Pretty Pictures.

There are a fair number of people out there that turn their noses up at food blogging. I know! Crazy right? They criticize food photography and food staging for being contrived.

But it is…

I’m not going to show you pictures of what I actually did with this rack of cookies or this plate of cake. That would be weird. Who really wants to see pictures of me stuffing my face messily, repeatedly and, dare I say, uncontrollably?

When you make something yummy your first thought isn’t to place it artistically yet casually next to some perfect strawberries or pair it with a jug of milk that you’d never really drink from. And, admit it, some things we make aren’t even that pretty.

This is why I spend hours in the kitchen just to bake a simple batch of cookies. 90% of this time is spent making sure my cookies don’t look like junk and the other 10% is spent actually baking them.

Food photography can be a tricky business. There are tripods, expensive lenses, reflector panels, all the digital editing and cropping and let’s not forget how hard it is to find photo-worthy dishes and utensils.

So yeah, it’s contrived. But it’s pretty. I’m all about making things pretty. Food bloggers go through a lot of trouble to bring you pictures worthy of mouth watering and stomach grumbling.

These pancakes are pretty. I didn’t even need to do much to them. For reals. I just slapped them on a pretty plate, dusted them with powdered sugar, dropped a handful of raspberries on them and slathered them in syrup. Some things are just naturally beautiful.

And after turning off my camera I inhaled them, natural beauty and all. Can you blame me?

Raspberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Makes about 1 dozen medium pancakes.

Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Lemon.

6 eggs, separated
Pinch of cream of tartar
2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Powdered sugar for dusting
Raspberries for topping
Maple syrup for topping

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Heat a large frying pan on medium heat.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites until they’re foamy then add the cream of tartar and beat further until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl stir together the egg yolks, cottage cheese, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk in 1/3 of the egg whites the, in two batches, gently fold in the remaining egg whites with a spatula.

Coat the preheated frying pan with cooking spray then, using a ladle, spoon about a 1/2 cup of batter for each pancake onto the pan. Flip it when bubbles start to form on top and cook them until they’re golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve them with powdered sugar, raspberries and maple syrup. Enjoy!

22 thoughts on “Pretty Pictures.

  1. Kim

    For me, food photography isn’t too tricky. I set it on the table, get my staging the way I want it, make sure I have the settings I want, then snap! Sometimes I have to play with it (the settings, not the food) but I usually get what I want. I’m not the greatest food blogger/food photographer but I do fairly well with what I have…at least I think so. LOL

  2. Heather I.

    Hahaha, great post and so true! I’ve always wanted to try cottage cheese in pancakes to see if I like it, since I can’t stand it plain. This recipe looks like a perfect one!

    1. Lindsey

      I can eat cottage cheese by the spoonfuls! It’s surprisingly very subtle in these pancakes and it’s nice to get little nuggets of cheese in a bite. Hope you like it!

  3. Susi

    I love cottage cheese but have not thought of adding it to pancake batter. What a great idea, the pancakes look delicious! Thanks for sharing )

  4. Baking Barrister

    Love cottage cheese & things made with cottage cheese. And people who look down on us can go pfffft themselves. If they’d rather see me chomping down on a cookie and the resulting sludge in my mouth, then I’d be happy to send them the gross picture.

  5. Sara@CaffeIna

    For me it is tricky as ….I don’t have a table! I find myself taking pic of my food on the bed with three kitties going around and wanting to eat it…but I do have a lot of fun with it! Now, moving on to serious things: can I have one of those pancakes?

  6. Liren

    Hear hear! There’s that fine line of making your day’s work in the kitchen appealing via the camera and actually making it look too staged. I try to keep mine simple and realistic, and besides, if I put too much fuss into it, I think my family (and myself) may starve from waiting! That said, you photographed those pancakes beautifully

  7. Butter

    Great post and pretty too. I am new to your blog and look foward to more.

    Actually I think it would be hysterical to ” see pictures of you stuffing your face messily, repeatedly and uncontrollably!!!”

  8. Eileen

    I compare food blogging to showing a classic car at a car show. It attracts those who have that particular interest, and the person showing it wants it to look the best it possibly can. I know exactly what you mean about getting through the picture taking and getting ready to post. It’s work sometimes – lol….

  9. Evan @swEEts

    I love this post! After baking something and setting up for pictures my boyfriend waits in the living room asking “can I eat it yet?” over and over until I’m done. Being new to the photography world I try to be as natural as possible abou things, but I can’t help but oo and aah over really good food photography!

  10. kristin

    Maybe you’ve stumbled on a new food photography/blogging theme! Pictures of food getting stuffed in your face! Forget fancy photos of food *about to be eaten* or step by step photos of how to chop an onion. (rolls eyes) How lame and passe. Stuff your face and be the leader, Lindsey. You’ll get a book deal out of it for sure.

  11. Lisa~Korean American Mommy

    I love presentation and your pancakes are for sure pretty! Who doesn’t want visually stimulating photos. So i;m right there with you lady!


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