Author Topic: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen  (Read 168896 times)

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Offline Stogi

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #250 on: July 08, 2011, 07:47:07 PM »
I'm about to make dinner and I thought I might as well detail what I'm about to cook here.

Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Take a couple pounds of ground chuck and through it in a bowl. Add some salt (you'll add more later), pepper, vinegar (preferably balsamic), garlic, mint and a bit of sugar. Mix it up and shape them into balls. I usually make mine extra large.

Take a sauce pan and throw in 2 cans of tomato paste, a can of crush tomatoes and several fresh tomatoes diced (roma or vine-ripe preferred). Add garlic, white or yellow onion, mushrooms, and then any other vegetable you would like (I put green peppers and carrots). Add parsley, oregano, basil, a couple bay leaves, coriander, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Add a jalapeno or chili pepper if you like heat.

Take the meat balls and sprinkle some salt on the outside of them and then sear the **** out of them in a large pan with butter. Flip once, carefully as to not break them, then turn the heat low and cover.

Throw the spaghetti into a bowling pot and add salt and oil (oil will keep it from sticking to the pot). Boil till done and strain.

Take some bread, slice it up and put it in the oven. In a small bowl, mix EVOO, garlic, red pepper, salt, oregano, sugar, vinegar and a touch of water.

Check on the meat balls, cutting one open to see if its done. Take them off if they are.

Stir the sauce and taste it. Add anything you think it is missing.

Take bowls and throw the spaghetti into it and cover with ample amounts of the sauce. Place a few meatballs on top and garnish with fresh mint or parsley.

Take the bread out of the oven and sprinkle each slice with the dressing in the small bowl and serve with Parmesan.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 07:49:33 PM by The Unagi »
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Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #251 on: July 08, 2011, 09:41:19 PM »
I'm coming over for dinner. What time will it be ready?

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #252 on: August 10, 2011, 01:14:42 AM »
Okay, so I'm trying to get better at taking pictures of food. I think it is holding back the success of my sandwich site. I know my camera isn't the best, but I am trying to improve lighting. Any food photography tips?

This is a pizza I made tonight. Home made dough, fantastic. I got the recipe here: http://gianni.tv/pizza-margherita-2/

Toppings:
San Marzano tomato strips
cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese
basil leaves
red bell peppers strips
Diced Ham steak



Offline ThePerm

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #253 on: August 10, 2011, 01:25:22 AM »
see its not your camera, or your photography really...its your color settings, and color choice.

bumped up contrast, adjusted levels, altered color saturation, and ran an unsharp mask filter
next time instead of white table, add a yellow, red, or green(parsely green, not lime green) table cloth


before



after

edit:
or you can just run the equalize filter, it came out a little better than the one i just uploaded, but the equalize filter isn't 100% reliable.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 01:30:16 AM by ThePerm »
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Offline Caliban

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #254 on: August 10, 2011, 01:27:06 AM »
I don't think the pictures are what's holding back your site. I would suggest you change your site's name just because Epic Meal Time has it covered when it comes to extreme food. Maybe name it as if you owned a restaurant.

Edit: ThePerm made that pizza just that much more appetizing. OK, so maybe the pictures had something to do with it too.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 01:29:22 AM by Caliban »

Offline MegaByte

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #255 on: August 10, 2011, 01:31:17 AM »
If your camera has a Vivid color setting, that tends to look closer to real life, without having to Photoshop it. You might change the white balance settings to Fluorescent too, if your indoor lighting is causing the color cast problems.
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Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #256 on: August 10, 2011, 02:04:55 AM »
I don't think my camera has a vivid settings, it's old. I did change the picture detail to super fine and changed the white balance to fluorescent. I didn't have a green table cloth, so I threw down an old green towel but it's putrid in color. I don't know that it looks any better.



I use Gimp in Linux and I ran a white color balance on the image. Normalize didn't do much and Equalize messed up the color completely.


Offline ThePerm

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #257 on: August 10, 2011, 06:40:29 AM »
yeah i'd go with a white table over a towel, towels just make me think of mildew. That plate is quite nice, and it has the red and yellows. I don't remmeber what I was watching, but it mentioned human beings are drawn to reds for food because we have a built in instinct to go eat bloody things. Yellow represents fat. Like an exposed carcass. That is why basically every food place has red in their logo. Macdonalds is Red and Yellow, and so is Burger King. The green is supposed to represent healthy food. Spinach, Parsley colored.
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Offline Ceric

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #258 on: August 10, 2011, 08:11:39 AM »
I don't know I think the plate Screams Goodwill and an Owl Cookie holder.
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Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #259 on: August 10, 2011, 01:34:01 PM »
Your mom is an owl cookie.

Offline Ceric

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #260 on: August 10, 2011, 01:43:57 PM »
Your mom is an owl cookie.
That may be an improvement.

So does that mean you're going to make a batch of Owl Cookies so you can eat them?
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Offline Stogi

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #261 on: August 10, 2011, 03:17:15 PM »
The plate kinda looks like it has metroids lining the plate.

Anyway, it's a coincidence that you made a pizza because I made one yesterday as well. I didn't make my own dough, I instead had a frozen pizza that I used as the base.

Here's what I added:

Mushrooms
Red Peppers
Red Onions
Cheddar Cheese
and Gouda Cheese on the crust only.

Oh and also a half pound of rib eye steak. Yeah that's right. I made a steak pizza. I've never had one before and I had the ingredients, so I made it. And it was fan-fucking-tastic.

I first prepped all the vegetables and preheated the oven at 400.

I then took my steak, doused it with fresh lime then sea salted and peppered it, and threw it on a hot skillet with a bit of butter. After two minutes, I flipped it. After another two minutes, I took it off and cut it into cubes, removing any fat. It was very rare and bloody as you can imagine and looked fantastic, but it wasn't quite edible just yet.

I threw the cubes on the pizza with red peppers and cheddar cheese. I whipped up some garlic butter and brushed it along the crust, finishing it by adding gouda cheese. I then added some fresh basil and parsley, dried oregano, and fresh cracked pepper to the top and threw it into the oven.

I then deglazed the pan with some vinegar, threw in a bit of butter and added red onions and mushrooms. I sauteed them till tender and turned off the heat.

I waited till the pizza was about cooked before I took it out and added the deglazed mix to the pizza. I poked a few holes so the sauce would flow to the bottom. I then threw it back in for just a bit.

Took it out and waited for it to settle. Sliced it up and tasted it. It was like eating two meals at once, where none detracted from the other and both were fantastic. The steak was tender and juicy, the pizza had a nice crunch to it, the deglazed sauce brought out the sweetness of the marinara and the cheddar cheese was melted to perfection. The crust especially was amazing. I usually eat the crust of pizza, but only because I don't like to waste. This time, I couldn't help but bite from it as I ate the pizza itself.

I am making this again soon.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 03:23:15 PM by The Unagi »
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Offline ThePerm

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #262 on: August 10, 2011, 05:14:16 PM »
the plate screams price is right to me, late 60s-early 70s stuff
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Offline UltimatePartyBear

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #263 on: August 10, 2011, 05:50:52 PM »
Your original pics definitely seem to have a fluorescent lighting taint to them, Shyguy.  No indoor lighting is very color correct (fluorescents tend towards green, incandescents to yellow, and our brains essentially color-correct subconsciously), but maybe you'll get better results with natural sunlight?  As in, take the pictures outside.

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #264 on: August 10, 2011, 06:48:28 PM »
hmmm, I may try that after work today.

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #265 on: August 10, 2011, 10:22:04 PM »
Okay, I'm back with more pictures. If this needs to be spun off into its own thread, let me know, maybe a mod could oblige us.

For dinner I had two over easy eggs, whole wheat toast, and two pieces of ham steak. I took pictures in three locations, then did a white balance and color enhance on the pictures.

On the stove, with the blinds open.


On my table, where I took the pizza picture last night.


Outside, as the sun was beginning to set.



Which picture is the best, and where does the food look the most appealing?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 10:28:16 PM by ShyGuy »

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #266 on: August 10, 2011, 10:29:22 PM »
The plate kinda looks like it has metroids lining the plate.

Anyway, it's a coincidence that you made a pizza because I made one yesterday as well. I didn't make my own dough, I instead had a frozen pizza that I used as the base.

Here's what I added:

Mushrooms
Red Peppers
Red Onions
Cheddar Cheese
and Gouda Cheese on the crust only.

Oh and also a half pound of rib eye steak. Yeah that's right. I made a steak pizza. I've never had one before and I had the ingredients, so I made it. And it was fan-fucking-tastic.

I first prepped all the vegetables and preheated the oven at 400.

I then took my steak, doused it with fresh lime then sea salted and peppered it, and threw it on a hot skillet with a bit of butter. After two minutes, I flipped it. After another two minutes, I took it off and cut it into cubes, removing any fat. It was very rare and bloody as you can imagine and looked fantastic, but it wasn't quite edible just yet.

I threw the cubes on the pizza with red peppers and cheddar cheese. I whipped up some garlic butter and brushed it along the crust, finishing it by adding gouda cheese. I then added some fresh basil and parsley, dried oregano, and fresh cracked pepper to the top and threw it into the oven.

I then deglazed the pan with some vinegar, threw in a bit of butter and added red onions and mushrooms. I sauteed them till tender and turned off the heat.

I waited till the pizza was about cooked before I took it out and added the deglazed mix to the pizza. I poked a few holes so the sauce would flow to the bottom. I then threw it back in for just a bit.

Took it out and waited for it to settle. Sliced it up and tasted it. It was like eating two meals at once, where none detracted from the other and both were fantastic. The steak was tender and juicy, the pizza had a nice crunch to it, the deglazed sauce brought out the sweetness of the marinara and the cheddar cheese was melted to perfection. The crust especially was amazing. I usually eat the crust of pizza, but only because I don't like to waste. This time, I couldn't help but bite from it as I ate the pizza itself.

I am making this again soon.

This steak pizza sounds so good.

Offline noname2200

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #267 on: August 10, 2011, 10:31:57 PM »
Picture three looks best, albeit it seems a bit too bright, and the top-down view isn't the best angle. There's a reason few of those cookbook photos are taken from up there. On a related note, the uneven lighting doesn't help: a better idea would have been to try a similar angle as in Picture Two, but with the sun behind you (making sure not to block the light, of course).

There are actually several websites on just this topic. Google "food photography" and sample a myriad of sites with tons of tips and tricks. My favorite: lightly brushing some foods with veggie oil, to make them glisten.

Offline ThePerm

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #268 on: August 10, 2011, 10:36:39 PM »
also pictures at noon..the sun is directly above you, the light is diffuse yet bright
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Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #269 on: August 10, 2011, 11:33:26 PM »
Time to get fired from my job so my noon time is free for food pictures.

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #270 on: August 10, 2011, 11:37:49 PM »
Okay, here is the outside picture of the food from a better angle.


Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #271 on: August 10, 2011, 11:59:24 PM »
We don't need a new thread for food pictures.

But I think the lighting is off in all your pics. I think you need a flash or some better directional lighting so that there are no shadows.

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #272 on: August 11, 2011, 12:37:15 AM »
dang it, food is hard

Offline UltimatePartyBear

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #273 on: August 11, 2011, 03:42:38 PM »
Considering the pros fix half the problems with food photography by changing the food, I wouldn't worry too much about it.  You might be able to set up a mini studio with some nice fill lighting, but you'd have to dedicate some space and monies.  Maybe some amateur photo geek has blogged about a cheap way to do that somewhere.  Or maybe you could make friends with an amateur photo geek and pay him in extreme sandwiches.

Offline BlackNMild2k1

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Re: NWR's WorldWide Test Kitchen
« Reply #274 on: August 11, 2011, 08:24:33 PM »
I know my pics aren't the best, but I usually take several photos of the finished product due to lighting and angle.
Thats usually why I usually try to get a close up pic at a lower angle.