Friday, December 27, 2013

Walnut Bread


  • 5 cups of wheat flour
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 dessertspoon dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • Water
  • Walnuts


Take a small bowl and put dry yeast and sugar in it.Add warm milk and wait until it rises. In a large bowl mix  wheat and white flour and salt, then add yeast mix and yogurt. Knead it by adding water, until it becomes a soft dough. 

Keep the dough in a warm place, I put it in the oven, couple of hours until it doubles its size.

Cut walnuts into small pieces with a knife. If you want smaller pieces you can use a food processor. 

Add walnuts to the dough and knead it again. Then give it a long shape. Actually you can give it any shape you want.

Cut the dough in small pieces. After you cut it, scratch parallel lines on the surface of the bread with a knife.

Bake it in 400 F oven about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Date Cookies

The recipe of this cookie belongs to one of my friend's grandmother. She used to make this cookie during New year. Date cookies which is called 'Ma'amoul' in Muslim countries, are consumed during religious festivals. There are different versions in each country. Thanks to Nazli for this recipe.

Note: You will have 40-50 cookies, depending on size with these ingredients.


For the dough

  • 8 cups of flour
  • 3 cups of butter
  • 1/2 cups of canola/vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dry yeast
  • 1 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water

For the fill

Date fill

  • 1/2 table spoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mahlab
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 2 tablespoon canola/vegetable oil

Walnut fill

  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 desert spoon cinnamon

For decoration

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


To prepare the dough first take a sauce pan and put sugar, powdered sugar and water in it and boil them together. You should wait couple of minutes after it boils and then take it from the heat. Then, take another sauce pan and put butter in it and melt all the butter.

Then take a large bowl and add flour and yeast in it. Add oil into the melted butter and slowly add it to the flour while kneading it. The butter should be neither too cold not too hot, it should be warm to help the yeast work.

After you are done with butter and oil, add syrup slowly and go on kneading. The same thing for syrup, it should be neither cold nor hot.

Knead the dough until it looks like this.

Then put it into freezer about ten minutes.
In the meantime to prepare the fills, put all spices into a small bowl and mix them together.

We will have two types of fill, one with dates and the other is with walnuts. For the fill with dates put chopped dates and 1 1/2 teaspoon spice mix.

For the fill with walnuts, put crushed walnuts, honey and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix them.

Take the dough from freezer. Make small and medium balls from it.Then take medium ball and make a bowl shape out of it. Put some fill into it. Take small ball and cover the fill with that.

After you give the cookie its shape with your hand, put some holes on it with a fork. Actually we did this to differentiate two types of cookies. You do not need to do that.

Bake it about 25 minutes in preheated oven to 375 F. To understand if it is baked, look at the bottom, if it is darker and cookies are not too soft it is baked.

After you take them from the oven, wait until it gets cold and decorate with powdered sugar. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Turkish Dumpling


For the Dough

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Warm water

For the Fill

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper

For the Sauce

  • Greek yogurt
  • Minced garlic
  • Cannola/vegetable oil
  • Red flare pepper
  • Dry mint, oregano


To prepare the dough take a large bowl and put flour, egg and salt into it. Knead it by adding little amount of warm water until it becomes a soft dough.

Cut the dough into 6, 7 pieces, take one piece and start rolling. You can use a regular rolling pin, but it is better to use a slimmer one to make the base thin.

To prepare the fill, take a large bowl put ground beef, chopped onions, salt and pepper and knead them.

Place small pieces of beef on the half part of the base with equal distances. 

Then cover them with the other half of the base.

With the help of a shot glass, cut them into small pieces. You can also cut it with knife and cover with your hands, but it will take longer.

You can either fry or boil them. I preferred to boil which is a more common method. To boil them, take a large pot and add boiling water and a little salt in it. Put dumplings in the water and boil about 20 minutes, they will rise after 20 minutes.

To prepare the sauce mix minced garlic with yogurt and put it on the dumplings. Then take a small pan, add some oil and put it on medium heat. When it fries add red peppers and wait about 30 seconds and take it from the heat.

Put this sauce over the dumpling mixed with yoghurt. Decorate with mind and oregano. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Red Lentil Soup


  • 1 cup of red lentil
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable/sunflower/canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 1/2 cup of hot water
  • Red flare pepper
  • Salt
  • Dry mint


Chop onions and roast them with one tablespoon oil. 

Then add washed lentil and tomato paste and cook about one minute. 

Cut potato in small cubes and add them to the soup together with the boiling water and boil about 20 minutes. 

After 20 minutes put the soup in a strainer and strain it through. You can use food processor as well, but I prefer traditional methods.After you strain all of them, boil it another ten minutes and add salt.

When the soup is ready to serve, to prepare the sauce take a pan and put one tablespoon oil on it. Wait until it gets hot, and add dry mint and red flare pepper and cook just 30 seconds and take it from heat.
Put this sauce on the soup. Your soup is ready. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cheese balls

I took this recipe from a lovely American lady who lives in Netherlands. It is quite easy and fancy appetizer for your guests.


  • 1 pack (8 oz) of cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts
  • Parsley


Put all cheese in a large bowl and start kneading until you have a dough.
Add 1/3 of crushed walnuts and knead again. 

Make small balls from the dough. 
Roll balls on chopped parsley first and then crushed walnuts. They are ready to serve. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cheese Rolls


  • 28 pastry leaves or 1 pack of phyllo dough
  • 2 cups of grated mozzarella
  • 2 cups of feta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Parsley
  • Vegetable/canola/sunflower oil


Chop parsley and mix it with mozzarella and crumbled feta cheese.

You need to buy triangle shaped pastry leaves for this rolls. However, if you cannot find it, you can cut phyllo sheets into triangle shapes.
Take one piece and put cheese mix on large side. 

First close the edges and start to roll. When you come to the end, apply some egg to stick it better and close the roll. 

Take a pan and fry them until they get darker.  
You can bake them instead of frying if you wish.But if you will bake you need to apply some yogurt or egg yolk on top of them.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Celery Salad

This is a very easy and healthy recipe.

Note: This recipe is for 4 people, as a side dish.


  • 1 celery heart
  • 1/4 cup of crushed walnuts
  • 2 cups of plain yogurt (Greek is better)
  • Olive oil
  • Mint and oregano


Chop celery and put in a food processor, then take it into a large bowl. Add crushed walnuts, yogurt and a little bit olive oil, stir. Take it to a service plate and put the leaves of celery, dry mint and oregano on top of it to decorate. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dolma (Grape Leaves)

Dolma is a Turkish meal, which means 'stuffed'. It has spread to Eastern Europe during Ottoman Empire. Now, it is a well known dish especially in Europe and USA. Originally it is stuffed with ground beef and rice, but in some places meat is not used in recipe. I prefer not to include meat to the recipe as well.

Note: This recipe is for 5-6 people


  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 1 jar of grave leaves
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mint
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Water


Put olive oil in a pot, add chopped onions and cook them until they change color. 

Wash rice with the help of a strainer and then add it into the pot and cook couple of minutes. Then add the ingredients with this order while cooking; mint, oregano, black pepper, cinnamon, sugar, chopped tomato, lemon juice and salt. Then add warm water, close the lid and cook until all water is gone. You do not need to add a lot of water, it should be a little bit higher than rice.

Take grape leaves out of jar and boil them in hot water couple of minutes and then strain the water. After they  get cold, take a cutting board and put one grape leaf on it. Put about 1 dessertspoon fill on the grape leave like a line and start rolling.  

To do that first you close the bottom part, then two sides and then start to roll. They need to be tight so, be careful while rolling. 

Line all the rolls in a flat pan tightly, then put some lemons on top. Add some cold water, like 1/2 inch higher than rolls, close the lid and cook 1 hour on low heat. If it still has some water after one hour, you need to cook more. You can serve it with lemon and yogurt. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eggplant salad

I took this recipe from a friend. I guess this is a traditional salad in Eastern Europe.

Note: This recipe is for 4-5 people, depending on how you serve it.


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 cups of yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of crushed walnuts
  • 2-3 slice garlic
  • Fresh dill
  • Canola/vegetable oil


First peel and chop eggplant in small pieces. 

Take them into a medium saucepan, add some oil, close the lid and cook them until they get really soft. You may need to stir occasionally to do that. If you do not want to fry, you can broil the eggplant 20 minutes in the oven.

It is best if you use the yogurt you made at home, but the trick is yogurt should be a little bit solid. In order to have that kind of yogurt, you can strain it from a clean cloth. Take the yogurt in a glass pan, first add the cooked eggplant and stir. Then add garlic and fresh dill. Lastly, add crushed walnuts.

The salad is ready. Enjoy!