National Geographic Kids wrote an article detailing how food stylists make food look so tasty in magazines.
Not included in the article is how ice cream is often whipped crisco and powdered sugar since it won't melt. What's interesting is that according to this article by the Art Institute truth in advertising laws from the Federal Trade Commission prohibit specific substitutions. Campbell's soup was in the hot seat for putting marbles at the bottom of bowls so the vegetables didn't sink down.
I think with the increase in food blogs photos taken at home and are equally gorgeous and less manipulated. Then again I'm not in other bloggers homes making sure they're not just painting raw chicken carcasses to make it look good. You never know what people do behind closed doors.
Also with Thanksgiving coming up I will be doing a new dessert soon. After my soup fiasco I'm resorting to what I know best- spiked blood glucose and chocolate.