Friday, February 21, 2014

Trompe l'oeil...

Since changing my eating habits I have been very aware of how food is served and the relation of it's visual beauty and it's effect on pleasure and taste. Plating and presentation are what good chefs and cooks do best.
Garnishes are so pretty and I rarely take the time to add them to a plate.
I think that garnishes are like a gorgeous colourful Hermes silk scarf tied at the neck.
I doubt that anyone would disagree that they impart colour to perk up a basic outfit.

Spa food always looks so appetizing, and there's a reason. Spa food is incredibly lean and low on calories so to trick the eye and brain, the chef must make it look like a work of art, a worthy gift to a high paying customer.
You feel fuller after savouring a beautifully presented plate of food. Besides the added garnishes are edible, and even though they may be sliced thinly, they are artfully fanned out to make you think that you are getting more...
Trompe l'oeil !

While I've never spent more than a few hours each time I visit a spa, I have read numerous articles while dreaming what it might be like to spend a restorative week as a guest in a luxury spa somewhere exotic.

So I am trying to serve beautifully arranged dishes as I think they make a difference in how we feel about food.
If it is haphazardly cobbled together it's rather boring and why would you take time to savour the flavour if it is a mess?

Bland and basic,
a humble breakfast of banana slices on slices of Silver Hill's Little Big Bread.
Weight Watchers Friendly!

Imagine this with a few fresh red strawberries slices or a green kiwi.
Wouldn't that be lovely?

When making salads which I do with regularity, I now look for the brightest vegetables.
Mixing textures and shapes makes for a more interesting effect.
Food can be beautiful to look at as well as fueling and nourishing the body.

We eat a lot of salads and vegetables in The Humble Bungalow.

Roasted veggies with whole garlic cloves and onion quarters.
This makes a delicious side dish if you are serving meat or poultry for dinner.

Imagine this as a main course sprinkled with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar.
Yum Yum.

A pretty fruit salad, 
great as dessert or served with plain yogurt for breakfast.

Can you "taste the flavours" just looking at this colourful fruit salad?
It looks so appetizing all mixed together...colour, shapes, and texture.

 Humble Homemade buns...
bland to look at but imagine them with a wee drizzle of butter served with a robust soup or stew.

Friend and local caterer Jule makes food look so appetizing.
Perhaps you'll consider inviting her into your home to add some of her magic to your next event.

Primulas are blooming!
Look how they cheer us just by being here on a grayish day in the Pacific Northwest.

I bid you adieu as it's time for a tea break...
and some casual reading.

Make the most of your weekend.

Throw on a bright scarf and seize the day.
Carpe Diem

"You don't get to choose how you're going to die.  
Or when.  
You can only decide how you're going to live.  

~ Joan Baez ~


  1. This all looks so utterly delicious, I don't give a hoot about how my food looks, I eat straight from tubs and cardboard boxes, I'm very tomboyish at heart.

  2. Yum! Yum! Yum! to all of it. Would you share your roasted vegetable recipe? It looks delicious!
    Thank you, Lynn

    1. Scroll down on the blog to the tags and click recipes. The recipe appears on the green post from October 2013. It is a versatile veggie dish as you can use almost any veggies that you have on hand

  3. In Japan, they make everything look good. Mind you as you know they even have a proper formal ceremony for tea. While I don't follow my imaginary rules of making sure it looks nice etc I do waiver between eating out of tubs but also getting out my good porcelain and making things look pretty. I think the care taken makes food taste better subliminally!

  4. While I don't ALWAYS work on food presentation, I do think it is very important and have been taking more care in that regard. On the other hand, I would never eat out of a tub or cardboard box, or on a paper plate-no matter what I am eating. I'm a firm believer in a cloth or place mat and proper dishes and table settings.

  5. I learned while catering that the best way to present food is to a) use white serving ware, and b) use tons of color. Flower blossoms, dark green parsley, cut citrus wedges, or whatever you have that is appropriate for the dish. And when you do this for yourself with no company around, your simple meal gains instant elevation.

    Your fruit salad looks mouthwatering!

  6. I had to smile when I saw the photo of your breakfast. Each morning I scoop a wee bit of peanut butter on a slice of rye toast and add sliced banana. It keeps me going through the morning at school. I will think on how to dress it up a bit. I hope you have lots of wonderful sunshine this weekend. Bonnie

  7. I do love pretty food, but making a colorful fruit or vegetable salad is about as fancy as I get these days.

  8. How food looks can make an enormous taste through your eyes as well as your mouth. Your salads look so appealing.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  9. The truth is yes, if food is beautifully cut up and presented you do eat less of it don't you. It's considered eating. Gosh looking at that banana on toast I'm going to make some toot sweet, cut prettily this time rather than smooshed in as usual

  10. I mean thoughtful eating...sounds like I'm giving a lecture above how I use considered! sorry!

  11. You're absolutely right. The presentation makes such a big difference!! In food and ourselves:). Your veggies look so yummy. Enjoy your Saturday, off to pick up daughter at airport. Always a happy occasion. xoJennifer

  12. I agree, presentation is key. I had to laugh at the honesty of the comment about eating straight out of a carton!! I plead guilty. But it's true, I eat less and feel better when things are attractively presented. And thank you for visiting me, and your nice comment.