I think my pictures are getting better. Still not good enough for FoodGawker--my new short-term photography goal, hah--and with some new equipment I'm getting around that whole pesky I-only-cook-at-night-so-my-pictures-come-out-like-crap issue. So look! Pretty pictures! But the food photography side of blogging isn't JUST about the food, strangely enough, it's also about the picture as a whole. This is why I'm finding food styling is so important. And, this is what I tend to struggle with most. So I've now become obsessed with not only teaching myself basic food photography, but also food styling. Or, at least, acquiring as many props and such as humanely possible. This past month I have bought the following items:
- 10 colorful plates, none of them matching
- 5 bowls, again, none of them matching
- 5 white plates of various sizes
- 3 round place mats
- 2 mason jars
- 1 rubber rimmed jar
- 6 ramekins (bright red, they're pretty!)
- 3 pretty patterned cupcake liners
- 1 springform pan (moreso because I found one for $5 and I've been wanting one)
- 3 tripods of varying sizes (they came as a set on Amazon, one is too flimsy to use)
- 1 light tent with 2 lights (they're kind of weak for how huge the tent is... I need to invest in stronger ones methinks)
- 2 food styling/food photography books (From Plate to Pixel and Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots)
- 1 food blogging book (Will Write For Food)
I still need (want):
- Decorative forks, spoons, and knives
- A few pretty serving platters
- PLACE MATS. I cannot for the life of me find affordable, pretty place mats that I don't have to spend over $10 a set for. Ideally, I need to find single place mats that are under $2. I think tag sales will be my best bet...
- Napkins. Same problem as above. Why are NAPKINS so dang pricey?
- Pretty mugs/teacups
- Props of other sorts--vases, fake fruit?, this is where I'm rusty, hah.
I also discovered that Marshall's and TJMaxx are DANGEROUS places. I'm grateful there is no HomeGoods nearby or my money would be ENTIRELY gone. They just have such PRETTY stuff. I went into both places looking for items for the bachlorette party I'm throwing on Saturday and I ended up leaving with my arms full of 1/4 bachlorette and 3/4 cooking stuff. And it's a tight money week for me too (student loans are the most epic of bitches). Oy! Also I had to stop myself from loading up my cart in the "Gourmet Foods" aisle too. Huge containers of olive oil under $10, agave nectar for $2, truffle salt for $8, Saffron for $7! And a whole variety of spices that I just wanted to take home with me.
Folks, I think my shopping problem has graduated from shoes to kitchen/dining room things--though there were no less than four pairs of shoes I had to reason myself out of buying too. This would be fine if I had my own apartment but I do not, so all of these lovely cooking items are living in a drawer in my closet.
But, as I've been saying, this blog is one of my favorite things. I'm loving how I can translate my growing love of food into the written word, and that I'm learning new things every day and teaching myself basic photography. I missed college because I hate feeling stagnant, I hate not learning and sitting still for too long. And if this blog never results in a memoir or cookbook or even enough ad revenue to make back a fraction of what all those various things cost--it's still worth it. I'm proud of the work I'm doing here and it gives me a way to share my passion with the world. At worst, I have a great place where I've documented a few years of my life and cooking adventures. And that sounds pretty dang good to me :)
They are absolutely fantastic. Thank the truffle oil, and the fact that red potatoes and fresh Parmesan cheese were just meant to be lovers.
In my experimenting in the kitchen I often find myself creating sadly soggy baked fries. I'm not sure what the magic combo was here that made these fries absolutely perfect--the correct balance of crispy outside, soft inside--but it further strengthens my notion that truffle oil is MAGICAL.
I made these with my truffle-enhanced burgers and they were a serious hit. In fact, since they finished before the burgers were ready I began munching on them and ended up devouring most of the batch and had to make a second mini one for pictures. THEY ARE THAT GOOD. You've been warned.
Truffle Fries with Parm and Parsley
- 4 red potatoes, sliced to fry proportions
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1tsp truffle oil
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tbs freshly grated parm cheese
- sprinkle of salt, pepper, and parsley, to taste
-Mix all ingredients except potatoes in a large bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Bake at 400 degrees for about a half hour, until crispy.
-Serve with these burgers for extra awesomeness