Saturday, May 29, 2010

Istanbul Eats

Here are a few food snaps of food around this vibrant and friendly city-

Fresh fish outside a restaurant

Traditional milk pudding

Macarons at a bakery

Fresh orange juice

Fresh fish sandwich we have had quite a few!!

Turkish coffee

A yogurt drink very popular here you will often see business men sipping this at lunch

Baklava oh wow I love this!!

Lambs heads now this is not for me I was speaking to an American who lives here so said the cheeks are good they also eat the brain!! And make a kebab with organ meats wrapped around the intestines it's good to use all the whole animal though I guess

Fruit stalls

busy street, there are so many cafes here

Ladies making traditional flat bread

Cakes !

Fruit growing outside balcony I like this tastes and looks like a white raspberry sold in the streets

Yummy bread

Roasted corn


Love from Istanbul

back to the UK Monday to see Great Grandma and Granddad and Grandma and Grandad, Aunties and Uncles and attend a lovely University friends wedding.

I plan to make a Turkish meal for my family, wish me luck!

spices and cookbook are packed ! with Turkish delights and apple tea!

Also I am planning a Turkish spice giveaway for Chow and Chatter Readers with Sumac (a salad spice) and Fish Spice, watch this space

from my iPhone

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guest Post: From Koek!

Its with great pleasure to bring you a guest post from the very talented Robyn of the South African Food blog Koek, I adore this blog it's very well written and with fantastic recipes. I couldn't resist asking for a recipe as I want Chow and Chatter to highlight food from around the Globe!
I lived with two dietitian friends from South Africa in the UK and have a soft spot for the food and country. She very kindly agreed and shared this wonderful South African Tea inspired dish,

Chicken paoched in rooibos with balsamic raisin relish

Rooibos (Œred bush¹) tea is as South African as snoek, biltong and
boereworse, koeksisters and milk tart... All of which are lovely, but,
well, they¹ve been done to death. This recipe is something different. The
rooibos tea gives the chicken a lovely earthy colour and flavour, and the
tart relish gives a little kick to the savoury meat. Raisins are also used
quite a lot in traditional South African baking and Cape Malay curries.

Ordinarily I loathe raisins, but I can¹t get enough of this relish which
also works beautifully with cheese and red meat.

Not everyone likes rooibos tea, but I find I prefer it to Ceylon. Plus, you
wouldn¹t believe how good it is for you. It¹s packed with antioxidants, and
has a high content of minerals and polyphenols which help to maintain
healthy skin, teeth and bones, and metabolic processes. Or so they say (you
know... them).

According to a friend of mine, it also cures hiccups, but I don¹t think hers
qualifies as a scientific opinion. My mother, who has for years now made her
own moisturiser (after learning about what actually goes into store-bought
lotions), uses it in her creams and swears blind that it cures eczema. But I

Serve this as a light lunch on a hot afternoon with some crusty bread, a
green salad and chilled white wine.

Chicken paoched in rooibos with balsamic raisin relish

Serves 4


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 6 bags rooibos tea
For the raisin relish:
  • 1 handful raisins
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 generous tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 3tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Add the raisins, tea bags and 3 cups water to a medium pot, and bring to
the boil. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes, giving the tea
time to steep. Remove the tea bags and discard. Remove the raisins, which
should be plumper now, and pat dry on paper towel.
2. Return the pot to the stove and submerge the chicken breasts in the tea.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until
cooked through.
3. To make the relish, add all the ingredients to a bowl and combine well
(or whack them all in a jar with the lid on tight and give them a good shake
that¹s what I do). Transfer the relish to a small serving bowl.
4. Pat the chicken breasts dry, slice into bite-sized pieces and arrange on
a plate. Serve with the relish sprinkled on top.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul

Today we had a great first day in Istanbul the city of Asia and Europe. In the morning we went to the magnificent Blue Mosque built 400 years ago by the same stone masons that built the Taj Mahal! Its wonderful in Turkey how foreigners are welcome and able to enter Mosques, this should be the case everywhere. We have also been getting lots of Turkish tea, it comes in regular like a British black tea blend and fruit flavors, the apple is wonderful. I will definately be taking some home. Locals don't seem to add milk to their tea or coffee (yep Jenn I had one for you!) so I ended up buying buttermilk in the grocery store!

We went to the Grand Bazaar it was amazing and we will return but it was hot and crowded and little Jasmine fell asleep in our arms so took the metro to the galata bridge for fish. I tried to find a recommendation by a fellow blogger but with a sleeping babe we settled for one under the bridge and little Jasmine took her nap! it was cool as you could see the locals fishing over the bridge and see their lines in front of you!

Look at the fishing lines above!

I ordered some Meze very delicious vegetable dishes

We all shared a fresh grilled sea bass, caught right there, it was lovely

wow look how old the spice bazaar is, Istanbul sits between Asia and Europe and you can see the influence of Indian spices and ones of the Mediterrenean truly fascinating, again we plan to return I want the meatball seasoning and fish one!

Inside the Ancient Bazaar/Market

Beautiful lamps for sale
Spices and tea the smell is divine

Turkish delight we got a lot of samples as the store keepers kept giving it to Jasmine, folks here adore kids and are very kind to families, an older gentleman gave up his chair for me when Jasmine was sleeping and of course free cakes!
Going back here to get some to take to my Granddad next week this was his clever request

You can even find caviar in the Bazaar, they have a gourmet taste

Street Vender selling fruit, I love this as a dietitian there is fresh fruit available on most streets the cherries are so good

Simit folks tell me its like a Bagel there is a baker a few minutes walk from our apartment so I think this will be breakie!

Lunch is going to be a fish sandwich from here, this has to be one of the coolest things ever, little boats with chefs onboard grilling fresh fish from the sea and selling at a seaside restaurant. As recommended by @OneTribeGourmet on twitter, thanks for the awesome tip

Much love from Turkey

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Galleria Restaurant Cambridge UK

Today we had a wonderful day with family in the beautiful city of Cambridge it was just perfect one of those days to cherish for life, my hubbies brothers and sister were there with their wife's and future hubby and my bro and his lovely girlfriend came. I wasn't going to blog but this restaurant deserves a mention!
For supper we ate at The Galleria Restaurant next to the river. My sis in laws Fiancee studies at Cambridge University and took us punting it was wonderful. I pray you can visit this place after living in the US when I go home I want to visit all these amazing cities and do the Touristy things and soak it all in. I miss my family so much.

Me and Jasmine ate this Lemon Sole with a leek puree and mash potatoes yum
hubby had lamb
Thai inspired Monk fish with rice, loved the lemon grass in this
Salmon risotto, apparently one chef is Scottish one Canadian and one Italian!

No dessert snaps gobbled up fast !

Punting with our very own excellent punter!!

Love to you all, next time you visit a city with boats on a river, its a must to take a ride!!!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Roasted Carrot Pasta and Bon Voyage!

I made this pasta dish a while back it was inspired by Reenis blog Cinnamon and Spice and everything nice. I roasted the carrot and garlic in the morning blended it and kept in the fridge. Then later boiled pasta and peas and mixed like a pesto it was wonderful to give to Jasmine as we were going out to watch Jerry Seinfeld!

He spoke a lot about food one quote was about restaurant specials "if its so special why isn't it on the menu!"

  • 3 large carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cup of pasta
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  1. roast the carrots and garlic with salt and pepper at 400 for 20 minutes until soft, then blend with a hand blender adding a little water to make a paste
  2. boil pasta with peas, Jasmine likes peeeas! and mix in paste
Healthy mid week meal loaded with fiber, vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

What quick meals do you have up your sleeve?

Just wanted to leave you with a yummy quick and easy meal, flying to London tonight and spending the weekend with family. Then Turkey next week, back to England for a week in the beautiful Cotswolds with my Grandparents and a dear friends wedding. I will hopefully be blogging about yummy Turkish eats next week, stay tuned and if you have tips keep em coming!

Much love and Hugs

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rebecca's Rice Vermicilli with Spicy Peanuts

So this was yesterdays invention didn't have many ingredients and leaving Friday! so made it up as I went along but it was actually pretty tasty. On my trip to Williamsburg with Mum and Dad I got hubby some New Orleans spicy Virginia peanuts that I crushed and garnished with it.


  • 1 cup of frozen shrimp
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper chopped
  • one pack of rice vermicelli (mostly used for Pho)
  • one small zucchini chopped
  • one small yellow squash chopped
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sake
  • one teaspoon of sugar
  • one tablespoon of peanut sauce
  • one tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • one tablespoon of mirin

  1. heat a little canola oil and stir fry the onion, pepper, garlic (ginger would have been great didn't have any) squash and zucchini for 5 minutes
  2. scramble the eggs into the mixture then add the shrimp keep stirring on medium heat for about 10 min
  3. meanwhile cook the noodles these took a good 12 minutes drain and rinse then add to the pot
  4. garnish with spicy peanuts

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