Poached Apricots with Lavender and MascarponePoached Apricots with Lavender and Mascarpone

In a few weeks, we’ll be starting up with a local food coop and I couldn’t be more excited for it to start up. We had been receiving a weekly box of produce from a farm west of Boston and had quite enjoyed the service. Besides onions and garlic, we really didn’t need to purchase a whole lot in the way of vegetables. Since moving, we had to find another service and we were thrilled when we came across information regarding a produce pickup not far from our house. In addition to the veggies we’ll be getting, we also joined their cheese share. Yes, a cheese share! They do a bread one too, but we decided that might not be the best idea. But cheese… we couldn’t resist.

While we wait for this to start up, I’ve been making frequent trips to our local Whole Foods, which is situated just down the road. A ten minute walk. Yes, it’s dangerous. These trips always result in items that we probably didn’t need… but, gosh, we just had to have them. Like fiddleheads. Or ramps. Or those very expensive mushrooms I couldn’t leave without.

I made a stop there just last week after Kimberley’s fierce debut cookbook, Vibrant Food, came my way. I’ve had the pleasure of following her site, The Year In Food, for quite some time. A couple of years ago, we got to see each other in New York. Snacks were consumed. There was day drinking (I know… shocking). From the moment I saw her beautiful blog… the recipes, the photos, the anecdotes… I knew that it was only a matter of time before there’d be a book. When the announcement was made, it immediately made it on my list of must-have cookbooks. Nothing could have prepared me for this stunning creation. I will hold onto Vibrant Food for years and years.  This is not a book that one goes to for the images alone. I want to make every dish in here and, not only that, it has inspired numerous ideas for future recipes.  That’s something special.

This recipe is my take on her poached apricots, which included rose water instead of the lavender I used. I also included chopped pistachios for texture and because I will put pistachios on top of just about anything because I love the nutty flavor.

So, thanks to Kimberley and the folks at Ten Speed Press, you have a chance to win your own copy of Vibrant Food!

Here’s how to enter the giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post… it can be anything, but I’d love to hear what your favorite spring or summer fruits and veggies are.

Additional entry: Tweet the following and then come back and leave a comment telling us you’ve done so –

Check out these Poached Apricots and a giveaway of Vibrant Food by @theyearinfood over at @myfoodthoughts – http://tinyurl.com/kzlwj4w

Rules: This giveaway will end on Friday, June 13, 2014 at 12:00 PM EST.  I’ll pick 1 winner via random.org and that person will be contacted via e-mail.  Two entries per person (one comment, one tweet) and entrants must have a US/Canadian mailing address (sorry international friends) and provide a valid email address. Best of luck!

Poached Apricots with Lavender and Mascarpone

Vibrant Food - Cookbook Giveaway

Vibrant Food - Cookbook Giveaway

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarJune 4, 2014 - 6:18 am

    This is so dang pretty!!! Holy yum!ReplyCancel

  • Sherrie | With Food + LoveJune 4, 2014 - 8:13 am

    Kimberly’s blog is quite possibly one of my all-time favorite food blog on the interwebs. I hear her book is absolutely divine, how lucky you are to get a copy!! On and these poached apricots sound amazing!!ReplyCancel

  • LirenJune 4, 2014 - 9:13 am

    Hold on, did you say a cheese share? I’m actually going to see if I can find out here. There must be one, I’m sure.

    Ah, Vibrant looks like a gorgeous book, but that is no surprise of course. These poached apricots look so delicate and lovely, and I love how it doesn’t hide the natural sweetness of the fruit. There is a special farmer here who produces the most heavenly apricots and I’m eagerly awaiting their harvest in a couple of weeks. I will have to try this!ReplyCancel

  • ChristinaJune 4, 2014 - 9:21 am

    This cookbook looks beautiful! My favorite spring food is asparagus. We had grilled asparagus and salmon with basil/pistachio pesto for dinner and it was the perfect meal for a spring night.ReplyCancel

  • ChristinaJune 4, 2014 - 9:25 am

    Tweeted about the fab giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • NaomiJune 4, 2014 - 9:41 am

    I love her food and photography! I need this book-bad.ReplyCancel

  • JacquelineJune 4, 2014 - 10:13 am

    This sounds and looks delicious! Just chopped apricots for my yogurt. But first we mail,post, and plank!ReplyCancel

  • Stacey | Kitchen SerendipityJune 4, 2014 - 10:25 am

    OMG I must have this book! Great that you found another service for fruits and veggies….but a cheese share?!? That’s awesome. Favorite spring veggies and fruits are artichokes and Meyer lemons.ReplyCancel

  • Stacey | Kitchen SerendipityJune 4, 2014 - 10:27 am

    Tweeted about your giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Shanna @ pineapple and coconutJune 4, 2014 - 10:30 am

    What a gorgeous recipe!! I love that you added pistachios – we are pistachios fiends in this house. My 3 year old would eat them all day if I let her. And I love stone fruits – best part of summer is all the peaches, cherries, apricots, white nectarines are my absolute fave!! Yay summer fruit!!!ReplyCancel

  • WhitneyJune 4, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Growing up near farm country in Ventura, summer was always for the flats of fresh-picked strawberries from the local farmstand, eaten stem and all and for the bags of soft-ripened apricots that ran down your hands when we bit into them on the long ride to the camp ground.

    I’m even more excited for my CSA’s first pickup today and so glad I went for the fruit share. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • IleanaJune 4, 2014 - 11:51 am

    Love her blog! And these apricots look gorgeous and delicious. This summer I’m looking forward to cherries, peaches, and apricots!ReplyCancel

  • KristenJune 4, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    I’ve followed Kimberley’s blog for a few years now, and I’m always inspired by her dishes. Whenever I’m in a cooking rut I venture over to her site for inspiration. There has never been a recipe that I’ve tried and didn’t love. Kimberley is also really kind and helpful and has responded to many of my comments and emails.

    Right now I’m looking forward to Ontario strawberries appearing in the market. First thing I’ll make? Kimberley’s baked almond pancake with strawberries and citrus. :)

    I’ve retweeted this link. Not because I’m looking for another chance at winning (I’m going to buy the book regardless), but because more people need to see her work.ReplyCancel

  • EileenJune 4, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    These apricots sound delightful! I bet they would make an amazing & decadent breakfast. :) Picking out my favorite vegetables is really hard! I am going to go with the classic green bean for now. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • SaraJune 4, 2014 - 1:50 pm

    Like you I am waiting for my Boston-area CSA to get going–and strawberries. This recipe looks great, though I am equally happy eating apricots fresh. Thanks for the giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • SarahJune 4, 2014 - 1:55 pm

    I am so anxious for cherries and apricots. Until they’re available in my area, I’m enjoying many radishes and the first of the garlic scapes and strawberries.ReplyCancel

  • The Chardonnay KitchenJune 4, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    I LOVE stone fruits, but I have a stone fruit allergy (to the pollen that’s in their flowers, essentially). If they’re cooked, I’m good to go – this recipe looks wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • HollyJune 4, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    Excited for stone fruit and would love to check out this book! Thanks for the recommendation!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney Wish JohnsonJune 4, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    Growing up near farm country in Ventura, summer was always for the flats of fresh-picked strawberries from the local farmstand, eaten stem and all and for the bags of soft-ripened apricots that ran down your hands when we bit into them on the long ride to the camp ground.

    I’m even more excited for my CSA’s first pickup today and so glad I went for the fruit share. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • cook.can.readJune 4, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    I am so anxious for cherries and apricots. Until they’re available in my area, I’m enjoying many radishes and the first of the garlic scapes and strawberries.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa AlbaJune 4, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    Cherries and plums! My trees are loaded! Hopefully the crows won’t eat all of them before they ripen up, I need to replenish my jams stash!ReplyCancel

  • Nona WeatherbyJune 4, 2014 - 5:58 pm

    After a wet winter colorful fruit is sheer delightReplyCancel

  • Lisa D.June 4, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    This recipe sounds amazing…I can’t wait to try it. I know summer’s around the corner when sweet, plump cherries & corn are in season.ReplyCancel

  • Aimee @ Simple BitesJune 4, 2014 - 9:53 pm

    So pretty Brian!
    Right now we’re eating cucumbers from the garden and they are really sweet, but I have to admit, I’m holding out for fresh sweet peas. My favourite!ReplyCancel

  • MadelineJune 4, 2014 - 10:42 pm

    I’ve always been a lover of mangoes and white nectarines!ReplyCancel

  • Kat A.June 4, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    These look apricots look amaaaaazing! My favorite summer fruits are mangoes and watermelons. I blend and freeze em into popsicles!ReplyCancel

  • Kat A.June 4, 2014 - 10:52 pm

    Tweeted about this! @kattywattyyReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchenJune 5, 2014 - 5:54 am

    I can’t wait to make these poached apricots. They look absolutely gorgeous, Brian! And I most certainly can’t wait to get Kimberley’s amazing looking book. Her site is full of inspiration: recipes, photography, writing. All of it, really. Vibrant Food is one of the most anticipated cookbooks of 2014!ReplyCancel

  • Christine EnriquezJune 5, 2014 - 7:50 am

    This looks like a real treat :) I love lavender! Asparagus and strawberries are my favorite spring/summer foods.ReplyCancel

  • Christine EnriquezJune 5, 2014 - 8:00 am

    I have tweeted about this recipe and giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • ChristinaJune 5, 2014 - 9:08 am

    I LOVE picking fresh raspberries from my Opa’s garden in the summer! Actually any fruit or veggie straight out of the garden is pure deliciousness.ReplyCancel

  • ChristinaJune 5, 2014 - 9:12 am

    I’ve tweeted about this too!ReplyCancel

  • AngelJune 5, 2014 - 11:29 am

    This looks incredible!

    My favorite summer fruits are mangoes and rainier cherries!ReplyCancel

  • KarenJune 5, 2014 - 11:33 am

    My cherry tree is loaded with green cherries right now!
    Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Mimi RippeeJune 5, 2014 - 4:36 pm

    Oh my god these are beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly in ChicagoJune 5, 2014 - 6:17 pm

    This book seems right up my alley! :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah H.P.June 5, 2014 - 8:51 pm

    I love rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, melons, and peaches! I could go on forever!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleJune 5, 2014 - 9:36 pm

    I love fresh berries, so simple and delicious!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleJune 5, 2014 - 9:37 pm

    I’ve also tweeted about this from @Fiare!ReplyCancel

  • BekaJune 5, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    I’m not sure if its Brussels sprout season yet but I love them roasted or whit olive oil and garlic. What other recipes would you suggest? Hopefully there’s some good inspiration in your book that I’d love to win ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJune 5, 2014 - 10:14 pm

    Yum! I’ve never been a huge fan of apricots (too many apricot filled cookies with chewy, gooey apricots in them as a kid), but this looks like a lovely way to prepare them. I’ll eat just about anything with a nice dollop of mascarpone on top. :)

    This time of year, I find myself waiting (not so) patiently for the arrival of garlic scapes at the farmer’s market. I can’t get enough of them.ReplyCancel

  • Brandi YoungJune 5, 2014 - 10:25 pm

    wow this is such a simple, beautiful recipe! Thank you for helping spread joy through thoughtful, wholesome food. ReplyCancel

  • GabrielleJune 5, 2014 - 11:42 pm

    CHERRIES. Every summer I gorge myself on cherries and inevitably end up with many stomachaches…but it’s so worth it. Excited to have recently found your blog! A lot of our produce here in Oregon tracks with your seasons back east, so I’m looking forward to using your recipes for inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • MonetJune 5, 2014 - 11:59 pm

    A lovely giveaway Brian. Her blog is beautiful and I’m sure her book is as well! My favorite spring/summer fruit is certainly berries but I’m beginning to fall in love with apricots as well!ReplyCancel

  • Shabby AddyJune 6, 2014 - 3:37 am

    This looks amazing! In summer I just can’t get enough of home grown tomatoes! ReplyCancel

  • LorettaJune 6, 2014 - 8:19 am

    I love all the stone fruits and berries!ReplyCancel

  • I love the scent of lavender!ReplyCancel

  • Marcia MillerJune 7, 2014 - 10:49 am

    Spring in Oakland means Yellow Peaches! I love a juicy yellow peach with a latte – amazing together. I also love field green salad dressed with lanvender balsamic, and topped with sliced yellow peaches and toasted hazelnuts. So these poached apricots are right up my alley.ReplyCancel

  • CalliJune 7, 2014 - 9:37 pm

    strawberries are just too delicious, watermelon too!ReplyCancel

  • jessicaJune 8, 2014 - 12:10 am

    I love roasted peaches!ReplyCancel

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    This looks wonderfully fragrant and fresh!
    Like the perfect picnic food.ReplyCancel

  • Arthur in the Garden!June 8, 2014 - 11:07 am
  • Abbie @ Needs SaltJune 8, 2014 - 6:57 pm

    These apricots look to perfect. I love the idea of colorful, vibrant food. That’s the way it should always be. Fruits are amazing.
    Pinning this! Delicious photos.ReplyCancel

  • AbbyJune 8, 2014 - 8:45 pm

    I’m fresh corn obsessed. Like OB-SESSED. But sweet peaches and strawberries are also favorites.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie LockardJune 8, 2014 - 11:00 pm

    Love, love, love cherries…remind me of my Grandma and her awesome pie. Also really happy to see fresh corn!ReplyCancel

  • MelodyJune 9, 2014 - 11:33 am

    Peaches, peaches, peaches. This summer we are grilling them to put in cocktails, but most of the time they get eaten before they make it to the grill. Also, ground cherries!ReplyCancel

  • BethanyJune 9, 2014 - 12:38 pm

    I’m always looking forward to fruits and veggies in the summer – tomatoes are by far my favorite. I can make so many things if I have fresh tomatoes.ReplyCancel

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  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceJune 9, 2014 - 5:04 pm

    I’d love to win this book! Looks so pretty. Apricots are one of my favorite summer fruits. I also like nectarines, zucchini blossoms and tomatoes :)ReplyCancel

  • Christy SpurlockJune 9, 2014 - 8:44 pm

    I love fresh “yellow” tomatoes.ReplyCancel

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  • KateJune 10, 2014 - 5:57 pm

    Such gorgeous photos, Brian! I, too, am utterly obsessed with Kimberley’s book. So inspiring. I want to day drink with both of you!ReplyCancel

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    Lavender! I’d really like to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing! As for my favorite spring fruit, I like rhubarb, especially in my morning smoothies.ReplyCancel

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    The timing here is perfect! I have a bunch of apricots that were waiting for a purpose. Beautiful photos and book from what I can see!ReplyCancel

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    Both the apricots and the cookbook look fantastic!! I’m looking forward to fresh green beans and tomatoes!ReplyCancel

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    I’m going to go with a classic; strawberries are my favorite summer fruit!ReplyCancel

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    I love peaches – they are my absolute favorite. When they are at their sweetest and juiciest here in the south in the middle of the summer – it is the best!!ReplyCancel

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    The handle on the double is wedge shaped to make flipping easier.ReplyCancel

  • Garden WarfareOctober 19, 2014 - 1:09 pm

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Lemon and Garlic Roasted ArtichokesLemon and Garlic Roasted ArtichokesLemon and Garlic Roasted ArtichokesLemon and Garlic Roasted Artichokes

For most of my youth (and well into adulthood), I believed that the best part of eating artichokes was the melted butter that accompanied them.  This was the sole reason I’d endure the tedious process of scraping away at each leaf. That, along with the knowledge I’d be treated to a tender heart I could dunk in the remaining butter, kept me going. Since one can’t indulge in such decadence all the time, I have grown to appreciate a new condiment: a combination of Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and fresh dill. Sound boring compared to melted butter? Well, it’s definitely not as rich, but it is creamy and the mustard gives it a little kick, which definitely adds to the experience.

Until now, I’d been steaming my artichokes. This, I’ve learned, is not the most exciting way to prepare them. After recently trying my hand at roasting them with olive oil, lemon, and some garlic cloves, I’m now a convert to this method. In fact, a dipping sauce becomes less essential since the flesh has already been infused with these flavors and is seasoned with salt. I’m not saying you shouldn’t include the yogurt-mustard sauce or lemon butter, but if you don’t feel like mixing it up, there’s enough going on with these roasted ‘chokes that you probably won’t miss it.

Lemon and Garlic Roasted Artichokes

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  • Lauren at Keep It SweetMay 27, 2014 - 8:01 am

    I love artichokes but can never make them as good as in a restaurant – definitely giving this recipe at try. The roasting with garlic sounds so good! And I used to dip my leaves in italian dressing, this sounds so much better!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanMay 27, 2014 - 8:38 am

    I am a huge artichoke fan and while I love dipping them in butter, these sounds just as amazing!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneMay 27, 2014 - 9:16 am

    I’ve never had good luck with steaming my ‘chokes. But roasting…now that sounds quite promising. As does that dipping sauce!!ReplyCancel

  • JenniMay 27, 2014 - 11:45 am

    What a great method! Roasting just intensifies flavors, and I love the punch that lemon and garlic bring to the dish–I can almost taste it!ReplyCancel

  • naomiMay 27, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    Call me awful, but I still just want to get right to the heart. And the sauce–way better than just butter.ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ The Lemon BowlMay 27, 2014 - 3:25 pm

    This is a complete game changer for me.ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceMay 27, 2014 - 6:49 pm

    Artichokes are a thing of beauty, aren’t they? I just love the colors. Growing up, my grandmother would make artichokes stuffed with seasoned breadcrumbs. I thought they were nasty at first, but then I really grew to love them. I also enjoyed the social aspect of eating an artichoke. Sitting around with family, savoring each leaf one-at-a-time. There’s really no rushing it!

    I haven’t made artichokes in a long time. I need to get back on that. Perhaps host an artichoke party ;) Another beautiful recipe Brian!ReplyCancel

  • Aren’t most foods better roasted? These look perfectly golden and delicious to me!ReplyCancel

  • ShainaMay 27, 2014 - 8:05 pm

    Artichokes are one of my favorite springtime treats. I like tossing them on the grill because it’s such a different side for pairing with barbecue. These look perfectly roasted, Brian, and that sauce. Oh the sauce.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesMay 27, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    Of course the buttery method sounds awesome to me, but this dip is none too shabby, either. These artichokes look perfectly gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenMay 28, 2014 - 5:21 am

    Perfect timing, I’ve got some artichokes I need to put to good use!ReplyCancel

  • Joshua HamptonMay 28, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Roasting artichokes – what an awesome idea. And the sauce does look more interesting than melted butter.ReplyCancel

  • my only experience with artichoke is with the spinach dip…im tempted to roast them now. beautiful pictures as always,ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous photos! I’ve never tried roasting fresh artichokes but they sound amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionMay 29, 2014 - 3:19 pm

    I am quite ashamed to say that I have never made artichokes at home. I love them and eat them at restaurants, but always shy away from them in my kitchen. After looking at your photos on Facebook and now reading your blog post, I feel as though I have no excuse not to give them a try. Plus, I’m loving the sound of that sauce.ReplyCancel

  • [...] DREAM artichoke recipe. Also no [...]ReplyCancel

  • francescaMay 30, 2014 - 4:17 am

    Oh I love anything with garlic and artichoke – I’ve been known to eat them baked with butter and dipped in lemon… These looks lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Millie l Add A LittleMay 30, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Yum looks gorgeous and so delicious! I feel like a fancy french lady when eating artichokes ha!
    http://youtube.com/addalittlefoodReplyCancel

  • Tracy | Pale YellowMay 31, 2014 - 8:24 am

    Fresh artichokes intimidate me, so I always use canned or frozen. This recipe looks fantastic and one I can really get behind! So pumped to pick up some fresh artichokes!ReplyCancel

  • MonetMay 31, 2014 - 11:53 pm

    I buy an artichoke a week during the spring and early summer but I’ve never tried them like this before. Clearly, I’ve been missing something very special! Can’t wait to try Brian!ReplyCancel

  • DeniseJune 2, 2014 - 9:20 pm

    I have to agree with you, I use to love an artichoke for the melted butter or the mayo. Okay, I admit it, I am a mayo lover! I started roasting pretty much all veggies a few years ago, artichokes included and haven’t looked back. Love them on the grill too!ReplyCancel

  • ATasteOfMadnessJune 2, 2014 - 11:14 pm

    Why have I never bought artichokes before?? This looks SO good!!ReplyCancel

  • Karin StienemeierJune 6, 2014 - 9:16 am

    this sounds fabulous!ReplyCancel

Ramp + Mushroom Toast

Ramp + Mushroom Toast

Ramp + Mushroom Toast

Ramp + Mushroom Toast

Ramp + Mushroom Toast

Ramp + Mushroom Toast

Eric and I returned home on Sunday to find a note left by my mom. “I love you,” it said. “We had a wonderful time in your beautiful and warm home.” Somehow she’d found a way to tuck this in our office without us noticing. It was a lovely message to receive after a fantastic weekend. I’d been anxiously awaiting this visit from my parents. For one thing, they hadn’t seen the house. Yes, we sent photos and videos and did our best to describe things in as much detail as we could. But that isn’t the same as experiencing it.  They got to walk around the garden and see all the flowers that have started to crop up these last couple of weeks. They got to meet our neighbors and see what a charming street we’re on.

There was a lot accomplished this weekend, especially in the way of decorating. They brought up furniture that came from my grandmother, who passed away a few months ago. I didn’t know how it’d fit in the house, but I’m beyond thrilled with how it’s all turned out.  It’s nice to have a piece of my grandparents here… especially the two brown leather recliners that now reside in our living room. They were their favorite chairs and every time I sit in one, I’ll remember the hours they spent in them, working on crossword puzzles, reading, or watching basketball games.

My parents took us to get some lamps and pillows and treated us to new sheets and a comforter and a throw to lay on top of the bed (you know… grown up things). And my mom, with her incredible eye, helped us figure out what art to hang on the walls.  In addition to all the errands, we did dinner with Eric’s mom and dad and their partners.  On Friday, I cooked up a storm, even going so far as to make an appetizer for everyone to nosh on before the meal (again… so grown up).  There was wine and scotch and wonderful conversation. And, most importantly, we got to just be together in our home.

Ramp + Mushroom Toast

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  • Lail | With A SpinMay 14, 2014 - 6:43 am

    So glad you had a wonderful weekend. I hope you get to relax a bit after all the errands. Scrumptious toast. Love it.ReplyCancel

  • LeahMay 14, 2014 - 8:27 am

    This looks delicious ~ perfect appetizer!! I know what you mean about having a piece of your grandparents in your home. My parents recently moved out of the house I grew up in and I brought home some pictures and things that I had up in my childhood room. I’m not quite sure where I am going to put them in my house now but just having them here makes it feel more like home.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesMay 14, 2014 - 10:06 am

    Mega swoon. Love, love, love!ReplyCancel

  • Russell at Chasing DeliciousMay 14, 2014 - 11:08 am

    What a delicious recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline @ Shrinking SingleMay 14, 2014 - 5:36 pm

    I love garlic and mushrooms on toast but this just takes it to a whole new super delicious level.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarMay 14, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    Such a yummy recipe! These toasts look great!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanMay 14, 2014 - 11:26 pm

    Toast is the best. Especially with these topping!ReplyCancel

  • Joshua HamptonMay 15, 2014 - 6:29 am

    The toast looks amazing. And your parents are so sweet.ReplyCancel

  • MonetMay 16, 2014 - 12:00 am

    Your parents…I want to meet them and hug them…they are so endearing, just like you. And is there anything better than toasts? Throw delicious and fresh ingredients on good bread and I’m sold. Thank you for sharing Brian.ReplyCancel

  • DeniseMay 17, 2014 - 12:12 am

    Brian, I am loving this grown-up post. I know exactly how you feel. When we bought, suddenly everyone wanted to treat us to grownup things. My favorite is a cowhide rug that my uncle got it. LOVE!

    Great recipe as well, it is perfect for hot night snacky dinners!ReplyCancel

  • Averie @ Averie CooksMay 17, 2014 - 8:18 am

    I love mushrooms, soooo much! I would inhale these :) pinned! And what a sweet post you shared!ReplyCancel

  • KristenMay 19, 2014 - 10:24 am

    Your home sounds so lovely – as lovely as this recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • Norma TorresMay 19, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    A wonderful way to use ramps…love it!ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaMay 19, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    These look so lovely – I love the idea of soft sauteed mushrooms on crunchy baguettes.

    My parents are coming to visit our new home next month – hope we get the same warm fuzzies that you got.ReplyCancel

  • ATasteOfMadnessMay 20, 2014 - 9:59 am

    I love everything with mushrooms. I am now craving toast. YuM!ReplyCancel

  • Arthur in the Garden!May 21, 2014 - 5:56 pm
  • [...] Recipe inspired by these Ramp and Mushroom Toasts. [...]ReplyCancel

Fiddlehead and Tomato Salad with Pecorino

Fiddlehead and Tomato Salad with Pecorino

I’m finally getting a feel for the light in the house. I know a lot of folks assumed that this was the first thing I investigated when we initially looked at it, but, really, it was one of the last.  In fact, I didn’t realize how good it was until I actually started playing around. Yes, the kitchen is a bit limited, but I do have two small patches that seem to work nicely. And that’s significantly better than our apartment. I didn’t tell a lot of people this, but I rarely photographed food in our old kitchen. The light just wasn’t very good. So I’d do a lot of the chopping and ingredient shots in the living room, head into the kitchen to cook, and then bring it all back into the living room. It was very challenging and I’m so glad those days are behind me.

In our new place, I get most of my shots in the dining room. There are three large windows that fill the room with just the right amount of light. I’m still getting a sense of the best places to shoot and it’s really exciting when I find a new area to work in.

So, I freaked out a little when I saw fiddleheads in the store. I can’t remember what I went in for. Whatever it was became insignificant as soon as I saw these. For some strange reason, I’m obsessed when I get my hands on them. Maybe it’s their unique shape or that they taste like asparagus, but with a slight grassy note. Whatever it is, I had to buy a bag. I often do a sauté with butter and garlic and will throw them on pasta or grits. This time, I wanted something different. Because they are potentially toxic, it’s a good idea to cook them first, which is what I did. And then I tossed them into an ice bath before throwing them into a bowl with chopped tomato and a light, lemony dressing. That may have been satisfying enough, but a salad doesn’t really hit the spot without the addition of cheese. I’m pretty sure the pecorino brings this whole dish together.

Fiddlehead and Tomato Salad with Pecorino

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  • LirenMay 7, 2014 - 9:00 am

    The light is beautiful, Brian; I’m so excited that your new home is turning out to be a gem for photography, too :-)

    You’ve inspired me to seek out fiddleheads. They are so dainty and irresistible, especially in such a light salad!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanMay 7, 2014 - 9:00 am

    So happy you have gotten a chance to play with the light. That is always fun!

    Love this pretty salad. it sounds so good. Wishing I could find fiddleheads around here!ReplyCancel

  • when i first moved into my new apartment i was excited about the light because i have sooo limited time to take pictures during the day..im so glad you have it all figured out. i keep seeing fiddlehead recipes lately but living in dallas, we dont have those perks..and will have to live through your pictures and posts. thank you for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • Tina @ Tina's Chic CornerMay 7, 2014 - 9:47 am

    This looks so delicious and refreshing! Hope you’re having fun experimenting with your new “studio.” :)ReplyCancel

  • Aimee @ Simple BitesMay 7, 2014 - 9:54 am

    Totally love fiddleheads here. I used to make a dish with lobster, rhubarb, bacon and fiddleheads every spring. I may need to bring it back!

    Loving your gorgeous salad.ReplyCancel

  • [...] Fiddlehead and Tomato Salad with Pecorino from A Thought For Food. [...]ReplyCancel

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)May 7, 2014 - 4:21 pm

    This is such a beautiful salad Brian! Love it–I saw fiddleheads at the grocery store the other day (Whole Foods), but I had no plan, so I ended up walking past them. I definitely want to try this!

    Also, I’m totally jealous of that gorgeous kitchen light! My kitchen is at the back of my apartment and I ALWAYS have to drag stuff out to the living room. It sucks, haha!ReplyCancel

  • EileenMay 7, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    Oh MY. I am so jealous of those beautiful fiddleheads! They are one vegetable we just do not have in California. But this sounds like such a great combination with early tomato and salty cheese! Maybe I will give it a try with asparagus… :)ReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchenMay 8, 2014 - 6:12 am

    What a wonderful looking salad! I’ve never seen fiddleheads being sold on the market (I’ve only seen then growing wild in New Zealand) neither have I eaten them. Such a shame, really. Need to get hold of them one day.ReplyCancel

  • Joshua HamptonMay 8, 2014 - 6:47 am

    Those fiddleheads look gorgeous. And I agree – a salad doesn’t really hit the spot without cheese.ReplyCancel

  • JoanneMay 8, 2014 - 8:22 am

    I go crazy for fiddleheads also!! They are just so cute I almost want to hug them. Or eat them. What a gorgeous salad! So many bright fresh flavors.

    And yay on the light! We are going to have to move this summer and i am SO spoiled by all the light in our apartment now…I am so scared we will have barely any in the new place!ReplyCancel

  • ShainaMay 8, 2014 - 10:12 am

    Heaven on a plate. I love fiddleheads. Light is a fickle thing. My kitchen has good light for about 2 hours a day, and even then, if the weather doesn’t cooperate I’m relegated to the dining room. Still, I’ll take it. Having a place to call your own really makes all the shuffling worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)May 9, 2014 - 2:51 am

    I’ve never come across fiddleheads, they sure are striking to look at! P.S Your photos turned out beautifully!ReplyCancel

  • MonetMay 13, 2014 - 11:49 pm

    Fiddleheads are some of the prettiest market finds (and they’re made even more beautiful in your hands).ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaMay 15, 2014 - 5:36 pm

    nature makes the craziest stuff… these shapes (and this salad) are awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Edna LebelMay 16, 2014 - 7:10 pm

    J’adore les têtes de violon au printemps . bonne source de fer. Aussi de vitamine C ReplyCancel

  • KarenJune 1, 2014 - 10:16 am

    It’s been almost 9 months in my new house, and it took a while to figure out the light for me too. My kitchen is dark at all times, so I work in my living room. And fiddleheads! I bought a bag at the farmers market yesterday and cooked them with morels, shallot and olive oil. My teenager loved that they were like miniature ferns and tasted like “green”. Yours look delicious!ReplyCancel

It’s hard to find the words to express what an amazing experience this last Potluck was. For those who have never attended, I like to describe it as a non-conference conference. Yes, there are keynote speakers. Incredible ones, in fact. The topics, however, are not traditional. Instead of covering SEO and monetization, the themes at the Big Traveling Potluck are much bigger, forcing us to look at ways to improve our lives, and, thus, our writing and photography.

I had the pleasure of being the official photographer for the Potluck. This was the third I’ve photographed and it was such a wonderful experience. I hope these pictures illustrate the love, the passion, and all the incredible food.

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  • KristenMay 4, 2014 - 2:56 am

    I always love your BP recaps and photos. I haven’t been back since the very first one but you always make me wish I could have!ReplyCancel

  • AshleyMay 4, 2014 - 10:49 am

    Thanks for letting me relive the weekend again! Beautiful photos + great to finally meet! :)ReplyCancel

  • The Big Potluck 2014May 4, 2014 - 12:03 pm

    [...] if we were not able to join your workshops! See also the wonderful recap Brian Samuels did in his blog [scroll down to see my face when I was so close to the avocado/pistachio gelato!] Hope to see all [...]ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceMay 4, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    Awesome recap Brian!!! I loved reliving the weekend as well :)ReplyCancel

  • CherylMay 4, 2014 - 8:12 pm

    Brian, you and your lens did something pretty phenomenal: distilled the essence of an expansive weekend into a series of stunning visuals. Thank you for all your hard work and tireless documenting. Round of applause, and cheers to our new friendship!ReplyCancel

  • JordanMay 5, 2014 - 12:41 am

    Your photos are simply stunning. Thank you for this beautiful photo album of a fantastic weekend. It was great to meet you in person and we hope to see you before next year’s event!ReplyCancel

  • i have never been to these conferences but thank you so much for the pictures…it is always nice to see familiar faces and hopefully i will attend it someday and meet all the wonderful people i admire.ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My KItchen AddictionMay 5, 2014 - 4:53 pm

    Loved seeing all of your photos from the weekend… They are stunning, as always. Seeing this made me really wish I had been there!ReplyCancel

  • Gerry @ Foodness GraciousMay 6, 2014 - 11:44 am

    Fantastic pics Brian and it was great seeing you again! Looking at these pictures just makes me want to be back on the hill :)ReplyCancel

  • Fork In The Road FoodsMay 6, 2014 - 5:35 pm

    Beautiful photos! It was so fun to look through them all!ReplyCancel

  • EthanMay 7, 2014 - 12:48 am

    Next best thing to being there is seeing your pics. Thanks Bri.ReplyCancel

  • bev @ bevcooksMay 7, 2014 - 1:15 pm

    LOOOOOOOVETHEEEEEEEESEEEEAAAAAA.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.May 8, 2014 - 1:23 am

    Brian, these photos are beautiful and you captured the event and feel of the weekend so perfectly! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • ShainaMay 8, 2014 - 10:14 am

    I was so disappointed not to be there this year. It looks wonderful, and I’m sure it was, as always. Lovely photographs, Brian.ReplyCancel

  • Diane {Created by Diane}May 11, 2014 - 7:21 pm

    what a beautiful recap Brian, it was so great seeing you :)ReplyCancel

  • Mimi AvocadoJune 1, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    Just found your recap…perfect! Loved all your photos.ReplyCancel

Citrus Margarita with Lemon, Lime and Ginger RimCitrus Margarita with Lemon, Lime and Ginger RimCitrus Margarita with Lemon, Lime and Ginger RimCitrus Margarita with Lemon, Lime and Ginger RimCitrus Margarita with Lemon, Lime and Ginger Rim

Citrus Margarita with Lemon, Lime and Ginger RimWe got spoiled by a few days of really beautiful weather last week. But just before I left for California, it started getting cold again and, when I returned, nothing had changed. It’s pretty crisp out there. You don’t mind a few minutes walking at a fast clip, but any more than that isn’t much fun.  That didn’t stop me from spending a little time in our garden. Mind you, I wasn’t actually gardening. Just looking to see what progress had been made while I was away. Every time I look, something else starts to come up. I can’t wait to see it all looks like at its peak.

Even though I swore that I’d take a day to recuperate from a weekend spent photographing the Potluck, I couldn’t help but take my camera out to get some pictures. I’ve been playing around with different flavored rims for my margaritas and one of my favorites is this one that’s made, very simply, by combining sugar with a ton of lemon and lime zest. I sprinkle that on a plate and add powdered ginger and a touch of Kosher salt. It just takes the whole margarita experience to a whole new level.

Speaking of margaritas… let’s chat about that. When it comes to margaritas, I’m kind of a traditionalist. Well, most of the time I am. If using fresh juice, I’m open to interpretation. Store-bought mix, however, is off limits. Who needs it? Not me! Yes, yes, I know limes are expensive right now. So, if you want, use grapefruit. Just please don’t use that cloyingly sweet pre-made mix. This one definitely isn’t traditional, but it’s just as refreshing and still the perfect balance of tart, sweet, and, with that special rim, just a little salty.

Citrus Margarita with Lemon, Lime and Ginger RimView full post »

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