Sunday, August 30, 2015

Painting with my lens

Week 35
52 Weeks of creative exposure
Raised in an art emphasized home, somewhere there is an artist buried deep inside me.  Weekends were spent going to flower shows, participating in flower arrangements or helping my mother with her bonsai. I now look back and wonder, how my mother had so much time to accomplish so much in a day. She did not have online distractions.

There was so much freedom that we enjoyed, freedom of expression, freedom to question,  freedom of choice. I almost took it all for granted and assumed that was the norm. Dad would always tell us, ”It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” - Aristotle. He would welcome difference of opinion,  never disrespect.

My freedom of expression, really stems from my childhood and I can see it blossom in my adulthood.  So much like my dad, I will do what I feel is right and righteous not because it is a mere dictate from others. And I see this in my photography too, bold dark strokes of light and colors, never irresolute always very strongly stated. It also stems from my penchant for painting and influence from Chiaroscuro. The light and shades almost replicate life. 

In recent times, I have seen myself fall in love with airy water colors, carefree and effortless, so unlike the chiaroscuro style. Colors bleeding into each other, yet having a form and definition. 

Neither style is easy but represents art in such a different way.  

My morning glory (first image) is one of my first trials that represents my love for water color. And the second one is a hibiscus from my mother’s garden a more bold look - maybe like an oil-painting. I am not sure if I have been successful at it….I absolutely enjoyed creating both and almost lost myself in them.  

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers


Cubanelle peppers filled with aromatic potatoes and tofu and roasted with onions and cherry tomatoes. A great vegan side. GilledStuffedPepper2-SimiJois-2015


It was a very eventful day (pun intended) My neighbors have the cutest dogs ever, one silly to the bones and the other shy and he won’t look at me straight in the eye. I think he’s worried I will dognap him. Usually they are rather quite and very well behaved. Today morning one of them (silly one) was barking, moving from one window of the dinning room to the other. I assumed my neighbors were not home so I went around the fence to check: all was well.  Usually if they ever bark it is a symphony of two …so I got a bit worried. Hoping the other one was safe.  I waited,  it was almost thirty minutes. Finally, I texted my neighbor. After all the investigation - guess what ? Last night they had moved some tiles  by the deck (outside) and apparently one of them (you know which one) was sleeping when that happened. So today when he saw those tile boxes, he was alarmed and raised hell till he was let out to sniff and he declared them all safe and gave his stamp of approval.

I thought the story was adorable. They know I am fond of them so they choose to ignore me by looking the other way. My husband  on the other hand gets all the attention, as he is scared of dogs ( yes a grown man super scared of dogs) they love to bark at him, it’s hilarious. Growing up with a pet was the best thing ever, one learns so much. If Chicago was not that cold, I would get a dog. Walking a dog in 40 below is not something I look forward too, hate to see them cooped up indoors. Yes, the other minor issue of the Mr being scared, I need to work on that.

The recipe has nothing to do with the story, I just wanted to share it with you guys. This is hubby’s favorite and  he insisted I share it on the blog. Am surprised as he hardly every tells me what to blog about.

 You can grill it roast it on the gas top or roast it in the oven. The Cubanelle peppers are NOT hot at all. Almost like bell peppers.


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Sunday, August 23, 2015

A walk in the wilderness

52 weeks of creative exposure #Week 35

Sunday is over ?? …that cannot be true, it was just Friday like two minutes back. I love my weekends and that’s the time I literally put my feet up and sleep. Afternoon naps, late mornings and if there is time in-between I will sleep :) If I am not sleeping am usually in the kitchen, cooking. Sometimes I do have my overdose of sleep and then I get crabby. The only way I can get of the crabby bandwagon is photography. After a rather long nap last weekend, I got out with my camera, the sun was still high and it was hot. I must have walked for an hour and the sunlight started turning into this magical gold, drenching the whole scene into something magical. I must have spent a good hour just viewing the beauty from my lens ….I can never forget that feeling. I wish I was good with words. I hope I have been able to translate that feeling in my images.

Just for your info, none of these images had any filter on the camera or in post. Pure sunshine, untouched.



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Friday, August 21, 2015

Roasted cabbage wedges with garam masala

Crunchy roasted cabbage seasoned with garam masala. Super easy and makes a great side.

#RoastedCabbage #CabbageMasala #CabbageSide #Vegetarian #Vegan #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
Cabbage is not really the favorite vegetable in the Jois household. It’s not that we do not like it but it is not something we will get excited about. The fact that it has a long shelf life does not help, it sits in the refrigerator for a good week before I make something from it.  Maybe I have not utilized the full potential of the cabbage. Teen, almost always has a frown when cabbage is on the menu. I have been seeing a lot of roast cabbage on pinterst, so I did my version of it and am glad teen actually said “ not, bad” (read as it’s good) . That kid is not a picky eater but to persuade her to try something she is not fond of is a mammoth task…And the husband thinks it is the most mundane dish on the menu. Poor cabbage, I hope to have redeemed myself through this post and the cabbage world is ready to embrace me.

I asked my friends to share some of their recipes. I can surely get creative now, there are so many options.  Here are some of my favorites, which I am going to try in the near future. I thought I can share it on my blog, so you guys can browse through it too. Thanks everyone for sharing their favorite cabbage delicacy.

Cabbage Paratha from Raksha Kamat, thanks ! I have never made paratha with cabbage but am going to try this one of the weeknights.
Stuffed cabbage with turkey from Meena Kumar. I think am going to make a vegetarian version of this. They look so fresh and inviting, this is definitely my favorite one to try - let’s see how i improvise on the vegetarian aspect.
Coleslaw bites from Lisa Turner, it’s not just coleslaw it’s crunchy and spicy - with a Jalapeño Dip. Imagine a rainy lazy afternoon and this…..yum!
Cabbage Dosa from Smitha Kalluraya, that’s really creative, it screams healthy and this is a great brunch idea. Thanks Smitha.
Cabbage Masala Rice from Sona Narayana, Sona this is my favorite too and make it very often
Coleslaw and peanut sandwiches from Lena Rashmin, I am sure my teen will love this. I want to try this with some Thai seasoning.
Cabbage and onion fritters  from Anjana Bivin, I had forgotten about this, it’s my mom’s favorite and she makes this quite often.
Spicy cabbage curry from  Pavani Nandula. When we are growing up, my mother used to make this and with hot chapatis it’s soul food.
Cabbage Tepla or flat bread  from Bina I have never tried cabbage tepla, am going to make this very soon .
Stirfry cabbage with bacon  from Ann Low. I don;t eat bacon Ann, will try this without bacon. Am sure all the bacon lovers are giving me the strange look.
Sprouted horse gram and cabbage stir fry from Jayashri Ravi. I have never tried this combination and something tells me that I should. Super healthy too.
Dill and cabbage vada from Jyoti Rajesh, this looks sooooooooo good ! Love it !!
Fennel cabbage salad from Abbe Odenwalder, am going to add some raisins in mine, and lots of lime….
Cabbage curry from Lubna Karim, an old time and tested recipe. thanks for sharing
Cabbage and bell pepper Masala from Rafeeda AR. I think Cabbage and bell peppers go so well, great with chapatis.

#RoastedCabbage #CabbageMasala #CabbageSide #Vegetarian #Vegan #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#RoastedCabbage #CabbageMasala #CabbageSide #Vegetarian #Vegan #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
 #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

52 weeks of creative exposure - week 34

Last few weeks I brought to you images from the mountains. This week I have some flowers from my own back yard. I love colors and right now my garden is a riot of colors. When it rains and washes everything with it, it is even more gorgeous. I wish this season could never end….

Am trying to juggle quite a bit today, so will keep the post short. Have a fabulous weekend.

Red #Flower #ImptienceFlower #RedFlower #FlowerPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

RedRose-SimiJois-2015Red #Flower #ImptienceFlower #RedFlower #FlowerPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

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