Simit

Simit

It has been close to a year since I have been home. When I say "home”, I mean my real home in Turkey. For some reason, after all these years living abroad, my home has always been there where I grew up. Though I love venturing out into different cultures and places, sometimes I miss it so much it hurts. Lately that is how I am feeling. And whenever I feel that way, I do what I do best: I cook. Realizing that I cannot just pick up and go there, I decided to bring “there” over here by making the most popular breakfast bread in Turkey - simit - in my own kitchen. Simit is a sesame-bathed, circular Turkish bread. It is similar to an American bagel but much thinner, crunchier, and with less crumb. I think it is safe to say that simit is our version of a “fast food” breakfast. If you have ever been to Istanbul, you would know. It is not unusual to see men selling simit in their mobile stoles or simply in a tray on their heads on the … [Read More...]

365 Grateful Project – March 2014 Edition

365 Grateful Project - March 2014 Edition

I am not one of those girls with perfect hair, all the time. My hair is curly but more like frizzy curly. In order to keep the frizziness under control, I usually put it up in a ponytail in the morning and ignore it as much as I can during the day. Even when it is in a ponytail, the baby hairs at the front come out like antennas, and that are, to me, the most annoying part of my hair. To add to that, living on a humid island in the middle of the Caribbean does not help with my hair situation … [Read More...]

Nutella and Banana Clafoutis with Roasted Hazelnuts

Nutella and Banana Clafoutis with Roasted Hazelnuts

My mother, who was a graduate of a French high school in Istanbul, was a lover of anything French. Since she could read, write, and speak French very well, it was second nature to her to do things the French way. For instance, one of her favorite things to do while cooking was to play old French songs and sing along with them. As her apprentice in the kitchen, though I found most of the French words and their pronunciation very difficult, I still did my best to sing along with her. I took … [Read More...]

Vegan Cocoa Truffles

Vegan Cocoa Truffles

I have friends, who go to the mall when they need a change of scene or to simply pass time. When I need that, I go to Whole Foods Market. At least, I used to back when I was living in a city. I find Whole Foods to be a place of inspiration for my cooking and life, in general. I love the neatly organized aisles full of upscale grocery items ranging from organic nut butters to never-frozen meats to hand picked strawberries to perfume smelling body lotions. Although I cannot afford to … [Read More...]

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

As I was walking towards the entrance of the shopping mall, I was welcomed by a long line of people. When I say a long line, I mean a very long line of at least 30 people. After all, I worked right across the street for 10 years and had never seen a line like this in front of the mall. I had to ask someone what the big deal was about. Come to find out, a new cupcake store was open. A cupcake store that supposedly sells the most delicious and beautifully decorated cupcakes. Though … [Read More...]

One-Pot Chicken with Cardamom Bulgur

One-Pot Chicken with Cardamom Bulgur

Even though I was very young when she died, there are just a couple of things I  remember about my grandmother (babaanne). One of which is the wonderful smell of her kitchen. During summers, my parents would drop me off at my grandparents’ house and I would spend my days playing in the kitchen while she was cooking. As a mother of 5 and a wife of a very demanding husband, she would spend most of her days in the kitchen cooking for them. When I say cooking, I mean full-blown restaurant quality … [Read More...]

Linguine with Walnut Béchamel Sauce and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Linguine with Walnut Béchamel Sauce and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I spent the whole weekend organizing and cleaning my kitchen. I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt to make breakfast in there this morning. It was like I have a brand new kitchen. The majority of the organizing was in my pantry. Since we live on an island, I usually stock up on items that are hard to find like gluten-free flour, almond flour, dried fruit, kalamata olives, tahini, etc. As I was cleaning, I realized how much food I accumulated and forgot about in the last couple of … [Read More...]

Biscoff Walnut Ice Cream

Biscoff Walnut Ice Cream

I still remember the day that I had my first Biscoff cookie. I was in a Delta flight traveling to Europe. Although I am not a big fan of eating on long flights, that day I was hungry and decided to give it try with a cup of coffee. I can safely say that my life has changed after the first bite. The almost caramel-like flavor of this cookie was exactly what I needed on that day.  I recently found out that a couple of years ago they came out with a Biscoff Cookie Spread. For me, it is one … [Read More...]

Homemade Mediterranean Hummus

Homemade Mediterranean Hummus

You'd think that life on a tropical island in the Caribbean would always be one amazing beach day after another. But, believe it or not, in the midst of daily challenges it's sometimes possible to forget about the beauty that surrounds you. This is mostly true for my husband Dwight, who works at a resort on the island. He works long hours throughout the week and by the time he has a day off, all he wants to do is just relax at home. A couple of weeks ago, we were stunned to realize that we … [Read More...]

How to Make Turkish Coffee

How to Make Turkish Coffee

My love of coffee comes from my mother. For her, having Turkish coffee was almost a daily ritual that had to be done with friends and family. More than anything, it was a way to celebrate her friendships and show gratitude to the ones she loved. On the days she was home, she would invite her friends over for coffee in the morning. Prior to their arrival, she would make me set up two trays: the first one with Turkish coffee cups and the second one with water glasses. We would always have … [Read More...]

Chicken Curry with Gentle Spices

Chicken Curry with Gentle Spices

I have to admit – Before we moved to Virgin Gorda, I had no idea that it existed. When my husband, Dwight, called me to ask me if I would want to go, I had to look it up its whereabouts on the Internet before I could even make a decision. Before coming here, I had no idea that a small island in the Caribbean could have so much beauty and soul. Later I learned, the beauty part comes naturally because of its location, being located right in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. But the soul part, I … [Read More...]

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Bulgur and Tahini Dressing

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Bulgur and Tahini Dressing

Nothing makes me happier than receiving a cookbook as a gift. Last week, as my friend Lisa and I were hanging out at Barnes and Noble drooling over some of the cookbooks and talking about ways to create new recipes, we both found ourselves spending the most time on Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s cookbook, Jerusalem. Which is why it was the nicest surprise when she gifted me with the book  the very next day. The book is made up of recipes that are Mediterranean and Middle … [Read More...]

Dark Chocolate Waffle Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Dark Chocolate Waffle Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

As a food blogger, you learn that sometimes things don’t go as planned, and it is important that you always have a back up plan. But then sometimes, the back up plan does not work either. That is when it turns out to be a great learning lesson. I learned this in the very early stages of cooking for Foolproof Living. At first, in order to make sure that I am prepared for a disaster, I bought 2 of the same ingredients. That way, I thought, I would always have enough to make it again. But as you … [Read More...]

365 Grateful Project – February 2014 Edition

365 Grateful Project - February 2014 Edition

The purpose of 365 Grateful Project is to find happiness through being grateful. This is my second month participating in it, and so far, I can easily say that it has been a great learning experience. If you want to learn how it all started, you can read it here. The opening chapter of the book The Art of Happiness written by His Holiness Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, starts with the quote below: “I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. … [Read More...]

Roux on Canton – Roswell, GA

Roux on Canton Roswell GA

I must confess -  I am not one of those people who knows much about beer. I occasionally enjoy a cold one with a burger or a salad, but I can’t say I miss it all that much if I don’t have one for a long stretch of time. For the most part, I generally consider myself more of a wine kind of gal. Which is why when my friend Lisa invited me to join her at Roux on Canton, a restaurant known for its local craft beer and shrimp and grits, I was definitely much more excited about sampling the shrimp and … [Read More...]

Baby Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges

Baby Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges

Living on an island for the last 2 years, I forgot about the weather in Atlanta around this time of the year. One day it is cold in the 40s and then the next day, it is high in the 60s. To make the matters worse, the temperature fluctuates throughout the day, making it the perfect conditions to make me sick. As I am about to go back to the island, to a new dimension of temperature change, I am doing my best to not get sick. I find that the best way to prevent any last minute health issues is … [Read More...]