Monday, September 8, 2008

It's all about Presentation

Several months ago I caught about 5 minutes of a Rachel Ray show on TV. That's all it took. I know I can't cook like she does, but I noticed something very key to a nice plate: you have to make it look good. Now I'm addicted to making my plain food look fancy and I've been taking pictures for a while of this crazy obsession. Here are some of the results, in no particular order (except for how I found them on my stupid zoom browser)

This is my new thing: take any round item (tortilla of the flour or corn variety, pita, ect.), top it with some cheese, veggies, pesto, butter and garlic salt, or even pizza toppings, stick it in the toaster oven for one cycle, let it sit 'til the cheese is set, cut it into 4 pieces and a finally arrange nicely on my very cool square plates from the Pampered Chef. Pictured here is the lamest of my attempts, but we were having chili and I thought simple corn cheese crisps were good enough. I sprinkled some green herb in the middle just to "spice" things up, but that's just 'cuz I'm a dork that way.

One Sunday this summer I just couldn't face turning the oven or stove on. Friends were coming over, I didn't want a hot kitchen, and I just didn't plan in advance enough to get dinner on the table. So here it is: fruit, cheese and crackers. But how do you sell it to a man?! Of course the girls liked it, especially since I didn't even put plates down. We just opened up our napkins, placed items on them, and ate the watermelon from the bowl with our forks.

Just a bit of silliness for lunch... (Tasha loved it!)
Yep, that's a cashew nose.
Can you believe that I made this fabulous looking chicken dish for myself? Bill isn't a spinach fan so I had a tasty lunch one afternoon. It is "wilted" spinach (thanks Rachel for teaching me what that looks like), topped with chicken, pear jam and bleu cheese. Just a pinch of basil to make the plate look prettier.

Pasta at our house is served with your choice of sauce. Typically I have pesto, Tasha butter and Parmesan, Kyra and Bill have tomato(I don't even heat the sauce, just pull it straight from the jar). I like to break out the fancy bowls because they are pretty and cloth napkins always make you feel special. Just think about it, all I really did was boil water and toss a salad. (In the center is a lot of crazy pita bread, pesto/Parmesan, garlic butter)
I'm sure you noticed an overwhelming amount of cheese and specifically cheese crisps. This tends to be a side dish quite often at dinner since I know Tasha will eat it, if nothing else. Come to think of it, dinner hasn't been quite the Tasha struggle as it used to be since I started the fancy service. Holy Cow, I can't even remember the last time she went screaming from the table and flopped herself onto the couch for no particular reason other than to protest the fact that we've asked her to sit down to the dinner table. Miracle.


Bridget said...

Very Fancy.
I don't even care what the food looks like as long as I can convince my kids there aren't and tomatoes or onions (or other random food they hate at the time) in it. And right now I don't even like food most of the time so Quick and Easy is my Motto right now. Lets see Last night we had burritos and the night before was pasta with butter and cheese (no sauce) Quick and Easy! Tonight Jason makes dinner! Even Better than Quick and Easy!

Monique said...

I definitely like your presentation! ;)

I like next time you don't have to eat alone! :)

Rachel said...

Wow, so many good ideas and fun thoughts H. I'm going to have to add them to my list of ideas to implement. That is when it's not two hours past by bedtime.:(