Saturday, January 29, 2011

Broccoli Potato Omelet with Sour Cream

Today's treat is broccoli potato onion omelet with sour cream. Yummy!! 

  • Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 5-6 fresh broccoli florets, sliced
  • 1 potato, boiled and cut in cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • salt, saffron, dried basil

  • Directions

    1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and sour cream. 
    2. Heat butter in an omelette pan over medium-high heat until just sizzling. 
    3. Saute the onion in butter until translucent, add broccoli florets and the potato. Toss well until all done. Season the mixture with salt, saffron and a pinch of basil.  
    4. Add the eggs. Keep on frying on low heat until the mixture sets - edges turn lightly brown. 
    5. Serve warm.

Best Present Ever: Queen Elizabeth II Coins

My friends have heard a great deal of stuff about my humble love towards Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and already got sick and tired of this, I know, but here goes another post about these three coins I got as an unexpected gift from a dear friend in Istanbul. He'd made an earnest effort to buy these coins in a flea market after waiting for a pretty long time to receive them. Well, after they reached me, I learned much more than I thought I knew about British and Australian Royal Mint. 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II coins
The mintage figure on the first coin (1978) is the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as the observe side of all Australian coins feature the effigy of the reigning monarch. The portrait of Her Majesty was designed by Arnold Machin. After I received these coins I learned that circulating coins don't feature individuals whether living or deceased other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family, in general. It is dodecagonal and 75% copper and 25% nickel. The reverse side features the Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin.  

Australian Coat of Arms

The heptagon British coin in the photograph is 75% copper and 25% nickel.  The portrait of Her Majesty on the observe side is another design by Machin, with the inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 1983. This is a Latin inscription and the full form is ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSOR which means "by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith."The reverse side features Britannia and lion by Christopher Ironside. 

Britannia and lion

The third portrait of Her Majesty appearing on the circular Australian 20 cent above is an Ian Rank-Broadley head. The coin's 75% copper 25% nickel as well. The reverse depicts an impression of a platypus designed by Stuart Devlin. Here is a Honda commercial describing a platypus quite well.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cocoa Muffins

Fresh, moist and mouth watering muffins are the best mates to your morning tea or coffee. Milou and I baked these muffins as part of our weekly muffin therapy. Believe me, they taste as great as they look.

  • Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 125 ml milk  + 50 ml water
  • 8 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons chocolate extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Directions
    1. Preheat the oven to 185 °C and lightly grease 23/4-inch muffin cups (12 cups will do).
    2. In a large bowl, blend together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. 
    3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg, milk+water, butter and sugar until smooth. 
    4. Combine the two mixtures, blending until the dry ingredients are moistened.
    5. Fill the muffin cups about three-quarters full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. 
    6. Cool in the pan for 5 to 7 minutes and serve warm. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tarhana Soup

Tarhana Soup

I must admit today has been just a lazy day for me. I was rummaging the drawers in the kitchen hoping to find some almost ready to cook ingredients and I found a jar of tarhana I'd brought with me from Turkey. Tarhana is a kind of buttermilk pasta traditional in Turkey, Greece and neighbouring countries with different names. The pasta itself basically contains flour, yogurt, and vegetables - mostly paprika and tomatoes - fermented then dried. It's stored in chunks, lumps or sold as powdered like mine. If properly constructed, tarhana can be a simple, fat and calorie conscious and satisfying meal. I served it with oven-baked mixed cheese brushchetta. It was simply soup-er

1/2 tablespoon butter                                                
1 large onion, thinly sliced                                       
3 cloves garlic, minced                                             
5 cups water
5 tablespoons tarhana 
salt, paprika powder,  mint 
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1. In a large bowl, place tarhana in water and stir until a little diluted. 
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions in butter until translucent and add garlic. 
3. Add the tarhana-water mixture and stir constantly and bring it to a boil. 
4. Add salt, paprika powder and mint. 
5. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
1. Melt butter in a small saucepan and keep over heat until lightly browned.
2. Add chili powder and garlic and stir for 1 more minute and remove it from heat. Drizzle chili  butter and serve with any kind of bread. 

Mushroom Sausage Omelet

  • Mushroom Sausage Omelet

    It's Sunday morning and it's snowing outside. No one wanted to step out and go to the nearest supermarket to get morning stuff for our traditional breakfast. I opened the fridge and smiled at a few sausages, mushrooms and two eggs - the only residents of our fridge then. I was waiting in front of the fridge with sleepy eyes wondering what to cook for breakfast until the sausages, mushrooms and eggs smiled back at me: Mushroom sausage omelet. 

  • Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 4-5 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sausages, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, black pepper, oregano
  • Directions

    1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
    2. Heat butter in an omelette pan over medium-high heat until just sizzling. 
    3. Add the mushrooms and the garlic. The mushrooms will release some liquid, and the rendered fat in the pan will sizzle. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and oregano. 
    4. Add sliced sausage to the mix, toss lightly until all done. 
    5. Add the eggs. Keep on frying on low heat until the mixture sets - edges turn lightly brown. 
    6. Slide onto a plate and serve your smiling breakfast. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Inspired to serve?

A friend of mine is serving in the military these days not because he is one of those 'inspired to serve' but because he has to. In Turkey, military service is compulsory and it applies to all male citizens. However, the motives which led millions of Turkish men to serve in the military so far have already cracked into pieces. Believing in no benefits or opportunities in the service, young men in Turkey today are looking for excuses to delay their 'duty'. They hope a change in the law will soon abolish mandatory military service leaving space to a fully voluntary one. 
Well, I decided to make my friend smile and forget the absurdity of the service for a few seconds by sending him a card using his fiancée's picture and a poem about missing somebody. If, by any chance, there's some deeper meaning hidden in the military service, it must be the bitter experience to miss your beloved ones after all. He received the card a few days ago and here are the photographs. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Switching to Organic Food or Not?

Only the popular question "To switch to organic food, or not to switch?" may second  the worldwide famous question "To be, or not to be?" these days. I've heard much conflicting information on the definition of organic, pesticides in our food and environment, why organic is needed especially for children and of course why organic costs more. After you finish reading or listening to all those lectures, you again find yourself alone with the same question. In my case, the question mark is a bigger one because I want to feed Princess Milou healthy food as millions of parents would do around the world but I do not want to turn down the chance to give Milou delicious food she loves. The fragile strings of her food preferences will soon be pulled by a huge team of marketers and daddy and I will be roleplaying Don Quixote and Sancho Panza and tilting at the windmills of that industry. One more thing to note, Milou refuses to eat when we add sugar to her food and wants to eat more when we give her vegetables which may be signalling she will walk on the right path on her own. Keeping all these in mind, we decided to make her diet ''just better'' and bring it to balance - no strict rules like eating only raw organic vegetables, that's it. I think it's so easy and clear as it sounds. Increase fruit, vegetables and whole grains on one side and decrease artificials, chemicals on the other side while letting her eat what she loves at times. Formulating a varied diet and avoiding chemicals is just all we could start with now.