Category: Weekly photo challenge

*/ This category shall have posts of weekly photo challenge. /*

Holi Wish

Colors of Joy on Holi

A Time to Unwind,

A time to de-stress,

A time to bond with sweets,

Thandai,

Thandai drink for Holi

Jalebi with rabadi,

Jalebi-Rabdi

Gujjias,

Gujia for Holi

Ladoos,

gulab jamuns,

Immerse yourself in the colors of joy,

 Holi shop

Red for prosperity,

Green for happiness,

Blue for long life,

Pink for friendship

I Wish you all

Happiness and laughter

This Holi

Names

 

Cycle matchbox A  small box for holding matches

Ship matchbox- matchbox with a nameA match is a tool for starting a fire.

Typically, modern matches are made of small wooden sticks or stiff paper.

Aim matchboxOne end is coated with a material that can be ignited by frictional heat generated by striking the match against a suitable surface.

Wooden matches are packaged in match boxes, and paper matches are partially cut into rows and stapled into matchbooks.

I struck a match 

But before

I could light

Anything, 

With it,

The flame danced and swayed.

 

Matchboxes with names

 

Humans love naming things

Here are matches with names

 

Although their purpose remains the same.

 

 

*/This post is inspired by Weekly Photo challenge Names

Celebrate Diwali – Let Your Light Shine.

Celebrate Diwali- Let your light shine

Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival which is celebrated every year during autumn. This year Diwali falls on October 30. The celebrations include millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors, and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries wherever it is observed. Diwali is a festival of lights- Diyas, lanterns, and serial lights. Celebrating Diwali is impossible without having these items lined up at home, having the bright light fill up the room and bringing a happy glow on people’s faces.

A Diya is a small earthen lamp that is particularly lit on Diwali for ‘pujan’ and decoration purposes. A cotton wick is used in diyas, and oil or ghee serves as the burning fuel. Diyas are plain and colored, big and small, simple and fancy, and so on. The markets are flooded with various types of gifts, decoration, and puja items. The crafted and designer diyas are one of the big attractions in such markets. Diyas embellished with zari, painted patterns, mirrors, etc. are quite enticing by their very appearance.

[tweetshare tweet=”Here are 5 unique and colorful #diyas for #Diwali” username=”wizmagic1″]

Terracota Diwali Diyas ShineTerracotta Diya- The material is Terracotta and multicolored. The package consists of 4 Diyas and 4 Cotton wick with gold tinsel Swastik borders and purple, yellow, green and red pear-shaped centers.

Floating Diwali Diya Shine

Exquisite Hand Crafted Festive Decor Crystal Floating Diya (tealight candle holder), clear transparent crystal – Elegant and tastefully decorated floating tealight holder for adding a festive touch to your home. You can either float this in water or use on floor/table, looks great both ways. It enhances the festive look of your home or Puja room. Decorated with colorful and attractive multi-color stones. 
It is a must to have in festive seasons. Also, makes a great Gift to your near and dear ones. It is handcrafted to perfection, by the skilled artisans of India.

Tiedribbons Diwali Diyas Shine10 beautiful hand painted Diya candles- It is suitable for Indoor use, on a decorative shelf or in Puja. It is handmade in India.

Swanky home decor LED light Diwali Diyas Shine

Diwali Decoration lights It is multi-coloured LED Colour Changing Tealights- Has On/off Switch at Bottom and is ideal for Pooja decoration in Diwali.

Earthern oil handcrafted Diwali Diyas shine

Colorful Earthen Oil Lamps Hand Crafted Diwali Diya with Studded Stones– You can place Diwali diyas at your doorsteps, windows, balcony or temple for Diwali decoration. Handcrafted out of the finest quality of clay by the skilled endowed artisans of India. Let your world be illuminated by the festive collection of colorful Diwali Diya. They are hand painted with gorgeous colors and would look great incorporated in any home decor theme.

All of the above ‘Diyas’ are available on Amazon. So, shop now for Diwali Hampers- Kaju Katli and Set of 6 Diyas.

The sun does not shine there, nor does the moon and the stars, nor do lightning shine?

All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self.

Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali

Celebrate Diwali – Let Your Light Shine.

"Celebrate

World Photography Day

World Photography Day

I came across a Facebook post from a dear friend and a blogger  who posted about it today. August 19 is celebrated as World Photography Day.

[bctt tweet=”#WorldPhotographyDay” username=”wizmagic1″]

World Photography Day, observed every year on Aug. 19, celebrates the works of amateur as well as professional photographers in equal measure.

History behind Photography day

Nicephore Niepce originally made the photograph using silver chloride coating a piece of paper. The photo did not turn out well with it. The earliest known permanent photographic image, however, was created by a more complex process called heliography in 1826. The exposure time needed to create that photograph was eight hours. Over the years, photographs have become better as compared to the ones of the World War 2 and the modern cameras.  With the advent of digital cameras, over 350 billion photos are taken worldwide each year.

With a soft click of a camera, a flashlight and the moment is captured to cherish for a lifetime. The medium whether digital or on a film the memory lasts forever.

Photo gallery on world photography day

Quotes on photography– The following quotes describe the true essence of photography on World Photography Day.

“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” ― Ted Grant

“Black and white are the colours of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected” — Robert Frank

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” — Aaron Siskind

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” ― Ansel Adams

“Photography is a magical kind of art that allows people to preserve time and moments, and to describe the world the way they see it.” ― Sahara Sanders

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all know light. Know it for all you are worth and you will know the key to photography” ~ George Eastman.

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” ― Elliott Erwitt

LIFE is a camera FOCUS on what’s important, CAPTURE the good times DEVELOP from the negatives if things don’t work out TAKE another shot.

So, take a photo, share it and celebrate World Photography Day today.

 

Entertaining with Cheese

How to entertain guests with a cheese platter?

There are innumerable ways to enjoy cheese, the best and simplest way is a sampling of cheeses on a platter with all the trimmings. An extravagant wedding reception, a fine dinner party or a buffet at a star hotel, a store opening or even a baby shower nowadays will definitely sport a cheese platter with a delectable variety on it. The mouth-watering savoury taste of cheese has made it the go-to appetiser.

Cheese
Cheesy, Close-Up, Colour, Cook

Cheese is more popular today than ever. Although at some point of time cheese did have its own course, today one can find that it is at 35,000 feet in first class cabins where it is served as a course on the menu. The relaxed formalities of today mean the cheese course at the dinner table is rather rare but has become popular during cocktail hour at parties.

Cheese platter

Cheese as part of the hors d’oeuvres course is wonderful and extremely practical, because, once it is served it does not require any further fuss or effort from the host or hostess. But if you do plan to serve a cheese platter for your party it is important to get it right. The most important detail when serving cheese is to serve it at room temperature. When slicing cheese, include both the heart and the rind so everyone can enjoy an equal share of the various flavours, though the way cheese is served largely depends on its shape and texture.

Round cheeses like brie and camembert can be served by cutting little wedges or triangles and emmental can be served by cutting it into thin slices. When making a cheese platter, you should present a variety of cheese- a soft cheese (brie), a hard cheese (an aged cheddar), and for the less adventurous include some mild cheese and for the adventurous include some kind of sharp cheese like blue.

You won’t be able to dictate how your guests sample your cheese selection, but a beautiful cheese platter presentation says everything about you as a host or hostess. Make sure you have plenty of small plates and cocktail napkins for guests to serve themselves along with a separate knife per cheese with plenty of fresh fruits like grapes and some dried figs or apricots along with a selection of fresh fine breads and crackers as accompaniments.

Emmental cheese
Emmental de Savoie. Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

A simple tip when arranging a cheese platter cut just a few slices of bread at a time as bread can go stale very quickly, you could leave a cutting board and knife with the loaf for guests to help themselves. But this humble dairy product, made from pressed curd of milk, doesn’t just marry up with dips, crackers and fine wine.

Cooking with cheese takes it to a whole new level. Not just sprinkling some mozzarella over your pizza or some cheddar on your au gratin but try to include cheese in everything from your casseroles to sauces and salads.

But there is always the dilemma which cheese do I use? Some tasty trusty cheddar, ricotta, feta, goat’s soft cheese, hard cheese, or blue cheese…now that we can easily find hundreds of varieties of cheese at the supermarkets – well, they each lend themselves perfectly to being cooked in different dishes as per the demands of the recipe. Hard cheeses include cheddar, parmesan and Swiss. Soft cheeses include feta, ricotta and brie, while blue cheeses include Stilton, Roquefort and gorgonzola.

Cheddar cheese
sweet dreams are made of cheese Who am I to disagree? Travel the world and the seven seas Everybody’s looking for Cheddar Image credit- Robert Couse-Baker- flickr.com

Cheddar firm texture and sharp taste make it perfect for cooking in skillet recipes, casseroles and even savoury cheesecakes as well as desserts. The slightly tangy and sharp flavour of parmesan makes it a great combination with vegetables and tomato based sauces. The mild, sweet flavour and silky texture of Swiss would work well in a Quiche or pies or even in a fondue, thanks to its excellent melting capabilities.

Goat’s cheese, with its slight tangy and buttery consistency, is wonderful when cooked with lentils, or sprinkled over a risotto or with a beetroot or spinach salad. The super sharp, ripe taste of blue cheese works great in a lasagna with walnuts or a mushroom pasta bake or a delicious garnish with a pumpkin or broccoli soup. Different cheeses respond differently to heat, so before you go on a conquest of experimenting it would be better to try some tried and tested recipes first.

Then once you have mastered the tastes and textures you can go wild with all the choices but also remember everyone’s taste buds are different and unique, so you can’t go wrong.

 Cooking and serving cheese are Fun!.

How to entertain guests with a cheese platter?

You may like to read

In the Morning of Life

As I rose in the Morning, with the first rays of the sun, nature brought in the fragrance of  fresh flowers. The air around was cool and serene. I spotted this beautiful bird among the trees. 

In the morning of life
Coppersmith Barbet

I recall these beautiful lines, 

In the morning of life, when its cares are unknown,
And its pleasures in all their new lustre begin,
When we live in a bright-beaming world of our own,
And the light that surrounds us is all from within;
Oh ’tis not, believe me, in that happy time
We can love, as in hours of less transport we may; —
Of our smiles, of our hopes, ’tis the gay sunny prime,
But affection is truest when these fade away.

When we see the first glory of youth pass us by,
Like a leaf on the stream that will never return,
When our cup, which had sparkled with pleasure so high,
First tastes of the other, the dark-flowing urn;
Then, then in the time when affection holds sway
With a depth and a tenderness joy never knew;
Love, nursed among pleasures, is faithless as they,
But the love born of Sorrow, like Sorrow, is true.

In climes full of sunshine, though splendid the flowers,
Their sighs have no freshness, their odour no worth;
‘Tis the cloud and the mist of our own Isle of showers
That call the rich spirit of fragrancy forth.
So it is not ‘mid splendour, prosperity, mirth,
That the depth of Love’s generous spirit appears;
To the sunshine of smiles it may first owe its birth,
But the soul of its sweetness is drawn out by tears.

~Thomas Moore

Nature rejoices and is grateful for the new day that has begun.

Something special awaits you each day.  
All you need is to recognize it and make the most of it.
Have a positive attitude throughout the day and then I am Sure for you that Today is Going to Be a Great Day!!!

 

Cherry or Cherries on Top

Cherry on top

Black Forest Pie Cake Cream Cake Chocolate Chips

Recently, I attended a friend’s birthday party. The birthday was celebrated on a very grand scale. It was held at a famous 5-star hotel hall. The birthday cake was a Black Forest Cake.  A cream cake with a lot of chocolate chips and not just a Cherry On Top but cherries on top!

Let’s celebrate the cherries on top!

Details You Need To Look At While Cooking

Cooking is an art, technology, and craft of preparing food for consumption with the use of heat.  Across the globe, there are various techniques used from grilling food over an oven fire to gas stoves, to baking in various types of ovens which reflect the unique environmental, economic, cultural traditions and trends.

Go green with organic vegetables- Details of cooking ingredients.
Ecologically grown vegetables.

In cooking, you require Details about the ingredients used in a dish and the method of cooking to make that delicious meal. Ingredients comprise usually of  vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts as well as herbs and spices come from plants, while meat, eggs, and dairy products come from animals. Mushrooms and the yeast used in baking are kinds of fungi. Cooks also use water and minerals such as salt. Cooks can also use wine or spirits.

Ingredients that occur naturally contain various amounts of molecules called proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. They also contain water and minerals. Cooking involves a manipulation of the chemical properties of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals.

All cooking ingredients are measured with Metric style measuring cup set. It is an important utensil in the kitchen. The typical cooking measuring cup sizes are 1 cup, ½ cup, 1/3 cup, ¼ cup and 1/8 cup and in the case of typical spoon sizes, 1 tablespoon, ½ tablespoon, 1 teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon.

Nasi Lemak - Cooking details while preparing this dish
Nasi Lemak
Image courtesy- traveldelight.biz

There are various methods of cooking since antiquity – baking, roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing, smoking, boiling, steaming and braising. A more recent innovation is microwave. Various methods use differing levels of heat and moisture and vary in cooking time.

These major hot cooking techniques comprise of
•  Roasting – Barbecuing – Grilling/Broiling – Rotisserie – Searing

•  Baking
Baking – Baking Blind – Flash baking

•  Boiling
Boiling – Blanching – Braising – Coddling – Double steaming – Infusion – Poaching – Pressure cooking – Simmering – Smothering – Steaming – Steeping – Stewing – Vacuum flask cooking

  Frying
Fry – Deep frying – Hot salt frying – Hot sand frying – Pan frying – Pressure frying – Sautéing – Stir-frying

•  Steaming
Steaming is usually done by boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporize into steam; the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. It is considered a healthy form of cooking, holding nutrients within the vegetable or meat being cooked.

Smoking

Smoking is the process of flavouring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning or smouldering material, most often wood.

Similarly, there are temperature charts for details on cooking meats, poultry, eggs, leftovers, and casseroles.

A delicious meal prepared with details of cooking.
Chinese Prosperity Food with Salmon Photography: ProjectManhattan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cooking has been around for centuries and everyone is connected to it in some form or the other from bringing friends and family together or planning to make a fulfilling home cooked meal instead of ordering one.

Look up

Petronas Towers, Malaysia
Petronas Towers

As I Look Up, I see this splendid architecture. The 88 storey building features glass and steel exterior and traditionally inspired interior. The sky bridge that connects the two towers is the world’s highest two-storey bridge which is an excellent viewing platform as you get a magnificent view of the city.

Any guesses, where is this located?

Well, it is Petronas Twin Towers located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

To continue reading…, please follow this link

*/ This post is inspired by Weekly Photo Challenge Look Up. /*

WPC: H20-The Waterfall

H2O is the chemical formula for water. It describes water broken down into its elements.

For me, the waterfall symbolises unleashed creativity in a constant fluid shape that is ever-changing and renewing. It symbolises openness, flexibility, power, form and spirituality which is a primordial symbol association with water in its countless expressions.

Gushing waterfall inside the botanical garden

In literature, water is associated with a symbol of change and is present at turning points. In most cultures, it is a sign of life. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, was motivated to contemplate on the waterfall as the continuous evolution of beings. The drops of water which come together to form a waterfall are renewed each second.

Kodaikanal waterfalls
Kodaikanal waterfalls

The waterfall symbolises unharnessed elemental motion. The force field that one needs to master and control one’s spirituality or spiritual being. The waterfall is symbolic of lastingness of form despite the change of content. Waterfall symbolises immense release of emotion, rejuvenation and renewal of spirit. The four elements of life on our planet of which water is the crucial element and the waterfall, in particular, is continuous creation and renewal.

 

 

*/This post was inspired by Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol earlier and now H2O. For this week’s challenge, share a photo that features H2O; the element of water. Water comes in many different states and guises./*

 

*/ Please do not use photos without permission. */

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