Friday, July 31, 2015

Eclairs : Pâte à Choux Puffs

#Eclairs #PâteAChouxPuff #Pastry #Dessert #EasyRecipe #Bake #MakeAheadDessert #Baking #Pastrycream #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

It was a sunny afternoon and I had been playing outside in the shade of the lychee trees. Trying to sample a few raw lychees and finally driven away by the caretaker of the orchard. I don’t remember climbing a tree, I was afraid that if dad found out, that would be the end of playing with my friends for the rest of the summer. Thinking back, I regret not doing it.  There was a short cut to the orchard, a narrow walk way with barbed wire that one of us had to hold and the other duck down to enter. It was the coolest place to play hide and seek. Moreover, we were not yelled by the neighbors to dial it down, as that would have interfered with their afternoon slumber. Most days I would be back home before sunset, it was an unsaid rule that was the law of the land when I grew up - at least at my place. Some of the other kids were allowed to play till much later. Most days, a friend or two tagged along to sample goodies from mom’s kitchen: it was no big secret that she was a great cook. 

That day I walked alone and saw my sister reading on the porch, her nails freshly painted, every hair in place: she was always perfectly put together. I walked past her, brushing against her neatly placed slippers, disturbing them. In normal circumstances she would have called out to our mother, but she was too engrossed. Shhhhh! Dad was not home yet, so I had no reason to bury my nose in a book to display my ‘pursuit of knowledge'. He disliked time-wasters and if he saw me loitering around he would always say, “Do something constructive with your time.” Mother was in the kitchen, prepping for dinner. I opened the refrigerator and found a box that came from the most exotic bakery in the neighborhood. “Pastries”, I was delighted. It was not a special occasion, why were there pastries in the refrigerator? I decided not to question the good things in life, so I opened the box and saw six beautifully arranged eclairs. I had seen them at the bakery but almost always bought the black forest pastry instead, a favorite. I was a bit disappointed not to see black-forest pastry in the box. But not disappointed enough not to sample the lovely, gorgeous eclair. I took them out and gave one to mom, one to my sister, and kept one for myself. It was the best thing I had ever had, so creamy and just a hint of chocolate on the shell. The memory of the taste of the first bite brings back a smile. Back then we had no idea what calories were, if it tasted good - you ate it. Both my sister and I were so skinny that we could afford to eat a dozen each. 

When teen told me that she will be baking eclairs, it brought back some fond childhood memories.  I was not sure it was a venture she was capable of taking alone. To my surprise, they turned out amazingly. It’s definitely not rocket science, and the filling is absolutely to die for. Mildly sweet, creamy and subtle flavor of vanilla, perfect dessert with a cup of coffee.  She did not do the chocolate on top, as we loved the texture and taste and did not want to overpower it with chocolate.

#Eclairs #PâteAChouxPuff #Pastry #Dessert #EasyRecipe #Bake #MakeAheadDessert #Baking #Pastrycream #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Swiss Alps - a view through my lens - 2

Since many of you wrote to me telling me that the post was taking a long time to load, kind of got carried away with the pictures :). I decided to split the post in two - so it’s easier to load and view. Thanks so much for the feed back.

#LandScapePhotography #SwissAlps #Jungfrau #Zurich #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography
#LandScapePhotography #SwissAlps #Jungfrau #Zurich #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Swiss Alps - a view through my lens -1


#LandScapePhotography #SwissAlps #Jungfrau #Zurich #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography
It feels great to be back. It was just three weeks but it surely feels longer. Summer is not really the best season to visit India but that's the only season that works for us. Teen  gets limited time off for winter and that's not really enough time to travel so far. This year we decided to break journey in Zurich and it was a very tempting preposition. Unfortunately for us, Europe was scorching and so was Switzerland, unbelievable right. We were there in the hottest week of the decade. Last time we visited Switzerland was in winter and I had promised myself that I will be back in summer, just not the hottest week of the decade.  The gorgeous Alps weave a magic that leaves you spellbound. You don't know where the blue mountain with a hint of white snow end and where the blue skies start. The canvas is spectacular and no matter how hard I tried, it was impossible for me to capture the beauty. It's larger than life, mystic and magnificent. I really envy everyone who lives there. There is beauty in the silence of those mountains, with the distant ringing of cowbells....the silence weaves it's own language, almost therapeutic. Somehow everything seems small and insignificant, even your own existence. That's probably why I'm so drawn to it. We took a train to Jungfrau - the highest point of Europe. Most of my images are from the train. The view from there was spectacular and thankfully not hot at all. We did spend a lot of time walking around Zurich, in the small paved walkways. These are some of the images from the trip.


I am glad am back and hoping to start sharing some recipes really soon.  Will do a post on my India trip, just too many images to sort from. :)


Do you have a favorite in this lot? Do let me know which one. Am including this post as part of my 52 weeks of creative exposure - week 27-32


#Lauterbrunnen #LandScapePhotography #SwissAlps #Jungfrau #Zurich #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

#LandScapePhotography #SwissAlps #Jungfrau #Zurich #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

52 weeks of creative exposure weeks 26-27

#Photography #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
#Photography #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
Last week I was loading the dishes  and I could see dark clouds approaching the horizon. As it began to get dark I saw a streak of beautiful golden light, thankfully it had not started raining but the dark clouds were moving fast. I ran to get the camera, it was quite dark and I had to really pump up the ISO but got the amazing light (I hope). That was such a magical moment and it was right in my back yard. I would love to assume that the magical light that lasted a fraction of a minute was just for me…On second thoughts I should have drenched myself in the rain that followed. I am glad I could drench myself in the magical light. 

I am planning to take my much awaited break starting from next week…I will try and post something next week but if I can’t I assure you I’ll come back with exciting stuff when I am back. Try not to miss me :) Hugs!!
#Photography #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography



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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blueberry hibiscus chia chai

Gorgeous color and perfect drink for a lazy summer afternoon. I love the fruity flavors. 
#BlueberryHibiscusChiaChai #ChiaChai #IcedTea #SummerBeverage #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

#BlueberryHibiscusChiaChai #ChiaChai #IcedTea #SummerBeverage #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
Summer is all about lazy long days….atleast that’s the perception I had. For a stay-at-home mom that’s the best time of the year. No early morning schedules, no dropping or picking up. Not really! Summer is really the most busy time of the year, I see myself working like an ant and all the dreams I saw on winter snowy days of basking on the deck is really not happening. I feel myself chasing the next thing on the to-do list. I do have to admit I waste a lot of time browsing on Pinterest and FB. So starting last week I have started managing my time better. So far it has been working well. My dad was a great proponent of discipline, more self than imposed. It definitely boils down to that. Will keep you posted on how that goes.

Talking of stay-at-home mom I have a funny incident to narrate. A few years back I was at a friend’s place and she had invited a few people for dinner. As we were getting to know each other, I thought I hit it well with one of the other girls, till she asked me where I worked. I told her I was a  stay-at-home mom, and even before I had finished my sentence she had abandoned me for better  ‘intellectual’  company. I thought it was hilarious, I don’t think I have every felt the need to define myself or put myself in a box. It’s strange how some people are so quick to categorize you and label you. I am sure I was no use to her as a Linkedin contact….lol! We tend to run in pursuit of  who we are that we loose ourselves. I really hope my running is only about chasing my to-do list…

#BlueberryHibiscusChiaChai #ChiaChai #IcedTea #SummerBeverage #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

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