Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gobi Masala / Cauliflower Curry

#GobiMasala #CauliflowerCurry #EasyIndianCurry #Cauliflower #Curry

I am such a sucker for cauliflower, love it to bits. I grew up on this curry & hot rotis dripping with home made ghee. I had an appetite of a horse, lol! Thin as a stick and always outside playing or running….no wonder I could eat like a pig. Every time I make this it transports me back to my childhood. A lot to be thankful for, my mom has not only been my best friend, but a big influence in my life. From the first crush to gossip…there was nothing I would not tell her, intact even today I share a lot with my mother. She always reads ALL my posts and gives me numerous suggestions. When some of her suggestions are not in line with my thinking,  she tells me she’s ahead of her times :).  This one to her and the numerous meals she has fed us over the years with a smiling face. 

Cauliflower is the new fashion icon, so I hear…never been the kind to follow trends. For me it’s up on my food pyramid right from childhood. The crispy roasted cauliflower coated with the curry is irresistible. If you are new to Indian cooking, this might be a great place to start. 

#GobiMasala #CauliflowerCurry #EasyIndianCurry #Cauliflower #Curry
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Beet Coconut curry

#BeetCoconutCurry #BeetCurry #IndonesianCurry #Beet #CoconutMilk

#BeetCoconutCurry #BeetCurry #IndonesianCurry #Beet #CoconutMilk
Reluctantly I got out of bed, washed up and opened my physics books,  Thermodynamics yaaawn... ! Maybe it will not be so cold (read sleepy), if I have the comforter on my feet, hoody on my head. Nice !!! Feels so good, dramatically Ditu unveils my hoody..., " you better finish that page and move on" sheepishly, I read on, with an obvious lack of interest..! She helps me with some study tips and my mom hands me a glass of hot milk, I gulp down the milk and get back to where I had left. My mind wanders, I get a nudge...she's watching me like a hawk...grr! How I wish I was the older one. She walks out of our room and I rummage through her stuff, I dont even know what am looking for, the paper reads "Industrial psychology and organizational behavior", how boring, I put her papers down and get back to mine. She walks in and looks straight at me,  “stop touching my stuff” , she must have an invisible set of eyes.

 Its almost six in the evening,  Ditu is not back yet, its getting dark. My eyes our glued to the gate. The thermodynamics test was not all that bad, after all. Finally, it's Friday, I can sleep in... But wait where is my sister? Mum, is not worried,  “she is at Mitu's place", but it's getting dark. I get my bike out and ride with urgency, she walks along with me, not a word. " Don't be out so late, or ask Mitu's brother to drop you...this road is unsafe". She nods in agreement. It never crossed my mind that she is six years older than me and she's capable of managing herself. She never protested, it was an unwritten code, if she was late, I would go pick her. She has never said no to me, no matter how unreasonable I get ( hope I have not). My first lessons of diplomacy, of patience was from her. That's another post that am still a novice in training. When I try and make things complicated, she makes things easy. ( it's the degree in psychology that's talking ;)) She will never say no, but have it her way...I have no idea how, but she does it with perfect grace...we are so different yet we have so much in common. Thats my childhood in a nutshell.

Am glad for sisters, glad some are super creative ;). And glad mine can design ;) Check out my logo  (on my photographs), what do you guys think? Thanks guys,  for your help, and taking the time to pick one for me. Really appreciate it. 

#BeetCoconutCurry #BeetCurry #IndonesianCurry #Beet #CoconutMilk
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Monday, April 14, 2014


Shutter Speed  & ISO 

I am way behind on posting an update on my 365 days challenge. I just have a lot  on my plate, most of my project are going on track but managing a time line for each is seriously not my forte. It’s funny how everyone works so differently, Despite having all the gadgets, I still write down all my to-dos for the week and track all my dead lines in my diary. Hubs just does not get my style of working, he insist that putting then down on an electronic format will reduce the time I spend on planning. I feel so insecure to not have it on paper. It’s working ! So, that’s all there is to it. ;) This is a post from some scribbles from my diary.

 We were talking about the basics of photography and decoding the manual setting on your camera in our pervious 365 days post.  To understand that we had to brush up or learn in some case the basics of all that there is to use the manual settings of our camera, so we can manipulate and use it to our advantage.

A quick re-cap…. there are 4 basic controls, that you need to know.

White Balance

Aperture : is the size of opening of the lens. That determines the amount of light that gets into the sensor…in other words the opening is more, more  light. We went in detail about aperture and DOF. Click here to read that

Moving on …..

Shutter Speed 

Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open.

Shutter speed is calculated in fraction of seconds 1/4S, 1/30S, 1/1000S the bigger the denominator the faster it is. If the shutter is open for a longer amount of time you will get more light, however if it is open for less time you get less light. In other words, the faster the shutter: lesser the light. The slower the shutter: more light. BUT, the lower the shutter speed the more the hand shake is visible (image has a blur/shake).  For me anything below 1/60S, I need a tripod. 

Get your camera. Put it on manual setting. Keep the Aperture to F/4.0 and play with the shutter. 
Together with shutter speed (amount of time the shutter is open for light to come in)and aperture ( opening of the lens to allow the light to come in) you can really control the play of light.  Remember different combinations can create similar light but different mood, as we spoke about Depth of Field in our last post. 

 Shutter is a great tool to play around in action photography. Car racing, bikes, race tracks etc  However in food photography, if you want a image of maple syrup being poured on a stack of pan cakes it’s a great tool to use. Or if you want to capture water flowing over fresh fruits. Shutter speed can create quite the magic. At higher shutter speed you can almost freeze the movement of the maple syrup or water. On lower speed it can create a soft look. I think I can explain better with images. 

Here you go…
See the water almost froze in action at 1/1000Second whereas in 1/10 Sec it shows movement. This is perhaps the only application of shutter I can think of in food photography. However, shutter does play an important role in managing light. 
#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial

In digital photography ISO is the sensitivity of the image sensor. In a dark room, with very little light pumping up the ISO may be a good strategy to get some good light in to image. 
Lower ISO : Less sensitive to light : finer the grains
Higher ISO: More sensitive to light : grainy and noisier the image

If you want a razor sharp image, 100 ISO is the way to go. I have used a very high ISO on the image on the right, to show the graininess. You may never have to go that high, but sometimes ISO can be used to create an artistic impression. 
#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial ial

Now, that leaves us with WB (white balance) am going to work on that in my next post of 365. I have also got requests to do post on behind the scenes, specially the dark and moody photographs. Will try and put it together as soon as I can . 

Now for some images from March 
#SutterSpeedTutorial #PhtographyBasics #FoodPhtographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March16, 2014 - look at the DOF 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March17, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March18, 2014 the edge of the plate almost blends to the background, playing with aperture to create the shallow DOF.
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cherry n Ginger Sorbet

#CherryGingerSorbet, #CherrySorbet, #SorbetFromScratch
I just love this time of the year, perfect nippy mornings and cool afternoons, the birds chirping and the trees waiting to sprout the greens, the snow the blizzards and the sub zeros are finally behind us. I can’t wait for the cherry blossom to start booming and fill the air. I feel like a child who is just going to be awarded a big cup cake… love the cool spring breeze in my hair and those bare toes against the cold grass…if I can hold back time, this would be that moment. As I grow older, I have learnt to slow down and enjoy the little things, back then….all I remember of spring is my parents planning the garden. Meticulous planning with multiple trips to the nursery. I would only be allowed to water the saplings under close supervision of my dad’s hawk eyes. It was a chore I was proud of, and as as the slapping grew and bloomed, it would give me so much happiness.  Those little moments, become so precious and cherished. Looking back, is always a mixed feelings, I can’t believe that I refer to it in the past, it was just yesterday that I had drenched my dad with the hose and my mother was giving me ’the look’ through the screen door. In a blink of an eye, time slips through my fingers like sand. “How did it get so late so soon?” - Dr Seuss

#CherryGingerSorbet, #CherrySorbet, #SorbetFromScratch

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Painting prop boards - a tutorial

#PaintingPropBoards #PAintingPropBoardsTutorial

#PaintingPropBoards #PAintingPropBoardsTutorial

I must pat myself on the back, I promised you guys a blogpost on prop boards and here it is. After shooting 5 ingredients for a book and the cleaning up that goes with it ( which I almost despise) I am ready to take the rest of the day off. Am excited to share this post with you, so after I hit publish on this post, am going to put my feet up and relax. I just love painting boards ! I can pretend to be an artist…! I have always seen my mother work with oils, charcoal, graphite and even embroidery. My mother and sister are amazing artists, you can view my mother’s portfolio here. If you clicked on the link, and saw what you saw, you will know why I said  amazing…these boards seem lame right.

Thanks for all the queries and requests that prompted me to write this post… I hope I will be able to explain and if you have any questions, just  let me know and I will try to answer them. I hope I inspire you to go and paint some boards and don’t forget to leave me a link or share a picture of your board.

I have used two techniques here, there are many techniques and it's your artistic decision. Dry brushing and wet on wet is what I usually use.  If you are not good with picking colors use a color wheel and complimentary colors on the color wheel really work well together. Just play around, if you do not like it you can always repaint it.

Note : paints can dry darker or lighter then they appear when they are wet. So, if you are looking for a specific color and are picky make sure you take that into account. When you mix two colors, you get a third color that is a blend of the two, so if you are going with blue and yellow you will have a green there.

You can paint on both side of a board.

For solid colors I usually use foam board, as they are so much easy to carry on a client site.

ply wood or any kind of wood with some texture. Foam if solid color.  
paint - I usually use interior home paint, get samples from the hardware store - it’s about 4-5$ for a sample. If you get lucky you might find something in clearance for as low as 50cents. Specially gray, most times when a color is not mixed properly it is gray and you will find it in clearance.
Brush - again, I got one from the hardware store
rag cloth - it really helps reduce the mess.

Dry brush 

Pick two colors. Clean the wood and paint the basic color on the ply wood, I usually paint the darker color first. Don’t have to be very precise.  You can also do the light first as the base- it’s your board. The main color will be the second color.
Let it dry, preferably 2-3 hours.

#PaintingPropBoards #PAintingPropBoardsTutorial

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