Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hibiscus Raspberry Lemonade Iced Tea

The aroma of hibiscus and the rich deep reds with raspberry, lime and black tea...served chilled. Make sure you have some fresh raspberries to serve with. A mint leaf always does the trick with presentation.
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As the nights become longer and days shorter....am kind of sad that summer is almost over. I cannot imagine it getting dark at 4 pm...oh well, it's still August and we still have beautiful autumn before I start the rant about dark, gloomy winter afternoons.

It has been a couple of weeks since I have really posted a recipe...Just been busy with family and a couple of projects. I'm having a hard time falling into a routine. It's been two weeks since teen is back in school and I thought that would help....ummm! not really. There is so much on my to-do list and all I'm doing is procrastinating. I just dislike it when I'm so unproductive, it just brings out the worst in me....like a downward spiral ...I keep thinking about all the time I have wasted and end up wasting more time.

Teen loves iced-tea... challenged me to make one that she will love. Teenagers are critical people.... to say the least, at-least mine is. And because she can cook, she will give a detail feedback on how it could have been done better (sometimes you don't need a feedback lol!) . I incorporated all her feedback ....and I do have to admit that adding more hibiscus, some lime juice...did make it delicious.

I bought these gorgeous dried hibiscus from this cute spice store in down-town Geneva, since both teen and her dad are not crazy about spending three hours in a spice store, I hang out alone....Just love walking around the quant town. I will be definitely going there with my camera soon...will share pictures. Sometimes you just need that me-time and for me it is shopping at a spice or antique store...


WildPInkFlowers-800PX-SimiJois-2016

Hibiscus Raspberry Lemonade Iced Tea by Simi Jois



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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sundays Stills


Another Sunday and one more still-life photography. This time it is all about tomatoes. Tomatoes is the only produce I grow, apart from my herb-patch. I love tomatoes and eat it in everything, probably that is why it is also the most photographed produce on my blog.

In this post I have mixed and matched. A few still life and a few shots from the garden. I hope you enjoy it.

The last few weeks have been really hectic. Even though I have a couple of recipes that I have shot, I have not been able to post. Hopefully you will see one in the coming week. The next couple of weeks are equally hectic. I promise after that, I will be regular with recipes and visual stories. I have so much to post/share with you guys...!! Just a couple of more weeks and hopefully, back to a more peaceful schedule.


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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sunday Stills - bouquet garni

Herbs, bouquet garni, fresh, summer, in season now, flavor,  simi jois photography

Herbs, bouquet garni, fresh, summer, in season now, flavor,  simi jois photography

The herbs are growing wild in my garden, what had been a neat bed, now looks like a big heap of mess. The mint is dominating the bed and trying to take up all the space. I need to trim them and clean it up, it's just been so hot and this is a south facing bed. I don't want to be working with the sun beating down on my back, I'm waiting for it to cool down a bit so I can create some order. Probably growing the herbs in planters is a better idea - lessons learnt and am going to move the mint to a planter. It will soon eat up my poor lavender, that looks cramped.

These are all the herbs from my garden and am so happy to create a bouquet garni for Sunday Stills. If you consider it as a flavor profile, I don't think they all belong together, but they look very cute on my kitchen window sill, the sage is so aromatic - just love the aroma. Most of them are flowering, except the sage which flowers late spring-early summer.

I just love cut-flowers around the house, they just give me lots of positivity: grace and hope. That's the two words that came to my mind when I placed the bouquet on the sill.

Hope you guys are having a good weekend, enjoy and keep clicking <3 class="separator" div="" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
Herbs, bouquet garni, fresh, summer, in season now, flavor,  simi jois photography
Herbs, bouquet garni, fresh, summer, in season now, flavor,  simi jois photography

Which one is your favorite ??
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Saturday Stills

Sunday still photography - Simi Jois
Warm sunshine on cold days...golden light at it's best. Light sweaters, ruffling of leaves. There is something magical about fall/autumn.  I created this image on a very hot summer evening, probably a yearning for a cooler stargazing fall night.

It  did not take me too long to make it. Simple image,  but it gives me a deep feeling of comfort when I look at it. Of all the images I have made, this is one of my favorites ( if I may say so myself). Not sure why, I do hope you like it too.

Have a wonderful weekend ! Until next week.....





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Monday, August 1, 2016

Peach-apricot and cherry popsicles

Season popsicles made from fresh stone fruit - super juicy and delicious. I love the bright vibrant colors and texture.
Peach-apricot and cherry popsicles, desserts, popsicle, food photography, Simi Jois photography


I remember it was a few years ago that I gifted my mom a color wheel that I had ordered from a art store. My mother is an artist as most of you all know, I thought a color wheel will be a great help. I explained to her what it was and how it should be used, she looked at me and said, " you don't need to think so much, you look at colors and you can tell what goes well together, look around you - it's a real life color wheel"  So true and profound. She lives in India - the land of color. If you have ever visited India ...it is probably a sensory overload for any traveler from the west. Colors, smells, movement, food, people, sounds and more. It is not the land of the mystic, it is much more...it is land of paradox, a land that celebrates life and diversity. As William Dalrymple has said about McCurry's work on India, " McCurry's India is, above all, world of paradox, where the red robes of the Buddhist monk echo perfectly the red of the Coke advertisement behind him; where a businessman heads to work with umbrella and briefcase through waste-high monsoon floods; and ever border guard rides camels through the timeless desert sands of the  Tihar, carrying the latest in modern M-16 high velocity assault rifles." That really is the best description, I have read about a land where I was born and is my identity.

Being an Indian, I am naturally drawn to strong colors, strong aromas and yes loud music. Incorporating color in food - is probably natural to me, not because am an in carnation of Michelangelo himself...but I come from a land of colors. Probably that is why I love fresh produce and their vibrant colors. I love the colors of summer...or probably that is the time of the year when my eyes can see so much color. In the landscape outside, in the produce. I think...mom was right, look around, you don't need that color wheel....

Don't you love the rich colors of this popsicles....

Note : No artificial color has been added to the popsicle - all natural flavors and color. 

PeacCherryPopsicles2-800PX-SimiJois-2016


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Swiss Chard and Black-eyed Peas

Creamy flavorful curry with swiss chard and black-eyed peas, cooked with onions and spices. Great with naan breads or simple pilaf.
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I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she was wondering if I spend half of my life in the kitchen. Well, even if we do assume that I spend half of my life in the kitchen, I would not mind. If someone would take care of the rest of the things for me, I would be happy. The creative process is exhilarating. Well, truth be told : I do not spend a lot of my time in the kitchen, I love recipes that are quick and easy - not semi-home-made. I prefer to make things from scratch- like to know what we eat.  However, my recipes are usually easy and fits my lifestyle of doing multiple things in a day, cooking being one of them. Love working on labor intensive recipes, that require mastery of a technique...that's not something you can do everyday. For everyday it should be simple, soulful and delicious - at least for me.

Last week we visited one of our friends in Moline, it's about three hours drive from home ....my friend has a tiny community farm that she maintains and it was an absolute treat to see it. She was so generous to give me a huge bag of produce and I was thrilled....These swisschard are from her farm. I paired it with blackeyed peas. Loved the combination! The sweetness of the peas with the mild bitterness of swiss chard - perfect balance, caramelized onions and tons of garlic...y u m !
Fresh swiss chard - Simi jois


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Here are some of the images from my her farm. It reminded me of fresh produce from India. I remember the vegetable vendor would bring fresh veggies from his farm early morning (he still does), he would carry it in a cart and push it door to door, selling as he went from one home to another.  He would hide some extra fresh stuff for my mom :). My mom buys veggies every single day. It's hardly refrigerated, as she gets it directly from the farmer - it's almost everyday, other than Sunday ! Everyone needs a day off. What we take for granted in one part of the world is such a luxury in another part of the world. I do love farmer's market in the US and love to shop in the summer, but the luxury of having the farmer home deliver is something I can only dream off. I was super excited to get fresh organic produce and needless to say it was super delicious.






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