February 2017 - Buttered Side Up

How to Take Better Photos with ANY Camera

Food Photography 101: How to Take Better Photos with ANY Camera!

You may think that if you don’t own a fancy, expensive camera, there’s no reason to even try to take better photos. Wrong, wrong, wrong! By making a few simple changes, you can improve your food photography, no matter what kind of camera you own: DSLR, point-and-shoot, or even a phone camera!

Back when my only smart device was my dinky iPod touch 4th gen, I actually preferred some of the photos I took with it to the ones I took with my Nikon D7000. Sure, the quality was pretty poor, but sometimes the overall feel of the photo I captured with my iPod just happened to be more in line with my vision.

One of the biggest factors that will determine the quality of your photo is the quality of your light. Of course cheap cameras can't handle low light very well, but if your lighting is horrible, your photos will reflect it, even if you use a DSLR.

To learn more about good lighting and get my 5 other tips for improving your food photography, head over to The Pioneer Woman: Food and Friends

NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will make a small commission. This has zero impact on the price you pay, and it helps to keep Buttered Side Up running. Thank you so much!

Homemade Honey-Sweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa with Pink Whipped Cream

Homemade Hot Cocoa + Pink Whipped Cream
If I'm honest, we're not much of Valentine's Day people in this house. Which is a bit funny because our first date was on Valentine's Day...

Let's rewind to the winter of 2011.

Reuben had just asked my dad if he could court me (homeschooler lingo for dating). Of course I said yes (I had been crushing on him since I was about 12 or 13), and Reuben asked me out on our very first date for Valentine's Day.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes + Jim's First Birthday!

Grain-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes For Babies or Toddlers!

You guys.

My little boy turned one year old this Monday.

Ack! How can it have been 12 months since I birthed him already?! Yes, I am one of those pitiful moms that wishes their child would remain a baby perpetually. Well, not really. But it makes me sad to think that before I know it, James will be a teenager and think I'm so uncool.

Pinterest Tested: Softening Butter Quickly

Hey, friends!

So, I decided to start a new series on my blog: Pinterest Tested! I'm going to be testing out some popular Pinterest cooking hacks to see if they actually work! I'm always curious about whether these viral pins are actually legit, and I thought you would be as well.

First off, we're going to be testing a pin by Pamela Suzanne Lashbrook. As far as I can tell, the photo was originally posted on Facebook by Kimberly Reaves Bernards (if you know of a previous poster, let me know!). 

The post states:

One of the coolest baking tips ever... Tried and true... If you need to soften butter quickly but don't want to melt it.... Put boiling hot water in a glass to heat the glass. Dump the water out and flip it over your stick of butter. In a few minutes it will be softy soft to use! You're welcome!

Let's give it a go:

Flourless Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake

Flourless Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake
I first baked this flourless chocolate marbled cheesecake back in 2010. I posted about it on my first ever food blog, Cooking for Seven. Sadly, I failed to give details about WHY I decided to make it, so I have no idea what the occasion was. Probably just on a whim, but something rankles in the back of my mind...perhaps it was for a family gathering?

This time, I'm going to make sure to write out why I made this cake:

Reuben's sisters and I had been enjoying a K-Drama about a mermaid that falls in love with a human. I know, I know, it sounds fantastical. And it is. But it's funny and intriguing and suspenseful all at once. And it has Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho, so...

Anyhow, we decided to watch the finale together (we had previously attempted to watch a couple of episodes together, but I foolishly neglected to check before I got all caught up...oops. #addicted). Reuben's family invited us over for a supper of rice bowls (one of our all-time favorite meals), and I offered to provide the dessert:

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