Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Watermelon, berries and orange mocktail

Super delicious and stunning mocktail, great for your bbq party or a hot summer picnic. all natural colors makes it so healthy and refreshing.

Watermelon, berries and orange mocktail, Mocktail, recipe, food photography, summer drinkr, cooler, non alcoholic, beverage
Lantana is the most unassuming flowers that you can find, but it is one of my favorites, I just love the colors. It is a wild flower, almost a weed in a tropical land like India. I remember it was everywhere when I was growing up, street corners,  by a neglected fence, ...no one really cared for it. I just loved the bright little flowers against the deep  green leaves and the multiple colors that it would have in one flower. At that time, it was not a well respected landscape annual and it was wasted in dingy corners.

A few years ago I saw it in on one the local nurseries in the US and I was so excited to bring it home. It brought back so many memories of childhood. When I was planning my lantana this year , I thought of the colors, the deep fuchsia, the orange and a hint of pink, I wanted to create a drink that resembled these colors. After a bit of thinking and experimenting, I came up with watermelon, berries and orange mocktail. All colors in the drink are natural, I almost never use artificial colors. I really worked on the gradation of color in the drink and loved the effect.

Watermelon, berries and orange mocktail, Mocktail, recipe, food photography, summer drinkr, cooler, non alcoholic, beverage

If you really do not care for the layering of colors, just mix it up and it's still a beautiful deep orange-fuchsia mix. I'll stop telling you that it is a picture heavy post, I almost always go overboard and there is no point of stating it, so this post is no exception. :)

Watermelon, berries and orange mocktail, Mocktail, recipe, food photography, summer drinkr, cooler, non alcoholic, beverage

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Monday, May 11, 2015

52 weeks of creative exposure: week 19

spring photography, flowers, spring, springPower, Impatience

spring photography, flowers, spring, springPower, Impatience
 I start my morning with a cup of coffee, walking barefoot on the grass as the soft blades caress my feet...it's a feeling of being, living in that one moment that makes my day worth while. I don't have a huge garden to boast of, I  plant very few annuals, as much as I can manage and tend for. But I know each of my plants and I feel they know me too, even the rabbit who is a regular visitor is not scared by my presence...it is the place where I am myself. Green is my color,  it the color that speaks to me and soothes my soul.

A few weeks back I was fortunate to visit a friend and we spent a lot of time in her gorgeous garden...her tulips were fabulous and sitting on the bare grass, with tulips all around...it was an absolute treat.  There are many times I feel I should expand my garden and for the 4 months of summer I have quit everything I do and just work on my yard...but then I never seem to get myself to do it. As My husband tells me, "enjoy what you have, don't plan to acquire, build and expand...if you really want it, you will just do it" So for now, it's just some silence, a cup of tea and my world shared with you...
spring photography, flowers, spring, springPower, Impatience

spring photography, flowers, spring, springPower, Impatience
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cinnabon Cinnamon rolls for Mother’s day

Super soft and delicious Cinnabon, just like the ones in the super market.  Love the cinnamon flavor and these are addictive. 
Cinnamon, easy recipe, soft creamy cinnabon. dessert,

Cinnamon, easy recipe, soft creamy cinnabon. dessert,
Teen loves to bake and sometimes she comes up with the mostest craziest (there is a word called mostest, I insist;) ) ideas at weird times of the day. For example on Sunday afternoon after a heavy meal when am zonked out of my wits, she wants to bake some exotic cookies. She says she can do it all by herself and she does - but there is always this high pitched voice, “Mom, where is unsalted butter, there is only salted, you said we had it” and before I react it will be followed by “oh! I found it” I love to nap on Sunday afternoons and am pretty serious about my beauty sleep. After I tell her am napping her usual response is, “ jeez, you are not even doing anything” Daddy Jois is always sympathetic to the teen and makes me feel like Cinderella’s step mom, but in vain. I don’t budge my comfy sofa. Don’t judge me people.

Oh well I digress, so teen walks in to the kitchen at 9.25 Thursday night and announces, "I am baking Cinnabon….I want it for breakfast tomorrow”. “Not now” to which I hear, “why not”. Well, here I am dealing with a teen who has the gift of the gab and you should never attempt to answers her question “why not” my usual response is “ because I say so” and after a bit of grunting it usually goes in my favor. But I thought about it and asked myself why not, this is what memories are made of..when she will look at these pictures ten years from now, she will remember that night, both of us awake at midnight and peeking into the oven, watching the Cinnabon rise. To her surprise I said yes, and she does not like to be watched (read supervised) when she’s in the kitchen and I let her be. I still don’t let her keep stuff in the oven, that’s just the paranoid mom in me. I was really surprised, that she pulled this one off. I think this is a great recipe and am glad she baked it as we enjoyed our breakfast the following morning.

I was given 20 minutes to photograph it and hence the cream cheese frosting is missing from the pictures, but knowing her, she will be baking this very soon (read  Mother’s Day) and I will add some more images with the yummy super delish frosting. What a perfect post for Mother’s day, if I may say so myself.

Cinnabon is usually associated with cold fall evenings, and a cup of coffee. I will take it any time of the year with hot or cold coffee.

Hot n steamy

Also some good stuff this week. My photography for Idaho potatoes got published, thanks to Monica Bhide  who asked me to work for her on this project. Here is the link, check it out. Recipes by Monica Bhide and photography by yours truly. I really enjoyed photographing this for them.

Also thanks to all of you who took the time to write a review on 'A life of Spice’ on Amazon and goodreads.
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Monday, May 4, 2015

52 weeks of creative exposure- Week 18

Cherry blossom, Photography, Calendar cover photography, SimiJois

Cherry blossom, Photography, Calendar cover photography, SimiJois
Cherry blossom, Photography, Calendar cover photography, SimiJois
I love cherry blossom and enjoy capturing them, even if it means I need to battle with bees or climb on steps stool on uneven ground or beg my neighbors to take a few pictures….it’s worth all that and much more. I will let the images do the talking and if you scroll down you will see I have really got carried away :) Which one is your favorite ??
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pistachio Almond Milk Cookies

Almond pistachio cookies, made from whole-wheat pastry flour, love the flavor of almond in the  chewy crunch cookies. Super easy to bake.
PistachioAlmondCookies-SimiJois

AlmondPistachioCookies3-SimiJois
I have never been a great baker, no kidding. It does not come natural to me. Not like spices and curries…but given a good recipe, I can manage. This is a keeper, loved the taste and you really don’t need to study rocket science to bake these cookies. The recipe is from A brown table, the only difference I used almond and pistachio, while Nik has just used pistachio. I also did not bake for as long as he did, as I prefer chewy cookies. Thanks Nik for a great recipe.

I have been promising this post for almost a week now, it’s just been a whee bit busy. Had an exciting photography project (can’t talk about it now) - I’ll definitely share with you guys, when I can. In the mean while thank you so much for the love, appreciation, compliments, best wishes on the release of the book ‘A Life of Spice’  - by Monica Bhide on amazon yesterday, which I have photographed. I was absolutely overwhelmed with all the generous comments. Time to descend down to mother earth…

 This batch made 25 cookies and the cookies were generous size.

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