Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Muffin Tin Ice cream

Muffin Tin Ice cream - Simi Jois Photography

Muffin Tin Ice cream - Simi Jois Photography

It has been a whirlwind of a year so far. I had promised myself to update TNS at least once a month and I cannot believe that I have not had the time to do so. I was in India in April-May for almost a month and when I got back I was working on a spice project followed by online photography tutorials that were packed. If you are interested to register for my online class - click here. I now offer group lessons as well, the post has all the details and if you have further questions you can email me or send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment here.

About these super easy muffin tin ice cream. These are super easy and almost have a gourmet look about them. My sister and brother-in-law were visiting and my brother-in-law loves desserts, so I created this ahead of time so I could spend time with them and not be stuck in the kitchen.

Muffin Tin Ice cream - Simi Jois Photography

Muffin Tin Ice cream - Simi Jois Photography

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Online food photography and styling group lessons

Food Photography is not as overwhelming as it looks when you first pick up your camera. Not all genre of photography requires the same skill.  If you ask me to do sports photography, I would probably need not just different lenses but also some lessons in sports photography, where timing is everything.

Food and lifestyle photography is about storytelling. It is about colors, textures, light, shade, framing and a lot more. It can get overwhelming. In my last workshop, I had a student walk up to me and say..." Why are we doing all this? What is the purpose of it all?" You have to find your purpose, you have to find what urges you to pick up the camera and create. You have to find what makes your heart skip a beat and warm up. Just like a poet may not have any purpose to write about dancing daffodils, yet the only purpose is a calling from the heart. Photography is art, it is an expression of that voice in you that are looking for a canvas.

In the last few years, I have enjoyed conducting a hands-on workshop. The energy and creativity give me goosebumps. A lot of people don't like to learn in workshops, a lot of them are not in the same town and can't travel. This is a great opportunity for people like you, who want to learn at your own pace and in the convenience of your home. Online classes were limited to a one on one customized lesson plans, but now I am offering group lessons.

The first group lesson will be scheduled in the second week of August, depending on the time zone of the students who enroll, I will announce the date/time.  I will send out a few date/time and you can pick what works for you

Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime - again students can vote what they prefer.
3 session of 2 hours each 

Manual mode and storytelling.
You do not require to know how to shoot manual, but at the end of 3 days, you will start getting comfortable with using manual mode.
How to narrate a story and use the camera to work for you and not against you.

So if this is something that you have been wanting to learn and not done it yet. Here is your chance to enroll in this group lesson. I will be limiting the number of students to keep the class intimate.

If you are interested please fill this online form

$150 for the 3 sessions ( 2 hours each)

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you there.

*If you have financial hardships please email me and let me see how we can work things out.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Blood orange upside down egg less cake - no sugar cake

It is still quite cold this side of the planet, snow on the ground with the promise of more. With all that cold, I wanted to bake a warm spicy cake for our wedding anniversary. Both S and I are not big frosting fans, and with Aish, at school, we really do not indulge in desserts as much as we used to. I wanted to make a simple no-sugar cake. I love the idea of dates in the cake, it adds moisture and mild sweetness, so if you have a keen sweet tooth, you will need to add some sugar to this.

This recipe is adapted from here. I incorporated some spices and made it a blood orange upside down cake. I also added a warm syrup to go with the cake, adding some sweetness and spiciness to the cake.

I'm doing a food photography and styling workshop in Bengaluru, India this May - click here for details. 

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Blood orange - pomegranate- cranberry khatta-meetha (sweet-sour) mocktail

KalaKhatta our very own chatpatta - videshi style

I grew up in India and every year during our summer break we would visit my uncle in Mumbai. Mumbai is known for street food and barf ka gola (shaved ice with syrup) is something that I just loved. A specific flavor was kala-khatta, an absolute favorite. This mocktail is inspired from it.

If you are not familiar with chaat masala, it is a must-have in every pantry. It is a spice blend that has a bit of sourness, saltiness, sweetness, a bit astringent. absolutely lip-smacking. Sprinkle it on anything and it brings the flavors to life. Don't miss making this one...


2-3 cups blood orange juiced
1 cup pomegranate juice
4-5 cranberries
some raw tamarind or juice of half lime
1-inch ginger juice
1 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
4 tbsp sugar
1 cup of water
2 cups club soda OR
1/2 cup vodka

Instructions :

  • Take the cranberries and blend with water 
  • Add sugar and make a simple syrup, to this add raw tamarind or lime juice
  • Let it cool then add chaat, red chili powder & ginger juice 
  • Mix with the juices
  • Add club soda and served chilled
If you add vodka omit the club soda. 

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Stir fried noodles - Under 30 minutes

THIS this this is the ultimate lazy person's quick meal. Quicker than a take-out. No kidding. With all the snow, -52F and stuck at home, I am in no mood to spend hours cooking. Though that is a good way of spending time, somehow, I've become this lazy person with my nose in a book. Perfect for a cold brrrr day. 

That was almost ten days ago, I have been meaning to post this, but somehow one thing or the other has kept me away. Between my skype photography lessons, client work and my own life the days seem to blur into nights in a flash. I have never enjoyed photography as much as I am doing this year. I think the classes are so refreshing, thank you for enrolling. Keeps me on my toes.

Between all this, I've been catching up on reading. Right now I am reading two books, both non-dual inquiry. As a teen, I have spent hours learning about Advaita philosophy from my father. Somewhere, between my twenties and now I got distanced from any form of philosophy as life took over. And the same life just pulled me back into it. With such strength, that I willingly got pulled along. The last couple of years, I have started meditating, it has changed my life. I'm just so happy, not that I was ever a sad person, but this happiness has a different texture to it, it has a sense of fulfillment. Earlier, I was outcome driven and now I am more task driven. That really cuts out the anxiety of the outcome and makes the overall experience of doing anything very joy full.

We only live once and we have to be truthful to who we are. There is no perfect life, it is all in the mind and the mind can mislead, often addressed as monkey-mind, needs to get tamed and meditation is a great tool.

Going back to the stir-fried noodles, the sauce is the key. Add any veggies or meat of choice. I have used fettuccine here as I ran out of my favorite brown rice noodles. So pick the noodle of your choice.

Here comes the recipe ....

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