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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Darndest Things-- "My mom takes pictures of our food. Weird, huh?"

One of Young One's friends was over. He asked, "What do moms do all day, anyway?" "I don't know," Young One said, "My mom takes pictures of food. Weird, huh?" I won't tell you what his friend responded with. It had something to do with laundering underwear, but it came out in the kid translation of a possible mom rant. Pretty funny stuff and I definitely have to tease his mom about it.

Yes, I take pictures of food, occasionally. I also am the family photographer. I'm rarely in pictures because of it. I'm definitely working on handing over the camera so that it actually appears that I did attend family events and vacations.

Food photography is really hard. Real food isn't really pretty. Our appetites are visually stimulated and some food photography out there just doesn't do it for me. Heck, some of mine doesn't do it for me. I love to try, though.

When I owned my food business, I once spent six hours with a film team filming what was to be less than four seconds of our television commercial. Yes, six hours for four seconds. It involved pasta, and steam, and oil glazed vegetables. The things we did to make that four seconds of film actually look delicious would turn your stomach. No, the dish was not edible when we were done.

That filming experience is in the top ten of the most challenging things I did for our business. I remember feeling like a wet noodle myself from all the hot steamy water. The photographers made it much easier than it could have been and their vision led to a great commercial.

So, yep, I sometimes take pictures of food. My shots are usually pretty quick. I take a bunch, change the lighting, backgrounds, etc and hope for a good one to pick from. I will never be a food stylist. One of our old neighbors was and I'll never forget how she told me they varnished the turkeys for the holiday cookbooks (yuck!). I have fun with it and hope that maybe I can provide some representation of something I'm cooking up.

This food blogging is a pretty funny hobby when you think about it. Maybe the kid's got it right.
Pretty Ugly Chicken Patties
Serves 5 at 5 WW Points each.
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 cup fat-free skim milk
3 tbsp onion
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
1 cup Panko crumbs
Cut chicken into cubes. Place in food processor with milk, onion, and cayenne pepper. Pulse until coarsely ground. Set aside. Place breadcrumbs onto a plate. Season with salt and pepper if you wish. Preheat a nonstick pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Spray your hands with a little nonstick spray. Form ground chicken into 5 patties. Dip both sides into bread crumbs and place in pan. Cook about 5-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear and patties reach a temp of 180 degrees inside.
I serve these on buns with chopped roasted red peppers, lettuce, and spicy mayonnaise. Or top a salad. Or serve like chicken parmigiana with pasta and bottled sauce. They're very versatile and, although pretty ugly, they taste great!


  1. Can I just tell you that you and I have been separated at birth.
    I have been at the zoo,on my 1st graders field trip (and I'm still alive to talk about it!)
    And got home and was thinking I would love to make "my" Chicken patties for dinner tonight.
    I do everything the same except for I dip mine in an egg and with the seasonings I add (you guessed it) Tony Chachere!!
    Yours look cutier than mine...

    I'm trying your chocolate cake with the pumpkin this weekend. I'll let you know how it comes out.

    Thank you for your sweet comments!

  2. Hi. I wrote the article on Blissfully Domestic about shy kids and just wanted to thank you for commenting. You are right - it does really apply to all kids. It is hard for me to remember not to try to turn them into miniatures versions of myself.
    Love the food photography. I know my food isn't really picture worthy!


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Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!