Saturday, January 23, 2010


This is a great diet dish, low calorie, tasty and of course really good for you.

1 bunch broccoli
1 cup yogurt
2 pieces of garlic (crushed)
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

  • Put water and salt into a big pot and bring to boil
  • Cut up broccoli into desired size. I like the taste of yogurt so I cut mine into small pieces
  • Once the water is boiling add in the broccoli. Boil for 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. It is better if broccoli is a little crunchy
  • Drain broccoli and set aside to cool
  • Drain excess juice from yogurt by pouring it on a paper towel or a small strainer and leave in the fridge for 1 hour
  • Combine yogurt, mayo, crushed garlic and salt. Taste to make sure you have enough salt.
  • You can either mix the yogurt dressing all through or simply pour over the broccoli
  • Top with olive oil and hot pepper flakes.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


This is a low calorie, simple to make meal. Presentation is not particularly appetizing but tastes good and it is very filling. It is particularly good after the Christmas time when all had too much rich foods to eat.

1 cup of hot water
1 package (120 gr) Stuffing mix for Chicken
6 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 lb)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups Asian style frozen stir fry vegetables, thawed, drained
1 can (14 oz/398 ml) Cream style corn
1/4 cup Rancher's choice dressing

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Add hot water to stuffing mix and stir until moistened. Set aside
  • Place Chicken in 13x9 inch baking dish and sprinkle with garlic powder
  • Top with stir-fry vegetables.
  • Mix corn and dressing and spoon over the vegetables
  • Top with prepared stuffing
  • Cover
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the cover for the last 10 to 15 minutes

Saturday, January 9, 2010


There are many Chicken Cacciatore recipes around some in the oven with whole chicken breasts, others with Zuchini which is not a favorite with my girls. This is one everyone in the family likes. Original recipe had 3/4 cup wine but I omitted.

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (28 ounces) stewed tomatoes with Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
3 chicken breasts, cut up

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

  • Brown chicken on all sides in hot oil, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken and drain off excess grease, leaving a tablespoon or two.

  • Add chopped onion, green pepper, and minced garlic to hot skillet; sauté until onion is tender.

  • Stir in tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper.

  • Add chicken back to sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender.

  • Serve with hot cooked spaghetti or other pasta.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Fruit salad is easy to make. Everyone loves a good fruit salad. You can use all kinds of fruits. I found that there are a couple of things that are a must for a good fruit salad: grapefruit (must be skinned), pineapple and the sugar sauce. When you notice the fruits in your fridge are starting to go bad, fruit salad is a good option to get them used immediately.

Chopped pineapple, skinned grapefruit, tangerines, strawberries, melons, grapes, nectarines any other fruit you would like

Sugar Syrup:
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Combine sugar and water. Bring to boil. Add lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Let it cool
  • Prepare fruits and combine them in a big bowl.
  • Pour sugar syrup on the fruits. Mix well and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Fruit juices come out in the fridge. It is even better the next day.


Leek is an acquired taste for most people. I know lots of people who hated it as a child but really enjoyed it in adulthood. It has always been my favorite especially in hot summer days because it is served cold and it is light. I always add some lemon juice on this dish on my plate before I eat because I like the added lemon flavor.

Leek(1 bunch normally contains 3 leeks)
1 onion (chopped)
6 tablespoons oil
1 tomato
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons rice
1 carrot
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water

  • Clean leeks well as they tend to keep mud and sand between the leaves. I usuallu slice the white part until I get to the green leafy part. Then I separate all of the leaves and wash between them. I also leave the chopped up leek in water for 30 minutes to an hour. I take them out of the water by hand and run water through them once more before using.
  • Chop onions, carrots, and the tomato and set aside
  • Put oil in the bottom of a pan and add onions. Cook onions a little then add leek and carrots and fry them together just a little. Add chopped tomatos.
  • Combine water, sugar, salt, tomato paste and mix them well. Add to leek
  • Add in rice
  • Bring to boil in a covered pot. Reduce heat and cook until leek and the carrots are soft. Usually about 25 minutes.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


This is a delicious, nutrious and filling salad. However, it is time consuming to make but well worth the time.

1 cup Capellio noodles
3 tablespoon Mazola oil
½ cup of water

1 chicken breast

1 bunch green onion
½ bunch dill
½ bunch parsley
1 small red pepper
1/2 can (341 ml) kernel corn
2 small pickled cucumbers (in garlic)

1 lemon (juiced)
5 tablespoons pickle juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup

  • Roast the red pepper in a small toaster oven, remove skin and cut into small pieces
  • Boil chicken breast in a small pot of water until cooked. Remove the chicken and cut into small pieces. You can save the water in the freezer for later use in a soupS.
  • In a wok, put 3 tablespoons of oil and add capellio noodles and brown them. Add in ½ cup of water and cook the noodles until soft. You can add water as needed. Set aside to cool a little. Be sure not to leave too long as noodles will start sticking to each other.
  • Add in corn, and the previously prepared roasted red peppers
  • Chop green onions, dill, parsley, pickled cucumbers and add them to the noodles.
  • Prepare the sauce with mixing all of the sauce ingredients. Add to the noodles. I like this salad with lots of lemon juice. You can add more lemon juice if you like. You can also decorate with sliced lemons.
  • Let it rest for 20 minutes and serve.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I have never been very fond of heavy cheese cakes. This recipe is from my friend Fatma. It is mild and tasty.



Sour Cream 500 gr
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix all of the above ingredients and put into the freezer while working on the rest of the cheesecake.


¾ cup ground walnuts
¾ cup Graham Crumbs
3 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
Note: you can eliminate walnuts. In that case, increase graham crumbs to 1.5 cup


2 Philladdelphia cheeses 250 gr. (Room temperature)
4 eggs
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon vanilla

  • Make the topping and place in the freezer
  • Make the bottom of the cheesecake by mixing ground walnuts, graham crumbs and butter together by hand and press to the bottom of cheese cake pan
  • Make the filling using a cake mixer or blender but follow this order:

1. First mix together the cheese and the sugar. Add cheese in small pieces.
2. Add the eggs one at a time. Last, add in lemon juice and vanilla

  • Pour the filling in the pan. On top of the graham crumbs.
  • Cook at 325 degree (preheated oven) for 1 hour. Make sure the cheese is cooked. If it looks uncooked, continue cooking some more.
  • Cool.
  • Take the topping out of the freezer and pour on the cheesecake. Cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Make sure it is fully cooled. Pour the cherries at the very top.
  • Place in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  • Best if it is made 1 day before.


This recipe is special because it is one passed down from my mother to me. When we first came to Canada in 1975, Simit was one of the foods we missed the most. Of course we tried bagels but it was not the same. Everyone was trying their best to find a recipe that tasted just like Simits at home. My mon’s was the favorite among all of their friends. From then on, this was our special family recipe. Everyone who came over or we went to visit asked that we provide Simit.

5 cups flour
½ cup oil (I used mazola corn oil)
2 teaspoons salt
1 package yeast (approx. 2 teaspoonful)
½ cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar

1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 full tablespoon pekmez (this is is a special Turkish syrup – looks like thick and dark maple syrup made from grapes)

Sesame seeds (2 cups but may need more)

  • Put 1/2 cup of luke warm water in a tall glass. Add sugar and yeast and mix well. Allow yeast to rise (15 to 20 minutes)
  • In a big mixing bowl, mix together, 4.5 cups flour, salt, oil and yeast and work into a dough.
  • You can use remaining ½ cup of flour as you knead the dough so it does not stick to your hands.
  • Let the dough rest for 2 hours.
  • Make multiple small “balls” from the dough and roll each one to a long stick (see picture below).

  • Roll the sticks around each other for “braided” look and attach the ends in a circle. You can use a bit of water to make the ends stick together. See pictures

  • In a large bowl make the glaze by mixing all of the ingredients together.
  • Get your cooking pan ready by lining with cooking paper so it does not stick to the bottom when cooking
  • Dip each simit in the glaze first and then in sesame seeds and make sure all sides are covered in sesame seeds
  • Cook at 350 degree oven


This börek is called “Sana” borek. It was named after a brand of margarine in Turkey in 1970’s because it was the only margarine that gave it the crispiness. When we moved to Canada, the only type of margarine that worked for this recepie was Crisco. So you can call it Crisco Börek.

The nice thing about this pastry is that it freezes well. One of the tricks I learned from my mom was to always have these ready to cook in the freezer in case of an "emergency". You make the böreks but do not glaze or cook. Put in the freezer on a cooking tray. This allows the individual börek to freze so they don't stick to each other. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a sealed container. When ready to cook, take them out of the container and place them on a cooking tray and let it defrost for a couple of hours. Then glaze and cook.

1 cup Mazola
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons Crisco margarine (Room temperature)

1 pound ground beef
3 medium sized onions.
Salt, black pepper, red pepper
2 table spoon Mazola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Optional: washed, cleaned and chopped spinach (500 gr)

1 egg
Optional: blackened sesame seeds or regular sesame seeds or both

Prepare the Dough:
  • Mix together Mazola, water, salt and flour. The dough should be soft but not stick to your hands
  • Roll the dough out as big as you can and spread Crisco margarine all over it
  • Cut into 8 parts leaving a little circle in the middle. It will look like a flower with pedals. See the picture.

  • Then fold each “pedal” onto the middle part to make a little "bundle". See the picture
  • Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge a couple of hours. It can be made a day before. This dough can also be frozen to be used later without making the boreks.

Prepare the filling:

  • Stirfry ground beef, and onions together and let it cook at low heat until all the juice is gone.
  • Add in salt, tomato paste, black pepper.
  • If using spinich, it is the last thing that gets added and only cooked until it gets wet and shrinks.
  • Cool the filling.


  • Once ready to make the börek, take a small piece of the dough and roll out to the size of a dinner plate. You will need to have lots of flour because Crisco makes it very sticky. I usually roll little piece in flour just before starting to roll it out.
  • Cut dough into triangles. Usually one small piece will make 4-5 triangles.
  • Put 1 tablespoon filling into each triangle and fold both ends and roll into the shape of the börek.
  • Mix the egg and glaze the boreks with eggs. Sprinke with sesame seeds (optional)
  • Cook at 350 degree oven until golden brown.
  • Takes about 45 minutes.


5 cups chicken stock
1 (760 ml) chopped tomato
1 large potato (cubed)
1 onion (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 celery (chopped)
1.5 cups cabbage (chopped)
1 cup uncooked pasta
1 zucchini (chopped)
Salt, black pepper
2 tablespoon basil
3 cloves of garlic
Parmesaen cheese to serve

  • In a large soup pot combine chicken stock, tomatos, potato, onion, celery, cabbage and basil. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add in the rest (except cheese) of the ingredients and cook until cabbage is soft (another 15 – 20 minutes).
  • Stir in salt and pepper
  • Serve hot and sprinkle some parmesean cheese


Soups are always best with real beef or chicken stock (also known as broth). You can buy them prepared at the grocery stores but they tend to be too salty. I like to make to prepare it at home because it is so easy make and healtier.

How to make soup stock:

Start with cold water in a pot
Put in a soup bone (or a chicken drumstick)
Add a bit of salt
Bring to boil
Reduce heat to medium and simmer
It will form white bubbles and you will need to remove them
Boil it for 20 minutes and cool.


200 gr crumpled feta cheese
2 tablespoons parsley (cleaned and chopped
1 egg
Optional blackpepper and red flaked pepper

Sliced Frech stick
Butter (optional)

  • Mix all of the topping ingredients. It should have enough egg to keep the cheese on the bread from spilling.
  • Put topping on sliced French stick. If you like you can butter the bread first. It is not necessary but does give a nice buttery smell.
  • Toast in a small toaster or the oven at 400 degrees until brown.


Sobiyet and Baklava recepies are very similar. The only difference is the filling. Sobiyet is cream filled but Baklava is filled with Walnut and cinnamons.

1 box Filo dough – Krinos brand works the best
1 cup Ground Pistachio (natural – unsalted)
1 cup unsalted butter (melted)

1.5 cup milk
4 table spoons semolina (fine ground)

Syrup :
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups water 
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Prepare the filling by combining cold milk and semolina and mix well. Cook at low heat until the mixture thickens (stirring continually to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan).

  • Prepare the syrup by combine sugar and water and stir in a big pot. Start boling at high temparature until it starts boiling. Add in lemon juice. Reduce heat to mid range and let it boil for 20 minutes. It will be watery. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Take the dough out of the box and set flat out on a cutting board (with all its layers). Cut strips (approx 4 cm) width wise.

  • Cut squares from the strips.
  • Put one teaspoon of filling and a bit of ground pistachio on each of the squares

  • Fold into triangles with filling in the middle. Make sure that triangles stick at the bottoms. You can use the filling or you can wet with a little bit of water.

  • Put all the sobiyets in a pan. Brush each one with some melted butter. Then pour the rest of the butter on all of them

  • Cook at 350 degrees until golden brown

  • Once cooked pour the syrup over the Sobiyets. Sobiyets need to be hot. Syrup should still be hot (or pretty warm) by the time everything is ready.

  • Make sure that each of the Sobiyets get lots of syrup by moving the pan sideways to ensure syrup gets inside the sobiyets from the sides. Leave in syrup for 20 minutes.

  • Take all the Sobiyets out of the syrup onto the plate you are going to serve. Pour rest of the syrup from the pan lightly over them making sure the crumbs don’t go on them. Decorate with ground pistachios.

  • Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Best if it stays in the fridge over night.
BAKLAVA is made the same way. The only difference is the filling.

Baklava filling:
1 cup coarsly ground walnuts
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon