Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Cantaloupe, Lime and Mint Slushy

‘Are we going to Abu Dhaaaaabi tomorrow?’ Maryam asked in her sing song voice. Those that know her will know what I mean when I say her sing song voice. Akber gave me that look- the one questioning me why I tell her these plans so early.

We both knew the consequences. That is all she asked the whole day, every hour! Not only did she wake when the first flitter of morning sun seeped past her blinds the next day, she was ready to leave by 7am. Yes, that is right. And so, at a more respectable 10am, both kids were packed into the car and one picnic basket of snacks that Akber remarked could feed an army in the desert.

I had been meaning to visit the Grand Mosque (or Sheikh Zayed Mosque) ever since I arrived as a tourist in Dubai more than five years ago. One failed attempt two years ago occurred when the imposing structure was within arm’s reach but the spaghetti off roads surrounding the mosque meant it still remained elusive.

Not this time though. We carefully planned our route. Akber had some work in town so it was about 4:30 or so when we reached. Perfect time for a sunset tour of the mosque and the best time to take photos. Although still very hot, the mosque was bathed in a golden aura. Through the heat, it looked as though the numerous minarets were dancing.

As my feet burrowed into the plush, plump carpets, I was taken in by the light and colors. The light that bounced off the shimmering chandeliers, the light that was reflected off of the jeweled scriptures, that amazing, dreamy light. It took my breath away.

At every step, there was a sight to inspire, rows and rows upon rows of gilded columns, enchanting calligraphy, stories behind every corner. I had many questions that our guide automatically knew the answer to without hesitation.

As I sat near one of the many reflective pools, I took in all the beauty, the peace and calming atmosphere. Around me, I saw faces of every culture, every color, every age all gathered as equals. Beautiful. I highly recommend you to visit this marvelous structure if you are in UAE.

And this drink? Well, after a long and hot day taking photographs at every opportunity, this is exactly the kind of cooling drink I needed. We all needed actually. It is a forgiving recipe- all the ingredients can be varied according to your taste.

The best part is- we have had it as a slushy, a popsicle, a sorbet, a granita. Same recipe, many ways to enjoy it. I hope you will give it a try in some form before summer slips away. Ramadhan Kareem everyone.

Cantaloupe, Lime and Mint Slushy

sugar syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

1 cantaloupe- I used half honeydew and half cantaloupe
juice of 5 limes
3 tbs chopped mint
1 tbs lime zest
sugar syrup to taste
3 cups ice cubes

To make the sugar syrup, boil water and sugar until the sugar has just dissolved. Depending on the sweetness of the melons, you will not use up all the sugar syrup which can be frozen as ice cubes to use some other time.

To make the slushy, blend all the ingredients at high speed in a blender. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Makes 5 glasses.

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Announcing Winner of DMBLGiT September 2011

I never realised how hard it is to judge someone’s photography until I hosted last month’s DMBLGiT. Photography is so personal- each photograph tells a different story for each indivdual, speaks a different language to each individual, relays a different emotion for each individual.

All seventy five entries were a brilliant effort and I’m so grateful for my fellow judges Laksmi, Sylvie, Meeta, Ilva and Hannah for their opinions and scores. Here are the beautiful winners:

Overall 1st Place:

Juls of Juls’ Kitchen (Canon EOS 350D, 50mm 1.8)

Overall 2nd Place:

Michelle of Greedy Gourmet (Canon 5D, 24-70mm 2.8L)

Overall 3rd Place:

Egle of Zaidimu Aikstele (Nikon D80, 60mm 2.8AF Micro)

Edibility Category Winner:

Chang Pick Yin of Life is Great (Fuji S2 Pro, 50mm 1.8)

Originality Category Winner:

Anja of Anja’s Food 4 Thought (Nikon D90, 60mm lens)

Aesthetics Category Winner:

Allison of Pease Pudding (Nikon D80, 60mm Macro)

Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who participated. If you would like to take part this month, please make sure you send your entries to Bobbie.

On a side note, I was thrilled when Gulf Photo Plus asked to feature me in their September newsletter. You can read about my photography journey so far here

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Announcing Does My Blog Look Good in This (DMBLGiT) September 2011

I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be hosting the September 2011 edition of Does My Blog Look in This (DMBGiT), a food photography event initiated by Andrew.

Here are a few rules and regulations just in case you are not aware:

1) Only one food/ drink photo entry per person
2) The photograph  must have been taken by you
3) The photograph must have been posted on your bog anytime between August 1st 2011 and August 31st 2011
4) Deadline to submit entries is September 20th 2011 at midnight

You can enter by emailing me your entry on with the subject- DMBLGiT. Please include the following information in your email:

1) Your name
2) Link to the original blog post
3) Include the photograph as an attachment (should be 640 pixels wide)
4) Title of the photograph
5) Lens and camera used

All photographs will be loaded into this Picasa gallery as I receive them. Each photograph will be scored based on aesthetics, edibility and originality. Three overall winners will be selected plus 3 winners who scored the highest in each of the above categories. Winners will be announced on October 1st 2011.

By submitting a photo, entrants agree to their photo being redisplayed and altered in size on the host’s page and on the Spittoon Extra DMBLGiT page.

To help me judge, I have the help of some wonderful judges and friends. They are all wonderful photographers in their own rights and I’m so grateful they will be helping me judge this edition.

I cannot wait to see all the beautiful and original works of art that I will receive. In the mean time, I’m leaving you with a glimpse of my next post- warm and comforting. I will post the recipe…………..soon. And a fabulous worldwide giveaway to go with it.

And I couldn’t resist posting a few pictures of Maryam’s first day back at nursery. She had the most wonderful day and didn’t want to come back home. I’m so grateful.

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