How to Write an Appetizing Food Blog Recipe | Christine Huston | Skillshare

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How to Write an Appetizing Food Blog Recipe

teacher avatar Christine Huston, Food Writer & Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Setting the Scene


    • 3.

      Creating a Photo Shot Sheet


    • 4.

      Writing the Food Story


    • 5.

      Creating the Recipe Breakdown


    • 6.

      Publishing Your Food Story


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts + Project Instructions


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About This Class

Ever feel so passionate about a food experience you wanted to write about it?  Or maybe you want to share your own recipes, start a food blog or become a food writer.  Join food writer and photographer Christine Huston as she outlines the steps you need to write an appetizing food story or blog post.  Whether you are new to the kitchen or an experienced chef, this class shares Christine’s step by step process in writing a story around a recipe, developing recipe ingredients and instructions, creating a feature image with visual props and setting a virtual place for your reader to experience this dish with you.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Christine Huston

Food Writer & Photographer


Hi there!  I'm Christine Huston, writer, photographer, recipe developer + founder of Burnt Macaroni.

As a former TV producer, I know what it's like to live in a fast-paced world.  I was always on the go!  I started Burnt Macaroni several years ago so I could slow down.  I wanted to teach myself how to cook and have more time for myself and my family.  I believe we should not only eat our food but experience it ... meaning take the time to savor every bite, enjoy every sip and appreciate those around us!

I invite you to experience everything about food with me and take the time to enjoy the journey!   

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Christine Huston, and I am a food and lifestyle writer and photographer. I spend most of my time writing and developing recipes for my food website called Burnt Macaroni. Not only do I love sharing wonderful, easy recipes, but I enjoy creating a scene or a setting with every dish. I believe every meal should come with an experience, and I love to share that through my writing and my photography. Before becoming a food writer, I spent many years inside a newsroom as a TV reporter and a lifestyle producer. I would write copy for many segments, including cooking segments with my favorite guest of all time, Julia Child. My two worlds collided about four years ago, when I wanted to teach myself how to cook and write about it. I started Burnt Macaroni and taught myself how to cook and take photographs. This course is called " How to write an appetizing food blog recipe." Whether you're writing a blog post, a magazine article, or an Instagram post, I will share my tips for taking your readers inside your recipe, and make them feel like they are sharing your table. We will start with creating the visual foundation for the recipe, that will include all of the ingredients we're adding to the post. Once we create an outline and a shot sheet for the photos needed to tell the story, we will sit down and we will write it. We'll also include tips for creating a recipe, and for sharing with your readers online and on social media. I'll share a few secrets to get the most out of your blog post. Are you ready to get started? Let's do it. 2. Setting the Scene: In this course, how to write an appetizing food blog recipe, we're going to start with setting the table, so to speak. This is where we are going to pull our prompts, some of our linens together. We want to make sure we have our ingredients together. We want to set the table before we do anything. That's going to include some forethought because you want to think about what you want in that final picture. Because for me, it always comes down to that final picture because that feature image is something that will sell your recipe or your story, so its very important to have that. We're going to start with getting together all of our prompts. Food storytelling is very visual, so it needs to have all of these pieces in place before we actually start. I'll have some babies breath on hand because I always liked the way that it softens the look of your photo. I always have that on hand. I always talk about having one pop of color that I think is really important in any recipe, and especially in my setup. I usually will have flowers, or maybe a colored play, or something like that that will really bring out some color. We have to think about all of that before we actually start going through our short sheet for all of our different photos that we're going to take and before we even start the recipe. Before we actually move any further, I want to talk a little bit about my particular setup because what I really like to do is use natural light. I take my light from two windows that I have here right next to my table. I also really like the dark table, the dark and moody setup. I use this dark table as my base for everything. This is really what sets the mood and the tone. If I was going to have a dinner party, this is the table I would use because I would want that cozy, warm feeling to come from this table. That's why I shoot everything here and I use natural light. Now there are other styles of photography that you can use to set that mood for your food story. Some people like the bright color that comes with an artificial light. You can put a light on your camera or you can have some sunlight that will give you that bright look and maybe shoot on a white surface that gives you a completely different foods story look then what we're going to do here today, but both styles are correct and anything you want to do, it's really your personal preference. Because I like the dark and moody setup, I can typically only shoot during the daylight hours. I have to shoot maybe between 11:00 and 4:00 to get that great light that comes through this window, whereas if you're shooting with artificial light, you can shoot anytime of the day. That is definitely a bonus. One plus to shooting with just natural light is that you don't have to have a huge setup, and so it doesn't take very long to set your table up. If you've got like this great shot that's just waiting to happen, you're not going to be fumbling to put together your lights. You're going to have that beautiful, natural light. But again, it's just a preference, and it's however you want that story, what theme, or what kind of mood you want your food story or your food recipe to tell. 3. Creating a Photo Shot Sheet : In this part of how to write an appetizing food blog post, we're going to create an outline for all the photos that we want to use to tell our story. It's a shot sheet or a storyboard of everything that you want to include into the post. I usually do anywhere between five and six photos per recipe. Most of those photos are the after photo, the photo of the feature image, or of me tasting a part of my recipe, or just the final shot of how it turned out. But there are some other photos that we want to start with. This is completely your preference on how many photos you want to use. But this is my rule of thumb when I am writing a recipe blog post. The first photo is going to be my ingredients picture. I like to show everyone all of the ingredients in their rawest form. That way you can see what is going into each of these recipes. A lot of times, if it's a recipe that doesn't need many ingredients, and you show that there's only four ingredients, it makes it a lot more appetizing and a lot more real for your reader, so they don't feel overwhelmed with how many ingredients are going into that post. The first picture is definitely going to be an ingredient shot. The next shot is going to be our step-by-step in-progress photo. In that case, we're going to show you one of the steps. Maybe that's a little bit more tricky, or maybe you just have a great picture of you mixing together everything before you hit the chocolate chip cookies. That'll make a great in-process or step-by-step photo. Or what you can do is for this particular case, we're going to have our cookies that are gonna go on a cookie sheet and into the oven. You can get a great shot of your lumps of cookies before they go in. That way, you have another photo when they come out to compare it to. A lot of food bloggers like to do that. They'll do it before and after. You'll have the plate of cookies going into the oven and then exactly the same plate when it comes out. That is a step-by-step or a process shot. The next one is going to be that finished product. The finished product that comes right out of the oven or it comes right off the stove top, that finished product, right as it's finished, to show everyone what it looks like when it's done. I like to use that photo a lot, because it'll show everyone what it looks like once it's finished. Our fourth picture is definitely going to be the big setup picture. For me that is our feature image, the feature image that you want to put at the very top of your post and that is also going to sit on your website or as your magazine article or even your Instagram picture. That is going to be the picture where we set everything up from our scene. We're going to create that scene in that fourth picture that is going to give us a lovely photo for our feature image. The fifth photo is going to be maybe a tight shot of what that scene looks like. If when we put together our table display of our cookies, I want to get a tight shot of the cookie in its element, in its setting, with its milk and the flower. I want to get that tight shot. Then our final shot is going to be our tasting shot. Maybe we'll take a bite of the chocolate chip cookie and get a photo of that cookie after we have taken that bite, or maybe dipping into the milk, that also makes a great shot. One more shot, that one is for Instagram. Well, now that we have finished our cookies and we've taken all of our photos and even enjoyed a bite of our coffee, chocolate chip cookies, it's time now to start writing. We're going to take everything we've just done and we're going to start our food story. 4. Writing the Food Story: Are you ready to do a little writing? I have my coffee chocolate chip cookies here as inspiration. We're going to put all of our thoughts down on paper about these amazing cookies that we made. First we're going to start with a title. We want to make sure we have a catchy title that's going to grab people's attention. But before we get to the title, I wanted to talk a little bit about WordPress. I have used WordPress since I started blogging and I'm really a fan of it. It's very easy to use and it's free service. It works really well for food bloggers, and it works with almost everything. I really like WordPress. That is what we are going to be using to write this story. Then we're going to take a look at our title. Now you can go one of two ways. You can do a title that's really catchy and stands out. Maybe easy, 10 minutes, coffee, chocolate chip cookies. That tells you a lot about the recipe. It tells you that it's easy, It only takes 10 minutes. If you want to save time, you can make this cookie. But for this particular story, I'm not writing it as an easy recipe. I'm writing it as a classic recipe, and I keep it very simple. I'm going to keep it to coffee chocolate chip cookies. The next thing I'm going to do is add my media, now I've already done this. I took all of the photos that we decided on the way my WordPress theme works. I don't always put a feature image at the top, because my feature image that I will put in down here, which will be the long shot, will act as my first image in my post. I'm going to leave that there as my feature image. Now I am going to go up and I'm going to start writing. I included the title in my first paragraph and I'm going to make it bold because this will reflect onto the title. This is one of those tricks in writing a food blog post that you want to keep in mind, it will help your SEO. When you have the title of the recipe in your first paragraph. I'm going to continue a little bit more about this story. I brought you into a time where I enjoyed these cookies as a kid. They actually mean something to me. I'm very descriptive when I'm talking about what they looked like, what they smelled like, what we enjoy doing as we ate them. This gives you that whole background story on this recipe, and not all recipes will have a story behind it, but it makes for a nice. Connection to your blogger or to your readers when you can connect with them on a personal level. We're going to pick our first shot, which is our ingredient shot. I am going to pick this long version. I'm also going to want to make sure that title of my photo is the title of my recipe. I'm going to insert that in. Now, I always write underneath the photo that is above, you can do it either way. There is no rule on this, but I really do like to have my photo above the caption. Here I'm going to talk a little bit about the ingredients. Next step, we're going to take our in-process shot, which is right here. Again, I opted for the longer photo because I think it's just a prettier image. I kept the longer photo. I'm going to right now to that actual in progress or in-process shot. Let's go to our next photo, which is going to be the chocolate chips, after they come out of the oven and insert that into the post. We have our finished shot. Let's do what we've already established as the tight shot. This is going to be the shot that you see here, and it's also a wide shot. We're going to write about that. Let's add another shot, which is going to be, I'm going to go with this dipping shot. It brings it all full circle to where I started it and now where I end the story. Next up, I'm going to give you some insider secrets on writing the recipe. 5. Creating the Recipe Breakdown: Now that we have our beautiful recipe written and all our photos are in, and they're all looking really good, and our captions are really good. There is our finished dipping shot. We're going to create our recipe. It's always a good idea to have one of these recipes, whatever one you want to use this fine, but this is the one that I like to use. As you can see, it just gives you everything you need to do. Is starting with the recipe details. Now, when I like to do start my recipe, I always will add an image. Again, I always go with my feature image, because your feature image is really going to be your best image, or at least it should be. Then we're going to type in our title. Then sometimes, I'd like to add a summary, so that way when they do print this recipe, they will have your personal touch on it. Of course, this is a desert. Then that's our first page. Now, we're going to go to the ingredients and instructions. Again, this maps it out for you. But there are things that you do need to know about doing this, because you can't just put all of the ingredients. You need to put them in the order that you use them. I'm going to start with the butter. I used a cup of butter. Then in the notes I'm going put that I needed it softened. Time now for the instructions. We're going to start by adding one instruction at a time. I never like to overcrowd the instructions because I want to take a pause between a lot of what we're mixing together, and putting together. It's also easier in bullet points. There is also a recipe notes section here that you can add any notes that you may want to use. Use regular chocolate chips if you don't have the dark chocolate, it still tastes amazing. We have everything we need as far as the instructions and the recipe detail, and so now we're going save it, and we're going to insert it into the post. Then you want to come down and you want to check it and make sure it's there. There we have it. 6. Publishing Your Food Story: We're not quite done before we actually hit publish on this post, I want to show you a few things that should help your SEO score when you do start posting your own food blog recipes. Okay, so we have, our permalink says that it's a coffee, chocolate chip cookies. Perfect, right? That's exactly what we wanted it to be. We have coffee chocolate chip cookies highlighted in the first paragraph, again, something else that's really good for our readability. When you are publishing, you want to look over here because you want the readability and the SEO to both be good, and we're going to get to the SEO in a second. As we kind of go down and we see what we're doing, we do have to categorize everything we have here. This is definitely a desert and it's definitely a cookie, right? Those are the two things that we want. Secondly, this is extremely important. You want to tag your recipe because the idea is the tags that will come at the very bottom of your recipe are going to show you what someone may be searching for on your site. You would definitely do cookies. We would do chocolate chip cookies, easy deserts, deserts, coffee desserts. I like to think of anything that someone might be putting in my search to find these actual cookies, how about kid deserts, that should be good. When you take a look at our word count, it comes to 549. It is extremely important because you need to have at least 300 words to get a good recommendation on Google search. You always want to make sure you have at least 300 words on your post. Now, we're going to add our SEO's keywords. I always just type in the title of my recipe. The next thing I'm going to do is, I want to edit the description of my post. I think anybody that's looking for a chocolate chip cookie recipe might say, oh, okay, that's wonderful. The next thing we're going to do is take a look here at Facebook. Because if you're going to want to put these on Facebook, you're going to need a separate image. I'm going to upload that other image that we had talked about, that other feature image that was more of a wide shot, I'm going to use that from my Facebook image. Anytime that I'm going to post it to Facebook with just the link, the image is already in there. It is time to publish our post. Now, what you can do is you can always publish it immediately or you can schedule it whatever you want. I'm going to publish it immediately so we can see it go, and we're going to see it pop up. There we go. There is that beautiful recipe of our coffee chocolate chip cookies, and let's take a look. Here it is. See our feature image did show up at the very top, we didn't need to add that second one. As it populates, we're going to see our entire posts pop up on our website. Doesn't that look great? All those pictures look great, everything looks great, and then there is our recipe at the end. You can print the recipe when you're ready to make these yourself. Our recipe is complete. 7. Final Thoughts + Project Instructions: What did you think? I love the process of making a recipe and taking photos and then writing about it. I fall in love with this process more and more every time I do it, and if you love to write and you love to cook, it's a great way to share your experience and your favorite recipes. Whether you're doing a blog post or a magazine article or even an Instagram post, I hope some of these little tidbits and secrets that I shared with you will help you do it. Do you have a recipe that you love or a family recipe or something that everyone tells you to bring to the next potluck? Maybe you want to share it with your friends and family. Here are the instructions for your class project. Create a 300 word recipe post in the project gallery. Use photos of this recipe process to help tell your story. Create a feature image and specific recipe instructions to complete your post. Remember to use descriptive words to give the reader a sense of what the recipe tastes like or even what the food experience felt like. Consider sharing your outline or your visual shot sheet before you get started with your recipe. Get creative with your food writing and your storytelling. Telling any stories speaks from the heart of any writer. Feel free to be honest so your reader can feel connected to you and your food experience. I can't wait to see all of your recipes. Remember I'll be here the entire time to walk you through the process or to answer any questions you may have. Happy writing everyone.