Saturday, August 21, 2010


I used stewing beef for this recipe.  You can use also use lamb (preferably bone in) or chicken breasts.  Although canned chick peas also work, my recommendation is always to use dried chick peas.  You can taste the difference.  If it is tomato season, you can add in a couple of crushed tomatoes.  I cook mine in a pressure cooker.  You can serve with sticky white rice or bread.  Don't forget the pickles!

1 cup dried chick peas
200 gr. stewing beef
2 medium sized onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 table spoon tomato paste
1/2 table spoon red pepper paste (optionally choose spicy)
Salt and pepper
Hot water
  • Soak the dried chick peas in plenty of water overnight. 
  • The next day, if you are not using a pressure cooker, you will need to boil the chick peas in a pot and enough water to cover the chick peas to soften them first and drain.
  • If you are using canned peas, you can skip the previous steps.  Just drain and wash the chick peas.  Also, you'll need to cook the meat before you add in canned chick peas to avoid them turning to mush.
  • Put chopped onions into a pot with olive oil.  Add in the stewing beef and stir fry a little.  Cover and reduce heat and cook until the meat is soft
  • Add in chick peas, tomato paste, pepper paste, salt and pepper.  Add in boiled water
  • Cook for another 5-10 minutes
  • Serve with sticky rice or bread (juice is really good for dunking)
Note: In the pressure cooker, I add all of the ingredients (after soaking time for the chick peas) together.  I add in 3/4 cup hot water.  Once the pressure cooker is ready, reduce heat and cook for only 5 minutes.  I turn off the stove and leave it on until it is time to serve.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Easiest side dish ever. Goes with everything.  You can choose any shape noodles, star shaped, alpahbets, or just regular orzo or soup noodles.  You can also serve them with a spoon or use a design for company with cookie cutters or small cups. You simply put the rice in a cup, press and turn it over on the plate.

1 cup Unico Italian style rice
2 cups water
1.5 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon noodles
2 tablespoon butter
  • Put the butter in a pot with the noodles.  Brown them.
  • Add water and salt and bring to boil
  • Add washed rice
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Cover and cook for 15 minutes
Note: Rice may require different amount of water and cooking time.  Make sure to read the package instructions.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


All the tomatoes I was growing in my backyard turned red all at once this year.  I was thinking about how to use them before they go bad.  I remembered this recipe from my mom's kitchen.  It's been a very long time since I had this dish.  I did not realize how much I missed it.

150 gr stewing beef (cut into small pieces)
2 cups cracked wheat (coarse)
4 cups water
2 Onions
2 tomatoes
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Optional: 1 teaspoon pepper paste
2 cubennella peppers
3 tablespoons cooking oil
salt, red pepper, black pepper
  • First get all the ingredients ready.  Chop the onions.  Clean and chop the green  peppers.  Peel and chop the tomatoes
  • Put oil in a pot.  Add the onions and stir fry them until soft
  • Add in the stewing beef and stir fry all of it together until the beef changes colour.
  • Cover, reduce heat and cook until all the juice from the beef is gone.
  • Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper paste and water.  I suggest starting with 3 cups of water first as it is not easy to predict how much water different types of bulgur require to cook.  Keep boiled water ready.  You can always add more.
  • Bring to boil.  Add seasoning (salt and peppers)
  • Add bulgur
  • Cover.  Cook at reduced heat until bulgur is soft.  Add more water if required
  • Remove from heat.  Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I don't know how to translate this to English so I called it coconut pudding.  This is a popular Turkish desert. There is no eggs or butter in it so it is very light and tasty.  Serve it cold for best results.

3 cups milk (750 ml. 2% or whole milk works best)
1/2 cup (120 gr.) sugar
2 tablespoons (5 gr) shredded coconut
1/3 cup (35 gr) rice flour
1 package vanilla
Little less than 1/3 cup ground almonds (25 gr)
Decorations: cinnamon and ground pistachios
  • Mix milk, sugar and rice flour together until they are disolved in the milk
  • Cook at medium heat.  The mixture should cook until a little more runny than regular pudding
  • Add vanilla and cook for another couple of minutes
  • Pour into cups and and cover with Saran wrap to avoid them getting a thick skin on the top.
  • Leave in the fridge until cool.  Couple of hours
  • Decorate with cinnamon and ground pistachios
  • Enjoy.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I was visiting a blog called "Kitchen of Oz" which I incorrectly assumed belonged to Dr. Oz (very funny!!!). I  saw his Sour Cherry Jam recipe. I thought of the recipe I have which has been in our family for many generations. Ours does not cook very much at all. It does most of its cooking in the sun!!!

This jam is very special. My kids were born and raised in Canada.  They were first introduced to this jam when they were very little when we went to my mom's cottage in Bodrum, Turkiye.  Nothing like sitting on the balcony with the ocean view surrounded with family and lots of love and laughter.  It is this family setting we miss the most and the breakfast table that includes fresh breads, simits, feta cheese, watermelon, tomato and cucumbers along with all kinds of jams but in the centre of it all is the sour cherry jam that gets prepared specially for us before we get there.

1 kg. sugar
1 kg. sour cherries
1/2 teaspoon butter
  • Wash the sour cherries and take the seeds out. My aunt is a professional when it comes to removing the seeds. A clean bobby pin may come in handy
  • Put the cherries in a wide pot. Pour 1/2 the sugar over the cherries. Cover and leave overnight. You'll find lots of juice in the pot the next morning
  • Add the rest of the sugar and the butter (butter stops the 'foam") and start boiling.
  • Boil at medium heat for 10 minutes and remove the cherries to preserve their plump look
  • Continue to boil the rest for another 15 minutes
  • Add the Cherries for the last 5 minutes of cooking
  • Total cooking time should not exceed 30 minutes
  • Put in jars. Cover with a cheese cloth to protect from bugs. Leave in the hot sun for a couple of days
  • Then enjoy for holiday weekend breakfast with the family in the backyard or the cottage.