A Thought For Food » where ideas are brought to simmer

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  • MikeVFMKOctober 5, 2014 - 2:33 pm

    Beautiful photos, Brian! It’s as if I was there. Looks like another epic weekend. Next year for sure. Freeing up my schedule.ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My KItchen AddictionOctober 5, 2014 - 2:47 pm

    Fabulous photos, Brian! What a great weekend… It was fun reliving it through your photos. Also, I will have to be more careful when I choose to tag you in a photo on Instagram :)ReplyCancel

  • WenderlyOctober 5, 2014 - 4:23 pm

    Exquisite! Wish I could have joined in the fabulous soirée! Fingers crossed for next time!ReplyCancel

  • Endless Mountains Hot Air BalloonsOctober 5, 2014 - 6:55 pm

    Hi, This is Dawn from Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons. Thanks so much for the awesome photos of the balloon. I’ve posted this page over on our FB page.ReplyCancel

  • stephanieOctober 5, 2014 - 8:59 pm

    Stunning photos Brian!

    Thank you so very much for capturing all the special moments of our weekend in the country.

    Until next time,

  • TieghanOctober 5, 2014 - 11:15 pm

    Such a fun time and gorgeous photos!! :) Wishing I could have been there!ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating KitchenOctober 5, 2014 - 11:21 pm

    Incredible photos. Love seeing all these smiling faces!ReplyCancel

  • AshleyOctober 6, 2014 - 10:41 am

    These photos are fantastic, Brian!!! You captured the weekend perfectly, and I’m so glad we had more time to chat this trip!ReplyCancel

  • Dennis LittleyOctober 6, 2014 - 4:42 pm

    Beautiful images Brian! Thanks so much for documenting our weekend.

    It was so nice seeing you again, I hope its not another year until our next meeting!


  • MonetOctober 7, 2014 - 12:07 am

    What a beautiful event! I was transported. I’d love to make it here one day!ReplyCancel

Jamaican Jerk Tempeh Tacos

Tempeh, I was wrong about you. When we were first introduced to each other five years ago, I didn’t see your potential. Loved the texture. Your earthy flavor, however, turned me off and I decided, rather hastily, that you didn’t have a place in my life. But I saw you at the store the other day and thought that I should give you another shot. At first, I was skeptical. You still got some funk there! So, I went bold with my approach: garlic, ginger, spices and lots of lime juice. What would that do to you?

You know what it did? It mellowed you out and it showed me that, with just a little creativity, you can be turned into something quite beautiful.  Sure, I noticed hints of your old traits in there, but they weren’t nearly as pronounced.

I see a relationship blossoming, tempeh. We aren’t BFFs quite yet, but definitely good buddies. And, in time, I think we’re going to be quite close.

Jamaican Jerk Tempeh TacosJamaican Jerk Tempeh Tacos

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  • Beth @ The First YearSeptember 30, 2014 - 9:09 am

    I want to print your photos off and put them all over my kitchen, dang!ReplyCancel

  • Sharana @ Living THe Sweet Life BlogSeptember 30, 2014 - 9:46 am

    Mmmm … I’ve actually never tried tempeh – but this recipe looks so delectable — I may just have to give it a try :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Cookie Named DesireSeptember 30, 2014 - 10:33 am

    I’ve always loved tempeh because of that earthy flavor! Call me crazy, but it rocks my socks. I love the jerk/taco combo going on here, too. Looks so good!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline ChurchSeptember 30, 2014 - 1:04 pm

    This looks great..I remember in my old vegetarian days (I know, I know) my trick for taming tempeh was to steam it first then marinate and grill or broil. I had a saté recipe once that was my go to. This one looks tempting. Joe Yonan’s got a great essay on “mock meats” in Serve Yourself, btw. Have a read if you’ve missed it.ReplyCancel

  • Blueberry TalesSeptember 30, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    That is such a sweet story! And the dish looks delicious. Tempeh hasn’t found its way into my kitchen yet, but I think I’ll give it a shot. Thanks!

    Best Camilla / http://www.blueberrytales.comReplyCancel

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy SweetSeptember 30, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    This sounds fantastic! Love all of the flavors in these tacos! Pinning!ReplyCancel

  • Toni | BoulderLocavoreSeptember 30, 2014 - 11:02 pm

    This sounds like the dialog I have with beets. However you are much more adventurous with your dalliance; I’ve never elevated beets to such a wonderful dish!ReplyCancel

  • KrisOctober 1, 2014 - 1:57 am

    We ARE brilliant! Jamaican jerk?!? I can’t wait to try this version. Laura and I stopped at Wegman’s on the way back and I picked up some of my favourite tempeh there. Next up, these beauties!!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanOctober 1, 2014 - 9:06 am

    I love Jamaican jerk anything, so these tacos are looking extra delicious!ReplyCancel

  • BrooksOctober 1, 2014 - 11:05 am

    Brian, I’ve never heard of tempeh, until now. The presentation in taco form, with jerk flavor profiles has me completely intrigued. Thank you for the introduction, good man!ReplyCancel

  • KellyOctober 1, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    I’ve never tried tempeh probably for the same reasons you are not bffs with it yet! This recipe and your photos just changed my mind. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • autumnOctober 1, 2014 - 12:30 pm

    It’s complicated with tempeh and I too! These sound awesome though. I think these are just the right flavors to TAME THE TEMPEH. :)ReplyCancel

  • Thalia @ butter and briocheOctober 1, 2014 - 8:16 pm

    As someone that has very strict eating needs and eats tempeh every night, this recipe is perfect for me. Thanks for the recipe, you can definitely consider that i will be recreating it.ReplyCancel

  • MonetOctober 2, 2014 - 12:14 am

    I didn’t think I liked tempeh either…until I went to Portland. Lol. That’s classic, isn’t it? I really fell in love with it at this one Vegan restaurant. I want to try your recipe because it looks and sounds equally as good!ReplyCancel

  • Katie (The Muffin Myth)October 2, 2014 - 6:37 am

    I’m a tempeh lover through and through, but I’m always looking for tasty new ways to eat it. I make a version of tempeh tacos also, but I love the idea of the jerk seasoning. Yum! Have pinned and will be making soon. Thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneOctober 2, 2014 - 7:31 am

    I’ve had mixed results with tempeh, but I think I agree with your approach – go big on flavor or go home! This sounds like a taco I need in my life!ReplyCancel

  • bev @ bevcooksOctober 3, 2014 - 2:41 pm

    Oh my gosh I want to tempeh my whole face in that taco.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanette's Healthy LivingOctober 6, 2014 - 11:50 am

    Love all the spices in these tacos! I haven’t used tempeh much but I love this idea.ReplyCancel

  • 36 Healthy Taco Recipes for Every PalateDecember 2, 2014 - 10:41 am

    […] 30. Jamaican Jerk Tempeh Tacos […]ReplyCancel

  • […] 30. Jamaican Jerk Tempeh Tacos […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Tempeh Tacos [Emma’s Little Kitchen]Chorizo Tempeh and Potato Tacos [An Avocado a Day]Jamaican Jerk Tempeh Tacos [A Thought For Food]Tortilla Chip-Crusted Tempeh Tacos with Avocado Cream [Veggie and the […]ReplyCancel

Plum Cake with Almond Crumble ToppingPlum Cake with Almond Crumble ToppingPlum Cake with Almond Crumble ToppingPlum Cake with Almond Crumble ToppingPlum Cake with Almond Crumble Topping

It’s not surprising, but my memories of celebrating Rosh Hashanah as a kid all revolve around food. There was the preparation of the dinner, the smells of each dish marking the arrival of fall. Chicken soup simmering on the stove. Brisket roasting in the oven with onions and carrots.  I adored (and still do enjoy) the gefilte fish served at the beginning of the meal, topped with thinly sliced cucumbers and accompanied by a dollop of beet horseradish. But without a doubt the moment that stuck with me the most is dipping apple slices in honey. Sure, I liked apple slices, but honey was too intense for my tongue. I know, odd for a child to not enjoy anything that tasted of sugar. But I found the whole thing cloyingly sweet. And the honey inevitably got on my fingers and made my hands all sticky. But it was tradition… to welcome in the new year.

I always liked this idea of starting things off with something sweet. So often, we harp on all the negative things in our lives.  It’s nice to begin with something pleasant. Which is where this plum cake comes in. Though this kind of dessert was never served at our Rosh Hashanah dinners, it is a fairly traditional recipe to serve during Rosh Hashanah. I’ve taken some liberties with a plum cake by Melissa Clark (who is an incredibly talented cook and writer), by adding a crumble topping. Think of it as a cross between a cake and a crumble. We enjoyed it on its own, but you can’t go wrong with topping it with whipped cream or ice cream (though, now that I’ve typed that, I wonder if you can ever go wrong with adding ice cream to a dessert). And leftovers (if there are any leftovers) make for a fantastic breakfast.

Plum Cake with Almond Crumble Topping

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  • TieghanSeptember 22, 2014 - 9:23 am

    This is so pretty, I really need to jump on the plum bandwagon!ReplyCancel

  • Sharana @ Living The Sweet Life BlogSeptember 22, 2014 - 11:03 am

    Yum!! What a stunning cake, those charred top bits are calling my name!ReplyCancel

  • DeniseSeptember 22, 2014 - 5:26 pm

    Happy Rosh Hashanah! I agree it is a nice thing to start a meal with something sweet, and this cake would be lovely. It sounds amazing! Wishing I had a slice now ….ReplyCancel

  • sara forteSeptember 22, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    this looks SO SO good, Brian! I’ve been craving something like this but the stone fruits around here haven’t been that great lately. Gorgeous photos tooReplyCancel

  • Sara Renee ForteSeptember 22, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    this looks SO SO good, Brian! I’ve been craving something like this but the stone fruits around here haven’t been that great lately. Gorgeous photos tooReplyCancel

  • MonetSeptember 22, 2014 - 11:52 pm

    Gorgeous Brian. What a wonderful way to welcome in the new year. I don’t bake much with plums, which is a shame. I’m going to have to buy some now to try this gorgeous cake of yours. Thank you for sharing…and for your sweet words on my post. You are very dear to me!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanette's Healthy LivingSeptember 23, 2014 - 1:39 am

    Gorgeous photos – love the crumble topping – going to have to bake some plums now!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarSeptember 23, 2014 - 4:45 am

    This cake is calling to me! Love that topping!ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceSeptember 23, 2014 - 12:09 pm

    Looks tasty Brian! I especially like the bourbon. Melissa Clark recipes are always a win. I’ve yet to make a bad one!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanSeptember 23, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    MMnnn… I LOVES me some plumcake, especially when Uncle Brian brings it over for dessert!ReplyCancel

  • Gina @ Running to the KitchenSeptember 23, 2014 - 10:12 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Beth @ The First YearSeptember 24, 2014 - 8:10 am

    Wowza Brian! I am pretty sure I just drooled all over my keyboard just scrolling through your homepage. I have got to make this plum cake, I am loving the topping!ReplyCancel

  • Arthur in the Garden!September 24, 2014 - 8:27 am


  • Laura DembowskiSeptember 24, 2014 - 8:33 am

    I’m obsessed with plums and plum cake right now. Plums are the perfect way to cling to summer.ReplyCancel

  • Liren BakerSeptember 24, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    L’Shana Tova, Brian! I also love the idea of starting off with something sweet, and this cake would be a perfect way to start AND end a meal.ReplyCancel

  • AdriSeptember 24, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    I love plums, and they are so wonderful right now. I bet this cake is delicious – Melissa Clark always has something good cooking. Your photographs are really beautiful. Congratulations on a supremely tempting post!ReplyCancel

  • Thalia @ butter and briocheSeptember 25, 2014 - 5:50 am

    This plum cake looks totally delicious. I love cooking with and eating any stone fruit so this recipe is definitely one i will be recreating.. thanks for sharing it!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneSeptember 25, 2014 - 7:09 am

    A cake that doubles as breakfast sounds like the kind of cake I want in my life! This looks amazing. Love the crumble addition…because when can you go wrong with that? Or ice cream. I’m always into ice cream.ReplyCancel

  • Tonia LarsonSeptember 25, 2014 - 2:08 pm

    That looks delicious! Great pictures!ReplyCancel

  • Ungke MyTasteSeptember 26, 2014 - 12:51 pm

    Hi there,

    It is noticeable that there is a great number of tasty recipes on your site and we would like to suggest you to have a look at the Top Food Blog section on our site.

    myTaste is a social platform for foodies and blogs who has recipes or site owners like you and it helps to reach more people, get more visibility on the web and share or save recipes.
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  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesSeptember 26, 2014 - 5:31 pm

    Super lovely cake, Brian. The plums have been wonderful lately, we’ve been going through so many. But I haven’t baked with them. I want to try this cake!ReplyCancel

  • Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It IsSeptember 27, 2014 - 7:15 am

    […] plum cake. so […]ReplyCancel

  • molly yehSeptember 27, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    i love the look of this cake! and i’m with you on the honey and apples thing, i never loved it growing up. maybe i just didn’t like the sticky fingers….

    happy new year!!!ReplyCancel

  • Estelle NeedlemanSeptember 28, 2014 - 8:12 am

    I made the Plum Cake for Rosh Hashanah dessert. It was delightful. I didn’t use all the plums called for but placed them decoratively on top and finished with the crumble topping. It was delicious! Thanks, Brian.ReplyCancel

  • Abbe@This is How I CookSeptember 28, 2014 - 10:56 am

    Well, I do and did like apples and honey, but I also like plum cake. A lot!ReplyCancel

  • How to Philosophize with CakeSeptember 28, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    Wow that looks awesome! I will have to save this, as my family has a lot of plums to use up lately. :) ReplyCancel

  • AshleySeptember 29, 2014 - 9:21 am

    I am loving how golden brown the top of this cake is and that you scoop it from the pan. Best kind of cake!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Sternman RuleSeptember 30, 2014 - 12:38 am

    I’m glad I’m seeing this after hearing you tell me all about your Rosh Hashanah meal in person. So wonderful to see you this past weekend. Let’s make sure we see each other twice in 2015, too, okay? Happy new year!ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaSeptember 30, 2014 - 1:39 pm

    Looks like a lovely thing to cuddle up with in fall :)ReplyCancel

Marinated MushroomsMarinated MushroomsMarinated Mushrooms

Down to the last few days in my twenties. Eric has been joking for the past month that I need to order my coffin. My gay death is quickly approaching, he tells me, at which point I remind him that, no matter how old I get, I’ll always be his younger man. Ever since he turned thirty, I’ve tried to envision what we’d do to celebrate my introduction to the next decade of my life. For his birthday, we ate at The French Laundry. I had it in my head that we should do something equally extravagant for mine. Maybe a trip to New York to eat at Eleven Madison or Le Bernadin. One of our bucket list restaurants. Then we moved into our house and everything changed. I had dreams of hosting friends and family, gathering in our backyard, eating food fresh off the grill. There’d be copious amounts of cheese and wine. And laughter.

That’s all I really want and that’s exactly what we have planned for this coming weekend. As always, Eric and I have made plans to do a more intimate dinner on my actual birthday on Monday (I also have a much needed massage scheduled for that morning). Overall, I think we have some nice activities in the works.

Everyone’s been asking me if I’ll be cooking for the party. We had talked briefly about having it catered, but that just didn’t feel right. I get so much joy out of feeding people that it would be odd for me to present someone else’s food. One of the dishes I’ve prepared are these marinated mushrooms. It’s a very easy appetizer to create and one that can be multiplied for larger groups. I expect that they’ll go well with the rest of our spread: cheeses, olives, roasted tomatoes, grilled fish and smoked brisket.

In other news, I am thrilled to share that I have a few of my photos being displayed at the Boston Center for Adult Education. Ok… maybe a few is an understatement, since it’s actually 50. I was so honored when I was asked to create a show for the gallery space. It’s titled The Mood of Food and it’ll be up for the next month. On September 19th, the BCAE is hosting a reception that’s open to the public. They’ve put together quite the event… with wine, beer, a cocktail (they’re serving up my blackberry shrub) and some tasty bites. If you live in Boston, I’d love to see you there! (Click here for more details)

Marinated MushroomsMarinated MushroomsMarinated Mushrooms

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  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionSeptember 10, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    Congrats on the photo exhibit… I am sorry I won’t get there to see if in person, but I am confident it is amazing!

    Happy birthday (a bit early)… Sounds like you have wonderful plans for the weekend. Also, I am so glad I’m big the only one who cooks (or bakes) for their own party. :)ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating KitchenSeptember 10, 2014 - 4:20 pm

    Nothing beats the smell of simmering mushrooms! It’s my favorite! Congrats on the exhibit! How wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • ahu @ ahueatsSeptember 10, 2014 - 5:48 pm

    This is a revelation! I probably spend $10 a week on marinated mushrooms from my local deli! I would love to make them myself – but I don’t see the original quantity of olive oil listed (not on the ingredients list) – can you let us know what that should be? Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)September 10, 2014 - 6:22 pm

    Congrats on the exhibit and enjoy the last days in your twenties! This dish looks great. We love mushrooms and this looks like a great way to enjoy them.ReplyCancel

  • The view from Great IslandSeptember 10, 2014 - 6:45 pm

    Congratulations on your photo exhibit, I wish I were in Beantown to see it. My consolation is that here in Los Angeles our farmer’s market has the most amazing mushroom stand, and I will be able to pick out great specimens for marinating…thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarSeptember 10, 2014 - 8:05 pm

    I love marinated mushrooms so much! This recipe truly looks perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceSeptember 10, 2014 - 8:45 pm

    Congratulations on the exhibit!! And happy early Birthday :) 30’s awesome. You’re going to love it.

    These mushrooms look pretty darn tasty. Seems like such a simple recipe too!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanSeptember 10, 2014 - 11:53 pm

    Wow, I am in awe of these! So pretty and I bet so good! Cannot wait to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)September 11, 2014 - 6:47 am

    Marinated mushrooms are one of my most favourite foods! Congrats on the exhibit and enjoy the last days of your 20s (you’re SO YOUNG!)ReplyCancel

  • Nathalie C. | Devoted FoodieSeptember 11, 2014 - 8:59 pm

    I’m slightly obsessed with mushrooms, I love them! This dish sounds delicious and your pictures are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • MonetSeptember 14, 2014 - 12:10 am

    I was so excited when I heard about your gallery…and I only wish I lived closer so I could come and see all your beautiful work! And I love mushrooms…adore them…so we’ll be marinating some soon, I’m sure!ReplyCancel

  • […] 3. MMMhhmm–mushrooms are my fav. This sounds delicious! Marinated Mushroom. […]ReplyCancel

  • JuliaSeptember 14, 2014 - 8:04 pm

    Congratulations on your 30th birthday and the exhibit. Your photographs are stunning. Could you amend the recipe with the total amount of olive oil needed? Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • aimee @ small eatsSeptember 14, 2014 - 9:07 pm

    Congrats on the exhibit! And happy birthday tomorrow!!
    Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks :)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth TarlowSeptember 14, 2014 - 11:55 pm

    Can’t wait to try these…we love Mushrooms! Thanks for the recipe =) I was wondering how much Olive Oil in total you used here? ReplyCancel

  • francescaSeptember 15, 2014 - 5:42 am

    Congrats with your photo display! That’s quite something (but your photos ARE gorgeous: )And of course, a very merry birthday.ReplyCancel

  • Arthur in the Garden!September 15, 2014 - 8:19 am


  • AdriSeptember 16, 2014 - 11:44 am

    Congratulations on the exhibit! What an honor. I am only sorry I cannot be there for a guided tour. I bet it will be very well received. Your photography is beautiful. And congratulations on the milestone birthday. About the age thing – do what I do. I always tell Bart that no matter how old I get, he will always be older than I.

    These ‘shrooms look great. Such simple flavors, and a simple preparation yields a wealth of flavor. Complimenti!ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenSeptember 24, 2014 - 4:11 am

    Congrats on the exhibit, wish I could see your beautiful work displayed in person!ReplyCancel

  • DeniseOctober 2, 2014 - 8:12 pm

    Gorgeous recipe, Brian. I love marinated mushrooms but always hate the jarred ones at the store, and never want to make the trek to a deli to purchase. You have saved the day, and added a new appetizer recipe to my list of must makes. I thank you for that!ReplyCancel

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  • Millie l Add A LittleSeptember 7, 2014 - 1:38 am

    Love all the shots – so vibrant and beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • LirenSeptember 7, 2014 - 10:27 am

    What a treasure! I can absolutely see why you would return again and again. Beautiful food.ReplyCancel

  • MonetSeptember 8, 2014 - 12:07 am

    What a gorgeous place…with some gorgeous plates. That pasta! Wow! I’m hungry now. Thank you for sharing Brian. A treasure indeed!ReplyCancel

  • Stacey | Kitchen SerendipitySeptember 8, 2014 - 3:50 pm

    Beautiful shots Brian!ReplyCancel