Natural light is your friend.  Allow me to explain how I came to this earth-shattering and heretofore unknown discovery.

Spawn #1 wanted me to make a dessert and I had a crapload of strawberries because I like pretending that we live in a climate that is nice and warm and Spring-y in June.  And strawberries always bring the promise of summer.  This year, however, that promise was likely made by Stephen Harper.

That’s beside the point…I saw this yummy and simple Strawberry Tart recipe and couldn’t resist.  I pulled out the roll of puff pastry that’s been sitting in my freezer for…well, a long time.   I laid it on the counter to thaw while making Spawn #1 some volcanos for his dinosaurs, comme ca:


Quiet time (finally) arrived and I hurried downstairs to down a glass of wine make that dessert I promised my little angel.  I rolled out the pie shell and…wait a minute!  Pie shell??  This was supposed to be PUFF PASTRY!   Meh.  Is there a difference, really?


The recipe really was a snap and, after tasting it, I knew why. And I immediately regretted using the aged balsamic we brought back from our last trip to Italy because we ain’t heading back that way for a while…


So, the recipe was a flop, and it looked pretty nasty when I started taking photos of it for all you lovelies.  I know the whole point of this column is to make you all feel better about yourselves after looking at my sad attempt at domestic goddessness, but I didn’t want to make any of you ill, so thought I’d try and at least take a better photo.  Plus, I hadn’t actually tasted it yet so didn’t know that the original photos were actually a very good visual representation of this particular recipe.


Our stove is less than two feet away from the back door, so I reached over, opened the door and balanced the tart in one hand while snapping shots with the other, and look at the difference!  It went from “something I found in the dumpster” to “not bad! ….Not great, but not bad either…”



I’m thinking about tearing down the walls in my house so I can bask in this new marvel called “natural light” all the time.  And now I know one of the secrets of all those fabulously photographed desserts on Pinterest:  natural light only makes food look good, not necessarily taste good.

So tell me, are any of you snapping pics of your creations and glamming them up?  What’s your top trick for making garbage look gourmand?  (‘Cause lord knows I need all the help I can get!  I don’t want my mom to look at the photos I email her and think I’m poisoning her precious grandchildren!)

(Check out Snap to It, great tips on photography)



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