Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

Silent Sunday: Alden and Harlow | A Thought For Food

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Omelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For Food

Omelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For Food

Omelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For FoodOmelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For FoodOmelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For Food

Omelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For Food

Such a mixture of emotions. Hopeful, but anxious, too. Most of all, I’m thankful.  That I have Eric, who finds little ways to comfort me. His hugs make everything better. Or that kiss when he senses I’ve had a stressful day. And Maki. Who cuddles with me and gives me licks when I need them the most.  I’m thankful to be surrounded by friends and family that are so caring. It brings me so much joy to watch my nieces and nephew grow into such loving children. There’s a lot to be thankful for and it’s these times when I’m feeling overwhelmed that I need to remember all the wonderful things in my life.

Omelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For Food

Omelet with Chèvre and Fines Herbs | A Thought For Food

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  • TieghanMarch 10, 2014 - 9:20 am

    There is nothing more comforting than good family and friends to keep us going. So glad you have that and this omelet because it looks awesome! Perfect breakfast to springing forward this week!ReplyCancel

  • bev @ bevcooksMarch 10, 2014 - 10:13 am

    Stunning and perfect and gorgeous! And I love it. And the space. And the food. And the mug. Okay bye.ReplyCancel

    • Brian @ A Thought For FoodMarch 10, 2014 - 10:41 am

      You’re so sweet, Bev! That mug is my favorite. My mother-in-law gave us a set and we drink out of them frequently (sometimes we just rinse the mug and use it the following day, because they’re just the best mugs ever).ReplyCancel

  • MonetMarch 10, 2014 - 11:57 am

    Oh I just loved this post, Brian. I am feeling overwhelmed this morning and this was just what I needed. Your shots evoked such a sense of peace and presence. Thank you for sharing all that you do.ReplyCancel

  • naomiMarch 10, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    yes, nothing like the comfort of loved ones, home and food. love the tone of this post.ReplyCancel

  • alison @ Ingredients, Inc.March 11, 2014 - 7:54 am

    lovely as always!ReplyCancel

  • Toni | Boulder LocavoreMarch 11, 2014 - 10:58 am

    Oh Brian, don’t be stressed! I know it’s easier said than done but it takes so much out of one. You are surrounded by so much love and warmth; giving pause to give gratitude as you have with this post is wonderful medicine to the soul. And watching your photos unfold with this beautiful dish was like spending the morning in the warmth of your home. Thanks for including us!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy LivingMarch 12, 2014 - 8:30 am

    Beautifully written post and so comforting. I think we all have days where we just need a hug and something warm for our tummies.ReplyCancel

  • Renee Shuman (@FrolicChocolate)March 12, 2014 - 11:45 am

    So lovely. Fantastic action shots. You made those eggs — and the whole process — look so beautiful. And chevre + eggs is always a win!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneMarch 13, 2014 - 7:39 am

    Whatever is overwhelming you, I hope it is made better by this lovely meal! Simple omelets like this are the best…and definitely calm-inducing.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ BAKEMarch 15, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    I love the simplicity of this food, and how it showcases the best of each ingredientReplyCancel

  • Jenny BrownMarch 15, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    I love the simplicity of this food, and how it showcases the best of each ingredientReplyCancel

  • CarolynMarch 17, 2014 - 5:05 pm

    Hang in there, my friend. Glad you have a loving husband and sweet doggies to see you through. And omelets!ReplyCancel

  • cheriMarch 17, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    What a beautiful post! love your simple and beautiful omelet.ReplyCancel

When I first started off as a photographer, I didn’t have much in the way of equipment. I had a camera and a lens. That was it. I’d pack everything up in a messenger bag or backpack and head off to whatever restaurant or engagement photo session I was doing. It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed a real camera bag. I did some research and found one that I thought would work for me. It could fit a body, a couple of lenses, and my laptop. Seemed perfect. After a few months, though, the thing started to rip. Now, I’m partially to blame for this. I packed it with more than it could handle. I traveled with it and abused it in ways I shouldn’t have. But, for many reasons, that bag just wasn’t right for me.  I needed something that was durable, but because I was doing a lot of location shoots, I wanted something that was stylish too.

ONA bags aren’t just good looking (which they are… most people have no idea it’s for camera equipment), but they comfortably fit everything one needs for a shoot. Over the last couple of months, I’ve taken the bag with me on countless projects and it has been a wonderful experience. Each compartment wraps snuggly around anything you put in… camera bodies, lenses, flashes. Unlike my other bag, which could only handle a body and a couple of lenses, the ONA Camps Bay camera bag I have handles 2 bodies (a 7D and 5D), 4 lenses (50mm, 17-40mm, 24-70mm, 100mm), a battery charger, a laptop and iPad, as well as all necessary cables. Yes, the bag got a little heavy, but I never felt like it couldn’t handle the weight.

I brought the bag with me on a shoot at Coppa. My friend (and local business owner) Abby was nice enough to come out in the cold to help with taking pictures. Without her, I think it would have been a challenge to capture the whole process. Thanks Abby!

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  • JoanneMarch 6, 2014 - 7:43 am

    I don’t really ever have to tote my camera around (and rarely do anymore, honestly) but this bag really is awesome!! Pretty sure if I had it, it would make me WANT to take my camera everywhere with me.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy@ReluctantEntertainerMarch 6, 2014 - 10:14 am

    Love it! Seriously going to check this out, we need a new camera bag! Great shots, friend!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanMarch 6, 2014 - 10:56 am

    Love this bag!! I do not have a camera bag, but need to check this out. Looks perfect!! Oh and beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousMarch 6, 2014 - 11:35 am

    This is just a bag for me. So pretty and cool looking. We are looking for a camera bag because we will be travelling to the Philippine and we want a bag that does not look like ” a camera bag.” Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • ShainaMarch 6, 2014 - 12:09 pm

    I adore my Camps Bay (two years now), but then I’ve told you that before. I’m so glad to see someone else enjoying it, too.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesMarch 6, 2014 - 5:53 pm

    I know I’ve looked at that bag on ONA’s site, so of course I like it! Thanks for the review, Brian.ReplyCancel

  • Ali | Gimme Some OvenMarch 7, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    Great photos — and I LOVE that bag!! I got an ONA bag last year and I’m obsessed with it. Their designs are so beautiful! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jitti ChaithiraphantMarch 18, 2014 - 10:47 am

    Nice bag. There is a former chef turned craftman, Erik D of Bresca in Portland. You should meet up with him. He makes bag, chef apron, knife roll, etc. All work done by one person. Hope you enjoyed Coppa. Jamie Biss is my favorite chef in Boston. Best cook. I have been following his career path for 10 years. Meghanne Ward, Chef de Cuisine there is also terrific cook. I worked with her before at Radius. She went to help opening Flour and Water in SF. Her pasta is to die for.ReplyCancel

Until now, it hadn’t quite hit me that Eric and I had bought a house.  There were a lot of questions that we’d been waiting answers on… like when exactly we’d be closing. Which then left a lot of other things open. Would we be able to refinish the floors before we moved in?  Would we be able to paint rooms? And when the heck would we even be moving? But now a lot of these questions have been answered and we can officially get excited about the move.  Currently, I’m not that stressed about the process. Yes, I know there’s a lot of work to be done. But we’re in a good place with packing and, for now, we’re basking in the joy of knowing that in just a little over a month, we will be home.

It’s hard to express how important this move is for us. We’ve been wanting to purchase a place for a long time. But, more importantly, we’ve wanted to live in a place where we felt comfortable. Living in South Boston has a lot of benefits, but it never felt like a place where Eric and I could be ourselves. We’re looking forward to becoming a part of our new town’s community; to embrace all it has to offer. And I think we both agree we’ll be welcome with open, loving arms.

Last week, we got our first container of Florida-grown strawberries in our farm share box and while maybe I should have just let them be, I was too excited. Roasting the berries doesn’t take a way from their flavor, but, instead, deepens it. Their tartness shines through the balsamic reduction. Including ice cream just brings the dessert together. And who ever passes up on a chance to eat ice cream?  Not this guy.

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  • KathrynMarch 3, 2014 - 4:42 am

    Congratulations on the impending move. Having a home + a community, rather than just somewhere that you live, makes all the difference in the world. I love the combination of strawberry and balsamic and this is a wonderful little tease for what’s to come in the warmer months.ReplyCancel

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)March 3, 2014 - 8:30 am

    So jealous of your strawberries! It is currently snowing here–and we are about to get a foot–so it’s safe to say that I will not have good strawberries for quite some time. This sauce looks amazing, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • Stacey | Kitchen SerendipityMarch 3, 2014 - 8:32 am

    YUM!!! It’s strawberry season here. So excited for you guys and your upcoming move – sounds like everything is on the right track. :)ReplyCancel

  • LisaMarch 3, 2014 - 8:37 am

    Congratulations on the new house! I’m patiently waiting for the day my husband and I can buy our own place! Well, I’m trying to be patient! Everything comes in time!

    I love the Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sauce too! Strawberries don’t last long fresh in our house, but I think next time I will have to buy double so I can try this out!!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesMarch 3, 2014 - 8:54 am

    I can still remember how skeptical I was when I took my first bite of strawberries with balsamic. And then being completely blown away by it. I like yours with the extra step of roasting the strawberries, bet it’s lovely!!ReplyCancel

  • TieghanMarch 3, 2014 - 9:07 am

    Strawberries! Mmm! Wishing for summer right now so I can make this sauce. It’s amazing!ReplyCancel

  • LirenMarch 3, 2014 - 9:14 am

    Those days leading up to a closing are so stressful on many levels, ice cream is the perfect antidote. Topped with this gorgeous sauce and well…what worries? Beautiful as always, Brian. I’m so excited for your move!!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel @ Baked by RachelMarch 3, 2014 - 10:05 am

    Good luck with the move!! :) I hope the house and new community is everything you hope it to be! Also… I could totally eat this with a spoon. Forget the ice cream ;)ReplyCancel

  • LauraMarch 3, 2014 - 10:32 am

    Sending some big congratulations on your new home and I hope your move goes smoothly too! We took possession of our place in October and we’re still not fully moved in because I want all the floors finished and every room to be just so. Lately I’ve accepted that I can’t do it all and that living with the imperfections is fine as long as we’re happy. And how could you NOT be happy with roast-y, balsamic strawberries on ice cream?! Cannot wait to try this one.ReplyCancel

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and HealthMarch 3, 2014 - 12:40 pm

    im so happy that you found a place to call it your home :) so much to celebrate for. I made ice cream with roasted strawberries and balsamic – heavenly combination. I could totally top my vanilla ice cream or yellow cake with it.ReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchenMarch 3, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    Balsamico and strawberries – such a great, classic combination. But the mind-blowing thing in your recipe is that you also roast the strawberries! I can’t wait for summer to come so I can make a batch of this and serve with simple vanilla ice cream. And good luck with your move – exciting times!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica @ Jessiker BakesMarch 3, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    This strawberry sauce sounds dreamy, and I love your photos!ReplyCancel

  • I love the combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar and roasting sounds like it makes the strawberries even more flavorful!ReplyCancel

  • Jeff ParkerMarch 3, 2014 - 7:51 pm

    Congrats on the new house, Brian… oh yeah, guess what’s about to happen to the 3 quarts of strawberries I just brought home from a job! CheersReplyCancel

  • MissiMarch 4, 2014 - 10:25 am

    B, I can make this!!! I dont’ know what I could put it on, but I will figure it out! I have a bunch of strawberries at home – I can’t wait to to try this! :)ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne BurgoyneMarch 4, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    I love the taste of balsamic strawberries. I can’t wait to make this sauce and put it on everything!


  • Barbara | Creative CulinaryMarch 4, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    I know you’ve wanted a place for some time so truly congratulations are in order. Now since I just moved let me share a few tips with you or at least this one. If you have a toolbox or even just a hammer and some screwdrivers and nails; put them in your car now. Mine got packed and I have yet to find them mostly because the garage is just too cold still and nothing has been unpacked. I finally broke down and bought a cheap set so I could hang a few things but I just want my own toolbox in the worst way!

    Beyond that? I got a box of the most fabulous strawberries last week. Yes, the speak Spanish but who cares; I wanted something, anything that would help me remember spring is on the way; this is a great way to use them too. Simple is good!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneMarch 5, 2014 - 6:59 am

    I’m SO excited for you and your move!! Having a place that you can really call home, that is yours, is definitely something special.

    I think you went the right route with these strawberries. I am a sucker for a good balsamic bath, and it is especially perfect on top of intensely sweet strawberries!ReplyCancel

  • Toni | Boulder LocavoreMarch 5, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    What a delicious breath of spring this is Brian! Takes the edge of our continuing frigid winter temps. Congrats on the house. There is nothing better than feeling ‘home’ in your house but also in your community.ReplyCancel

  • This Week’s BestMarch 7, 2014 - 8:30 am

    […] Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sauce – Brian Samuels of A Thought for Food has some of the most impressive food photography I have […]ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenMarch 7, 2014 - 9:45 pm

    I don’t pass up ice cream wither, especially when it’s covered in a lovely strawberry sauce like this one!ReplyCancel

  • […] balsamic roasted strawberry sauce. um, i want it on […]ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ BAKEMarch 8, 2014 - 9:20 am

    I’ve only had strawberries and balsamic as part of a salad but I am in love with idea of having them as a dessert. Your photographs as always are absolutely stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole PodestaMarch 8, 2014 - 12:58 pm

    What brand of ice cream is that? It looks perfectly creamy and amazing…and I’ve been craving ice cream basically all winter so it might be time to give inReplyCancel

  • […] balsamic roasted strawberry sauce. um, i want it on […]ReplyCancel

  • Los | The Man, The Chef, The DadMarch 9, 2014 - 10:19 am

    First off, huge congrats on the new home! It’s an enormous sense of accomplishment to be handed those keys. I absolutely hate the process of moving with all my heart, but in the end it’s worth it. I hope you two enjoy it!

    Secondly, amazing pictures! It’s my first time here and the recipe and the pictures just gave me a one-two punch. Great post, I have to try it.ReplyCancel

  • Esther MedinaMarch 12, 2014 - 3:58 am

    Yummy, I had no ice cream but I put it over some homemade plain yogurt… want moreReplyCancel

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  • TieghanFebruary 27, 2014 - 8:56 am

    Stunning photos!! That bowl of cherries is gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesFebruary 27, 2014 - 11:26 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Everything! Love the photos. Want a whiskey. :)ReplyCancel

  • JoanneFebruary 28, 2014 - 6:59 am

    I love the glasses! And your photos are can almost feel the fun exuding from them.ReplyCancel

Eric and I are such homebodies.  It’s definitely a seasonal thing for us and with all the snow and cold weather, there are few things that can motivate us to go out. For Valentine’s Day, we stayed in and plowed through the second season of House of Cards (yeah, we’re a part of the 2% that finished it in the first weekend) and chowed down on a massive platter of sushi.

This last week, however, was full of social engagements. A few months ago, we’d made plans with Eric’s brother and his wife to go out for an adults-only dinner. It’s been years since the four of us have gone out without the kiddos and, as much as we love the little ones, it was nice to have a night where we could have some uninterrupted conversations.  Then there was dinner with friends at Alden and Harlow, a recent addition to the Cambridge restaurant scene… and, folks, if you make it out this way, you must try it.  This is my kind of food, seasonal dishes made with local ingredients, creatively prepared and, yet, completely unpretentious. There was a roasted yam that blew my mind. Oh, and if you’re a meat eater, definitely get the Secret Burger (I couldn’t resist a small bite and I’m so glad I did because it was fantastic).

Now, this was an especially busy week for me. Six shoots, three of which happened on one day. But it was nice having social events to look forward to after all that work.  Friday was particularly wonderful.  I helped dear friends of ours cook for a dinner party.  There was a ton of food: spicy peel and eat shrimp, guacamole with mango and avocado, Cornish game hens, and a wonderful pisco and pineapple cocktail that made for a very relaxing evening.  My contribution was this coconut rice pudding. Even though we were completely stuffed after consuming multiple courses (the dinner lasted over four hours), the dessert was a wonderful and surprisingly refreshing way to end the night.  I think the fresh mango puree and orange zest really brighten it up.

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  • TieghanFebruary 24, 2014 - 9:03 am

    I love coconut and mango together. This sweet pudding sounds delicious!ReplyCancel

  • naomiFebruary 24, 2014 - 9:33 am

    Yes, it is nice to go out without the kiddos sometimes! This pudding looks great–love the flavors as well.ReplyCancel

  • CarolynFebruary 24, 2014 - 1:32 pm

    I’ve never thought of rice pudding as very interesting but you’ve just changed my mind!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy@ReluctantEntertainerFebruary 24, 2014 - 3:26 pm

    We love rice pudding. Love the mango spin, Brian. Delicoius!ReplyCancel

  • Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy LivingFebruary 24, 2014 - 7:29 pm

    Now that’s pure comfort food and mango happens to be one of my very favorite tropical fruits!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee @ Simple BitesFebruary 24, 2014 - 7:34 pm

    This is totally my kind of comfort food, Brian. I will have to simmer a pot tomorrow. LOVE the idea of orange juice in with the rice.ReplyCancel

  • cheriFebruary 25, 2014 - 10:41 pm

    Oh I love these kinds of combinations. I just adore mangoes. Your pics are beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Mimi RippeeFebruary 26, 2014 - 12:43 am

    This looks so good!ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenFebruary 26, 2014 - 4:19 am

    You know I’ve been craving mango lately and it sounds pretty perfect as a topping for rice pudding.ReplyCancel

  • JoanneFebruary 26, 2014 - 7:35 am

    You have been super busy lately!! I feel like all of the best restaurants came to Cambridge AFTER I left. All the more reason to go back, I suppose!

    Rice pudding is one of my favorite EVER desserts. Unfortunately a certain someone HATES RICE….but in this case, that’s totally fine. More for me.ReplyCancel

  • TrishaFebruary 26, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    I adore this kind of rice pudding. so tangy sweet and exciting xReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceFebruary 26, 2014 - 8:10 pm

    Lovely! I usually prefer ending a big meal with something fresh and fruity.ReplyCancel

  • Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)February 27, 2014 - 4:16 am

    Rice pudding is usually my winter comfort dessert of choice. It does get very heavy and filling very fast though, I’m sure the addition of mango puree would lighten it up. Great idea!ReplyCancel

  • […] blues. And if all else fails you, there might be no better dessert than rice pudding, and this coconut milk mango variation (04) is different and nostalgic in all the right […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Inspiration: A Thought for Food […]ReplyCancel