Ever had a Rafanata?

The Italian Omelet/Frittata you didn’t know you needed.

rafanata

If you haven’t heard of rafanata yet, listen up. A kind of omelet-frittata hybrid, this fluffy disk of horseradish, potato, and cheese bound with beaten egg is exactly what you’ve been missing all your life. OK, so it’s what I’ve been missing all my life, but I bet you’re at least interested. Its name comes from the Italian “rafano,” meaning horseradish, and the flavor is wonderful. Oodles more exciting than a Plain-Jane quiche, whip out a rafanata when you’re in the mood for a savory, eggy breakfast.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then toss in 2 peeled Russet potatoes. Cook the potatoes for 10 minutes, then fish them out of the water and turn off the heat. Let the potatoes cool a bit, then move them to a cutting board. Slice the potatoes very thinly (think less than ¼-inch)

Heat a large skillet with plenty of olive oil over medium high heat. Fry the potato slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Depending on how large your pan is, you may need to fry the potatoes in shifts. When the potatoes are golden brown, turn them out onto a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe out the skillet and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat 6 eggs with ½ cup water, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons jarred horseradish. Season the mixture with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper. Drop the fried potato slices into the egg mixture and stir until fully incorporated.

Heat 2 tablespoons more olive oil in the skillet over medium, then pour in the egg and potato mixture. Let the mixture cook for at least 5 minutes before checking underneath to make sure it’s cooking. Now, with confidence, flip the rafanata out onto a plate so the cooked side is exposed (the best way to do this is to place a large dinner plate over the pan, then flip the pan, catching the rafanata). Slide the rafanata back into the pan, cooked side up, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Slide the rafanata out onto a serving plate and slice into wedges. Serve with sour cream, mustard, or solo.

Ever had a Rafanata?

The Quiet Life Begins Again

Clouds

Summer is coming to an end and the  entourage of guests is coming to an end at the same time. Entertaining my six year-old granddaughter had highs and a few lows. With little people it is interesting how perfectly behaved they can be for about two to three weeks, then familiarity begins and you are no longer a “fun” person, you are just another boring adult.  You have not changed, but their perception of the environment takes a turn. You are no longer new and exciting.

Summer Camp at the Boys and Girls Club saved the day for most of the summer, as she made new friends, had lots of fun activities and great field trips.  I joined them bowling in Silverdale, but decided the bus ride was a bit unruly for me, so did not sign-up for any more field trips. It was joy to watch my granddaughter bowl for the first time ever.  Of the three busloads of children, the high score (using bumpers) and on my team was 99.

When my son recently came to pick her up, we decided to take her bowling. So my off we went.  We discovered a ramp you can use for littler people that lines up the bowling ball and they just push it off. The one in Silverdale is hand-made wood, but worked just as well.

It certainly improved her score. She came in with a score of 98, the best of the group. The rest of us came in with scores in the 80’s. Maybe they should have ramps for all ages, especially seniors. Guess we are not a family of bowlers. The last time I personally bowled you had to keep your own score, not a plasma screen up above the alley for all to see just how bad your were.  They have senior bowl three games for free on Wednesdays.  Maybe I should work on improving my score, and it my be good for my arthritis as my hands were pretty sore.

This should have been the best summer ever, as my granddaughter is a joy to be around. In reflection I think I will try to only remember the joy of sharing her summer and not the heartache of some other visitors. It was a summer where I learned maybe you just need to make yourself happy and not feel responsible for the happiness of others.

My three adult sons got to spend a weekend together. It was not without its events, but they did get to spend time talking and catching up. A couple of their friends they had not seen in a while came over and they all initiated our new beach side deck. Pavers are now under the fire pit, rather than warped boards.

My husbands children arrived for the next weekend. They spent time on the new deck and added a little more initiation rites to the deck as they stayed up and talked into the night. Maybe we need to think of a way to have “smaller” fires. I wish I could say that weekend went well, but it ended on a majorly sour note.

We all see the world through our own set of blinders. We see what we want to see, how we want to see it. We can all be in the same room at the same time and have a totally different experience. Our memory of what is said and done is biased by our view of life. The bias can be small or it can be extreme. I learned a little of the extreme before I had to start blocking emails.  I now know my view of the world is my view and only my view. People may understand how you see the world, but they do not see it the same way.

Next summer I think we just take a vacation. It would probably cost a lot less money than what we spent on toys, clothes, food and wine and for some reason I think it might a lot less stressful.

As our children grow into adults and become the people they are going to be our role changes and we are no longer the parent. Adapting to whatever role we have or don’t have in their lives is not as simple as one might think. We are no longer the person of knowledge that we were in their youth. As we become grayer in hair, we are perhaps grayer to them, not the lively over-active person they have always known.

One night I took my granddaughter to a local Mexican restaurant to dinner. We ordered guacamole with the chips, as they come with just salsa. I ordered two tacos and she had a quesadilla. Neither of us are big eaters, so I never order full blown meals there. When I the bill came I was charged for two orders of guacamole. I pointed it out to the waiter and realized by his expression he did not think I would notice.  Telling my older neighbor about this she shared that she thinks people see your gray or white hair and think you have less gray matter in your brain.

When I started getting gray hair, I did not start getting stupid. When I started getting gray hair I did not start to get meaner, but I do stand up for what I believe in. As I get more gray hair I am seeing people view you differently than they did when you were younger. I am finally okay with that, but I do think you need to look for the humor. The other day when I was out running errands I found a sign to put by my front door.  If I can match the paint, I may change the W in WITCH to a B.

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The Quiet Life Begins Again

Soda Bread is tasty!

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Going through Paul Hollywood’s Bread cookbook, I skipped a couple pages, as I did not have all the ingredients.  (will shop today) This soda bread looked so much better than the dry soda bread I have purchased for St. Paddy’s Day.  With a little butter, this is wonderfully rich and tasty.

Ingredients

– 250g plain white flour

– 250g plain wholemeal flour

– 1 tsp salt

– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

– About 400ml buttermilk (If you don’t have this on had, keep the dry mix that you can add to milk or water and have the same effect)

Soda Bread

Makes 1 small loaf
Bake 30 minutes

Ireland’s most famous bread is made with two of the oldest foods, wheat and buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the bicarbonate of soda and creates the rise. If you have kids, do teach them how to make soda bread, because it’s great to be able to put a loaf on the table within 45 minutes. Once you’ve mastered it, try adding some grated Wexford cheese (vintage Irish Cheddar) and chopped raw onion to the dough.


1.Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

2. Put the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in half the buttermilk. Using your fingers or a round-bladed knife, draw the flour into the buttermilk. Continue to add the buttermilk until all the flour has been absorbed and you have a sticky dough. You may not need all the buttermilk – it depends on the flour you use.

3. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. It is important to work quickly, as once the buttermilk is added it begins to react with the bicarbonate of soda.

4. Put the dough on the baking tray. Mark into quarters with a large, sharp knife, cutting deeply through the loaf, almost but not quite through to the base. Dust the top with flour.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Eat on the day of baking – or toast it the next day.

Paul Hollywood’s Irish rarebit recipe

Paul Hollywood's Irish rarebit recipe

Soda bread was popular long ago in Ireland, especially in rural areas where a regular supply of barm (brewer’s yeast) wasn’t always accessible to the home baker.

Here I’m giving you an Irish spin on Welsh rarebit, using Irish cheese, spring onions and a splash of stout. Rarebit is one of those great comfort foods that can be thrown together at the last minute. The mixture also keeps well in the fridge, so you can have it on standby for a quick lunch or supper.

Ingredients

Metric
Cups
Imperial
  • 150 ml full-fat milk
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 400 g strong Irish Cheddar, grated
  • 160 g medium-fine white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 120 ml Guinness or other stout
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 6 slices of soda bread
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 cup watercress, to serve
  • 5.3 fl oz full-fat milk
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 14.1 oz strong Irish Cheddar, grated
  • 5.6 oz medium-fine white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 4.2 fl oz Guinness or other stout
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 6 slices of soda bread
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 cup watercress, to serve
  • 0.6 cup full-fat milk
  • 1.5 tbsp plain flour
  • 14.1 oz strong Irish Cheddar, grated
  • 5.6 oz medium-fine white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 0.5 cup Guinness or other stout
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 6 slices of soda bread
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 cup watercress, to serve

Details

  • Cuisine: Irish
  • Recipe Type: Main
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 5 mins
  • Cooking Time: 10 mins
  • Serves: 6

Step-by-step

  1. Preheat your grill to high. Warm the milk in a saucepan until almost simmering, then whisk in the flour. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. The mixture should be smooth and slightly thickened.
  2. Add the grated cheese and stir over a low heat until it has melted. Add the breadcrumbs, mustard powder and stout. Continue stirring over the heat until the mixture comes together and leaves the sides of the pan.
  3. Tip the mixture into a bowl and leave for a minute to cool slightly, then add the egg yolks and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the spring onions.
  4. Toast the soda bread on one side. Spread the rarebit on the untoasted side and place under the hot grill until bubbling and golden brown. Add a grinding of pepper and serve, with watercress on the side.

Extract taken from Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds, published by Bloomsbury. Photography by Peter Cassidy.

 

Soda Bread is tasty!

Summer Greek Salad

Greek salad

Wondering around in my favorite grocery store and thinking, “What’s for dinner”, Greek salad came to mind.  So on my iPhone, I looked up ingredients and as I was walking by beautiful ripe avocados, thought they are good on just about anything.  So here you have America’s Test Kitchen Greek Salad with avocado added.  Luckily I had grilled some peppers a week ago, put them in oil and saved what I did not use, so that saved a step.  I used two kinds of olives, instead of just kalamata olives.  We opened a nice bottle of Pinot Noir from Oregon.  Oh my gosh, the bottle is empty.  I think we liked it!

I served this with some simple barbecued Chicken chunks with a rub from Central Market!  Simple and quiet Friday night with a good book.

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Greek Salad

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

“Most versions of Greek salad consist of iceberg lettuce, chunks of green pepper, and a few pale wedges of tomato, sparsely dotted with cubes of feta and garnished with one forlorn olive of questionable heritage. For our Greek salad, we aimed a little higher: We wanted a salad with crisp ingredients and bold flavors, highlighted by briny olives and tangy feta, all blended together with a bright-tasting dressing infused with fresh herbs. For a dressing with balanced flavor, we used a combination of lemon juice and red wine vinegar and added fresh oregano, olive oil, and a small amount of garlic. We poured the dressing over fresh vegetables, including Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers, as well as other ingredients, including fresh mint and parsley, roasted peppers, and a generous sprinkling of feta cheese and olives.”

By America’s Test Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

VINAIGRETTE

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
½ teaspoon table salt
teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium clove garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
6 tablespoons olive oil

SALAD

½ medium red onion, sliced thin (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
2 hearts romaine lettuce, washed, dried thoroughly, and torn into 1 1/2-inch-pieces (about 8 cups)
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes (10 ounces total), each tomato cored, seeded, and cut into 12 wedges
¼ cup loosely packed torn fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup loosely packed torn fresh mint leaves
6 ounces jarred roasted red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 by 2-inch strips (about 1 cup)
20 large kalamata olives, each olive pitted and quartered lengthwise
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

NSTRUCTIONS

SERVES 6 TO 8 ( We will be eating this for few days)

Marinating the onion and cucumber in the vinaigrette tones down the onion’s harshness and flavors the cucumber. For efficiency, prepare the other salad ingredients while the onion and cucumber marinate. Use a salad spinner to dry the lettuce thoroughly after washing; any water left clinging to the leaves will dilute the dressing.

 

1. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients in large bowl until combined. Add onion and cucumber and toss; let stand to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.

2. Add romaine, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and peppers to bowl with onions and cucumbers; toss to coat with dressing.

3. Transfer salad to wide, shallow serving bowl or platter; sprinkle olives and feta over salad. Serve immediately.

Per Serving:

Cal 180; Fat 14 g; Sat fat 3.5 g; Chol 10 mg; Carb 8 g; Protein 5 g; Fiber 2 g; Sodium 600 mg

Summer Greek Salad

Back to Cooking

Shepherds Pie is so easy to make.  I had left over potatoes from a couple a nights ago, so did not them to go to waste.  The recipe calls to put it in a casserole pan, but I like individual servings, so put in smaller containers, so I could freeze two for later or eat later in the week.  I added mushrooms and four cloves of garlic and just cut and put in the blender to dice.  Fast and easy.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

American favorite shepherd’s pie recipe, casserole with ground beef, vegetables such as carrots, corn, and peas, topped with mashed potatoes.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and quartered
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1-2 cups vegetables—diced carrots, corn, peas
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

METHOD

1 Boil the potatoes: Place the peeled and quartered potatoes in medium sized pot. Cover with at least an inch of cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender (about 20 minutes.

2 Sauté vegetables: While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until tender, about 6 to 10 minutes.

If you are including vegetables, add them according to their cooking time. Carrots should be cooked with the onions, because they take as long to cook as the onions do.

If you are including peas or corn, add them toward the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat starts to cook, as they take very little cooking time.

3 Add the ground beef, then Worcestershire sauce and broth: Add ground beef to the pan with the onions and vegetables. Cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Bring the broth to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out.

4 Mash the cooked potatoes: When the potatoes are done cooking (a fork can easily pierce), remove them from the pot and place them in a bowl with the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter. Mash with a fork or potato masher, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5 Layer the meat mixture and mashed potatoes in a casserole dish: Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the beef, onions, and vegetables (if using) in an even layer in a large baking dish (8×13 casserole).

Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the ground beef. Rough up the surface of the mashed potatoes with a fork so there are peaks that will get well browned. You can even use a fork to make creative designs in the mashed potatoes.

6 Bake in oven: Place in a 400°F oven and cook until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. If necessary, broil for the last few minutes to help the surface of the mashed potatoes brown.

This is comfort food for a rainy cold day and enjoyed with a nice Tempornillo Wine.

 

Back to Cooking

Plating and History of Food Presentation

As most of you know, “plating” is a term often referred to in the presentation of food.  I was interested to know where it all started.  I found the following article very interesting.

LouisThen versus Now

food-presentationDining: The History of the Presentation

1700s:
The wealthy classes in both Asia and Western Europe laud chefs who prepare and serve beautiful dishes. In the court of Louis XIV, multitiered tables are arranged with extravagant structures made of carefully decorated and luxurious food. The Court of Versailles codifies service à la française, or traditional French table service, which remains a constant in French gastronomy for centuries to come.

1800s:
The Victorian age arrests the UK and much of Europe in formality while residents of the US live a lifestyle more in line with cowboys and pioneers. “Cookery” books become popular, as do kitchen gadgets produced in factories en masse. Home cooks have access to items such as peelers, graters, and mincers, changing the appearance and texture of homecooked meals for the foreseeable future.

1815:
Le Pâtissier Pittoresque is published by one of the world’s most well-regarded chefs, Frenchman Marie Antonin Carême. The book features more than a hundred illustrations of pièces montées, elaborate sculptural and architectural pastries.

1835:
Publisher Thomas Walker complains in his weekly newspaper, The Original, of the practice of using a “huge centre-piece of plate and flowers,” that keeps table
guests “hidden” from one another. He points out that tables need to be of “excessive breadth” to allow room for the exuberant table decorations.

1898:
The Ritz Hotel opens in Paris. Cesar Ritz, the Swiss owner, partners with Auguste Escoffier, the inventor of the kitchen brigade system and one of history’s most important chefs. The Ritz immediately becomes synonymous with opulence, haute cuisine, and fine dining. In 1899 the team does the same at the Carlton Hotel in London.

1900s:
Advances in nutrition, preservation, and industry characterize foodways in the early 1900s. In America, the influx of immigrants brings a variety of cuisines to the more populated areas and cities.

1903:
Escoffier publishes the foundation of modern French cooking, Le Guide Culinaire.

1917:
The cocktail party makes its societal debut. “If a woman guest who had been driving all forenoon in her limousine, and was a little chilled in consequence, felt the need of a drink with an extra kick in it, she ordered a Sazarac cocktail.” (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

1920:
Prohibition closes thousands of hotels and restaurants “and [destroys] the last vestiges of fine dining in the United States.” Casual tearooms, diners, and cafeterias rise in their wake. (Fashionable Foods: Seven Decades of Food Fads, by Sylvia Lovgren; MacMillan; 1995)

1933:
Prohibition is repealed and with the war looming, cocktail parties and passed hors d’oeuvres regain popularity.

1938:
Larousse Gastronomique is published. An encyclopedic look at French cuisine, it provides insight into culinary terminology, kitchen equipment, and historically important chefs.

1930s–1940s:
The Great Depression, war, and rationing temporarily put an end to fine meals and the art of presentation. Even those who can still afford to dine well don’t, out of allegiance to the war effort.

1946:
Returning GIs import a love of exotic foods and beverages, and luaus and tiki bars are mainstreamed. The industrialization of food stuffs leads to “easy” home shortcuts, such as processed “spreads” sold in jars. Housewives work to make these foods their own by making shaped finger sandwiches and party snacks.

1950s:
As prosperity grows in the US and overseas, traditional French dining again takes hold and the a la carte menu returns to fine dining. Vegetables and starches are served separately, food is carried to the dining room on silver trays, and chefs regard straying from the recipes outlined in Escoffier’s cookbooks as outrageous. At home, Americans begin their love affair with grilling and eating outdoors.

1960s:
The first real shift in standard food presentation in the twentieth century happens here. Vegetables and starches are served on the same plate as the main course. It is likely this trend occurred after labor costs at the 1956 Olympics required that meal service be tweaked to remain on budget. The clock is used as a guide for plating, with proteins being placed at 6 a.m., while starch, vegetables, and the required garnish are placed—respectively—at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. Improvisation and straying from traditional recipes remains unheard of in most instances, until the late 1960s when “radicals” begin putting sauces under the meat on a plate.

1968–1972:
This time period can be considered the birth of modern cuisine, where rebellious young chefs begin expressing themselves creatively and taking liberties with recipes and plating styles.

Early 1970s:
Nouvelle Cuisine takes hold and portion sizes shrink tremendously. Food is served in what many consider miniature portions.

1975–1985:
Strange food combinations are tried—and sometimes accepted—despite their poor flavor, as the creativity of the chef becomes a recognizable and important part of the dining experience. Decorative garnishing becomes extremely trendy and dishes are dressed with “roses” made from wound tomato skins and other such embellishment. Paper doilies are used excessively, both under and in between plates, as a rule.

1985–1990:
Plates become exceptionally large, perhaps to offset the return to normal-sized portions post-Nouvelle.

1990–1995:
The popularity of food TV means that diners and chefs alike become aware of new ideas and concepts at an accelerated speed. Food takes on new heights, with a tall single stack comprised of meat, starch, and vegetable piled in the center of the plate becoming de rigueur. Chef Emeril Lagasse, one of the TV’s first celebrity chefs, introduces and popularizes the idea of sprinkling herbs, dry seasonings, powdered sugar, or cocoa powder on the rim of every plate. Today, tall food and speckled plates can still be found on the tables of outmoded restaurants across the US.

1995–2000:
The sprinkling of food and plate rims transitions to the heavy use of squirt bottles and the “drizzling” of sauces both on the plate and over the food. Done in the right way, squirt bottles can still be very useful plating tools today, but plates sodden with zigzags of sauce and heavily powdered (inspired by the chef whose catchphrase was “Bam”) eventually lose their appeal. Tapas—and the concept of consuming many small dishes versus a larger single course meal—become commonplace.

2005-2009:
After nearly a decade of being synonymous with Spanish chef Ferran Adria, molecular gastronomy rises to the point of ubiquity, transforming everyday foods into fanciful, nearly unrecognizable forms, and obscure foods into center-of-plate showpieces. Foams, spherification, emulsification, and other applications are popularized through the widespread accessibility of safe, edible chemicals and specialized techniques.

2009-2013:
Economic collapse and a move toward smaller portions means that protein is no longer at the center of the plate, and the world’s most advanced chefs are creating dishes that are more “landscaped” in appearance, where the meat or central item is not necessarily the focus of a plate’s appearance. Sauces are less likely to be squirted from a bottle, and a swiping technique that employs a tablespoon is more common. Tasting menus have piqued in the fine dining scene, but small plates and multicourse meals made of them can be found on mainstream, chain restaurant menus with increasing regularity.

Plating and History of Food Presentation

How to photograph what you cook.

This is a great article from America’s Test Kitchen.

5 Tips for Better Food Photography in Almost Any Setting

Hint: Natural light is your best friend.

JULIE BOZZO COTE

As the director of photography here at America’s Test Kitchen, I’ve art directed more than 1,000 food photography shoots for our magazines, cookbooks, and everything in between. Some tricks of the trade can only be accomplished using professional cameras and perfectly placed lighting, but the following five tips will help you take better food photos, no matter your setup. (And here’s a bonus sixth tip: Natural light is your friend!)

1. Taste It First

I find that once I know how amazing a dish tastes then I’m motivated to show off the unique qualities that make it such a winner. Once you’re in love with the food, you can then work to highlight those special details and properties. For instance, if a dish’s crunchy texture is the thing that gets you, then try to find ways to highlight that part by getting close in on the exterior or by showing textural differences within the dish.

2. Move Around the Food

Think high, think low, look at all sides of the food, move the plate and see what happens when light hits it from different angles. Get up on a chair or ladder, get low and look right into the interior. Add multiple pieces of the food, or include elements in the frame that support the main character in a real way.

3. Make Color Happen

Even if you have the brownest or whitest of foods, add that parsley or some olive oil or use a complementary colored serving vessel. Find ways to keep dimension in a photo that could look too monochromatic. And if you’re going for the monochromatic thing, which is cool, find lots of contrast and interesting shapes to play off of—create the shapes if you have to by cutting into the food in a creative way.

4. Fight the Cold

Food that’s meant to be served hot should be photographed while it’s hot. Makes sense, right? The challenge is that food can often look like it’s not actually hot in a photo, even if it is. The best way to show hot is to let juices from meat or fruits pool on a spoon or plate. Shoot the steam coming off food by adding a dark background that allows the camera lens to capture the wafting steam. Let the light rake over the top of the food so it looks shiny with the natural oils. (It’s also okay to add a little olive oil for highlights.)

5. Interact with the Food

Pick up the tongs or the slotted spoon and break up the mound of food with a cooking or serving utensil. This allows some breathing room on the platter or plate, and can uncover nice details. This also gives the sense of scale and brings in the element of motion and possible drama, which are always nice to capture in a still photograph.

(The photographs in this post were shot by Joe Keller, Carl Tremblay, and Daniel J. van Ackere.) 


What are your food photography secrets? Let us know!

How to photograph what you cook.

Cooking is a passion

Cooking has always been a part of my life, and now as I look back I wonder just why I didn’t cook more: and then I realize I was a single mom with three sons, so life makes decisions for you sometimes.  As I become a little more seasoned as many of the seasons of my life are now behind me, I now have the time and a wonderful new kitchen where I can explore all sorts of new yummy foods.

This little display was for my friends that came to a Cabi Party.  Most of us, well over fifty had the time of lives drinking good wine, enjoying food and laughing as we realize things just don’t the same on us as they did when we were in our 20′, 30’s and 40’s.  But we all savor the moment and enjoy what we have, not what we had.

Life is too short to worry about what you didn’t do, just keep doing.

 

Cooking is a passion