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Behind the Scenes at Figs & Chèvre - Figs & Chèvre

Behind the Scenes at Figs & Chèvre

Behind the scenes at Figs & Chèvre.
[This post contains an affiliate link.]

Food blogging is simple – you just create a great recipe, snap a pic, write a quick blurb about it and share said recipe, and – voilà! – you’re done!

If only that were true.

Well, technically this may be the case, and there have been bloggers who have been enormously successful by defying conventional food blogging wisdom (think Julie Powell from The Julie/Julia Project*), but for most of us in this overly saturated food blogosphere,

we need to be (a) damn good photographers, (b) damn good web designers, (c) great cooks (ideally in possession of a culinary education), (d) writers, and (e) marketing experts.

Unfortunately, I fall into category “f”, which is none of the above. And so, my friends, I have a steep learning curve ahead. So, in today’s post, I figured I’d share with you a behind-the-scenes glance of what I’ve been doing to get up to speed. Why? Because maybe you’re just curious about randomness as it relates to food blogging, or because maybe you are considering creating your own food blog and are seeking an insider’s peek.


Let me just say straight up that I have been known to readily drop more than a few F-bombs in the kitchen. When I fuck up a personal pizza by adding way too many toppings – despite warning others not to go ape shit themselves in this regard – I absolutely have the mouth of sailor. It also happens when I touch the heating element in an oven with an internal temp of 425°F, bypass my mise en place only to discover that I am out of cream after the fettuccine is boiling away, or my husband slams MY ENTIRE GLASS OF WINE after the bottle’s been emptied. No joke, guys – this latter incident actually happens. [Side note: Is he looking for a divorce?!]

Now, the reason I just wrote that last paragraph is because I want you to know that I struggle in the kitchen, I do dumb things, and – despite being a yogi – I do not always act serene and calm and all that jazz. I absolutely love to cook, except for the times that I don’t. And I love to blog…except when I can’t because because I have to instead fix broken links, make DIY photography setups, and forgo the vino because Troy stole it – after all, how is one to blog about food sans wine?

Behind the Scenes

So aside from the disclaimer that I’m human, I swear, and that the quickest way to irritate me in the kitchen is to steal all of my vino, here is your behind-the-scenes peek from  last weekend.

I spent much of last weekend getting to know the lovely employees at the local Home Depot and helping Troy document the changing of a flat tire for Facebook (which was actually pretty funny – here’s the second part of said incident).

Troy fixing a flat tire


I made – with Troy’s help – a faux table top and two light boxes. I may not be a professional or even amateur photographer, but I want y’all to be inspired enough by my photography to share Figs & Chèvre with the world – it’s the marketing hat I have to wear (see above) – and so I’m willing to go to extreme measures here.

Anyway, Troy basically tackled the faux table top in exchange for my web design expertise (LMFAO!!!). He sanded the wood, drilled holes for screws (but forgot to use the wood glue, failing to set up the woodworker’s equivalent to mise en place), assembled the boards, stained and polyurethaned the table top, and appeared horror-stricken after seeing how badly I butchered his work by sloppily applying turquoise chalk paint to it. Note that we created said faux table top so that I can put plates of food on something more interesting than the same gorgeous marble slab that has become my standby prop.

supplies for the faux table top

supplies for the faux table top

Behind the Scenes at Figs & Chèvre

assembling the faux table top

Troy holding up the unfinished faux table top

Troy holding up the unfinished faux table top

That’s not all, though. While Troy was making my faux table top, I was making a couple of light boxes. For the uninitiated, light boxes are used to throw diffused bright light onto an object to make it look better in pictures. In the case of food photography, it is often desirable to have two that face each other. You could spend a good $100 apiece for these puppies, which is why I was on a mission to make my own. The most critical element for a light box is a light kit, which all the DIYers seem to purchase from IKEA. In an effort to avoid a 1.5 hour round trip to the nearest IKEA to get the perfect hemma lighting kits, though, I instead opted to spend three hours dropping more money on a DIY version at – guess where?! – Home Depot. Aside from being a crabby, catabolic bitch (for failing to eat prior to embarking on said journey), it wasn’t all that bad. After all, Home Depot’s customer service is fabulous for deer-in-the-headlights DIY-type women like me. After finally securing the necessary items, I assembled the light boxes in short order, which was a surprisingly simple task.

Note to self: the lighting setup below was overkill (and not in a good way) – next time, just go to IKEA.

light box supplies

light box supplies (some items ended up not being needed)

light box in progress

light box in progress

What didn’t happen…

I didn’t spend much time cooking this weekend, given that I was busy making things that are supposed to help me blog about cooking. Another LOL. The few meals I did manage to eat consisted of cheese, more cheese, olives, and dried figs. I did manage to upload a couple of how-to videos to my new (unfinished) YouTube channel, though, which have also made their way into blog posts on how to make crème fraîche and quickly quarter a roasted chicken. I also did non-food blogging related things such as hanging out with new friends at a bowling alley, playing with the pups, and – as mentioned – taking video of Troy changing a flat tire (for his own blogging adventures). I may have even watched a few scenes of Merryl Streep’s rendition of Julia Child.

I look forward to being able to show off my new faux table top in an upcoming blog post. It’s a bit #artsy, admittedly, but it’s fun. And it makes my food look hipper. I just hope you dig the underlying recipe(s) enough to keep coming back. If you are seriously dying for DIY projects such as light boxes or faux weathered table tops for your Insta-escapades, let me know in the comments below. Thanks, and salut!

*Note that this post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to go on a wild shopping spree at Amazon after clicking a link (whether or not you actually buy the item to which I’ve linked), I’ll earn a small percentage of the total sale.

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  • Reply
    Scott Craft
    March 3, 2016 at 6:35 am

    The blogging life sounds like it can be entertaining, lol.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Hehe, now we know your secrets! I actually saw that you love marble slabs and thought your kitchen counters were marble all around. And then this photo revealed you have a more cost effective, beautiful, individual slab! https://www.instagram.com/p/BBY_iTdLXVu/

    • Reply
      Kristi Smith
      March 4, 2016 at 10:54 am

      LOL, yogafire – I wish I could afford marble countertops! This 30+lb slab runs $49.95 at Crate & Barrel 😉

  • Reply
    March 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Can’t wait to see the faux table top!!!

    • Reply
      Kristi Smith
      March 4, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      Well you are in luck, Darryl! I snapped a couple of pictures tonight on them involving a mishap while trying to make maple butter. “The importance of a properly calibrated thermometer cannot be overstated” would be an apt title for said upcoming post :O

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