To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Inspired French Toast

Happy New Year, everyone!  I just thought I'd take a few minutes to post my latest culinary experiment here.  It's been an awfully long time since I've cooked or baked, and even longer since I posted here.  Everything is now happening on my Website, but it's not quite the place for recipes.  And I would hate to lose this blog since it holds many fond memories of my photography journey over the years.

Anyway, so to the recipe ... this was inspired by watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network.  I tweaked the recipe as I'm always doing (I have a problem, and I know it) and I adapted it to my tastes.  Unfortunately, I don't have exact measurements or great pictures to accompany the post, since I was really only experimenting.

I made the french toasts orange flavoured, and I absolutely loved it!  You can choose to make regular ones.  I also made a maple syrup reduction by boiling the maple syrup till it was reduced to half.  This created a much more intense maple flavour.  And I used pure maple syrup, of course.

This recipe serves 4.

What you'll need:

For the french toast

8 slices of bread (I used whole grain with raisins and cranberries)
4 eggs
1 heaping tsp of sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of orange zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I make my own at home)
1/2 cup milk
Butter for frying

For the compote

1 apple
1/2 bag of cranberries
Handful of raisins
Sugar to taste (it shouldn't be too sweet if you're planning on using maple syrup later)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp of orange zest
Butter for sautéing

Maple syrup reduction

1 1/2 cups of maple syrup 


French toast

  1. Prepare the batter by whisking together all the ingredients except the bread and butter.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add a little butter to coat the frying pan.
  3. Dip the slices of bread well and drop into the frying pan.
  4. Fry till golden and set aside on a plate.


    Apple cranberry and raisin compote

  1. Dice the apple into small pieces.
  2. Wash the cranberries and keep aside.
  3. Add a little butter into a saucepan and add the raisins once the pan is hot - the butter should be sizzling but before it starts to turn brown.
  4. Once the raisins plump out a bit, add the apple pieces and cranberries.
  5. Saute for a few minutes and add the sugar and the salt.
  6. Add the orange juice, orange zest, stir and cover the saucepan.
  7. Let the fruits cook for a few minutes and stir occasionally.
  8. If the compote starts to dry up but isn't cooked yet, add a little more orange juice.
  9. Continue cooking till the fruits have softened up, and look mushy.
  10. The taste should be well balanced - a good amount of tartness with sweetness.
  11. Adjust the sweetness as necessary.  If the compote is too tart, add another pinch of salt as salt cuts sourness.
  12. Take off heat and keep aside. 

Maple syrup reduction

In a saucepan, boil the maple syrup till it's reduced to half it's original volume.  Pour into a serving bowl and cover immediately to prevent a skin from forming on top.

To serve, cut the french toast into triangles and put on a plate.  Spoon some of the compote over the french toast and pour some of the reduced maple syrup over it.  If you like, you could sprinkle some icing sugar over the plate for added sweetness and a pretty white dusting.

I absolutely loved the orange flavoured french toast, and it tastes amazing with just the maple reduction, even in the absence of the compote.  I made another batch of these french toasts and I know I'll be making them over and over again - holidays or no holidays!  

The compote was excellent as well!  I kept it on the side of being a little more tart because I was going to use the maple syrup and the french toast was already slightly sweetened.  And I omitted the icing sugar in the end but it didn't make it any less delicious! 

Enjoy!  And let me know how it turned out!  :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hello, everyone!

Time for a change-up!  My new revamped website is now up and running!  My new blog is published and ready for visitors!  Please come on over and leave your impressions - would love to hear from you!

You can find my website at

It's been a really long time since I passed by this blog!  I love returning to this blog to go back and see how my photography has evolved over the years.  And it makes me happy to see the huge difference from when I started.  After hundreds and thousands of shutter clicks and poring over the computer to retouch and enhance the images, I can say that I've still so much left to learn!  I'm never happy with the last set of images I click - I'm always looking for that elusive one that I'll be proud of!

Here's to looking forward and moving upward!  Thank you all for being around ... I would never have been motivated, if I didn't have all of you cheering me on!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holidays without cookies?! Nah!  Only double-chocolate will do!

I haven't blogged (serious & passionately) in like a million years!  I thought I wouldn't be able to log in to this old blog again.  I do have a new blog now that I'm doing professional photography, but I would definitely like to keep this for my food and other random wacky moments.  But if you're interested in my portrait photography, please visit  And you're very welcome to follow and "like" my photography page on Facebook as well: I regularly post updates on my photo shoots and I'll soon be starting some contests and other interesting activities. 

Anyway, back to the job on hand.  I have been working super hard to get my business established while working a 9 to 5 job and having other domestic responsibilities.  I didn't think a lot about setting up my business till I actually started.  Man, oh man, is it ever tough!  

But I have to be honest - I'm loving every moment of it as I shape it with my own pudgy hands, and give it the look and feel I can identify with.:)  

And my new website is now up and running and starting to look close to how I wanted it: If you happen to visit, please let me know what you think. :)

Amongst all this madness over the past 3 months, I have been missing meals (mostly eating them, since I have to provide for a hungry teenager all the time), missing sleep, missing blogging, but most of all, I've been missing catching up with friends, but I have such a great bunch of those, I know they understand and are super supportive despite my recent lapses! I couldn't do it without their support and constant encouragement!  

Blogging used to be a great way for me to vent, rant, rave and ramble.  I had been bottling it all up.  And finally, after months and months of hibernation, I broke out my bakeware again, and fired up my oven, just so I could blog about my second greatest passion - cooking!  

What good are the holidays without some chocolate rush? So, here's killing two birds with one stone - baking some chocolatey treats, and blogging the recipe for all those who want to try it! They turned out delicious.  In hindsight, it would have been nicer if I'd added some chopped nuts. :-S

Double-Chocolate Cookies


3/4 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk/dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 375 deg F (190 deg C).
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and both the sugars till light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until creamy.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture slowly.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix. 
  6. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. 
  7. Bake 8 - 10 mins. or until lightly browned.  
  8. Let cool slightly and remove to wire rack.  Cool completely before storing. 
  9. Makes about 3 dozen large-ish cookies.

I would love to hear from all of you and although I don't promise to start blogging here as regularly as I would like to, I will definitely be passing by now and again.  

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a wonderfully happy, healthy and peaceful 2013!  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My travel article published

I have been a little bit lazy about blogging regularly, to the extent that I forgot to share the last article that was published.

Remember the trip I took last summer to Charlevoix?  Well, I had finally decided to write it up and send it for publication to the website that had published my blueberry trifle recipe.

So here is the first part of my story on Charlevoix.  And if you're planning to visit this region, you must definitely read this.  Stay tuned for the sequel, which should be ready shortly.

Please share the article if you like it and for that, I'd like to thank you in advance. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Foggy Memories

The memories do seem foggy now.  I had completely missed posting these images earlier.

It was a few weekends ago and the fog was dense and long-lasting.  I remember waking up and seeing all this fog outside my window.  And despite being under the weather myself, I couldn't let the mist just roll past me and slip through my fingers without my recording it.

As my friends rightly point out, no matter how much I complain about not feeling up to doing anything, if I find a photo op, I will forget all my woes, grab my camera and be up for some shooting.  I say, my friends know me well!  :)

Here are the images from that day:


Foggy Day 1

Foggy Day 2


Monday, March 19, 2012

Methi Dal (Yellow Pigeon Peas with Fresh Fenugreek Leaves)

Methi (fenugreek), whether used as a herb or a spice adds a wonderful flavour to Indian cuisine.  However, there are other uses for Methi and you might want to check the Wikipedia for this.

Methi, in its fresh form can be used to make side dishes like Aloo Methi (potatoes with fenugreek), Methi ka Paratha (Indian flat bread with fenugreek), Methi Pulao (rice with fenugreek) - you name it!


I had been getting a little bit bored with my dal recipes, so when I happened to come across this one I thought it might be a great idea to give it a try.  This recipe isn't mine.  Purna Chowdhury, a very accomplished culinary enthusiast, was really kind to share this recipe with some of us.  If you want to find more of her fantastic recipes, please go ahead and check her out on Facebook.


If you are interested, you might ask her to add you to the foodie group I found this recipe in.  She has a fantastic repertoire of different types of cuisine, and if you're nice and make a request for a specific recipe, she might pull it out of her hat just for you!

Additionally, there are hundreds of other foodies sharing their recipes (me included ;-)), so this should be incentive enough to go join the group.  But do remember - to get some, you need to give some.  Only fair, right?!  So, share your favourite recipes and get some from the others.


The dal turned out fabulous and I might try this in future with spinach to replace the methi.  And to add a note, I served this daal with a squish of lime over hot and fluffy basmati rice with Aloo Methi on the side (another friend's recipe, but I didn't have the time to take any pictures).


To prepare your fresh Methi, my friend Swati told me that you should first pluck the leaves from the stalks, making sure you don't include the stalk, and then wash the leaves thoroughly.  Once you've cleaned the leaves of the sand and grit, soak in cold, saline water for about 20 minutes.  When ready, wring the water out of the leaves and chop them up roughly and you're good to go.  Thanks for the tip, Swati! :)

You will need:
Toor Daal (yellow pigeon peas): 250 gm (cooked with a little salt and turmeric)
Two cups of fresh Methi (fenugreek) leaves/two small blocks of frozen Methi
Whole cinnamon and cloves: 1 tsp
Grated garlic: 1 tsp

Grated ginger: 1tsp
Tomatoes: 2-3
Cinnamon powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Fresh coriander, chopped: 1/2 cup

Vegetable oil: 1 tbsp
Ghee: 1 tsp (optional)Salt to taste

  1. Add the oil to the pan and add all the whole spices. 
  2. Add garlic, ginger; saute for half a minute on low heat.
  3. Add the chopped methi, tomatoes and salt; let it turn to a gravy.
  4. Add the cinnamon and coriander powders and stir till the mix is consistent. 
  5. Add the daal and stir well; cook for another 5 minutes or so till well blended.
  6. Add a teaspoon of ghee (optional) and serve garnished with coriander.
Happy smacking-your-lips! :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Orange Zest



This was my first attempt at making peanut butter cookies.  I adapted the recipe from here, but as always, tweaked the recipe quite a bit.  I made it into a peanut butter and white chocolate cookie with an orange twist.




The recipe was easy, but I found that I needed to add at least a cup of milk to the dough to get it to the right consistency.  The cookies turned out a little bit dense, but on storing them overnight, a lot of the moistness returned.  Anyone that likes peanut butter cookies would really enjoy these, but I think I might move on to different cookies the next time around.


You will need:
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (185 grams) peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts or 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1 cup cold milk (if required)




  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F  and place rack in the centre of the oven. 
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). You could use an electric mixer for this, but I used a hand mixer.
  4. Beat in the peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. 
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  6. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Fold in the chopped peanuts if using, if using, the white chocolate chips and the orange zest. (If the batter is too dry at this point, add milk a few teaspoons at a time. Alternately, if the batter is too soft, keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before forming into balls.)
  7. Roll the batter into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. 
  8. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet, placing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, using the tines of the fork that has been dipped in white granulated sugar, make a crisscross pattern.
  9. Bake the cookies for about 10 to12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. 
  10. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for about a week. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes about 40 cookies.