Friday, March 30, 2012


Coconut is an absolute favorite of mine.  Not only in cookies but also in chocolate and all kinds of deserts.  I made these cookies for valentines day last month but did not get a chance to publish them until now.  This is one of those must try recipes (in my opinion of course).
1 cup shreded dry unsweetened coconut
1 cup sugar
2.5 cups flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
  • Using a food processor, process coconut and sugar until it is fine as flour
  • In a separate bowl, mix together butter, and flour until you get a "crumble"
  • Mix everything together. 
  • Mix eggs separately and add to the flour mix and to get a medium dough.
  • Turn to a lightly floured surface and roll out 1/2 cm thickness.
  • Cut using a cookie cutter any shape you like
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cook 8 - 10 minutes (until the edges change colour a bit)
  • Set aside to cool
  • Prepare icing and spread on your cookies.  If you like you can add coloured candies too
  • Set aside for about 1 hour.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Origin of this dish is southern Turkiye.  In hot summer days, Saksuka with yogurt and garlic sauce and fresh bread for dunking in its juice makes a perfect light dish.

2 large eggplants
4 potatoes
3 cubenella peppers
3 pieces of garlic
salt and pepper
1/2 kg. tomatoes
cooking oil (or olive oil)
  • Partially peel the eggplants (see the picture - they look like zebras)
  • Fill a large bowl with water.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Cut eggplant in cubes and leave in salted water for 20 minutes.  This removes any bitterness from the eggplants
  • Drain the eggplants
  • Put some cooking oil in a frying pan.  Add Eggplants a little at a time and fry them until cooked
  • Remove from oil and remove access oil.  I use a paper towel lined plate.  I leave them on the paper towel until some of the oil is gone and then move them to a large bowl
  • Peel potatoes and cut them into cubes similar to the eggplants and fry them the same way
  • Finally wash and cut pepper and fry them
  • Add all of the fried vegetables together in a large pot
  • Wash and chop the tomatoes.  Put them in a pot.  Add in crushed garlic, salt (optionally some dry basil).  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cook until some of the juice is gone.  Set aside to cool.
  • Combine all of the vegetables and half the tomato sauce
  • Move to the serving dish
  • Pour remaining tomato sauce on top.  Optionally, you can pour yogurt garlic sauce (see the sauce section for the recipe.  All you need is yogurt and crushed garlic) first and then top with tomato sauce.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


This is a classic banana bread recipe with an optional strudel topping.  You can add variety by adding apple pieces or chocolate chips or cinnamon into the batter.  A couple of key points to remember: First you do not need a mixer (use wooden spoons or whisk) and second, always butter and generously flour the bottom and the sides of the pan.

2 eggs (beaten)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt
6 tablespoon (1/4 cup) melted unsalted butter
1.5 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups ripe bananas thickly sliced (approx. 3)
1/2 cup coarsly chopped walnuts (optional but highly recommended)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional but highly recommended)

Optional strudel topping:
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Butter and generously flour the bottom and sides of your pan
  • Preheat the oven at 350
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stir with a whisk.
  • Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and mix together
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add banana, yogurt, vanilla and walnuts.
  • Add flour mixture
  • Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated
  • Prepare the topping by mixing all the ingredients together and spread over the pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack