Picture Perfect Isn’t Always Perfect

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My food pictures aren’t perfect.

I’m glad I have a motto here at Baking With Mom about Mixing Up Fun and Not Perfection because it suits me well.  I’m going to guess it suits a lot of us well.  Looking back at some of the pictures I took when I first started this blog, I realize how badly I need to retake them.  Ouch.  As with everything else in life, picture taking is a learning process.

Especially when I only have a snap shot camera.  

It is something I am saving up for.  My husband and I have talked about getting an expensive camera for quite a while now, however, something ALWAYS seems to be more important.  Glasses for our son, braces for our son, new bedspread for our daughter…the camera gets put on the back burner often.

I have seen many food pictures that are beautiful.  Fantastic photography.  I compare them to my own food pictures and there really isn’t a comparison.  I think mine are improving as I have learned a lot of tricks (as many as you can learn with a snapshot camera), but there really isn’t a question over which pictures are better.  Something I learned over the weekend is the pictures really don’t make the food better.  You can take an award winning picture but the recipe is awful.  You can make award winning food but the picture isn’t perfect with perfect effects.  As I mentioned in another post, I tried a recipe over the weekend that was awful.  This recipe has THOUSANDS of likes on Pinterest.  (Can’t go wrong with that, right?)  However, I wonder, how many people have actually tried this recipe.  I haven’t found a comment that has.  I always pin things I see on Pinterest and never make, sew or paint them.  This recipe was pinned because it was beautiful, not because it tasted good.  (I am confident it was a misprint in the recipe for the crust-it happens! :-) I am also convinced the filling wasn’t great as well.  It involved cream cheese.  I have never made something with cream cheese that my hubby hasn’t liked.  He told me he tried to like it and couldn’t.)  The picture made it pinable.

My pictures haven’t always been worthy of pins.  I hope all the recipes have but without the stunning pictures to go along with it, some haven’t been pinned that often.  I’m guilty of it.  If something isn’t beautiful, it doesn’t get looked at as often as something that is.

From recipes (how it tastes), to people (how they act), things and people aren’t always judged for the right reasons.  Inside is what counts, right?  So this is the point:

If you don’t make picture perfect food, keep making it!

It may not be a stunning souffle or your cake may be lopsided but if it tastes great, hold your head up.  Keep at it.  I would rather bring a dessert that tastes wonderful instead of a picture perfect one that tastes okay.  Keep trying.  You may reach picture perfect status.  You may not.  Maybe you need to work on the taste of your food.  Maybe you burn food often.  Keep trying.  If you enjoy to cook and bake, don’t get discouraged.  Do what you enjoy and forget about perfection.  You may surprise yourself.  Maybe someday one of your pins will have thousands of likes. ;-)

Photo Credit 

Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Sunday and a Bad Dessert

Coloring Easter Eggs

There’s my camo boy coloring Easter eggs.

I’m not sure why he came upstairs in that outfit to color eggs in, but whatever.  The other two are still PJ wearing, so I suppose it fits. ;-)

Do you color Easter Eggs?  I’m not sure why we do because we don’t hunt them at our house.  We head to the Grandmas houses for that.  We now have so much candy it is overflowing two buckets.  A tip?  Freeze some of that candy, chop it up and use it for cookies.  Using Kit Kat or Reese’s is a great way to change up Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Should I admit it was painful to give up 7 eggs for coloring?  Eggs are so expensive lately that I heard the famous cash register ching-chinging in the background with every drop of egg.  Sad, I know.

 

Hunting Easter Eggs

Hunting Easter Eggs

I was sooo excited.  I found this wonderful recipe on Pinterest I was going to take to a family get together.  It looked really good and when my hubby saw the picture, he told me he was eagerly awaiting trying it.  I followed the recipe.  When I put the Oreo crust together, I knew the recipe didn’t seem right.  Yet, I did what it said.

It tanked.

There was so much butter floating on top of the Oreo crust, I used paper towels to try and soak up the butter.  I tried baking the crust longer, then baking the whole dish longer to make up for the butter mess.  Did not work.  It was a gooey, caramel-y, nasty mess.  I was going to show you a picture, but I didn’t want it to get back to the author of this recipe.  I am going to email this blogger and ask her if there was a misprint on the ingredients.  It happens. :-)  I was disappointed to not have this dish to take and disappointed I wasted ingredients.  (Like the egg coloring.  Sorry, I’m that way.)  I ended up taking a strawberry, blueberry, frosted pretzel dish to the gathering.  Went over well.  Fruit always works.

Anybody take a family picture on Easter Sunday?  I should show you last year’s picture.  It was a comedy show.  Baby crying, kids looking all directions, me bent over trying to get all children to stand still and smile at same time.  Humorous, I say.  This year’s turned out well.  Though if anyone has a secret for getting the glare off of glasses when taking a picture I would love to hear it.  My oldest has Strabismus and we have battled “glasses glare” since he was one!

Family Photo

I hope you had a great Easter weekend.  Do any of you have any recipe gone wrong stories you would like to share?  I’d like to hear them. Leave a comment and tell us about them!  

 

On That Good Friday

He offered His life.

Nobody killed Him, He gave up His life so I might live.

Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice so I could spend eternity with Him.

Then what?  The grave couldn’t hold Him.

He arose.  He’s alive.

Hundreds saw Him.

Nobody can find His body.

He is risen.

Do you know Him? Would you like to?

For children, Veggie Tale Easter Carol.

Read the book of John in the New Testament of the Bible.

See God’s Not Dead in movie theaters.

Learn about His sacrifice.  His love.

Have a blessed, wonderful Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

Here at Baking With Mom it is all about ease.

What do I have on hand to whip something up because my hungry family is waiting and I haven’t been to the store in a while my husband has to be out the door in an hour.

What is nice is when an idea pops in my head, I have all the ingredients for the recipe in my head and it is easy.

It tastes great too.

I have mentioned once or twice my love for all things cookie.  Cookies are really the ultimate dessert so when you can combine cookie with other ingredients you make a super ultimate dessert.  (Yes, you do.)  I have started a Pinterest Group Board called Cookies and Brownies because of my enjoyment of cookies.  (By the way, if you would like to join the group board, leave me a comment on this post.  I would be happy to add you!)

This wonderful dessert was so easy.  It would have been easier if I had store bought cookie dough on hand, then it would be a 3 ingredient dessert.  I don’t usually have store bought on hand so I whipped up my old standby Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  It comes together in minutes.

The family rated it very highly and they staked their claim on the leftovers.  My 11 year old found a way to take some in his school lunch.  (Tell me it didn’t turn upside down in a 6th grade locker.  Yeah, right.) :-)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

Chocolate chip cookie recipe (or you can use store bought)

1 small box instant chocolate pudding

3/4 container Cool Whip

Make the chocolate chip cookie dough according to the recipe.  Put the dough on a large cookie sheet and shape into a large circle.  (I used my hands.)  Bake @ 375* for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

In the meantime, mix the chocolate pudding according to directions on the box.  It will set up while the cookie is baking.  When cookie is done baking, take out and let cool.  If you are in a hurry, you can put it into the refrigerator to help cool.  After cookie has cooled, spread pudding and Cool Whip on top.  Enjoy!

Answers In Genesis Vacation Bible School Material

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Summer is quickly approaching!  With summer comes sun, swimming, relaxing days and Vacation Bible School.  As I child, I went to VBS every year until I was in 6th grade.  It was always looked forward to.  I would see my friends, play games and learn more about the Bible.  (Snack time was always appreciated as well.  I remember those vanilla sandwich cookies being a popular snack!)

I’m involved in VBS now as an adult through my church.  I’m one of the craft leaders.  The last few years, my church has used the Answers In Genesis VBS material.  It is well written, fun and the children enjoy it!  It has great material for the teachers to use, great snack ideas to make snack time fun (yes, I know, snack time is always fun–even if it is just vanilla sandwich cookies) ;-) and it comes with a craft book with craft ideas.

This year the VBS theme is International Spy Academy (Agents For The One True God).  This is what the AIG website says about International Spy Academy:

 “Grab your secret decoder ring and put on your rearview mirror glasses because next summer, your kids are heading to the International Spy Academy where they’ll train to become special agents for the one true God! This exciting new Vacation Bible School program is filled with fun mysteries your kids will love and the Bible-based apologetics you trust to teach them truths they won’t forget!”

You can go to the Answers In Genesis site to learn more about this material.

*The links in this post are my affiliate links (you can see our disclosure policy).  While I always support all companies I promote (I wouldn’t promote them if I didn’t), I personally am exposed to AIG’s material weekly.  My family and church have used enough of their material to know they are a true, Bible-based company. 

Honey or Vinegar: Which Are You?

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The other day I came across an elderly man at a store.  Ahead of me in line with no one else behind or in front of me, I had access to what he and the store cashier were saying.  Actually, it was what HE was saying, not the cashier.  This man was rude.  (Very hopelessly, unbelievably rude.)  The man started talking about the price of a shirt.  When the cashier didn’t give him the answer he wanted, he called the store employee extremely unkind names.  I heard the cashier’s response. It was professional and he only got agitated when the man insulted him.  (A very blatant insult.)  Being my children were with me, I left the line in search of another so my children wouldn’t hear this horrible exchange.

All day long I thought about this man and what he was trying to accomplish.  He wanted a certain price on this shirt.  I’m all for saving a few dollars, however whatever sympathy he may have received went out the window when his insults began.  Could he have approached this situation in another way?  Of course he could have and should have.  As the saying goes:

You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.    

Which are you?  Which way do you approach tough situations? Do you attack at the first sign of a disagreement?  Or do you approach it with kindness and thought for the other person?

There is nothing wrong standing up for yourself.  I have had many times where I was justified in my anger or was right in the situation.  I have, and hopefully succeeded, been politely pointed in my speech.  I have noticed when I am calm and talk about what is wrong, they are more likely to see things my way.

What happens when you are vinegar?  The other people involved don’t trust you, you could be insulting (without even meaning to) and you are ruining your testimony.

I had the opportunity to teach my oldest child this lesson a few months ago.  He was angry over a decision his teacher had made concerning his grade.  He wanted to go and talk to her about it.  I encouraged him to be respectful, to pray before speaking and to accept any response she gives him.  He was frustrated and did not want to be nice about it.  I told him he will go farther with respect.  Well, he did talk to her, was respectful (she told me he was) but didn’t get his grade changed.  However, she is now his favorite teacher and she just recently awarded him a high award.  Honey rather than vinegar wins every time in some way.

Be honey.  Be sweet.  Be someone others want to work with.  I figured up the amount the man wanted to save.  $4.  Yes, $4.  His complaining and insulting remarks were over a measly $4.  How sad is that?

Be honey this week and beyond.  Think about others more than yourself.  You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  I guarantee it.