Anti Plagiarism

30 June 2011

Food Photography Tip # 3 | Down Low

I'm a fan of Digital Photography School and I really find their tips most useful.


According to the tips on the website there are times when a high angle would really make your food photos look good, but there are times that taking a photo of your food using an angle that is slightly lower may make a better impact.

The author stated that many new food photographers make that slight mistake of photographing their food from a very high angle. From my experience, I would say that the reason for this is, many new food photographers think that the best way to present their food is by taking a photo of the whole plate and most often than not, taking a photo from a high angle really does a great job.

But Darren Rowse, the author suggests that you may want to take your camera lower, at plate level or just a little slightly above your food's plate.

I would ask you, of the two photos posted above, which one looks better? I'd go for the second one. The first photo was taken with me standing while the plate was on a stool. The second photo was taken at plate level.

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.


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29 June 2011

From My Kitchen | General Kitchen Talk

It's my first time to join From My Kitchen

Mommy Dharlz, the host of the meme asks the following questions:

What's your Favorite Gadget/Tool to Use? And what have you prepared from your kitchen?

And here are my answers:

(1) My favorite gadget/tool/equipment in the kitchen would be the more than 10 year old set of knives that my mom passed on to me. I have a sister who never took much liking to cooking, so when I asked my mom for the set of knives that my aunt gave to her, she didn't think twice. I guess she thought that it would serve me well since I was her little kitchen helper since the age of nine.

(2) What have I prepared? Unfortunately hubby and I woke up late so we decided to just buy something from the neighbor who sells cooked meals.



We bought a couple of servings of Nilagang Baboy (pork in simple broth)

I have some fond memories of this dish.

My mom used to prepare something with broth during the colder months of the year and my favorite was Nilaga. She used to say that "Give her (me) a piece of pork and tons of potato, drizzle it with some fish sauce (patis) and she'll survive."


I invite you to join me as I open my meme called Foodie Memories formally next week (Tuesday). The meme will open Tuesday (12MN) Manila Time and will close Friday 12NN (Manila Time).

Let's all walk down memory lane as we talk about our favorite comfort food and the fond memories that we have of them.

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.


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24 June 2011

Chefs' Quarter

Happy Friday people! It's been raining heavily for the past couple of days here at home and I was reminded that I haven't shared these yet.

Chefs' Quarter
SM Megamall Branch
Level 3 SM Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
Tel No: (02) 401.3658
Telefax: (02) 706.5336

It was my birthday a couple of weeks back and hubby decided to take me out to a nice restaurant for lunch. We couldn't decide where to go so we tossed up a coin and SM Megamall won. The restaurant of choice: Chefs' Quarter which mainly served French dishes - loved it!

What we had:

Appetizers

Hubby's choice was the French Onion Soup Php150.00


I tried it and I must say that they cooked it to perfection. I love that the top was crusty and the onions were naturally sweet. I never imagined that I would love onions when they are served as soup.

My choice: Waldorf Salad (Solo) Php150.00


The freshness of the apples really gave this salad a great taste. The salad was not served with its typical mayo dressing, I think the restaurant served it with their own blend of vinaigrette.

Entree

Hubby's Choice: Beef Stroganoff Php250.00


I tried it and compared to other stroganoff servings that we tried, this one was definitely a LOT better.

I wouldn't say that I'm a fan, but if you're the type who loves stroganoff, the serving from the Chefs' Quarter is highly recommended.

My Choice: Chef's Quarter Steak Php295.00


The best thing that I could say about this is that the steak was not dry. It was juicy done to perfection. I don't like medium rare steaks, I mean, I like my steaks dead and well done, not bloody and looks undead. Although the meat was well done, it was still tender and the juice of the meat was...

...I just ran out of words! And the veggies that came with it, crunchy right on the spot!

Dessert

Hubby's Choice: Warm Apple Pudding Php100.00


When it comes to sweets I really am not fond of caramel, but the caramel of this warm apple pudding was not just an olfactory feast, it was also a feast for the palate.

My choice: Mango Brazo Php70.00

Not your typical slice of Brazo. It was refreshing and naturally sweetened by the ripe mangoes. The ample drizzle of the mango sauce gave it a little more flavor, not overpowering but it added some texture and a natural sweetness. Compared to regular brazo, this one is also fluffy, soft, but it had its own firmness that makes you aware that you are chewing something other than air. Oh and the size of the slice, definitely worth your Php70 bucks.

Verdict:

Food: Let's just say that we went back to the restaurant two weeks after our first visit!
Service: For what ever we reason we forgot to order drinks on our visit, but the staff of the restaurant paid good attention to their patrons. They were able to refill our water glasses quickly that it seemed like we never drank from it.
Price: Total expenses Php1,150.00 for two people. I'd say that it wasn't that bad since we paid for a three course meal, Appetizers - Main Course - Dessert.

Recommendations:

Highly recommended.

If you're interested about their Catering Services, you may contact them at:

Chefs' Quarters
Level I Midtown Wing, Robinson's Place Manila, Adriatico cor Pedro Gil St. Malate, Manila
(02) 381.3449 | 381.7716
Fax: (02) 567.1910
Mobile Numbers: (0920) 924.3044 | (0926) 743.8863

You may also visit them at their other branches/restaurants

Old Vine Grille by Chefs' Quarter
Unit A 119, Level 1, Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City
Tel No. (02) 706.5573
Fax: (02) 706.5574

Old Vine Grille by Chefs' Quarter
The Venice Piazza McKinley Hill Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Tel Nos. (02) 836.4966 | 836.4969
Fax: (02) 836.4970

Uncle Cheffy Brick Oven Global Cuisine
Unit A216 and 201 Level 2, Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City
Tel No. (02) 383.7215
Fax: (02) 470.2750

Uncle Cheffy II
Unit C Bellagio II-Forbes Town Center, Rizal Dr. cor Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Tel No. (02) 659.8030
Fax: (02) 659.8031

Kuse Traditional Filipino Cuisine
The Venice Piazza, McKinley Town Center Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Tel Nos. (02) 836.4966 | 836.4969
Fax: (02) 836.4970

Beurre Blanc
2nd Level Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Newport, Pasay City
Tel Nos: (02) 836.4342 | 659.4020
Mobile: (0920) 924.3044

                FTFBadge

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.


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22 June 2011

Waldorf Salad

I just loved this serving of Waldorf Salad that I had when I celebrated my birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was refreshing and delicious, a light meal that allowed me to have some more space for other food items.

Are you wondering where and why this salad got its name?
A Waldorf salad is a salad traditionally made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal.
The salad was first created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (the precursor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which opened in 1931).
Oscar Tschirky, who was the Waldorf's maître d'hôtel and developed or inspired many of its signature dishes, is widely credited with creating the recipe.
"Waldorf Salad" is the title of a 1979 episode of Fawlty Towers which concerns an American guest's increasing frustration with Basil Fawlty's incompetence, symbolised by Fawlty's continuing inability to produce the salad of the title: "I think we're just out of Waldorfs." He asks the question: "What is a Waldorf anyway, a walnut that's gone off?".
June serves Waldorf salad as part of a special dinner for Ward in the Leave it to Beaver episode "Beaver’s Short Pants."

Source: Wikipedia

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.



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16 June 2011

Food Photography Tip | Lighting and Presentation

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Taken near a window


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Taken using natural + artificial light


Natural light works well to highlight the great tasting colors of food. 

If you look closer at the first photo, it doesn't look as delicious as it really was. The reason, light was too harsh that it made the crab look pale and couple that with the clutter and as you can see DISASTER is guaranteed.

The second photo though is quite attractive. The diffused light that came from underneath that plastic sheet reflected a very nice glow which highlighted the browns of the drink. It also helped to take out the shadows that the natural light from the window cast on the wall behind the drink. Lastly, the presentation of the drink was clean and simple, no clutter, a simple background which made the drink stand out even with all the negative space on one side. 

For the past two weeks, we have learned a little about lighting and presentation. I think it's time to challenge those of you who read these tips to put the first two tips to practice and show me what you've got. I'll share some photos next week!

Brightest Blessings!

Halie


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15 June 2011

V for Vegetables

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                Badge Design By Troy




Food Trivia


Vegetable salad with some grilled chicken pieces, it was a heavenly healthy treat.

It was my first time to venture into eating vegetable salad which was combined with fresh ripe mangoes and some grilled chicken meat.

Vegetables other than greens may be used in a salad. Common vegetables used in a salad include cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, spring onions, red onions, avocado, carrots, celery, and radishes. Other ingredients, such as olives, hard boiled egg, artichoke hearts, heart of palm, roasted red bell peppers, green beans, croutons, cheeses, meat (e.g. bacon, chicken), or seafood (e.g. tuna, shrimp), are sometimes added to salads.

Brightest Blessings!

Halie



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10 June 2011

Garlic and Asparagus with Parmesian Vinaigrette


It's been quite a while since I experimented on good food in the kitchen. I've been so complacent with the things that I already know how to cook that I fall back on the usual recipes and dishes for the last couple of months.

On my birthday, I decided it's time to take myself out of the rut and try something new. Since asparagus was quite cheap, I made up my mind to come up with something really easy but quite delicious. I was totally scared to put all these ingredients together since I don't know how it would taste like, but hey, here I am now sharing the recipe!

What you'll need:

1 block of tofu, diced into about half an inch squares
1 whole head of garlic, chopped
20 stalks of asparagus, washed
3 tablespoons of olive oil (no substitute)
salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

In a frying pan heat the olive oil and toast the chopped garlic.
Remove half of the toasted garlic and set it aside
Fry the tofu with the garlic until lightly brown
Quickly sear the asparagus stalks with the garlic and tofu for about 1 minute (low heat)
Then salt and pepper to taste before turning off the heat

* To serve

Make a bed from the fried tofu and garlic, place the asparagus stalks on top of the tofu bed, sprinkle with the garlic that you set aside and serve it with a generous amount of your favorite vinaigrette.

** I used a store bought Clara Ole Parmesian Vinaigrette for my dressing


I hope you enjoy preparing and eating this as much as hubby and I did!


                


FTFBadge             

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.


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09 June 2011

Food Photography and Lighting

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An Example of BAD LIGHTING



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Examples of Better Lighting

The first and most important thing that any photographer should learn and remember is lighting. How the light plays on your subject can make the shapes and colors of your food stand out, which could then help you convey how good your food tastes like.

As you can see from the three photos above, the first photo did not look appetizing nor enticing. The colors are a little off and I will be the first to admit that it looked rather gross. It would have been better if I took the photo under natural lighting conditions, but because I took the photo at night, I had to use an overhead fluorescent light which made it look cold and bland.

On the other hand, the next two photos looked better because of the light inside the restaurant. I was fortunate that the light inside the establishment highlighted the food.

So now that we see what lighting can do, what should we keep in mind when photographing food and the lighting conditions are less friendly?

1. The most essential tool of a photographer is not the camera, but light. Even if we have an expensive camera in our hands if we don't know how to use light properly, we will still end up with a photo just like the very first one above. 

2. Look for some natural light as best as you can. Natural light can bring out the real colors of your food and it can make dishes look really delicious.

3. Right lighting can bring out the texture and shape of the food on your plate or table. If you can find a flattering light source, it can make your food look more three dimensional instead of leaving it flat and featureless.  

As a food blogger and a photographer, it is important to me that I have great looking food photographs. Food in restaurants have been styled and most of the time, lighting in these establishments are good and are designed to highlight the dishes that they present on your table. So next week, let's talk more about lights and presentation.

Brightest Blessings!

Halie





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08 June 2011

U for Unagi

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Image from Sustainable Sushi




Food Trivia                Badge Design By Troy


Unagi is the Japanese term for fresh water eel.

Here are some facts about one of the most sought after sushi ingredient:
The huge consumption of unagi and the high demand for it is unfortunately one of the reasons why there seems to an environmental problem concerning this ingredient.
These days, about ninety percent (90%) of the unagi consumed in the United States is produced by farms from China, Taiwan and Japan.
Eel farms are often located in coastal wetlands. Most use open-tank systems that flush farm waste into the surrounding areas, which causes pollution and threatens local ecosystems.
Source: Sustainable Sushi
How about you, do you actually eat Unagi sushi? I honestly don't.


Brightest Blessings!

Halie



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07 June 2011

Birthday Feast

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Foodie Memories                

Last Saturday, hubby decided to take me on a date for my pre-birthday celebration. We tossed a coin to help us to decide whether we were going to Felicity or to Megamall to look for a suitable restaurant and go around to relax. Megamall won that toss coin so we ended up going to the mall to look for a new place to eat in.

The verdict was - Chef's Quarters at the new Atrium of the mall. The photo above is of a dessert that hubby chose for himself, the Warm Apple Pudding, it was soooooooo yummy!

Before I forget, I would like to welcome you to the first post for my weekly Food Meme - Foodie Memories.

Foodie Memories will be posted every Tuesdays, so I hope you can take time to post a photo and a story.

The rules:

> The photo should be yours. It can be from the archives or something new.
> Please include the Foodie Memories button (code found at the side bar) on your post.
> Tell us a story of the food that you posted and the memories that you have when you eat it.
> For the time being, you can put your links in the comments section.

The memories that pudding and ice cream brings to me:

We never had an oven but mom knows how to make some treats that are supposed to be baked by other means.

She loves saving bread loaves and when she has time she'd make some great tasting pudding for everyone to enjoy.

As for ice cream, I never really liked vanilla, but I learned how to appreciate it when my sister bought some Hershey's Brown Cow and drizzled some on the ice cream. Yummy!

Brightest Blessings!
Halie


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03 June 2011

A Spanish Food Experience at Dulcinea

You may now have noticed that hubby and I love to eat out and try different restaurants serving different types of cuisine from Asian to Western.

About two weeks ago, we decided to eat again in

Dulcinea, 2/F Ali Mall
Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City


For starters we had a serving of this dish called Tortilla Riojana. The serving was good for two and it was like omelet with Spanish sausages and some herbs. It came with a serving of two pieces of bread and slices of butter.

There was no fancy dip with the dish, it just came with a small serving of tomato ketchup. All I can say is that even without the ketchup, the Tortilla Riojana was really good!


For our main meal, I had the Dulcinea Favorito #2: Chicken Ala King. It was good, creamy and seasoned just right, but I have to say that I prefer to buy my Ala King from French Baker.

Hubby had the Ducinea Favorito #4: Spicy Chicken Strips. I had a bite or two of his food and I can say that it was good. If I am to go back to Dulcinea some time soon, I wouldn't hesitate to order this for myself.

The best thing about the Favorito meals:

>They come with a glass of ice tea
>A serving of the soup of the day is included
>And for dessert, it comes with a serving of two pieces of their mini cream puffs.

*I wasn't able to take photos of the cream puffs because we ate it at home and it didn't look that good anymore after being inside my bag, but I can tell you that it was good. The first sugar crust was not burnt, it was crunchy but not too hard and the custard wasn't too sweet!


We also had a serving of Churros Con Chocolat and it was heavenly!

As for the service, we got to Dulcinea a little after rush hour and the service was quite fast. Unfortunately, our server was quite new to the job and he forgot to serve our cream puffs until I asked for it. That's the reason for me being unable to take photos of it since I asked that the person behind the counter wrap the cream puffs to go.

The price: We paid Php676.00

The largest item on our bill was the Riojana which billed at Php280, both the favoritos were billed at Php149 each (and with the main meal + drink + soup + dessert) it was very cheap! Lastly, the churros was billed at Php98. This amount plus the tax, I can say that we paid for a meal that was cheap but with the quality that you would expect from a known establishment.

The restaurant accepts catering and other special services. If you're interested, you can contact them at

Tel#: 6340612
email: dulcinea_megamall@yahoo.com

             FTFBadge


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.

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