Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sunday Stills

Sunday Still - Simi Jois
Sunday Still - Simi Jois

I loved creating these images. I have been eyeing these dried roses for almost four days. The The I I loved creating these images. The petals are beginning to fall of the dried flowers, I just had to make these images. I Do not know about others but I love the color, texture and drama of dried flowers. A long time ago a friend of mine had told me that dried flowers give negative vibes, I'm not sure about that. All I see is beauty in them. i'm sure a lot of you will disagree with me :) We all are different and can co-exist with different ideas of beauty, love and life.

The other day I went to a craft store and saw some dried flowers being sold for $5/stem. Well they were not all natural as they had been dyed after drying them... maybe I should dry painting these. A project for cold winter nights.

Hope you guys are having a great weekend...enjoy your Sunday!

Before I forget, do tell me which one is your favorite - Thanks!!

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Holiday fruit punch


If I were not a photographer, I would definitely be a mixologist - maybe a mocktail mixologist...or who knows!  I just love pairing fruits, spices and herbs. The colors just make me so happy.

I grew up in a family of teetotalers and mocktails or cocktails were not really a happening thing in our house. I think America spoilt me...the amount of juices and beverages you get here...blows my mind. A few years ago I got sucked into making my own shakes, mocktails, juices - I got a Vitamix and that is the most used appliance in my kitchen - no kidding!  ( this is not a sponsored or paid post - just in case if you were wondering ☺)

It is easier to buy ready juices and mix them but the fun is in doing it from basics, at least that is how I like it. If you are making this for a party - you can definitely make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. I don't guarantee there will be anything left , but you can try. Make sure you add the club soda and vodka only when you serve.

When you are making a mocktail you do not have to be precise about the measurements. But adding alcohol - yes precision is required. December is the official party season, please drink responsibly. Please don't drink and drive - be safe, be happy and there is always uber.



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Monday, November 28, 2016

Paneer Tikka Masala

Paneer tikka masala, curry, Indian curry, Simi Jois photography

Paneer tikka masala, curry, Indian curry, Simi Jois photography

I knocked on her window....K was sleeping, as usual. Her mom opened the door, she was expecting me ...she greeted me with a big smile and a hug. K is asleep, she smiled...but lunch is ready I have made your favorite paneer tikka with parathas (flat bread). K was is one of  my best friends from collage, she is from Punjab and her mom makes the bestestestest aloo paratha (flat bread stuffed in potatoes) ever, along with mango pickle and also the best paneer tikka.

I sat down to eat and k walked in lazily towards the dinning room..."no one ever calls me for lunch, I am hungry!" I was enjoying my third paratha....oh! fresh lassi with hot plain parathas and paneer tikka. I served some paneer and pushed it towards K...she stared at me ..."what has aunty made?" ...aunty here referring to my mother. K loved eating at my place as she could live on idlis and dosas ...while I could live on paneer, choley and parathas. We grew up eating together, when K was over we all knew, she would be staying for the next meal and same when I was at her place.

There are so many dishes I learnt from her mother...definitely learnt how to make paneer makhani, paneer tikka among others. This recipe is adapted from her recipe.

Paneer tikka masala, curry, Indian curry, Simi Jois photography

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Thank You Note

Each year gives us something to keep. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months and  into a year. These years accumulate to become a life time. As I look back at 2016...I wonder, what is it that I have received this year. what is it that I have given ...

I'm grateful for all that I have learnt this year and grateful to have lived...lived in the moments where I  am  most truthful to the moment and to myself. There is something more that is lacking...that I need to work on...I really need to spend more time in those moments I talk about. I'm definitely planning to explore more skills and learn more this year. 2016 went by too fast, am not going to let 2017 go by that quickly...making sure each day counts.

I am grateful for all the love and endless support I get from my friends and readers. The love and respect is overwhelming. So many days I wake up to messages  that fills my day with meaning. Thanks to each and everyone who takes time to visit my space and takes time to write a comment or send me a message/email. I'm indeed blessed to have your friendship.
 Thank you !

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.” – Rumi

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Tablescape

There was a lot of hustling in the kitchen, eight  dishes pus two dessert...there were hands flying everywhere. Mom was doing all the cooking...she had Goma (our domestic helper)  roasting the spices...looked like everything was under control. I tried to reach out to the fried okra and got slapped on the hand. It was not mom, but Goma...she asked me to leave the kitchen and find something useful to do with my life. Even though Goma was a domestic helper, she was treated as a family member..she would ask us more questions about are whereabouts than mom, secretly advising mom to tighten her grip on us. 

She walked out of the kitchen with a stack of plates, cups, fork and spoons, " I just washed these, wipe them and set the table" I made a face....!! she smiled and handed over a small cup with fried okra...that was Goma, firm just on the outside. 

Dad was a scientist and often he would have delegates visit from other countries, we always hosted a formal dinner at our place. Mom would cook an authentic Indian meal with subdued spices for the foreign pallet. It was almost always a sit down dinner - a formal setting. Even though back then we did not know much about tablescapes, we always had a flower arrangement on the table with a few artifacts. It was only when I came to this country (USA) in the late 90s...I saw the endless possibilities with table arrangements.  After Pinterest...its a different story, it is definitely an art especially those wedding tables. 

I'm not very creative with table arrangements...not creative at all to say the least...but it does not hurt to try. So I brought out my Villeroy and Boch and tried to pair it with something a little earthy. I just love the shape ...square dinner plates and triangle sides - a little whimsical as it's a bit too modern for the rest of the setup.

Well as for the dinner that was hosted by mom and dad was lapped up and enjoyed by the guests. Especially the tomato rasam which was served as a clear soup. 

Funny story - we had this French scientist a friend of dad's who just loved the rasam. He specially thanked my mom by giving her a peck on the cheek...faire la bise. Mom was most embarrassed as it was unheard of in Indian culture, back then...We teased mom for days...! 

I'm thankful for all the happy memories from my childhood... I cannot believe they are a thing of the past.You can hold on to memories but time, it just slips away.

"The most treasured heirlooms are the sweet memories of family"

Hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for all the love and support.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

A dreamy morning through my lens

Food photography, food styling, Simi Jois photography

"Why are you knocking on every other door?
Go, knock on the door of your own heart"

- Rumi 

The morning dew wet my feet as I walked on the bare grass.  I stood there in awe of the beauty of one single tree. All the shades of yellow against a gray sky and lush green grass...I stood there as the winds gently carried the leaves, one at a time ...landing them softly on the grass. I got a chair ( the grass was too wet) and sat down...watched the world go by. It was probably the most beautiful part of my morning. There are times I cannot see with my bare eyes, what I can see with the camera, i set up my tripod...

We all have a calling and sometimes it's  obvious and many times we have to find it. Many of us have a need to prove who we are. I am not sure if it is for oneself or for others ? I was no exception,  translate that to a great job, success and trajectory upwards. I was right on path, the journey looked great. However, there was something missing, I probably still cannot put my finger on what was missing...but it did not feel soul filling and more than anything it did not feel like  'me'.  I was there and yet not there...a part of me would switch off and the other part would work overtime to fill in the gap.


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