Blog Crossover Series
with Karma in the Kitchen
With this new series, we're visiting the homes of local food bloggers to share experiences, compare photos and hang out with the wonderful individuals creating food-related stories we just can't help but read!
Our first outing was with Tracy from Karma in the Kitchen. Tracy and her husband are facing an interesting challenge for the next few weeks. They are adopting a restricted diet in the hopes of diagnosing some of her husband's food allergens. Tracy talks more about their Elimination Diet on her blog.
I was curious to find out what she'd decided to make in light of all of their food restrictions and was excited to see some familiar foods put together in new and inventive ways!
The main dish she chose was Chard Rolls Filled with Winter Vegetables. The fragrant and spicy smell of the veggies as they were cooking was intoxicating. The dish made for great comfort food: not too heavy, perfectly juicy, flavorful and healthy to boot!
Food bloggers are experts at juggling boiling pots and inventing creative substitutions in a pinch. But it is certainly challenging to make a meal while trying to photograph it at the same time! The appetizers start to gets cold, your family starts to grow hungry and the dessert starts to burn, all while you try to set up "the perfect shot" to showcase your hard work!
As a photographer and soux chef, I had the luxury of setting up the "perfect" shot without sacrificing the meal. I also had the opportunity to get action shots that most bloggers can't, since they usually work alone!
I ended up taking over 100 photos, as compared to Tracy's 10. Some might see this as cheating, because the odds of me getting the perfect shot were greater. But Tracy herself said, "If I took 100 photos, they'd all look exactly the same." As a photographer, I'm compelled to keep shooting in hopes of capturing a spontaneous moment or a unique angle. I could take 10 pictures, but if I did, I might miss the most important photographic element: the ability to catch the moment and not just the ingredients.
Take a look at the photo comparisons below. What do you think are the biggest differences between my shots and Tracy's?
Here is a side-by-side photo comparison of the Swiss Chard.
(Tracy's photo is on the left. Photo Kitchen's on the right.)
Here is the veggie mix simmering on the stove.
(Tracy's photo on top. Photo Kitchen's 2 photos below hers.)
The finished dish was perfectly shiny and juicy.
(Tracy's photo on top. Photo Kitchen's photo below hers.)
The final plated dish.
(Tracy's on the left. Photo Kitchen's on the right.)
As I was busy snapping pics of their two adorable dogs and happily washing dishes, Tracy whipped up these Maple Butter Bars in less than 10 minutes! I'm not a huge fan of maple-flavored things, but I loved the chewy texture of these bars. The maple wasn't overwhelming and eating them warm was a comforting treat.
Maple Butter Bars, freshly cut.
(Tracy's photo above.)
Bars in the making: pre-oven, just out of the oven and just before eating.
(Photo Kitchen's pictures, above.)
My guy & Tracy's neighbor, John, stopped by to try out the veggie fare. As a meat-lover, the fact that he didn't try to feed his share to the dogs means it was a winner!
(Sophia didn't seem to mind the idea of a veggie meal either; she was right up in John's face begging for him to share!)
I always enjoy watching Tracy cook. Her food is unique, adventurous and vegetarian friendly. She cooks mostly from scratch, she has a compost pile and she values locally-grown food, as evidenced by her CSA share with Sippel Family Farm. My favorite part of her blog is that it isn't always about the food, but often about her love for her family and friends.
You can find the recipes, more photos, and Tracy's take of the day in her post, The Diet: Day 2.
Bottom line, I'd be thrilled to cook along side Tracy again. She's easy going and engaging, a pet lover like me and a food enthusiast. What more do I need out of a kitchen mate? (I can't help adding this last photo of Tracy, who said "Hm, you didn't say anything about taking pictures of me!" Yet she was kind enough to let me.)
P.S. Check in for the next in our Blog Crossover series with Lynn from But You Can Call Me Crazy!