A Thought For Food » where ideas are brought to simmer

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

Whole Wheat Pizza with Beets, Arugula and PecorinoWhole Wheat Pizza with Beets, Arugula and PecorinoWhole Wheat Pizza with Beets, Arugula and PecorinoWhole Wheat Pizza with Beets, Arugula and Pecorino

I try to mix things up when it comes to what we eat. If we have fish one night, I’ll prepare something vegetarian the next. If one meal is heavy, I’ll be sure to create a lighter dish the following evening.  From time to time, I’ll throw a pizza into the mix. We don’t take in pizza very often because I’m picky when it comes to my slice. I haven’t found a pie that compares to what I grew up with in my New Jersey hometown.  The oven or grilled variety has grown on me, though, and that’s what I’ll usually do if I make it for dinner. We’ll roll out some dough and give it whatever spin we’re feeling. Clams and pesto or maybe a garlic scape and zucchini pie.  I like to top my pizzas with seasonal ingredients, ideally those that are homegrown or from the co-op we’re members of.

The inspiration for this beet pizza came to me as I flipped through the newly released cookbook, Seriously Delish, by blogger Jessica Merchant of How Sweet It Is. I’ve always admired how Jessica will balance out a decadent recipe (usually it involves a gooey, chocolatey (sometimes boozy) dessert or something bacon-wrapped) with a simple salad. That’s how I like to eat. As long as it’s using fresh ingredients, I’m on board.

It didn’t take long for me to develop this recipe. I came across her beet salad creation and thought, “Hey, that’d make for a great pizza topping! Something unique. Kind of healthy, totally delish.”

Whole Wheat Pizza with Beets, Arugula, and Pecorino

The publishers of Seriously Delish have generously offered to giveaway a copy to one lucky A Thought For Food reader. Of course, I suggest ordering a copy anyway (you can always give one to a friend or family member), so be sure to head over to pick up a copy.

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 pizza topping is.

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

Check out this Beet and Arugula Pizza + a giveaway of Seriously Delish by @howsweetblog over at @myfoodthoughts – http://tinyurl.com/mfrl9cx

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

Whole Wheat Pizza with Beets, Arugula and Pecorino

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  • KelsterSeptember 3, 2014 - 12:57 am

    I tend to gravitate towards meat lovers. But I really really really love spinach Alfredo.ReplyCancel

  • CarlySeptember 3, 2014 - 3:16 am

    I’m a huge fan of BLT pizza with ranch dressing instead of mayo.ReplyCancel

  • ClarenceSeptember 3, 2014 - 5:47 am

    I’m not sure why but this blog is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.ReplyCancel

  • JessicaSeptember 3, 2014 - 6:36 am

    THANK YOU!!! a million xoxoxoxo’s. now the real question is can you make me this in boston? ;)ReplyCancel

  • KatherineSeptember 3, 2014 - 7:00 am

    My favorite topping combination is pepperoni with pineapples!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarSeptember 3, 2014 - 7:23 am

    Yay!! I love trying different pizza recipes too. My fav is a classic pesto and mozzarella combo – can’t go wrong!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarSeptember 3, 2014 - 7:23 am

    I tweeted @wvanillasugarReplyCancel

  • Jana RuggieriSeptember 3, 2014 - 8:18 am

    Scrambled egg whites, spinach, roasted red pepper, mozzarella…ReplyCancel

  • KimSeptember 3, 2014 - 8:18 am

    For my money, you can’t get much better than pineapple on a pizza. No ham. Just pineapple. Yessireeeeee!ReplyCancel

  • MeghanSeptember 3, 2014 - 9:17 am

    I love feta, spinach, and banana peppers. And grilled pizza!ReplyCancel

  • DeniseSeptember 3, 2014 - 10:38 am

    Margherita pizza is my favorite, so simple yet delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and HealthSeptember 3, 2014 - 10:51 am

    my favorite pizza topping is good old tomato, basil, and mozzarella preferably on a thin crust pizza.ReplyCancel

  • Bethany Fagan GoodSeptember 3, 2014 - 10:52 am

    I just love pizza. But sometimes nothing is better than tomato basil and ricotta cheese on pizza. I also love throwing on some chopped up artichokes!ReplyCancel

  • DeniseSeptember 3, 2014 - 10:53 am

    tweeted @saintcuppcakeReplyCancel

  • Beth R.September 3, 2014 - 12:40 pm

    Favorite pizza topping, eh? I like to keep it simple with all the veggies…and light cheese.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesSeptember 3, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    Gorgeous pizza. Love the beets and arugula!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Senyei | Just a TasteSeptember 3, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    Absolute perfection! Love the look of that homemade crust!ReplyCancel

  • Millie l Add A LittleSeptember 3, 2014 - 1:45 pm

    Yum! I love the sound of the pizza and the colours are so gorgeous with the deep purple beetroot, vibrant arugula and creamy pecorino!ReplyCancel

  • ShannonSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:17 pm

    lately my favorite topping has beenReplyCancel

  • ShannonSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:18 pm

    bacon and roasted fennel (sorry for the double comment, I didn’t finish my sentence!!)ReplyCancel

  • KelseySeptember 3, 2014 - 2:33 pm

    My favorite pizza topping is Pulled Pork! Thanks for the chance to win!ReplyCancel

  • MeredithSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    My favorite pizza topping is fresh sliced tomatoes! Yummmmmmm!ReplyCancel

  • MeredithSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:55 pm
  • Karly KSeptember 3, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    I absolutely love figs on white pizza. Figs + Arugula + Prosciutto + Olive oil drizzle = heavenReplyCancel

  • AllisonSeptember 3, 2014 - 4:35 pm


  • Beth RoessnerSeptember 3, 2014 - 4:40 pm

    Favorite pizza topping, eh? I love all the veggies. ReplyCancel

  • ErikaSeptember 3, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    My favorite pizza topping is sausage. My favorite pizza combination is caprese though. Love me some balsamic!ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceSeptember 3, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    I love kimchi and bacon :) Recently I made a suuuuuper tasty hatch chile pizza.ReplyCancel

  • SKJSeptember 3, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    Love mushrooms on my pizza!ReplyCancel

  • EileenSeptember 3, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Ooh, beet salad as pizza topping is such a great idea! I think my favorite pizza topping is fresh greens, thrown raw on top of the pizza before each bite. Arugula, baby spinach, or regular old butter lettuce — it’s all good. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • maggieSeptember 3, 2014 - 6:22 pm

    favorite pizza topping: fresh mushrooms :)ReplyCancel

  • Jared-Kelsey WolfeSeptember 3, 2014 - 6:33 pm

    My favorite pizza topping is Pulled Pork! Thanks for the chance to win!ReplyCancel

  • Theresa NSeptember 3, 2014 - 7:30 pm

    My favorite toppings are the bell peppers and mushrooms.ReplyCancel

  • AmandaSeptember 3, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Loving this! My favorite is asparagus, balsamic reduction and an eggReplyCancel

  • Valerie HusserSeptember 3, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    I luv rustic pizzas & my favorite topping are pineapple, pepperoni, bell pepper xtra sauce.ReplyCancel

  • KateSeptember 3, 2014 - 10:38 pm

    Yum! My go-to pizza topping is also a hometown favorite. My local pizza place growing up made the most decadent breaded eggplant — to this day after many many attempts I’ve never been able to recreate it!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleSeptember 3, 2014 - 11:00 pm

    Favorite topping is pepperoni!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleSeptember 3, 2014 - 11:01 pm

    Tweeted from @Fiare!ReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Sweet DreamingSeptember 3, 2014 - 11:13 pm

    goat cheese, broccoli, mushrooms!ReplyCancel

  • MonetSeptember 3, 2014 - 11:59 pm

    I have been loving arugula on my pizzas so naturally I want to try this beautiful version! Goodness, it looks good! And I’m right there with you on balance. We try to switch things up as much as we can…with a good pizza thrown in every now and then.ReplyCancel

  • YoojinSeptember 4, 2014 - 7:36 am

    i love the idea of beets on a pesto! i bet the natural sweetness goes perfectly with the bitter arugula and salty pecorino :)

    one of my favorite pizza toppings is roasted balsamic mushrooms!ReplyCancel

  • YoojinSeptember 4, 2014 - 7:38 am

    oh my goodness, i meant beets on a pizza… my mind was on all the pizza things..

    here is my tweet!

  • JoanneSeptember 4, 2014 - 8:48 am

    I read somewhere once that most good salads can double as pizza toppings…and this just proves it! And yes, homemade pizza is the only way to go. In my opinion. :P

    Okay, fine, maybe some grimaldi’s, but NOTHING ELSE.ReplyCancel

  • CarolineSeptember 4, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Spinach and red onions!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie OlsonSeptember 4, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    My favorite pizza is Gouda, bacon, honey crisp apple, fresh sage, drizzled with honey.ReplyCancel

  • KristineSeptember 4, 2014 - 2:04 pm

    I love BBQ chicken pizza!ReplyCancel

  • DeeSeptember 4, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    My favorite pizza is spinach, pecan & feta & this one looks right up my alley! :)ReplyCancel

  • Brie @ Entrée the GiantSeptember 4, 2014 - 2:11 pm

    Favorite topping is pesto, spinach, caramelized onions, feta and muenster. OMG so good.ReplyCancel

  • Joan DavisSeptember 4, 2014 - 2:26 pm

    After seeing this recipe – it might be my new favorite topping!!!ReplyCancel

  • AliciaSeptember 4, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    anchovies…. i know, it’s odd. but it’s seriously delish :)ReplyCancel

  • Jackie WandellSeptember 4, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    Olives, hands down favorite topping. ReplyCancel

  • Jackie WandellSeptember 4, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    And I tweeted! ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie A. OlsonSeptember 4, 2014 - 5:57 pm

    And it’s been tweeted!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel ChampagneSeptember 4, 2014 - 6:01 pm


  • Rosemary StoltzfusSeptember 4, 2014 - 7:07 pm

    I love grilled veggies only pizza..zucchini, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • CathySeptember 4, 2014 - 7:53 pm

    roasted fennel & onion, hands down.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn ThompsonSeptember 4, 2014 - 8:37 pm

    i love Hawaiian! pineapple and baconReplyCancel

  • KatySeptember 4, 2014 - 8:37 pm

    I love prosciutto as a topping but this pizza also looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Leah S.September 4, 2014 - 9:25 pm

    I am so excited for Jessica’s cookbook! Also, your twist on her salad to make a pizza is such a good idea! I love pizza, and there are so many flavors that I love on it, but my favorite is some fresh mozzarella!ReplyCancel

  • saraSeptember 4, 2014 - 11:45 pm

    I cant get over the sweet and savory of hawaiian pizza.ReplyCancel

  • Lyn MSeptember 5, 2014 - 11:11 am

    I love fresh basil & tomatoes on my pizzaReplyCancel

  • Lyn MSeptember 5, 2014 - 11:13 am

    I just tweeted.

  • lisaSeptember 5, 2014 - 2:06 pm

    lately my fav has been taco pizza-seasoned ground meat,salsa,black olives,mexican blend shred cheese,lettuce and a lil sour creamReplyCancel

  • ClaudiaSeptember 5, 2014 - 2:39 pm

    I am lactose intolerant, so my favorite pizza topping include anything that does not contain milk (ex. tomato sauce, mushrooms, caramelized onions, bacon, spinach and avocado).ReplyCancel

  • Yael LangerSeptember 5, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    I love making pizzas! My favorite pizza toppings are green olives and peppers….or just some fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. ReplyCancel

  • JessieSeptember 5, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    I make fig purée every summer and it makes the BEST pizza!!! Manchego +/- goat cheese on top, grilled outside on perfectly chewy crispy pizza dough. And then toss some fresh arugula in olive oil, salt & pepper. Sweet & salty. I add prosciutto for my husband.ReplyCancel

  • Michele ScottSeptember 5, 2014 - 5:31 pm

    love something a little sweet with the saltiness of cheese…figs? yum.ReplyCancel

  • C it NutritionallySeptember 5, 2014 - 9:30 pm

    This looks absolutely HEAVENLY! ReplyCancel

  • AdriSeptember 7, 2014 - 11:43 am

    My favorite? That’s tough. Ill say basil, fresh tomato, and a bit of Italian Fontina.ReplyCancel

  • SuzySeptember 7, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    Garlic is a must, basil and bacon :)ReplyCancel

  • MorganSeptember 7, 2014 - 2:29 pm


  • RosieSeptember 7, 2014 - 2:34 pm

    My fav pizza is salami, red onion and olives. Yeah!ReplyCancel

  • Kate SchwabSeptember 7, 2014 - 4:57 pm

    I do loves me a great arugula pizza!ReplyCancel

  • ShannonSeptember 7, 2014 - 5:53 pm

    I like Turkey Pep, Mozz, Mashed Garlic, Pizza Sauce, with a spinkle of red pepper, Romano Chz & Capers.

    I will be trying yours for a change! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • BuffySeptember 7, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    My favorite pizza topping is good cheese and shredded basil. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • JeffreySeptember 7, 2014 - 8:39 pm

    My favorite pizza starts with an olive oil base with minced garlic (a lot of it), fresh spinach, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, mozzarella and chopped basil.
    Arugula goes very well with prosciutto…Tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella – bake it – top it with the prosciutto (I don’t like mine crispy) and arugula that has been tossed in olive oil. I finish the pie with fresh grated parmesan.ReplyCancel

  • JeffreySeptember 7, 2014 - 8:41 pm
  • AmandaSeptember 7, 2014 - 10:10 pm

    I love roasted red peppers on my pizza!ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaSeptember 8, 2014 - 1:56 am

    I’m a classic margharita gal when it comes to pizza. I want simple, great ingredients. (But this looks lovely, and I’d probably eat the whole thing :) )ReplyCancel

  • KellySeptember 8, 2014 - 6:54 am

    brussel sprouts!ReplyCancel

  • MarciaSeptember 8, 2014 - 9:44 am

    I love caramelized onions on pizza (or even better, caramelized shallots), ricotta, lemon and basil. On a thin, crispy pizza dough…so good!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica wSeptember 8, 2014 - 12:18 pm

    right now I’m loving Hawaiian homemade pizzas or roma tomato, sauteed onions, basil, and fresh mozzarella.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel DSeptember 8, 2014 - 4:14 pm

    I would love some pear and gorgonzola with red onion pizza right now!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly CSeptember 8, 2014 - 10:53 pm

    My favorite pizza topping is prosciutto!!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly CSeptember 8, 2014 - 10:57 pm
  • MB Manion MorellSeptember 9, 2014 - 9:57 am

    Love your flavor combinations… My favorite would have to be grilled pizza with fig, goat cheese and pancetta…ReplyCancel

  • AdamSeptember 9, 2014 - 10:52 am

    I love pepperoni on thin crustReplyCancel

  • Samantha WilkinsonSeptember 9, 2014 - 8:08 pm

    olives, usually in some sort of combo… but i’d take black olive, green olives, kalamatas… just, yum. olives. :)ReplyCancel

  • SarahSeptember 10, 2014 - 12:49 pm

    I love pesto on pizza, especially with some bleu cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction.ReplyCancel

  • SarahSeptember 10, 2014 - 12:51 pm
  • GoogleOctober 12, 2014 - 6:14 am

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of information.
    I am satisfied that you shared this useful info with us.

    Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • […] few cookbooks I have on the shelf in our kitchen. Most recently, I got to check out Jessica’s Seriously Delish. It’s one that I constantly go back to for inspiration when I want to get a little playful […]ReplyCancel

Blackberry Gin and TonicBlackberry Gin and TonicBlackberry Gin and Tonic

It’s around 6 o’clock when we begin to get things in order for dinner. As Eric lights the charcoal for the grill, I head into the kitchen to mix drinks. From time to time, we’ll pop open a bottle of wine, but more often than not, it’s gin and tonics.  I take pride in my g+t-making skills, which were picked up by watching Eric during our first years together. I realized early on in our relationship that if I was going to last in this family, I’d have to learn to prepare one properly.  I grab a lime, cut it in half, squeeze the juice into each glass, making sure to get as much of the pulp in that I can. The used wedges are reserved for the end (Eric likes to eat the rind… it’s something I’ve come to accept).  The next step: add the gin. Sometimes it’s measured out in a jigger, but to speed up the process I’ll often just eyeball it. A few handfuls of ice cubes and then topped off with tonic and we’re good to go!

Earlier this summer, I was chatting with Vijay (of Nosh On It) and Brandon (of Kitchen Konfidence) and we came up with the idea to do a series on our favorite cocktails.  We’re calling it “What I Drink,” where, from time to time, we’ll post our favorite drink recipes. Sometimes these will be classics, but we may also give them a little twist. Be sure to check out Vijay’s 1794 and Brandon’s Old Fashioned posts.

Seeing that gin and tonics are what we drink during the summer, I immediately knew that’s what I’d be making. As I explained above, the recipe for a g+t isn’t all that complicated, so I’ve spruced things up here by making a blackberry shrub that replaces the lime juice in the drink

But before you scroll down for the recipe, here’s a little Q+A to give you all a bit more info about why I love gin and tonics and what the heck a shrub is. Hope you enjoy! Cheers.

Blackberry Gin and Tonic

What flavor profile best fits your cocktail? Sweet, fresh, bitter or savory?
What’s great about shrubs is that they’re a combination of sweet (from the sugar and fruit) and tangy (from the vinegar), making for a balanced cocktail.
Why is this drink your favorite?
Well, the gin and tonic is certainly my favorite summer drink and I pretty much only consume it from June through August. It’s a simple drink to prepare and it’s very refreshing.
Do you enjoy variations, or do you just stick to the original recipe?
Often I stick to the original recipe (gin, lime juice, tonic), though, in this case, I played around a bit. I’ve also been known to add a splash of Aperol or bitters to my gin and tonic.
When making cocktails, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received (or read)?
I’m not sure there’s one piece of advice that sticks out. It’s more like a combination of tips and tricks I’ve picked up from watching bartenders. I’ve learned to taste my drink as I add ingredients to see if it needs more sweetness or citrus or something to smooth it out. One bartender told me that you should add the alcohol at the end… or at least the most expensive liquor… because that way if you screw up the drink, you don’t lose the pricier ingredient. Sometimes I’ll follow that rule, but it doesn’t always make sense.
What’s the worst alcoholic beverage you’ve tasted?  Please describe the experience.
When we go out, we tend to hit up places that we know will mix up a well-crafted cocktail. However, there have been a few times when we try out a new place and we’re terribly disappointed by the results. I don’t expect much from a dive bar, but nicer establishments should be able to produce a balanced drink. There have been a couple of occasions when we’re served a drink that’s flat for some reason… it’s missing some acidity or sweetness or, in the worst of circumstances, any discernible booze.

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  • What I Drink: Old Fashioned CocktailAugust 28, 2014 - 9:16 am

    […] Here’s Brian’s Blackberry Gin and Tonic. […]ReplyCancel

  • Averie @ Averie CooksAugust 28, 2014 - 10:18 am

    Brian this is just a gorgeous drink! Clicked over from Brandon’s site to find this beauty. I want it for breakfast :) Pinned!ReplyCancel

  • Giovanna @ Love, Thyme and HoneyAugust 28, 2014 - 10:39 am

    That’s for sure a nice variation to the usual Gin & Tonic. Where else could I use the shrub? It sounds like a syrupy liquid!?ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethAugust 28, 2014 - 11:42 am

    I love these! Ever since I had a blackberry rambler at Sweet Ups in Brooklyn waaay back in the day, I’ve been hooked on blackberry cocktails and I love your restrained, shrubby g&t! Totally going to make a few these over the long weekend.

    I also love the interview! It’s nice to get a glimpse into your day-to-day and the things you look for in a good, or bad, drink. Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Cookin CanuckAugust 28, 2014 - 12:03 pm

    Now that’s my kind of g&t! Gorgeous colors with one of my favorite summertime fruits. But…Eric eats the lime rind? I’m still processing that. :)ReplyCancel

  • MonetAugust 29, 2014 - 12:17 am

    Shrubs need to start happening around here. It sounds like my kind of drink addition! This is a beautiful drink, Brian. No doubt delicious too ;-)ReplyCancel

  • […] blackberry gin and tonic. yes yes […]ReplyCancel

  • saraAugust 30, 2014 - 11:52 am

    I so love this! Looks amazing. :)ReplyCancel

  • KateAugust 30, 2014 - 6:36 pm

    I used to hate on tonic water, but I recently found some quality tonic and it makes all the difference! Your blackberry shrub version sounds killer.ReplyCancel

  • Francesca CatanusoAugust 31, 2014 - 11:30 am

    G+T’s are my absolutely favorite. I like mixing them with edleflower sparkling water… do you guys have the around? ReplyCancel

  • DeniseSeptember 3, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    G+T is definitely a summer drink around here, and we have found with our European travels this summer they are BIG over there as well. What I love about your recipe, and the ones we have had in Europe is going outside of the comfort zone with flavors and gins. Digging this shrub as you use balsamic with it. Have been playing with shrubs this summer, and this is the first. The depth must be outstanding!ReplyCancel

  • Erin PereiraSeptember 3, 2014 - 7:58 pm

    How long does the shrub last in the fridge?ReplyCancel

  • AdriSeptember 10, 2014 - 10:34 am

    I am so pleased that shrubs have made a comeback. I remember them from years ago. They add such depth of flavor and your Blackberry Shrub breathes new life into the classic Gin and Tonic. I have really enjoyed these cocktail posts from you and your two blogging pals. Bravi!ReplyCancel

  • JulieOctober 3, 2014 - 12:00 am


  • […] Gin & Tonic, com amoras! Receita aqui. […]ReplyCancel

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Honey Glazed Grilled Salmon and Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger DressingHoney Glazed Grilled Salmon and Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger DressingHoney Glazed Grilled Salmon and Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger DressingHoney Glazed Grilled Salmon and Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing

Growing up, my father, like most dads, was the grill master.  He will still find any excuse to cook outside… nothing will deter him. A little rain? Put on a jacket and get an umbrella! Eric’s the same way and has been known to uncover the grill in the middle of winter. I certainly have an appreciation for the art of grilling and realize how exhilarating it is to cook over an open flame. But I let these guys enjoy their moment. They know what they’re doing and they seem to take great pride in their talents, so why take that away from them? I’ll stand back and let them do their thing.  Of course, my mother and I are the ones who season the food before it hits the grate… but I’ll let that little detail slide.

I learned something recently that blew my mind, and yet it makes perfect sense. If one uses a marinade to baste meat or fish, then that liquid must first be cooked before it can be applied. I will often marinate whatever we’re cooking, but seeing that I’m rarely in charge of grilling, I didn’t pay attention to the process after the fish left the kitchen. It wasn’t until I started to develop this recipe that I found out that marinade that’s been used on raw fish or meat shouldn’t be used to baste the protein, unless it’s been heated prior to this point.

Now that we’re half way through the work week, I suggest you get your weekend grill plans in order. We’ll be using it quite a bit over ourselves, including next week when we spend a little time on the Cape.

Honey Glazed Grilled Salmon and Carrot Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing

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  • MonetAugust 13, 2014 - 12:12 am

    I’m sad to say we don’t own a grill. I still rely on my dad and his skills! I’ll often ask him to grill me some chicken or fish when he has time…and like a sweet dad, he does and brings me over dinner! This grilled salmon looks amazing, Brian. Will be sending him the recipe ;-)ReplyCancel

  • MegAugust 13, 2014 - 2:49 am

    Delicious! We had grilled salmon tonight with braised carrots. Love this combo!ReplyCancel

  • NaomiAugust 13, 2014 - 8:11 am

    Hmm, good point. Logical. I never thought if that! Love that flamed pic.ReplyCancel

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)August 13, 2014 - 8:35 am

    So beautiful! I love dishes like this, I feel like I also would be a year-round grill person if I had access to outdoor space (sigh). These are my favorite type of meals!ReplyCancel

  • Alida RyderAugust 13, 2014 - 8:43 am

    This looks fantastic! Love that coal shot!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanAugust 13, 2014 - 8:58 am

    This look so perfect!! And gorgeous photos!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee @ Simple BitesAugust 13, 2014 - 11:04 am

    Wow, gorgeous, smokey photos, Brian! We just nabbed a Webber with a chimney starter (isn’t that what you’re using?) and I can’t wait to try this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesAugust 15, 2014 - 9:49 am

    Beautiful BEAUTIFUL post and recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Copper River SalmonAugust 15, 2014 - 3:25 pm

    Looks delicious! And what beautiful photographs of the salmon!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneAugust 17, 2014 - 9:59 am

    I hope this will do well with a good roast in the oven as well, because that’s how I’ll be making it! Love the sound of that glaze.ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaAugust 20, 2014 - 2:41 am

    I feel like all men turn into grill masters once they become dads, no? At least mine did – mom says he was terrible at all kitchen things before he had to feed a family (and wanted some peace!)

    This salmon looks delicious.ReplyCancel

  • ElAugust 25, 2014 - 10:09 pm

    Gorgeous meal! I just started grilling this year and love it. Can’t wait to try your recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Crushing On - Chez UsAugust 29, 2014 - 3:16 am

    […] This salmon […]ReplyCancel

  • alison @ Ingredients Inc.September 8, 2014 - 8:01 am

    making this tonight! Your site looks amazing!!ReplyCancel