Can we talk about photos and feelings?

Can I be real with you guys? I mean real, real…

I HATE taking pictures. Here’s why: Taking a good shot is something that DOES NOT come naturally to me.

You see, for a long, long time my mind didn’t function like that of a photographer. It still doesn’t. I don’t know how to stop, breathe, and harness beauty into an incredibly breathtaking photo. I don’t know how to compose or style. I know squat about lighting. Please dont ask me where my light is coming from. I will just get it wrong and hyperventilate.

I took to photography in the way a single person takes to speed dating. It starts out a good idea, but then you realize 2 minutes isn’t enough to make a connection – Yet you endure this torture 8 or 9 times, hoping, just hoping that…

“ding”

Move on.

Next!

In time my photos improved, but I didn’t have much of a choice. Food bloggers were running circles around me with their beautifully composed photos, textured plates, millions of plates, distressed woods, and sheets of burlap.

It seemed everyone had an endless supply of plates, pots, bowls, napkins.

This messed with my self esteem, and I’m a decently confident chick.

My self esteem took a further blow when upon some improvement I began posting my photos on food porn sites.

Every rejection chipped away at my soul, crushing me like a piece of discarded notebook paper ripped from a Trapper Keeper. Photos were taken with the mindset: Will this photo be accepted? How’s my lighting? My composition? Is my photo too sharp? Not sharp enough?

The flavor of my mood depended solely on their acceptance, and I didn’t even know who they were! I became critical of my abilities, insecure.

Why?

Why was their acceptance so important to me? Why was their validation much more important than what I felt in my heart was good? Why was their opinion better than mine? Why was I allowing myself to be judged in that manner?

It got to the point where I wouldn’t post something I cooked or baked no matter how delicious because the photos weren’t food porn worthy. I stopped enjoying food, stopped enjoying the discovery of a new recipe, new pairing of flavors.

Why?

Why was I trying to be someone else’s idea of perfection?

No – F*** that…

I woke up one day and gave myself an intervention. Like a junky who hit absolute rock bottom I stopped…Cold man turkey.

I came to the realization: This is my space. No one tells me how to run shit. Ask my husband, he knows.

This is who I am. Sometimes my photos are beautiful. Other times they’re crappy, erratic, a bit ADHD.

This.Is.Me.

This is my food.

I held onto this recipe because the photos were not beautiful, or sharp, the colors are off. I held onto it for almost 2 months.

No more…

These shrimp, these spicy Diablo shrimp are so simple, so flavorful and spicy you will be tempted to give your mama a dirty look for not thinking of it first; for not adding this to the dinner rotation. Diablo shrimp is one of those quick weeknight dinner dishes that should become a staple in your home for its simplicity and bangin’ flavor profile. Even if you’re not a Chile enthusiast, you will love this. These chiles stay mild, so long as they’re seeded.

Who cares if the photos aren’t great? I don’t…

And how can I not post something I dug into the second it was off the stove, before I took my first photo?

Do you see that picture down there?

The skillet in the background has one whole shrimp and the remaining are leftover shrimp tails. I ate 20 shrimp and half the chiles in a span of 5 minutes.

That’s real…

But that’s what you get when you come ’round these parts…

Spicy Diablo Shrimp Recipe -- www.mind-over-batter.com
: Diablo Shrimp

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic, preferably using a microplane
  • 3 pasilla chiles, seeded, cut into strips
  • 3 ancho chiles, seeded, cut into strips
  • 20 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, keeping tail shell intact
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  1. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic followed by the chiles, and raise the heat to high. When the pan is sufficiently hot, add the shrimp, season them with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and shaking the pan to ensure even cooking, for 3 to 4 minutes. At this point the shrimp will be pink but slightly translucent.
  3. Remove from pan the heat. Transfer the shrimp to a plate or shallow bowl using a slotted spoon and cover, leaving as much pan sauce as possible in the skillet.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and return the skillet to the heat. Stir in the wine, and simmer for about 30 to 45 seconds, then return shrimp to the skillet. Raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. As soon as the liquid boils, remove the skillet from the heat.
  5. Divide the shrimp and pan juices evenly among 4 dishes. Serve hot.

Number of servings (yield): 4

 

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