{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!

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.

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,

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!


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 :)
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! :/

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!


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


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.

[...] A Thought for Food’s Spring Pasta [...]

{Silent Sunday: Brunch at Craigie on Main}

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YuriMay 29, 2011 - 12:09 am

I want one of those doughnuts! Happy Memorial Day weekend, Brian :) xoxo

Kate@DiethoodMay 29, 2011 - 12:13 am

The fork cutting into that doughnut… mouth.watering.

MaureenMay 29, 2011 - 12:24 am

Where was this guy when I was growing up in Maine?? Oh right, he wasn’t born. Heck, maybe his parents weren’t born yet. :)

This food looks so good!

Nelly RodriguezMay 29, 2011 - 12:40 am

You recommended this place when I was looking for places in Boston and we never made it here. Now I need to go back and have a doughnut (or 7)! Yum!

Lauren @ Healthy Food For LivingMay 29, 2011 - 7:03 am

I’ve never been to Craigie on Main {hanging my head in shame}… and this post serves as a reminder that I must go sometime soon!

Lauren at Keep It SweetMay 29, 2011 - 7:17 am

I want that food, your photos do a wonderful job showcasing the restaurant!

A Plum By Any Other NameMay 29, 2011 - 7:40 am

Couldn’t agree more. Maws has one of the best brunches in all of Boston. Hands down. You did the place justice. I have yet to have a dish that wasn’t *winning.* (Darn Sheen and his usage of oddly placed descriptors.)

foodwanderingsMay 29, 2011 - 7:40 am

That donut looks yummilicious!

Mardi@eatlivetravelwriteMay 29, 2011 - 7:43 am

I’ve heard so much about this place from Meghan. This confirms that I will definitely have to stop by next time I am in Boston…

Michael RichardsonMay 29, 2011 - 7:50 am

I enjoy your Silent Sundays.. This is no exception and will be a must do if I make it to Boston.

Steph @ Lick My SpoonMay 29, 2011 - 8:05 am

My friend is the pastry chef there! Still haven’t had the chance to make it up there, but now I’m even more convinced that a road trip is in order :) lovely photos

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomMay 29, 2011 - 8:22 am

Your Silent Sunday posts are making a wonderful list of travel must-sees and eats. When we get back to Boston, I will be pulling many notes from your site.

LizMay 29, 2011 - 8:48 am

Wow, that crisp looks crazy good! I enjoy visiting your blog and browsing your gorgeous photos…they evoke such peaceful thoughts…you are a fabulous artist.

Lora @cakeduchessMay 29, 2011 - 8:55 am

I love that donut and wish I had one now with my coffee. Also, the crisp. And then I could finish my meal the seared scallops and grits;) Looks incredible!

bunkycooksMay 29, 2011 - 9:06 am

This will be a must do if (and when) we ever make it to Boston. Have a great weekend!

MikeVFMKMay 29, 2011 - 9:23 am

I have so many must visit eateries in Boston now. This is another on the list and your photos illustrate the beauty of the food and restaurant.

KristenMay 29, 2011 - 9:36 am

What a delicious looking brunch – as always, love the pics!

RochelleMay 29, 2011 - 10:13 am

Like many others before me, I’m having issues pulling my attention away from those doughnuts! They are gorgeous with the soft texture. I don’t think I’ll ever get a chance to get to Boston to get me some of this place, but I’m now inspired to try my hand at making some in my own kitchen :D

sippitysupMay 29, 2011 - 11:32 am

Happy Brunch and Memorial Day. GREG

MichelleMay 29, 2011 - 11:46 am

I’ve heard wonderful things about the brunch at Craigie on Main. I’ve got to give it a try!

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }May 29, 2011 - 12:05 pm

Wish I was going to Boston! It sounds like a wonderful place. Stunning photos. Enjoy your memorial day weekend. :-)

KimberleyMay 29, 2011 - 12:57 pm

Seared scallops and grits? Yes, please. Actually, yes please to all of it.

JackieMay 29, 2011 - 5:05 pm

Such stunning photographs, darling! I need to come back to Boston soon…

Jax x

ElizabethMay 29, 2011 - 5:24 pm

I haven’t been to Craigie but I’ve been fortunate to try Tony Maws’s cooking at various events (i.e. Pride and Passion). I would love to go. I also love what pastry chef Jess Scott churns out. I must try the donuts.

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.May 29, 2011 - 9:23 pm

So awesome. I love your sunday posts

Baker StreetMay 29, 2011 - 10:29 pm

That doughnut looks so delicious. I love your silent sunday posts. :)

Barbara | Creative CulinaryMay 29, 2011 - 10:42 pm

Seared scallops on grits? Oh my. And dessert? What can I say; looks divine and your photos, as always…just as yummy!

marlaMay 29, 2011 - 11:42 pm

You are right, words are not needed. Your awesome photos say it all. Looks like a fun & tasty brunch.

Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveMay 30, 2011 - 1:42 pm

Gosh, it must be hard to be silent with dishes like these. ;)

chinmayie@lovefoodeatMay 30, 2011 - 2:05 pm

Hey! New to the blog and just wanted to tell you that your photos are simply STUNNING! I am a fan!!

BakerbynatureMay 30, 2011 - 8:23 pm

I love Boston, and this place! God, it felt like I was there having brunch with you guys; lucky lucky ducks!

MeghanMay 30, 2011 - 9:28 pm

This has been on my brunch list for a while now. Your photo of the seared scallops and grits has just bumped it to the top!

Andrew FrishmanMay 31, 2011 - 12:17 am

Mmnnn. . . . I LOVES me some brunch, especially when it’s eaten with a dude in a hipster shirt like that!

¡Viva los hipsteros!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread BagelsMay 31, 2011 - 7:28 am

Oh my word I want to eat at this place! That doughnut looks amazing and is calling my name.

JoanneMay 31, 2011 - 7:55 am

Craigie on Main was just opening when I left Boston, I think, and I definitely wish that I could have tried it! That donut alone is calling my name. Gorgeous photos Brian!

Chez UsMay 31, 2011 - 12:12 pm

God I love your silent Sundays, or in my case Monday! Why haven’t I heard of this place? I must hit it during our next whirlwind Boston trip as I am feeling the need to try to doughnut!!


Homemade Gravlax

There’s a rather short (and very specific) list of foods that I could eat every day and never grow tired of them.  Some people don’t have such a list, but when I’m asked what my favorite foods are, there’s no hesitation in my response.   Cheesecake.  Yes, I could eat it every day and it would never grow old.  If I’m ever in a foul mood, a slice will surely lift me up from the depths of my gloom.

Next on the list is sushi.  I don’t think I could pass up the opportunity to eat sushi.  And I’m not just talking about a couple pieces.  Give me the whole boat.

Along the same lines is the third and final food that I can’t resist: cured fish.  Almost any kind, really, but I have a huge weakness for cured salmon.

Homemade Gravlax

Growing up, there were few Sundays that went by without a basket of bagels (NJ bagels, by the way, are the best) and a platter of salmon.  We’d smear a heaping knife of chive cream cheese and layer the fish on top until the bagel underneath it could barely handle the weight. And, to finish it off, a couple slices of cucumber and tomato and maybe a sprinkle of pepper.  If I had to pick a “last meal”, this would be it (maybe ending with an enormous piece of cheesecake).

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MikeVFMKMay 25, 2011 - 7:47 am

Brian, you have some of the items that would appear on my list! And this gravlax looks sensational! I wish I had some here to take with me for lunch! Lovely photos as always.

bunkycooksMay 25, 2011 - 8:01 am

I wish I liked salmon, but my hubby likes it well enough for the two of us. He loves Gravlax and smoked salmon. I will have to make this for him again soon.

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomMay 25, 2011 - 8:02 am

Thank goodness cooks figured out how to make gravlax without burrying it in a hole! I never knew that’s what it mean. Did I miss a step where the gin is used or is that just in a shot glass for the cook ; > Really fabulous photos as always.

Lauren at Keep It SweetMay 25, 2011 - 8:12 am

I need that gravlax and a bagel in my life very soon, it looks amazing!

Nelly RodriguezMay 25, 2011 - 8:21 am

After eggs Benedict and bacon, this might by my favorite brunch staple. Love the fork picture, where it’s just hanging there. Makes me want to gobble it up!

MollyMay 25, 2011 - 8:22 am

I dream of platters of gravlax, dotted by capers and surrounded by purple rings of onion. Bagels, piled high in pyramids rest nearby, and next to them, bowls of cream cheese, as fluffy as clouds. You have made me very happy this morning.

YuriMay 25, 2011 - 8:22 am

I’m making sushi this weekend for Mother’s Day brunch, I’ll trade you some for a serving of this gravlax :D this looks delicious and I love salmon. Your photos are inspiring, today I have my second photography class, hope my pics get half as good as yours ;) xoxo

The Food HoundMay 25, 2011 - 8:24 am

I love gravlax!! I would love to make it sometime! Fine Cooking just featured a smoked trout salad as the main dish for a brunch, and I bet it would go GREAT with gravlax, too.

CarolynMay 25, 2011 - 8:26 am

I have said for ages that if I had to pick one food to eat every day for the rest of my life, it would be smoked salmon. Gravlax is so similar, and they are both wonderful. I love this recipe! I am definitely trying this.

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenMay 25, 2011 - 8:38 am

Not a fish person, but I’m with you on the cheesecake!

Deb @ knitstamaticMay 25, 2011 - 8:56 am

Yup, growing up my Sunday mornings were the same, bagels, lox, scallion cream cheese, a nice slice of tomato and some cucumber…heaven. Just one thing: NY bagels are the best! :-)

paul jennetteMay 25, 2011 - 9:04 am

Love Gravlax!!! I use to work at a restaurant where the had a Gravlax BLT, I can’t tell you how many times I ate that sandwich. 100′s I’m sure, yours is taking me back to those days!! I think I will give this a try this weekend;-p
Thanks- Paulie

Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceMay 25, 2011 - 9:24 am

This looks SO easy! I love putting together a brunch spread and this will be a wonderful new addition. Thanks for sharing!

GeorgieMay 25, 2011 - 9:28 am

I have always enjoyed eating Gravlax in restaurants or purchased at the local market. Though I never thought of making it myself, I reserved this for the pros. And, much like you I never realized how simple it was to make. Thanks for the lesson, in preparing and “buried salmon”, as well as demystifying my theory that this was a tricky task. I’m hungry… everything looks so-so good that I’m craving some now.

abby dodgeMay 25, 2011 - 9:38 am

Inspiring Post Brian! I haven’t made “Grav” since the holidays .. and I think it’s about time I did & just in time for the long wk’nd. ps.. gorg pix as usual

sippitysupMay 25, 2011 - 9:45 am

It’s time I tried this again. My last attempt was just so-so. It shouldn’t be hard right? But when it’s good– gravlax is really something special.

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.May 25, 2011 - 10:18 am

This looks incredible! I love this post! I have made this before but your version is awesome

Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveMay 25, 2011 - 11:03 am

Oooo, I love salmon with dill. This looks utterly fantastic. :)

tiina { sparkling ink }May 25, 2011 - 12:51 pm

Oh, that my childhood fave, and still is!

Barbara | Creative CulinaryMay 25, 2011 - 1:20 pm

Me bacon and you salmon…and the technique is very similar. Now…I know you won’t be curing your own bacon anytime soon…but I’m on a roll. Gravalax it is! Soon.

Emily @ A Cambridge StoryMay 25, 2011 - 2:01 pm

Wow, I never would have thought that I could do this at home. The salmon looks incredible – and I love that there is gin involved in the process :)

kankanaMay 25, 2011 - 2:18 pm

I am with you in cheese cake. It can boost up my mood any time!! Salmon with dill is one of my fav combination but I never had salmon or any fish this way .. would love to give a try!

Jean @ Lemons and AnchoviesMay 25, 2011 - 2:54 pm

I’m so impressed that you made your own gravlax but not surprised at the wonderful results. I also have a list of “last meal” foods–too long, probably, but I can see how this would be on yours. :-)

KimberleyMay 25, 2011 - 3:23 pm

Totally with you on this one! I could eat sushi every day. Also eggs. And fish. Why have I never made gravlax? Your photos are gorgeous.

Island VittlesMay 25, 2011 - 3:31 pm

delicious! Now that you’ve got your gravlax feet wet, how about a variation or two? My Austrian Chef Instructor had us make a blueberry/star anise gravlax that was super tasty, but the best thing about it was the colour — beautiful! Theresa

PolaMMay 25, 2011 - 3:50 pm

Never thought of curing Salmon my self, but I guess I am growing intrigued!

JanisMay 25, 2011 - 4:09 pm

Sweetie, I have a great recipe for Tequila and Lime Gravlax if you ever want to try it. I can snarf down the whole thing myself it is so good.

JanMay 25, 2011 - 4:55 pm

Looks fabulous! Always wanted to try making gravlax. I especially love that you’ve made it twice this week ;) Awesome.

Jamie | My Baking AddictionMay 25, 2011 - 5:45 pm

Gorgeous photos and I am sooo with you on the cheesecake!

Cookin' CanuckMay 25, 2011 - 5:52 pm

Sushi would certainly be on the tops of my “never get tired of” list. I became rather addicted to gravlax when we lived in New York, but haven’t found a decent version since moving away. I am bookmarking this and making it at home. Thank you!

SriVaniMay 25, 2011 - 5:54 pm

This looks divine! I love your list of foods that you could eat everyday and devour with no problem. Sushi and gravalax are definitely on my list. There are several other things I would like to add to that list, but I think I would cause some concern with the amount I enjoy eating. I also adore your photos, I wish I had a camera and your keen eye!

Marian (Sweetopia)May 25, 2011 - 5:56 pm

Oh, you’re making me want to go grocery shopping right NOW so I can make this.
Stunning! Looks mouth-wateringly delish.

Rosie @ SweetapolitaMay 25, 2011 - 7:45 pm

So this is the gravlax you were making the other day! Brian, this looks gorgeous! My husband would likely be a lot more impressed by my making this, rather than another cake, I’m sure. :) It looks incredible, and the photos are stunning. Thanks for sharing! xo

TessaMay 25, 2011 - 7:50 pm

We made gravlax at school a few weeks ago and to my surprise I enjoyed it (had never tasted before). Great photos!

serena @bigapplenoshMay 25, 2011 - 10:48 pm

I LOVE gravlax! I didn’t know it was so simple to make – definitely trying this!

SMITH BITESMay 25, 2011 - 11:59 pm

beautiful – i could eat this every day too!!

JoyMay 26, 2011 - 1:26 am

and this is why you’re my favorite. I love cured salmon — the french restaurant I use to work at use to cure all their salmon in house and used a recipe very similar to this minus the fennel. I am interested in trying your recipe but I’ll have to wait until my fennel comes in my garden! Can’t wait to show you the results :)

Sylvia@bascookingMay 26, 2011 - 6:28 am

I thought it was difficult, but it is very easy to do. I love the salmon and will take this recipe into mind t. I love your blog, I have not visited before.I Sure you will see me over here.

KristenMay 26, 2011 - 7:22 am

i’m with you on the cheesecake! I’ve never made cured salmon before. Will have to try it!

Andrew FrishmanMay 26, 2011 - 10:13 am

Mnnnn. . . I LOVES me some gravlax, especially when it’s just like that. (nice and gravlaxy)

Una vez por semana suena como sólo la frecuencia que me gustaría comer. Sobre todo, una vez que están fuera de la costa este y se puede participar con ustedes.

JoanneMay 26, 2011 - 11:34 am

I love that we see eye to eye on sushi. and cured salmon…I mean…I am totally addicted to the stuff. And I’m amazed that you actually made it. I’ve always pictured it as the kind of thing that you just buy and don’t think twice about it. But apparently, I’m wrong!

Although…being a born and bred NY-er…we have to discuss this NJ bagel business. Outside.

kitaMay 26, 2011 - 4:42 pm

Ive never had cured salmon. It just seemed so foreign and different to me that I have never tried it – which I think is a shame as I love salmon. The idea of salmon on a bagel (where I have heard of it before) is another one of those foreign concepts to me. This does sound very easy to make, and I’ve been on a kick making my own bagels lately so perhaps I just need to brave it out and try it. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and wonderfully tempting description of gravlax to get me motivated.

LizMay 26, 2011 - 8:25 pm

Brian, thank you for the beautiful inspiration…I adore smoked and cured salmon and have wanted to make my own for some time. I now vow to get it done this year…yours looks fabulous!

Lora @cakeduchessMay 26, 2011 - 9:44 pm

We share some favorites! Well, I like all 3 of yours:) This gravlax looks delicious. I’m with Nelly and love Eggs Benedict for brunch…and your gravlax:)

SaraMay 27, 2011 - 12:25 am

I would never trust myself in curing salmon myself but I would totally trust yours! With a bagel, please, for tomorrow’s breakfast :)

The CilantropistMay 27, 2011 - 2:08 am

I’m with you, I loooove me some cured fish. When I go to Norway to hang out with my boyfriend’s family I get spoiled – their salmon is so fantastic there, and I always come home craving something just as good. Could your recipe maybe be that good? :) I bet it is! Congrats on foodbuzz top 9 today!

LirenMay 27, 2011 - 2:34 am

Brian, this is why I get along with you – I would be utterly satisfied with cheesecake, sushi and cured fish. You know by now that I have a special place in my heart and tummy for a good bagel, cream cheese and lox, and I fell in love with good gravlax when I traveled to Scandinavia years ago. A good friend of mine started making her own gravlax a few years ago, and it has become a staple in her holiday menus. I remember being so intrigued! I have yet to try it, and now you’ve inspired me.

RochelleMay 27, 2011 - 11:57 am

I finally can get my hands on beautiful fresh fish in quite a few different varieties, and I’m lucky enough that that includes salmon. Not only can I get fresh fish but I also can get it for fairly cheap (hooray for countries close to the ocean!) , making this recipe a no brainer for me to try (plus my quarter Norwegian heritage is screaming at me to do something from the homeland besides Lefse :D ).

ElianaMay 27, 2011 - 12:55 pm

Swoon! This looks amazing Brian! One of the reasons why I love coming to your blog is because you do everything with such class and sophistication but without any fuss. And as fo NJ bagels being the best…I dunno about that Mister. NY bagels are the best baby.

Meagan @ Scarletta BakesMay 27, 2011 - 2:17 pm


Always yes to cheesecake and salmon.

This looks absolutely lovely!

BrooksMay 27, 2011 - 3:12 pm

From the storytelling, to the photography and the finished dish…splendid in every way! My simple adaptation of this recipe would include 3 oz. of gin in a martini for the chef! :) Always enjoy visiting your thoughts.

Mary @ Delightful BitefulsMay 27, 2011 - 3:38 pm

This looks incredible! What a perfect dish for summer!

Delightful Bitefuls

chopinandmysaucepanMay 28, 2011 - 6:42 pm

I love sushi too we get a fair bit of variety here in Sydney. Best of all, it’s healthy and yes, you can eat the whole boat and not feel guilty! :) :)

MonetMay 30, 2011 - 12:52 pm

Maybe it is because I grew up in Texas and Colorado, but I haven’t had nearly enough cured fish in my lifetime. Your post made me realize how this needs to change! Thank you for sharing with me today! I hope you are having a lovely holiday. Have a week full of good food, laughter and love!

Chez UsMay 31, 2011 - 12:15 pm

Oh Brian! Your timing is perfect. We are getting a shipment of fresh salmon on Thursday, and I was tossing around the idea of curing of of it!! Thank you for the motivation to do so; you made it look so easy, and so delicious!!

NicoleJune 10, 2011 - 8:58 pm

Thanks for sharing the etymology of the word gravlax; it’s fascinating to see the foods that come out of hardship, the medieval version of gravlax reminds me a lot of hákarl, which is an Icelandic “delicacy” of fermented shark prepared in much the same way that gravlax was originally (look it up on wikipedia) which reeks of ammonia, and really isn’t very appealing. When we first started dating, my boyfriend tried this at a fundraiser for Iceland in a mock-Fear-Factor that had each table send up a participant to try various frightening Icelandic foods (think pickled bone, sheep testicles, etc). He was clearly aiming to impress, and to this day likes to rant about Icelandic food like hákarl. On the other hand he LOVES salmon in any form, but especially gravlax, so I was planning on making this for his upcoming birthday, so all the better that it has a bizzare connection to one of his least favorite foods.

A quick question about the slicing procedure, do you just slice against the grain as thinly as possible, or is there more to it than that?

TahinaJuly 6, 2011 - 11:33 am

Cover the flesh side with heaping handfuls of fresh dill. Drizzle with the gin. Place the remaining fillet, flesh side down, on top of the other piece of fish. Fold the ends of the aluminum foil over the fillets so that it completely wraps the fish

Platanos Mangoes and MeJuly 12, 2011 - 1:27 pm

Well done. I make my own also, but I use vodka..trying gin next time….

[...] Smoked salmon or gravlax [...]

{Silent Sunday: Andover Arts and Crafts Fair}

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Nelly RodriguezMay 22, 2011 - 12:16 am

Darling, you have a beautiful family! And I love love arts and craft shows… I want that penguin butter dish!

torviewtorontoMay 22, 2011 - 12:36 am

lovely crafts beautiful bowls

DeebaMay 22, 2011 - 12:37 am

What a gorgeous post and beautiful family. A wonderful way to spend the day. I am a sucker for ceramics and love each piece. So much depth and character. Oh, and I LOVE the geraniums too!

Angie's RecipesMay 22, 2011 - 3:20 am

I love those ceramic crafts…every single one is different. Thanks for sharing such a happy post!

Jazz RulesMay 22, 2011 - 3:51 am

Just another reason why the North Shore is so great. Wonderful photographs too! Thanks for sharing.

MikeVFMKMay 22, 2011 - 6:41 am

Even in a different city in a different country there’s always room for Silent Sunday. Love the crafts and bowls and the families coming together for an outing. Great stuff!!

Lauren at Keep It SweetMay 22, 2011 - 7:20 am

Looks like a wonderful day! We also were SO happy to get a little sunshine yesterday!

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomMay 22, 2011 - 7:51 am

How fun to get your families together to enjoy the weather, crafts and eachothers company. Those geraniums are gorgeous – my mom always planted a bunch around her patio. Happy Sunday Brian!

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.May 22, 2011 - 8:34 am

wow how fun! That pottery is awesome. I want a piece!

FlaviaMay 22, 2011 - 8:56 am

Love the pictures, Brian! Especially the ones of the ceramics. I really enjoy how you photograph local businesses and events. Your family is beautiful!

bunkycooksMay 22, 2011 - 9:15 am

Those few days of sun are really welcome in your part of the world during the Spring months. Looks like a really fun event!

Snippets of ThymeMay 22, 2011 - 9:18 am

What a sweet picture of your family. The pottery is wonderful and I love your diptychs. I am trying to figure out how to do that!

Rachel @ Baked by RachelMay 22, 2011 - 10:03 am

Dammit I wish I knew about that. It’s not exactly nearby but closer than Boston. I’d have loved those flowers or canisters. Looks like it was a fantastic day too!

LirenMay 22, 2011 - 11:38 am

I’m in pottery heaven! It would be so hard to resist buying all those gorgeous pieces. So glad you enjoyed a beautiful day at the fair :)

Island VittlesMay 22, 2011 - 12:14 pm

I want that butter dish with the penguin on top! You take great people pictures too — that group shot near the top is just gorgeous. Have a great Sunday…Theresa

Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }May 22, 2011 - 1:21 pm

What a perfect day with your family! Love, love the pottery! Great photos. Enjoy your Sunday! :-)

YuriMay 22, 2011 - 2:51 pm

Whoa I want every piece of pottery, beautiful! Look at your Gemini husband ;) God bless your family, Brian. xoxo

GloriaMay 22, 2011 - 8:19 pm

Oh, how I miss the annual arts and craft fair! The pictures are beautiful and I hope to make it next year!

Andrew FrishmanMay 22, 2011 - 9:13 pm

Mmmmnnnn. . . I loves me some arts & crafts fair, especially when there is live banjo accompaniment

La mariposa se va, la mariposa no venga.
Sé como la golondrina, para que siempre regreses.

MonetMay 22, 2011 - 11:37 pm

This post made me smile. So many lovely faces…so much creativity. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful collection of pictures with me. I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. You and your sweet blog always makes me smile, my Boston friend.

kimberly (unrivaledkitch)May 23, 2011 - 1:27 am

So beautiful! brunch and arts and crafts friends and family sounds like the perfect day.

katMay 23, 2011 - 9:45 am

love those pots with the squirrels on them

serena @bigapplenoshMay 23, 2011 - 10:32 am

What a fun time – I love that pottery!

SandeeAMay 23, 2011 - 11:06 am

Wow! you make gorgeous pictures! and have a lovely family… Thank you for visiting my blog :)

naomiMay 23, 2011 - 6:45 pm

you know i’m a huge fan of your silent sundays. love the family pics. the whole series is so warm and inviting. it’s like tuning in every sunday to a favorite show.

JoanneMay 24, 2011 - 6:12 am

It looks like such a bright spring day! (Can you somehow get those to return?) You really captured that essence perfectly.

What an awesome festival! I spy some killer food props and plates and bowls!

Lora @cakeduchessMay 24, 2011 - 6:19 am

Both sets of parents are as lovely as their children are. I would gp broke buying all that pottery! I’m with Nelly and love the penguin butter dish…adorable:D

Lindsey @ Gingerbread BagelsMay 24, 2011 - 9:41 am

Wow everything looks so beautiful. I wish I could have gone to this fair! It’s just my kind of thing. :) Gorgeous photos once again. I can’t wait for the next Silent Sunday!

Brooks at CakewalkerMay 24, 2011 - 3:21 pm

Pictures really do say a thousand words…brilliant work here Mr. Samuels!

ElleJune 7, 2011 - 10:44 am

The day couldn’t have more gorgeous, could it? I love craft fairs like that one. I could spend a fortune. Beautiful photos, Brian, as always.