Tuesday, August 25, 2009



Serves 6-8

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 6 baby eggplants ( cubed )
  • 1 large onion (chopped )
  • 10 cloves of garlic (chopped )
  • 1 fresh green pepper ( chopped )
  • 3 large size of tomatoes ( peeled and chopped )
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • salt
Take 1 cup of vegetable oil in a pot over high heat. Fry the eggplants turning occasionally.Place eggplant cubes in a baking dish.
(I prefer not to fry eggplants, just drizzle some olive oil onto
eggplant cubes and broil until the eggplants are soft and light brown. )

In a medium skillet, take ground beef with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat. When the beef is cooked, add chopped onion, chopped pepper, and chopped garlic into the skillet and cook them together for 5 minutes. Add tomato cubes, tomato paste and 1/2 cup of boiling water into the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, add black pepper and salt. Spread this sauce on top of eggplants. Preheat oven 400F and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with rice and cacik.

Friday, August 21, 2009



Ramadan has arrived. It is always exciting to reach Ramadan. I can easily say that this month is the most special time during the whole year for me. I hope all of our prayers and fasting will be accepted by Allah.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



Makes 24 pogacas.

  • white of 1 egg
  • 3/4 up of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/3 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour (approx )
  • feta or cream cheese
  • yolk of 1 egg
In a big mixing bowl, take egg white and whisk. Add vegetable oil, yogurt, baking soda, nigella seeds, salt and mix. Add flour slowly and knead. Continue adding flour until the dough reaches soft consistency.
Take a small piece of dough ( about the size of a walnut ) and make it flat with your palms. Place 1 tsp of feta cheese or cream cheese in the middle of the dough and close it up. Place a parchment paper on a baking tray an put the pogacas on the tray. Brush all of the pogacas with egg yolk.
Preheat the oven 350F and bake until pogacas are golden brown.

Saturday, August 15, 2009



  • 4 baby eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 red onion ( thinly sliced )
  • 1 tomato ( cubed )
  • 1 bunch of parsley (chopped )
  • 3 tbsp of chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cucumber ( cubed )
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt
Pierce the eggplants with a fork . Grill the eggplants and red bell pepper until they are soft. (Pepper cooks before eggplant.) Take them out from the oven and let it cool. Peal the crust of eggplants and take the eggplants in a strainer and wait for 20 minutes to let the liquid out. Peel the red bell peppers and take the seeds off.
Chop both eggplants and bell peppers finely. Take them on a large mixing bowl. Put red onion,tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt into the mixing bowl and stir them all gently.

Monday, August 10, 2009



When my very close friend Sophie baked these cookies for us for the first time, it became my son's favorite. I took the recipe and tried but it is not the same. She is the professional:)
Here is her recipe;

  • 300 gr all purpose flour ( ~2+2/3 cup )
  • 1/2 cup of pecan meal
  • 150 gr sugar ( ~3/4 cup )
  • 150 gr melted butter ( ~11 tbsp )
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
Whisk sugar, egg, baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and whisk. Add flour, baking powder, and pecan meal and knead. Cover with plastic wrap and rest the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Take it out and knead again. Rest for another 30 minutes.Take small parts ( about the size of an egg ) from the dough and give them the shape of small balls and press them gently while they are still between your palms. Place them on a greased baking tray.Place a half pecan on top of each cookies and gently push. Preheat the oven 350 F. Bake the cookies for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, August 6, 2009



Serves 4-6


  • 4 baby eggplants
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 green pepper
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 tbsp of onion powder ( or 1/2 finely chopped onion )
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder ( or 4 cloves of minced garlic )
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tsp of ground red pepper
  • 1/3 tsp of baking soda
  • salt
Take ground lamb, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl and knead it until well combined. Cover with stretch film and let it rest for 4-5 hours in the refrigerator. At the end of resting time, take the mixture out and knead it one more time. Divide the mixture into 18 equal parts and make small meatballs. Turn the broiler on high and lightly broil the meatballs.

Wash eggplants and dry. Peel both sides of eggplants lengthwise. Slice them lengthwise in thin strips.Take 1 cup of vegetable oil in a pot over high heat. Fry the eggplants turning occasionally.Place a paper towel on a large serving dish and take eggplants onto the paper towel. This way paper towel absorbs excessive oil.
(I prefer not to fry eggplants, just brush
both sides of eggplant slices with vegetable oil and broil until the eggplants are soft and light brown. )
Wash tomatoes and peppers. Slice the tomatoes. Cut the peppers. After both meatball and eggplant slices are cool, take one slice of eggplant and place one meatball in the middle. Wrap eggplant slice around the meatballs.

Place one slice of tomato and pepper on top of wrapped meatball and secure them with a toothpick. Repeat this steps for all the meatballs. Place all of the wrapped meatballs in a baking dish. Take 1 tbsp of tomato paste and 1 cup of boiling water in a mixing bowl and whisk. Pour it in from the edges of baking dish. Preheat oven to 450F and bake until the tomato slices are soft. I prefer to broil it for 2-3 minutes at the end of baking time.

Monday, August 3, 2009



Serves 3

Cacik goes very well with any kind of meatball or kebab. It is so refreshing for these hot summer days.

  • 1+1/2 cups of yogurt
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced )
  • 1 tbsp of dried mint ( ground )
  • salt
In a large bowl; take yogurt, garlic and salt. Whisk until it is smooth. You could add 1/2 cup of cold water if the yogurt is too thick, mine wasn't that thick so I didn't add water.
Peel and dice cucumber. Add diced cucumber and mint to the bowl and stir.