Anti Plagiarism

27 April 2011

Food Photography - Tips

While searching for tips on how to take better photographs of food, I stumbled upon a website called Serious Eats. The website has a great list of tips for those who want their food photos for their blogs to look absolutely marvelous.

I have read some of the comments from the readers and I say that I have to agree with some and disagree with the others. Some would say that a fast prime lens that opens to as wide as f/1.4 would be better than your standard 18-55mm - f/3.5 - f/5.6 lens, however if you know your camera and its settings, then the lens does not really matter.

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The article also made mention of the ideal lighting for your food photographs

When positioning food, position it so that the light is illuminating the side facing you from a slight angle. The ideal lighting position for a single source light is to have it just off of one of your shoulders. This means that if taking a shot by window light, the window should be behind you, either off to the right or the left (if it's directly behind you, you end up casting a shadow—no good!). If using a spotlight, the center of the light should hit the table in between you and your food slightly to the left or the right of center so that the food is not illuminated directly from above or from behind.

SOURCE
However, the photo of the ice tea above which I took when I went to Mango Tree Bistro was lighted from somewhere behind and above the drink and I would say that the lighting added some more drama to the photograph.

I'm not discounting the other great tips from that particular article. As a food blogger and photographer, I can safely say that when you're starting to photograph food try to learn and follow the rules so that eventually you can learn how to break them and still come up with good photographs whether it's just for your blog or maybe for print.

Learning the basic rules does not mean that you don't let your creativity soar, it doesn't mean that you tie yourself to what you read, what you've been taught. Learning the basics means that you use the things that you have learned as an anchor, a foundation so that you can start being more creative and see the world of food photography with a different set of eyes.

Oh and before I forget, I think one of the tips that was not mentioned on the article was to take into consideration the background of your food. It is not good to have food photos with very cluttered background.

Brightest Blessings!

Halie

Oysters


SOURCE
 This quote I got from Brainy Quote

"I will NOT eat oysters.
I want my food dead. Not sick. Not wounded. Dead."
~ Woody Allen

I agree with Woody Allen. I personally want my food dead and cooked before I put it on a plate, stick my knife and fork in it to put it inside my mouth.

Here are some little known facts about OYSTERS

Oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle.

The mantle is lined with many small, thin-walled blood vessels which extract oxygen from the water and expel carbon dioxide.

A small, three-chambered heart, lying under the adductor muscle, pumps colorless blood, with its supply of oxygen, to all parts of the body.

At the same time a pair of kidneys located on the underside of the muscle purify the blood of any waste products it has collected.



There is no way of telling male oysters from females by examining their shells.
While oysters have separate sexes, they may change sex one or more times during their life span.
The gonads, organs responsible for producing both eggs and sperm, surround the digestive organs and are made up of sex cells, branching tubules and connective tissue

Folklore says that oysters should be eaten only in months with "r's" in them—September, October, etc


SOURCE
This is this week's entry to:

Food Quote                ABC Wednesday



Food Trivia


Brightest Blessings!

Halie

19 April 2011

Noodles

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"You often hear about ingredients being found, whether it is corn or ancient grains, but it is not too often that you hear something as complex as noodles." ~ Greg Drescher


Last December, hubby and I decided to try out North Park, a restaurant serving mainly Chinese dishes. We had their Wanton Noodles and it was a delightful, hot treat for our hungry bellies.

Did you know:

Chinese Wheat Flour Noodles are made with wheat flour and water, these are the oldest form of noodles.

In northern China, where they originated, and in select restaurants around the world, they are still made by hand with a soft dough, resulting in a silky texture.

Wheat-flour noodles are mainly available dried in Asian markets.

SOURCE




Food Trivia              Badge Design By Troy



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Brightest Blessings!
Halie

18 April 2011

How long does food stay fresh?


Are you ready to plan your meals?

Whether your answer is yes or no, the first important thing to know when planning your meals is how long your choices can stay fresh inside the fridge. You wouldn't want to waste time and money on planning your meals and go grocery shopping only to find out that the food you bought would not even last a week.

Let's take a look at some of the most common food items that we buy and store inside the fridge:

Vegetables, especially leafy greens. The best way to store them is to NOT put them inside the freezer. They won't last long inside the freezer because they will develop ice crystals and spoil. What you can do to make them last a little longer is to wash and dry them thoroughly after coming off from the grocery. Once dry, you can put them in ziplock bags and use them within 3 to 5 days.

Meat - whole meat should only stay inside the freezer 3 to 5 days. Ground meat should be cooked within a span of two days after purchase. Although, putting them in airtight containers and placing them inside the freezer may make them last for a week.

Fish and shellfish should be cooked within 2 days after purchase, even if you store them in the freezer. The reason for this, fish and shellfish are extremely perishable. You wouldn't want to feed your family any spoiled food.

How about leftovers? Are they still safe to eat after a few days? First, remember to store your leftovers in small separate containers. Aside from being easier to store, you can also choose which leftover you want to reheat and eat without sacrificing all of it. However, leftover food and even take out food can only stay fresh between one and two days after purchase.

Cakes and pastrues? Make sure to check with the manufacturer or the date stamp and make sure that you eat it before the "Best Before" date on the seal.



Brightest Blessings!

Halie

15 April 2011

Big Better Burgers

Big Better Burgers
G/F (outside) SM City Cubao
Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City


Let me introduce you to one of my most favorite food ever created: Burgers and Fries!

Hubby and I love good food and burgers is no exception. We were out malling one day and while looking for a suitable place to dine in, we found Big Better Burgers. At first we were hesitant to try it, for the sole reason that there were no people inside the restaurant. But hey, we were hungry and we were willing to give sink our teeth into something soft, juicy and really yummy.

We immediately took a seat near the counter and the A/C of the store. Once we were comfortable, a member of the crew approached us immediately to give us the menu.

Hubby and I ordered a quarter pounder burger meal at once. No breakfast and it's about past 1PM, that was our first meal of the day.

Here's what we had:

The presentation and packaging was a bit blah for my taste. I guess I'm just so used to good packaging from the more popular burger joints in town.

I unwrapped the burger slowly and got surprised that the meat's juice was not flowing out of the bun to soak it and the wax paper. Great! It was just looking deliciously yummy!


First impressions? It was good looking without the excess oil.

After the first bite? I was in burger heaven!

The taste? The meat was juicy, NOT oily. The vegetables that they used were fresh and crunchy, great contrast to the softness of the bread and the firmness (firm NOT hard) of the meat. It was grilled and the smokey grilled flavor added to the burger's overall yummy-ness.


The fries were not oily and soggy. Made from real potatoes with less salt, it was more than good, it was really a great side dish for the burger. You might say that the serving of the fries was quite small, but let me tell you, it wasn't. The fries were not cut thin as hair strands, they were chunky, you could actually hold them, feel them in your hands and definitely bite into them.

Overall, the burger that we had was delicious, the serving made us forget that we had a very late brunch and at the same time, it made us feel full but not heavy. I would even go as far as saying that if you want a cheaper alternative to the burgers being offered by other grilled burger joints, Big Better Burgers is the way to go. It's even less messy than other burgers offered by its competitors.

And before I forget, we paid Php300 for the whole meal.

If you're interested, you can also visit them here

Upper Grd Floor, Annex Building,
SM City North EDSA, North Avenue cor EDSA Quezon City
332-6578 (Phone)

Big Better Burgers
2nd Flr, Shoppes @ Victoria Tower, 78 Timog Ave. cor Panay Ave.

Big Better Burgers
Lower Ground Floor, SM Fairview Annex 2 (Near TimeZone/Medical city)



             




Brightest Blessings!

Halie

Update: 07 July 2017: Sorry for the missing photos. My images used to be hosted on Photobucket and Now I can't download them to transfer them to another site so I can show them again here.

14 April 2011

Dream Kitchen

SOURCE
 I'm late for Kitchen Talk, sorry about that.

I found the photo of my dream kitchen from Custom Kitchen Cabinets.

How do I want my kitchen to look like? When I do have enough money to renovate my home, I would like to have a kitchen that looks like a cross of a modern kitchen and a more homey looking space.

I want the back splash to give an indoor-outdoor feel to my kitchen. Something brown and green, like bamboo. Then I want the counter tops to be made of stainless steel - kinda professional looking. Why stainless steel?

It's easy to clean.
There's no grout in between them to worry about.
It is not condusive to mold and mildew
It's easy to sterilize
And a whole lot more!

Unfortunately, it's expensive. I have to look for the next best thing. Probably a slab of granite or something that's not porous, but definitely NO TILES on my countertops. As for cabinets, I'd like them to be black, not hanging though, just below the countertops. I don't like anything hanging which may make it difficult for me to reach a dish or something else.

My dream cabinets should also have specific drawers with racks for bottled herbs and spices, cooking oil, easy to reach and read the labels. And by the way, they should also be within reach when I'm actually cooking or marinading. Then of course, don't forget the pantry! I want something with racks and trays that you can pull out and push back in!

My dream cabinets should be practical, not decorative. I want them to function the way that I want them to. Keep my food, plates and everything else away from countertops, because I hate clutter!

Lastly, I want my kitchen to be accessible, meaning that I don't bump my hips, legs or any part of my body on anything or any surface. You don't need a big space to do this, you just need to learn how to best place your furniture and kitchen essentials in the right spot.

Crossing my fingers and hoping that one of these days, I can post a photo of my kitchen here on my blog.



Brightest Blessings!

Halie

12 April 2011

Mango Myths and Facts

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I love, love, LOVE mangoes. The rich, sweet and yellow pulp is just way too delicious! But don't get me wrong, I also love the crunchy green mangoes, I just don't like making them into fruit shakes.

But did you know these:

  • The mango is known as the "king of fruit" throughout the world.
  • The name mango is derived from the Tamil word 'mangkay' or 'man-gay'
  • The Mango tree plays a sacred role in India; it is a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree can grant wishes.
  • The Tahis like to munch mango buds, with Sanskrit poets believing they lend sweetness to the voice.
  • Mango leaves are considered toxic and can kill cattle or other grazing livestock.
  • Mangoes are bursting with protective nutrients. The vitamin content depends upon the variety and maturity of the fruit, when the mango is green the amount of vitamin C is higher, as it ripens the amount of beta carotene (vitamin A) increases.
  • The mango is a member of the Anachardiaceae family. Other distant relatives include the cashew, pistachio, Jamaica plum, poison ivy and poison oak.
  • Dermatitis can result from contact with the resinous latex sap that drips from the stem end when mangos are harvested. The mango fruit skin is not considered edible.

SOURCE


Food Trivia



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Brightest Blessings!

Halie

11 April 2011

Why Should I Plan My Meals?

Photo Source: Disney Family Fun (Printable)


This is my first post about planning our meals. And I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The first question that most people ask, especially those who are new in the kitchen is: "Why Should I Plan My Meals?"

Meal planning is sometimes intimidating, not just for those who are just beginning to learn their way around the kitchen. Meal planning can also be a task to those who have been preparing meals for their families for a quite a long time.

There are several reasons for planning our meals on a daily basis.

It is easier to do the groceries when you have your menu all laid out. Planning takes the guess work out of what to buy in the supermarket. Have you ever experienced mental block while walking along a specific grocery aisle? Or have you experienced not being able to decide which meat, vegetable or ingredients to buy while pushing your cart?

These things make your shopping experience boring and most often than not, extended.

Budgeting wouldn't be such a hard task to do if you know in advance the dishes that you want to cook and the ingredients that would go well with what you're planning. 

The cost of living has skyrocketed over the past few years and saving enough and putting delicious and nutritious food on the table has become harder and harder. Planning your meals properly, including your family's snacks can save you money because you lessen the tendencies of buying something to munch or snack on outside of your budgeted expenses.

Most importantly, a well planned meal can provide you and your family a well balanced diet that would help keep you and your family healthy to enjoy other activities.

You can try planning your family's meal one day at a time and see how it goes. Next week, let's all talk about the basics of how to plan your meals.




Brightest Blessings!

Halie

08 April 2011

Cheese Crusted Cream Dory

I've had cream dory in the restaurants that we've gone to. Falling in love with the fish, I decided to make my own version of the crusted cream dory with a twist of the lemon-butter cream dory that I had in another restaurant.

Here's what we had for lunch:


What you'll need:

1K cream dory (fillet)
1 lemon juiced
3 tablespoons of dried basil
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter
1/2 block cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

What you need to do:

> Marinade the dory in lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper 30 minutes before cooking it. (This prevents the fish from being cooked by the acid of the lemon juice.)

> If you have an oven toaster, you can use it to make the crusted fish. I preheated the oven toaster for 5 minutes before putting the fish in.

> Grease the tray with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. (Repeat the process per fish)

> Put the fish in a tray, take one tablespoon of butter and spread it on the first fish (Repeat the process per fish). Add grated cheese on top and make sure that the fish is covered by the cheese.

> "Bake" the fish for 15 minutes or until the cheese becomes crusty.

> Serve hot. (We didn't have rice for lunch, what we did was, we paired the cream dory with stir-fried mung bean sprouts {toge} with tofu, cabbage and carrots.)

*The only downside that I saw in using my oven toaster was that it was small and it took me 45 minutes to cook all three pieces of cream dory.


 





Brightest Blessings!

Halie

Update: 07 July 2017: Sorry for the missing photos. My images used to be hosted on Photobucket and Now I can't download them to transfer them to another site so I can show them again here.

05 April 2011

L for Lemons

Lemons are sour, yes. But they also make a good tasting dessert called Lemon Bars/Squares.

The lemon bars that I favor is sold by a nifty dessert bar called Chocolat. They have the right amount of sour-ness and sweetness that I love.


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"It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health."
~Maud Grieve: 'A Modern Herbal' (1931)


But did you know that:

  • The lemon is a cultivated hybrid, and its predecessor – the citron – appears to be the first identified citrus fruit. Evidence of the lemon has been found in the ruins of Pompeii, which was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago.
  • It is generally accepted that lemons were first cultivated in India. 
  • Lemons favor tropical and sub-tropical climates. They are grown in many Mediterranean and South American countries, although California is the top global commercial producer, providing nearly one-third of the world’s lemons.
  • When shopping for lemons, look for a heavy, compact fruit with a bright yellow hue. They should be firm, but not hard. Their skin should be glossy and fine-pored. You’ll find them year round, but their peak season is April through July.
  • Lemons will keep for up to two weeks at room temperature. You can extend their lifespan by refrigerating them in a zip-loc baggie for up to six weeks.
  • Fresh lemon juice is preferable to bottled. You can squeeze lemon juice into ice cube trays, then transfer the frozen juice to zip-loc baggies.
  • The chemical properties of the lemon – specifically, its characteristic citric acid – provide many valuable uses in the kitchen and in medicine.
  • One of its most common chemical uses is to prevent browning of fresh-cut fruit. Because their acid slows oxidation in fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, lemons serve as a valuable preservative. Sprinkle lemon juice on apples, peaches, or other fruits that are likely to show the signs of oxidation immediately after slicing so that they will not brown.
  • The citric acid found in lemons also neutralizes the amines found in fish, so their juice is often sprinkled atop seafood dishes. Similarly, this citric acid hydrolyzes meat’s collogen fibers, making it an ideal ingredient in marinades to tenderize beef, chicken, and other meats.
  • On the medicinal front, lemons provide a large amount of vitamin C. (There are aboiut 50 milligrams of vitamin C and 5 grams of citric acid to every 100 milliliters of lemon juice.)
  • Many practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine believe that lemon juice in hot water detoxifies the liver. This belief has spread to western culture, and is an often employed step in dietary detoxes.

SOURCE



Food Trivia


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Brightest Blessings!

Halie

01 April 2011

Cakes by Chef Ahoy!

Before I start posting about my entry for today, I'd like to inform you guys about some changes on this blog.

* I removed the comment moderation function and I instead installed the IntenseDebate form.

* To make it easier for me to visit your blog, I also included the comment luv function on the comment form. I believe this would make it easier for you guys to post your links without having to type html codes into your comments.

I know you may need to put in a little extra effort just to leave me a comment, please know that I greatly appreciate it.

Now onto my entry:

Hubby and I went around the new Eastwood Mall one day and we found that they have a weekend food bazaar at the second floor. It wasn't easy to make any decisions as the stalls have free samples that you can try and when we did try most of them, we found that they were all oh so yummy!

In the end, hubby and I went to a cake stall and tried their products. We fell in love after the first bite, so we decided to buy these cakes from CHEF AHOY! Patisserie Et Al.

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Their oh so delectable Chocolate Cake was just so marvelous! It was spongy but with just the right amount of gooey-ness to it. The small cake was priced quite expensive (pardon me but I can't remember the exact amount that we paid for it), but it was all worth it!

Then we also brought home a strawberry cheesecake

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The owners were there to help us decide with this one. They had the usual blueberry cheesecake which I really wanted to go for, but when Mrs. Capacillo said that we should try the strawberry, I believed her.

We ate the strawberry cheesecake in one sitting at home and all the while, we were just all praises about its taste and texture! Love, Love, LOVE it!

By the way, all cakes and pastries are always baked fresh. So you can be rest assured of the quality and taste of the cakes that you will buy.

If you are interested to try their cakes and other products, you may visit CHEF AHOY! at the following:

Every Saturdays and Sundays - 2/f of The New Eastwood City Mall, Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.

or you can visit their website

CHEF AHOY! Patisserie Et Al.

you can also email them at:

chef_ahoy@yahoo.com

or you can contact the owners

Ted and Joyce Capacillo
0927.411.2968/0917.491.3361


            




Brightest Blessings!

Halie