Category Archives: Spoon & Fork

All occasion “cupcakes”… (cupcake veya minikek)


*Turkce tarif icin yazinin sonundaki linke tiklayabilirsiniz!

I don’t know what to name these cupcakes… I am actually not feeling very creative today… Of course, and unfortunately, blogging is not what I do for a living… My husband and I own a marble and tile business… we had to move the business to another location… if you haven’t carried a piece of natural stone tile yet… think about how much 5 porcelain plates weigh and that’s roughly how much just one tile weighs… of course marble tiles come in boxes… and those boxes weigh about 80 lbs each… those boxes come in crates… the crates weigh about 2000 lbs (which we cannot carry by manpower of course)… in total we moved 150 crates… 9 full truckloads… of course there were lots of boxes of tile moved, carried, consolidated… and lots and lots of office stuff… then we moved to the new location, which is very industrial and we basically took over a big empty box… and then we fixed that box and made a showroom out of it…in about 6 days… there was so much drama going on, I thought it might also be a good idea to start a business blog… oh well… if not, I might post pictures soon of this move and the business just for variety purposes…

Until then, I just need some therapy in the form of cooking and knitting … I have been too tired to do both… But we still did cook in this house out of necessity… We have 6 hungry people to feed each day.

These cupcakes were made last weekend, knowing this week would be a tough one and I just needed the good energy…

Turkish pastry culture doesn’t have “cupcakes” in  it… We don’t even have a name for them, I googled and made translation up… Still, cupcakes are just loved by adults and now the kids in this house… This is a basic cupcake recipe that gives me good results without too much hassle… no flour sifting, no egg separating and they rise perfectly. I modified a recipe by Gale Gand from years ago. I used to watch her show a lot and printed out a recipe from the food network site. I am not even sure if she still has the TV show… The original recipe was called “Cupcake Christmas Tree”… and I heavily modified it…


All Occasion Cupcakes


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I prefer canola)
  • (2 tablespoons dark cocoa for chocolate cupcakes)

-Preheat oven to 375F.

-Put paper cups in 2 muffin tin trays. You might have to bake in batches.

-Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs and milk… Slowly add the vegetable oil.

-Fill the cups halfway.

-Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown to light brown on top.

-If you want to create a variety, add 2 tablespoons dark cocoa to the next batch. If too thick add a splash of milk.

As for frosting: The original recipe calls for buttercream… I still could not find a buttercream that I like… The unmelted confectioner’s sugar in buttercream bothers me so much… Just like me, eat them however you like… These are so good, even without frosting… 

-Serve with your favorite frosting on the side with colorful fruits, sprinkles and whatever you have got in your baker’s pantry…


Yum… Yummm…YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time… g.

Turkce blog icin tiklayin bakalim!


Chipotle Chicken Salad… (chipotle biberli tavuk salatasi)

_dsc1782*Turkce tarif icin yazinin sonuna gidiniz…

This chicken salad is made on “request” in our house… a few weeks would pass by after the last time I make it… and then either my husband or my brother-in-law will ask me “do you have everything you need to make the chicken salad”… Then if we have guests in the house and sometimes they ask “which chicken salad?”… I guess they question what could be the big deal about any chicken salad…

Our chef friend Ben Smith made this salad for the opening of our business… They catered the food and this was one of the items on the menu. At the time let alone his restaurant, we couldn’t afford any catering at our showroom opening… He was so very nice to literally give away the food at cost and I think we had designers/architects come over just to have his food. Ben and his restaurant is a gem in Memphis, TN. Well, it’s a Pacific Rim restaurant, that specializes in “fish” in the town of BBQ. You can read more about Ben and his restaurant here…  as his dishes, his website is also simple so doesn’t give much info about his background… you can read a bit more about him on his cookbook… 


I highly suggest his book… and if you have access to great seabass, try out his seabass and black thai rice recipe… it will be great.. but of course, at this restaurant it’s a work of art… the next time I am there I might snap a photo…

Chipotle Chicken Salad

*adapted from Tsunami Restaurant Cookbook . Mine has less heat, and it’s adjusted for a smaller batch. His recipe is perfect, since it starts with 5lb of chicken there is no way for me to adjust for the eggs since I cannot divide a whole egg in 5 equal parts. so get the book for the perfect recipe you won’t regret it.

The below recipe is what I use and serves 5-6 people. This is also a great party dish, but don’t let us sit out too long, it has raw eggs and it will discolor… keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 1 chipotle in adobo (1 used one pepper, it has a great kick. if you like mild dishes, use half or quarter pepper)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

– Cook the chicken in whole pieces in a pot filled halfway with water. Don’t overcook, it will become spongy.

-Puree the chipotle, garlic, salt, lime juice, egg yolks and whole egg in a blender… While the machine is running and everything is smooth, take the top off and slowly drizzle the olive oil to make the chipotle mayonnaise. (don’t start the machine when the top is off… believe me, you will regret it… and don’t blame me, because I warned you)…

-When the chicken is at room temperature, dice the chicken.

-To assemble… in a big bowl toss the chicken, celery and the scallions. Pour the chipotle mayo on top and mix until blended… Transfer to another bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

I serve them with store bought chips when I don’t have time… but try them with using smitten kitchen’s “fry your own corn tortillas” method… the below are an example… _dsc1729

Until next time… Cyber hugs, g.

Turkish recipe coming soon… (toddlers are jumping UP and DOWN, sorry for the inconvenience)


edited: 03/29/09 , 20:15pm … kids are asleep… continued…

cocuklar simdi uyudugu icin Turkce tarifi ancak yazabiliyorum, kusura bakmayin…

Chipotleli Tavuk Salatasi

“Chipotle de ne yahu?” demeyin lutfen. Antin kuntin malzemelerden degil. Bir cins tutsulenmis Meksika biberi ve agiz tadimiza oldukca uygun. Turkiye’de bulunabilir mi bilmiyorum. Bu aralar Meksika lokantalari pek bir “in” o yuzden bulabilirsiniz… Amerika’da “Chipotle en adobo”, adobo sos icinde chipotle biberi olarak satiliyor… bir biber, bir dunyaya bedel misali, oldukca aci, ama guzel bir aci biber soz konusu… Turkiye’deki biberlerle benim pek aram yok… dudaklari patlatan cinsten oldugundan, ve 3 saat acisi gitmediginden pek o kadar “aci biber” tavsiyesinde bulanamayacagim. Ancak bu tarif icin, cipotle en adobo bulamazsaniz urfa biberi, isot ve ya aci bir biber salcasi denemenizi oneririm…

Size sozu gecen biberleri sunuyorum…_dsc1745

5-6 kisilik… buyuk partilerde cipsin, ya da ekmek kiriklarinin yanina servis yapabilirsiniz…

  • Yarim kilo tavuk (kemiksiz, derisi soyulmus gogus eti)
  • 1 chipotle in adobo (1 tane biber yeterli olacaktir… oldukca aci oluyor ama ana yemek olarak yenmediginden tolere edilebilir)
  • 1/3 bardak sizma zeytinyag (hayir efendim riviera denilen yag, 100%zeytinyag degildir.. ayri bir blog konusu)
  • Yarim yesil limonun suyu, yoksa normal limon kullanabilirsiniz
  • 1 dis sarimsak (ezilmis)
  • 2 yumurta sarisi
  • 1 tum yumurta
  • 1 cay kasigi tuz
  • 1 kereviz sapi, ince dilimlenmis
  • 2 tane taze sogan, ince dilimlenmis, yesil saplari dahil

– Tavugu haslayin… cok pisirmemeye dikkat edin, sunger gibi olabilir.

-Biberi, sarimsagi, tuzu, limon suyunu, yumurta sarilarini ve tum yumurtayi blendir’da puree haline getirin… (sozu gecen mutfak robotu, muzlu sut filan yapmak icin kullanilan, uzun cam surahili robot… rondo da kullanabilirsiniz, ancak zeytinyagini 3-4 defada ekleyin) Makine calisirken, hersey yumusak ve puruzsuz doner haldeyken, usteki koruma kapagini cikarin. Yavasca, sicim gibi ince bir sekilde zeytinyagini dokun. Putursuz, mayonez kivamina gelince durdurun.(Sakin makineyi durdurup kapagi cikarip acikken tekrar baslatmayin… boyle bir hata yaparsaniz da beni suclamayin, uyardim valla.)

-Tavuk oda isisina gelince, kucuk kup seklinde kesin.

-Biraraya getirmek icin… buyuk bir kaba tavugu, kereviz sapini, ve taze sogani  koyun. Uzerlerine biberli mayonezi dokun. Hepsini karistirin. Baska temiz bir kaba alip, misir cipsiyle servis yapin.

Zamanim kisitli olunca marketten alinmis cipslerle servis yapiyorum.. Ancak yeni ogrendigim bir metodla aynen Meksika lokantalarinda yapilmis cips tadini yakalamak mumkun. Marketten yumusak Meksika tortillalarini alip, ucgenlere kesip, yagda pembelesinceye kadar kizartin… enfes cipsler oluyor…

(20.Nisan.2009 ek not: Gecen hafta Migros’ta Meksika Tortillalarinin “migros lavas” diye satildigini gordum. Bu bizim Cukurova yoresinde bildigimiz lavas gibi degil, tam anlamiyla Meksikalilarin unlu tortillasiydi. Ayni bolumde gercek anlaminda Turk lavasi da var.. Ikisini nasil ayirt edecez derseniz, turk lavasi daha mayali ve icinde hava kabarciklari var, Meksika tortillasi ya da gordugum migros lavasi tam daire yuvarlak sekilde, ve daha tok bir hamur. Ornegin Cukurova’daki lavasi tutup koparmaya calisirsaniz hamur esner. Tortilla hemen oldugu yerden yirtilir. Turkiye’de bulundugum surece baska markalar da gorecegime eminim, bir iki tane daha marka bulunca blogumda yayinlayacagim.)

Turkiye’deki malzemelerle deneyen arkadaslar bana geri yazarsa cok sevinirim…

Afiyet olsun… g.

Mixed berry crumble (Bogurtlenli turta)


*Turkce tarif icin sayfanin sonuna bakiniz…

I love berries… that sums it up for me…

I used to tear my wrists with bush thorns trying to pick blackberry… Such a trap for kids… But the joy that it provided every summer… just picking them up and eating right then and there… your hands all bloodied and your lips all blue-black from the fruit.

I am not sure who tops the list… Blueberries are much crispier and sweeter compared to the other berries. I have to stop myself from eating too much of it… Raspberries are just so tender, juicy and tart… Blackberries are like pinot noir to me… deeply tart and slightly sweet in the background… and in a bowl of blackberries, there is always that perfect one… perfectly soft, juicy and sour/sweet… like a sip of great wine… I think blackberries are the winner for me… if I cannot find any other berries, I can live with blackberries instead.

This following recipe is perfect when you have access to all 3 berries… if not, you can make it with what you have. It takes minutes to make, and perfect to put it in the oven on a whim. Although a big advocate for “fresh fruit”, I keep a big bag of “frozen mixed berries” in my freezer just so that I can bake whenever I want to with them…

Mixed Berry Crumble

My friend Aysin made this berry crumble when she came to visit us when I was pregnant… I still cannot forget the taste in my mouth when I first ate this… it never tasted the same :)… but it’s still very good…

  • 1 stick of butter (113 grams) , cold, cut up
  • 3 cups of mixed berries
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • pinch salt

-In a medium size bowl mix the berries, vinegar and 4 tablespoons of sugar. let it stand for 15 minutes. (I do this first, by the time I am done with preparing the dough etc, 15 minutes is passed)

-Preheat oven to 400F.

– Put the flour, the rest of the sugar, cut up butter and salt in a food processor (not a mixer). Pulse the food processor until the dough resembles sand or bread crumbs. Don’t over-beat… but make sure all flour is mixed in. You might need to shake the holder a few times.

-In a 8″x10″ small baking dish, put 1/4 of dough and press very lightly with your palm, just enough to level and pack it. Put the berries on top… then pour the rest of the dough on top… Shake the baking dish just a little for the ingredients to mingle a bit. Stop as soon as you see the juices from the berries.

-Bake at 400F for 30 minutes until golden.

-Serve immediately on individual plates with ice cream or very cold heavy cream or creme fraiche…

Make the crumble on the day it will be eaten. This just didn’t taste even good when I tried it the next day… I was able to steal some leftovers the last time we made it and it was a disappointment for me the next day…

Until then… g.


Recipe in Turkish

Bogurtlenli Turta

Cok sevdigim arkadasim Aysin, bu tarifi beni hamileyken ziyarete geldiginde yapmisti… Hala tadi damagimda… o tadi simdi alamasam da, bu turta bir enfes.

Aslinda, bu yaptigimiz tatlinin tam ismi Bogurtlenli Turta degil… 3 cins bogurtlengilden yapiliyor. Bogurtlen, ahududu ve karayemis kullaniliyor… Bogurtlengil kelimesi cok da cazip gelmediginden turtanin isminde kullanmayi tercih etmedim.  Turkiye’de yazin ucune ayni anda rastlamak mumkun. Ancak herhangi birini taze bulursaniz, ya da donmus bulursaniz kullabilirsiniz. “Crumble” denilen tatlilar da, turta hamurlarinin bicimlendirilmeden, oldugu gibi meyvelerin uzerine serpilmesiyle yapiliyor. Daha cok elmali, cevizli ve dikdortgen kesilen, kivami daha sert olan tariflere rastlamistim.. Bu tarif onlara kiyasla, daha sulu, ve kivami cok yumusak. Fotografta gordugunuz gibi kasikla sunumunun yapilmasinda bir sakinca yok… Eger onemli misafirinize yapmak isterseniz, kucuk toprak ya da porselen isiya dayanikli kaselerde yapmanizi tavsiye ederim…

  • 125 gram soguk, kucuk kesilmis tereyag
  • 3 bardak bogurtlen(gil)
  • 10 corba kasigi toz seker
  • 1 1/2 bardak un
  • 2 corba kasigi balsamik sirke (balsamik sirke kullanmiyorsaniz almanizi ve denemenizi tavsiye ederim. Veya yerine elma sirkesi kullanabilirsiniz)
  • bir tutam tuz

-Orta boy bir kapta meyveleri, balsamik sirkeyi ve 4 kasik sekeri karistirin. 15 dakika dinlendirin. (ben bu turtayi yapmaya karar verir vermez bu islemi yapiyorum. Sonradan diger malzemeleri hazirliyorum. Bu sirada 15 dakika gecmis oluyor)

-Firini 200C dereceye getirin.

– Unu, kalan sekeri, tereyagini ve tuzu mutfak robotuna koyun. (mikser kullanmayin. Rondo gibi bicakli bir robot kullanabilirsiniz. Robotunuz yoksa, ellenizde basparmaklarinizla unu ufalayarak turta hamuru yapabilirsiniz) Karisim kum veya ekmek kirintisi kivamina gelene kadar kisa darbelerle robotton gecirin.  Fazla karistirmamaya ozen gosterin, karisim hamur olmasin. Tum unun karismasina dikkat edin. Birkac kere robot haznesini sarsmaniz gerekebilir.

-In a 20cmx25cm buyuklugunde bir kaba hamurunuzun 1/4unu koyun. (Porselen veya toprak bir kapta pisirmeniz daha iyi olabilir. Borcam kullaniyorsaniz isi ayarlari her zaman ne ayarda pisiriyorsaniz onu kullanin.) Avucunuzun iciyle hamura cok hafifce bastirin. Uzerine meyveli karisimi dokun. Kalan hamuru da meyvelerin uzerine dokun. Pisirme kabini malzemelerin cok az karismasi icin sallayin. Meyvelerin pembe rengini gorur gormez durun.

-200C derecede 30 dakika uzeri pembelesinceye kadar pisirin.

-Uzerine dondurma, cok soguk cig krema koyarak tabaklarda hemen servis edin.

Afiyet olsun…

Turtayi yiyeceginiz gun pisirin. Sicak yemenizi tavsiye ederim. Son kez yaptigimizda, cok az ertesi gune kalmisti. Buyuk sevincle dolaptan cikarip yedigimde cok fena hayal kirikligina ugradim.

stuffed chard (pazi sarmasi)


*Turkce tarif icin yazinin sonuna bakiniz.

It took me about 8 years to know that “pazi” was indeed “chard” that was so readily available in the US. I missed this vegetable so much when I moved to the US… I guess the ones here look slightly different and sold in smaller batches, so I never suspected… Until I ate it somewhere, and knew immediately what it was… from the smooth, buttery, melt in your mouth texture…

People get upset with me because I admit to not liking “stuffed grape leaves”.  This behavior is so shunned upon in Mediterrenean culture. It’s like admitting not liking “1/4 lb charbroiled burger” in the US. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat stuffed leaves and I will appreciate them when they are served… but for me “pazi sarmasi”, translation “stuffed chard” is the king of all stuffed cousine for me… and grape leaves are a little too tough to chew on and a little too sour for my taste… “chard” wins against all my menu choices if a restaurant offers them… I get happy and I want to hug the chef when a restaurant indeed offers them…

For my US readers: the stuffed leaves that you have eaten or will find in the Mediterrenean stores in the US usually comes from “pickled” leaves.. and they are usually cold served appetizers… we call these dishes “olive oil foods”.. you can find them under “zeytinyaglilar” section in all Turkish food books… This recipe is different.. it’s served warm and it’s an entree. I might post the olive oil version in the future… we actually have a grape vine in our garden and the leaves are so perfect to make this dish…

Please email me if you have any questions…  I did my best to write a very detailed explanation, and posted pictures… I can I guess make a video if needed, or if this recipe is a hit with readers.

I am sure Turkish friends already have a recipe in their family for the “stuffed” foods that we generally call “dolma”… so, Turkish cooks out there, skip the ingredients part… and if you want to try something different, try the lemon/mint/garlic mixture as topping…I guarantee results on that one…


Stuffed Chard -serves 6-7 people.

(you might end up having more stuffing. If so you can keep this in the freezer and use it to stuff eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, etc)


  • 1 lb ground beef (%20 fat or more is needed, anything less will become a stuffed ball)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup +1 tablespoon rice (use some starchy rice, I prefer to use RICELAND extra long grain. Although excellent, Uncle Ben’s or Basmati will not work for this recipe. Mexican rice or some Asian rice with high starch content will work as well)
  • 3 cups water
  • 12-15 chard leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Family secret topping (not so secret now)

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint

This is the 1st time I prepared stuffing with precooked onions and rice. Usually all ingredients are mixed raw. I loved how this method turned out and will continue to cook it this way.  I think, since chard cooks so easily, it helps to cook some of the ingredients beforehand.

-Wash the chard leaves at least 10 times 🙂 -they have so much sand in them that might not even be enough… wash as many times as you wash your spinach 🙂

-In a big, wide pan boil water.

-Put 2 tablespoons of the butter and diced onions in another sautee pan. Cook until onions are golden color… don’t let the butter burn. Add the rice and 1 cup of water into the pan.  Close the pan and let the mixture cook for 10 minutes until rice is almost cooked and the water is fully absorbed.

-When the rice is cooked, remove the pan from heat. Add the ground beef, pepper, salt, parsley to the mixture. With wooden spoon, or your hand mix for 3-4 minutes until well blended.

– Turn off the heat on the boiling water to low. Put water and ice in a deep bowl. Put the chard leaves in the boiling water… Wait 2-3 minutes and then put them immediately in ice water to stop cooking. Repeat process for all chard leaves… (cook until barely softened… if unsure, better for them to cook less then more.. they will tear if overcooked)

-Get comfortable in a chair… Put stuffing, leaves in separate bowls. Get a wide pan and put it next to your bowls. (this pan will be used for cooking, make sure it’s wide enough to fit at least a dessert plate)

-Put 1st leaf on a cutting board. Take out the stalk as seen in picture. Press on the small veins with the back of a knife. Everything should be pretty much flat. Divide each leaf to approximately 4″x4″ pieces. 

-Put about 1 teaspoon of stuffing in the lower middle area of the piece. Fold two sides onto the stuffing. Then roll the lower side all the way to the top as if rolling a cigar. (never did that, but I imagine it should be similar). Put on some music, go slowly. It will take time… but it pays off… (the hands in the above pictures belong to my MIL. so get help if you have any in the house at least for the rolling part)

-Put the stalks under the wide pan that will be used for cooking. This will avoid the leaves to stick to the bottom of the pan.

-Start from edge of pan, move towards the center… You want to make sure the open sides of the leaves are facing below so when cooking the stuffing will not come out. You can put them on top of each other… Even 4-5 layers are OK…

-After all leaves are rolled, cut up the remaining of the butter and put on the leaves. Pour 2 cups water that is mixed with tomato paste onto the leaves. Add the secret topping.

-Put a porcelain plate on top of the leaves. Close the lid of the pan and cook for 35-40 minutes on medium heat.

Serve when slightly cooled. Add a dallop of whole milk, plain yogurt if you want to enjoy it like the Turkish…

Afiyet olsun… g.

Pazi sarmasi  6-7 kisilik


  •  500 gram yaglica kiyma
  • 4 corba kasigi tereyag
  • 2 orta boy sogan, dogranmis
  • 1 kahve fincani pirinc
  • 3 bardak su
  • 12-15 buyuk pazi yapragi
  • 1/4 bardak dogranmis maydanoz
  • 1.5 tatli kasigi tuz
  • 1 kahve kasigi karabiber
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

Aile sirri sos (uzerine)

  • 1 limonun suyu
  • 3-4 dis sarimsak
  • 1 corba kasigi kuru nane

1-2 tane okudugum tarifte soganlar ve pirincler onceden pisiriliyordu. Ben de boyle denedim ve cok begendim. Tercih ederseniz, icini cigden de hazirlayabilirsiniz. Pazi yapraklari cok narin oldugundan hemen pisiyorlar ve pirinclerin onceden pismesi cok daha uygun oldu bence.

-Pazi yapraklarini cok iyi yikayin, cok kumlu oluyorlar…

-Buyuk bir tencerede su kaynatin.

-Kucuk bir tencerede soganlari, 2 kasik tereyaginda pembelesinceye kadar kavurun.  1 bardak suyu ve pirinci ekleyin. Tencerenin kapagini kapatin ve pirincler suyunu cekene kadar 10 dakika pisirin.

-Pirincler pisince tencereyi atesten alin. Kiyma, maydanoz, karabiber ve tuzu ekleyin. Elinizle, ya da tahta kasikla 3-4 dakika iyice karistirin.

– Kaynayan suyun altini kisin. Yapraklari 2-3 dakika biraz yumusayincaya kadar pisirin. Pisirmeyi durdurmak icin, baska bir tarafta hazirladiginiz buzlu suya atin.  Her defasinda 4-5 yaprak pisirin. Cok pisirmemeye dikkat edin, yapraklar parcalanabilir.

-Yapraklarin saplarini kesin ve tencerenin dibine doseyin. Kalan ince saplari bicagin sapiyla veya elinizle ezin. Yapraklar iyice yassi olsunlar.


-Yapraklari 10cmx10cm buyuklugunde kesin.

-Her bir yapragin alt kenarina bir tatli kasigi kadar ic koyun. Once iki yan kenarlari icin uzerine kapatin. Alt kenarindan tutarak, yukari dogru parmak kalinliginda sarin.

-Tencerenin yan kenarlarindan baslayarak ortaya dogru sik bir sekilde sarmalari yerlestirin. Sarma icinin disari cikmamasi icin, yapraklarin acik taraflarinin asagiya gelmesine dikkat edin.

-Butun sarma islemi yapildiktan sonra, kalan tereyagini uzerine kucuk parcalar keserek koyun. 2 bardak suda domates salcasini eritin. Bu salcali suyu ve aile sirri sosu uzerine dokun.

-Agirca bir porselen tabagi sarmalarin uzerine koyun. Tencerenin kapagini kapatip 35-40 dakika orta ateste pisirin.

Biraz sogumasini ve dinlenmesini bekleyin. Uzerine yogurt koyup yiyin.

Afiyet olsun. g.

Chocolate-vanilla cookies (iki renk kurabiye)


*Turkce tarif icin yazinin sonuna gidebilirsiniz… (scroll down for the recipe in Turkish)



I made these cookies 2 weeks ago… and have been waiting to post them… I made them after I saw them here

The original recipe in on the Martha Stewart website. I usually don’t go out and make cookies from commercial websites (except for food network) since I don’t know how they will come out… these came out pretty good except for the shape. After fooling with it for 30 minutes and not being able to achieve what I wanted, I took a more “free form” approach. I just alternated layers. One vanilla, one cocoa layer… total 4 layers. Rolled them and cut the pieces as directed. No one complained about the shape and the cookies flew from the plate in a matter of minutes…

I might make them again this weekend… These will also be perfect for celebrations, holidays, birthdays… Just use some food coloring instead of cocoa for a girl’s birthday, or red and green for Christmas…

Recipe in English is here

Until next time… have a great weekend… g.

Recipe in Turkish

*adapted from a recipe on Martha Stewart website

*Martha Stewart websitesindeki bir tariften uyarlanmistir…

  • 2 bardak un
  • 1/8 tatli kasigi tuz
  • 200 gram tereyag (oda isisinda yumusatilmis)
  • 1 bardak pudra sekeri 
  • 1 buyuk yumurtanin sarisi
  • 1 paket vanilin, ya da 1/4 tatli kasigi vanilya
  • 2 yemek kasigi kakao (koyu bir kakao kullanmanizi tavsiye ederim)
    1. Unu ve tuzu eleyip kenara ayirin.
    2. Sekeri ve tereyagi kopuk gibi oluncaya kadar mixerinizin orta hiziyla karistirin. Hizi azaltip yumurta sarisini ve vanilyayi karistirin.
    3. El mikseri kullaniyorsaniz, bundan sonraki kismi tahta kasikla yapin. Hamur mikser icin cok sert olabilir. (tezgah ustu mikseriniz varsa, unu ekleyebilirsiniz) Unu karisima ekleyin… tamamen karistirin. Yumusak, yagli bir hamur olacak.
    4. Hamurun yarisini ayirin… Oteki yarisina kakaoyu ekleyin. 3 santim capinda rulo yapin. Ayni islemi vanilyali hamur icin de yapin. Stretch folyoya sarip 10 dakika derin dondurucuya atin. Hamur yapismayacak ve kesilecek sekilde olacak)
    5. Firini 350F (175C) ye getirin.
    6. Fotografimdaki gibi kurabiyeler icin hamurlarin her birini 2ye bolun. Merdaneyle acin. Bir kakao, bir vanilya olmak uzere ust uste koyun, buyuk bir rulo yapin. Elinizle ruloyu inceltin, yarim santim kalinlikta kesin.  (hamurunuz calisilmayacak bir hal alirsa korkmayin, tekrar derin dondurucuya atin)
    7. Pisirme kagidiyla kapladiginiz tepsiye 2ser santim araliklarla dizin.
    8. 12 dakika pisirin (tereyagli bir tarif oldugundan cok pisirilmiyor. Dokununca uzerinin sertce olmasi lazim.
    9. Telin uzerinde sogutun. 

    Afiyet olsun… g.

    baby shower cake…

    alara-kek1This is the 2nd time that I am asked to make a cake for a planned party… I think I am an OK baker… but baking is “unforgiving”… even if I make the same cake 20 times, I still freak out not knowing the end result… Maybe that’s what attracts me to this whole baking thing. I even have secret “good luck rituals” before I put the cake in the oven…

    In the end, this cake passed the “taste” test, the most important… almost everyone loved this cake… Again, a cake made with love for the newest addition to our “Memphis” group. Alara is due April 15, parents Cindy and Hakan are excited… hmmm… I think Cindy is ready for her to come out already 🙂 Looking forward to meeting you baby Alara…

    We had a great time… as always we got five-star food and hospitality at “Casa de Aysun & Taner”… I should have taken pictures of the feast, but I was busy chasing toddlers and mingling with friends…

    Recipe to follow soon… I just had to post the picture before it got old in my computer…

    ….edited 2:40 pm to add recipe

    I am working to see if I can post the recipes under another link so that I don’t have 10 feet long posts and people who just like to look at pictures don’t have to be bothered… until then bare with me and my “technical” inabilities.

    Seems like I have time to add this recipe… With the weather similar to London, UK here in Memphis, TN, not many people stopped by the showroom… so it’s a good time to post this long recipe… cake tips to follow in another blog entry… until then, you can go here to get some tips that I just saw today…

    5-5-5 White Cake

    I don’t know what to call this cake, I also don’t have enough knowledge of cakes that I can name this… It would be appropriate to call this “pandispanya” in Turkish, but can’t find a good word in English. I tried this recipe when I was 12 years old with Nilgun abla at our summer house, since than I basically make all cakes based on this recipe. It is not perfect, I will point those out later, but it satisfies crowds and it is yet to embrasse me even if I am cooking in someone elses kitchen… I call it 5-5-5 because it’s easy to remember and it is the recipe right there… for a big birthday party, this is the amount of batter you need to use… for a cake for your family I suggest using 4-4-4 version. However, this recipe uses “turkish coffee cup” as a base measure… Here’s an excuse for Turkish friends to get that coffee cup out, for the US readers less than 1/2 cup in the US.


    • 5 turkish coffee cups flour (2 cups US)
    • 5 turk coff cups sugar (2 cups US)
    • 5 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)*
    • zest of 1 lemon (use a zester, if using grater make sure white skin is not in there)
    • half turk coff cup lemon juice
    • half turk coff cup water
    • dash of salt (pinch)

    -Preheat oven to 350F.

    -Get all ingredients ready in separate bowls before you start. Separate eggs, sift flour

    -Put egg whites in mixing bowl. Add pinch of salt. Beat until stiff peaks form when you raise the mixer. Transfer to a clean bowl. Set aside. (This is one of the most important steps when making this cake. I tried enough times, trust me on this one)

    -Beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture is light yellow and the sugar is 80 % melted. (about 3 minutes depending on mixer). Add the lemon juice and water… add the lemon zest

    -Slowly add the flour spoon by spoon…add the baking powder, and vanilla.

    -When everything is mixed… add the egg whites spoon by spoon… when combined stop mixing immediately, don’t overbeat.

    -Pour batter into lightly greased & floured pan.

    -Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350F until golden brown… This batter rises so much, that you need a big pan for this quantity. I use a 9×13, for anything smaller you need to lower the batter to 4-4-4 ratio. (4 coff cups flour, sugar, 4 eggs). The cake will separate from the sides when done.

    -Take out of oven immediately, and put it on a cooling rack still inside the pan.

    Baker’s filling cream  “pastaci kremasi”

    Adapted from the book “Tatli ogretimi Ekrem Muhittin Yegen

    This recipe is from an old Turkish book written in the 70s. Mom got the “entrees, soups and pasta’s” version when she got married and she gave it to me when I went to college. The book was in 100 pieces by the time I learn how to cook. Thank God years later they reprinted this and my husband got me one of the 1st copies… I didn’t even know there was a “dessert” version… His entree book is perfect. Give that book to someone who didn’t hold a spoon in life, they will create something very tasty. I am not 100 percent on his pastry recipes. I am sure it’s not his fault. A lot of ingredients changed since then, and I am sure they recipes got screwed up when conversions were made.. After all, “baking” is unforgiving… still.. this “cream filling” is perfect . My Turkish readers would know.. this is the filling inside a profiterol, or an eclair… something that we don’t find in cakes in the US. I also encourage US bakers to give this a try, all my American friends who ate this loved it.

    Double recipe for 9″x13″ birthday cake, use the amount below for 9×9

    • 500 gr milk (2 cups)
    • 150 gr sugar ( 3/4 cups)
    • 80 gr flour ( 3/4 cups flour)
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 whole egg
    • 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
    • 50 grams butter (1/2 stick)

    – Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla with a wire egg beater in a pot until the mixture is light yellow and sugar is dissolved.

    -Add 1/4th of the milk to the mixture slowly. Add the flour. Blend well

    -Add the remaining milk, beating the mixture faster.

    -Put the pot on medium-low heat and keep stirring with the egg beater. In 3-5 minutes the beater will get heavy, keep stirring faster. It will become a custard very fast. Remove from heat.

    -Let it cool down for 30 minutes. Add the butter and mix well.

    Frosting, icing etc.

    I am not an expert when it comes to icing a cake. Actually this might be one of my greatest weaknesses when it comes to baking. I am “untalented” and “uncreative”. Even my kids take the crayons away from my when I try to draw a flower… If you go slow and not hold your breath until you faint. It will get done.

    On this particular cake, I couldn’t decide on what type of frosting to use. For a party, you want a cake with enough sugar and butter content to satisfy the tastebuds… but 80% of the cakes I eat usually have something very wrong with them, mostly with the frosting being too heavy… it should be banned. So when unsure, go for the lighter choice… BUT, don’t make it too light either (tricky eh??)… For a variety of choices -more than you need in your baking life unless you are a professional- invest in this book.

    I was tempted to use a buttercream, but then decided against it since my cake had rasberries in it and my filling already had some butter in it. I kind of used her “perfect whipped cream recipe”… I just used more cream and made a thinner frosting, since my frosting abilities are limited and it’s not the 1st time I am making whipped cream from heavy cream. I just like mine that way…

    • 3 cups heavy cream (ultrapasteurized) -Rose’s recipe has 2 cups
    • 1 tablespoon sugar (use superfine if you have it)
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla* (optional)
    • Dash of food coloring** (optional)

    -Put everything in a (preferable metal, if not glass) mixing bowl. Put the bowl and the wire mixers in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. If using glass you might need to chill the bowl beforehand.

    -Take out the mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks form when raising the beaters…Don’t overbeat… (don’t worry, I overbeat this time, and then added some more cream. It will be allright. It’s not like overbeating eggs)

    Assembling the cake

    – Cut the cake in half sideways to make 2 layers. Level the cake, use the bottom portion on top to make it look more even.

    -Puree seasonal, fresh fruit in food processor. (Puree until you get small chunks, not until it’s rasberry juice) -yes, done that too 🙂 . Don’t use more than 1 cup, your cake might get too soggy. I used rasberries in this one. (I would use blueberries for boys for example).

    -Pour orange juice in a cup. Or if you like liquor in your cakes, mix half water half liquor in a cup. Wet the insides of both layers of the cake with a brush using this syrup. Or syrup of your choice.

    -Put some whipped cream on the cake board, or plate. Put the cake bottom part on frosting. Spread the cream filling.

    -Spread fruit on this layer, or on the second layer. (I usually do it on the second layer. I just don’t like mixing cream with fruit, although they get mixed in the end anyway.

    -Put second layer on top of first.

    You can actually do this a day ahead of time. For the past 2 times this is what I have been doing. I guess you can do the “crumb coating” here. I just learned that today from here. Read item #7. Just spread a thin layer of your filling over the cake to seal in those evil crumbs… (they gave me a headache last week)

    -Spread whipped cream frosting or frosting of choice.

    Piped borders

    OK… put me in baker’s jail… I used store bought butter cream for decorations… but I have an excuse… I never made buttercream… I also didn’t want to spend the time since I didn’t use it for frosting.. I needed 2 tablespoons…

    -pipe decorations… and you have a cake…

    Sorry if I omitted something. Feel free to ask questions… I also need to check grammar mistakes tomorrow. I am tired even with writing the directions.  

    and ohhh… the ” * ” bookmark signs.

    * I don’t like vanilla. Don’t throw stones at me… So the only vanilla in this cake was used in the cream filling.

    **I don’t like reading “food coloring” in labels or ingredients… But.. this cake was for a “baby girl” shower.. it was only appropriate to make a pink cake. the amount of food coloring used was “3 toothpick dips”… seriously, one dip in the color with a toothpick gives you instant color… Please let me know if there is an organic option…

    For chocolate versions : you can add cocoa to the cake batter, but don’t forget to reduce the flour in equal amounts. I suggest melting real chocolate for the filling. And no fruit please in a chocolate cake… we prefer it with nuts of your choice…

    Cinnamon cookies…Tarcinli kurabiye (turkish)

    Sweet blog entry to follow…

    After an hour of afternoon blog surfing I had major 9:00pm sugar craving… I was inspired to make cookies (again)…These days I am inspired by “a friend to knit with”. I discovered her blog last week through a knit project… and, if you think I have domestic talents look at this lady. She has 3 kids, she is a great cook, an excellent knitter, she sews, she is a photographer and she has fashion sense. I don’t know if women like her sleep… she has “cookie of the week” posts that helped me so much to try out new recipes knowing someone else had success with it… to top it off, she has kids who can tell her what they like, so my little ones will probably eat them… I chose the following cookies, because:

    i) I love cinnamon

    ii) Dear husband hates cinnamon, but he will give it a shot if presented in right context

    iii) we have a late night TV watching-tea-and-cookies ceremony every night


    The only thing I modified was that I baked them for 14 minutes instead of 10. Family members requested crunchy outside with chewy inside… I also started with cold butter instead of room temperature… Cut the butter in 1cm wide chunks, then follow recipe to the T… Even if you don’t like cinnamon give this recipe a try… cookies were consumed in less than 20 minutes with only 3 left for the kids…

    Until next time…Enjoy… g.

    Recipe in Turkish…

    Tarcinli Kurabiye

    • 1 bardak seker (125 ml sivi alan bir bardak)
    • 125 gram tereyag
    • 1 buyuk yumurta
    • 1 tatli kasigi sivi vanilya ya da 1 paket toz vanilya
    • 1 1/2 bardak un
    • 1 1/2 tatli kasigi tarcin
    • 1 paket kabartma tozu ya da 1 tatli kasigi
    • 1/2 cay kasigi softa tuzu (ince tuz)
    • uzerine tarcinli seker (yarim bardak seker, 1 tatli kasigi tarcini karistirin)

    -Tereyagini 1 cm kalinliginda kes. Sekerle bir kasede mikserle cirp. Mixer yoksa tahta kasikla ezerek krema puturlu krema sekline gelene kadar karistir.

    -Yumurta ve sivi vanilyayi ekle. Sivi kullanmadiysaniz, sadece yumurtayi ekleyin.

    -Un, tarcin, kabartma tozu ve tuzu bir kaseda karistir. Toz vanilya kullandiysaniz, bu tereyagli karisima ekle…

    -2-3 dakika hamur top halina gelinceye kadar karistir.

    -Stretch filme sarip 2 saat buzdolabinda beklet… Hemen pisirmek istiyorsaniz derin dondurucuda 30 dakika bekletebilirsiniz…

    -350F (175C) getirin.

    -2cm capinda toplar yapip avucunuzun icinde yavasca bastirin.

    -Tarcinli sekere batirip 2cm araliklarla az yaglanmis firin tepsisine koyun.(tepsinizi yaglarken sivi yag ya da margarin gibi yanmayacak bir yag kullanin. Pisirme kagidi kullanmanizi tavsiye ederim)

    -Firininizin ayarina gore 10 ile 14 dakika arasinda kurabiyelerin kenarlari hafif kizarinca alin… Uzeri citir ici yumusak istiyorsaniz 14 dakika, tamamen yumusak istiyorsaniz 10 dakika…

    NOT: Kurabiyeler tereyagli oldugundan cok pisirmeyin, altlari hemen kararir. Firindayken yumusak olsalar bile soguyunca hemen sertlesiyorlar. Turkiye’deki firinlar Amerika’dakilerden farkli oluyor… O yuzden kek ayarinizdan biraz dusuk bir isida pisirmenizi tavsiye ederim. Emin olamiyorsaniz 150 derecede arada sirada kurabiyelerin altina tahta spatulayla bakarak pisirebilirsiniz…

    Yaparsaniz yorumlarinizi bekliyorum.  

    Afiyet olsun, g.