Friday, June 22, 2012

New Journey!

Well my friends, I am ready to embark on a new journey and become a mom for a second time.
So my hands will be full these days...and I might not be very good in updating the blog!

Will be in touch :)
All the best to you all and have a great summer

Sunday, April 15, 2012

When Ela got sick!

This past week was horrible: Ela caught this bad bad desease with runny nose and high fever. She was really bad and İ was exausted.

Obviously her appetite was very low, and today that she started to feel better... Mommy decided to treat her with a cheerfull breakfast!

A special breakfast platter with:
-The omelet monster and Labne-cheese teeth, olive eyes and bread crust hair
-A special car-shaped toast of 'pekmez-tahin" (traditional Turkish spread mixing grape molasse and sesame paste) with walnut wheels and grapes
-A freshly squeezed orange juice (in one of my favorite old-style Algerian mint tea glass)
-A warm chocolate milk
-and a pink towel flower

and she devored it all!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Selin Franco - Food Styling, Consulting, Teaching

Selin is a dear friend of mine, who back in the old days in New York went to the French Culinary Institute, while I started operating my Gourmet food store Delicacies. We were leaving our best times in New York,  sharing our love for food!

Selin is a truly talented chef, with impressive cooking skills leading to the most succulent and innovative dishes I tasted. But what also characterize Selin is her talent for details and presentation....or should I say "Food Styling". Selin offers cooking classes, and consults restaurants here in Istanbul on their menu, recipes and presentations with a lot of professionalism and success. Selin can be contacted here

As for me, I am always delighted to be invited by her, certainly for her company and friendship but also for the memorable food experience she makes me live each and every time!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hazelnut-Fig Biscotti

Since you read the previous post about healthy meals during I need to defend myself, you do need sometimes - pregnant or not - a little sweet something!!

And a buttery hazelnut-fig biscotti can be the answer :)

I adapted the recipe from BBC Good food - Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti  by finely grinding the hazelnut and substituting the chocolate with dried-figs.

Since I adapted the recipe - I prefer to just share the pictures and some tips : let the biscotti cool well before handling and use a serrated knife for cutting!



Friday, March 23, 2012

Healthy meals during pregnancy!

well....trying at least!

No worries I am not going to go over how important it is to eat healthy while pregnant, as you already know about it, just that it is somehow not that easy to do in everyday-life!

1- Price: well the best meal you would have is a nice combination of fish and veggies. I decided to make a nice and easy (yes easiness is key here!!!) grilled salmon with a lemony-dill yogurt sauce and steamed broccoli. Very fresh, nutritious and tasty.......yet a bit luxurious to Turkish standard when I realized how much I paid for this meal.
Then again, we are lucky here is Turkey where fish is abundant, fresh and delicious, I just feel sometimes lazy to go all the way to Besiktas Market (or Kadikoy on Asian side) for a Levrek, Cipra ....

2- Availability-Season:  the best strategy then was to forget about your craving of  seafood risotto, ceviche, smoked-salmon, tomato-mozzarella salad or anything foreign, forbidden during pregnancy or out-of-season! Just stick to the basics, get fresh, local and more importantly in-season vegetables and fruits.

Then just add a small touch, by mixing ingredients and/or taking a different approach on the recipe:
 - like zesty citrous fruits, especially my favorite blood-oranges. Make juice, smoothie, toss in a salad and just enjoy plain as it is
- or you can "invent" a recipe, as a feta-cheese gratin of celery-roots and caramelized onion. Honestly very tasty, very reminiscent of a potato-gratin yet with a a nice/healthier bite

3- Go Veggies: Take it to the "extreme" and go almost vegetarian for a meal as follows: (clockwise in the picture)
-Shredded-carrot, parsley and lettuce salad with "fresh green garlic" or in  Turkish "taze sarimsak"
- Asian-style vegetable and apple-meatballs (well don't forget I have a 4 year old daughter, I can't push it too much as far a veggies are concerned), nicely flavored with fresh-ginger.
- my celery-root gratin (see point 2)
- sauteed broccoli with again the fresh green-garlic
- then a side of thinly sliced radicchio or as my husband said it is referred to as the "poor man mezze" in Turkey

May sound nice and healthy but didn't please at my daughter, at all!!!!

Another alternative is my favourite soup these days a roasted-tomato and basil soup (with caramelized onion a very-very old piece of parmigianno that I toss in) with this time some Mercimek-koftesi or Turkish vegetarian bulgur-red lentils patties. Again, not a winner for my daughter taste buds! aghhh

4- Somewhere in between : then when you still crave for some "carbs" and try to keep it healthy and funny to make......Make you own home-made Spinach Tagliatelle.

Except that in this particular case it was not very successful :) Aside from the dough preparation and the shaping steps, the issue was that I probably let it rest too long which made the pasta stick together, then when I boiled it, it became kind of "mushy". The taste was ok but not the texture!
I made a cream-sauce with some sauteed beef to serve with the spinach tagliatelle.... which made Ela say " I have never seen Green Pasta".

So dears friends and readers, HELP,  could you please share a recipe and tips for homemade pasta? Thanks 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The 'Seyyar File' Pizza at the Galata House Bakery event

The city of Istanbul is certainly known for its hidden treasures. Many of you would agree that Galata neighborhood is one of them as it represents an interesting mix of new and old, modern-fashionable and tradition.

In this tiny neighborhood, you can find a unique restaurant  The Galata House serving Georgian cuisine in the old British Jail house and run by an Architects couple (and parent of my friend).  As part of the mix 'new-and-old" if I may say it his way, the restaurant has been running an open-door event known as The Cafe Market Event.

The third volume - a special Valentine's Day - was an opportunity to gather and promote young talents of  clothes, jewelery and home decor designers as well as wonderful bakers of gourmet sweets and treats - cupcakes, cakes, chocolate truffles. (more details and pictures here)