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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

  • What I Drink - The Cider Mill CocktailDecember 18, 2014 - 8:01 am

    […] almost didn’t happen. Vijay, Brandon and I had talked a few weeks ago about doing another What I Drink post, since we had such a blast with the first one. We’re a few guys who not only love food, […]ReplyCancel

  • What I Drink: Apple & Quince SparklerDecember 18, 2014 - 8:01 am

    […] our go-to cocktails, including an Old Fashioned (made with Vanilla Sugar), a 1794 Cocktail, and a Blackberry Gin and Tonic.  Today, we’re sharing a number of alcoholic beverages perfect for a New Year’s Eve […]ReplyCancel

  • […] and make yourself a delicious drink […]ReplyCancel

  • Kære fredag… | wordjugglesMarch 6, 2015 - 2:30 pm

    […] {Athoughtforfood} […]ReplyCancel

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

Shrimp + Sweet Corn Ceviche

Shrimp + Sweet Corn CevicheShrimp + Sweet Corn CevicheShrimp + Sweet Corn CevicheShrimp + Sweet Corn CevicheShrimp + Sweet Corn CevicheShrimp + Sweet Corn Ceviche

Sunday night, Eric and I stumbled across a party in our neighborhood.  Well, the truth is that the reason we ended up there was because we were complaining about the music. We had been trying to relax and had pulled out some lounge chairs in our backyard. The weather was perfect; warm, but not humid. The dog was sleeping next to us, exhausted after a jam-packed weekend.

“I’m going to take Maki for a walk and see where that’s coming from.”


“Yeah, I just want to see and maybe tell them to turn it down a bit.”

I laughed, knowing how ridiculous it was that the youngest homeowners on the street (and quite possibly in the three blocks surrounding us), the ones who were supposed it be hip and cool, were actually two crotchety guys who moan about the kids blasting their music too loudly.

Ten minutes later, Eric returned. It turned out the music was actually a live band (a band, I should add, that specializes in covering the songs of Jimmy Buffet, though they make it clear in their marketing materials that they do other genres) and that the woman whose party it was was very nice and had them turn down the volume. Oh, and if we wanted we were welcome to come over and join them.  Not being ones to turn down an invitation to a party, we headed off.

“This is so random.” I said as we approached their driveway. We knew no one and the only interaction we’d had with them was Eric’s brief confrontation.

The next thing we knew, three hours had gone by. A couple glasses of wine consumed. New friends made. We got to hear lots of gossip (and who isn’t a sucker for that) and felt even more connected to the neighborhood that we just moved into four months ago.

Of course, none of this has to do with ceviche. I’m not even going to try to bridge these two. All I can tell you is that it wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be to make. In fact, it was really simple and so refreshing on these brutal summer days we’ve been having. There may have been some margaritas consumed as well… or gin and tonics. Definitely one of those.

Shrimp + Sweet Corn Ceviche

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I hemmed and hawed: do I write something or should I let the images speak for themselves? As a photographer, you hope that your pictures are strong enough to tell the whole story. When shooting a restaurant, it’s possible to do this. A five day trip to Alaska, however, is more challenging. While I want to give these images some context, to provide a play by play of the week’s events would result in an epic entry.  So, I’ll try to keep things concise.

Cordova is located 160 miles southeast of Anchorage. It is only accessible by plane or boat, which, surprisingly, doesn’t seem to effect tourism as much as one would expect. The population, I was told, is approximately 6,000. That number, however, decreases significantly, to 2,500, during the winter months.  Salmon fishing is their main industry, with an estimated 480 drift gillnet permits participating this summer. In addition, there are local and state organizations developed to assist the fisheries and preserve the area’s natural resources, such as the Copper River Watershed Project, which “works to foster the health of the Copper River watershed’s salmon-based communities, economies and cultures.” In addition, there’s the Department of Fishing and Gaming, which “manages approximately 750 active fisheries” and “foster[s] the highest standards of scientific integrity and promote innovative sustainable fish and wildlife management programs to optimize public uses and economic benefits.” You will also see some images of a fish and game sonar station, located near Child’s Glacier and the Million Dollar Bridge (also featured in the post), where, over the course of the season, three researchers each work eight hour shifts to track the salmon and other wildlife that pass through the river.

There are five different species of wild Alaskan salmon: King (aka Chinook), which is red in color and high in omega-3s, Sockeye, pictured below at the salmon filleting demo, Coho (aka Silver), which are a bright orange-red color, and Chum and Pink, both of which are less oily and not as flavorful (making them the least profitable).

Walking down the streets of Cordova, you’ll see folks waving at each other.  Towards the end of my time there, this happened on quite a few occasions. I’d be in town and would see someone I’d met the day before. Big hellos and hugs. Friendly. Welcoming. I’d never thought that Cordova, being as remote as it is, would be a place I’d feel connected to. But that’s exactly how I felt: like a part of a community. And it’s one that I hope to return to in the future.


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  • TieghanJuly 30, 2014 - 12:25 am

    So many gorgeous pictures. What a beautiful place! And the salmon, wow!! Looks just amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • MegJuly 30, 2014 - 2:34 am

    Lovely! I have never been to Cordova but have heard only wonderful things. Living in Alaska is wild and I love it. Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • MeredithJuly 30, 2014 - 10:56 am

    I’m in love with the smokiness and jewled tones of your photography — you captured everything beautifully! Just gorgeous! Glad we finally had time to talk in Alaska. It was an awesome trip and I think someone needs to come up with the recipes for the salmon roe and the chia seed cookies!ReplyCancel

  • KaseyJuly 30, 2014 - 12:29 pm

    Stunning photos, Brian! I am dying to go to Alaska.ReplyCancel

  • KateJuly 30, 2014 - 3:49 pm

    Brian, thank you for sharing your experience! I caught a glimpse of some breathtaking scenes on instagram. I’d love to go to Alaska someday and enjoy some super fresh, wild salmon.ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful photos – love how you captured the essence of your trip! Alaska is on my list of places to visit one of these days.ReplyCancel

  • Laine WelchJuly 30, 2014 - 6:17 pm

    Thanks for the stunning images of Cordova and its outstanding salmon fishery. It’s a model for all of Alaska!

    So glad you made the trip to the Great Land and are sharing your story.

    Laine Welch

  • hughJuly 30, 2014 - 6:38 pm

    The images are beautiful, Bryan. Takes me back :)ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenJuly 30, 2014 - 8:01 pm

    Such magnificent landscapes, it looks like a beautiful place to visit.ReplyCancel

  • Aimee @ Simple BitesJuly 30, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    Just wow. These are incredible captures, Brian. Thanks for sharing. Loved returning to Alaska through your eyes. xoReplyCancel

  • Helene ReedJuly 30, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    Love avocados and salmon together with a little balsamic vinegar and dill. The pictures are great and it sounds as though you had a great adventure Brian. ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn KetchumJuly 31, 2014 - 7:19 am

    Wow, Brian, the trip looks amazing and your photos ARE enough to tell the story!ReplyCancel

  • KristenJuly 31, 2014 - 7:51 am

    I have been anxiously awaiting these photos and wow…you did not disappoint!ReplyCancel

  • sara forteJuly 31, 2014 - 4:13 pm

    these are so beautiful! I mean, I knew you were a great photographer, but the images and the mood in all of them is so spot on. So glad we were able to enjoy this beautiful place with you. I hope to find myself there again someday.ReplyCancel

  • Renee ReiserJuly 31, 2014 - 8:13 pm

    Brian – The pictures are magnificent and they whey my appetite to go to Alaska sooner then later. I also think that your mother should use one of the pictures to paint. I know I would love to do it in her class.ReplyCancel

  • kitaJuly 31, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    Every single image… still and breathtaking. You could have done without the words, but I am very glad that you shared your thoughts too.ReplyCancel

  • The Cordova TimesJuly 31, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    Brian, we sure enjoyed having you (and Meredith, Sarah, Hugh, Lari, Lori, Brooks and Heidi) here and would be delighted for you to return. Your photos are gorgeous and it’s great to see this amazing place that we all love through your eyes. Thanks so very much! ReplyCancel

  • JoanneAugust 5, 2014 - 7:26 am

    I can feel from these photos and your words what an amazing experience this was!!ReplyCancel

Marinated Feta + Garlic Scape Pesto

Some trips are just trips. You go, you sightsee and you eat at a few local joints. Then there are the ones that leave a lasting mark. I knew early on that my time in Alaska would be special. It was on our second night in Cordova that we had the pleasure of being fed a home-cooked meal by the wife of a local fisherman (a meal, I must add, that included the best chowder I’ve ever consumed). While our host wined and dined us, we had a chance to talk to a roomful of locals, all of whom were both curious about who we were and who were also eager to answer any of our questions (and we had lots of them).  It was as if we were being welcomed into a friend’s house and, by the end of our time in Cordova, I did feel like I had made friends. A rare occurrence on any trip, let alone one organized by a marketing company. You’ll get a lot more information (and photos) in a post I hope to share next week. But, for now, I’m just trying to digest the experience.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Marinated Feta + Garlic Scape Pesto

Marinated Feta + Garlic Scape Pesto

Marinated Feta + Garlic Scape Pesto

Marinated Feta + Garlic Scape Pesto

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