It Can’t (Just) Be About the Pictures

Once any blog gets big enough, the blogger may come out from behind their glossy corner of the Internet and do a post on “How to Be a Blogger.”  In this post, he or she will outline 5, or 10, or 20 tips you can put to work as you start your own blog.  One of them will inevitably be, take the best pictures that you can.

But here’s the problem with that when you write a food blog.

Unless you’re going at this gig full-time, or hoping to, you’re not planning your cooking around the times your kitchen gets the best light, or devoting entire days to recipe testing, in hopes you’ll walk out of the kitchen with a winning recipe or two (and a couple cabinets’ worth of dirty dishes as a bonus).  No, you, little blogger-on-the-side, are just cooking your regular food, and snapping a photo when something tastes especially good.  I used to have people over, and try to steal a minute or two, in between finishing off my meal prep, and putting my dishes on the table, in which I would take pictures of the food.  It wouldn’t be smitten-worthy, but it would be better than a shot, whenever I remembered, which was probably in the middle of a bite.

But twice in two weeks, we’ve served dinner for ten, and I just cooked a huge breakfast this morning.  Twice in two weeks I’ve thought of the perfect perch from the kitchen I could sneak off to in the middle of the meal, to capture a couple of Kinfolk, or Anthropologie-esque shots of everyone passing each other dishes, helping themselves to seconds, and laughing at the wonderfully amazing time they were having.  Dear readers, thankfully, they did have a wonderfully amazing time.  And perhaps even more thankfully (thankfullier?), I did too.  So I forgot to get up and take the perfect blog picture.  And you get the random one I snapped when I remembered to.

couscous risotto.

This photo is less than mediocre, but this couscous risotto with tomato and parmesan (loosely based on this) is way more.  We served it with rich people meat, brussels sprouts, and corn on the cob.

I took a lot of liberties with the recipe, but to serve 3 as a side, you will need:

  • Leftover tomatoes from this
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 1 C Israeli couscous
  • a pinch of dried oregano (I never buy fresh because I so rarely use it)
  • Parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Combine the tomatoes and chicken stock.  If they’re both coming straight from the refrigerator, heat them in a saucepan over low heat to warm them up.  If they’re at room temperature, just leave them as they are.

Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a pan and heat.  Add couscous and stir, tossing to coat and beginning to toast (about a minute).  Add one third of the tomato mixture, and bring to a slight simmer.  Stir till most of the liquid is absorbed.  Add oregano, and salt and pepper.  Add next third of the tomato mixture, continuing to stir until most is absorbed.  At this point, check and see how close your couscous is to being cooked through.  Mine only needed about another big spoonful of liquid before it was done.  Remove from heat and stir in heaps of Parmesan.  Serve hot.

 

3 thoughts on “It Can’t (Just) Be About the Pictures

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