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Why you won’t see my pretty food creations on my blog

Hey, this is kinda pretty. And it's even in my kitchen! It also came from the Schwan's freezer truck. I know what time it is.

As a female blogger, I feel the pressure quite often to take gorgeous photographs of food that I’ve made myself. Here’s the deal: I cannot make pretty food.

I actually find myself unfollowing foodie Pinterest boards because they make my feed look like the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. There are many reasons you won’t see pretty food photos here:

I have an extremely tiny kitchen. I live in a condominium with a very small kitchen space. It’s about the width of a hallway and the length of four upright refrigerators. Counter space is rarely available. There’s no room for prepping, or getting bags of chips or toaster cords out of the way to take any photos.

A hot dog, sitting on Fiestaware. On the stove, because the stove is the only counter space.  I guess the hot dog doesn't look bad, but can you really screw up a hot dog?

A hot dog, sitting on Fiestaware. On the stove, because the stove is the only counter space. I guess the hot dog doesn’t look bad, but can you really screw up a hot dog?

There’s very little natural light in my home. Yes, I know photos are taken best in natural light; unfortunately there are no windows in the kitchen. We have a backyard that I’ve used to take jewelry photos, but I really am not interested in getting a bunch of ingredients out in the same place where my dog frolicks and gets stinky. Drink recipes? Maybe! Oh, and you can forget about me getting a lamp or other extra lighting. Where’s it going to go?

I simply cannot make food attractive. Believe me, I’ve tried. And every time I have failed miserably. When I frost cupcakes, they look the same as they did when I was four.

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My cupcakes. I know you wouldn’t buy these at a bakery! (Know what, though? They sure were tasty.)

My parents did not make food attractive. Dad did most of the cooking, and it was for function. He made great stuff – wow, his Moo Goo Gai Pan was amazing! But there was really no need to make food attractive. If we entertained, we got cheese and fruit platters from the store. Meanwhile, when mom made a cake, she baked it in her trusty cake pan that she probably got when she was married. It would come out frosted like a four-year-old, and usually with those candy letters on it. You think my mom actually wrote on cakes? No way.

Hey, this is kinda pretty. And it's even in my kitchen! It also came from the Schwan's freezer truck. I know what time it is.

Hey, these chicken enchiladas are kinda pretty. And it’s even in my kitchen! It also came from the Schwan’s freezer truck. I know what time it is.

I am a caregiver who doesn’t have time to learn to make pretty food. The deal with being an unpaid caregiver is that you have to make an income somehow, so while juggling your patient’s health along with two or three jobs, there isn’t time to learn frosting or piping or how to properly use Pampered Chef products. Also, my mother is really tired from dialysis and all she wants is something that is ready-made for her. We are very thankful for the frozen food aisles at the grocery stores.

Hey, here are some pretty cupcakes. Made by someone else. From Eleven, the restaurant at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Hey, here are some pretty cupcakes. Made by someone else. From Eleven, the restaurant at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

If you are able to create those beautiful photographs of food, use your photo editing software to make them look good enough for Southern Living, understand that you have my utmost admiration. But that’s not me.

You’ll see my life. You’ll see photos. Many of my dog. But if you see pretty food, you can guarantee it was made by someone else. Here’s to the food and recipe bloggers who are amazing at what they do.

Right now my main concern is trying to figure out how to take photos of my black dog. That is a task in and of itself!

Is my dog black and white, or is he gold and blue?

Is my dog black and white, or is he gold and blue?

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  • lisa March 2, 2015, 11:52 am

    I got a chuckle from that what color is my dog comment.I can’t make pretty food to save my life. As long as it tastes good, right? I can’t even get it to taste good. I’m such a bad cook that my husband decided to take over. I rarely cook a thing.

    Reply
  • Holly Thomas March 2, 2015, 1:24 pm

    I liked your comment on your frosting of cupcakes! I am the exact same way. I have tried and tried to make cupcakes look pretty and for the life of me it can’t happen. It always looks the same as when I was 4 years old as well :)

    Reply
  • Joanna Peter March 3, 2015, 8:43 am

    I think it is wonderful that you are being real about the limitations you have and acknowledging that real life doesn’t have to look like the cover of a magazine all the time! Loving the people in our lives is so much more important than making pretty food. :)

    Reply
  • Dianna Davis March 3, 2015, 4:50 pm

    I’m not a fashion cook or baker either, the main thing is that you try– and everyone else is happy with the results. But what I haven –looks ok to me. :-)

    Reply
  • Sherri March 3, 2015, 8:21 pm

    I have always been amazed at all the “pretty food pictures” that different bloggers post. My food has always tasted a lot better than it looks :)

    Reply
  • Sherry Compton March 4, 2015, 5:40 am

    Good for you! Sometimes the prettiest presentations taste bad and the messiest are amazingly delicious. I understand though and never offer to bring deviled eggs to gatherings. Mine never look good.

    Reply
  • Heather McKenzie Carter March 4, 2015, 7:04 am

    I am right there with you. Honestly the best foods don’t look “pretty” anyway. I mean… how do you make chicken and dumplings look “pretty!” Anything we put in the food processor comes out looking crazy but delicious.

    Reply
  • Christine March 4, 2015, 12:17 pm

    My family was always more about taste than visual. I’ve tried to make the frosting on my cupcakes look nice but they don’t turn out well.

    Reply

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