I’m never going back to unsavory oatmeal. Or, for awhile, at least.
Ingredients (makes enough for 2-3 people)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup veggie broth
- Olive oil for frying and garnish
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup kabocha squash, steamed
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 Tbs chives, diced.
- A few slices of tofu
- 1/4 cup onions, diced (optional)
- Blend the kabocha squash with 1/8 cup water. Add more water if necessary.
- Cook oatmeal according to package directions except replace 1/4 cup of the water with vegetable broth.
- While the oatmeal is cooking, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil up in a pan and fry the tofu slices on both sides until crispy and golden-brown.
- Pour the oatmeal in bowls and place the tofu and a large dollop of the kabocha squash on top of the oatmeal.
- Garnish with 1 tsp olive oil, chives, sauteed onions (optional), salt & pepper.
I’ve gotten a bunch of emails asking for advice about food photography. So, here it is. =)
- In my oh-so-humble opinion, photographing is a very small part of food photography. People who tell me they love a photo often follow it up with “What camera do you use?” Of course I’m willing to share what camera I have, but a good camera doesn’t guarantee a good photo. The unsung heros on all sets (be it food, fashion, or film) are the stylists, set designers, and art directors. These are the people who create something beautiful to photograph. It doesn’t matter how talented a Director of Photography or photographer is, if there is not something beautiful to capture, they won’t get the photo. The best move I’ve made was putting aside my camera and spending some time really focusing on what I’m photographing.
- A photograph is a piece of art. When setting up for a photo I find it helpful to keep the elements of art in the back of my mind the entire time. The elements of two-dimensional art are line, shape, color, texture, space, and value (a range of light from very dark to very light). When setting up a photo I go through a mental checklist of-sorts. What line will my eye follow? Do I have repeating & overlapping shapes? Do I have a good color scheme (I try not to have more than 3 colors)? Do I have a variety of textures- liquid, cloth, paper, metal, etc.? Do I have the entire value scale? If I answer yes to all of these, I’m usually headed in a good direction.
- I try to tell a story or give a sense of environment in my photos. The first step toward making this happen is to decide where I want my scene to be. Is it morning at the breakfast table? Is it a bar? A library? Once I decide, I try to make every element in that photo work toward creating that feeling. That means the props, the lighting, the color scheme, the color tone, etc. are all working towards conveying that sense of place.
- Collect props! The image above is just a small amount of the props I’ve accumulated since starting food photography. I always have my prop radar up. I have found some really great stuff at yard sales, thrift stores, vintage stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pearl River, Etsy, and Specialty Bottle - just to name a few. Feel free to leave some of your resources in the comments. =)
- I find planks of wood and stain/paint each side of them a different color. These become my tabletop.
- I buy lots of foam-core and spray-paint each side a different color. These act as my wall/backdrop.
- I am constantly studying food photography that I like – trying to put my finger on what it is that I like about a certain photo. Here are some great food photographers that I find inspiring: Tartelette, 6 Bittersweets, The Sophisticated Gourmet, Minimally Invasive, Honey & Jam, Great Food Photos, Chasing Delicious, Roost, La Petite Cusine, PureVege, Licking The Plate, What Katie Ate, In The Little Red House and Chris Court. If you know of a great food photographers, please feel free to share their website in the comments.
- …The camera. Let me start by saying that you don’t need a crazy expensive camera to get great photos. I’ve seen some amazing food photos (with great light and styling) taken with the iPhone. However, if you want to take your photos to the next level, you may consider buying and learning how to work a DSLR camera.
- The lens. For those of you going the DSLR route, I will tell ya that I rarely take the 50mm lens off my camera. I highly recommend it.
- Undercook the food you are photographing. Cooked foods shrink and lose their color.
- Spray cold food w/ olive oil to make it look hot.
Please feel free to ask me any questions or share your tips. =)
I love coffee. My favorite part of the day is walking with Roy, at 7am, to the coffee shop around the corner- Konditori. It pains me to give up this daily routine, but the cost adds up, and I need to start brewin’ at home. To make this transition as easy as possible, I bought beans from Konditori and plan on drinking my coffee out of the to-go cups that we’ve accumulated from them.
Check out the comments. Readers are a wealth of information about coffee. =)
I did some research and here’s what I’ve decided works best:
- French Press
- Coffee Bean Grinder
Ingredients (for 2 cups of coffee)
- About 6 Tbs of good coffee beans (store your beans in an air-tight, away from light)
- 12-18oz filtered water
- 1 small pinch of salt
- Milk, optional (non-dairy for me please!)
- Sugar, optional
- Heat up 12oz of clean, filtered, water.
- Meanwhile, put 6 Tbs of coffee beans into the grinder and grind for 12 seconds.
- Put 4 Tbs of ground coffee and a pinch of salt into the french press.
- Pour 12oz of hot water into the french press.
- Put the lid on the french press but do not press down. Let it sit for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes push the french press down.
- Pour the coffee into two cups. I find this to be a bit too strong so I dilute each cup with 3oz of hot water. This just depends on your preference.
- Add milk and sugar, if you’d like.
Perfection. How do you make your coffee?
Oh, and a special thanks to my dear friend Ms. Danielle Corsetto for being the hand in these photos. <3