Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Better Butter - An Instagram Photo Explained.

Note:  If you are reading this on a mobile device, there may be large gaps after the text. Please keep scrolling down to view the entire post. Sorry for the inconvenience; hopefully I will figure out how to correct this issue soon!

Instagram is one of my favorite social media channels because it is uncomplicated, visual, and easy to scroll through. I post a photo on Instagram nearly every day.


Instagram

























If you aren't following me but would like to, you can just click here to go to my Instagram profile. Leave your own Instagram link in the comments below, and I'll follow you.

If you already follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this picture ...

grated butter

... The caption that I added on Instagram was:
"You may or may not see more about this on my blog sometime, depending on how it turns out!"  
Well - “it” did turn out ... and today I am excited to tell you today about this easy baking shortcut. This technique worked perfectly when I made up a batch of my favorite sugar cookies last week.


A Time Saving and Easy Shortcut

Like most people, I keep my butter in the fridge. Many baking recipes call for “butter, softened to room temperature.”  This can be frustrating. When I decide to bake something, it is rare that I have laid the butter out ahead of time!  Sometimes I can get away with softening it in the microwave, but unless I program just the right number of seconds (i.e. to change the butter to a soft but still solid state!) the quality of my baking may suffer.

I am not even sure when or where, but I once read that instead of waiting for butter to reach room temperature, it can be grated. I finally tried this and guess what? It works! 

For my sugar cookies, it only took me a few minutes to grate a cup and a half of butter.  
(Actually - that's not true.  The act of grating the butter only took a few minutes, but the whole process took much longer. I was playing around with the manual settings on my camera to take the photo of the grated butter - by the time I got the perfect shot, the last stick of butter was beginning to soften!)
camera settings



Anyway - no more risking the texture of my baking.  Instead of microwaving, I will be grating my "straight from the fridge" butter sticks instead!


butter, flowers, photography



















































I mentioned my favorite sugar cookies. I will publish the recipe for the cookies and the frosting on Friday. These would be a fun baking project for this weekend. 

Just be sure to set the butter out - or get your grater ready!


I am experimenting with a different photo-layout technique. 
What are your thoughts about the size of the photos in this post?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

15 comments :

  1. Well this is just the coolest! I've never, ever heard of this and I'm constantly getting stuck with overly melted butter. Never remember to leave it out to warm to room temp and so I over nuke it. Or, I leave it out in the Summer and come back to pooling mush. Just delightful. However, I'm going to shred it from now on. Thank you Susan.
    And yes, I like your photos this size. Especially if you're showing some baking steps. Btw - your orchid is gorgeous!

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    1. I was pretty pleased when I head about this tip as well! Thanks for the feedback on the photos . I love the orchid too - hope I can keep it alive!

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  2. That is great advise - I actually keep the butter in the freezer, yes I have tried to microwaved it soft and it never worked out.

    Can't wait to read about the sugar cookies - yum! :)

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    1. Butter probably would grate really easily if it was frozen! Just finished the cookie post - and it will be published on Friday :)

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  3. What a clever idea. I don't often bake - and do put the butter out in time but it is always useful to have a Plan B. Thank you.
    And my aged eyes like bigger photos. Another thank you.

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    1. Thanks for the photo feedback. How smart you are to plan ahead!

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  4. Very clever. After all of these years of making sugar cookies (I love to bake), think of all the time I could have saved waiting for my butter to soften just right! Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to reading your recipe! :)

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    1. I was really pleased how easy it was to have the (cold) butter ready to work with. You will have to let me know how this recipe compares to yours!

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  5. I've never heard of this, and it will come in very handy since we keep our butter in the freezer. Thanks for sharing! I love the new photo size.

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    1. I couldn't believe I had never heard of it either Lana - such a simple solution to a common problem! Glad you like the size of the photos. I am still tweaking things, but I think I like it too.

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  6. What a great idea! Now if I could just learn to bake! I did it! I finally signed up for Instagram now I just have to figure out ANOTHER social media platform.

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    1. I think you will find Instagram pretty easy Rena - unless there is more to it than what I know about. It is the only social media platform I am really comfortable with!!

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  7. Thanks, Susan. I will use this trick frequently. I never have softened butter unless I really plan ahead. You are right about the microwave. It just doesn't work that well. I look forward to your sugar cookie recipe. My grandkids love them.

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    1. I think most of our lives are so full, that when we decide to bake, we want to do so right away! Hope you enjoy the sugar cookie recipe!

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    2. FYI - the recipe is on the blog now. My daily posts are usually published earlier - but I didn't get this one scheduled correctly last night :)

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!