The whole social media food world can be funny, don’t you think? I love to cook and I feel I’m quite decent at it but even so, perfectly staged food photographs that just look so stunning can totally be intimidating to me. I promise you that even as I scroll through my feed I often think ‘there is just no way.’
And yet I hope you never feel that way with my posts.
I do work hard to make them as pretty as I can, because let’s face it, that is what people respond to. People loooooove pretty. The saying ‘you eat with your eyes first’ is no joke.
But as ‘pretty’ as my photos may look at times, I hope you know the behind the scenes effort is really not all that glamourous. Most of the time I am balancing blog work, homework, baseball prep, laundry while hoping at some point I was at least able to wash my face. Then I have to wait for the lighting to be just right in my dining room because I actually know absolutely nothing about lighting for photographs aside from the most basic thing: natural light is best. 4:00-5:00 is my jam in my dining room. (Which just happens to line up with a really busy hour with the kids. Awesome).
Then, when all is said is done, I am taking my fancy photos with……my iPhone. No, I don’t own a camera. And I legit no joke probably take like thirty of them. And I move the smallest piece of basil. Or fix what veggies are showing on top of a soup. I switch bowls and platters and angles. I obsess. And to be honest, it never ever looks ‘good’ enough to me. But I go with it because it is most definitely the best I can do so it’s going to have to be good enough. Grace not perfection here.
Take this twenty minute week night pasta for instance. Looks pretty darn good, right? Maybe even leaning on the side of ‘fancy’ or ‘intimidating?’ You guuuuuys. It could not be further from that. I wish I could have shown you what was going on in the background. (I would have on my IG story, but I was trying to photograph the pasta!). I had five plus kids running around. My kitchen was a messsssss. I was over it because I forgot to oil the pasta a bit so it wouldn’t stick so I thought my picture looked dumb. Beckett was yelling at me for a snack. I was yelling at two boys to get dressed for baseball. I was on the phone on speaker with a friend.
So that’s the behind the scenes. ‘Pretty’ food photos, at least mine, are not as glamorous and exciting as they may seem. Not to mention this recipe is legit like, five ingredients. There isn’t even really that much cooking. It’s basically throwing together store bought ingredients. Yet the end result is something quite delicious and dare I say….fancy. Even for just a regular ol’ Thursday night.
20 MINUTE WEEKNIGHT PASTA
Recipe from ALFS
1 lbs angel hair
1/2 cup or so of reserved pasta water
2 cloves garlic, minced
pint of grape tomatoes, rinsed
cup or so of store bought basil (or you can make your own)
few handfuls of parmesan
fresh basil, for topping
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 or so cup of the cooking water.
In the same pot you cooked the pasta, get a little olive oil going with the garlic and tomatoes for a few minutes, mix around. Throw the pasta back in and mix together. Add in the pesto and a few handfuls of parmesan. If the pasta sees to thick at this point, add some pasta water and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Top with basil and more parmesan and serve!