Saturday, November 28, 2015

FrannyCooks Special : Food Styling with Lock & Lock

Back when I was starting this blog, I honestly had no idea about good food photography much less food styling. In fact, if you scroll down to my first few blog posts, my photos were pretty grainy and tiny as I used my then trendy Nokia phone to take those *ahem* amazing photos. A few years after that, Paul got into photography and the quality has improved so much. Later on, he learned the basics of proper lighting, setting the right angle and food styling. All those, we do in order to give you the most mouth-watering photo possible with the least amount of editing as that's one skill neither of us are good at. We like to keep things natural anyway—#nofilter as the youngsters would say.

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Social Media and this blog have changed our lives in such a creative way. Cooking at home is not just merely frying something in a pan, transferring it to a plate and ta-da, it's time to dig in. Nowadays, it involves taking a photo of the ingredients or if you dare, creating a Snapchat video (add me: Frannywanny) while you talk about it. This is followed by the step-by-step process of cooking, then finally, the real deal comes down to how you will style your food. Food styling is no easy task. Having worked in the magazine industry, I totally have the highest respect for my food stylist friends who take their craft so seriously. They have this magical eye for beauty that allows them to turn a simple chicken dish into one that you want to cook and eat, right. this. minute. Proper food styling involves investing in the right utensils and cooking wares too.



I recently received this pretty, bright green, super light pan from Lock & Lock. I was actually surprised that they sell pans now as Paul and I are huge fans of their plastic containers. If only you know how many of those easy-to-snap-on-and-off containers we have hoarded within the span of our many years of marriage. Anyway, going back to the pan, I love that it has a Teflon coating, making it a non-stick pan, and the best part is, it's scratch-resistant too! That's just perfect, as my biggest heartbreak is seeing my precious cooking pans with scratches.

So excited to try our new pan, I decided to prepare a simple Sausage and Bacon Carbonara one Saturday evening. While I used a separate pot to cook the pasta noodles, the main action happened right in the Lock & Lock pan where I prepared the sauce and later on mixed this with the noodles. For some reason, I find the pan to be really light that no amount of creamy sauce and pasta has made it difficult to lift up. The handle is rubber-coated too, giving me a good grip on the pan.

I'm really a minimalist by heart so my number one food styling tip is to keep things clean and simple. I really love letting the food stand out against a plain colored background. Be it a white plate, a wooden bowl or a black cookware, I like how the colors can take center stage without any design or any other color fighting for the same attention. Care for some pasta? :)

Sausage & Bacon Carbonara


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What you will need:
Olive oil
Pasta noodles -- Go for the flat/thicker noodles as it goes well with creamy sauce
Pan-fried or grilled sausage (I got Italian Sausages for this)
Chopped garlic
Chopped bacon bits
1 box/can All-purpose cream
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
To taste: salt, pepper, basil leaves and truffle oil

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1. Cook the pasta noodles following the instructions on the package.
Quantity is based on the number of people you're preparing this dish for. I normally just get a handful for me and Paul or half of the package if I want to have extra for the next meal. 

2. Once the pasta noodles is half-cooked, cook the bacon in your Lock & Lock pan. I just brush some oil but expect that there will be more oil that will come out from the bacon. Just stir-fry it till it turns dark pink. Transfer this to a plate and set aside.

3. Reduce the oil in the pan if it's too much. Saute your garlic and be careful not to brown it. Add in the sliced sausages and mushroom. Cooked for a minute or two. Add in the cooked bacon into the pan.

4. Lower the heat and add in the cream. Normally some recipes would call for turning the fire off but I like cooking it for a little while. Add in your seasonings (salt, pepper and basil leaves) here as well.

5. Turn off the fire and add in your cooked pasta noodles. You'll notice that the noodles will quickly absorb the sauce making it very thick. Slowly add in small quantities of the pasta water to balance it out. Keep on mixing.

6. Add in the cheese and turn the fire on again. Let it bubble and melt before turning the fire off.

7. Serve with a drizzle of truffle oil prior to serving. Enjoy!

We're really #LockedinLove with the new Lock & Lock pan! I can't wait to create more yummy dishes with it. Check out the new Lock&Lock Hard&Light Color Pan in any of the outlets listed below as well as in most leading department stores nationwide. Don't forget to like the official Lock & Lock Facebook page too!

Eastwood Mall: 3F Eastwood Mall, Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Fisher Mall: 3F Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Quezon Avenue: Megastate Building, Araneta Avenue cor Agno street, Quezon City
Shangri-la Plaza Mall: 6F EDSA Shangri-la Plaza corner Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
Glorietta 4: 3F Glorietta 4, Office Drive, Makati City
BF Homes: 114 Aguirre street, Paranaque City
Fairview Terraces: G/L Fairview Terraces Mall, Paranaque City
Alabang: Upper GF Alabang Town Center, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa

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