Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creamy Maple Cinnamon Dip

I made this dip yesterday, in hopes to get the pictures taken, edited and get the recipe up last night to go live on the blog this morning like I try to do with most of my posts. Instead, I made the dip, attempted to take pictures, couldn't get any that I liked, threw a temper tantrum (luckily this didn't include throwing my camera), and decided to walk away from my photo shoot and anything to do with these photos for the rest of the day. That also meant that the recipe wouldn't be going up first thing in the morning like I would have hoped.

I have come to realize that baking is a lot of fun for me, cooking is fun most of the times, and writing for the blog is a lot of fun. I have also come to realize, however, that taking pictures of the food I make is not the fun part for me. It's a very frustrating part of food blogging for me, because I am not as good as I would like to be at it. But see what I am up against. I mean, it's hard to compete with any of these girls:
... to name a few.

Photography is a hard game to play, and unfortunately there is no specific equation on how to take food photos well. There are so many ways that it can be done, and I have yet to find what works for me. I do however, have the desire to learn. I know that photography is the obstacle I have to overcome in order to become the best food blogger I can, and I plan to work hard at it so I can.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Now I am the first to admit that these photos are not the greatest, but I decided to buck up and use the photos I took yesterday to examine them and try to make them better in my editing software. I am glad I stepped away from it yesterday and came back today with a fresh eye. I am not as happy with the photos that I could be, but I'm much happier than I would have been yesterday.

While the photos might not be extraordinary, the dip is awesome. I thought it would be a good time to post it with the big ole game coming up this weekend, and have a "slightly" healthier alternative than cheese dips. And, its like eating dessert after all, and who doesn't want that?

I used reduced-fat cream cheese in this, but if you aren't looking for the healthy version, feel free to use full-fat. Serve this dip with sliced apples, pears, or any other fruit you see fit.

Creamy Maple Cinnamon Dip | Printable Recipe
makes about 1 cup dip

  • 1 (8oz/225g) block reduced-fat or full-fat cream cheese, to preference
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp sugar (less or more to preference)
  • Apple slices, or other fruit, to serve
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender or small bowl with a electric whisk and mix until fully combined
  2. Place in serving bowl with plastic wrap over it, and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Can be made a few days in advance
Slightly adapted from BHG

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  1. Are you kidding me? I think these photos are great. Ok that being said, you know I really don't have the eye for that stuff, but seriously? Don't be so hard on yourself!

    1. Thanks mom :) You are the best support ever! <3

  2. I think your photo is perfect and I am totally making this dip on Sunday!

    1. Thank you Cathy! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did :)

  3. What are you talking about!? Your photos are gorgeous, I love them! But I do know the feeling of throwing photo-related tantrums... ;) The dip does look amazing, I'm always on the look-out for healthy dip alternatives. Gonna have to try it some time.

    1. Thank you Yvonne! That is really sweet of you to say. Haha, temper tantrums are never good when they involve cameras... ;)

  4. This sounds so yummy! But kind of like I'd eat the whole thing is one sitting. Like on a spoon. And then I'd just resort to sipping it from the bowl.

    At least half of the recipes I want to post, I don't. Because I don't like the pictures. I remake recipes a few times, take pictures each time (spending at least an hour each time), dislike them, never post. So I understand your frustration. I guess we just have to practice. But there's no need to be so hard on yourself about these pictures! If you would have put a piece of black slate where that piece of white cardboard is, they would have been perfect! :) I've given up with white backgrounds. Black or brown are great.

    1. Haha, yep I know the feeling with the dip ;) Agh, Im sorry you have the same issues, but its good to know that Im not alone in this. Yes we definitely do need to practice more. I am determined now :) You know, I have been thinking that a lot lately! I dont have any dark boards yet, but I just bought a piece of wood to stain, so as soon as it stops raining here Im going to get to staining it so I can have some darker ones. Thanks for the great tips Erin :)

  5. Oh, Carla! I feel your pain on the frustration with food photography.

    I was at a blog conference once and someone asked a question to a very famous (and very talented) food blogger "How can i drive more traffic in ways besides great photos?" They laughed at her. I was so embarrassed for her. Yes, photos are important, but it's almost as if food photography has elevated to a snobby level that I'm not comfortable with. The only way to get better is to keep doing it over & over, but when you're frustrated with something, it's hard to keep going.

    Anyway, I don't have any answers because I suck at photography too. I just wanted to say I feel your pain. And I've had my share of temper tantrums.

    1. Thank you Christina. This comment really meant a lot to me. I think your photography is truly beautiful, but it is really nice to know, like I said with Erin, that there are others out there that feel the same pain I do. Thank you so much for the support. I really appreciate it. And I will definitely keep going. I am very determined to make myself better, but its so true that in the moment, all I want to do is walk away forever.

      That is also very sad about the person at the conference. I dont like that at all. I hope the stigma about food photography can turn around. I realize that it is nice to have appealing looking photos, but food blogging is such a hard job with so much work that goes into it, and its unfair if there is one small portion that you arent perfect at, and you get ridiculed for it. Just sad.

      Anyway, thank you Christina. Your sweet comment made my morning :) I really appreciate it

    2. I am going to be totally honest here. I am so honored that I made your list Carla! Really! But the truth is, my photos aren't better then yours! Christina's reply made me think that we are ALL in the same boat! I look longingly at her photos and wish I could take photos like she does! Hers are gorgeous, yet she had the same response as you! :) WE should all stop being hard on our selves and do it because we truly love it! Carla - you convinced me of that the other night when you told me I can't re-do my old posts! Its where I was and I can look back and see how much I have improved! I just want to enjoy where I am in my photography and learn with each shoot! Having said that, I love your photos Carla! I have taken a few tips form your styling even! So don't despair! I know that feeling of wanting to trash your whole setup because its just not working :)

  6. Ooooooooh! Cinnamon and maple anything make my life!

  7. and I just LOVE maple syrup. Its super $$$ here - but its worth it! *SWOON*

  8. Oh girl! I feel your pain. Photography is a constant struggle for me as well. But I have to tell you... nothing steals my joy faster than when I compare. I can take a picture and be pretty please with the result.. happen to see someone else's pictures and immediately assume mine are rotten. I like that your pictures are a reflection of YOU, your style, YOUR grace! Keep on nurturing YOUR gift... no one else can do what You can do. :)


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