Sunday, December 8, 2013

Corn bread

I love a piece of fresh baked corn bread at breakfast or at lunch with a soup.

125 gr organic cornmeal
125 gr plain flour
5 spring onions chopped
Optipnal 1-2 chillies deseeded and chopped (leave chilles out if you don't like spicy)
150 ml sour cream
2 eggs
125 ml sunflower oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tablespoon salt

Line a 20 cm cale tin and heat the oven to gas 7.

Sieve the organic cornmeal, plain flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the salt, spring onions, chillies and mix with a spoon.

Put the eggs In a measuring jug and whisk with a fork. Add the sunflower oil and sour cream measing them as you go along. Mix everything well with a fork.

Add the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour everything in the tin, level the top of the mixture in the tin with a spoon.

Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes. 

Enjoy served with cheddar cheese slices at breakfast with your tea or have a piece at lunch with your soup.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Citrus herb cookies

I stumbled across this recipe last week and I was curious to see how will mint and tyme go in a sweet cookie.
I tried and and the result was delicious cookie which leaves a very pleasant fresh after taste in your mouth.
My 6 year old daughter loved it as well, she couldn't believe that there was mint and tyme in it.
I cut the cookies to shape before serving though as they were a bit flat, next time will add a bit more flour to the dough.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


This is a very common Turkish breakfast dish which is simply scrambled eggs with fried peppers and tomatoes. This dish always reminds me of a holiday where I went to stay with my cousins at my teens. After a long and fun drive in my uncles car reaching home and getting to peel tens of tomatoes and chopping twice as many chillies. Of course then none of us knew how easy it would be to peel tomatoes if you left the tomatoes in boiling water after marking a cross the bottom with a knife. So we were trying to peel the tomatoes with the blunt side of the knife which took ages.
image via irum
15-20 Green Turkish chillies or green peppers, deseeded and chopped (like the ones on above photo, you can get these from the Turkish shops, the darker greens are usually the hot ones and the light greens are milder)
Leave  seeds of couple of them if you like it hot
750 gr tomatoes (6-7medium sized) peeled and chopped
An easy way for peeling tomatoes is to make a cross at the bottom of the tomatoes and put them in a bowl pouring boiling water over it and let them sit in the water for a minute
4 eggs
3 table spoons of olive oil
Heat the olive oil in the pan and add the chopped chillies. Cook them in medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they are soft and before they start to turn brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to boil. Simmer about 2-3 minutes.
Crack the eggs in the pan one by one and mix at the same time with a spoon so they don’t set and they get scrambled.
Bring to boil and simmer for further 2-3 minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rye bread

We have gone on an intermident fast diet recently and our lunch will be sardines on toast.
I baked this bread this morning from Nigel Slater's rye bread recipe, but without the walnuts and parmesan cheese.

I was in a rush last night so did not have a change to add anything to it but next time will add sunflower seeds and maybe walnut to it.

If we continue with this diet it looks like I will be baking more of rye breads. Next time I will try to make a sourdogh version of this.

Here is the photo of the lunch later with the sardines.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Courgette chilli pasta

A quick recipe of my lunch, courgette and chilli pasta.

You will need 4 cougettes, 3 garlic cloves, 2 chillies and a pack of pasta 500gr. 
Pack of creme fraiche about 150 ml pack.
Olive oil for frying the garlic and chillies. 
Parmesan for sprinkling.
This will serve 4-6.

First of all get ready by grating the courgettes skin on and chopping the garlic and chillies. Leave the seeds of the chilli if you like your pasta hot.

Put a frying pan with lid on high heat and add 3-4 table spoons of olive oil.
Throw the chopped garlic cloves and chopped chilles to olive oil turn the heat to low and swirl around to flavour the oil.

Once you see the garlics are starting to change colour add the grated courgettes and mix with the flavoured oil making sure most of the courgette has a bit of oil and not left dry. Put a lid on the courgettes and cook for 10-15 minutes.

While courgettes are cooking put booling water in a pan with salt and little bit of olive oil and boil pasta as pack instructions. 

Just before draining the pasta take a laddle of the pasta boiling water and add to courgettes.

Drain the pasta, leave aside and while pasta is waiting add the creme fraiche to courgettes season and mix everything well. Put the heat high until the cream is heated  and then put it to low to simmer while you deal with pasta.

Put the strained pasta back in to the pot and add the cougette sauce to the pasta and mix well.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Carrot and sesame sandwich bread recipe


This is an other most loved bread recipe, carrot and sesame sandwich bread, of course Dan Lepard recipe.
Good way to use up the old carrots.
Recipe is here.

Thai chicken cashew stir fry with charred lime

I made thai chicken stir fry with cashews and charred lime for lunch. I used the thai green curry paste I had in the freezer. Recipe is from BBC good food magazine november issue.

I got this book from the library today, "thai food" by David Thompson. I am very excited about this. It looks like I will be able to cook tom yam soup at last. Here is what the book says about tom yam sopu, which actually is dtom yam according to the book.

This is good timing that I got this book as we are about to start alternate day low GI diet and will be having just soup 3 days a week. Will try the chicken tom yum soup soon.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Easy marble cake

I make marble cake quite often, here is the recipe.

225 grams stork
225 grams golden granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tbs vanilla extract
225 self raising floor (or plain floor + 2 tsp baking powder)
50 gr cocoa powder

I use Stork instead of butter, and first thing to do is take it out of the fridge. It is quite soft so doesn't need to wait outside for long. 10 minutes is usually enough.

While Stork is getting to room temperature, heat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a 20cm round cake tin first.

Then cream 225 grams of stork with electric food mixer in a bowl and add 225 grams of golden caster sugar to it and mix until light and fluffy.

In an other bowl, whisk 4 eggs with 2 table spoons of vanilla extract then add this to Stork and sugar mixture slowly while continuing to beat the mixture. 
Continue to mix with electric mixer until everything is light and there is quite a lot of air in the mixture, this makes the final cake light.

Sift 225 grams of self raising flour (or plain flour and 2 teaspoon baking powder) in a bowl and then sift for the second time into the cake mixture. With a spoon slowly fold flour taking care not to knock the air out of the cake mixture. Sifting the floor twice makes the cake even more lighter!

Tip half of the cake mixture in an other bowl and sift 50 grams of cocoa powder into this half and fold in with a spoon taking care not to knock the air out of the mixture.

Take spoonful of each cake mixture and place in the prepared tin alternating the vanilla with the cocoa. When finished tap the tin on the work floor lightly so everything settles in.  Then with a skewer swirl the mixtures to give the marble effect. 

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or when a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.

If I get a change to go to the supermarket then I usually make "lime syrup marble cake" Dan Lepard recipe, mostly replacing the lime with oranges.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Beetroot feta salad

I made this beetroot feta salad this week for our packed lunches. We loved it so much that made it again for dinner tonight. 

It is so simple. I had beetroots raw and cooked them in pressure cooker for 45 minutes in the evening.

Next day in the morning I chopped a big bunch of parsley and mixed it with almost same amount of salad leaves.

Peeled 2 beetroots, diced them and threw them in the salad leaves.

Crumbled about 200 gr of feta cheese on top of everything and put it in 2 lunch boxes.

Made a vinaigrette by mixing 6 table spoons of olive oil with 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and kept this in 2 small plastic tubs in the lunch boxes.

I made tonight's salad using the left overs of the beetroots.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Green beans, carrot meze salad and carrot cake

We had a veggie dinner tonight. Green beans cooked Turkish way, green salan and a carrot meze salad was on the table.

Green beans are really easy to make. Sometimes I use frozen and sliced green beans then no need to clean or slice the beans either.

500 grams green beans, washed heads and tails off and cut into two.
1 medium onion, diced
4 tomato diced
50ml olive oil
100ml water
Salt and pepper to season
1 teaspoon sugar

Layer the beans, diced onion and tomato in a pan. Pour the olive oil and water over the veg. Season and add sugar.
Stir everything together and cook on high heat until it starts to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are cooked and has a soft bite to them.
I use pressure cooker for this recipe and cooks in 20 minutes in pressure cooker.
This is best served cold or in room temprature.

Carrots with yogurt sauce - meze salad

Slice the carrots 0.5 cm thick in an angle. Put carrots, 1 tablespoon olive oil and enough water to cover the carrots in a pan and bring to boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the carrots are cooked. If there is any water left in the pan, get rid of the water and put the carrots in the same pan on the heat for an other minute.
Let the carrots cool.
Make the yogurt sauce by simply adding 2 gloves of bashed/chopped garlic to 200ml of yogurt. 
Pour the yogurt over the cooled carrots, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chilli flakes.

We had Dan Lepard's easy carrot cake as pudding. I used dark muscavado sugar and did not ice the cake as the recipe calls for, instead mixed 2/3 pack of full fat soft cheese, roughly 200gr, with 3 table spoons of icing sugar and spread this mixture in the middle of cake and dusted the cake with a little bit of icing sugar.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lemon wheel cookies

Last Saturday we had a go at Lemon wheel cookies, Gretchen Holt-Witt's happy dish from Sweet Paul Magazine. These are very pretty looking and delicious cookies. 

Jamie Oliver's pulled brisket chilli

Jamie Oliver's pull brisket chilli wraps was for dinner tonight. Recipe here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I made Kisir from Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe for lunch today.
Saved half of it for tomorrow's lunch.
Recipe here.

This week's menu



Wrap: Coronation chicken


Mini spinach and cottage cheese
frittatas with green salad

Wrap: Roasted red pepper with
tuna olives

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Eggs benedict with smoked salmon and chives

Egg Benedict was for breakfast today. Recipe here.

We had veggie peanut noodles with coriander omelette ribbons tonight. Recipe is here.
It was a delicious veggie meal but next time I will definitely add chillies to it.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thai green chicken curry

This week I tried making my favorite Thai dish, green chicken curry for the first time and from scratch.

I followed this recipe for the green curry paste. I got my ingredients from a Thai supermarket, Thai smile in Stamford Brook. I found most of the ingredient as the recipe calls for but didn't get blade mace and nutmeg so I used ground blade mace and ground nutmeg instead. I didn't have enough galangal so only used 100grams.
I had enough green curry paste for 4 times and frozen 3 bathces for later.

I followed this John Torode recipe for the curry. And it turned out very good. I found the pea aubergines and used them, they were really good. Will definitely be cooking this again soon.

Next Thai dish on my list to do is Tom Yum soup which is an other favorite of me and my husband's. I found this recipe to try, an other John Torode recipe.
Just need to make an other trip to the Thai supermarket.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Steak roaster pepper and pearl barley salad

An other recipe from BBC good food magazine June issue. Recipe is not online yet, will post a link once it is online.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fish cakes with parsley sauce

Fish cakes
250 gr salmon
400 gr cod
400 gr smokes haddock
500 gr potatoes diced
750 ml milk
6 spring onions chopped
Zest of an unwaxed lemon
Bay leaf
25 gr flour
2 eggs beaten
3-4 table spoon rapeseed oil for light frying

For the sauce
25gr butter
25 gr plain flour
2 handfulls of parsley

Steamed kale to serve

Fish cakes;
Boil the potatoes until cooked, drain and mash.
Put the fish in a pan with the milk bay leaf and salt and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Take off the fish and strain the milk to a jug to use later for the parsley sauce.
Flake the fish removing the skin and making sure there is no bone left in the fish.
Add the flaked fish into mash along with chopped spring onions and the lemon zest.
Season and mash and mix up everything really well.
Divide your fish cake mixture into 8 and pat into circles about 2 cm thick.
Beat the eggs on a plate, flour in an other plate and the bread crumbs on an other plate.
One by one sit the cakes on flour first until they are all covered in flour.
Then sit them in the beaten egg and brush over the sides and top until it is coated completely.
Sit the cakes in the crumbs on the sides and tops do they are lightly covered.
If you'd like to freeze them you can wrap them in cling film at this stage and freeze.

Put a large frying pan on medium heat and add rapeseed oil.
When the oil is hot, flour your fish cakes, then put them in beaten egg and then add your fish cakes and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden.
Put the fried fish cakes on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake them in medium oven, gas mark 7 for 10 minutes.

Parsley sauce;
In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted add flour and stir through until a thick paste forms.
Cook gently for couple of minutes.
Gradually stir in the milk. Add a little and mix and wait until a thick paste forms again, then a little bit and stir until a paste forms and add a little more milk and do so on until all the milk is used.
Bring to boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add chopped parsley.

Serve the fish cakes with steamed kale and parsley sauce.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Strawberry and poppyseed cake

I tried the BBC Good Food magazine's June 2013 cover recipe for my friends birthday. It was delicious very light and not so sweet.
I will post a link to the recipe when it is available on BBC website.
Mr round sandwich tin was old and bruised so I had to use my small square cake tin twice which made the cake look like a giant sandwich.
Icing was made of crème fraiche and yoghurt, I used Sainsbury's brand Greek yoghurt but didn't manage to get the consistency right, it was too thin. Next time I will try it with the Total Greek yoghurt which seems to be much thicker.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


This houmous recipe is from a cookbook of my mother-in-law which she got in 70's. When the houmous is made from dried chickpeas soaking the chickpeas  over night takes a bit more planning but makes a big difference in taste. However all the steps of soaking and cooking the chickpeas can be skipped if using tinned chickpeas and everything can go into the food processor at no time.

 250 grams dried chickpeas
100 ml tahini
100 ml olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
5 gloves of garlic (crushed)
Juice of 3 lemons

Soak the chickpeas in hot water water overnight, make sure the water is at least 2 inches above the chickpeas.
Drain the chickpeas place them in a pan and fill with fresh water and a pinch of salt.
Bring to boil and simmer in low heat for an hour, until the chickpeas are very soft and can be smashed with your fingers.
Drain the chickpeas and let them cool to room temperature.
If you prefer a really smooth houmous then once cooled peel the chickpeas.
Chickpeas have a thin skin and it is easiest take them off when you place a single chickpea between your thumb and next 2 fingers and press gently until the chickpea pops and into a bowl and you are left with the skin in your hand. This may seem like it takes long time but in fact it only takes about 10 minutes and make a real big difference in the final texture.
Put the chickpeas, crushed garlic, tahini, half of the olive oil and half of the lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse and while the food processor is working add more lemon juice and olive oil.
Check the texture of the mixture and if it needs more thickening add more olive oil, if it nee is thinning add more lemon juice or if you don't like too much lemony you can replace some of the lemon juice with water and add water instead.
Taste and add seasoning and paprika.
You can reserve some of the olive oil to pour over the houmous for presentation.
Serve with chopped parsley and a sprinkling of paprika.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Leek and potato soup

We had a veggie dinner tonight. On the menu we had leek and potato soup followed by rice pilaf and peas cooked Turkish way.

Leek and potato soup
Serves 6
3 leeks (weighing about 250 grams) - chopped
3 medium potatoes (weighing about 250 grams) - chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
500 ml veg stock
100 ml milk
100 ml whipping cream
Vegetable oil

Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and add chopped leeks, potatoes and onions.
Stir them in until they are all covered in the oil. Add salt and black pepper.
then cover with a wet kitchen paper towel that is soaked in water and then wrung before putting on the vegetables.
Leave to cook on slow heat for 10 minutes.
Do not over cook otherwise you will lose the flavour of the vegetables.
Get rid of the paper towel and add veg stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Puree in a blender until it is smooth, then put back onto the heat and add the milk and cream.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serves 6
500 gr peas
2 carrots - diced
1 bell pepper -chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium potato - diced
3 tomatoes - chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
200 ml water
1 teaspoon sugar
Olive oil

Put a pan on the heat and put 3 table spoons of olive oil.
Add onions and peppers and cook for a minute on high heat.
Add peas, followed by carrots and potatoes. Stir well.
Add tomato paste and stir.
Add chopped tomatoes, water seasoning and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Bring all to boil.
Simmer about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked.
Serve with rice pilaf.

Rice pilaf
Serves 6
200 gr rice (I use Turkish baldo rice)
50 gr pastina (I use turkish tel sehriye, or orzo)
50 gr butter
about 250 ml water or chicken or veg stock

It is best to measure the rice with a cup which you can then use to measure the water.
Measure and weigh the rice and wash.
Put boiled water enough to cover the rice and leave to soak for 30 minutes then strain.

Melt the butter in a pan with a lid, add the pastina and cook until they begin to change colour about 2 minutes.
Add the strained rice and stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the same amount of water/stock using the same measuring cup you used to measure the rice. i.e. 2 cups rice then 2 cups water/stock.
Add salt and bring to simmer. Simmer until there is no water left.
Take off the heat and cover with the lead well. And leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Artichokes hearts

My lovely husband brought home 15 artichoke hearts from his trip to Turkey. We can hardly find them in London and they are far difficult to prepare I usually end up with a very big bag of leaves and six of the littlest artichoke harts. Here is a good video showing how to clean them.
In Turkey artichoke hearts are sold all cleaned and in clear bags full of lemon juice and water which makes it much easier to cook and they are huge when compared to the ones you can get here. So 10 of the hearts went into the freezer, I just froze them in the lemon-water bag they came in, and cooked 5 of them. Here is the recipe;

5 artichoke hearts, cleaned and waiting in the water with lemon juice
2 carrots diced
100 gr peas
8 pearl onions left whole or quartered or a medium onion chopped finely
50ml olive oil
100ml water
Juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon plain flour
Bunch of dill tied up with one of the stems
2 small or 1 medium potato diced

Place the artichoke hearts in a pan and put the onions, peas, carrots and the tied up bunch of dill to the pan. Add the olive oil, water, lemon juice, sugar and salt and bring it to simmer.
Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat.
Add the potatoes and simmer for an other 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Turn off the heat and in a small bowl mix the flour in 2 tablespoons of water and add this to the pan.
Leave it to cool completely, it is much better when it is cold or in room temperature. I usually refrigirate it and take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle with chopped dill and enjoy.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stuffed cabbage leaves

Stuffed cabbage leaves

1 large cabbage or 2 small or you can use savoy cabbages, spring greens anything with large enough leaves

300gr beef mince
1 large onion diced
100gr rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped (about 25g)
1 teaspoon of dried mint
100 ml olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
200 ml water + 1 teaspoon tomato paste

Take the leaves off the cabbages one by one carefully not to tear them and keep them whole.
Steam the leaves for 10 minutes (if using a big cabbage like mine you need to do this in batches, I have done 3 batches). Let the leaves cool.

In the meantime mix the filling mince, onions, rice, tomato paste, parsley, olive oil, drien mint and season with salt and black pepper.

Take a steamed cabbage leaf and cut it in to two lengthwise taking the big fat vein in the middle out from the bigger leaves, you can leave the softer veins on the smaller leaves. Put a tablespoon full of the filling and wrap it by rolling the leaf over it. Place the wraps in a pan and continue until you finish all the leaved or the filling.

Mix 200 ml of water with 1 teaspoon of tomato paste and add it to pan cover and cook in high until it starts bailing, then put it on low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve warm with yogurt on the side.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Under the water birthday party

Here is the photos of our mermaid birthday cake.

I used this recipe but made it with brown cane sugar and added blueberries. The icing on the top is just creme fraiche with no sugar in it but with berries and a light dusting of icing sugar on top.

This is the first time I made a sugar paste cake topper. I followed this tutorial but changed it to be a mermaid.
Made it with my daughter and it was so much fun to make. All the years of playing with play-dough finally paid off.

These are the dolphin sandwiches and octopus sausages.

We have even made crab plates using red paper plates and sticking legs and pincers made out of glittery red crafting paper.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Savoury biscuits

I am getting ready for my daughter's birthday party and these are the savoury biscuits for the party.

350 gr plain flour
125 gr butter (cold)
75 ml sunflower oil
75 ml plain yogurt
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoon water
1 egg white
Sesame seeds

Mix the butter and flour until they resemble bread crumbs. Add the oil, yogurt, vinegar and water and combine all to a soft dough. Keep the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to gas 7. Butter a baking sheet.
Roll the dough to thickness of a coin and cut shapes with cookie cutter. Dip the shapes into egg white the into sesame seeds. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Cool them slightly on the baking sheet then with the help of a knife transfer the buscuits on a cooling wire wrack to finish the cooling.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rolled oat and apple bread

I have been experimenting with recipes from "the handmade loaf" and i have made the rolled oat and apple bread twice so far. There is two and a half grated apple in the bread and with the rolled oats it smells lovely like porridge when making the dough. The bread has a very aromatic taste which also is a bit sweet.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birthday cake

It was my birthday last week and I insisted that I do not want a cake from the shop because my almost 5-year-old daughter had problems with her teeth recently and we are trying to avoid sugar as much as we can.
So I made this cake on my birthday with as little as possible sugar.

Cake recipe is Dan Lepard's birthday cake recipe from BBC, here is the link. I used soft brown sugar in the cake and added blueberries to the cake batter.

I topped the cake with creme fraiche and then raspberries and blueberries and a little dusting of icing sugar.

It is my daughter's birthday in couple of weeks and I have a difficult task of making a mermaid cake for her with little sugar in it.