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!