this week was the bayram, or eid, here in turkey, and we were lucky enough to manage to come to the south of turkey for a short escape from the city.
the weather has been typical late spring weather for this area. Hot midday and cool and crisp at night. we did some hiking, some swimming, a lot of reading and relaxing, and a whole bunch of cooking.
one of our favorite recipes to make on vacation is a very light, gluten free almond cake. (we also made a not at all light chocolate cake- not gluten free so not for me- and a banana bread that was a full flop- we combined two recipes and it did NOT work out at all!)
but this lemon cake is delicious. we served it warm out of the oven and it was gone within the hour. i was secretly hoping for a little slice for breakfast, but no dice.
it is so simple that i don’t know why we have never made it at home. but you know, some things just taste better in some places. so, this is our beautiful boat bundt cake… enjoy!
4 organic eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup fresh almond milk
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemond rind
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (alegra says to try chia seeds if you don’t have poppy)
2 cups almond flour (we added a couple more tablespoons to make the dough more doughy)
preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
grease bundt pan with olive oil
mix eggs, sugar, almond milk, and olive oil with hand blender
add baking powder, vanilla extract
mix in almond flour slowly until you reach a doughy consistency
fold in poppy seeds and lemon rind
pour into bundt pan and place in over
bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
invert on serving dish and serve warm with a glass of turkish tea 🙂
a special thanks to birdal abi for sharing this recipe with us!!
we have yet another LONG weekend lockdown (this time four full days); there is a mini-heat wave happening; supposed to be a pesticide spray happening in our neighborhood (so all our windows are closed and we are boiling); we spent 30 minutes chasing the chickens around to get them cooped up before the spraying started (it still hasn’t!); and the electricity just went out. everything already felt a little surreal when we woke up this morning but now all this is just really a bit extra.
so, our usual saturday live cooking session has been postponed. but we didn’t want to leave you all hanging on a saturday!
so, here is a fantastic recipe for cinnamon buns that we first made last summer on vacation… it is relatively easy, just be sure to plan for some time to allow the dough to rise 🙂
for the rolls-
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter + some for greasing your pan
1 package instant yeast- mix with small amount of warm water allow to sit 10 minutes
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups gluten free flour (regular flour works too if you’d prefer)
for the filling-
¼ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
for the glaze (completely optional)-
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
grease a baking dish with butter
melt 6 tablespoons butter and mix in milk
add in yeast, sugar, salt and vanilla extract, mix well and allow to rest for 2 minutes
slowly combine flour and wet ingredients – mixing well between each addition
add flour until dough if formed- you might need a little more or less that 4 full cups
knead the dough slightly then form into a ball
cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for 1 hour
meanwhile mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and allow ¼ cup butter to soften
after an hour, sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and roll out dough
dough should be about 1.5 centimeters thick- cut edges so dough is straight
spread soft butter all over your dough and then sprinkle on the cinnamon mixture
roll the dough into one large roll and then slice into 2-centimeter-wide rolls
place in baking dish with each roll touching each other
bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes- check to make sure they are baked through
make glaze by mixing powdered sugar and milk- mix well
our latest fish at home meal was another great success!!
…and we managed to use up some of the freezer food to boot!
sole meuniere has always been one of erim’s all-time favorite dishes to order. the girls like it too; i mean really, what’s not to like- delicious fish and a ton of butter 🙂
but cooking a traditional sole meuniere at home has always felt a little daunting, a little decadent.
so, i started digging around to find a version that might be even just a little bit lighter; both in terms of process and product. this simplified oven version turned out to be perfect. it was also a huge relief to be prepping the fish for the oven since i also realized that i didn’t have a skillet large enough to hold the whole fish- so the classical stovetop version would have literally been impossible.
you only need a few basic ingredients and the cooking time is short too. we also made a lovely green salad, some roasted new potatoes, and some fresh grilled baby zucchinis for a simple, satisfying spring dinner…
2 dover sole fillets (feeds 2-4 people depending on age and size)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
preheat oven to 180 degress celsius
line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
place clean fillets onto baking sheet
season with salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle chopped parsley and small pats of butter on top of fish
place 2-3 lemon slices on top of each fillet
squeeze juice of any remaining lemon slices onto fish
bake for 10-12 minutes- fish should be light and flaky
transfer to serving dish and serve immediately
this recipe was adapted from andrea beaman’s life is delicious
this week we have a little challenge for you…
with all the cooking going on at home- three meals a day, (and some snacks too) everyday, is a lot!
add to this the nervous grocery shopping that seems to happen each week
before the weekend lockdown; we have found ourselves with too much food!
and as more and more people are affected by the pandemic globally, it is a
hard truth that while we find ourselves with too much; there are SO many people who find themselves with not nearly enough.
according to the world food program, a united nations agency, disruptions in the food supply chain, decreases in donations to food aid programs, and school closures could cause the global number of people facing acute hunger to double this year. this would mean that up to 265 million people could be in danger of being malnourished, or worse starvation.
around the world, the repercussions of these changes, coupled with strict
lockdowns in many countries such as india and kenya, have made finding healthy, nourishing food extremely difficult for at-risk groups.
and, as a result of school closures an estimated 368 million children have
lost the nutritious snacks and meals they normally receive; creating a
significant risk of underdevelopment and other growth issues.
with all this in mind; and looking at the abundance that we are so privileged
to have, we have started a little challenge for ourselves.this week, with the exception of fresh vegetables and fruits sent from a local farm, we will not buy anything new.
no new bread- if we run out we can try baking our own. no new sweets- we
will bake, or just skip the cookies this week. if someone doesn’t like the kind
cheese we have left- that’s ok, we can make hummus or try something new. no new drinks or juices- we’ll finish what we have. no more meat- if we finish what’s in the freezer then we can have a couple of vegan days too.
we have plenty. And focusing on what we have rather than what we don’t have
seems like a pretty good plan these days…
so feel free to follow along- and join us too! i’ll be posting a daily picture of
our fridge as it empties out, and sharing more recipes too as we go through the
week; stay tuned
PS: this recent article from new York times explains the
global situation in a very clear, child appropriate manner… you can find it here
the other day alegra and i made peanut butter cookies and read some great bedtime books on instagram…
live instagram, facetime, houseparty, zoom… these have all be hugely important tools for us during these times of self-isolation and social distancing. honestly, if you had told me two months ago i would be doing at least one live video on instagram every day i would have thought that you had lost your mind!
i am actually terribly shy and really pretty self-conscious too; so the idea of being live daily in front of an audience, even a virtual one, would have been something hard for me to believe.
but i have to say that i am enjoying it immensely. i have reconnected with a lot of old friends and their children, students from my lola days have been hugely supportive, and new followers have found us too!
here is the recipe for the cookies, it is a basic peanut butter cookie recipe that is pretty much foolproof… feel free to add in the chocolate chips at the end like alegra did, or use chunky peanut butter instead of smooth. i am thinking about trying almond butter next time to see how that works- i will keep you posted!
sunday lunch has become one of the major highlights of our self-isolation…we get to sit around and chat and just really relax…
the girls all have midday lessons on sunday, i get to take a nice long shower (and actually wash my hair properly!), and erim does his sunday yoga session… and then we have a late, long lunch. no matter how agitated we all seem to be by the time we sit down to eat, by the time lunch is finished we have delved into any number of deeper issues- talked about some hard truths- or made some decisions that might have been unexpected.
this week alegra proposed a little pre-lunch cooking…
our brand new food processor has been hugely inspirational and so once lessons and showers and all the rest were finished we got to work! here are the ingredients and some instructions- our “cocktails” were perfect and we hope yours are too 🙂
1.5 cups boiled chickpeas (save ½ cup water for later)
½ cup tahini
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
a bunch of your favorite dipping veggies-thinly sliced
blend garlic and lemon juice in food processor- let rest for 3-5 minutes
add chickpea and cooking water and blend until creamy
add tahini and olive oil and blend well
season with cumin, salt and pepper as desired
add extra lemon juice, olive oil and tahini to taste (I LOVE a little extra tahini!)
place 3 generous scoops of hummus in a wine or cocktail glass