Tag Archives: lemon

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When I made that first meal for the blog last summer, I was embarrassed at how ugly everything looked, and how terrible it tasted. What was I doing wrong?

Well, the answer to that my friends, was everything. 

I've come a monumental way since that ill-fated, barely edible, I-cant-believe-I'm-posting-this-online post, and I've picked up a few tricks along the way.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mainly, I've become a pretty decent photographer/food stylist (I hope!). This mixed green salad with strawberries and goat cheese is basically identical to the one I made one year ago, but with a nicer camera, better lens, no camera flash, better props, better lighting (THIS is the big one here), and a newfound knowledge of photography.

Here's the original shot:

And now the same salad, but with a year's worth of experience behind the shot:

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mmm....moody. How about another?

Now you might be asking yourself, ok, I get how the lighting, camera, and props make a big difference, but the salad itself just looks so much nicer! What's the secret, Sarah?

Brace yourselves, readers, because I am going to offer you a glance into the world of food styling, and peek at the obsessive compulsivity that must accompany it:

This is nuts. Halfway through washing and sorting through the spinach for the prettiest pieces, in 95 degree heat, I asked my mother if I had lost my mind. She said yes. I accepted this fact and continued to build a beautiful salad.

For the curious, here's the book I've been using as a basic guide to getting my food to look nicer: Food Styling for Photographers.

So that's it, I guess. I could lie and tell you I made a delicious vinaigrette to go with this salad, but I used up my last lemons making the citrus salsa verde for the salmon.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

All in all, I'm pretty excited about where I've come in the past year, and looking forward to where the next one will take me. And I'm still waiting for the fame and fortune that I just know is right around the corner.

Original salad

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Holy crap!!!

It's been an entire year since I started this blog as a way to document my attempts at learning how to cook. It's been an amazing year, and I doubt I would have come this far if I didn't have the motivation of this blog to keep me pushing forward.

At this point I'd like to clarify that I have never been to a cooking school, class, seminar, what have you. I am a self-taught cook, who picked up everything she knows from the internet, cookbooks, and trial and error.

This means that I have had some fun disasters in the past year, but as a whole, I am proud of how far I've come in just 365 days. To celebrate my 1 year anniversary (let's be honest here, who thought I would keep this up this long?!), I am "recreating" my original disaster meal. My first posted recipes were of an unappetizing looking grilled cajun salmon, inedible grilled corn that caught on fire, and a good salad. Taking the main ingredients, I decided to put everything I've learned in one year into this meal. So enjoy the before and after!!!

Salmon:

Oh god. I shudder when I look at this picture.

I was having issues with my old grill that day. Mainly, the heating was SO uneven that my fish came out burned and undercooked simultaneously.  And then I chose to take an overhead picture, with flash (double shudder), on these horrific plates from the 1970's. If I had any dignity I would take this picture down from the internet, burn all copies onto a CD, shatter that CD with a hammer, and throw the pieces in the microwave. And then bury it, just to make sure it's really dead.

But, I like to look at it every once in awhile, so that when I look at my more recent, and much sexier food pictures, I swell up with pride.

salmon, grilled, fish, summer, giada, food network, recipe, spicy, salsa, citrus, lemon, mint, parsley, salsa verde, green, chilled, tangy, delicious

Now, I know that corn and salmon do not really go well together. But, as I made them together 1 year ago, so I had to pair them again. This made the food styling particularly difficult, but I'm fairly certain the salmon stands out enough on it's own. ...continue reading

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chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

The warm weather and high humidity is proof that summer is finally here. Time to refill my grill gas tank, set up my hammock (I don't actually have a hammock, but I can dream!), and most importantly, start buying in-season fruits and veggies.

As a person with an insatiable sweet tooth, I am disappointed with myself as a child for not embracing the natural sweetness of berries. It's only been within the past two or so years that I've been able to get over my hang-ups about texture, and now I simply cannot get enough of them (Though, admittedly, the hairs on the raspberries still creep me out if I think too hard about them). I love berries dipped in chocolate, eaten plain, baked into pies and cakes, and made into smoothies. Any way I can get my fill of these mouthwateringly juicy flavors.

chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

And when it's just too hot outside to even imagine turning on your oven or grill, this cool, sweet soup completely hits the spot.

chilled berry soup, cold soup, summer, sweet soup, fruit soup, cold, chilled, berries, strawberry, strawberries, raspberry, raspberries, blueberry, blueberries, smoothie, pink soup, pink, soup, purple, easy, fun, kids, tart, sweet, creme fraiche, whipped cream

Though calling it a soup might be a bit of a stretch, this creamy pink smoothie in a bowl will delight everyone, and it's so simple to make! Eat it as a dessert, a snack, or with a large salad for a perfect and easy summer meal. ...continue reading

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I'm really excited about artichokes. I had a single leaf back in July, and since then, I've made them three times. I think they're a lot of fun to eat, and I like that if you put the effort in, you're rewarded when you get to the amazing center (artichoke hearts! Who knew I would like this stuff?)

This is my favorite recipe that I've found, and I like that you don't need a dipping sauce. I made this once before with my friend Ken, and they turned out so phenomenal that we were all in shock. This time they were still great, but because we were rushing to get to the movie, we did not put the effort in that I did the first time.

So first you have to wash the artichokes, and then cut the tops of the leaves. Using kitchen scissors (or if you're like me and don't have any, regular scissors) you trim the tops of the leaves. I trim from the bottom up until I can't get my scissors between the leaves anymore, because they are so tightly packed. This makes them look nice! (and keeps you from getting stabbed by the pointy ends, which I've done)

...continue reading