Comparing My Leftovers to Professional Photos

I love looking at photos of food on the web and trying to recreate them at home. While they often taste good, they never look quite like the professional photos. Here’s a few examples.

Eggplant Rollatini. My husband recently worked hard at a local art show (you can see him in this TV spot) and I wanted to reward him with some good meals when he got home. I made this eggplant rollatini recipe and it was really good.  However, a home cook’s reality is nowhere nearly as beautiful.  I did not leave the skin on since I read somewhere that it could be bitter and tough. I definitely could have added more sauce because the whole thing was a little dry. Mine has way more breading than this photo, but it was good. We’ll be eating this again soon.

This is from Epicurious
This is my leftover version.

Teriyaki baked chicken. This came out really good. This time I left the skin on, but I think next time I’ll take the skin off because it came out a little rubbery. The trick to this chicken is to baste it with the sauce every 10 minutes. Sugar burns fast, and this sauce has a lot of it. Basting it every ten minutes prevented it from becoming a blackened mess. Another tip: I sprayed the pan, then put aluminum foil down, sprayed the aluminum foil and then put the chicken down. This goes a very long way toward cleaning up fast and easy. That sugar is a you-know-what to get off if it burns into the pan.

This is the Allrecipes photo.
This is my leftover version.

I served the chicken with watermelon, cucumber and feta salad, potato salad and a cold asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette.

Beef and broccoli. This is a favorite in my house, and easy to make after work. Usually, I use this recipe from Pioneer Woman. I tried this Mongolian beef and broccoli recipe from I used one piece of filet mignon that we had instead of flank steak. My husband hates flank steak and we buy the filet mignon from Costco. It never fails. The taste was good but the sauce was thin. I think I’ll go back to the Pioneer Woman version next time.

Mongolian beef from

Do your leftovers look like the photos? Let me know in the comments below.

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