Saturday, June 29, 2013

Home-made Veggie Patch

Today I want to share an easy vegetarian recipe. I prefer to eat it with plain yogurt, but you can also use it to make veggie burger or sandwich.


  • 3 squashes
  • 1 potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 green onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of wheat flour or bread crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup of grated mozzerella 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • Parsley
  • Fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil (if you will bake)


Peel and grate squashes, potato, carrot and onion and mix them in a large bowl. Then add chopped parsley, green onion and fresh dill and mix them all together.

Lastly add eggs, mozzarella, flour, salt cumin and black pepper and mix.

If you prefer to fry it you do not need to add oil, you can take small pieces from it with the help of a spoon and fry.

I prefer to bake so I add olive oil to the mixture and put it into a glass baking pan.

Bake it about 40 minutes in 350 F preheated oven.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Carrot Balls with Chocolate


  • 4-5 carrots
  • 3/4 pack of Petit Beurre biscuits  (about 16 biscuits)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts
  • Coconut
  • 1/2 bar of dark chocolate
  • 1/2 bar of milk chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • Water


Grate carrots, put into a pan, add 1/2 cup of water and place pan on  medium heat. After couple of minutes add sugar and wait until carrots become very soft. 

Then add crushed walnuts and continue cooking on low heat. 

Crumble the biscuits and add them to the mixture.Cook until it gets very soft.

Take it form the heat and wait until it gets cold. In the mean time, to prepare chocolate sauce put whipping cream in a pot and boil it, when it is boiled add dark and milk chocolate in small pieces. If the sauce is very thick you can add water or milk. After chocolate melts, take it into a bowl. 

Take a piece from carrot mixture and give it a ball shape with your hands. 

Then with the help of a toothpick, You can dip them to only coconut, only chocolate or both. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Baklava Rolls

Baklava is a common dessert in Middle East, Turkey, Greece and some Asian countries. It was originated among Central Asian Turkish people, but the current form of baklava has been developed in Topkapi Palace during Ottoman Empire.

I will share a particular type of baklava which looks like a roll, rather than layered sheets.


  • 1 pack of fillo dough (1 lb)
  • 3 cups of crushed walnuts
  • 3 sticks of butter (12 oz, 4 oz each)
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 lemon juice


First you need to prepare the syrup, as it should be cooled.  Take a large pot, add water and sugar in it and cook on medium heat until it boils. Then, lower the heat and boil it about 30 minutes on low heat, add lemon juice and take it from heat. 

You can find fillo dough in grocery stores, it is located generally in the freezer next to dessert section.

Put butter in a sauce pan and melt it. After it melts, take out excess foam. Take two sheets of fillo dough and apply melted butter on the surface with the help of a brush.  

Scatter crushed walnuts on the sheets. 

Wrap the sheet around a stick (like the ones used to make shish kebab). 

Squeeze the sheet from both edges and take out the stick from the sheet. 

Place them into a glass baking  pan side by side. Apply the rest of the butter on the surface of baklava. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F and bake it about 30 minutes. Cut them into 4 pieces with a knife or pizza cutter. Then pour the syrup on it, the syrup should be lukewarm.

 If you pour the syrup when it is hot, the baklava will be very soft. Wait one hour before serving.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cheese Bread

Today I want to share a bread recipe which is filled with cheese. It is a common street food in Turkey, especially consumed in the mornings for breakfast.


For the dough

  • 4-5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 and 1/2 dessertspoons dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 dessertspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Sesame
  • Black seeds

For the fill

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of mozzarella or feta cheese
  • Parsley


To prepare the dough take a small bowl,  mix sugar, warm milk and dry yeast  in it and wait until it rises. Then take the mixture into a large bowl, add yogurt, oil, butter, salt and one egg. Separate the yolk and white of other egg and add just the white to the mixture. See below.

Knead them all together. I prefer to use butter in room temperature, but if it is too hard you can melt it in a sauce pan before adding to the bowl. After all ingredients mixed well, add flour little by little, until it becomes soft like earlobe. I add 5 cups, but it depends on how much ingredients you have used. 

In a small bowl mix chopped parsley and grated cheese. 
 I have used hard cheese (queso para frijoles, I bought it from Latin American market)  and feta cheese, but you can use any kind of crumbled or grated cheese. Take small piece from the dough and put some cheese in it, then close and make it like ball. See below.

With the back side of a fork, press on the surface of breads lightly. 

Then, with the help of a brush apply the yolk that you separated before on the surface and put some sesame and black seeds.Put the breads not too close to each other, as they will rise eventually. 

Wait about 1,5 hours before you bake it. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake it about 30-40 minutes.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hummus and Shakshouka

I will share two recipes from Middle East. Hummus is an ancient food which is common in Middle East, Turkey, North Africa and Morocco. In recent years it became popular in Western cultures as well.

Shakshouka is an appetizer which is common in Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco. It includes eggs in original recipe, but I do not prefer using it. This version of shakshuka is more similar to French dish Ratatouille.

Note: This recipe is for 2 to 3 servings.


For the Hummus

  • 2 cups of boiled chickpeas 
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 dessertspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red flare pepper
  • Parsley to decorate

For the Shakshouka

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 potato
  • 1 squash
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 small bell or jalapeno peppers
  • Vegetable or sunflower oil
  • Salt


To make hummus I have used canned chickpeas, but I normally prefer dry chickpeas. If you will use dry chickpeas, you need to keep them in water for one and then boil for 30 minutes to one hour.
Put chickpeas, garlic and cumin into a food processor and crush them until it is soft.

Take it to a large bowl and add olive oil and tahini, and mix. Lastly add salt and pepper and decorate it with parsley or fresh dill.

To make the shakshouka chop all vegetables in small pieces like cubes. 

Put oil in a pan and fry them in this order; potato, squash, eggplants, peppers and tomato. After frying, take them on a paper towel and wait 5 minutes to drain the excess oil. 

Put all of them in a case, in this order; eggplants, squash and potato, peppers and tomato.

You can serve it with yogurt if you want.


Strawberry Pie

Note: This recipe is for 8 muffin pies.


For the dough

  • 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stick butter (2 ounce)
  • 1 dessertspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed walnut
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

For the fill

  • 3 cups of strawberries
  • 1 dessertspoon wheat/corn starch
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar


The dough we use for the bottom is exactly same with the one we used for the apple pie. First you need to mix butter with sugar and knead it until the butter gets soft. Then add flour, egg, baking powder and vanilla extract and knead until it become soft like earlobe. See the picture.
In the meantime cut strawberries into two or three pieces, put in a bowl and add sugar on them. After 30 minutes strain the excess water and add lemon juice and corn starch.

With the help of a roller make a thin sheet out of the dough and cut circular pieces. These pieces should be larger than the muffin pans. 

Place the circles on the muffin pan, press with your hand and eliminate air bubbles.

Then fill it with strawberries. I made two of them with blueberries mixed with some sugar.

Take the left over dough and add more flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and crushed walnuts and knead again. Take little pieces from this dough and put over the strawberries. 

You can also make circle pieces and cover the pie with it or cut bands. 

Preheat oven to 350 F and bake them about 30-35 minutes. Wait until it gets cold to take out from the pan. Serve with ice-cream.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Twisted Sesame Bagel

Today I want to share the a bagel recipe that is different from traditional bagel.  I called it bagel, but its original name is 'simit' and is a street food item in Turkey and some Eastern Europe countries. It has a history based 16th century, as it was produced and consumed during Ottoman Empire in Istanbul.

Note: You can make 7 small bagels with this recipe.


  • 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 dessertspoon dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 dessertspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable, canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 cup of sesame
  • 1/4 cup of grape molasses (optional)


In a small bowl mix, dry yeast, warm milk and sugar, keep it in a warm place until it rises. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, oil and yeast mixture and knead it by adding some water until it does not stick your hand. Put it in a warm place and wait until it rises and doubles its size. 

Take a pan and roast sesame until it changes color.Remember, you need to stir it continuously, otherwise it will burn very easily. 

Take the dough, make a roll out of it and cut into seven pieces. If you want your bagels bigger, you can cut it into five pieces. 

Take one piece and start rolling, then cut it into two pieces and roll again.
Combine the edges of two bands and twist them together and combine the edges again to make a ring. 

Put grape molasses in a small bowl, add some water and mix. Apply it to the bagel with the help of a brush.You can find grape molasses in Middle East shops, but you can use maple syrup or just water instead of it. 

Put roasted sesames in a large tray.Take bagel and put it in the tray with sesame. It should be all covered in sesame. 

Cover the grille in the oven with an aluminium foil and apply some oil on the surface.Preheat oven to 400 F and turn it off. Then, put all bagels on the foil in the oven and wait 15 minutes. Then take them out. They should rise more.

Preheat oven to 500 F and bake them another 10 minutes. Your bagel is ready.