After a weekend of cooking and baking a multitude of Thanksgiving recipes, I came into the office Monday with a camera full of images from my delicious turkey feast. As the photos uploaded to my computer, I thought about how this blog was going to be off to a great start thanks to all my hard work.
And then I saw the photos. Yikes.
The turkey looked like, well, what it was: a dead carcass. The cranberry sauce photos turned out just OK, but the lighting wasn’t great and the colors looked dull. My dinner plate looked like a typical nightly dinner plate. Not very appetizing.
Later in the day, I found the perfect quote to sum up what happened:
“Food, in all its deliciousness, is very unforgiving when it comes to being photographed.” — The Pioneer Woman.
So I spent a couple of hours looking up tips on how to photograph food so it looks somewhat appetizing, and playing around with my camera.
I decided to pick a simple recipe to cook after work so I could get the food part done quickly and spend time practicing taking pictures.
A Google search for Thanksgiving cookies came up with a cute recipe from Pillsbury.
Trying to save a buck, I bought the store’s brand of sugar cookie dough, which made some super crisp cookies. They’re OK, but I like my cookies a little softer. Next time I’ll probably cut the dough into thicker slices and leave them in the oven for a shorter amount of time.
While I don’t have the steadiest hand for decorating details, I thought the cookies turned out alright. It’s not like I’m trying to win any awards. The original recipe called for using M&Ms for the eyes, with black gel in the middle for pupils. The grocery store was out of black gel, so I improvised with some mini chocolate chips I had in the cupboard.
The orange icing came out a little thicker than I would have liked, which made for some funky turkey feet and noses. And something happened to my bag of candy corn — it was actually Autumn Mix, a blend of candy corn, Indian corn and pumpkin corn — and they were all pretty blemished. Looked like the bag was used as a football or something.
After awhile I stopped making turkeys and used the decorating caps to make pretty decorations surrounding pumpkin candies.
This is a great, quick and fun recipe that the kids can do with you.
Oh, and the pictures here aren’t great,but they are better than my previous recipes. I plan to practice a lot, and I’m even getting some tips from some of the pros here at The Tribune, so hopefully future entries will have even better photos.
Recipe: Turkey sugar cookies
Recipe from Pillsbury
- 1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookies
- 1 container (16 oz) chocolate creamy frosting
- candy corn
- orange decorating icing
- mini chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake cookies as directed on roll.
- Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
- Spoon chocolate frosting into resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut small hole in bottom corner of bag. On each cookie, pipe frosting on outer edge of half of cookie. Arrange candy corn over frosting for feathers.
- Pipe orange icing onto each cookie to resemble turkey face and feet. Use orange icing to attach mini chocolate chip eyes.
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