Silent Sunday: Northern California

By now I’m sure many of you are aware that Eric and I took a week long trip to Northern California.  And, as promised, I’m sharing pictures from our journey… sans photos from our meal at The French Laundry.  Instead of talking about each place (we did a lot of boppin’ around), I’m just going to put little labels throughout the post to explain where the photos were taken.  We start off in Carmel-by-the-Sea:

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GeorgieJune 19, 2011 - 12:13 am

Stunning photography as always! I hope the two of you had as much fun as looking through your photos are!

Kim - Liv LifeJune 19, 2011 - 12:22 am

I could sit and look at your photos all night! First, Jordan is a doll. What a sweet little one!
Loved your photos of the coast… I’ve been to all of them and you brought back so many memories. I’m originally from just north of SF and haven’t been back in years. Spent a good amount of time in Yountville in the years past. LOVE the photo of the Bouchon box… should be in a magazine!!
Thanks for sharing so much, I truly enjoyed it all!

AnnapetJune 19, 2011 - 12:22 am

Thanks for sharing this. So fortunate to enjoy Northern California every day. I noticed the loquat fruits. Did you get to try?

Nelly RodriguezJune 19, 2011 - 12:33 am

Gorgeous photos as always! Your trip looks amazing and I’m so happy you had so much fun! Love how the wedding was catered family style; gorgeous shots of the cherries also. Sad to hear no more Silent Sundays for a while (you KNOW this is how I mark my weeks) but I know it’s what’s gotta be done! Will look forward to your recipes during the week! Thanks for sharing!

Kate@DiethoodJune 19, 2011 - 12:48 am

If I were California, I’d hire you to do our State’s brochure!! :) The photos are ammmazing! My favorite?! JORDAN! GORGEOUS!
Looks like you had a fantastic time.

EthanJune 19, 2011 - 12:53 am

In honor of this post, I feel I need to find a picture that says “amazing” on it! Looks like a great time was had!

SweetsugarBelleJune 19, 2011 - 1:50 am

I have been eagerly awaiting this post. Hubby and I both were ooohing!

Angie's RecipesJune 19, 2011 - 4:19 am

Brian, your photos are making me drool terribly! O both soups look so GOOD!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread BagelsJune 19, 2011 - 6:30 am

Gorgeous photos once again! It looks like you both had such an amazing time in California. :)

Lauren @ Healthy Food For LivingJune 19, 2011 - 7:03 am

Well, I’m downright envious! The food looks delectable, and the scenery breathtaking. Northern California is on the top of my list of places within the continental US to visit – namely Yosemite. I’m tagging along with my husband on his business trip to L.A. in a few weeks, but wish that I could stop by some of the places you posted about!

MaggieJune 19, 2011 - 7:08 am

Just perfect. Thanks for sharing!

MichelleJune 19, 2011 - 8:04 am

Your photos looks beautiful and it looks like you had a wonderful time in Cali!

Mardi@eatlivetravelwriteJune 19, 2011 - 8:37 am

Wow – *quite* the Silent Sunday post. Lovely pictures – I felt like I was there. And, of course, this brought back wonderful memories of our California road trip last summer! Happy Sunday!

merry jenniferJune 19, 2011 - 8:59 am

Beautiful photos from California, Brian. So many of them – the ones from Yountville – reminded me of our trip there last October. I love the memories these represent.

Barbara | Creative CulinaryJune 19, 2011 - 10:54 am

So much beauty Brian and thank you for capturing it so eloquently and sharing it with us. Everything looks gorgeous but the standout for me was your precious niece…what a true doll she is!

Sanjeeta kkJune 19, 2011 - 11:02 am

Wow..what should I not mention here..the sea side, corn, fresh berries, fruits, farms, food…you are one lucky man, Eric :) Wish I too can visit this wonderland some day..

MikeVFMKJune 19, 2011 - 11:59 am

I’ve always wanted to tour around California and now I feel like I have. It actually makes me want to do that more now. Beautiful pictures, beautiful niece. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime, and all within your country’s borders. Love! One of my favourite Silent Sunday’s!

P.S. Happy Father’s Day to your dad.

MonetJune 19, 2011 - 1:03 pm

Brian…you just burst forth with life. I get so moved whenever I visit your blog. I love seeing the pictures of your love, your friends, your family, the food you so lovingly prepare or buy to eat. I think we all need to slow down more and savor the moments you so effortlessly capture. I’m such a fan of you and your work, and I don’t say it nearly enough. Hugs from Austin!

Maris (In Good Taste)June 19, 2011 - 5:09 pm

Absolutely gorgeous photos of an amazing trip!

Chad D.June 19, 2011 - 5:29 pm

Amazing photography! Thank you for sharing all of this. Looks like it was a GREAT time!

Karriann GrafJune 19, 2011 - 5:44 pm

You capture everything so well! Looks like you had a great time on your trip, thanks for sharing!

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomJune 19, 2011 - 8:48 pm

If you’ve got to take a break from Silent Sunday posts, this was a super way to leave us wanting more. It was like waiting to unwrap a beautiful gift as the photos loaded on the page.

VanessaJune 19, 2011 - 10:32 pm

Oh my gosh. Great photos! All of that food looks delicious! Those chocolate bites from Bouchon look lethal!!

Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveJune 19, 2011 - 10:53 pm

Such breathtaking photos! …and love Fat Tire. :)

chinmayie @ love food eatJune 20, 2011 - 5:39 am

Stunning photos! All those fruits and veggies are making me drooool!!
beautiful beautiful post :)

Lauren at Keep It SweetJune 20, 2011 - 6:18 am

Your photos are all amazing and your niece is adorable! I love your silent sunday posts but like your recipe posts, too:-)

AshJune 20, 2011 - 6:57 am

Awesome awesome post!! The photo’s are GORGEOUS!! What a great trip!

Yasmeen @ wandering spiceJune 20, 2011 - 7:14 am

Absolutely beautiful light in those photos. So tranquil. Looks like a lovely time!

TrishJune 20, 2011 - 7:27 am

You *made* my Summer! :) It’s a chilly, rainy day here in Ireland today and this Los Gatos, California native is swooning at your wonderful photos! A fabulous feast for the eyes! It looks as though you had a thoroughly enjoyable time – thank you for sharing your beautiful trip.

serena @bigapplenoshJune 21, 2011 - 12:47 am

Your Silent Sunday posts are always so breathtaking!

JoanneJune 21, 2011 - 6:52 am

With this I feel like I got to live through my trip to Northern CA again! Albeit with more beautiful scenery and more delicious food. It looks like a fabulous trip, Brian!

ElizabethJune 21, 2011 - 7:19 am

Oh my gosh Brian, absolutely stunning. The tourism board of Northern CA should be paying you ;) Even though I’ve been to the NY Bouchon, the CA location looks infinitely more charming. I am absolutely envious of all the pastries throughout the entire trip. Gorgeous post!

SMITH BITESJune 21, 2011 - 8:47 am

love it Brian – takes me back to our own California vacation last year . . . and that has been one of our favorite vacations ever!!

Andrew FrishmanJune 22, 2011 - 11:34 am

Mnnn. . . I loves me some California, especially when it’s Northern.

Al igual que dios, Brian está en silencio el domingo, pero que descanse alguna vez?

Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceJune 22, 2011 - 12:45 pm

What a wonderful trip. I’ve lived in Southern California for almost 7 years now and I have yet to go to most of the spots shown above. I am thinking about doing a road trip this Fall from San Diego to Seattle.

Thanks for sharing!

The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.comSeptember 19, 2011 - 12:28 pm

When you were trying to enjoy your baked delectables at Bouchon, were you attacked by the birds? As we were munching on a pretzel brioche, a bird landed right on my friend’s leg as another tried to dive bomb my brioche. Don’t you worry, I would wrestle that bird before I let him have my brioche!

The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com

{Recipe: Blueberry Pancakes}

There’s no denying the fact that I’ve missed all of you.  This past week was the first time in over a year that I didn’t write a post (thanks again to all of the wonderful bloggers who wrote beautiful guest posts for the site), and it took me a couple of days to get used to the idea that I wouldn’t always have access to Twitter or Facebook or WordPress (where I create all of these entries).  I must admit that I didn’t stay away the whole trip (thanks iPhone!), but there were plenty of days where there were long stretches without internet or cell phone service.  And, I have to say, I quite enjoyed that time.

But now we’re back, having done our job of eating our way through Northern California.  I’ll put up a post later with pictures from our trip, but I do want to prepare those of you who are looking forward to a gallery of shots from our dinner at The French Laundry.  Not only did I not take any photos during our meal, but I didn’t even bring my camera with me.  And I’m so glad I didn’t. My time with my husband, and the incredibly memorable meal that we shared together, can’t be captured in a picture.  No photograph could ever do it justice.

Coming back from vacation can be a bit jarring.  I particularly miss the long, leisurely breakfasts Eric and I would have together, gorging on baked goods and sipping coffee.  But just because we’re back to reality doesn’t mean we can’t find time for such simple pleasures as a relaxing weekend morning breakfast.  And there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a stack of plump blueberry pancakes.

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YuriJune 15, 2011 - 12:10 am

I love seeing pancakes but not a fan myself either :) bf adores them and I’m tempted to surprise them with this recipe since he loves blueberries too and these days they are available at my fav supermarket. So glad to hear you’re on Peko Peko too, I am waiting for my copy to arrive :)

ElJune 15, 2011 - 12:12 am

I’m glad to hear you had a good time. Sounds like a wise decision to just sit back and enjoy your meal at French Laundry. I must say, your welcome home blueberry pancakes look fantastic. I would love some right now.

Nelly RodriguezJune 15, 2011 - 12:13 am

We definitely missed you too, but the guest bloggers were amazing! So happy you both had a great time in CA; no French Laundry pictures mean you’ll have an even better time remembering it with each other! Some meals just shouldn’t be bothered with a flash…Now these pancakes look awesome! I miss fresh, local blueberries (not the sad berries we get here all the way from god knows were) but I will live vicariously through you! Glad to have you back! (#confession: I don’t use maple syrup on pancakes, but strawberry jam. Always.)

kankanaJune 15, 2011 - 12:33 am

isn’t CA beautiful ? I love it! :) These pancakes are looking delicious and I would love them for my breakfast specially over the weekend!!

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }June 15, 2011 - 12:52 am

Glad you had a nice time in Northern California. It is where I call home and I am happy that you had a great time here. So much to see and enjoy in a short period of time. Great call on no camera at FL. It is a once in a lifetime experience that just simply needs to be enjoyed. Those pancakes looks just breath taking and perfect for a relaxing Sunday or Saturday morning breakfast. Look forward to your vacation photos. :-)

Julia@DimpleArtsJune 15, 2011 - 1:03 am

These sound delicious! There is a little bit of drool here:)

sweetsugarbelleJune 15, 2011 - 1:24 am

I’m glad you are back. We LOVE blueberry pancakes! LOVE them. Syrup is one of the few sweet things I don’t care for…I’d eat these plain. I love the photo of you stirring the berries into the batter!

As for the French Laundry…you lucky lucky guys! LUCKY. I have been kind of obsessed with the place ever since I saw Tony Bordain {my secret crush, LOL} eat there with with his buddies. They made him cigarette creme, LOL…What a wonderful vacay. That is one of the BEST places on earth. Dad drove up once and brocght back the most amazing cherries…okay I’m rambling. WOW!

Baker StreetJune 15, 2011 - 6:04 am

i loveeee blueberries and completely agree with you on the butter theory.

You had two very lovely guest posts while you were away Bri. I really enjoyed them.

Glad to hear you had a fabulous time at the french laundry. i look forward to your post.

Lauren at Keep It SweetJune 15, 2011 - 6:07 am

We don’t have leisurely breakfasts often enough, but these pancakes are a good inspiration to do it more often. They look delicious and as always your photos are amazing!

Girls' Guide to Guns and ButterJune 15, 2011 - 7:09 am

Gorgeous pancakes – they look fluffy and tender and, gosh, I love that over-sized, shaggy look. I’ve also never thought of adding vanilla to pancake-type-things, and I think it’s a splendid idea. Love the buttermilk part, too – I make a yogurt-based variety, they come out tender and light.

Girls' Guide to Guns and ButterJune 15, 2011 - 7:14 am

I was going to add that my favorite way to eat pancakes, other than with maple syrup, (and this won’t work with the fruit kind) is fish – lox (which is a bit of a luxury) but even anchovies, and cream-cheese or sour cream. Red caviar, which is another thing I can’t easily get my hands on in my neck of the woods, is the ultimate delight when it comes to pancakes.

Caroline @ chocolate and carrotsJune 15, 2011 - 7:20 am

I’m so glad you had a great get-away. :-) Those blueberry pancakes look incredible and bursting with flavor. Yum!

Ken⏐hungry rabbitJune 15, 2011 - 7:23 am

That’s a stack of Blueberry Pancakes that can relax anyone on a given Sunday.

JamieJune 15, 2011 - 7:40 am

I don’t make pancakes anymore since the huge pancake fan was my son Simon who has been in the US for over a year. Husband does make french crêpes but my oh my how fattening since I just slather them with jelly and eat one after the next in fast succession. And sadly it is very hard to find blueberries here but oh now you have me craving not only pancakes but blueberry pancakes as well! Maybe crêpes with blueberry jam? And where’s the whipped cream, Brian? xo

A Plum By Any Other NameJune 15, 2011 - 7:46 am

Those are some of the best looking pancakes I’ve seen. In contrast, I’m quite a fan, but still haven’t found the *perfect* recipe. To the cape I go …

Chef DennisJune 15, 2011 - 8:15 am

HI Brian

glad to hear you had such a wonderful time on vacation, Lisa and I are so overdo, it’s been years since we have been able to travel. Blueberry pancakes are one of absolute favorite breakfast meals, with those big plump and juicy berries!! But I have to admit I love butter and maple syrup, although I never pour the syrup on the pancakes, it’s always along side just to dip them in..

Have a wonderful week my friend!
Dennis

MaggieJune 15, 2011 - 8:40 am

Blueberry pancakes are one of my favorite foods. I have amazing memories of plopping down in the backyard of my grandparents’s house in Maine, which is basically a large blueberry patch, picking and eating those small, sweet Maine blueberries until I had a full cup and then bring them home for pancakes. Not much beats a warm, fluffy blueberry pancake smothered in butter with no more than a dollop of maple syrup!

AshJune 15, 2011 - 9:28 am

This is the best kind of food!! Breakfast food has got to be one of my favorite things!!

TiffanyJune 15, 2011 - 9:49 am

The perfect breakfast! (or lunch, dinner, or snack!)

MikeVFMKJune 15, 2011 - 10:17 am

After a road trip like yours, nothing can ease you back into the weekend better than a stack of pancakes like these. Look amazing! And blueberries are always a wise choice! Glad to have you back!

BukycooksJune 15, 2011 - 12:44 pm

Can’t wait to hear more about your trip . It is nice to take a real break from everything periodically and just enjoy your days. Glad you had such a great time in CA. :)

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.June 15, 2011 - 1:06 pm

omg fabulous!

KristenJune 15, 2011 - 1:07 pm

Your vacation sounds like it was magnificent. So happy you were able to enjoy yourselves!

MattieJune 15, 2011 - 1:16 pm

Hi!
These look amazing. But I’m a little confused by the directions. They don’t seem to match the ingredients list. Am I missing something?

Oh, these look scrumptious!!! Wish it was breakfast time, right now!

Angie's RecipesJune 15, 2011 - 3:38 pm

I want to jump into your blog and live there…those pancakes look as scrumptious as your photography!

Karriann GrafJune 15, 2011 - 4:23 pm

You’ve got me craving blueberries now, will need to go to the store and get some ASAP! Gorgeous photography Brian. Happy Cooking!

Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJune 15, 2011 - 5:04 pm

Blueberry pancakes are my favorite! I could eat a large stack of these for dinner tonight! :)

Maris(In Good Taste)June 15, 2011 - 5:38 pm

I am in the I can’t get enough blueberries stage so this is a perfect recipe for me!

WenderlyJune 15, 2011 - 5:47 pm

Welcome home! I just happen to have a bunch of blueberries looking for a home at the moment. I do believe I’ve found the perfect fit! Can’t wait to try these!

RJ FlamingoJune 15, 2011 - 7:08 pm

Good for you, Bri! So happy to hear you had such a great trip. :-) And these pancakes are gorgeous!

Rachel @ Baked by RachelJune 15, 2011 - 7:23 pm

Love the random blueberries on the plate. Hubs would love this recipe! He’s a big pancake and blueberry fan so why not combine?! :)

serena @bigapplenoshJune 15, 2011 - 7:54 pm

These look mouthwatering!

EthanJune 16, 2011 - 12:36 am

welcome back! these pancakes feel like a Sunday post, you’re confusing me;)

katJune 16, 2011 - 12:40 pm

Blueberries pancakes with a big slab of butter are one of my favorite things

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomJune 16, 2011 - 4:39 pm

This pancake recipe is so similar to the buttermilk one that I make but I’ve never added cornmeal. It’s a great idea and must tast great with the berries. I’m so glad you’re back and had a fabulous trip. I’ll get over not seeing any photos of your dinner at The French Laundry just knowing it was a special meal. Happy birthday to Eric today!

saraJune 16, 2011 - 7:19 pm

Here I am, thinking I love little mini silver dollar pancakes, but those huge ones are so neat lookin’!

SuesJune 16, 2011 - 8:05 pm

OK, now I’m really, really craving blueberry pancakes!! :) Beautiful!

SippitysupJune 17, 2011 - 2:53 am

After a week in Norway eating (relish) smoked fish breakfasts. this Cape Cod special looks great to me about now. GREG

Baking SerendipityJune 17, 2011 - 1:24 pm

These look like a perfect way to transition from vacation back into reality. Looking forward to your recap of Northern California. It’s a place I’d love to visit someday soon :)

EstherJune 18, 2011 - 2:57 am

I’ve just stumbled across your blog- and I’m hooked already!

JoanneJune 18, 2011 - 12:40 pm

Oh Brian, I’m so glad you enjoyed your time away, although I have to concede that i missed you every second that you were gone!

I’ve really been in a pancake mood lately, which is weird for me. I’m loving blueberry season lately (just made a blueb pie for father’s day!) and the idea of them in pancakes is giving me happy chills!

Jean (Lemons and Anchovies)June 18, 2011 - 4:28 pm

I think I make more pancakes than I consume. My husband wins the medal for the latter. I also hesitate to use so much syrup on something already delicious. Blueberry pancakes are my favorite to make and I wouldn’t need much convincing to eat more than a few of these. :-)

wizzythestickJune 18, 2011 - 5:45 pm

:-) I understand why you didn’t take your camera with you to the restaurant. Sometimes it’s good to put the camera away and enjoy the company of loved ones .

Kate (Katefrom Scratch)June 18, 2011 - 9:05 pm

Oh how marvelous. The french Laundry…wow! I’m speechless..that doesn’t happen often. Glad you enjoyed a wonderful vacation and got a chance to wind down.

Kulsum at JourneyKitchenJune 19, 2011 - 1:01 pm

THose pancakes look mighty good! I wish blueberries didn’t cost an arm and leg here :-( and I could buy them as often. And yes some time off the internet is always good :)

MeetaJune 20, 2011 - 4:19 am

We’ve definitely missed having you around Brian. We love our pancakes in all flavors! Looking forward to catching up with you!

Andrew FrishmanJune 22, 2011 - 11:46 am

Mnnn!. . . I LOVES me some pancakes, especially when they are blueberryful.

La galaxia, cuando se ve hacia el centro desde el borde exterior, se parece a una semilla de amapola panqueque, pero tal vez los arándanos podría ser galaxias en un universo. . .

ElianaJune 23, 2011 - 10:36 am

I’m not sure how I missed these but it’s safe to say I will be making them this weekend. These pancakes look incredible Brian.

Platanos Mangoes and MeJune 24, 2011 - 11:47 am

Don’t you just love when the berries start to po and bleed all over the batter…..so good!

AziraAugust 24, 2011 - 4:27 pm

Has anyone replaced the sugar with honey? I would love to make this pancakes but hoping that it will come out successful with honey instead. Thanks

Pierre BoFebruary 21, 2014 - 6:35 pm

The first photo on the very top of the article is just mindblowing. Its colourful and contrasty but yet not looking unnatural! Love it

{Recipe: Balsamic, Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza}

In a little over a month, I will be attending what will probably be my one and only food blogger conference this year.  In actuality, the Big Summer Potluck is less of a conference and more of a gathering of very enthusiastic foodies.  I didn’t attend last year, but from what I gather from everyone’s accounts of the event, it was a fantastic experience; filled with lots of food, wonderful seminars and loads of laughter.  Does it get much better than that?

Here’s the thing, though:  I hadn’t planned on attending this year.  But as I watched the tickets for the event sell rather rapidly, I just had to jump on the opportunity.  One of my big incentives for going (not that I needed much of a push), was the appearance of Debra from Smith Bites on the list.  We’ve been Twitter buddies for a while, but have expanded that relationship to e-mail chats about a variety of food blogger-related topics. She was also one of the people who was influential in getting me to redesign my site (and take the plunge and switch to WordPress)… and I have to thank her for that.

Debra is a kind soul, someone who is always willing to lend a friend a helping hand.  But not only that, she has a wonderful sense of humor and is never disturbed by my somewhat childish antics.  And now I’ll leave you in Debra’s hands… who was generous to write this guest post while I finish my travels.

In my community of blogging friends, I’m always amazed at how much these people are like family.  We share each other’s ups and downs, troubles and triumphs, and we always seem to be there for each other with a helpful word of advice or just to listen.  Oh…and we can always count on a good laugh!  Brian is one of these people that I truly love and laugh with.  His blog, photography and tweets are the epitome of love, warmth, humor and doggonit people like him!

So when he asked me to guest post, it was a no-brainer.  Of course!!  So, for Brian I have pulled out this oh-so-easy but delicious Balsamic, Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

The Professor and I love to grill pizzas on our Big Green Egg.  With the weather finally warming up, recipes like this become a staple for the season.  Like all good things Italian (and inspired by a Mario Batali recipe, no less), the ingredients are simple.  And like all good Italian pizza, less topping is more.  By sparsely layering the ingredients, each flavor in each bite has a chance to shine;  in one moment you taste a single ingredient, and in the next bite it’s a perfect symphony of all the flavors.  Be still my heart.

While I highly recommend the little cipollini onions for this recipe, you could definitely substitute a sweet onion you have on hand with similar results.  For a crispy yet tender crust, it is a good suggestion to par bake the crust before adding the ingredients.  Also, if the bottom of the crust gets done first, just put the pizza under the broiler to achieve the golden brown goodness pictured here.

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foodwanderingsJune 12, 2011 - 12:09 am

Aww two of my fave people! Debra, amazing job. This pizza is to die for and I am sure to bookmark this recipe to make it this summer, soon!! Un fact would love a slice at right about now, few minutes past midnight.

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }June 12, 2011 - 12:52 am

I believe Brian has left his blog in very good and capable hands. This pizza looks absolutely divine – a must try for sure. Just wish I had a slice right now and a wonderful glass of cabernet. :-)

Angie's RecipesJune 12, 2011 - 1:02 am

Balsamic onion, goat cheese, thin crust….that’s my dream pizza!

RosaJune 12, 2011 - 5:03 am

That pizza is amazing! I really like the wonderful flavor combination and the goregous crust.

Cheers,

Rosa

Lauren at Keep It SweetJune 12, 2011 - 6:56 am

Onions and goat cheese make such a wonderful combo and this pizza sounds amazing! Great guest post:-)

bunkycooksJune 12, 2011 - 6:59 am

I’m all for grilling pizzas outdoors in the summer heat! Leave it to Mario Batali to come up with a simple, but delightful flavor combination.

Kathy MercureJune 12, 2011 - 7:56 am

Mmmm… looks delish! I wonder if this will work on the barbecue? Don’t see why not! Thanks for posting, can’t wait to try it.

[...] so I immediately said OF COURSE!  For Brian I have pulled out this oh-so-easy but delicious Balsamic, Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza . . . it makes my mouth water just thinking about it . . . and, it’s a Mario Batali recipe . [...]

Maris (In Good Taste)June 12, 2011 - 8:18 am

My all time favorite cheese is goat cheese. Now combined with onion on a pizza and we have a winner!

Nancy @SensitivePantryJune 12, 2011 - 8:38 am

Mmmm. This one’s a keeper. I love to grill pizza. Now that I do it that way it’s kind of ruined me for any other type of pizza. Looking forward to seeing you both at BSP this summer!

JoanneJune 12, 2011 - 9:07 am

Brian. You? Childish antics? Really? I wonder what that says about the maturity of my antics… :P

This is an awesome guest post and a crazy delicious pizza! Those onions look so sweet caramelly fantastic.

ChrisJune 12, 2011 - 10:47 am

You had me at balsamic and goat cheese. First, Debra is the cutest gal ever, with her positively infectious smile and laugh! I am so bummed I missed out on the BSP tickets…would be so fun to see everyone.

Love this tart…and on the BGE! One day I will get a Big Green Egg…its headquarters are a hop skip and a jump away from me here in Atlanta.

:)

sippitysupJune 12, 2011 - 11:08 am

Another Big Green Egg fan! GREG

LizJune 12, 2011 - 12:10 pm

Mmmmmm….such simple yet fabulous pizza toppings. The thought of this yummy pizza has my mouth watering~

Barbara | Creative CulinaryJune 12, 2011 - 6:17 pm

No Big Green Egg but I put the pizza on the ‘cue’ and we love it. The onions are adorable too and I must try that; I’ve used caramelized onions a lot but now want these. Said it at Deb’s and will repeat it here. I haven’t touched a pizza with red sauce or sausages for quite some time; the olive oil, cheese and simple ingredients are so much more appealing to me. Yummalicious!

MikeVFMKJune 12, 2011 - 6:28 pm

Another great guest post! And this is the type of pizza that makes me think of sitting outside a quaint restaurant in Italy with a glass of vino and losing track of time. Mouth watering!

These onions are awesome!! What a great idea for pizza. I think I would just eat those as a side dish they look so good!

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenJune 12, 2011 - 8:35 pm

Happy to see Deb here Brian! Two of my favorite bloggers in the same place, doesn’t get much better than that.

LirenJune 12, 2011 - 9:06 pm

This is lovely, with my favorite toppings! I agree about not overloading the pizza and allowing each one to shine! And goodness, I have Big Green Egg envy right now!

MonetJune 12, 2011 - 9:40 pm

Two of my favorite people in one place…sharing one incredible recipe. I love the sound of this pizza (anything with goat cheese makes me smile) Thank you for sharing another inspired recipe. I hope you both have a wonderful start to your week. Hugs and love from Austin!

BarbaraJune 13, 2011 - 12:43 pm

Wonderful pizza recipe….exactly what I’d expect from Debra! She’s the best.

Nelly RodriguezJune 13, 2011 - 9:00 pm

Definitely yummy and unique toppings, love it!

KristenJune 13, 2011 - 11:26 pm

Bummed that I ended up not going to BSPL this summer now. Just can’t swing it, but I totally wish I could!
Deb – this pizza? Ah-maz-ing!

Lisa @ Tarte du JourJune 14, 2011 - 9:05 am

Great flavor combination! I just learned how to make goat cheese so I’m always looking for goat cheese recipes. Very nice post indeed!

sweetsugarbelleJune 14, 2011 - 4:16 pm

Oh this looks heavenly! So nice to meet you, Debra!

rebeccaJune 14, 2011 - 11:25 pm

wow what a fab pizza great guest post

Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJune 15, 2011 - 11:31 am

This pizza looks lovely… Makes me want to fire up the grill for dinner!!

Looking forward to seeing both you and Debra at BSP! :)

Jean @ Lemons and AnchoviesJune 15, 2011 - 2:21 pm

Oh, my! This pizza looks wonderful and prepared with the BGE! I’ve heard so much about its many uses and all the food that comes from it looks so good. This is no exception.

TiffanyJune 16, 2011 - 9:07 am

I can eat pizza every day! Especially pizza with goat cheese!

Homemade PizzaJune 19, 2011 - 12:28 pm

[...] Balsamic vinegar, onion and goat’s cheese [...]

MeetaJune 20, 2011 - 4:17 am

Simply awesome. I am loving the flavors of this pizza and what a lovely post this is!

Andrew FrishmanJune 22, 2011 - 12:10 pm

Mnnn . . . I LOVES me some pizza, especially when it ain’t got no sauce!

Ya estoy deseando que este verano en Cape Cod y la oportunidad de construir pizza blanca con tocino y las almejas (que han sido recién extraído de la bahía)

Platanos Mangoes and MeJune 24, 2011 - 10:42 am

I am new here and I just love your blog. Have fun and loved this post.

[...] The cauliflower crust makes a very neutral base, so I recommend robust toppings like chicken tikka masala topping or goat cheese crumbles with balsamic vinegar glaze.  [...]

{Recipe: Pistachio Cherry Icebox Cookies}

Before sharing this wonderful (and WAY too flattering) guest post from Merry-Jennifer at The Merry Gourmet, I just wanted to let you all know that MJ is a terribly gifted woman… and, apparently, incredibly modest.  As you can see below (and from her blog posts), she’s a talented writer and photographer.  And she knows a good recipe when she sees one.

When Brian asked me if I would consider writing a guest post for this beautiful blog of his, I hesitated for a split second. Would I be able to come up with a recipe worthy of posting on his blog? Will my photography be an embarrassment to him? Will Brian’s readers abandon him like fleas jumping off a dying dog when they realize there is an impostor in his place?

Self-doubt is my sidekick in life, you see. She’s been with me for as long as I can remember. She grabs my attention, forces me to listen to her nagging rants, and gets me all freaked out, Finally, after she’s had her say, I can then move on with the task at hand. So, let’s move on, shall we?

Brian’s recipes always catch my attention. The recipes he shares are always approachable, yet there is an elegance to them, and his food photography is part of what creates that feeling. And, while I can’t quite do what he does with photography, our style of cooking and baking is very similar. I’m positive we’d get along famously at a dinner party.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is one that I love, and one that I’m almost certain Brian will love as well – Pistachio Cherry Icebox Cookies. I’ve been a longtime fan of icebox cookies for their endless possibilities of flavors, the use of straightforward ingredients, and for their ease of preparation. Every year I bake several batches of these fruitcake icebox cookies, and I’m always asked to bake more when they’re gone. These Pistachio Cherry Icebox Cookies are a little more refined, more grown up. Their flavor is more sophisticated and complex, with a fine balance of sweet and salty.

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Nelly RodriguezJune 8, 2011 - 12:45 am

You both are so talented and gracious! Loved the intro by Merry Jennifer, SO funny! I can agree with you can never have too many cookie logs in the freezer. Who knows when an emergency hits!? Thanks for sharing and lovely guest post!

Baker StreetJune 8, 2011 - 1:09 am

Lovely pictures and even more lovely are those cookies! :)

sweetsugarbelleJune 8, 2011 - 6:36 am

I know that girl self doubt. But really you should have NONE. This is a beautiful cookie filled with wondeful ingredients. Its straightfoward enough that I can visualize how they taste. Wonderful post, I’m hoping to make these Saturday. Nice to meet you, Jennifer. Off to check put the fruitcake version :-)

blackbookkitchendiariesJune 8, 2011 - 6:58 am

this looks amazing:) thank you for sharing this with us.

amelia from z tasty lifeJune 8, 2011 - 7:25 am

I agree: MJ is way too modest: she writes, photographs adn cooks wonderfully, as these vintage beauties testify: just lovely!

LizJune 8, 2011 - 7:47 am

I think I’ll eat anything with a dried cherry in it, and these cookies would be at the top of the list! So beautiful with the green and red specks…and you shouldn’t have worried about your photography…it’s outstanding!

CarolynJune 8, 2011 - 7:58 am

No need for self-doubt! The cookies look amazing, sound delicious and the pics are wonderful!

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.June 8, 2011 - 8:16 am

very fun!

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomJune 8, 2011 - 8:54 am

After seeing these cookies I think I’m having a cookie emergency right now! Pastachio and dried cherries sound so good together, reminds me of great granola flavors.

Brian, hope you’re having fun on your trip but hurry home so we can see the beautiful vacation photos and read about the fabulous meals you’re eating.

[...] I have cookies to share, though, and cookies always brighten up the week. I’m guest posting over at A Thought for Food today, and I’m so thankful that Brian asked me to join him there. He’s got a lovely blog, filled with his beautiful photography and approachable and elegant recipes. So, please, go take a look at his site, and find the recipe for these Pistachio Cherry Icebox Cookies there. [...]

Rachel @ Baked by RachelJune 8, 2011 - 10:05 am

That last picture is perfect! What a fun idea too :)

Chez UsJune 8, 2011 - 10:49 am

I have been thinking of making icebox cookies; something nice about knowing there are some frozen cookies waiting to be baked at any given moment. I love the combination of something green and something red in this recipe. Lovely!

Lisa {With Style and Grace}June 8, 2011 - 10:53 am

Beautiful!! This recipe sounds delicious, love the combination of pistachio & cherries! I agree with you, she’s very talented!

WenderlyJune 8, 2011 - 11:24 am

I happen to have a sidekick of self-doubt too Jennifer! But I’m here to tell you that your recipe is as beautiful as your photography and you my dear are one beautiful & talented lady!

MikeVFMKJune 8, 2011 - 12:15 pm

Love any recipe with pistachios or cherry, and this happens to work them in together. I’ll be making these cookies soon, maybe for our trip to the cottage this weekend. Lovely post and a great guest appearance for Brian!

katJune 8, 2011 - 3:37 pm

Oh my hubs would go nuts for these

merry jenniferJune 8, 2011 - 3:41 pm

You are so sweet!

merry jenniferJune 8, 2011 - 3:41 pm

thank you, carolyn!

merry jenniferJune 8, 2011 - 3:42 pm

Thanks for having me, Brian. And thank you to all the commenters for not ditching Brian because you found me here. ;)

JuanitaJune 8, 2011 - 4:37 pm

Pistachios and dried cherries together…what a lovely treat!

Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJune 8, 2011 - 5:02 pm

Yum! Love these cookies… Cherry and pistachio are just wonderful together.

You two are my new favorite blogging dream team… Love when two of my favorite blogs collide :)

The Yummy MummyJune 8, 2011 - 7:32 pm

Brian – Well, you couldn’t have chose a better person to guest post. Love it! A perfect compliment to your blog.

MJ – I get that you have self-doubt, but look at the big life you’ve created for yourself in spite of her. The little bitch hasn’t slowed you down one bit.

You are the most graceful person I know. The way you do everything is full of grace. Happy we are friends, even though – you know me – I will never actually bake a cookie, no matter how wonderful they are, or how cool you and Brian are. xo

DanaJune 8, 2011 - 7:38 pm

These sound fantastic! Clearly you are both too modest, because you are both super talented!

Kimberly (unrivaledkitchJune 8, 2011 - 8:34 pm

these are divine. the cherry and pistachio are just gorgeous. I love your photographs

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenJune 8, 2011 - 9:14 pm

“I firmly believe that one cannot have too many batches of cookie dough socked away in the freezer.” – I’m a firm believer in cookie preparedness too. Better safe than sorry I always say, lol. And by the way you did a fabulous job, stop beating up on yourself!

Great recipe – very worthy! Cookies look wonderful!

Chef DennisJune 9, 2011 - 6:52 am

What a great cookie Brian!! but you add pistachio’s to just about anything and I’m a happy boy!
Your images are truly amazing my friend, I need to come up to Boston and take some lessons from you!
Cheers
Dennis

Jean (Lemons and Anchovies)June 9, 2011 - 11:27 am

Oh, that pesky sidekick. She likes to hang out with me sometimes, too. You had nothing to worry about at all. Everything about this post is wonderful–your tone, the photography and of course, the recipe you selected. I love pistachios on cookies. The green flecks peeking out from the perfectly-baked cookies are beautiful. Nicely done!

birdie to beJune 9, 2011 - 1:46 pm

These look devine!

KimberleyJune 9, 2011 - 7:24 pm

Love pistachios in any capacity!

SMITH BITESJune 10, 2011 - 7:44 am

love you BOTH!!! and between you and me, MJ – that sidekick of yours gets around. i’m a big fan of icebox cookies for the same reasons you’ve listed – easy to put together and can be tucked away for a rainy day . . . or sunshine . . . or . . . breakfast . . . like now . . . uhm . . . heading to the kitchen . . . need to see if i have dried cherries and pistachios . . .

wizzythestickJune 10, 2011 - 7:17 pm

look at you going on and worrying about your pictures. They are fabulous. The cookies are fantastic. Love ‘em both.

merry jenniferJune 10, 2011 - 10:03 pm

I think I’m going to start calling her the little bitch. Love that. :)

Nicole @ itsfeedingtimeatthezooJune 10, 2011 - 10:11 pm

I think my favourite thing about icebox cookies is that they are still called icebox cookies and not refrigerator cookies.

Love you blog.
Cheers,
N

Erin @ A Nesting ExperienceJune 10, 2011 - 10:16 pm

These look super delicious! I love that you can make them ahead and store them in the freezer. Great recipe.

Andrew FrishmanJune 29, 2011 - 8:06 pm

Mnnnn. . . I LOVES me some of those, especially when they are like that.

¡Que sabroso, no?

{Recipe: Rhubarb & Vanilla Compote with Coconut and Syrup}

Eric and I are currently in California on a week-long trip that’s including stops in Big Sur (for a friend’s wedding), San Jose, to visit my aunt and uncle, Yountville, for our dinner at The French Laundry, and Davis to visit Eric’s brother and his family.

Over the next week, I have some wonderfully talented bloggers who were gracious enough to provide some posts.  Up first is Mike of Verses from My Kitchen.  What is immediately striking about his posts are how frank he is in his writing.  He beautifully articulates stories from his past and finds touching ways to bridge those moments with his deep passion for cooking and food.

It makes reading his blog a joy and I know that after you’ve read his beautiful contribution to A Thought For Food, you will want to rush over to his site.

When I started blogging there were a select few people that I knew of or had come across during my searches. Brian’s blog was one that I initially admired from afar until the first time I said hi via twitter. From there I was able to admire from up close and appreciate his talents in both writing and photography. He has a style that is uniquely his own and I’m always drawn back for both inspiration and the mere love of it all. He knows who he is and it shines through in his work.

To say I’m honoured that he would ask me to write a guest post would be an understatement. I was more than happy to oblige as it gave me the chance to express my appreciation with my words and pictures. Secretly, I was thrilled.

I know Brian is a vegetarian so I tried to come up with a recipe that was both delicious and also fit inside those boundaries that he keeps for himself. Once I came up with the recipe, the rest was easy. Thank you Brian!

This is my story.

When I was a young, freckle-faced boy, I started to witness the deterioration of my family unit. Things had gotten so bad that the mere thought of heading home from school was met with trepidation and fear. Inside our beautiful brick house in the picturesque community on that busy main street in Toronto was a secret ready to be unleashed.  Divorce.

Growing up, divorce wasn’t happening with the regularity seen today. Parents stayed together for the children, or because they were too afraid of the prospect of growing old alone. At the slightest hint of a broken marriage, people around town would begin to gossip.

The generation before my parents had made marriage a lifelong commitment.  But views on such things were changing and while the concept of divorce was not an easy one to grasp, deep down inside my mother and father knew what was best for them and the family.  And so it went. My parents were in the midst of the brand new normal.

The first few years after the split was difficult. All the routines of childhood were broken into smaller, newer routines. Time spent in one house was divided among two houses with schedules so difficult to make out I didn‘t know whether I was coming or going half the time. No matter where I was, I was really never present. And the name calling began between people once married, and now immediate enemies only connected by one sole thread. Me.

As a kid who grew up in Toronto amidst the rapidly expanding concrete jungle and urban sprawl, markets and greenery were at a minimum. I played on cement school yards predominantly hard and cracking. The green field seemed to shrink before my eyes as each passing grade came and went. The idea of home gardens and fresh produce was as foreign to me as another language. And space was at a premium.

When my mother met my step-dad, things suddenly changed. Quickly and without notice or fanfare. Once a one-family unit, I was now about to embark on a journey with three families. My mother’s, my dad’s and my step-dad’s. It wasn’t bad, just different. And change for a kid is the equivalent of the new world order. Change is unknown and the unknown is scary when you’re eight years old.

I remember the nerves I had when it was time to meet this new family: his parents and siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins around my age. We made the trip outside the city to a place I had previously only read about in children’s books or seen in lifetime movies of the week. Large green fields and sprawling properties. And hope. Fields and fields of hope.

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Kulsum at JourneyKitchenJune 5, 2011 - 2:03 am

Beautiful guest post! I see rhubarb all over blogsphere right now and so loving it. Thanks for introducing me to Mike’s blog!

Recipe For VanillaJune 5, 2011 - 4:32 am

[...] {Recipe: Rhubarb & Vanilla Compote with Coconut and Syrup} Eric and I are currently in California on a week-long trip that's including stops in Big Sur (for a friend's wedding), San Jose, to visit my aunt and uncle, Yountville, for our dinner at The French Laundry, and Davis to. [...]

bunkycooksJune 5, 2011 - 7:58 am

What a lovely guest post and so eloquently written. I am sure that Brian will love the dessert as will many of us.

WenderlyJune 5, 2011 - 9:09 am

Such a gorgeous and eloquent guest post Mike. The dessert is as much a feast for the eyes as I’m sure it is for the tum. Just lovely.

And Brian, safe travels! Hope you & Eric have a fabulous time love!

chinmayie@lovefoodeatJune 5, 2011 - 11:11 am

I am new here! Just wanted to tell you that it’s written so well! beautiful post and great photos!!

Dee Dee's DelightsJune 5, 2011 - 11:25 am

This sounds great! I stumbled and pinned this one!

Brooks at CakewalkerJune 5, 2011 - 12:15 pm

Greetings, Mike! Your compelling words and gorgeous photography is a feast for the eyes and the soul. It is a pleasure to meet you and I will be heading over to your place soon. Much obliged for the introduction Brian…have a safe journey and enjoy the golden state.

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomJune 5, 2011 - 1:58 pm

Brian, what fun destinations you & Eric have planned! Thanks for lining up guest bloggers for our enjoyment. Mike, your story is familiar to me, as I was a child of divorce in my teens and remember the nerves of being with a new family. Lovely recipe and remembrances.

ElizabethJune 5, 2011 - 2:47 pm

Thanks for introducing me/us to Mike. I’m intrigued by the combination of rhubarb and coconut. Hope you and Eric are having a fabulous time.

Kimmy @ Lighter and LocalJune 5, 2011 - 2:58 pm

As someone who already has nothing but love for Brian and Mike, I’m so glad to see both of you on one page. The rhubarb compote is beautiful and the sentiments attached to it even more so. Thank you both for sharing it with us!

My MIL would go crazy for this!

Maris (In Good Taste)June 5, 2011 - 5:03 pm

This is a lovely and very heartfelt guest post. I could relate to much of it. This dessert is certainly very beautiful and meaningful

TerraJune 5, 2011 - 5:07 pm

Love the flavor combination in this recipe, really beautiful! I love love rhubarb:-)
Take care,
Terra

Andrew FrishmanJune 5, 2011 - 5:29 pm

Mnnn. . . I LOVES me some rhubarb, it makes me go coconuts!

Es curioso cómo una planta con hojas venenosas, como el ruibarbo, también pueden ser tan sabrosos, nutritivos y declicious. . . ¿Cuál es la metáfora más grande que podamos ser capaces de aplicar?

Barbara | Creative CulinaryJune 5, 2011 - 6:07 pm

A beautiful dessert certainly but I most appreciate you sharing your story. I know that story and remember how I thought I must have been the ONLY kid in the whole wide world that was going through not just my father not being around but the visits and the weekends and the longing for what would never be again. I write most often about my times with my grandmother; about her house and her pies and the memories I leaned on then and what I prefer remembering now. I’m happy for you that you once again found that comfort and sense of security…and rhubarb!

JanineJune 5, 2011 - 6:27 pm

Wonderfully written guest post – it brought tears to my eyes as I was reading it, and it comes at an apt time when the farmers’ markets in my area are selling beautiful rhubarbs!

KimberleyJune 5, 2011 - 6:28 pm

Gorgeous! Brian, I hope you are having a superb time in California! And I absolutely need to make myself a rhubarb compote before they’re out of season.

Rosemary Carson-ReesJune 5, 2011 - 6:59 pm

love your rhubarb receipe Mike! and always touched by stories of your childhood – I am right along side you…. Love you! Mom

SMITH BITESJune 5, 2011 - 7:22 pm

happy, happy sigh . . . Mike, you’re a very lucky guy and Brian, you picked a great choice for a guest post – hugs to you both!!!

LizJune 5, 2011 - 8:47 pm

I’m a fan of both of your blogs…and how wonderful to pop in and find such a marvelous guest post. Mike, your writing evokes such strong imagery…loved the story of your first experience of rhubarb and family turmoil. So many of us can relate to all of it. Beautiful photos…I wish my crop was not depleted…I’ll dream of this till next spring.

Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveJune 5, 2011 - 9:27 pm

I love rhubarb desserts this time of year. I long for it all year, just as mush as pumpkin in the fall. What a clever way to serve it!

Lora @cakeduchessJune 5, 2011 - 10:04 pm

So nice to see Mike’s talent here. This looks delicous. Love your story, Mike. I think many of us have a similar story. Brian, hope you and Eric have a wonderful trip!

EliotJune 5, 2011 - 11:25 pm

What a heartfelt story. Thanks for sharing thoughts and recipe! (I actually just got some rhubarb seeds from my mother to plant now for next year’s harvest. They are such beautiful plants, too.)

Baker StreetJune 6, 2011 - 2:34 am

What a lovely lovely guest post!

@Mike – You are so talented. Love the rhubarb / vanilla and coconut combination. Am sure Brian is going to love this.

Anita MenonJune 6, 2011 - 4:33 am

I love Mike’s post and wait for him to post every week. I loved this post and its as emotional as ever.

Love the photographs and the recipe..

sippitysupJune 6, 2011 - 11:30 am

Welcome to California you lucky devil! GREG

AnnapetJune 6, 2011 - 12:01 pm

Thank you for introducing me to Mike’s blog. What a gifted writer he is, and so real.

Sanjeeta kkJune 6, 2011 - 12:16 pm

What a flow of emotions..I really feel sad for all that Mike had to go through during his growing years. Glad that his past didn’t affect his creativity a bit. I fact it has polished his skill more. Love the Rhubarb compote and the delicate clicks. Thanks Brian for such a touching post and introducing to Mike..off to check out his blog.

The CilantropistJune 6, 2011 - 12:36 pm

Brian – hope you have a fantastic time in CA, and can’t wait to hear about French Laundry! ;)

Mike – this was an incredible guest post, so full of feeling and genuine sentiment that I felt like I was right there with you, holding your little 8-year-old hand. Thanks for sharing this recipe and your story of hope!

RyanJune 6, 2011 - 1:30 pm

Just stumbled on this post. Beautiful images and prose. Looked around at some of the other recent posts and equally beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Mike@The Culinary LensJune 6, 2011 - 8:47 pm

These look wonderful and I am sure they have the taste to match. Great photography and writing. I could only wish..

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenJune 7, 2011 - 3:42 am

What a beautifully written memories. It’s truly amazing the effect that certain foods of our childhood can still have on us as adults.

JoanneJune 7, 2011 - 5:52 am

This is such a gorgeously written post! I feel like I’m growing up with you, experiencing life with you.

And this luscious dessert…amazing.

ShilpaJune 7, 2011 - 10:51 am

What a beautifully written post! I am so glad I stumbled upon and now am going to be so hooked….The rhubarb is the most fantastic colour ….love the recipe…Happy days!

-Shilpa

Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJune 7, 2011 - 4:07 pm

Lovely post… And, an equally lovely dessert! Just love it :)

DaraJune 7, 2011 - 6:37 pm

Mmmm….you really do make everything seem delicious and easy!!!
Keep up the natural talent and your enjoy your journey :)
xo.
Dara n Joe

foodwanderingsJune 8, 2011 - 12:11 am

Aww Mike. You are sucha wonderful story teller! Bri. excellent choice of a guest apperance.

Chez UsJune 8, 2011 - 10:55 am

Mike I love your stories; warm, happy, and comforting! I am not a rhubarb fan but you make it look yum! Will have to try the foundation of your recipe with strawberries! ;)

Brian …. I think you forgot I am on the way to the French Laundry!!! ;)

Jen @ keepitsimplefoodsJune 9, 2011 - 8:29 pm

I’m so jealous of your trip! Sounds amazing!

[...] from Farmgirl Gourmet made Rhubarb Crunch Cake, Mike did a guest post on A Thought for Food with Rhubarb and Vanilla Compote with Coconut and Syrup …. and the list goes [...]

{Recipe: Spring Pasta}

Can I ask you a question?  I’m not sure if you have an answer or not but I’m really trying to wrap my head around this.  All I need to know is: where did our spring go?  At one moment it was frigid and snowy, then frigid and rainy… and then sunny and 80 degrees.  I don’t do well with extreme temperatures and, despite being fed up with the chilly, wet weather, I was not prepared to be slammed by such a shift.

It didn’t really hit me until we were on the Cape this weekend and I looked around the yard.  Now, normally, the weather is a bit unpredictable this time of year.  You never know if it’ll be one of those nasty, gloomy, sit in your house and watch movies all afternoon kind of days.  Or it could be pleasant out… at least enough to not have to wear a long sleeved shirt.  But this weekend was like no other.  The birds were chirping, the rhododendron were in full bloom; people were boating and swimming and tanning on their decks.  Again, I have to ask?  How did I miss the shift between winter and summer?

And with this drastic climate change, I’ve somehow managed to completely neglect some of spring’s prime veggies.  I never found time to cook with morels before the season came to an end and that has made me very sad.  So I’ve been sure not to miss out on one of my very favorite spring treats: fiddleheads.

I can’t really tell you why I adore fiddlehead greens so much.  There’s nothing about the flavor that really sticks out.  But look at them, in all their curlicue glory!  Their shape constantly reminds me of the books I used to read as a child; something out of Alice in Wonderland or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

A few weeks ago, Eric and I were lucky enough to get a bag of fiddleheads in our CSA box.  It was quite the pleasant surprise and as soon as I realized what they were, I immediately got to work thinking about what to do with them.  I did my best to resist the urge to make a pasta dish, but, really, I couldn’t.  It just seemed like the ideal pairing.  Then the question became, what else to add.

When coming up with a recipe, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the possibilities.  Sometimes all you need is some guidance.  And, so, as I walked home from work one afternoon, I decided to stop off at our favorite local gourmet food store, American Provisions, for some inspiration.  Their shelves were stocked with grilled baby artichokes and roasted red peppers and marinated olives.  And then I found the ingredient I was looking for: anchovies.  Yes, anchovies.  Not “eww,” not “gross.”  Oily, briny, with that wonderful fishy undertone.

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LirenJune 1, 2011 - 12:28 am

Hi Brian, I’m wondering where our spring went too. If you can believe, here we are heading into June, and it has actually rained here in the Bay Area. Winter seems to have returned, while the rest of the country has fast forwarded to summer.

Love this pasta dish – fiddleheads are absolutely whimsical, and I just love the use of anchovies, feta and mint! Salty and fresh, my mouth is watering, imagining the flavors!

chinmayie@lovefoodeatJune 1, 2011 - 12:36 am

Pasta look delicious. I am new here and just had to tell you how much i LOVE your style of photography… such lovely colours :)

ElJune 1, 2011 - 1:08 am

I hear you. Looks like global warming is advancing a bit faster than planned. The pasta looks sensational.

MichelleJune 1, 2011 - 6:29 am

Fiddleheads and anchovies? You’re speaking my language!

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenJune 1, 2011 - 6:52 am

I’ve been wondering the same thing myself. Summer really snuck up on us this year didn’t it? I want my spring back! I’ve been dying to get my hands on some fiddlehead ferns, but I haven’t seen any. I love the way they look and want to know what they taste like.

Ken⏐hungry rabbitJune 1, 2011 - 6:59 am

Pasta and anchovies- I can eat them all day long. This certainly will be a weekly staple for us during this Spring.

SMITH BITESJune 1, 2011 - 7:53 am

yep . . . 56 degrees and cloudy one day and the next it’s 90 degrees with a heat index of 97 degrees . . . just what in the heck is going on?? love the pasta dish although i’ve never eaten fiddlehead ferns – i’m certain i’d love them because i mean really, how can you go wrong w/pasta and anchovies?

WinnieJune 1, 2011 - 8:12 am

Beautiful photos and recipe Brian! I love all the assertive flavors of this dish. I did get sick after eating lightly cooked fiddleheads last year so I always boil them now. ps I am hating this HOT weather and longing for a real spring.

YuriJune 1, 2011 - 8:28 am

With the pasta and the fiddleheads this looks like a bowl of curly delicious umami-rich fun!

Jennifer (Savor)June 1, 2011 - 8:35 am

Brain, I just noticed the fiddleheads in our store yesterday but must say, they are not a hit in this family. Shall I try again?

GeorgieJune 1, 2011 - 9:01 am

Brilliant & lovely!

Deb @ knitstamaticJune 1, 2011 - 9:03 am

I was wondering the same thing about spring, I really do prefer the gradual change in temperature. 50 degrees one day and then 80 the next is way too big a swing for my aching bones. :-) Such a beautiful light springy dish…fiddleheads and anchovies, huh? I’ll have to give that combo a try.

spicebloggerJune 1, 2011 - 9:08 am

I’m intrigued…. I’ve never seen or heard of fiddlehead greens! I love the look of them, and they remind me too of “Alice in Wonderland” or any Dr Suess book. :)
Thanks for teaching me something new today!

And I’m missing our spring as well. It’s already reaching 100 here in Louisiana! :/
–Shelley

EthanJune 1, 2011 - 9:51 am

Happy belated Spring! I’m always jealous when I see you receiving your CSA box of goodies.

Chris @ The PecheJune 1, 2011 - 9:51 am

Lovely stuff, Brian. I haven’t had fiddleheads in years…time to grab some at the market while I still can.

Jean (Lemons and Anchovies)June 1, 2011 - 10:44 am

Brian this is my kind of dish. I’ve heard that about fiddlehead ferns, too, but I’m glad you said you’ve never had any problems. This is a perfect spring salad, in my opinion.

ElizabethJune 1, 2011 - 11:00 am

I love pairing the fiddleheads with the armoniche rigatoni. Fun fact: their name means accordion.

Lora @cakeduchessJune 1, 2011 - 3:14 pm

Beautiful pasta dish. I’ve never seen fiddleheads before. Love that you added anchovies, mint, feta…delicous combination and perfect for hotter days:) Have fun on your trip!!

sippitysupJune 1, 2011 - 3:18 pm

Love those white anchovies. But fiddleheads are not to be had in CA. Sorta the only thing we can’t get. Well that and a blizzard. GREG

Lauren at Keep It SweetJune 1, 2011 - 4:05 pm

I love that you used fiddleheads, I’ve never cooked or eaten them! Really a gorgeous spring pasta dish.

We’ve also skipped spring in NY but I am very happy to see some summer weather.

JudyJune 1, 2011 - 4:40 pm

We’ve had no spring or summer. It’s cold and raining still in Northern California. I’ve only had fiddleheads in a restaurant and I’m pretty sure they were raw. No problems here!

Barbara | Creative CulinaryJune 1, 2011 - 5:12 pm

CSA box with Fiddlehead ferns? You lucky guy!

We’ve had similar weather. Snow last week (OK, just a bit, but still!) and now, well, now actually a perfect day but spring really was too cold and too wet but my yard is happy so I’m going to be too!

Local Korean market has anchovies…a friend with me went ewww too but I bought some because I’ve heard that they are fabulous freshly cooked. Now to find those ferns.

Very pretty dish. I have never heard of a Fiddlehead though! Something intesting to see if I can find though!

BakerbynatureJune 1, 2011 - 9:11 pm

Anchovies are my hearts desire; I always love adding them to pasta and pizza.

LizJune 1, 2011 - 9:20 pm

Just a gorgeous pasta dish…I saw some wilted fiddleheads at the market…so had to pass. Maybe next time. Yeah, we went from a week of cold, monsoons to August heat and humidity. Crazy.

MikeVFMKJune 1, 2011 - 10:40 pm

If this pasta dish doesn’t call our for spring, I don’t know what will. Love the combinations in this dish, mainly fiddlehoods and anchovies. We had some anchovies in Washington in a salad and I was pleasantly suprised. And you were right. It’s oily and briny and the perfect complement to this wonderful pasta! Love!

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }June 1, 2011 - 11:05 pm

Brian – my hubby and I raised the same question – where did Spring go? Living in the Bay Area it is typically really sunny and warm this time of year, instead we have rain storms forecasted for Friday to almost Tuesday. Urrr. On another note, I have yet to cook with fiddleheads – you have inspired me. This salad looks simply amazing. :)

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomJune 1, 2011 - 11:15 pm

I’m not sure if any of the CSAs or farmers markets in our area can get their hands on fiddleheads. Good research question for this week. Regardless, your pasta salad with another green veggie is delightful. I’m a recent anchovie convert after putting them into a tapenade.

serena @bigapplenoshJune 1, 2011 - 11:31 pm

Yum, I absolutely love fiddleheads!

sweetsugarbelleJune 2, 2011 - 1:22 am

I have been staring at this post for two days. I am VERY intrigued by the ferns. I’ve googled them, and am generally impressed that you aquired them and instantly knew what to do. Very very interesting post!

JoanneJune 2, 2011 - 6:13 am

Okay, your pasta does not even COMPARE to my pasta! Yours is just uber fabulous! I love fiddleheads…for some reason they just seem so…cute! And yes, straight out of Alice in Wonderland :P

The anchovies were definitely the perfect touch.

ChristyJune 2, 2011 - 7:50 am

Fiddleheads, wow, what a unique green vegetable!~:) I can see how they got their name!;)
This pasta definitely looked like a comfort food eh?;)

Chef DennisJune 2, 2011 - 11:26 am

hi Brian

I am with you on wondering where spring went! It went from winter to ungodly hot….sigh
I love spring, so sad that we didn’t get to enjoy it…..
Your salad looks very good, love those fiddleheads, I have to look for them at our market, which finally opened a few weeks ago…wow…has it been crowded!

hope all is well my friend, sorry I haven’t been around very much lately….just having a year from hell!

Dennis

Nelly RodriguezJune 2, 2011 - 7:04 pm

Love the simplicity of this! Confession: I’ve never had a fiddlefernhead! :P

Mike@The Culinary LensJune 2, 2011 - 8:24 pm

Strange thing I was thinking the same thing as Nelly. Never had Fiddleheads,, I also love your photo style

torviewtorontoJune 2, 2011 - 9:05 pm

this looks good I haven’t had like this
lovely pictures

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.June 3, 2011 - 3:13 pm

fabulous!

KimberleyJune 3, 2011 - 3:29 pm

Those first images look like pastoral heaven. We don’t really get a summer in San Francisco, so I’ll be spending the next three months envying everyone else’s, or getting my fill in short, intense bursts. Love your pasta, too. Wish I’d done a fiddlehead pasta this year.

Baking SerendipityJune 4, 2011 - 1:28 pm

This pasta looks fantastic! Spring dishes might be the only source of spring left in my world too. I live in Phoenix and it’s hot, hot, hot already! Wishing you a fantastic summer weekend!

Andrew FrishmanJune 6, 2011 - 1:03 am

Mmmm. . . I LOVES me some fiddleheads.

Voila ≠ Viola ≠ fiddleheads.

Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceJune 8, 2011 - 4:13 pm

Looking good Brian! I failed to try fiddlehead ferns again this year. I need to definitely put them on the top of my to do list next spring.

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