January 28th, 2007

Recipe photos

sample of how the recipe is described in thumbnail format

(This week, I have revisited my old post about the Tarte Tatin & photographed each process. Please click this text to have a look!)


I own many many cookbooks. English, French & Japanese. I have formulated a very strong idea of what a cookbook should be like. I know what works, what doesn’t.


One of the ‘major’ features that every cookbook should have is, that it HAS TO have a picture of the finished product with ‘every’ recipe. It is a total ‘must’. Otherwise how would the reader know how it is supposed to look like at the end, or even muster the will of making it in the first place?! I tell you, so many western cookbooks are stingy with photography. Soo dissapointing. There’s even books with black & white photographs – to save on the CMY of the CMYK. It makes the food look unappetizing. What’s the point? Or worst still, the relevant cake picture is not next to the recipe page! How unfunctional! For someone like me, who takes a cookbook to bed to read, & fantasize each recipe being cooked out (how sad am I), pictures must be there to do it to me (D calls it my ‘food-porno’).

Now, the Japanese cooking books – they are the gems (yes, I am biased). They’d always have the picture of the product by the recipe. It’s always a perfectly fuctional shot of the whole cake too – not arty-fartied-up with blurring & cropping in an odd way to make it look trendsy. Not only that, most Japanese cooking books have ‘the process’ pictures depicting each stage of the recipe. At a glance, you’d know what is involved. It truly is my best source of ‘food porno’…

I realized that I’d like to do such approach to my recipes in my blog too. So this week, I have revisited my old post about the Tarte Tatin & photographed each process. Have a look. I plan to revisit my other recipes in my blog & do ‘process-images’ for them too.

This week:

My son is not adapting to the new arrangement of going to nursery very well – hates it infact, and gives a right old tantrum when we try to leave the house for it. I have been at the nursery with him everyday, waiting in the parent-room, & then get pulled in to the classroom when my son is distressed. – It’s tough for the kiddo y’know – he’s always been looked after by me, or if I’m working, by his grandparents – he’s maybe been looked after once or twice by his best friend’s mummy, that’s all, which is different because he knows her & has his best friend to play with. – I mean, I’d find it super-stressful if I was unknowingly thrown in to the nursery with 50 new faces! Go go my little kiddo! I know he’d shine there once he settles in…, just takes time that’s all…


  1. Must admit, I still haven’t tried making your Tarte tartin but I must say, these pictures make a whole lot of difference. So reassuring for a beginner like myself! So when can I expect to buy your cookbook?! In the near future I hope.. Reading about I’s first days at the nursery reminds me of when I had to go..cried everyday when I had to get on the school bus.. I know ‘I’ will be just fine once he makes a few friends there:)

    Comment by Akiko - January 28, 2007 8:26 am

  2. Thanks Akichan. You’re right, I’m sure soon as he makes good friends to look forward to playing with there, he’d be okay. So many people have been telling me about how it was like for them or with their children – and one mother says her son did not adapt for two whole terms…! Oh dear, I hope that is not the case!
    And ooh, you know my mind – I’d actually l.o.v.e to do my own cookook! I’m hoping that this blog can act as the start to it all, its a good way of collecting ideas & thoughts for any future book projects… (dillusionally optimistic, I know).

    Comment by Tamami - January 28, 2007 8:42 pm

  3. I like your visual step by step explanation of making tarte tartan. Especially with something that unusual. When I saw it being prepared for the first time, it really surprised’ll me. Frying apples..?! … in butter..?! … upside down?! Is this legal?! A series of images will reassure and tell you: “It’s ok!“.
    About I, it must be difficult for him, but I’m sure very soon he will be fine about it.

    Comment by Dirk - January 28, 2007 9:21 pm

  4. ps: I wrote this on my Wii!

    Comment by Dirk - January 28, 2007 9:23 pm

  5. Oh dear Dirk… How sweet of you to write a message for me – via your brand new Wii! – I’m writing my reply via kitchen, and yes, I remember your surprise with this dessert back then. And our boy – it’s tough for all of us with him being difficult about the nursery, but you’re right, he’ll be fine n better soon!

    Comment by tamami - January 28, 2007 9:56 pm

  6. lol… from the kitchen?! I think I can hear your footsteps!

    Comment by Dirk - January 28, 2007 10:08 pm

  7. I totally agree on the photo front, when I’m flicking through my cookery books, I usually pick the recipe with a photo of the end product. I have recipe books without photo’s and I very rarely use them, they are my last resort if I fail to find a suitable recipe elsewhere. I love your stage by stage photo’s, it is true, they help let you know how much work is involved before you start, and also some techniques can be hard to explain, but one photo can say it all.
    I have yet to try any of your recipes, in fact I rarely have time to read all your tips, but I will keep popping back to see what interesting things you are writting about, and one of these days I will make time to read properly :-)

    Comment by Kate - February 5, 2007 3:47 pm

  8. Hey Kate! I’m so happy you’re in the same camp as me on the photo front! I too can not be bothered to cook from recipe books with just words… – If you ever try sny of the recipes, please let me know how it went! I’d be v. v. curious ;-)

    Comment by Tamami - February 5, 2007 9:25 pm

  9. OMG, how fantastic is your stall. I have to come and see you very soon. Love the pictures, love the comments everything is great. Good Luck for the future.

    I have always wanted to become a stall trader but am worried if nothing sells.
    I make handmade soaps, aromatherapy oils etc… I am an aromatherapist. Maybe one day I will be brave.

    Comment by Mitra - March 25, 2009 7:22 pm

  10. Hi Mitra, it really is not that hard being a stall holder! :-) Honest!

    Comment by tamami - March 25, 2009 8:50 pm


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