Stunning Holiday Treats

By on February 24, 2017

When it comes to the holiday treats that people see immortalized forever on Instagram, a lot of people wonder how people do it. Lots of times, these are basically normal desserts. However, they have their decorations arranged in a way that is really innovative and paints images of some kind. That’s what’s usually going to make holiday treats absolutely stunning.

Obviously, a really pretty looking cake is nice to see even if it doesn’t have a lot of decorations on it. However, if you really want to make something that is worthy of Instagram, you have to make sure that the holiday treats actually look like pretty pictures in their own right.

The only thing better than tasty holiday treats is pretty holiday treats. There are lots of pretty holiday treats today. You just have to make sure that you’re able to create a nice balance of textures, or better yet, that you can use the different portions of the holiday treats as mediums of expression.

You see lots of cookies these days that are actually made in a way that makes them look like they’ve created a picture. One of my favorite examples of this is the batch of cupcakes that I made for Thanksgiving one year. I made all of the cupcakes look like they had turkey faces, and I used candy corn for the beaks and layered cookies for the eyes. It was a real crowd-pleaser!

There are lots of holiday treats like that. They’re so cute that you’re not going to want to eat them afterward. I recommend using cookies and candy as toppings that can be used in order to create faces and other types of designs and shapes on the cupcakes or cookies. You can make everyone happy the moment that they see all of your adorable creations if you manage to do that!

You can find a lot of tutorials online all about how to create really specific stunning holiday treats. However, there are also lots of other stunning holiday treats that you can make just by going freestyle with the cookies and cakes. If you manage to do that, then you’re going to create some holiday treats that are actually going to last longer than the holidays and that will create the sort of memories that you’re going to want to relive over and over again.



Cooking With Wine

By on February 20, 2017

Experts no longer believe that you should cook with only cheap wine. They used to believe that it didn’t matter to the flavor, but I am here to tell you that it does. I fancy myself a professional chef and food stylist and I know of what I speak. Maybe people still do it to save money, but don’t kid yourself. A good wine should be used in the preparation of sauces or to deglaze a skillet. If the recipe calls for a specific type of wine such as white or red, or perhaps sherry, get the kind you would drink yourself. It doesn’t mean the most expensive at all as that can run you hundreds of dollars per bottle. I am talking about about twenty or thirty at most. Something you would offer guests or order yourself at a fine dining restaurant. In the liquor store or supermarket, a bottle that costs $20 goes for $40. So you know you are using the right wine if you follow my tip.

I often cook with sauterne or a pinot noir. I keep plenty in my wine refrigerator that I found here on Home Bar Hero. It holds a case and keeps reds and whites at different temperatures. You don’t want to over chill the reds. Let them stand at room temperature if you are unsure. I like them in the cooler where I can see them all at once. I don’t use a wine rack or store bottles on a shelf. Sherry doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but when drinking or serving chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Riesling, the wine should be quite cold. Reds include Beaujolais, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. Each wine, red or white, has a distinct flavor. I like to pair whites with fish, pork and chicken and reds with red meat. It is a kind of general rule of thumb. If you want a particular flavor, note these special undertones. Zinfandel, for example, emits a broad, exotic array of fruits from stone (overripe nectarine), to red (raspberry, sour cherry), to blue (plum, blueberry), to black (blackberry, boysenberry). There is also a bit of Asian spice powder, and in some, a sweet tobacco. As an alternative, go to Cabernet Sauvignon for a bit of black cherry, black currant, baking spices and cedar (from oak). You can really flavor a dish if you choose carefully. I keep a number of each key type of red and white in my wine refrigerator. I’ll move something aside if I don’t like how it works with my favorite ingredients.

Wines are full-bodied or light so learn what this means. Pinot Noir is known for its very red fruited (cherry, cranberry) and red-floral (rose) tones, often with appealing vegetal notes of beet, rhubarb, or mushroom. You can see that it can get very exotic. Wines are a sophisticated specialty indeed. It pertains to drinking them alone or using them in food preparation. Many recipes give you the details, but then again many don’t. You have to experiment and learn by trial and error.


Visually Appealing Salads

By on February 17, 2017

Salads are some of the prettiest dishes that people can photograph. Half of the time, I don’t even want to eat the salads. I just want to look at them because they’re so pretty. Obviously, salads usually taste as good as they actually look. The thing is, if you actually do manage to photograph them and share them with the world, you can overturn the weird myth that salads aren’t tasty.

Some of the prettiest salads are fruit salads. Artists have been capturing fruit on camera for centuries now, and there’s a reason for that. Fruit is colorful. It has a lot of different textures. It’s just the sort of subject that can be used to create really beautiful photographs. People really can enjoy the fact that fruit salads are pretty as they are healthy.

I recommend salads that contain dark leafy greens along with some fruit. These are the salads that are going to have the right mix of textures and colors. People who photograph these salads are going to get the right images. The salads are probably going to look great from multiple angles as well. These kinds of salads are really popular today, so you can be sitting in Panera Bread and you’re going to get a salad that has leafy greens and berries, and you can get some great pictures for Instagram just for that.

Of course, salads don’t need to have fruit in order to be pretty. In some cases, salads can look really pretty as long as they have the right mix of fresh vegetables in them. If salads have some vegetables that create a high visual contrast, it can be more than enough for a great photo.

The salads that you don’t want to photograph are the ones that have a lot of mayonnaise, heavy dressing, or otherwise a lot of goo that is going to distort the image. Ambrosia salad, which is a Southern staple, may be really tasty. However, it’s still the sort of salad that just doesn’t look all that great on camera. Even the most artistically presented potato salad is still a potato salad, and people aren’t going to fall in love with its image.

The salads that are pretty are the ones that have a lot of color and texture to them because this makes them look almost like they’re tiny miniature landscapes, and that’s what’s going to really work well for a picture. Salads have an inherently natural look, unlike a lot of the other sides that people are going to use. There are lots of advantages to specifically using salads for the sake of photographs.

Obviously, the salads are going to need to have lots of fresh vegetables or they’re not going to be visually appealing. Even a few brown spots are going to show up on the film. The salads ideally shouldn’t have too much dressing on them unless the dressing is arranged in a visually pleasing grid-like sort of manner. This sort of salad is going to have a much better look to it, and people are encouraged to try to find that balance.

Salads often look really great when they are paired with other visual signatures. For instance, a nice glass of water, a vase, or something of that nature can really give people the visual contrast that they need for a nice shot of a salad. Salads are somewhat busy looking, even if they are usually busy looking in a good way. You want to pair them with some simpler images in order to get a really good picture.

People also have a lot of positive associations with salads. Salads are nutritious. They’re full of life. They’re natural foods. Almost any diet still lets you eat salad. You can really enjoy them no matter what, and there is something satisfying about that. Salads look great in photographs, and people can really take advantage of the fact that their audience members are already going to be really happy about the salads.


Photogenic (and Delicious) Sides

By on February 10, 2017

Sides don’t get enough attention in photography. People always tend to focus on the entree and the sides get the short end of the stick. Plenty of side dishes can be just as photogenic, and that’s what people should try to enjoy. The side dishes are really what will make the meals a lot of the time since people aren’t going to be able to fill up on the main courses only. People should be able to appreciate all parts of the meal, and that includes coming up with lovely photographic tributes to them.

One of the prettiest sides that anyone is going to find anywhere is a salad. Salads are beautiful, especially if they have a lot of fruit. Salads even without fruit can be lovely to look at though, particularly before people add on the dressing.

Pretty much any side dish that is heavy on the vegetables can be really pretty to look at since people have a tendency to do a lot of art that features vegetables anyway. A still life in nature is really beautiful. A still life on a plate made with natural items is going to look just as lovely. Grilled vegetables on and off of a skewer can both be just as lovely to look at when photographed in the right light.

Basically, you also have to think in terms of the sides that aren’t going to look as photogenic. Almost any side dish that is really lumpy or really pasty is not going to work. Mashed potatoes are not photogenic even if you try to make sure that the gravy has been distributed really well. Sweet potato wedges are much prettier, especially if they are aligned well and given a glaze or something to do with pepper.

Some sides are a little bit trickier. For one thing, rice has a tendency to look like a great big mass without really having the color and the texture that people would associate with pretty food pictures. Quinoa actually can be really pretty to look at, though. Some types of rice pilaf can actually look really pretty if they have a lot of different pretty ingredients mixed in with the rice, like fruit. You have to make sure that the rice is not the only thing in there and that there is more to look at, and from there, you can end up with a nice picture of rice.

Soup is a side dish that can actually look appealing, even though it really doesn’t seem that way at first. You can make soup look warm and homey if you put in a simple sprig of parsley and put the soup in a nice bowl with a shiny ladle. If you add a fireplace to the background with the soup, you automatically create the impression of heart and home.

Creating great photographs with side dishes is often about striking the right note. Some side dishes make you think of really great summer days. Others make you think of Thanksgiving days with the family. Other side dishes can make people think of their birthdays. There are lots of different ways to enjoy food and lots of different instances where the food looks great and is great. You just have to find a way to get the mood right when it comes to the picture.