Tuesday, March 27, 2012

blog goals

I’m trying to get back on the bloggin’ wagon, not cause I feel nor have I ever felt that it’s my job or I owe anyone blogs (or that frequency of blogging will in any way mean this becoming at all lucrative ever, cause no), but cause I like it. I love looking back and remember specific times in my life by, I swear, what I ate. Some have visual memories, some auditory… I have taste.

Anyway. With the amped up blogging, I have some blogging goals, including increasing my use of:


While I appreciate everyone who reads my blog immensely, I am not self delusional enough that people generally come for the photographs. I have a point and shoot and no training.

However. That handy-dandy tripod (a Christmas gift from my mom that I have been utilizing, um, not at all) is GREAT! Watch this post go from yawn to awesome, thanks to a handy little gadget that can balance on the top of any bottle.

I fancied a Mark Bittman recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (as usual) and decided on an egg and tomato pie with potato crust (?! wild, eh?!)

You shred the potatoes and dry ‘em out via salting and squeezing, then season ‘em with just salt and pepper.


Press ‘em into an olive oil’d pan…


And bake til golden.


Tomatoes are also wonderful when baked til golden (and more flavorful in this off-season).


And then you have yourself a pie assembly station.


Tomatoes on crust…


And egg mixture upon tomatoes.

This is where we begin TRIPOD EXCITEMENT. So I’ll begin with a regular shot, dependent on the strength and stability of my forearms:



Not only is the angle much more complex, allowing you to take in the attractive fluted edges of the tart pan in a whole new way; you also get to see my dishwasher!


Here’s another mini-tour-of-Lele’s-kitchen shot, along with the evening’s salad (farmer’s market micro greens, mini cucumbers, and my mom’s homemade herb dressing)


Even when I do a picture with the tripod and then crop out everything else to my usual closeup, the angles still are a lot better, as seems to be the clarity. (Now I need photo editing software to make the colors nice!)


Confession: this post is ancient and I wrote it in January.

Another goal: update pictures sooner!

So there’s still some January stuff in these shots. This meal is photographed atop an uncharacteristically chaotic kitchen table due to as yet underutilized CHRISTMAS COOKBOOKS!

Another goal: utilize the tomes of wisdom shown below!


Now we have the tripod money-shot: show me some delicious, tripod. Show me good angles and good shapes and crispness.


This picture makes me EXTREMELY happy. Well done tripod! Now looking over the spastic pictures in the rest of the post will reinforce my need to utilize this tool.

Additional blogging goal: proper recipes.

Don’t actually want my blog to just be a series of “I threw this in a pot… it just tasted okay.” That has been my blog and my life lately. No more ruts! Observe: honest-to-golly recipes! Mostly gleaned from others, because I’ve had a number of worth-sharing recipes passed my way lately.

It was so convenient: Steve came over and I realized, when making him a plate of food, that I could get a picture of all the recipes I’d made and not bothered to photograph for the past several days.

The beets were made with a balsamic glaze and from Gourmet Today. A great cookbook (from my dad for Christmas). Clockwise from there, the beans were from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: kidney beans with apples, flavored with shallots, fresh thyme, and sherry. Absurdly good. Cooking beans from scratch makes a big diff. Used up some of the billions of apples :D

I can’t commit copyright infringement and share those; I can simply urge you to get the cookbooks (or, I spose, come hang out with me and we’ll cook together).


The remaining two, however, I can both endorse and share:

Quinoa and apple salad with curry dressing I made to use up… more of the billions of apples :D Didn’t have mint, currants, or almonds. Green onion in lieu of shallot. Threw in some yogurt. Still, just as a general guideline it was great. Apple+quinoa+curry=fab.

And finally, grilled pastrami style salmon. An old fave I’d waited too long to revisit. Equally great broiled. Make extra seasoning and keep it around!

One tasty plate:


A lot of kerfuffle of a recipe: Spicy braised eggplant with prunes, which my mom clipped from a Washington Post food section article singing the praises of slow cookers but I ended up making.

For something you ostensibly just chuck in the crockpot, it took a lotttttttt of prep work. And I used way less oil because 7 tablespoons of oil for 4-6 servings is just… not morally doable for me.

Anyway, my mom thought it was transcendent; I kind of thought it tasted like good delivery Chinese food. And took a lot longer.


It was fun to make an Asian-themed plate, anyway (cucumber salad with seasoned rice vinegar, tofu tossed with sesame oil and green onion and… stuff? Who can recall)


And it is worth noting that one can attain velvety eggplant without those gobs of oil, which is good.


A very very good recipe: Pink Salmon Cakes with Cilantro Pesto. Er, minus the cilantro pesto (didn’t have enough!)

Held together beautifully, made the fish flavor shine. And I love love loved the article about sustainable salmon harvesting in Alaska. Gorgeous photos, great interviews, great information. A good read, Eating Well magazine.


Randomest recipe source: Health magazine. I subscribe basically to have something to distract me at the gym, but I thought Avocado pea soup with herb oil sounded swell. Er, though I made it minus the herb oil. So perhaps it was my fault it was so thin and bland?

I dunno. Others enjoyed it (I ended up adding a ton of lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes) and I liked it okay.


Still, made for an attractive and oh-so-springtimey plate. Another blog goal: staging!



Michelle (Better with Berries) said...

Just saw the bottle-top tripod at the camera store this week - very interesting!

And I LOVED that article about salmon harvesting in Alaska - because I love salmon AND alaska :-)

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

Your potatoes and tomatoes egg mixture looks like it could be one of the most satisfying flavors of all-time. Really beautiful shots and hopefully tremendously tasty execution!