A new internet craze is sweeping the web and it sees women holding their breasts in the shape of heart and posting pictures of it online. The bizarre trend – named the “heart shaped boob challenge” – began earlier this week in China.

And within days it has exploded on the country’s most popular social network Weibo, with thousands of women wanting to take part in the challenge.

As part of a work project, I’ve had to comb through a couple of thousand of food pictures associated with user-generated recipes. Dear food bloggers, could you do me a big favour? Yuge favour?

LEARN TO FUCKING TAKE A PICTURE THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOUR FOOD LOOK LIKE 70’S ERA DOG SHIT!

Seriously! I’ve seen medical textbook pictures that look more appealing! The most obvious crimes I’ve seen are:

– Bad lighting. Really, really, really bad lighting.
– Blurry, out of focus pictures. In this day and age?
– Automated date/timestamp overlaid on the pictures. That might be useful for your family holiday pictures, not not for your food blog.
– Content completely unrelated to context. See above picture.
– Ugly plates. Unless the picture was indeed taken in the 70s, nobody should have orange, brown and yellow plates.
– Trying to go completely artsy-fartsy. Just… stop.
– Pictures of brown sludge. Or white sludge. Or beige sludge.

Some – many! – of the pictures I’ve seen make the google image search of “bad food pictures” look like they were taken by professional photographers.

Please. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time cooking that food. You seem to have a certain amount of pride in it, otherwise you wouldn’t be blogging about it. Why are you shooting yourself in the foot and making it look as unappetizing as humanly possible?

Picadillo
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g ground beef (20% fat)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup chicken stock

Queso And Assembly
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large poblano chile, chopped
3 jalapeños, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
Kosher salt
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1.5 cups (or more) milk
200g Monterey Jack cheese, grated (or Muenster, Havarti or Gouda)
200g cheddar cheese, grated

Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, sour cream, chopped chives, chopped coriander, and corn chips (for serving)

Preparation

Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned on all sides but not completely cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.
Reduce heat to medium and cook onion and bell pepper, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the skillet, until liquid is evaporated, 8–10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, let sit until ready to use.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, chile, and jalapeños, stirring, until tender but not browned, 8–10 minutes. Add tomatoes, season with salt, and continue to cook until juices have evaporated, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until incorporated, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and continue to cook until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, gradually add both cheeses, and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is completely melted and queso is smooth. If it seems too thick, stir in a little more milk.

Spread warm picadillo in a 2-qt. baking dish. Pour hot queso over meat. Top with a generous scoop each of pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. Sprinkle with chives and cilantro. Serve hot dip with chips.

I really shouldn’t idolize Wally as much as I do. It’s probably not healthy.

Pavel or Polar Bear?

Then the UK is seriously fucked.

It’s the cornerstone of binary math!

Our lunchtime conversations tend to be lively, and I like to throw a spanner in the works once in a while. Today was no exception, as we were talking about opera and I mentioned that I wanted Ben to learn about it the same way I did, from a cross dressing rabbit. This ended with us watching Youtube videos around the table :)

Blue Man Group, Lausanne, January 11

Kodo – One Earth Evolution, Geneva, March 14

We’ll need to get the child some ear defenders, but I think he’ll get a kick out of both shows.

And, for the grown-ups only, an evening of burlesque in Geneva this coming November. 

Katy and I went for brunch at the Café de Grancy in Lausanne this morning. It really reminded us of Eggspectation, but with a nicer vibe. We had croissant, fresh bread and brioche that should come with a warning label it was so moreish. I had an English-y breakfast and Katy had smoked salmon, Asian-y salad and pesto toast. The service was a bit slow but the food was excellent. We’ll definitely go again. 

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