missmaggiepops

Eating my way around the world

Month: December, 2014

Depth of field for food photography

Cooking Without Limits

A great food photography should make you so hungry that you want to eat the photo in front of you.  Depth of field is the distance from the closest point to your eye that appears in focus to the farthest point away from your eye that still seems to be in focus.

Photographers tends to use a shallow depth of field to draw the eye to a specific part of the photo (usually the main piece of food or part of it). Occasionally however, you might wish to close the aperture of your camera to capture a deeper depth of field. Both can work, depends on your style or what the client wants.

At the begging of food photography, images were shot with infinite focus. In the last 15-20 years, food photographers choose to have softer images with only one small piece of the subject sharp.

DOF (depth of field) is a combination…

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Classic Christmas Cookies

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Growing up in Canada, these two cookies were Christmas staples. My grandmother always made haystacks, and everybody’s mom had a version of shortbread she swore by. I loved the shortbread made with icing sugar because those cookies tended to just dissolve in your mouth. Another bonus is that these two recipes are ridiculously easy to make; because who wants to be a slave to the kitchen during the holidays?
Here are the links to these classics:
Haystacks
Shortbread

Mid-Week Laughs

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Cartoons from The New Yorker

I just came across two hilarious essays, one written by comic Kelly MacLean about her shopping experience at grocery retailer Whole Foods, the other by author (& mom) Maura Quint justifying eating all of her kid’s dinner. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:

Whole Foods

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Ps: Martha Stewart’s Mac’n’Cheese recipe has been my go-to. It never fails, but don’t try to make this low-fat by using skim milk, the sauce isn’t rich enough and makes the noodles a bit dry. I do use whole wheat elbows, and whole wheat bread though.

In the news: Ebola & Food Security; USDA Ok’s Importing Chinese Chicken

Ebola affects food production as well

Why is the US importing chicken anyways?

Did you know about this? I just found out, it’s pretty gross.

Advent Calendar

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My husband brought my son back an Advent Calendar (Adventskalender) from his recent business trip in Düsseldorf, Germany. If you’ve never heard of these, advent calendars are used to count the days leading up to Christmas. Each day a new window is opened to reveal a picture or a poem describing the story of Christmas, either focusing on Jesus, or as ours does, Santa Claus. The majority of the time the slots also hold a little presant in the form of chocolates which you must hunt down since the calendar isn’t in chronological order.

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Ours is geared more towards the proclivities of the adult palate: chocolates filled with cherries & kirsch, hazelnut nougat bathed in dark chocolate, rich truffles, and silky caramels. Yuummmm. And since the kiddo only has 6 teeth (4 of which are barely poking through) we decided as all responsible parents do, to spare him the agony of trying to bite through the chocolates and eat all the little morsels this year. Next year he can have all the fun;)

Birthdays

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The kid & I share November as our birthday month. We both had chocolate in some form as our cake, because it’s not dessert if it’s not chocolate. Am I right?!??
Mine, pictured above, is The Best Chocolate Cake I have ever had. Period. It’s the combo of the sweet & sour sour cream-based icing paired with the ultra-moist, dense, & rich chocolate cake that made me have 2 slices per serving….
Chocolate Dump It Cake by Food52.

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The kid didn’t have a traditional cake, he had A16’s Chocolate Budino as his dessert which he happily ate like a fiend. We typically don’t serve these unmolded, we just don’t own a million little spring form pans to serve picture perfect little cakes. Instead, we serve them in porcelain ramekins and usually omit the cake bottom of the recipe which leaves us with only the custard. Sprinkled with grey, flakey sea salt and drizzled with olive oil, these end up being divine Italian versions of chocolate pot de crème.

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For the kiddo’s 1st birthday party, we also served an assorted charcuterie & cheese plate, Food & Wine’s Green Goddess Chicken Salad (this will be your go-to chicken salad from now on after trying this recipe. Trust me. And don’t try swapping the mayo for 0% fat Greek yoghurt, it just won’t be the same- I’ve already tried…), Heidi Swanson’s Farro Salad, and A16’s Monday Night Meatballs, although the recipe is really just a guideline for my husband. He has skewed so far from the original they’re basically his own. And unfortunately, he changes them each time he makes them, which means his versions have never been written down.
Every month should be birthday month in my opinion.