The Day We Went Fishing

I woke up on Saturday morning without any goals or expectations for the weekend. I have been so busy lately that I just needed a day to catch my breath and just be. It doesn’t happen often.

As I was making our usual weekend breakfast of pancakes (this time coconut, almond, and blueberry), I asked C. if he had any plans for the day. “J. and I are going fishing with Paul this afternoon, didn’t you know?”. Perhaps he had mentioned it, but it had escaped me.

Sounded like the perfect plan.

Honestly, although I do love being outside and in nature, I have never been very good with outdoor sports, which makes me the oddball in the family as everyone else is. I grew up with my grandfather, uncles and cousins always talking about bird hunting, fishing, mushroom picking…

There were always fishing poles, wellies and wicker baskets in the pastry shop. As soon as the work day was over, which was sometimes as early as noon, they would all hit the river or the mountains around us.

I enjoy just being in nature and watching others, but I can count with one hand the times that I actually participated in the events.

We met Paul in Juno Beach. It was a particularly windy day and the current was strong. I never thought that fishing right on the shore in these conditions was a possibility. But I trusted them, of course.

J. was fascinated with all the sand fleas, clam strips, and different bait that the grown ups had. Miren was just happy. Running around and throwing wet sand to the birds around.

I just sat and watched them closely. I took it all in. The wind, the smell of the ocean, the sun on my shoulders and especially, the kids.

It was about an hour into fishing when I saw C. struggle with his pole. There it was, a beautiful, silver and blue pompano. A beautiful thing. And not to sound overly romantic, but that day, I appreciated that fish more than anything. I had to explain to J. how that pompano gave up its life for us. He stared at me as I was saying it. I knew his mind was trying to process it all.

We arrived home exhausted and saved the pompano for Sunday.

After the farmers’ market trip on Sunday morning, I stopped by Karen’s house. She shared some of her cherry tomatoes with us and I thought they would be perfect with the fish.

Tomatoes tossed in olive oil and salt and roasted are one of the best things in life.

I even showed J. how to clean the fish, something my own mom had taught me when I was young. Possibly as young as 11 I was already cleaning whole fish. I particularly remember the tiny anchovies, one by one, spine and all.

We roasted the fish simply with salt, lemon slices, lots of herbs, a drizzle of olive oil. 400F for 20 minutes. Perfect.

Served it with the roasted tomatoes. Also a raw purple carrot and dill salad.

The perfect Sunday lunch.

We spent Sunday afternoon at home. The boys built an amazing tunnel and slide track for all of J’s marbles and mighty beans (again, don’t ask!), while I baked these lemon, pistachio and poppy seed cakes.

No complaints there.

And so I got my rest and that is exactly what I needed.

I also wanted to let you know that I have been invited to be a speaker at this year’s BlogHer Food, which will be held in Atlanta on May 20-21. Tami, Stephanie and I will share a panel to discuss “Finding Your Visual Voice” and our own personal experiences with food styling and photography.

If you are attending, please say hi. Hope to see you there!

Lemon, Pistachio and Poppy Seed Cakes

Makes 1 dozen cupcake size cakes

2 eggs
1/2 cup (100 grams) natural cane sugar
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs olive oil (85 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) almond milk
1/3 cup (35 grams) pistachio meal
1/3 cup (45 grams) superfine brown rice flour
1/4 cup (35 grams) millet flour
2 Tbs (15 grams) tapioca starch
2 Tbs poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and almond milk.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and stir until it comes together.

Pour the batter into a muffin pan lined with baking papers. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

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90 Responses to “The Day We Went Fishing”

  1. Absolutely lovely post, I can feel the time gone slower and the simple essential joy of a real family time…
    Stunning pictures, too. Bravo!

  2. What a fantastic post. I know that little boy will forever look back at that picture and remember what a great time he had fishing.

    Wish I could attend BlogHer this year to hear you speak and meet you in person! Another time…

  3. alice says:

    Beautiful pictures as always – you’ve got me especially excited about the upcoming tomato season with all its glorious colours and varieties!

  4. Such a beautiful post, Aran! Made me feel like I was on a mini- vacation! Thanks for sharing.

  5. So beautiful and just in time for some beautiful weather! The colors are just gorgeous. Thanks for the getaway.

  6. What gorgeous pictures! Eye candy for sure…



  7. Pistachio says:

    Wow, what beautiful photos. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend!!!

  8. Tara says:

    Such a wonderful post and absolutely gorgeous captures. Just stunning work.

  9. Your posts are always so delightful!

  10. Dominique says:

    Adorable! Fantastic photos…I miss words!

  11. Un plan etupendo, unas recetas estupendas y unas fotografías magníficas. Me ha encantado.


  12. The most beautiful fish i ever saw! You make photos talk with feelin! This is my favorite post I´ve seen from you, LOVE IT

  13. denise says:

    So much summery food! looks so fresh and delish! looks like you had a great day. much love xx

  14. Loved this post! I actually felt myself calming down and taking deeper breaths. Long-time reader, first time commenter. Felt the need to say hello after seeing your gorgeous photographs that bring such a simple and delicious meal to life. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Loved this post! I actually felt myself calming down and taking deeper breaths. Long-time reader, first time commenter. Felt the need to say hello after seeing your gorgeous photographs that bring such a simple and delicious meal to life. Thanks for sharing!

  16. El says:

    Bravo Aran. You just took your blog to the next level. Beautiful post.

  17. Oh so envious of that pompano! I have been eying the pompano fisherman everyday and yearning to grill a whole fish– same way–lemons, herbs,olive oil and salt, on the grill. Yum! I accompanied some boys on a few fishing missions up at Port St. Lucie inlet and now I have the taste for fishing and am begging people to take me out and teach me! Everything looks so beautiful here!!!


  18. I think I have said this before, but your photos are so beautiful. I have never been able to control light as you do.


  19. Gorgeous, Aran. I miss the ocean. You captured such a bright, beautiful day.

  20. Lacey- yes, I have no idea how to fish around here (or anywhere really). An art! I do love going to the Juno Beach pier and watching all those guys walk by with their buckets. Hope you can get someone to teach you!

    Thanks everyone for your kind words and comments!

  21. What a lovely post and such gorgeous pictures! Glad you got the rest you needed and am impressed that you still also managed to be so culinarily prolific: those muffins sound fantastic. Spring and pistachios seem to go hand in hand these days.

  22. Lovely post, Aran! I feel more relaxed just reading your words and looking at the pictures. The whole weekend sounds wonderful. My mum returned from a 3 week holiday in Florida on Sunday and I was envious hearing about the amazing weather and fishing on the beach. After seeing your photos I can imagine how beautiful it must have been.

  23. Junglefrog says:

    I had never even heard of pompano but it looks like a lovely fish. It reminds me a bit of a dorad but I could be wrong. Gorgeous shots as usual!

  24. tinajo says:

    Wonderful, wonderful pics – and I never thought that a fish could be so stylish! :-)

  25. Ruth says:

    I love, love, love your photos!

  26. This is one of the most beautiful blog posts I have EVER seen. Your photography is so clear and colorful, and so clean looking. You are fantastically talented.

  27. Wow! Incredible! Fish has never looked to good to me. Every post you give us is such a treat.

  28. angie says:

    what a beautiful dish! and i love your photos, as usual.

  29. really nice!!
    This post and your photo are amazing.. i think you a a fantastic photographer but creative. The color, the ingredients, the photo..all it’s perfect!
    really love

  30. Lovely post about a memorable day! I’m on the other coast of Florida and my husband often fly fishes in the Gulf. He’s never caught a pompano though… it looks absolutely delicious.

  31. What a beautiful post and pictures. Made we want to go to the beach. It has been years since we went and played in the sand.

  32. Molly says:

    I have such lovely memories of fishing with my father when I was a young girl. We usually ended up roasting it over a campfire. Truly, nothing tastes better than a fresh piece of fish straight from the water.

  33. Denise says:

    Sheesh…we live here!! I REALLY need to get my family to the beach SOON! We haven’t been yet this year (for swimming), the weather is finally warm (HOT) enough & I MISS it! I love the outdoors & nature too, but with my blog redesign, homeschooling & life…well no more excuses. This would be a GREAT weekend for it!! Thanks for the inspiration!

    I really wish I were going to BlogHer food & it would be great to hear you speak and learn from you. I just got back from the wonderful Food Blog Forum event in Orlando & was very blessed to learn from Helene (Tartelette). She’s a wealth of information and so very friendly.

    Thank you again for inspiring me to get outdoors with my 3 girls. We all could use some sun & fun :)

    Denise @ Creative Kitchen

  34. Shelby says:

    What a fantastic account of a lovely weekend! Your pictures are incredible and I love the way you recollect such precious family time with food… Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you!

  35. What a lovely post! I love fish!!

  36. Nicole says:

    The beauty of life jumps from each of these photos. Wow! I feel at peace!!

  37. What a beautiful post!! I wish I could join the conference and listen to your words. Your pictures and posts are truly inspiring – always!

  38. My mum showed me at a very young age how to clean and prepare fish. It is only now that I appreciate that! This post made me feel like I was right there on the beach with you, wtahcing over the children. So beautiful.

  39. Kristen says:

    Everything about this post is so beautiful – love it!

  40. Karen says:

    Qué maravilla es la primera foto (la del pescado en la tabla con fondo celeste)!

  41. Eva says:

    Truly stunning. Those carrots are gorgeous, their coloring is just amazing! I particularly love the photo of your daughter on the swing, such great composition.

  42. Ruzu says:

    mmm looks so good! I am in love of your pictures, every day I want to lern take photos like that

  43. Ivana says:

    wuauu! que día tan bonito! un post lleno de belleza!

  44. I just cannot believe there are conferences for people like us…food bloggers. I said that if I see one more post roasting a whole fish, I am going to try it. Well, its time to eat my words soon! Such a visual treat to see your great photography and color combos.

  45. ruthie says:

    Wow, beautiful photos as always. Wish I could live under you kitchen table and eat all your food. cheeky wink!
    Thanks for a wonderful tuesday boost.

  46. Absolutely stunning, i have found memories of fishing, sitting by the ocean or a lake and watching what goes on around me.

    love the children in thesephotographs.

  47. Beautiful photos and beautiful words! I can almost feel myself sitting there, the way you write about it. Those cupcakes look delicious and the vibrancy of the purple carrots is fantastic. Thanks for a gorgeous post.

  48. Susan York says:

    One of the best posts that you have done. Love all of the photographs. Thanks for sharing your special day!


  49. Pennie says:

    One of my favorite warm weather feel-good meals is whole grilled fish. Of course, roasted is lovely too. And I prepare it the same way–herbs, lemon, salt. When I bring it to table, I pass my best quality olive oil and Maldon salt as condiments. Only thing better, is catching the fish yourself!

  50. Miren Bego says:

    Hola Aran, Ze polite aste honetakoa, asko gustau jata.
    Hemen gauz Indianan – Lafayetten, Itxaso eta Colinegaz, ze desberdina dan hau, datorren eguenean Chicago ezagutzen joango gara Itxasogaz, bertan egun batzuk egongo gara eta handik etxerantza.
    Hurrengo gatozenean zu zauzen lekurantza joango gara. Ia non ezagutzen garan Ameriketan edo Euskal Herrian.
    Ondo segi, Jon eta Miren oso politek dauz.
    Miren B.

  51. CHOKOLAT says:

    I loooovee your blog!!! It would mean so much to me if you could check mine out. I´ve recently started so I would really appreciate the feedback!
    Your amazing pictures are one of the reasons I dediced to buy my camera and start my own pastry blog! Thanks for the inspiration

    facebook: chokolatpatisserie
    twitter: chokolatp


  52. You’ve got to be kidding me. This is one of the most gorgeous blog posts I’ve come across in a while. Love it!

  53. Noriko says:

    Beautiful photographs… I enjoy your posts…

  54. Hi Aran, love the post and the pictures. I live in Atlanta and I will be attending BlogHer food. Really looking forward to meeting everyone and you!

  55. Mihai Rosu says:

    Hi there and thanks for sharing those amazing photos. They are really grate just as your blog.With those pictures of yours, you inspire many people to make their own pictures.

  56. Vanille says:

    A delightful post, Aran !
    You have told the story and captured the spirit of your family week-end in such a delicate way.

  57. Raquel says:

    Desde hace mucho tiempo sigo tu blog y me encantan las fotografias y las recetas pero no ha sido hasta hace poquito que me entere que eras española.
    Me encanta tu trabajo.

  58. Qué fotos preciosas, y los estampados tan bonitos de las telas! parecen Liberty…

  59. Miren Bego- ze ondo zuek hemen egotea! Bai, guztiz desberdine ezta? Danerako kotxea eta kalean bizitza gitxi. Baina Chicago asko gusteko jatzuela pentsetan dot. Ez naz inoz egon baina esaten deurienagaitik NYen antzekoa baina garbiagoa eta lasaitxuagoa be. Bueno ba ondo ibili eta ia hurrengoan Floridara zatozien. Gu abuztuen goaz Zornotzara. Igual han alkartuko gara. Besarkada bat!

    Thanks all!

  60. 22 aprile
    Earth Day
    41 Festa della Terra
    Se vuoi celebralo vai in predi il logo ed esponilo.

  61. Is that Pampano?? Love pampano. Beautiful pictures.

  62. Such an amazing post and what beautiful images! Thank you for sharing. xx, Laura

  63. I think time stood still when I read this, Aran. It is currently fiercely hailing here and the bottom of my jeans are wet from an early morning market run.

    Thank you for bringing a little sunshine into my gray day.

    PS. I’ll be at BHF. Would love to meet.

  64. just lovely, love the first fish shot and the variety of tomatoes, gorgeous Aran.

  65. I just love the symbiosis – I am in your debt, Well done!

  66. Danielle Esparza says:

    The first photo of the fish is probably the most beautiful I’ve seen on your blog. Amazing job!

  67. beautiful opening shot! Really, really nice Aran

  68. beautiful opening shot! Really, really nice Aran

  69. When are you coming out to Vancouver BC, Canada? Your posts are so inspirational!!! What I wouldn’t give to be on a warm breezy beach, looking forward to a tasty fish dinner and yummy muffins. Beautiful snaps as usual. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  70. aga i kaja says:

    zaparło mi dech, aż ślinka leci…
    babeczki z mlekiem, mniam mniam…
    no i rybka z ziołami, my zazwyczaj jemy z pietruszką i cytryną ale ta wygląda nieziemsko…
    aż czuje jej zapach.

  71. katie-anne says:

    this is a truly stunning post. the pictures are just amazing [yes, i am gushing] and bring such life to your story. thanks for sharing.

  72. Susan says:

    What a pretty day for you. I am glad you took time to enjoy and capture moments such as those with your little one in the sand and the beutiful horizon behind. Your Poppy seed cakes are on my to do list for my nephew who will be graduating–happens to be his favourite. Last-enjoyed your sentiment for the fish. Lovely, post.

  73. Looks like such a lovely day and the photos are so beautiful…

  74. Deirdre says:

    You take just the loveliest photos. Everything looks so fresh and dreamy. Even my boyfriend, who is not one to read blogs, was glued to your post. Very, very pretty. Thank you so much for putting a smile on my face!
    xo Deirdre

  75. Kits says:

    Super post. Got a taste of your family and a whiff of your food.

  76. Sini says:

    I have to say this is one of the most beautiful posts you have ever posted, Aran. I just love the pictures. The light, the colours… Simple but beautiful.

    I wish you a happy Easter time with lots of delicious, fresh food.

  77. Wonderful post! And your photos are so incredibles!
    Andrea, Italy

  78. I’m brasilian and love your photography! Love,love! (love)³

  79. veron says:

    Love the vintage look of these pictures! I’ll be going to Blogher food! So happy that I’ll finally be able to meet you and get to listen to you speak about food styling and photography!

  80. Tricia says:

    That first shot just took my breath away – so much so I found it difficult to move on and read! As always, amazing work Aran!

    Have fun at BlogHer – wish I could be there!

  81. Juliana says:

    Your blog is sooooo beautiful. Honestly, your photos give me the chills every time. I can’t get over it. You deserve all the accolades you are getting and more!

  82. vincent says:


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  83. nsenses says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post.
    this fish photo served with herbs and tomatoes looks like a real piece of art) adorable

  84. Wow the first photo of the fish is amazing, the colours are amazing!

  85. This is just so great as my son is GF & DF and these look fantastic. I would love to know how you took the photo with the glass bottle on the left & aqua cupcake holders to the right. Its so beautiful – ethereal actually.

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