A Thought For Food » where ideas are brought to simmer

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  • June 2, 2013 - 9:48 am

    Gail - Brian, one of your best Silent Sunday posts. You captured everything from the beauty & glamour to the seedy grittiness of that place. Fabulous.

    Now, pardon me while I scroll back up to the beginning again.ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 10:01 am

    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl - Looks like such an incredible trip!! Loving all of your photos. I also now want Pad Thai. :)ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 10:16 am

    Liren - Fabulous photos, Brian, proof that you have a talent to capture the moment, no matter what camera you may be using. I’ve been dying to go to Lotus of Siam, I was ready to lick up the half eaten plate in my screen! Congrats again, I’m glad you had a blast in Vegas and with Saveur!ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Grace @ Perpetual Nomming - This post honestly brought a flood of memories back to me. Ever since I was young in grade school, we’d go to Vegas for family vacations. Thanks!

  • June 2, 2013 - 12:37 pm

    Alison - Wonderful pictures. I as in Vegas in April and went to Lotus of Siam — can’t stop thinking of the food it was so delicious.ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 1:26 pm

    Diane {Created by Diane} - looks like you have a GREAT time in Vegas!ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 2:20 pm

    sara forte - love it. so nice to finally meet you in person. Glad you two had a great time!ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 3:55 pm

    Cookin Canuck - So, so proud of you guys, Brian. It looks as though you had a fabulous time in Vegas…well-deserved!ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    Aimee - One for the books. Amazing capture of our Vegas trip, Brian. It was super fun to meet Eric and hang out with you guys. Who knows when – if ever- we’ll have that experience again. Good times!ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    Andrew Frishman - Mnnn… I LOVES me some Vegas, except, not so much.

    Lo qué pasa en las Vegas, probablemente no es particularmente interesante, y el carácter del consumo ostentoso tambien es muy desagradable.ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2013 - 8:16 am

    Jeanette - Congrats on your award! Thanks for sharing about your trip – beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2013 - 2:25 pm

    Monet - What a weekend! It looks like you had a wonderful and much-deserved time of celebration! That sandwich looked particularly delicious. I love anything with bread! Thanks for sharing, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2013 - 9:22 pm

    Michael Lewicki - Love this iphone images Brian. A great visual display of Vegas. You did Vegas so well. And the awards. And love to see you and E so happy.ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2013 - 9:47 pm

    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) - Vegas is just so much fun! It looks like you had a blast!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2013 - 11:40 pm

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - I love the way you’ve captured the whole experience, looks like an event filled trip!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective - Love the photos! Looks like you had a great time!ReplyCancel

  • August 23, 2013 - 7:28 am

    Why I Love Taking Pictures With My Phone (And Some Tips/Tricks) - A Thought For Food - […] Ever since I started working professionally as a food photographer, I do like to take a break from my camera from time to time.  Sometimes you just need a little space.  I rarely bring it along when we go out to eat or are traveling anymore.  On a recent trip to Vegas, I only took my camera out once, opting to use my phone to take all my pic… […]ReplyCancel

There seem to be plans being made every day. Last year, at least the first half, was a lot slower than this. Yes, I traveled. A lot. Which helped distract me. But there were moments that were slow. Really, really slow… So slow that I started to read Fifty Shades of Grey (thirty pages in and I had to put it down because of how awful the writing was. Sorry Grey fans!).  I like busy.  I like having projects to work on… meetings, deadlines, things that create a sense of accomplishment.

As I type this, it does occur to me that having down time isn’t a bad thing either. I’m always go-go-go that sometimes I forget to chill.  Watching TV even becomes something that gets in the way of work. I feel guilty when I’m not checking my three email accounts (maybe someone sent me a message I have to respond to RIGHT NOW). It’s a problem… But one that I’m aware of at least. Balance is what I constantly strive for. I don’t think I’ve found it yet. Actually, I know I haven’t. I want it though… Whatever “it” is. I’ll figure it out one day.

I guess my real down time comes when I’m able to work on a blog post. It’s when I stop worrying about calendars, clients and money and focus on a single creative task. Over the winter, I did most of my recipe development in the shower or on our couch sipping on mugs of coffee. Someplace warm and cozy. Now I do it on long walks with Maki. Typically this isn’t what I set out to do when I take her around the block to relieve herself, but often I return with an urge to cook. Maybe I’m just hungry.

This shrimp toast and mango butter came to me last week while on an exceptionally long, hot and sweaty walk.  As Maki trotted along with her tongue sticking out, a list of available ingredients in our fridge ran through my mind. Most were things I had worked with recently. Asparagus, fiddleheads, tomatoes. And then… mango. The night before, Eric had said that we needed to do with it. That’s when it hit me… Mango Butter. Spicy mango butter. On bread topped with shrimp.  Done.


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  • May 29, 2013 - 5:32 am

    kulsum@journeykitchen.com - your mango butter sounds insanely GOOD! I am going to try that as soon as possible!ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 8:46 am

    Tieghan - Mango butter!! Now that sounds awesome!! This toast look incredible!ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 8:56 am

    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) - Now this is seriously a nifty bite of heaven. I love the twist with the mango butter.ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 9:29 am

    Maria - That mango butter is calling my name!ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 9:51 am

    Bev @ Bev Cooks - MANGO. BUTTER.


  • May 29, 2013 - 10:24 am

    Andrew Frishman - Mmmnnn… I loves me some shrimps, especially when they ain’t too shrimpy!

    Camarones son mis camaradasReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 11:03 am

    Erika - Mango Butter just gives me such happy thoughts.. Perfection.ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 11:46 am

    marla - Hey I got shrimp rolling today too! LOVE the look of these shrimpy toasts :)ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 11:59 am

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) - I’m now dreaming of mango butter!ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2013 - 1:17 pm
  • May 30, 2013 - 1:53 am

    Alison Lewis - you had me at shrimp toast.ReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2013 - 6:49 am

    Carolyn - You are a busy man these days! Just glad you have time to make lovely dishes like this…ReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2013 - 7:07 am

    Joanne - I think about food a lot during my long runs and that tends to be the time when I get most inspired! Maybe it’s something about being outside? That mango butter is absolutely something I need in my life!ReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2013 - 12:44 pm

    Arthur in the Garden! - Shrimp makes everything better!ReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2013 - 3:03 pm

    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com - Shrimp toast with mango butter looks absolutely divine!ReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2013 - 4:43 pm

    Arthur B Raleigh - You had a me at SHRIMP…………ReplyCancel

  • June 1, 2013 - 12:30 pm

    Christy@SweetandSavoring - I don’t really eat seafood anymore, but when I arrived on this page I had to stop my usual browse-y mode and take a second look. Gorgeous! And mango butter made me gasp at the thought…! Might just have to make that for a party coming up!

    Totally know what you mean on keeping busy and finding balance- it’s so tough!ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2013 - 8:06 am

    Jeanette - Love the combination of mango and shrimp – fun idea making mango butter!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    Tuesday Things. | How Sweet It Is - […] so much amazing food that I want to share from blogs I love that it’s becoming an issue. Like these shrimp toasts with mango butter? OMG. Summer in a meal. I may start doing a weekly roundup of links I’m loving because I just […]ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2013 - 1:04 pm

    Morgan - Nothing pairs better than mango and shrimp. I am swooning over these dish.ReplyCancel

  • June 5, 2013 - 8:22 am

    thelittleloaf - Mango butter sounds AMAZING! Such a gorgeous colour and perfect for summer :-)ReplyCancel

  • June 6, 2013 - 10:01 am

    Shaina - That mango butter is just glorious. I love how thick and yellow it is, and topping it with shrimp, perfection. I have the same issue, go-go-go-go, and I fill my time with more projects and things than I can possibly juggle until I’m in danger of dropping the lot of them. I need to be better about taking that time to relax and breathe.ReplyCancel

Classic Negroni

As I open the door I’m greeted by Maki’s wagging tail.  In no mood to play, I do my best to brush her away, but our sweet dog’s persistance wins me over.  Fine… just a few minutes.  She guides me into the living room so we can roll around on the floor.  Soon, she has me pinned down and I get attacked with a few licks of her tongue, leaving long streaks of slobber across my glasses.

Exhausted, I call it quits and get my body off the ground.  Maki, disappointed, retires to her bed.  She wonders if maybe, just maybe, I’ll come back to play with her.  Sorry pup, I’m finished for the night.  It’s time to make dinner… and mix a drink.

After a long day, the kitchen becomes my sanctuary.  Before any onions are chopped, I throw a few rocks into my glass. An aperitif is in order to ease into a relaxing night of nothingness.  I whip up my old standard: a Negroni.  An equal pour of the three ingredients, a quick stir, and we’re in business.

Before the drink hits my lips, I shave a piece of orange peel and rim the glass with it.  The result is subtle, but effective.  The aroma of the citrus breathes life into the Negroni, but a bitter herbaceousness is present in the first sip, mellowed only by the sweet vermouth.  Another taste and my mind is no longer thinking of work and the stresses of my day.  I’m in the here and now.

The onion and garlic sizzle as they hit the pan of butter.  I rub my hand across my perspiring forehead, only to look down to see the glass sweating as well.  You and me both, my friend.  I pick up my drink. Cheers. Sip. Smile.

Classic Negroni

Classic Negroni

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