When I first started this food blogging thing, I submitted several pictures to websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker only to be consistently rejected. Honestly I cannot blame them as my pictures during those times weren’t that wonderful (as many food bloggers can relate to with their first photos). Now that I have a nice camera and a little more experience, I decided it was time to try them out again. And guess what? I got my first submissions onto both sites yesterday! The Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies made it onto both Foodgawker and Tastespotting, and the Cookie Dough Oreo Cake made it onto Tastespotting. Of course several others were rejected but that seems to be pretty typical and I still have plenty of learning to do when it comes to food photography.
Most of the time when my pictures don’t come out perfectly it is because I am in a hurry or don’t have the best lighting. It is especially difficult when you have hungry eaters anxiously waiting to eat the item you are photographing. Take these spaghetti squash lasagna boats for example: the lighting was not ideal but three other people were ready to dig in. I love cooking for more than just myself, but always feel bad making people wait until the photoshoot is done. It is a tricky thing to balance! Lighting aside, these lasagna boats were a delicious, low carb alternative to traditional lasagna with a fun presentation.
One year ago: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Gluten-Free Bananas Foster Muffins
Three years ago: Cashew Chicken
SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA BOATS
1 large spaghetti squash (about 5 cups cooked)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz. Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
1/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
3/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with nonstick spray.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season lightly with salt and black pepper and place on prepared baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for 1 hour. Keep the oven on, remove squash and allow to cool about 10 minutes.
- With 30 minutes remaining, prepare the sauce. In a large deep sauté pan, heat oil and add onions and garlic. Sauté on medium-low for about 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces until browned and cooked through. Add the crushed tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reducing heat to low, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Add in fresh basil at the very end.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley.
- When the spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh. Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid, then toss with half of the sauce. Place the spaghetti squash back into the shells and place back on the baking sheet.
- Top with remaining sauce, the ricotta cheese mixture, and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese is melted.
Source: Adapted slightly from Skinny Taste.