Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Turkish Delight

Originally uploaded by sacidu.

Have you ever tasted Turkish delight? I like the taste of it. When I drink sugarless Turkish coffee, I usually want something with it, a Turkish bitter almond cookie, an almond paste, a cezerye or a Turkish delight. Turkish coffee is different, but once you are used to drink it with a Turkish delight it is a marriage made in heaven.

Turkish delight is a confection made from sugar, corn starch, cream of tartar, natural/artificial colors, natural/artificial flavors (especially rose flavor, lemon, orange, mint flavored). Turkish delights are usually filled with nuts (pistachio, almond, hazelnut or walnut), sweetened coconut flakes and vanilla. They are dusted with powdered sugar to prevent sticking.

Thank you God for Turkish Delight :)

My Lady D'Arbanville

3 birds 20061020 _0270
Originally uploaded by CoastRanger.

My Lady D'Arbanville
Why do you sleep so still?
I'll wake you tomorrow
And you will be my fill
Yes you will be my fill

My Lady D'Arbanville
Why does it grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent
Why do you breathe so low?
Why do you breathe so low?

My Lady D'Arbanville
Why do you sleep so still?
I'll wake you tomorrow
And you will be my fill
Yes you will be my fill

My Lady D'Arbanville
You look so cold tonight
Your lips feel like winter
Your skin has turned to white
Your skin has turned to white

My Lady D'Arbanville
Why do you sleep so still?
I'll wake you tomorrow
And you will be my fill
Yes you will be my fill

My Lady D'Arbanville
Why do you greet me so?
But your heart seems so silent
Why do you breathe so low?
Why do you breathe so low?

I loved you my Lady
Though in your grave you lie
I'll always be with you
This rose will never die
This rose will never die

I loved you my Lady
Though in your grave you lie
I'll always be with you
This rose will never die
This rose will never die

By Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Morning has broken...

Morning has broken...
Originally uploaded by Mieke Vos ^..^.

I was very heavily influenced by Cat Stevens during my first two years at university.

Morning has broken
Like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird

Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the world

Sweet, the rain's new fall
Sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall
On the first grass

Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light
Eden saw play
Praise with elation
Praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

Morning has broken
Like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird

Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the world

By Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pretty Flowers

pretty as a picture
Originally uploaded by qofd.

Beautiful colors and composition! So pretty!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Fresh Flower Blue

blue flowers
Originally uploaded by _Kempton_.
It's a fresh flower blue.
I wrap it in a sheet.
I love its scent, it's hues.

It sips the mist, the dew
and leaves an odor, treat
It's a fresh flower blue.

Its pets, the bees and crew
they meet, they greet, they eat.
I love its scent, its hues.

From dawn to dusk they woo
and bask in rain or heat.
It's a fresh flower blue.

There's a flower for you
There's one for me. A treat!
I love its scent, its hues.

The day I say adieu
I send you one so sweet.
It's a fresh flower blue
I love its scent, its hue.

A Fresh Flower Blue by Agatha Lai

White Flowers

White Flowers - Further
Originally uploaded by m00by.

I hope you don't mind if I keep posting pictures that were taken in summer. I was looking through some pictures yesterday and realize how much I miss summer.

Mushroom Omelette

chop chop
Originally uploaded by dps.
Researches show that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but a recent study has revealed that there is a decline in the amount of people who eat breakfast as people prefer to eat on the run due to their busy lifestyles.

Do you have breakfast?


4 fresh button, chestnut or oyster mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1,5 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon butter
2 eggs
¾ tablespoon milk
1/2 tablespoon chopped scallion
½ tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/5 cup coarsely grated aged cheddar


Heat a small-sized nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Heat the olive oil in the frying pan and put the thinly sliced mushrooms. Fry mushrooms for 4 minutes over medium-high heat until tender. Stir occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer mushrooms into a bowl and keep aside .
Beat the eggs and milk and season with salt and ground black pepper.
Melt butter over medium heat. Swirl the butter in the pan and when the foaming has subsided pour the mixture into the pan and rotate the frying pan slightly. Wait for 30 seconds to set up. Shake the pan to allow the uncooked liquid to set and cook. Cook for additional 3,5 minutes.
Once the omelette is almost set, spread the mushrooms on top. Grate the cheese over them. Sprinkle chopped scallion and minced parsley. Cook for one minute and slide the omelette onto a serving dish. If desired, put filllings on one side only and fold it in half over the fillings.

Have a good appetite!

Two on one

Two on one
Originally uploaded by Reini..

Pretty butterflies on the sunflower. Perfect composition.

Cornstarch Cookies

cookie time
Originally uploaded by m.a.r.c..
Take a warm, freshly baked cornstarch cookie right from the oven. Quick and easy cornstarch cookie will literally melt when you take a bite.


2 eggs
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar /confectioners’ sugar/icing sugar (all are the same thing)
100 gr. unsalted butter (Let butter stand at room temperature until softened)
1 cup + ½ tablespoon flour
1+1/4 cups cornstarch
10 gr. baking powder
5 gr. vanilla sugar
¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
50 gr. finely ground or finely chopped nuts or almonds (optional)


Using a hand mixer, beat together the shortening and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until creamy and light. Add butter and knead.
In another bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and vanilla sugar. Gradually add dry mixture to egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Add powdered sugar, sweetened coconut flakes and nuts and continue to stir. Knead well until making a smooth and earlobe soft dough. Make sure the dough does not stick to the bowl. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 inch and form into 1 inch balls.
Preheat the oven to 160°C, 350 °F, Gas Mark 3 and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Place the balls on the greased cookie sheet leaving about 1 inch between cookies.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until light golden (cracks appear on the tops of the cookies). Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes or until firm.
Serve freshly baked.

Have a good appetite!

Sardine Bento(u)

sardine bento(u)
Originally uploaded by chotda.

That's so funny. That made me laugh!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Turkish Cacik

Turkish cacik pronounced like “Jajik”. It is a very refreshing dish especially during the summer months. Cacik is served as an accompanying dish to a main course or any kind of kebab. It is more liquid than "tzatziki". Tzatziki is a kind of yogurt dip/sauce in Greece.


1 large cucumber
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1,5 cups yogurt
3 tablespoons cold water
1,5 tablespoons minced fresh mint or 1 dessert spoon dried mint
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1,5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt


Pour the yogurt into a medium-sized bowl, add crushed garlic and whisk together.

Season to taste with salt.

Coarsely grate the cucumber into the bowl.

Dilute with cold water.

Add minced mint and dill, stir to combine.

To prepare dressing, combine the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk together until well blended. Pour the dressing over the cacik and mix well. Just before serving, pour into very small bowls.

Have a good appetite!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Genovese Basil

Originally uploaded by Just Peachy!.

I've been growing basil for nearly 2 years. I put it in a pot outside to grow. Basil really needs lots of sunlight to grow. I grow a couple of special basils but Genovese basil is the one I have to have every year! For culinary I mainly use the Genovese basil. Other basil species are fine to use in cooking if you like the flavor, so I suggest you try for yourself.

Do you want to start growing basil? Just do it! Grow your own, preferably from seeds labeled Genovese basil. It's very easy to grow. Simply keeping the flowers pinched off will continue to give you a good harvest until the plant is felled by frost.

I just love the smell of basil. The basil plant outside is overgrown, so its time to turn it into pesto!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Best Yogurt: Homemade

Excerpted from Probiotics: Nature’s Internal Healers by Natasha Trenev

The friendly bacteria used to culture true yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. When these bacteria are added to milk and allowed to ferment, the resulting culture is a naturally sweet, mildly tangy, smooth, fresh-tasting custard-like treat. And, thanks to the action of the bacteria, true yogurt is almost a "predigested" food. Within an hour after eating yogurt, 90 percent of it is digested. Compare this to a glass of milk, of which only 30 percent is digested in the same amount of time.
Unfortunately, those colorful little cups of stuff in the supermarket don’t qualify as true yogurt. You should be aware that the commercial production of yogurt isn’t regulated. There are some loose guidelines that give a list of bacteria that are acceptable as starter organisms, but the bacteria are not ranked according to their health-promoting benefits. Many organisms will cause fermentation, but only living specific strains of L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus provide proven health benefits. Often, the least expensive organisms are the most popular with profit-oriented producers.

Although it is frowned upon, some manufacturers still pasteurize their products after the culturing process is complete. This destroys any harmful bacteria lurking in the yogurt; however, it also kills the microorganisms used to cause the fermentation. Therefore, even if the very best bacteria have been used as culturing organisms, they will be destroyed in the pasteurization process. Only living bacteria provide proven health benefits.

If you are like most people, you probably like the sweet fruit-flavored yogurts best. They are the bestsellers. But if you think the addition of fruit adds to the healthy qualities of yogurt, you’re mistaken, for several reasons. First, the fruit that is added to most commercial yogurt is processed, not fresh. Second, the live bacteria used as a culturing agent like the sugars in fruit as much as you do; in fact, they would much rather nibble on the fruit sugar than ferment the milk. Whether the fruit is layered on the top or the bottom, or swirled throughout the yogurt, chemical additives are placed between the fruit and the cultured milk to keep the live bacteria from coming into contact with the fruit.

The manufacturer of one very popular, fruit-flavored yogurt uses a culture called pima, which is not a lactobacillus (milk-based) culturing agent at all. What pima produces is slime. This allows the manufacturer to skip adding a thickener to the yogurt. The end result of the pima culture is a homogenous slimy mass that does not separate. If it was sold as plain yogurt, you’d probably spit it out. To hide the slimy texture and odd taste, the manufacturer adds a lot of processed fruit and sugar.

Unfortunately, for all of these reasons, I can’t recommend any of the commercially produced yogurts on the market today. I urge you to read labels carefully and try to make an informed choice. It’s a shame that this simple, nutrient-rich, health-promoting food has been so commercialized.

Some health food stores promote their own brand of yogurt. Unfortunately, even yogurt sold as "old fashioned" or "homemade" may not have the quality you’re looking for. This is because even your health food store suppliers shop for starter cultures in the same places commercial producers shop. It’s easier and less expensive to use a manipulated bacteria that has been designed to shorten production time, rather than use truly beneficial strains of L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus cultures. The milk will still sour, and the end result will look right and taste right, but, without the right starter culture, the healthy benefits you’re looking for will be missing.

If you won’t settle for less than the best yogurt, make your own using a starter of L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus, which is sold in most health food stores. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is. True homemade yogurt is smooth and creamy, faintly sweet, and mildly tangy with a refreshing aftertaste. I promise you, one taste of your own homemade yogurt will convince you it is well worth the very small effort.

If you like yogurt that is sweet and fruity, add your own fresh fruit. If you like it crunchy, add some low-fat, no-sugar-added granola cereal. Health food stores offer a variety of healthy, whole grain cereals that make perfect toppings for a morning bowl of true yogurt.

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt

I like the taste of homemade yogurt more than commercially produced yogurts on the market. I make a smooth, creamy and great-tasting yogurt every time. It is really easy to make yogurt. If your attempt is unsuccessful, don’t give up. Try another yogurt starter culture. It also depends on temperatures and milk. Don’t use watery milk. You have to add the culture when the milk is really warm. Whole milk yogurt always taste better than the one made with low fat milk. Don’t use plastic containers.

I wish you good luck!


2 liters dairy whole milk
2 tablespoons yogurt starter cultures (yogurt with active culture, ingredients: L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus)
Kitchen thermometer (optional)


Pour the milk into a stainless-steel saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil (about 185 degrees) . Reduce the heat and simmer a few minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Pour the milk into a container (optional). I don’t change my saucepan:). Wait untill the milk become lukewarm. If you use a thermometer the milk should be at 115 degrees so you don’t kill the bacterias when you add the yogurt culture. If you want to speed up the process fill your sink with cold water and place the saucepan in the water.

Add 2 tablespoons of the warmed milk to the active-culture yogurt and stir untill it gets smooth. Add this mixture into the rest of the warmed milk and stir. Put the lid on the saucepan.

Keep the yogurt culture added milk warm. So, during the incubation period, the temperature of the milk should remain at about 100-115 degrees for several hours. If the temperature of yogurt gets to high or to low the bacterias will die.
Try one of these ideas to keep your homemade yogurt warm: put the saucepan in a warm place maybe in an oven or in a microwave on very low heat and turn the oven light on or wrapp the saucepan in a small blanket or as an another alternative put the saucepan inside of a bigger container and fill it with hot water. If the water is cooling down, replace with 110 degree water again. I wrapp my saucepan after adding the yogurt culture.
During summer months, the weather is too hot here, so I don’t wrapp the saucepan and I use a strainer as a lid. If you live in cold places, try to keep your saucepan/container in an oven after adding the yogurt culture. Whatever method you choose, try not to disturb the saucepan for 6-8 hours, untill set. The yogurt firms up as it cools.

After the yogurt is set (8 hours later), place the saucepan in a fridge to cool over night and serve it the next day.

Have a good appetite!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bulgur Pilaf with tomato, onion and green chili peppers

3 Servings


1 cup extra coarse bulgur /cracked wheat

2 cups chicken stock or broth(hot)

1 medium onion (very finely chopped)

2 green anaheim chilies or banana peppers (finely sliced)

1 tomato, finely chopped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 dessert spoon salt


1. Heat a medium size nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat the oil in the saucepan, add the onions and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes stirring.

2. Add the sliced green anaheim chilies or banana peppers and saute for another 3 minutes.

3. Add tomato and saute for 1 minute.

4. Add bulgur and continue to saute until well coated with the vegetables. Season with salt and the black pepper.

5. Then add hot stock or broth into the saucepan.

6. Bring to a boil (simmer for 5 minutes). Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until broth/stock is absorbed.

7. Remove from heat, stir gently with a wooden spoon and then place a paper towel between pan and lid to absorb moisture. Let it stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Have a good appetite!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cigarette Shaped Pastries

Cigarette shaped pastry is as a snack for teatime or as a finger food at parties. The pastries are typically served with tea at Sunday breakfasts. While cigarette shaped pastries are usually fried, they can also be baked.


2 phyllo pastries

1 cup feta cheese crumbled with a fork

½ bunch chopped fresh parsley

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sesame and black cumin seeds

1 dessert spoon red pepper flakes

1 cup olive oil

If you bake, additionally 1 tablespoon melted butter,

1 dessert spoon olive oil


1. Mix cheese and parsley in a bowl. Season with red pepper flakes.

2. Put the pastries on top of one another. Cut phyllo pastries from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock, then from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock, now you get 4 triangles for each pastry. Then cut each triangle into 2 or 3 so that you get 8 or 12 triangles for each pastry, it is up to your choice.

3. Take each piece seperately, put 1 dessert spoon of cheese and parsley mixture on wide edge, fold the corners, then roll like a cigarette, seal the narrow edge with one drop of water.

4. Beat the egg yolks. Brush over the cigarette pastries. Sprinkle sesame and black cumin seeds over each pastry.

5. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. In the frying pan, heat 1 cup, or more, of olive oil over medium high heat. Make sure you have at least 1 cup of oil, so it will cover the cigarette pastries. When oil is hot, carefully add the cigarette pastries in batches and fry until golden on both sides. Add more oil, if necessary.

6. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, set aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil, and discard any leftover oil.

As an alternative to frying, brush each piece with melted butter before rolling. Beat the egg yolk with 1 dessert spoon of olive oil and brush over each piece and bake them in a preheated oven until they become golden.

Serve freshly fried.

Have a good appetite!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Shepherd's Salad

It is a very classic Turkish salad - ubiquitous throughout Turkey


4 tomatoes (diced into small cubes)
4 cucumbers (peeled and diced into small cubes)
4 green anaheim chilies (thinly sliced) or banana peppers (seeded and thinly sliced)
1 onion (diced into small cubes)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate sour
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 dessert spoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Combine the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and sliced green anaheim chilies or banana peppers in a large salad bowl. Add chopped parsley and mint.
To prepare the salad dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and pomegranate sour in a small bowl and whisk together until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, pour the salad dressing over the salad and mix well.

Have a good appetite!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pickled Olives

On Thursday, I picked medium sized green olives from our own olive tree. To make homemade pickled olives one of my recipe is as follows:
Wash the olives with cold water.
Bruise the olives gently with a wooden mallet to speed up the processing.
Cover them with fresh cold water in a large glass jar. All olives must be under the water. I placed a small plate on top to keep olives submerged. The water penetrates the olives thereby drawing out the bitterness and also preserving it.
Ppour the liquid away each day and replaced with fresh water. I will repeat this washing process for about additional 13 days (totally 18 days).
At the end of this process the olives are ready for salting. When the bitterness has nearly gone, put the green olives into a solution of brine. I use 100 g salt to 1 litre water .
Put them in a solution of aromatics for at least 2 days before serving. To each kilogram of olives add 100ml extra virgin olive oil, 250 ml of white vinegar, 2 sliced lemons, 5 gr. chopped garlic, 2g dried thyme, 5 gr. rosemary, chilli, freshly ground black pepper, and soak them for at least 2 days before serving.
Olives are ready for use when bitterness has gone.
Have a good appetite!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Donna Fargo

Also recorded by: Ray Conniff; The Countdown Singers; Hit Crew; Tanya Tucker; Kitty Wells; Tammy Wynette.

Good morning Morning,
Hello Sunshine
Wake up Sleepyhead
Why'd we move that Beau-jangle clock
So far away from the bed?
Just one more minute,
That's why we moved it
One more hug or two
Do you love waking up next to me
As much as I love waking up next to you?

You make the coffee
I'll make the bed
I'll fix your lunch and you fix mine
Now tell me the truth,
Do these old shoes look funny
Honey it's almost time now
You be careful, gotta go
I love you, have a beautiful day
And kiss the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A.

Skippedee-dooda, thank you Lord
For making him for me.
And thank you for letting life
Turn out the way that I always thought it could be!
There once was a time when I could not imagine
How it would feel to say
I'm the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A.

Shine on me sunshine
Walk with me world
It's a skippedee-dooda day!
I'm the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A.


The Doctor: Your illness is very deep. There is nothing to do. You should come before.
The Turtle: I came immediately.

By Selçuk Erdem


Just one morning, wake me up with a kiss!

By Selçuk Erdem

Friday, November 03, 2006


6 Servings
Some Turkish women prepare kisir for lunch or for teatime (btw. 3 - 5 PM). It is like a bulgur salad.


2 cups fine bulgur /cracked wheat
3 cups boiling water
1 medium chopped onion
5 tomatoes (diced)
2 cucumbers (diced)
2 green anaheim chili peppers or banana peppers (finely sliced)
½ bunch parsley (minced)
6 scallions (thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 tablespoon pomegranate sour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red pepper paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 dessert spoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or 1 tablespoon dried mint
1,5 dessert spoons red pepper flakes
1 dessert spoon isot paprika
1 dessert spoon freshly ground black pepper
Lettuce and grape leaves.


In a large bowl, cover bulgur with enough boiling water. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile chop veggies except lettuce and grape leaves. Put each veggie in a different bowl.

30 minutes later, heat a small size nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Heat the olive oil in the frying pan. Add the onions and saute over medium heat for 5-6 minutes stirring. Add the tomato paste and red pepper paste and saute for 3 minutes.

Combine paste and onion mixture with bulgur and add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, isot paprika and knead a few minutes.

Then add cucumbers, scallions, parsley and mint and pour lemon juice over it and mix well with a wooden spoon.

At the end add tomatoes and gently stir.

Serve with lettuce, grape leaves, pickle and TEA.

Have a good appetite!