies, but tomatoes and blue cheese sound perfect right about now. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • sweetsugarbelleSeptember 12, 2011 - 10:51 am

    Brian, since my first visit to your blog I’ve been hooked. Your photos and how you think about food. I love this combo. Such intense flavors, but simple and rustic. I’m sad to see the veggies go, however, I cannot wait to get to know you over the winter cooking season!ReplyCancel

  • MariaSeptember 12, 2011 - 2:12 pm

    Love the flavours you’ve combined in this dish – beautiful salad!ReplyCancel

  • Mike@The Culinary LensSeptember 12, 2011 - 4:51 pm

    Such beautiful simplicity. It amazes me how ingredients like this just pull together so well. As much as I will miss summer I truly love fallReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenSeptember 12, 2011 - 5:16 pm

    I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer either, why does it seem like the shortest season? *sigh*ReplyCancel

  • Barbara | Creative CulinarySeptember 12, 2011 - 5:32 pm

    I have not had enough summer tomatoes…I am leaving for a market in a few and plan to rectify that. Heirlooms might not be so doable but I’ll take just a good old fashioned Big Boy. And I’m talking tomato. :)

    Sounds perfect during this beautiful still warm yet cooler time of year Brian. And looks lovely too.ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisSeptember 12, 2011 - 8:59 pm

    what a perfect use for those lovely heirloom tomatoes, and what a wonderful flavor combination.
    I know what you mean about summer, for now the weekends are all we have left, I hope you manage to get a few more in at the cape before you close it up for winter. Great food and great friends make great memories….ReplyCancel

  • AnnSeptember 12, 2011 - 11:54 pm

    Delicious! I’d have to omit the anchovies due to allergies, but maybe a little extra salt will make up for it. Your pictures are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.September 13, 2011 - 9:04 am

    This looks good!ReplyCancel

  • sippitysupSeptember 13, 2011 - 10:25 am

    In Los Angeles we get our real heat in September and into October. Though today is mild, I expect summer to come roaring back. It always does. GREGReplyCancel

  • JoanneSeptember 14, 2011 - 8:58 pm

    I really feel like I didn’t embrace heirloom tomatoes enough this year but it’s probably just because we didnt’ get many in our CSA. NOT MY FAULT. But that doesn’t make me want them any less…especially after seeing this.ReplyCancel

  • KitaSeptember 15, 2011 - 6:40 pm

    What a beautiful dish to have as you lead the march in the resistance against the end of summer! Normally, I am not one to enjoy fall’s bounty until the official end of summer but something just got into me this year and apples and pumpkins are all over my kitchen. The last pulls of summer and grilling are still getting to me though!ReplyCancel

  • Trevor Sis BoomSeptember 26, 2011 - 11:22 pm

    I love this. Although I hate the end of summer I love these tomatoes and I love meals made like this… more assembly than recipe but with each thing contributing something different to the mix. And anything with anchovies is a plus!ReplyCancel

  • normaOctober 5, 2011 - 10:28 am

    Anchovy and tomatoes…right up my husband’s alley. Greta shots.ReplyCancel

  • GastroGuyOctober 18, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    Thanks for turning me on to Canal House cooking! I’ll be picking up a copy tomorrow… that and I can’t wait to explore your site some more…ReplyCancel

I knew at some point I’d cave.  There was going to be a time where I’d make something that included meat and say, “I should really share this with my readers.”  And that time has come, my friends.

Being a pescatarian, it’s rare that I cook meat.  Eric has never asked me to make it for him, though from time to time he will prepare a burger for himself or invite a friend over for a steak.  But he’s always been the one to make that part of the meal, while I continue working on the veggie sides.

I blame this pizza recipe on my brother-in-law, Andrew.  He’s the guy who comments on each of my posts with a “Mmmmmmm… I LOVES me some…” The man can sure eat and he is never afraid to try a new dish, even if the ingredients may be a bit out of the ordinary.

For the past couple of years, Andy has purchased a clamming license and he and Eric will go out and bring back a huge bucket of clams, mussels, and, from time to time, a couple of snails.  This past weekend, Andy went out with a mission: to come back with clams to make clam and bacon pizza.  We’ve prepared it before… last year, in fact… and there were some rave reviews.  This time, however, I suggested covering the crust with a layer of fresh basil pesto.  Something that will complement the briny clams and the smokiness from the bacon.

I may not be a meat eater (though I did get a nibble of this treasure), but I know that bacon and clams and some fresh herbs and garlic can’t be a bad thing.

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  • ElianaSeptember 8, 2011 - 7:59 am

    OK – Jordan is the cutest little girl ever. But you had my heart at the pizza. Looks super super delish!ReplyCancel

  • Ken⏐hungry rabbitSeptember 8, 2011 - 8:19 am

    Nice job, my friend. Fresh clams pizza is hard to come by and you certainly made it irresistible that I must give it a whirl.ReplyCancel

  • spicebloggerSeptember 8, 2011 - 8:31 am

    Delicious. and stunning photography. :)


  • Nelly RodriguezSeptember 8, 2011 - 8:49 am

    Oh this makes me a happy happy baker! Bacon, pizza and clams, oh my! Love this Brian, thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanSeptember 8, 2011 - 8:55 am

    Mmnn!. . . I LOVES me some clambacon pizza!

    El narcisismo es la moda de la época. . . o tal vez auto-referencial entradas del blog son la moda de la edad.ReplyCancel

  • GeorgieSeptember 8, 2011 - 9:03 am

    Everything here is “Beautiful”, though I want to eat that pizza recklessly!ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloafSeptember 8, 2011 - 9:06 am

    I’m not a big meat eater either but this pizza looks incredible – just the right amount of salty bacon to go with the clams… and your crust looks deliciously puffy too. I’ve had pizza with prawns and squid before but never clams…next time I get my hands on some I’m giving this a go!ReplyCancel

  • Bev WeidnerSeptember 8, 2011 - 9:09 am

    That is the most beautiful clam pizza I’ve ever laid eyes on! I’m kind of freaking out.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar TripsSeptember 8, 2011 - 9:12 am

    I love the pictures, Jordan is adorable! And a clamming license, I never knew there was such a thing! (I thought it fell under fish, learn something new every day!)
    This pizza looks fantastic! And it makes me even want to try clams! I’m a “bacontarian” ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa (This Little Piggy)September 8, 2011 - 10:26 am

    Ooooooh clams AND bacon – what a treat! I need to get me a clamming license too! Beautiful photos – as always!ReplyCancel

  • KristenSeptember 8, 2011 - 10:27 am

    I love bacon on pizza but I never thought about clams on pizza – that’s a new one! Looks like your pizza made a lot of people quite happy :)ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethSeptember 8, 2011 - 10:59 am

    Aaaah, traitor!! JK ;)ReplyCancel

  • MikeVFMKSeptember 8, 2011 - 11:25 am

    Brian, this is one heckuva pizza! The truest sign that a dish is a hit is by the smiles on the faces of your guests or family. And judging by Jordan’s adorable face this was definitely a hit! Love the pics and the clam hunt story!ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethSeptember 8, 2011 - 11:32 am

    Oh yum! I wish we could fish for clams here, but all the beaches have posted notices warning of red tide. I’m not sure I actually believe it, because there are oyster farms everywhere, but I steer clear.

    I rarely eat clams actually, preferring the more meaty of the shell fish, like oysters and mussels. But I think with pesto and bacon, I could seriously dig this pizza. Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a ChocoholicSeptember 8, 2011 - 11:51 am

    Oh yes, you can’t go wrong with bacon, clams, fresh herbs and garlic! Have you tried the clam pizza at Russell House Tavern?? (no bacon) It is sooooo good!ReplyCancel

  • MaiaSeptember 8, 2011 - 11:57 am

    How delicious – and that little boy is precious. I love clam and garlic pizza, but my husband always discourages me from eating it because of the garlic-overload-aftermath. Your version sounds equally savory with the addition of bacon and only a fraction of the garlic. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • kateiscookingSeptember 8, 2011 - 12:25 pm

    What a delightful combination! Can’t wait to be on Cape in about six weeks and head to Cap’n Parkers for some chowder… Then off to the lobster guy’s in Sandwich for lobster to make at the house. YUM!!ReplyCancel

  • serena @bigapplenoshSeptember 8, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    This sounds like an awesome combination!ReplyCancel

  • KimberleySeptember 8, 2011 - 4:23 pm

    Yummmmmm! I don’t see clams too often on pizzas out here, but I saw it a lot while in Croatia. With or without bacon, I’ll take it. I’ve missed so much on your blog, Brian! It’s nice to catch up.ReplyCancel

  • MargaretSeptember 8, 2011 - 4:31 pm

    Bacon and clams or any pork product with clams make me happy. So glad you decide to share this recipe with us. And love the pictures of Jordan, too cute!ReplyCancel

  • Fran {The Flavorful Fork}September 8, 2011 - 5:22 pm

    My mouth started watering the minute I looked at this bacon-clam pizza! Would love to give this a try.ReplyCancel

  • VijithaSeptember 8, 2011 - 6:32 pm

    Sounds like a winning combination. That’s a cute pic of the lil one, seems to love your pizza.ReplyCancel

  • CarolynSeptember 8, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    Now I am not going to be able to refrain from looking for Andy’s “mmm, me love me some…” comments. This is gorgeous pizza though, and yes, me loves me some!ReplyCancel

  • MariaSeptember 8, 2011 - 7:06 pm

    I love trying new pizzas. Great creation!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaSeptember 8, 2011 - 7:41 pm

    Um, hello ADORABLE!!! Great pictures. The pizza sounds amazing… all that salty savory flavor.. its win win! :)ReplyCancel

  • JeanetteSeptember 8, 2011 - 7:54 pm

    The look on Jordan’s face is too cute for words! Love the idea of pesto on pizza.ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisSeptember 8, 2011 - 8:08 pm

    ok, you had me at bacon, but a clam and bacon pizza, wow! I can’t believe you even got clams that fresh, what a wonderful way to eat, being able to fish for your own clams and mussels is a wonderful thing.
    It looks like Jordan sure had a good time, she is precious!ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.September 8, 2011 - 8:33 pm

    looks fabulous! Great looking post as alwaysReplyCancel

  • Becca at It's YummiliciousSeptember 8, 2011 - 9:24 pm

    To quote Andy…. MMmmmmmmm….

    You had me at bacon <3ReplyCancel

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and DessertsSeptember 8, 2011 - 10:47 pm

    Bacon on pizza is one of my husbands favorite! Add fresh clams, and he might kiss you! Looks gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • ChristineSeptember 9, 2011 - 1:37 am

    Can’t go wrong with pizza. It looks like Jordan sure had a great time, she is precious!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle JaffeeSeptember 9, 2011 - 8:00 am

    Clams and bacon partying on a pizza. What’s not to love?
    Beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

  • A Plum By Any Other NameSeptember 9, 2011 - 8:35 am

    This recipe couldn’t come at a better time … I’ve been dying to make clam and bacon pizza. Hoping to try my hand at it out on the grill too.ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenSeptember 9, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    Oh what a cutie she is! I’ll take whatever she’s having!ReplyCancel

  • Mike@The Culinary LensSeptember 9, 2011 - 8:52 pm

    The freshest of clams with the bacon an pest must have been amazing. The bacon was only there to enhance everything else so it is hardly meat eatingReplyCancel

  • Dee Dee's DelightsSeptember 10, 2011 - 10:48 am

    Congrats on the top 9! These look soooooo good!!ReplyCancel

  • KathSeptember 10, 2011 - 11:11 am

    “Mmmmmmm… I LOVES me some…”

    Bacon and clams on pizza? Yes, please!ReplyCancel

  • AnnSeptember 10, 2011 - 8:46 pm

    This looks amazing and I LOVE your photos! I’m allergic to clams, so I can’t put them on, but I bet they really added a great flavor!ReplyCancel

  • Fuji MamaSeptember 11, 2011 - 1:17 am

    There are so many things right about this pizza!! Now I need to get my hands in some good clams…ReplyCancel

  • sippitysupSeptember 11, 2011 - 4:29 pm

    PS Bacon is not meat it is oxygen! GREGReplyCancel

  • MonetSeptember 11, 2011 - 5:11 pm

    We don’t eat meat (at least not very much) but I think I’m going to make an exception. When I saw this earlier this week, I drooled, and I’ve been drooling ever since! Thank you for sharing another delicious recipe. As always, your posts make me smile. I hope you have a blessed beginning to your week. Much love from Austin!ReplyCancel

  • Ranjani @ Four Seasons of FoodSeptember 11, 2011 - 10:04 pm

    I’ve heard of clam pizza but never tried it. This looks pretty great – must try soon!ReplyCancel

  • SMITH BITESSeptember 12, 2011 - 7:17 am

    if only i lived near the sea . . . if only i could get my hands on fresh clams . . . sigh . . .ReplyCancel

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveSeptember 12, 2011 - 8:06 am

    Oh Biran, Clam and Bacon Pizza? That sounds heavenly!ReplyCancel

  • Russell van KraayenburgSeptember 13, 2011 - 11:00 pm

    Wow what a combination of flavors! I love the basil pesto as the sauce. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • normaNovember 15, 2011 - 5:35 am

    I love the baby’s face…..ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJuly 3, 2013 - 5:19 pm

    If you are going to write about meat, it should absolutely be bacon! :) This pizza looks amazing… It’s making me rethink the burgers I had planned for tomorrow! Not sure I can get my hands on some good fresh clams fast enough, though. Next time I do, this s at e top of my list!ReplyCancel

  • […] make it for dinner. We’ll roll out some dough and give it whatever spin we’re feeling. Clams and pesto or maybe a garlic scape and zucchini pie.  I like to top my pizzas with seasonal ingredients, […]ReplyCancel

Eric and I are the proud uncles of two very adorable girls.  Jordan will be turning two at the end of this year and Ayla, my sister’s daughter, was born this past March.  Now that they are in our lives, I enjoy watching them eat their first foods, seeing their likes and dislikes appear across their faces.  And I can’t wait for the day to come when I can teach them both how to cook.  We’ll spend time in the kitchen, making everything from soup to cakes.  They’ll get tastes of a variety of ingredients, not just chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese.

Even as a small child, I was given foods that aren’t necessarily considered kid fare.  Spices were used that you can’t find in a McDonald’s Happy Meal.   I’m pretty certain that this defined the way I look at food and turned me into the adventurous eater that I am.

When I was asked by my dear friend (and mommy blogger extraordinaire) Nicole, to do a guest post for her new site, Boston Babies: Your Guide to an Urban Upbringing, I thought about all the things I’d want to make.  I had seen a number of posts on the site, Smitten Kitchen, on baby food recipes and I wondered if that was the route I should go.  The recipes on the blog were full of spices that I’d never thought to give to a baby (see: Moroccan-ish Carrots and Yams).

What inspired this recipe for Banana Ice Cream (though, it’s not really ice cream because there’s no dairy in it) was the fact that my younger niece is starting to teethe a bit and I thought instead of making something that would be consumed warm or at room temp, why not make something that was tasty AND would ease the little one’s pain.  She hasn’t switched to solids yet, but I know that when she does, this will be a hit.

Plus, it’s healthy! There’s no added sugar, no preservatives.  Just a single ingredient and a few spices (I included some allspice to give it a more dynamic flavor).

*Note: Please buy Fair Trade bananas!

For the recipe, head on over to Nicole’s blog.  If you are a new parent or expecting a little one on the way, I think you’ll find her site to be a great resource.

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  • Mardi@eatlivetravelwriteSeptember 5, 2011 - 1:17 pm

    Oh for sure heading over there to check out the recipe. Looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • LaurenSeptember 5, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    I love, love, love banana ice cream! I make it about every other day, if not more. I also use the same strategy when making smoothies, instead of using yogurt as the base. My favorite way to do it is bananas, spinach, and peanut butter….MMM!ReplyCancel

  • MikeVFMKSeptember 5, 2011 - 1:26 pm

    Brian, I love banana ice cream. And the fact that this was made with your adorable niece in mind makes it all the better. Love the pics, as I always do. Off to see the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Mike@The Culinary LensSeptember 5, 2011 - 1:31 pm

    I have seen variations of this several times recently. It looks so good I’ll have to try it.. As always I love your photos.ReplyCancel

  • LizSeptember 5, 2011 - 2:08 pm

    Perfect for all ages! Off to check out your recipe~ReplyCancel

  • NishiSeptember 5, 2011 - 5:05 pm

    Just saw the recipe Brian.This is such a healthy and fat free way to serve ice cream to babies. I will surely make this for my two year old :)ReplyCancel

  • MaureenSeptember 5, 2011 - 6:23 pm

    Off to check the recipe.. sounds lovely!ReplyCancel

  • JessicaSeptember 5, 2011 - 7:47 pm

    Next time add some peanut butter! So good! Love that placemat Brian!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanSeptember 5, 2011 - 9:37 pm

    Mmnnn!. . . I LOVES me some bananas.

    Algunos días me siento como un plátano, y algunos días me siento como la cáscara.ReplyCancel

  • MarkSeptember 5, 2011 - 9:38 pm

    This is a great idea. When our son was teething he really enjoyed frozen pureed cantaloupe or mango. I wish I had thought of the banana. Still, I definitely try this. It’ll be a good treat on a hot day.ReplyCancel

  • Hester aka The Chef DocSeptember 5, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    Great idea, Brian! It always breaks my heart to hear babies crying out in pain while they are teething.ReplyCancel

  • chinmayie @ love food eatSeptember 5, 2011 - 10:28 pm

    I have a 2 year old daughter and I must tell you you have chosen the right recipe!! Ice Cream always wins!! Heading over to Nicole’s for the recipe right now!ReplyCancel

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and DessertsSeptember 5, 2011 - 10:29 pm

    Love seeing babies try there firsts! Everything is so new and amazing in their world. I have never tried banana ice cream – might have to remedy that soon!ReplyCancel

  • ValeriaSeptember 6, 2011 - 3:48 am

    Ha, I saw it the first time on the kitch and loved the idea! I tried it and loved even more! Isn’t it addictive? !ReplyCancel

  • marlaSeptember 6, 2011 - 7:59 am

    I will go check out your friends blog. This banana ice cream is a great treat. We expose out kids to all real foods…way off the standard kids menu ;)ReplyCancel

  • KristenSeptember 6, 2011 - 5:11 pm

    Beautiful pictures and of course I love the kid friendly fare… my kiddos would go ape for banana ice cream ;)ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisSeptember 6, 2011 - 7:14 pm

    one of my favorite memories of growing up in NJ after leaving Texas was making friends with a family that made the most incredible banana ice cream…sigh, it was a wonderful thing.
    I agree on the importance of exposing children to different flavors, you can see at school how ready some girls are to experiment with new tastes and how some stick to the same couple foods every day…how sad
    I’m sure your recipe for banana ice cream even without the dairy would be a hit with any age group.
    I’m Off to see the recipe now!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaSeptember 6, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    Such a neat post and links… you are going to keep me busy for the next half hour! :)ReplyCancel

  • Cookin' CanuckSeptember 6, 2011 - 11:46 pm

    This is such a thoughtful recipe for little ones. What lucky little nieces you have.ReplyCancel

  • JulieDSeptember 7, 2011 - 8:09 am

    I love this, Brian! I love pretty much banana everything. I love your photography, btw. :)ReplyCancel

  • KitaSeptember 7, 2011 - 8:23 am

    Banana ice cream? Why don’t I have uncles like you! I would love some of that!! This sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • ElianaSeptember 7, 2011 - 8:35 am

    You beat me to the punch Brian! I have some bananas right not that are ripening on my counter that I was going to use to make the very same thing. This ice cream is so delicious and creamy and EASY. Once it’s done I like to mix in mini chocolate chips and peanuts to make it extra delicious.ReplyCancel

  • VijithaSeptember 7, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    Lucky nieces!!! Love banana in anything. Hopping over to her site.ReplyCancel

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.September 7, 2011 - 5:32 pm

    yum! I love banana anything as well!ReplyCancel

  • Sneh | Cook RepublicSeptember 7, 2011 - 10:38 pm

    Aww that is so sweet Brian. Hope the poor dear got some gum relief :-) Looks great! Only this month the banana prices have started dropping from $14/kilo to about $8-10/kilo in Sydney … stashing all banana recipe to make when they become mucho reasonable!ReplyCancel

  • The Dinner Belle for KimberlyBelle.comSeptember 7, 2011 - 11:30 pm

    I’m sure your younger niece loved this delicious and guilty-free concoction! Kudos to Nicole ;) Now I have a craving for banana ice cream…and your photography is partly to blame but it’s absolutely beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Anneli FaiersSeptember 8, 2011 - 7:20 am

    So simple!! I LOVE it. My 2 little ones love bananas and I can knock this up anytime without any effort. Recipes like this are a godsend to all Mothers out there!! I agree with everyone on here who says your photos are brilliant by the way.ReplyCancel

  • RJ FlamingoSeptember 13, 2011 - 8:52 am

    OMG. That is how I spent all of last summer – making variations on this banana “ice cream”. It’s such a fun and healthy alternative to the fat and sugar in regular frozen treats. Not that I would pass one of those up, either, dontchaknow.ReplyCancel

  • normaNovember 15, 2011 - 5:38 am

    Yum Yum!ReplyCancel