So how does one make a food blog good? Research of course. Well that seems to be all I have been doing the last week. Recently I talked with my Mother and she felt my food pictures needed to be better. She suggested that I do not use my beautiful blue plates, use some linens instead of my counter top and try photographing from a different angle. So I thought about this and looked at my pictures so far of food and think that my mom might have a point to what she was saying. She is a photographer after all. The next thing I did was buy several books online about food photography and styling, and some on food blogging. I looked at so many food blogs, tons of post on Pinterest and lots of food photos online. It was so much information out there and it was all very informative. The next thing I did was shop for some linens, plates and photo equipment. Now I did not go out and break the bank for this because this is just a hobby for me, A journey in expanding my culinary education. So in the next few post I will be using my camera and not my Ipad, which is what my first few photos were taken with. This weeks menu will be cooking some new things in a crockpot and baking as well. Yes I fully think Pinterest is an evil place that I go to look at food stuff and loose half of my day. I know have business cards and a new Facebook page as well that has been keeping me busy.
Tea is such a soothing thing and what is better than tea? A Tea Party of course. Yes my cookbook collection grows yet again. Went to the Le Creuset store to see if they carried any fuel for my fondue pot. The day I made fondue I ended up using a sterno can to heat up my fondue pot. I was out of fondue fuel and unable to locate any locally. So I stopped by the outlet store to see if they had any, which of course they did not. However they did have this cute recipe book and was easily given into buying it. My daughter said to me that why yes I did need another cookbook. I needed one to make her tea sandwiches and other goodies. She is like me and loves the idea of taking tea and having others over for it. A tradition in the United States that is just not common anymore, but there are tea houses are now popping up instead. So the plan is to have a tea party and invite guests for tea. Serve several pots of tea, eat cute little sandwiches and tasty desserts, and of course have lots of fun. Now to plan the menu as this is not the only book on tea parties I own. Wonder who I will invite?
Last week I was out shopping Michael’s craft store and was lucky to find a local used bookstore. They were small and charming. I love books and have stated before that I am cookbook addict. So of course while in there I picked up these three babies. The Julia Child book I had never seen so of course it had to go right into the shopping basket. The Joy of Cooking was another one that I have been looking at getting for years, but had wanted to get an older addition. This one was from 1986 and was loved well. The last was something I could not resist. Potatoes are my favorite vegetable and I can never seem to get enough of them. While I do have a tried and true family recipe that I use to make potato salad, I feel it is time to step out of the box and try some new potato salad recipes.
I have been really excited to try out Julia Child’s recipe for artichokes and hollandaise sauce. I have never made hollandaise sauce from scratch before, I had only ever used a packet from the store. I will never every buy a packet that says it makes hollandaise sauce. Making from scratch is the way to go and it is ever so tasty. Really I have no idea what I was thinking when I used that packet, why had I not tried to make it, truthfully I think I was afraid I would mess it up and that I thought it would take forever to make. Reality it was quick and simple. Artichokes were only ever purchased in jars for salads. I really wanted to try making them. So they too were a purchase from Trader Joe’s, a nice 4 pack and looked really lovely. Boiled them like Julia suggested and they turned out great with one exception. The artichokes I picked were not very big so there was not very meaty. So next time bigger artichokes and not the baby ones. Which is good so now I learned this wonderful lesson of not to be afraid to try something new in the kitchen even.
I also made Swiss fondue to accompany our artichokes. I love fondue, you might say I am an addict. While I know it’s not something I can have every week, I do so look forward to making it. In my pictures you can see my latest fondue pot from Le Creuset. Currently I have five different fondue pots that I have acquired over the years. Which I love pulling out at holiday parties and special occasions. It is also one of my Mom’s favorite things to have when she visits. Friends and neighbors say they enjoy coming over for enjoy it at the parties as well. I think the draw is that it’s fun and unusual.
Made mushroom ravioli with a creamy mushroom sauce. Made a quick and easy caprese salad for the side. This was not an all homemade meal but more a Semi-homemade one. While at Trader Joe’s I picked up some Mushroom and spinach premade ravioli. I wanted to try out the flavors before making homemade ravioli which I have made several times with my pasta machine. Admittedly it was rather tasty and think I will be making homemade more ravioli in the future. The sauce I made from scratch and altered a recipe I had found online. The caprese salad was made from fresh basil from my garden, mini heirloom tomatoes I found at Sprouts, little mozzarella balls and an aged balsamic vinegar I found at Trader Joes. Salad was fantastic as fresh herbs from the garden are always a delight. My mushroom sauce could go with any ravioli you have or even on chicken. It is light and very simple.
10-12 oz of Mushrooms-I used cermini and brown, my family loves mushrooms
Splash of red wine-I used some that was in the fridge
Heavy cream-3.5 oz
Butter & olive oil
Slice mushrooms, sauté in a little bit of olive oil and two pat of butter. Add in splash of red wine while cooking. When mushroom are tender add heavy cream and cook down a bit. Toss in pasta and add Parmesan Cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
Typical luck would be that I get all set up to cook and then something happens. Realizing this is what real life is like for most. The thing we intend to do is not always what we end up doing. Two weeks ago I was ready to cook after dropping my daughter off at college. I had spent the day shopping at Trader Joe’s and Kroger. Then the following day I spent with a dear friend. We went for our morning walk, then went shopping for the day. Her air conditioner was out at home and I thought that perhaps a trip to the Mall, lunch and check out the new Sprouts grocery store were in order to keep cool. We had a lovely day and Sprouts was so overwhelming. Unfortunately that evening she got sick and I ended up taking her to the hospital. So while she was there I spent the rest of the week spending time with her at the hospital. Thankfully she got to come home but that meant I did not cook until Friday of that week. This past week I have been playing catch up around the house. Of course I am in the middle of my Fall Cleaning, that by no means is done overnight. I like to deep clean in the fall before I put up all my holiday decorations out. Now I am finally back into the kitchen and cooking again. I have a lot to post and there will be several post over the next couple of days as I catch up. Also look for my cookbook reviews post as well. I have been working on several new updates to the site and now how direct domain name registered for the site. You can now just go to www.Journeyinfood.com to get to me. Yeah! I have also ordered business cards with my name and web address because I found out that several people were wanting cards after talking to them. Yes I have been a very busy girl.
Wow, I have not been on my blog in a while. I have to admit that this summer got away from me and this took a back seat. My daughter is now in college and settling in nicely, which now lends to more time for my cooking pursuit. So up this week I will blog several new recipes. Today I was at Trader Joe’s and bought artichokes. While I have never cooked them before, Julia Child has a recipe I have been wanting to try. Also because it is going into fall I will be attempting some new bread recipes. Have made a few loaves but never anything I can really say has stuck out in my mind as fantastic. So look for several blogs this week on all the new stuff I will be trying.