I am really embarrassed by the amount of money I have spent on cookbooks and cooking magazine subscriptions. I have been a subscriber to Food Network magazine since inception and I can’t get enough of the beautiful, glossy pages. I also subscribe to Cooking Light in an effort to whittle my waistline. Try to guess how many recipes I have tried from the many magazines that line shelves at home (and at work), as well as spill out of hidden places in my closet and under the bed. If you guessed zero, you would be correct.
My husband is vehemently opposed to my renewing magazine subscriptions because none of us benefit from them currently. I have an addiction when it comes to them, though. If I don’t subscribe, I feel as though I am missing out. Unfortunately, these magazines take up space that we truly can’t afford to give up. I have since subscribed to the digital edition of both Food Network and Cooking Light, and my husband is none the wiser. At least he isn’t until he reads this blog post. Anywho, that’s not a concern right at this moment.
I decided to add a food feature to my blog as an incentive to cook my way through some of the magazines I have piled up. There are a couple of problems with this idea, though. One, I’m not a great cook. I do a pretty damned good job of eating (obviously), but my cooking techniques leave a lot to be desired. For this reason, pretty much everything we eat is baked or broiled. You can’t really screw those methods up too badly.
Another reason is that I suck at photography. We have a digital camera that I can’t be bothered with, so it sits in a box to avoid collecting dust. I have upgraded my iPhone and the newer model takes much better pictures than my old one did. The skill of the photographer still means a great deal. I don’t know anything about getting good angles, or proper lighting. I should probably do some internet research on that.
Thirdly, my plating technique is nonexistent. I browse through some of my favorite food blogs and am amazed by the photographs. Not only can these people cook well, but they know how to show you that they cook well. The most recent post I viewed had me salivating over my tablet. Perfectly seared chicken sat upon the most beautiful slaw made from purple cabbage. The selected plate and props transported me to a place at their table, able to imagine myself having dinner with the cook. My much less sophisticated plating however, will consist of chicken that was meant to be seared but actually ended up being boiled/steamed (again, thanks to my lack of know-how) sitting next to a sad pile of unintentionally sticky rice with over-steamed asparagus draped limply over the top in all its olive green glory. A sorry attempt at balsamic reduction will be splattered inadvertently on the rice and may even be dripping off the plate onto the counter. It paints a really sad picture in your mind, doesn’t it? I promise to work on this. I have found some online resources that will hopefully help me redeem myself. Until then, I ask that y’all bear with me.
Last but not least, my kitchen is tiny and not very photogenic. You see, we moved about 6 months ago. If you remember pictures taken in my old apartment, you may recall beautiful, black granite countertops. I miss that kitchen terribly. The neighborhood was less than desirable though, so staying there long term wasn’t an option. We’re in a much nicer neighborhood, but with a much uglier kitchen as a downside. The counters are not black granite, but a hideous shade of vomit peach. This is likely the result of a former tenant ruining the original countertops and attempting to repaint them with a DIY countertop refinishing kit. Just an FYI: if you have ever considered one of these kits for your own kitchen counters, don’t. The finish looks a mess and doesn’t handle heat very well. It also stains badly, and paper towels stick to it like you wouldn’t believe. Disregard my ADHD, please. Back to the topic at hand. Not only is my kitchen tiny and non-photogenic, but it doesn’t get great light either. I’ll figure out the photography dilemma behind the scenes, but I want to warn you all that this is going to be a bumpy ride for everyone. It’ll get smoother though, I promise.
I already have a few recipes picked out for this weekend from an issue of Cooking Light magazine. I’ll try to bury my tendency to procrastinate and dust off the laptop. I’ve gotten so accustomed to using my phone and tablet for everything that the laptop doesn’t get very much attention anymore. Hopefully, I’ll have some food posts up for you by the end of the weekend, in addition to some Birchbox reviews that have been sitting in a folder collecting digital dust. See you soon!
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