I have a love/hate relationship with blog photos. I love them, of course, when I take good ones. I squeal with delight and strut around my kitchen, camera in hand like some sort of big shot, my foodie blogger ego growing like a summer tomato.
I hate them…pretty much the rest of the time.
Photos are what make food blogs different from other blogs. They are imperative to communicating the yummy, drool-worthiness of your recipe. Without ’em, you’ve nothing but a pile of word vomit. That said, there are probably more people taking time out of their busy travel schedule to read the instructions on the air sick in their front seat pocket than there are people reading a food blog with no photos. They are a necessary, groan inducing, cloud and night cursing, swear word slinging, camera smashing evil.
Now, when I got started with this blogging thing, I never claimed to be a photographer by any means. I just use our Sony P&S to to take pictures. I don’t feel the need to make excuses for my lack of abilities or apologize for craptastic photos.
I too work full time like most folks and for a good chunk of the year it’s dark by the time dinner rolls around. I can’t always make the stars align just so. Clearly, I was absent the day they handed out super powers. Even if I hadn’t been, I probably wouldn’t have chosen controlling the weather or slowing down the earth’s rotation. NERD ALERT and YAWN! I could do WAY better than that!
And sometimes, well, I just want to eat. Now. And I want it to be hot and delicious and not have to sit through a 30 minute photo session to make it my mouth. If I’m plating food it’s for one of two reasons – 1. I’m artfully arranging food and garnishes and making sure I have the best light so I can get a great shot. or 2. It’s dinner time, I’m hungry, and I just want to freakin’ eat already. If you read my blog regularly it is so completely and totally obvious what kind of day I’m having, it’s almost embarrassing. I should be ashamed of myself.
Let’s look at the evidence. Witness Exhibit A: The “I Have Some Free Time so I’m Actually Trying to Take a Nice Picture” Photos.
Absolutely irresistible Rosemary Lemon Sandwich Cookies. You want one.
Pasta + Parsley = PERFECT. Oooo. Ahhhhh.
You are so ready for your close up, Mini Cheesecakes.
And Witness Exhibit B: The Chris Farley Gap Girls “LAY OFF ME, I’M STARVING” Photos.
This piece of chicken clearly chose a pile of rice to curl up and die on. Ha.
Now let’s play a game. Where does the photo of the dinner below belong? Exhibit A or Exhibit B? You’ll NEVER guess. Ha. Okay, you will.
Grilled Apple and Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is absolutely delicious. It’s also a bit time consuming. And it looks quite delightful while it’s resting and by the time you slice it you want dive in face first. I had to FORCE myself to take a picture before I dug in. I may or may not have wimpered and whined a’la Randy in A Christmas Story as I took my meal’s photo instead of eating it.
In the end, the photo was worth it because it means I get to share it with all of you! Even if the photo sucks, you can still kinda sorta see what it’s supposed to look like!
On to the pork! I found the most time consuming part to be pounding the pork out thin so it could be rolled. I don’t have a meat mallet, so I used a small frying pan. When that didn’t work, I pounded at it with the back of my hand. That worked. The pork is then stuffed, rolled and grilled for about 30 minutes over indirect heat. I decided to wrap my tenderloin in bacon because, well, everything’s better with bacon and I thought it would help keep everything moist.
So.Good. I served it up with crashed potatoes and roasted broccoli. Mmmmmmm.
APPLE AND APRICOT STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN (Recipe adapted from: About.com)
- 1 1lb. pork tenderloin
- 1/2 cup peeled, diced apple
- 3 dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 stripes center cut bacon
- Slice the pork down the center lengthwise to butterfly it, do not cut all the way through. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to about 1 inch thickness.
- Mix together the apple, apricots, cheese and sage. Spread over the pork. Roll tightly and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine. (If using toothpicks, soak them in water first). Wrap the bacon around the tenderloin, season with salt and pepper and rub with the olive oil. Let sit about 15 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium heat. Place the tenderloin on to the direct heat for a minute or two on each side to sear it and get some color to it. Transfer to the indirect heat and grill for about 30 minutes, turning once. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
One year ago this week:
Loaded Sweet ‘n’ Salty Chocolate Ice Cream – So rich, it should be illegal
Beef and Rice Enchiladas with Red Sauce – AKA, that slop you saw above. 🙂
T is For Turtle Bread – The cutest bread on the block!