Food Photography

foodpic2I really enjoy baking and gardening.  This summer I had my first Texas garden and I really enjoyed it.  I had a very prolific cherry tomato plant that gave me fresh tomatoes almost daily.  As far as baking goes I’ve finally found a biscuit recipe that I like and I’ve enjoyed making freshly baked biscuits whenever the need arises.  So I’ve found that as I’ve enjoyed both of these hobbies they’ve also lead to another enjoyment and that is of taking pictures of the objects that both hobbies produce, no pun intended!

The eggplants above weren’t grown in my garden but came from my local farmer’s market.  I had never seen baby eggplant and they were so beautiful that I had to take them home and see what I could do with them.  I ended up making an appetizer with them but I thought that they were so perfect that they needed to be photographed on their own before they were made into something else.

Also, you can see the cherry tomatoes I mentioned.  In July I could have taken this same photograph daily, as my tomato plant was loaded with dozens of these rosy orbs. I’m glad I did take these photographs because they bring me enjoyment even now as we roll in to fall.  I can appreciate the taste of summer through them. But I also love that they are not only a memory of a yummy treat or delicious salad but in and of themselves they are beautiful subjects worthy on their own as works of art.

So through my appreciation of food I have come to find a love of food photography.  I love the way it shows everyday objects, things we take for granted, on an elevated scale.  Through photos we can savor and appreciate the taste and sustenance these foods bring in an almost holistic way.

Photographer Katie Davies first made me take notice of this art through her photographs and since then I’ve taken notice whenever I see food photographs in books or magazines.  How are the shots composed?  What message are they trying to deliever? How do these photos make me feel?  They help me to appreciate art in the everyday.

Have you taken photos of your food?  Do tell.

Spring Baking

I made a new dessert from, Vintage Cakes, a great book that I checked out of the library. I was wanting to try something new to make for Easter. So I decided to make the pink cake.

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It was chocolate on the inside and I was worried that it would be too sweet but it wasn’t at all. It was just right and the same for the icing. It was perfect and actually not too sweet.

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I think it made for a pretty and tasty dessert. If I were to make it again I would try to do a little bit better on the frosting. My cake turned out a little shiny looking. I think I should have followed the directions a little more closely because to me it also had a little bit of an oily taste. So I’ll have to try this one again. There were several recipes I would like to try including Rhubarb Pudding Cake, Berry Long Cake and the Lemon Queen Cakes. Really there are so many I wanted to try that I think I just need to buy this one!

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Another springtime dessert I made recently was an Angel food cake. I make this at least once every spring. It is a favorite of mine. I know you might be thinking, Angel food cake? Why, I can just easily pick one of those up at the store. But trust me, make it yourself and you’ll see that the common everyday angel food cake got that name for a reason, it’s heaven!

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This last bit of spring time baking actually took place outdoors on a Cub Scout campout. Our pack had our usual Dutch oven contest. It is really amazing to me that you can bake over an open fire. But sure enough in half an hour our dessert was done and it was good!! Our den even won first place!

So what treats have you been baking lately?

Bake, Sew, Recycle!

Ok, so the Ninjas didn’t turn out exactly as I expected. But, initially things looked promising. These guys looked like they could kick some booty.

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But once they were baked…well let’s just say we had some fat little ninjas.

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I just used the refrigerated pre-made sugar cookie dough from the store because I was in a hurry and kinda crossed my fingers. They ended up puffing up and it gave them a rotund appearance. Not exactly what I was going for! Next time I’ll have to take the time to make the dough that is specifically designed for making cookie cutouts and hopefully they’ll turn out a lot better!

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Oh and as for the pop rocks it was a fun thought but the moisture from the cookies makes the pop rocks “pop” in the oven. So all you are left with on the cookie is the candy crunch.

In other Christmas news though… I made a new Christmas tree skirt.

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This one was very easy. I just used burlap and pom-pom fringe and sewed the fringe around the edge. I used one of my old Christmas tree skirts as a pattern for cutting out the burlap.

This is definitely something that could be made without any sewing. If you are short on time or short on a sewing machine I think you could probably glue the fringe to a circle of burlap and have the same effect.

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The only down side that I’ve found with burlap is the fraying factor. But that is definitely something you can work around. It is a fabric medium that calls for a more rustic look a.k.a. it isn’t going to look perfect. It is sort of like linen in that way as it kind of has a rumpled look. But I like that due to this quality it can be dressed up or down. You could experiment with lots of different kinds of trim for different effects. Let me know what you come up with!

Now, on to after school projects of the Christmas sort. This afternoon as I was helping my son assemble some candy to share with his classmates in their “stockings” at school. I was needing to make some tags for his candy favors and I wanted to use something that I already had around the house.

I used a gift tag cut out punch that I had on hand. Just cutting it out on red card stock seemed boring. It was also too dark of a surface on which to write. So I scrounged around in a box I keep of old paper scraps and found some Christmas cards we had been sent a few Christmases ago. So I used those to punch out the tags instead.

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I think they turned out cute. So we were able to recycle and get free gift tags to boot.

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One of the interesting things I discovered while doing this was that even if the card had a large scene that didn’t scream cute gift tag material at first glance once I cut them up into the actual tags the few pieces of the scene that did end up on the tag were enough to make it look just right.

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So even if you have cards that don’t seem like they would make great tags you may be surprised once you start cutting them out. Oh and another bonus is that since there usually isn’t any writing on the inside front of a Christmas card your tag will be blank on the back and you won’t even be able to tell that it was recycled!

So, do you have burlap or old Christmas cards laying around? Maybe it will be just the thing to help you save time and energy during this busy season by saving you another trip to the store! Look around you may be surprised at what you find and what you can do!