All posts filed under: Popular

Portugal Wine Tour: Part 1- Porto and Douro Valley

Ehem, no, I didn’t go to Portugal again, but I’m writing about the trip I made 2 years ago.  I couldn’t post it then because my blog was down but I thought I’d share my experience since it was not only great but also educational. It’s always better late than never, right? Someone out there might get some useful tips from my post, who knows? Blogging is a great way to document and relive good moments, I believe. So if you’re planning to visit Portugal, this might help you. It was our honeymoon trip and we rented a car and drove all around Portugal. It’s a great country to do so and I highly recommend it. Also, advice from friends, mutual friends and blog friends was invaluable in making the trip great and memorable. Though the ultimate destination was Porto, our trip started and ended in Lisbon, and got to see more of the country than we’d thought because flying to Lisbon from Istanbul was more convenient. Mr.O and I had no idea where to visit as we usually …

stuffed quince

Lamb-Stuffed Quince – A Turkish Persian Twist

Right after I got back from Korea, I got sick with a cold, which didn’t surprise me, considering how burnt out I felt during the trip. I drank tons of quince tea, honey tea, pear and ginger molasses to ease a coughing fit. As soon as I felt I’d got over it, I found myself standing at the kitchen bench with a desire to cook up something nice and nourishing. In autumn and winter, quinces are everywhere and Turkish people even eat them raw. Yeah, I know you’re wincing saying TART! But you know what? Apparently, there are different varieties and the Turkish variety isn’t that tart, as they were known as golden apple and enjoyed by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Persians. So do I eat them raw? Yes, I do in Turkey but I’ve never done it in anywhere else. Koreans eat them for medicinal reasons and my mum makes a huge batch of quince preserves like in the picture every year as  they’re good for cold symptoms. Many Turkish cooks use the quince in different dishes, …

Persimmon Banana Buckwheat Bread

At this time tomorrow I’ll be in Korea… for another wedding or two, first mine and then my brother’s. How lucky am I to have two weddings? Oh, three actually. You bet! Nah…. However, the traditional Korean wedding ceremony might be quite interesting, lots of bowing, throwing live chickens, lots of noise from SamulNori(Traditional music performance), lots of food and drinks, and above all, beautiful Korean traditional clothes, Hanbok. Everyone around is excited about experiencing a traditional wedding, which is long forgotten as almost all couples do a western wedding these days. So it’s going to be a memorable event for all … …..especially for in-laws and Mr.O’s friends coming all the way to the far away land full of rumours and myths. “Do they have cheese? Do they have bread? Do they really eat rice for breakfast?” and many more. Anyway, we’re taking lots of bread and cheese with us, and even Simits for my nephews, who liked them so much when they came to Turkey last year. As I was trying to empty out the fridge …

massimo villas

Delicious Sicily: Part 2- Palermo Market and Cooking at Massimo Villas

This is probably the highlight of my Sicilian trip and it’s because of the wonderful home cooking experience. Since the cooking was in the evening, we decided to visit Palermo, more precisely the street market, yipeeee! Before I start, I’ll share the video of the home cooking, Private Chef, Cefalu by Joolzy on for those who prefer to watch rather than to read. Julian did a great job in delivering the true atmosphere of the evening in his short video, and I’m looking forward to seeing more videos  on the rest of the trip soon. So now let’s move on to the market. The market we went to is Ballarò in Palermo. Living in Istanbul, I’m used to the bustles and shouts of vendors but in Sicily they were a lot louder, making strange whistles and tunes! There are so many photos of foods but I can’t and won’t share them all. There was a huge variety of produce and some of them had odd shapes and sizes or were strange like this snake-like long zucchini, cucuzza. What caught my attention …

Asparagus New Season Garlic in Polenta Tart Crust

I will have to give a darn good excuse for such a long silence this time, won’t I? What could it be? Yes, I’m getting married..finally!! I’ve been running around for the past 3 weeks – in order of importance – to find the venue, set the date, collect necessary documents and get them notarised, do a medical checkup, which I don’t know what for,  find the wedding dress, and so on. I had no idea what I was putting myself into; it’s quite a lot of work. I was secretly planning for a small intimate event in a winery until I got an absolute ‘NO’ from Mr.O’s parents, and my wedding plan started to shape up in a form completely different to my original ideas. Of course, I was disappointed and they acknowledged it but there is no point in trying to persuade Mr.O’s parents risking disharmony and stress, especially since all guests will be Turks, to whom a wedding is all about dancing. If I’d insisted, the winery wedding could have come true …

Baked Artichoke Bottoms Stuffed with Mushroom and Goat Cheese

If you follow me on FB or Instagram, you’d probably have seen some photos of the lovely weekend trip to Çanakkale. I did a wine tasting, ate local specialities such as cheese helva (peynir halvasi), ice cream, and oğlak(kid), yeah!, which can be eaten only through March and April. I’ll dedicate a whole post on the trip later because I think what I saw and did there is worth a whole page and it wasn’t all about food this time. Also, April is extra special for that area because of the Battle of Gallipoli and Anzac Day. So today let’s just talk about food and sharing food. Spring conjures up asparagus and artichoke. Do you remember I was eating lots of white asparagus in France? I sometimes see them in jars at Metro supermarket but I don’t buy them of course – strictly shop locally and find alternatives! In Turkey, when you go to farmers’ markets these days, you see many guys trimming artichoke bottoms. The artichokes here are bigger and how they are cooked …