Clicking Away

There’s been a lot of “clicking” in the Steamy Kitchen household – both keyboard and camera. I’ve been pretty quiet for the past 2 weeks, busy teaching myself how to photograph for print, which is WAY different than photographing for the blog. While I’ve always thought that my food photos were pretty damn awesome, photographing for hi-res 350 dpi top-quality cookbook is another matter. Slight imperfections on a blog is fine – at lo-res you really don’t notice much. Plus, it’s kinda nice to have those imperfections on a blog – it just adds to the charm and authentic-ness of a home-cooked meal. But blow that same photo up and print at hi-res, and that little speck of sesame seed that was out of place?

IT LOOKS LIKE A MASSIVE RIPE ZIT.

So, with a bit of new gear, I turned the spare bedroom into a mini-photo studio (sorry MiMi and Papa), a small table as my “set”, photography lights, piles of fabric, a stack of placemats and a gazillion dishes, cups and chopsticks.

Oh yes, and a nice spot for my Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka on the rocks.

By the way, the first time I brought a bottle home of the vodka, Scott raised an eyebrow at the concept of “double espresso” and “vodka” trapped in a single bottle.As if my mood swinging PMS marathons once a month weren’t quite enough, now he’s gotta deal with the UPPER! OF! THE! DOUBLE! ESPRESSO! and then the ……….downer……….of.……….the……….vodka..

That roller coaster ride follows every single sip. He’s since hid the bottle from me and has replaced it with fancy schmancy Italian soda, which I actually really enjoy.

Anyways, since whatever I’ve been cooking for the photo shoot ends up on my dinner table, it’s been a challenge to get the absolute perfect shot while keeping the food looking fresh without being manipulated so that we can devour it for supper. Shellac, glycerin and hot glue aren’t just part of our family diet at the moment, and I’m quite sure it would cause massive bouts of constipation.

Wanna see some pics?

Thai Peanut Chicken Flatbread

Thai Peanut Chicken Flatbread

Egg Custard Dim Sum Tarts

Egg Custard Dim Sum Tarts

Sweet Chili Sambal

Sweet Chili Sambal

***

Being thankful

I think for the first time in a looong time, I felt a little over stretched. In addition to running his company, Scott’s been working late on a big database project, I’ve been up late writing, photographing, studying, prepping for cooking classes, working on getting a tv show, writing my weekly food column…and of course tending to my babies. It’s a lot for a family and I never want my kids to feel like they come second. For people who don’t know me well, they always marvel at the amount of projects that I am working on, “how do you do it all?!”

But the truth is sometimes I can’t do it all. Things that I’ve wanted to do on this blog – like publish food photography tips, create a better design, better recipe organization – were left to hitchhike their way back home (just temporarily though). There are buttons to mend, a kitchen to scrub, dry-cleaning to drop off and bills to pay. Which is why I have a few ads on the site now – sorry for all the blingy ads, but it does help pay for photography gear, props and ingredients…stuff that keeps the Steamy Kitchen steamy.

Despite collapsing on the couch last night like a heap of limp spaghetti, I still smiled real big. Because I’m doing EXACTLY what I love to do – cook, teach, feed and eat. And for that, I’m extremely thankful.

***

I am a very proud mama…

of my big boy Andrew

He got his Orange Belt! I’m so proud. I was crying so hard that my camera shook and the all the photos of him running to me were blurry.

—- a little note from Overstock —-

When you have the proper tools, cooking is easy! A quality cutlery set has all the knives you need to prepare a delicious meal, and a sturdy cookware set lets you feel confident while you’re making it. Then serve dinner in style. The right dinnerware and glassware sets combined with beautiful flatware help create the perfect atmosphere to eat a delicious meal.

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Comments 56

  1. Food Rockz Man

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months, but this is my first time posting a comment. I’ll keep it short and to the point . . . you’re a gifted artist. I’m an aspiring blogger/photographer and I find your blog inspiring. I’m especially interested in your journey into print publication photography. Your pics so far are beautiful. I read about your conversion of your guest room into studio space and I instantly thought: “Someday I’ll move out of this studio into the luxury of a 1 BR apartment.” Until then, my guests need to put up with photographic lighting in my living room/bedroom/dining room/kitchen. Please keep writing about your picture taking adventures. You’re a funny woman. And your love for your family comes through in a very genuine and sweet way. It’s a lot of fun to read about and witness the evolution of a photographer/human. Cheers!

  2. shelley

    Jayden- You are one busy woman, and by the looks of it, smashingly successful on all fronts. Must be the espresso vodka keeping you leveled off.

    Love the pics!

  3. lilcee

    Ditto. I would love to get a recipe for the egg tarts. In L.A. there aren’t any good ones here. I would like to attempt to make them at home.

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