Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Changing of the Crops

A shift in crops at the Farmers' Market is a sure sign fall is upon us. Here are some favorites that I found at the market today.

I'm about to change out my garden as well, which is something I've never done in the fall. So far I have chard, collards, lettuce and beets in the line up. What else do you like to grow in the fall?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tips on how to get better pictures of your food

The first tip is obvious, but it's important enough to repeat: use natural lighting whenever possible. If that means taking your dinner outside to take its picture before you eat it, then do it. If you'd like to shoot a dish at a restaurant, request a table near a window. Try your darndest not to use the automatic flash on the front of your camera. This creates harsh, unflattering light for your food. And no one wants to eat harsh, unflattering light.

Plain old fruit salad becomes a great picture when taken outside and up close.

Set your camera on something or use a small tripod if your lighting isn't ideal so your picture stays very sharp. I personally don't have a small tripod in my pocket at all times (innuendo? not sure.), so I usually just put my camera on top of a glass or some such thing to keep it steady.

If macro is a feature on your camera, use it. The closer you get to the food, the better the shot usually looks. Try to get the most interesting part in focus. It's okay, and often desirable, to have the other parts slightly out of focus--i.e., go with a shallow depth of field.

If you have a slightly fancy camera and you like pushing buttons, try lowering the f-stop to get an even more shallow depth of field.

Even Red Beans and Rice (almost) look perrrdy using the shallow depth of field trick!

Just keep trying. The more you practice taking pictures of food, the better you'll get!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spend your money on beer, not salsa!

I know this isn't a picture of salsa, I just wanted to use it because my cat is up to no good in the background. Anyway, on with the salsa!

A friend of mine (Shout out to APB!) handed down this easy salsa recipe years ago, and I haven't bought salsa since. Okay, that's a lie. But I only rarely buy it.

Here's What You're Gonna Need:
(all measurements are "about...")

1 big clove of garlic, smashed
1 jalapeno (seeds and ribs in or out--it's up to you!), diced
1 small green chile, diced*
a palmful of cilantro
2 cups of diced tomatoes* (A smaller tomato like Roma works best. Scoop out seeds.)

*If you don't have fresh tomatoes and chiles, you can also use a can of diced tomatoes with chiles, or just leave the chile out.

And Here's What You're Gonna Do:

Put all of the ingredients together and either use a stick blender on it like I do, or pulse it in the food processor. THE END. It's really that easy. Why would you ever buy salsa again???

For a lighter salsa, try adding lime (garlic optional here) or, for a smokier taste, substitute a chile in adobo for the jalapeno.