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  • Taking photos of food is easy! Especially compared to photographing people. Food doesn't talk back or move around. It just sits there looking delicious, waiting for you to find its best angle. Food never complains that you are making it look fat or ugly, and it never insists that you play death metal during the photo shoot.

    Don't let all those gorgeous shots in cookbooks and on the internet intimidate you! Here are some tips to making successful food photos, whether you're cozy at home or out at a restaurant, street fair, luau, or anywhere with good food.

  • One of my favorite Philadelphia traditions is held during the Bastille Day festival when a drag portrayal of Marie Antoinette stands high atop Eastern State Penitentiary throwing TastyKakes and saying, "Let them eat cake."

    Now for those of you I haven't completely lost due to maximum Philadelphia reference saturation level or historical inaccuracy (blah blah blah, 'Let them eat cake has been accreddited to many high ranking women before Marie Antoinette, blah blah blah), there are plenty of ways to celebrate Bastille day without leaving an air conditioned space.

  • Potato, potahto, macaroon, macaron...

    Have you ever tried a macaroon? You know, the sweet treat with coconut? Or you may think it’s the deliciously cute sandwich cookies made with nut flours. If you do some research on (I mean Google) the macaroons vs. macarons issue, you’ll find thousands of websites and blogs debating the difference between the two.  Some people argue that macaroons are both the coconut confection and the gorgeous almond flour treat, while others argue that the two should never be considered the same. But both accounts are right! Kind of. Macaroons and macarons may be very different, but they have one important thing in common—they’re delicious!

    In anticipation of National Macaroon Day on 5/31, I spent last week doing what most people do before a big D.I.Y. project – pinning inspiration to my board on Pinterest. For the macaroons I decided on these delicious S’Mores Macaroon Bars and then took inspiration from this extremely helpful book to create S’mores Macarons. After procuring all of the ingredients I spent Sunday baking macaroons (err, macaroons and macarons).

    I’ve made macarons before but had never tried my hand at macaroons. In a matter of 5 minutes they were in the oven, and just half an hour later I was enjoying these gooey treats...steeling myself up all the while for the precision and patience that is needed for macarons.

  • I have learned that there are cake people, and there are frosting people.

    I thought I was a cake person, but that’s because I love frosting. So I guess that means I’m a frosting person. I always prefer the corner piece that is covered in frosting and giant tacky roses (whose cake am I eating that has tacky frosting roses? Dunno, don’t care, just give me the frosting!).
     
    My fiancé is a cake person. He pushes the frosting off his piece and dives into the cake. We make the perfect pair and can always share a piece. It also makes making a cake for him a bit easier, because I never have to whip up frosting.
     
    But, that also means, that the cake has to be phenomenal. There’s nothing more disappointing than a chocolate cake that doesn’t actually taste like chocolate… which is a huge problem with store-bought cakes or mass marketed bakery cakes (all the flavor is in the sugary frosting, and the cake is a bland mess).
     
    I’m really proud of this cake. It’s very simple, tastes amazing, and is a crowd pleaser (or fiancé pleaser in my case). You can eat it plain or top it with frosting, but because the cake tastes so good, frosting is totally unnecessary. The ganache adds a little extra chocolatey goodness, which never hurt anybody!

  • We make a lot of different types of books at Quirk. And, over the years, we've made a name for ourselves by pushing the envelope to produce strikingly unconventional books. If you've seen our catalog, you know what I'm talking about.

    Today we're excited to say that we've brought our unique flavor to the world of ebooks--well, ibooks--in the form of Quirk's first enhanced ebook: Breakfast for Dinner. It's time for breakfast to take center stage at the dinner table! Inside this book, you'll find more than 100 classic "brinner" recipes made with a twist.

    The special iBooks Author version of Breakfast for Dinner is full of interactive, fun and functional features. Here are a few of my favorites...

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