All posts tagged: light baking

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins That Stole MIL’s Heart

April, spring has officially arrived. Istanbul will be again adorned with colourful tulip. Also, Adana, the south-east city, will host Orange Blossom Carnival. I wish I could go but I’ll give it a pass and wait for next year. I have this tub of dried orange blossoms, a gift from an Iranian guest. I smell it whenever I need a pick me up or relaxation or as part of olfactory stimulation along with my other aroma kit. Mediterranean cities in Turkey are famous for citrus fruits and people make jam with their peel. This is the most common ‘bitter orange’ jam called ‘turunc‘, whose appearance I adore. Then there’s another citrus called ‘agac kavunu‘, which means ‘tree melon’. No, it’s not bergamot, but an entirely different ancient variety specific to Antalya. When I went to the weekly market, I bought some oranges and blood oranges but too many of them! So I whipped up orange muffins with a slight twist, to make it worth to post about. These muffins were so delicious and the fact …

chocolate raspberry cake

My first book and the kids cake

Knock, knock… are you still there? It’s been a long break once again. My apologies… You can guess why I’ve been away, right? I got married and left for honeymoon without the ‘honey’. I spent 5 weeks in London for a wine course! Am I crazy? Yes, maybe I am. You need to be crazy in order to follow your heart and dreams, not money and fame. It’s challenging but more rewarding, no doubt. So I left the unpacking the boxes to Mr.O, the now-hubby, after moving to our new love nest, and off I went. I’ll share my experiences and discoveries in London soon. When I came back, I had loads of work to catch up on including the book. In addition, I had to organise the wedding – yes, I got married in May but the actual wedding ceremony was held last week – and also had to spend time with my family, who came earlier to travel around Turkey before the wedding. When my publisher sent me a photo of the book …

Chocolate beetroot cake

Honesty, really good?

I’ve been thinking about ‘honesty‘ lately. You’ve probably heard enough of the cliché that living in Turkey will change your beliefs in what is right and wrong and what is logical and illogical. I’m still trying to absorb and digest all the confusions. I had so many ups and downs last week that I didn’t have any motivations to write or cook. Thanks to that, I discovered some hidden gem restaurants. The death of my lovely canary who used to wake us me at 7am with beautiful songs to start with, then came the news of my new nephew on the way, which isn’t entirely happy news as it should be…. and then, my good intentions and hopes got quashed by an unexpected tyranny, my naivety, and came the news of moving house. So I rummaged through my tiny bookshelf – nomads don’t have such a thing – and picked up Rumi’s poems to make sense of the things that had happened. I believe that life is fair no matter how badly it treats you from …

persimmon chocolate

First Snow – Chocolate Persimmon Muffins

Today Yesterday, one day before New Year’s Eve, I woke up to the first snow of winter. It wasn’t much to speak of, let alone to cover the streets and trees with a blanket of white snow, however, it surely made me accept that the cold winter had finally set in. For some reason, I have a history of baking something with chocolate on the first snow day, not that I intend to do. Watching it snow, I felt lucky not having to go out in the wind and cold. I opened the fridge and found only one egg…grrr…I used up all the eggs to make Caramelised Leek Goat Cheese Tart for the Christmas dinner. Oh, yeah, the party was good, crowded with expats married to Turks and their kids, and we had a feast with all the typical Christmas foods, even mulled wine and panettone, which was probably the most popular.We played a present exchange game and I was the last to pick or steal a present. The Canadian lady who got panettone and …

Pumpkin Orange Aphrodisiac Muffins

Ok, it’s still drizzling outside and so cold! I wish I had posted this earlier. I’ve noticed many people sniffling around as the temperature fluctuates at unexpected degrees during the day and the night, let alone the surprisingly cold weather last week. So I did some baking to warm up the house as well as the body. But maybe it was too late that I did it! So what did I bake? Pumpkin! I don’t see why I can’t indulge in pumpkin outside its season , especially if you’ve got fresh cut pumpkins stored in the freezer from the last winter. I was also given a whole fresh Japanese pumpkin recently so I had to get rid of the old ones. I freeze many things for survival; I even started to freeze cheese, I mean French cheese, which I used to consider as a crime, killing the goodness in it. But hey, we adapt or we die, and  it’s been feeding my craving for French cheese every now and then. There was a small dinner …

lemon coconut biscuits

Lemon Coconut Honey Biscuits – butter, yeah! but no egg

I am back to Istanbul, to my kitchen, and to my food. Even though the new discoveries from travel are always enchanting, it feels so good to be back home. I will post more photos from my trip to Cappadocia and the hot-air balloon tour in the next post with some more stories, but for now I will leave you with the teaser shots before continuing on to my lemon biscuits. I brought this beautiful honey from the hotel I stayed in Cappadocia. The honey served at breakfast was so good that I dared asked the hotel owner to give me some and to my surprise, I was given a big container full by the generous owner, Orhan.