Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nothing Is Ever As It Seems...

As you may have noticed we have been dealing with a lot of the above weather for a week or so now.
The temperatures are hitting -25 degree celcius which feels like -32 with the wind chill. (-23.8 F)
The kids are not being sent outside for recess at school, so you know here in Northern Canada,
that means it is darn tootin cold!

Maybe not quite as cold as it was on this day... but still cold enough.
When I look out the window at my crazy Youngest, 
who doesn't seem to feel the cold in the same way 
herpoorshouldhavebeenborninawarmerclimate mother does.
I start dreaming of Spring...which. I. then. realize. is still a good four months away.
Yup, it can, and does, snow in May. Late. May.  
If you don't believe me and think that I am prone to over exaggeration?  
I have proof... and here it is!
So in order to maintain my sanity, I begin looking for ways to grasp at hope.
Hope of warmth,  and all things summer.
I thought the wreath above would be a good start, and was thrilled to find it, 
but on this particular day, 
I only had a half hour before I had to venture out into the god forsaken cold 
white wonderland to fetch my children.

You see... I had spent an hour a few minutes reading PW's post on food photography.
And I decided this was something I needed to perfect.
This minute, before the kids came home from school.
Plus I was still dreaming of butterflies and summer.

I decided I could have my cake and eat it too... so to speak.
Except I was working with a cookie instead.
See the cross over?
See how I did that?
Food photography practice, with a hint of summer hope?
I felt as though I was having a Martha moment.

I figured warm cookies with some hot chocolate might be just what the doctor ordered.
Plus I could try out the shot from a table near the front window.
Yup, that's what these 'Food Photogs' do. 
They actually move their food from the kitchen to a place where the light is better.
And food generally looks best in/on white dishes.

Who knew?
I didn't.
Until I read this.

I was having a moment.
Not only did I bake and decorate my children some amazing Martha-esque treats...

But I also learned how to make them look even better than they tasted.

Now I know you're thinking, as you're sitting there in front of your screen...
"Wow, that Dana from Bungalow'56 is truly amazing. She just whipped up some sugar cookies with icing and decorated them in a half hour, plus took pictures of them for me to enjoy and she didn't even break a sweat."  
But as you know, nothing is ever as it seems.
I have a secret.
And I feel I need to share it with you.
Her name is Betty.
Betty Crocker.

And she tries her best to make me look like Martha.
She's got my back.
I owe her big time.

And you know what?

The girls don't ask for Martha.
They are perfectly happy with Betty, as am I.
We work well together.
In fact...
I think she's the best friend a girl could ever have.


If you want to check out some amazing "Food Photography".
Pioneer Woman is hosting a contest.
But make sure you have a snack before you go.
I promise it will make you very hungry.
As this post continues to sit on my screen, the weather continues to dip lower: -38˚C (-36˚F) with windchill now.

This post will be linking up to 
Jenny Matlock
Where you can find many more 'N' posts!  

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  1. Wow that's really very cold ! We had a lot of snow too I mean for Belgium, but temperature didn't go below - 10° I am so fed up of winter, I wished it was already spring.

  2. i'm new to your blog - but i've got a link on my blog now! do drop by sometime.
    you crack me up... you really drew us into your kitchen, showed us your culinary skills & divulged your secrets --- after we fell into "drooling mode" over your butterfly cookies. i didn't blink an eye about your alter identity! most importantly --- what a cool mom you are!
    love your blog!!!

  3. Your cookies look so good I wish they would jump off the screen into my hand where they would be popped into my mouth.
    I also like Betty much better than Martha and I don't think Betty has ever been to jail.

  4. The cookies look yummy! Well done with the food photos. I read that article, too, and loved it. I need to put it into practice, too.

  5. I really should do that. No, silly, not the pictures. Eat your cookies...just like your cute model. As for the snow...holy moly.

  6. Betty is a cooking buddy of mine too. The butterflies really do make you think of spring and fresh from the oven they would give me a warm spring feeling deep inside.

  7. Great pics as always. I would like a cookie please

  8. I tried the betty crocker mixes and they do taste great. Love the way the butterflies were decorated.

  9. your posts always make me smile! now, here's a laugh for you - i live in the sothern US - we've missed four days of school because of three inches of snow!

  10. I'm making a mental note this weekend to read all of PW's food photography posts. I really need to dig into my new camera (still). I've been doing mostly stuff on white plates and photographing near the window, but now I need to mix it up...all my pics look the same!

    Your photos look lovely and the cookies are inspiring me to go bake a pound cake today.

  11. Great job Betty! LOL! I tried to take a photo of my homemade doughnut last night ( husband made me doughnuts b/c I'm celiac), but the lighting was terrible & I thought briefly of saving it for today....but my tastebuds won....thanks for the advice!

  12. I love Betty.

    And I will NEVER tell anyone that you are Betty and not Martha.

    What they don't know won't hurt 'em.

  13. Well, neighbor, we are in the same weather front (or whatever it is) so I totally relate. The dayhome kids have not been outside all week so we are going a tad bit stir crazy.

    You done good both with the baking and the food photography! Your girls are probably pretty happy campers.

    Some of those food pics at PW's are amazing.

  14. great idea! I've been feeling the doldrums as well... except our temps have been in the teens, not the negative 20s. YIKES! I thought I should pack the kids in the car and take them on an adventure to the south, but then I realized that I don't want to pack the kids in the car and drive them on an adventure if it means my husband isn't coming. Now what? BUTTERFLY COOKIES! Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. I'll send warm thoughts your way because sadly, that is all I have right now. We've had snow on the ground for almost a week now--unheard of in my neck of the woods! Did you know that 49 of the 50 states had snow yesterday? I think this is going to be a long winter for all. Keep posting spring inspiration--it just might be the only way to get us all through this winter!

  16. Hi Dana , I'm from Calgary and it has started to get really cold here finally . Right now it's -22 C . I guess we are right smack dab in the middle of winter and I can honestly say after reading your post , you are getting the best of it Lol . Those cookies look yummy and beautiful on such a day. Take care

  17. Those cookies are the perfect winter treat!

    And your food photography? Marvelous.


    PS. I cannot even imagine the temperatures you are quoting. Yikes.

  18. This Minnesotan totally understands your attitude about cold and snow and long winters.

    The other day I prepared comfort foods--homemade mac and cheese and bread pudding--to stave off the winter blues.

    I'll need to check out those food photog tips. Unfortunately, I don't have white plates. Gave those to the getting-her-own-place adult working daughter. Will pale green work? I agree, lighting is everything. I've been seen photographing food in my living room.

    Your butterfly cookies look fab.

  19. Of course she didn't break a sweat! It's cccold outside!! Great post!

  20. The cookies look AMAZING!! Great job. It has been unusually cold in South Alabama (today wind chill had us at 9 degrees) so I was telling my husband about your post that you linked in this post but I could not remember specifics so I am glad you linked your post so I can now tell him specifically how crazy cold it gets where you live.

    Stay warm and keep up the great photography! P.S. I love the new blog design.

  21. Awesome post, and yes I love your Martha Moment.

  22. I wouldn't even know how to live in that kind of cold! Wow!! But the cookies look great. Betty and I go Waaaayyyyy back :))

  23. Betty is my BFF. Those are fabulous!

  24. Gorgeous gorgeous photos of those cookies, Dana!! Glad to hear that you lean on good ole' Betty too ... after those ghost cookies from Halloween (the ones with the almond extract), I was thinking you might be Martha all the way ;-)

    btw, your winter temps make Boston look tropical - that's some krazy kind of cold you got up there!!

  25. Dana, I can't even imagine how cold you are up there!! We get an inch of snow here in Texas, and the whole city is shut down. In fact, last week we got a dusting, and the news kept breaking in with "severe weather alerts". haha. I saw your snow and read that your kids still have school and that would just be unheard of down here! :)

    LOVE your cookie photos. Beautiful. I have a secret too, I used that sugar cookie mix like crazy over the holidays. We love it. I'm all about a little short cut here and there.

    Stay warm!

  26. ok, that is cold. . .today it was almost 30 degrees F here and it felt like Spring. . .balmy even!

    I was gonna check out that article of PW's. . .but even if I did I couldn't make cookies look as good as you did! Great job!

  27. I am a fan of Betty as well! Very wonderful food photography. I love that last one with the platter of cookies.

  28. I am gonna try your tips! thx

    and again...I could NOT live there, bless you!!

  29. I like that transition from the wreath to the cookies, and great photos too! After receiving 2 feet of fresh snowfall here, I can use a little reminder of a butterfly summer, thanks for sharing :)

  30. 40 comments??

    Where the heck is Pdub?

    And, another thing, why do you fret on the state of your home when you have THIS type of beauty going on?

    I will never understand you, girl... xo

  31. YUM! Great photos. Hey, I am going to take a course in April to help me unearth the mystery of my camera!

  32. You know I have a guest room, right?
    You know it was 70 degrees f today, right?
    Sorry. Not rubbing it in. Just offering.

  33. Cute cookies! It snow in May?! Oh my gosh.

  34. Here in Tennessee it has been below freezing for 2 days and we have 7 inches of snow on the ground and no school for 5 days! I love your cookies and using a mix is fine when they end up looking as good as yours do! Thanks for sharing your photos and story.

  35. Now I am dreaming of warm spring days and warm butterfly cookies. What a shame it's damp and grey outside. Still, the temperature has turned mild; a balmy 7degC,

  36. Butterfly cookies - perfect for a day like today.
    Great photos - you're on your way!

  37. Those are Really Pretty! I always use cookie cheaters too, it's one instance where the end truly justifies the means!I have to admit I'd be happy to trade places with you for a day. I am seriously snow deprived!

  38. Dana. You are an absolutely enchanting writer. I always smile when I visit here...good tips to know just in case I ever want to photograph food.

    I'm glad you and Betty are so close. It looks like your children really enjoy your relationship as well!

    Thanks for the smile and the totally nifty stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "N".


  39. Oh--that is so cold! I don't know if I could tolerate it! When it hurts just to step outside....
    But those scrumptious cookies really heat things up, I see. (great cookie eating photos!)
    Bake on!

  40. Oh yum! A feast for the eyes!


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