Friday, May 29, 2009

Tarator- Bean Salad

Originally uploaded by mujdeoz

Almost everyone is already in the holiday mood or already started the holidays. There is no change in my system. I am working without a stop. Besides, it is getting more and more busy.

The only thing that I do, with the first chance, is to cook and post it to my blog whenever I have something new. It looks like that the blog restriction will not be over here. I have to get used to this. Thinking that it is better than nothing, i will keep on posting my recipes despite all the difficulties that I face, lacking many functions.

This salad is from my archive. It is the right season. One alternative from me to your nice tables full of many kinds of salads during the summer season.


1/2 kg french/ kidney beans
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 lemon juice
6 gloves of garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 cup of cold water

How to make it?:

This is originally made of kidney beans, since I can not find it here, I made it with french beans. Clean out the beans, chop them in required size and wash. Boil them in the salty water and then drain (sharing 1 cup of water). Add crumbs, squeezed lemon, olive oil and the squeezed garlic. Keep it in the fridge an overnight so that the sauce is absorbed better. Serve it cold.



Originally uploaded by mujdeoz

Finally I am back. I am sure everyone who has checked my page realized that I have not added new posts recently. In China, like Youtube, blogs are also blocked. Thanks to my friend, I found a way to go in my page. Now, I can view. Yuppiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Of course, we had many things in agenda. Eurovision 2009, has not been resulted like we hoped. Due to the time difference, I made my schedule to stay awake till dawn. However, I could also resist until 02:30. This is the hardest side of being in China. I always followed the national matches setting my alarm. At first, I thought Hadise has a big chance since her contestants were not that good. Despite everything, Hadise really showed a very good performance. Instead of Dum Tek Tek song,another song could bring us a better result, but for sure, 4th place is not that bad. Congratulations Hadise!

This weekend, I baked Brownie which is the only cake I bake since I am 6. To tell the truth, this cake tastes delicious even when it is raw. As a matter of fact, that is how I showed interest to learn how to make it, at the age of 6. My mum always shared for me and my younger brother a small portion. We always dipped it until the plate is spotless. Now, I can understand my dear mother very well. How much more you share, how small your cake gets. :) Now I am giving the same struggle!! with my hubby. The size of my cake is therefore, a little smaller than the given amounts.So, I had to use a rectangular mould instead of the big round one. It was really fun to eat it unbaked. :))

In general, the Brownies are made with chocolates which of course gives a delicious taste. But my recipe is lighter than the one with chocolate.


125 gr. unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1,5 cups sugar
1/4 cup cacao
16 gr. baking powder
10 gr. vanillin
2 teaspoon cinnamon
180 ml milk
24 cm. clamp cake mold ( covered with wax baking paper)

How to make it?:

Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare your mold placing a baking paper. In a deep bowl, mix the dry ingredients flour, cacao, cinnamon, baking powder and vanillin. Keep it aside. 

I used a stand mixer to mix the sugar with butter in room temperature. Make sure the sugar and butter melts completely. Add the eggs one by one and mix until you get a light yellow color. Please remember to mix always in the same direction. Add the dry ingredients mixture, you have prepared earlier. The consistency will be intensive until you add in the milk. Pour the mixture in the mold and put it in the oven. The first 20 minutes, avoid opening the oven cover. Total baking period is around 35 minutes.

Note: I am having some problems about adding the photos like I want. I will keep on like this until the blog restriction is over.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

French Beans

Taze Fasulye

Today's recipe is easy to apply to all vegetable dishes. There are many kinds of beans in the world. The fresh bean which is called as French Beans, is my favorite in all. It has a very reasonable prep and cooking time. The magic is in the olive oil.  The tip for green vegetable dishes in basic is, to saute the onions in the olive oil and add the vegetables in. 


1 kg. French Beans 
1 big size onion (chopped in very small cubes)
1/2 tbs sugar 
2 cloves of garlic
3 big size tomatoes (grated)
1 cup olive oil
2 ts salt
4 cups of boiled water

How to make it?:

Clean out and wash the beans. Saute the onions, garlics and the sugar in a large skillet in the heated olive oil, until tender and lightly brown. Add the tomatoes and then the beans in and mix them for 5 minutes on a high heat. When the beans get darker, add the water. When the beans boil, sprinkle the salt. Keep cooking on a high heat for about 7-8 minutes and then lower the heat. If you have a chance to stand it up in the fridge for a day, all the dishes cooked with olive oil will give a better result. 


Friday, May 8, 2009

Pasta Aschutta and Yunyang Grottoes

pasta acshutta

On Saturday, we had an excursion to Yunyang Grottoes which is close to our location. It was so amazing to see the great pieces of arts. I will share my observations and the information I had during the trip.

The Yunyang Caves, just 50 km. before you reach Datong, have been completed in Northern Wei Dynasty period, by 40.000 workers in 50 years (some say nearly 70 years) between 465 - 525 AD years. These caves are formed by 51.000 figures which are carved in the mountain walls and are well known as it is being an open museum. Each cave is numbered through the 1 kilometer length, reflecting the features of the early, middle and last eras. 

Here is rated in the third place in the great creations of China in which a huge number of workers worked, like Great Wall of China, Terra Cotta Army (Xian) in the touristic places of China. However, this number is not so interesting for the Chinese people in such a big population.

These caves are given different names through the history. Until the Ming period, they were known as Wuzhou Shan Cave Temples. After that period, they are called as Yunyang Caves. Despite the fact that, there were 252 caves exist in total, only 40 of them are open for visit. The other caves lost their quality due to the sun, rain and the fact of lack of proper care. 

The first era caves had been made in the mountains and had been damaged because of the water coming from the mountains that they are leaning on. Due to the high precautions, now, it is not allowed to make photos inside like in all the museums. 


As you walk through the road to the other caves, you come to an open area. In most of the Travel Magazines, the Buddha Statues in here can mostly be seen in the articles about China's touristic places. Especially the 17m. high Buddha Statue takes over all the other ones. The Buddhas reflect the era by their way of sitting. If the legs are crossed, Future Buddha; if the legs are straight, Today's Buddha. In 2001, the Yungang Grottoes were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing the masterpiece of early Chinese Buddhist cave art. 

As it is well known, Buddhism is born in India and came to China with the influence of Silk Road. Therefore, these masterpiece of art caves reflect the mixture of Indian and Chinese art. The artists who worked in the previous carvings gave a support to this project as well.


The story how these carvings are made: According to a story, Northern Dynasty Emperor, Tan Yao, comes across with a famous Buddhist Priest. The Emperor's horse grabs the Priest from his cowl and does not leave it. The Emperor says: ' Horses know who is a good man.' and he assigns the Priest to be responsible from all the Buddhist activities in the country. The Priest chooses the Yunyang Caves which are located in the peak of Wuzhou Mountains as the temple and gives a start to the project. That is the reason why the first 5 caves are named with the Emperor's name.

Especially on the 15th cave which is known as Ten-thousand-Buddha cave, there are then thousand pieces of small cavings. Since this religion came from India, the temple did not have a big influence on the people, therefore the temple could not get an intensive care in the early days.  When the Western and Japanese scientists started show interest on the caves, then they were recognised of their values. Until this period, many of the statues and Buddha heads had been stolen and been taken out of China. It is even known that a piece of this stolen statue is exhibited in a museum in France,  however there had been no effort to claim it back. 

After a long cultural trip, we came home very tired. My dear husband told me to take a rest and went in the kitchen to prepare Pasta Aschutta. I, now, share this special recipe of my dear Husband with you. Pasta Aschutta reminds Mike to everyone. The most important ingridient he adds is his love. Don't you ever forget adding it as well to all your dishes you prepare. 


1 pack (no:5) spaghetti
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tsp salt

Sos icin:

500 gr. calf minced meat
1 big size onion
2 tomatoes
1 small size zucchini
3-4 white mushrooms
2 green pepper
2 tbs paprika paste
1 tbs tomato paste
10-15 black olives
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup boiled water

How to make it?:

Prepare the spagetti as per the instructions written on the package (add it in the boiled, salted and oiled water and keep the cooking period 15-20 minutes). After boiling, strain it and wash it under cold water. Fry the butter on the non-sticky pan, add the salt and the spagetti on. Stir around 5 minutes.

In a different non-sticky pan, roast the onions and the minced meat. Add the remaining ingrediants sliced in small cubes in and mix them. Add the boiled water and let it boil 5 minutes. The sauce is ready for service. 


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Krep son

This is a life saver menu of Sunday breakfasts.  Both preparing and cooking are easy...  It is so enjoyable to eat. The best thing about the pancake is that you can have many alternatives with less ingredients. As per your preference, you can either prepare it with any kind of ingredient like cheese or just cook it and then serve it rolled. Pancake is a change on Sundays and fun for your kids. 


400 ml.  milk
2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 pack of baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs butter


200 gr. grated Cheese

How to make it?:

Mix the eggs with a mixer. Stir the milk, flavour, baking powder, salt and the sugar slowly. Once the consistency becomes thicker, you can start cooking it. Melt the butter in a non-sticky pan and pour a ladle full amount starting from the center of the pan and make circles.
Meanwhile, you can make circles with the pan with your other hand making it easy to have the proper round shape. The first pancake will be with the butter but you do not need to use butter again for the rest. It will not stick on the pan and it will be lighter. Keep the stove in low level on and turn the pancake up-side-down when you see the holes on.

krep3 krep2krep4
Depending on your preference, add only cheese or veges with sauce and fold it from the half part. When the color turns darker, prepare for service. 

You can prepare pancakes without adding something in. Later on, you can serve them with jam, honey, jams, nuts, chocolate and banana as dessert.


Mushroom Cookies

mantar kurabiyem
By mujdemiisterim at 2009-03-24

Today is my hubby's birthday. He is not that sort, fond of celebrations and parties. I have been asking for a week what to do but he always ignored it. Therefore, I could not make a proper plan. Moreover, whenever I intend to make something, I have difficulties in finding the ingredients and lose my enthusiasm. Finally, this problem has been solved. I found a wholesaler here, which is supplying everything for the Bakery Shops. Every pack in 1 kg, 2kg, 5kg or 10 kg of amount. I have chosen the ones that I will use often. As a result, in such a hurry, my plan could not catch the time. Actually, I should have had a cake in the fridge already. But unfortunately, there is none :(((

Yesterday after work, I made really delicious Mushroom cookies which I thought that it is so simple to make and that will take me maximum one hour to make but I had the difficulty due to the limited utensils in my kitchen in China. So, it lasted quite a long time to make it. I got a comment from my dear husband : 'They look really good but they taste boring! Why you did not put cream in it?" He has no connection to cookies. For him, if there is a dessert, it should be either cream cake or something creamy. Today, as soon as I am off home, I have to bake a cake for him . I will also add it here soon.

In China, there are really nice cakes visually. However, in Shuozhou city where we live, they bake the sponge cake and merely decorate it with butter cream which is shaped and colored. They add no fruits, chocolate or nuts in it. Therefore, we never prefer to buy one as long as we are not constrained. 

Actually, I planned to make these cookies as a speicy in the birthday menu. However, since it was my first try, I never could imagine that they would take such a long time. I have left no time to bake my cake :( Don't you ever be scared. I just had those difficulties due to the old equipment and small plates I had here. Otherwise, this has nothing to do with the recipe. For the recipe of this cookie, firstly I would like to thank to my dear friend Esra (Acemi Sef) who tried it and recommended it to me, and then to Efsun who shared it with us.  

How to make it: 

  • 250 gr. butter
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of corn starch
  • 1 pack of Dr. Oetker vanilla (or 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1 pack of Dr. Oetker baking powder 
  • 1 cup of powder sugar (if you dont have, you can make it in your blender.). 
  • Some sunflower oil  (I did not mention any amount purposely, the best is to add it in small proportions to catch the exact consistency)
  • 1 tsp  cacao
  • To shape the mushrooms, (depending on the size you prefer) 500 ml.coke bottle cap or cream bag socket (as seen on photo below)
  • 180ÂșC preheated oven 
Add the flour, corn starch, vanilla, baking powder and the powder sugar to the room temperature butter and mix them all. Pour some oil in the mixture and knead until it comes to a consistency that it is not sticking on your fingers.This process takes at least 15-20 minutes. Now, we can roll our dough and put them on the oven plate. The sizes depend on your preference. I made them in different sizes because the mushrooms are never the same size like they are out from the factory) 

After you align them on the oven plate, dip the cap in the cacao powder and press it on the cookie. (My husband enjoyed this process a lot. He shaped most of the cookies himself. In a while, I felt like 2 kids playing with the dough in the kitchen :)  

Place the oven plate in the preheated oven. Heat the first 10 minutes from the top, the following 5 minutes from the bottom. (I could make it that way in my one) The cookies should remain white. Check the bottoms if they turned pink and keep it accordingly in a bit more when necessary.

Bon appetit!

Tip: Cookies will still  be soft when you put them out of the oven. Don't you worry. They will get harder when they are cooled. (Luckily, Esra warned me!)

My cake addicted cat, Shine

Is this normal? I have never seen it anywhere. My cat is an absolute cake addicted. He is waiting for the cake in the oven like he is waiting for the fish. I can hardly decorate my cake, running away from him. When the cake is in the fridge, then it is safe. Thus, he knows it very well that it will be eaten after it is cooled. Therefore, he is on duty waiting in front of the fridge. He stares at me innocently while miyaving, in  such a way that he means 'Give me as well".  As a result, we can not resist this cute impression he has, so he gets his little share. When you let, he can finish the whole cake.

The first time when we realised it, was a big shock for us. I prepared my sponge cake and let it for cooling on the table. Since I have never experienced it before, I, without knowing what's going to happen and enjoying a relaxing Sunday, realised that my ball player cat, Shine, is not begging around to play. I called him several times. Silence... I went around to look for him. Oh my goodness! I could not believe my eyes. There is only a quarter of my cake left!!! Despite that he was still keeping on. All of a sudden, he could not know what to do, as soon as his eyes sticked on my one. With the feeling of guilt, he ran away. I just thought that it is just a coinsedence, until I realised that he is showing the same attention for the second time. I had to be careful after having realised that. Now, we know that each cake has a share for Shine. An additional item in his favorites list of marronies, potatoes, sweet corns.

Honestly, life has no joice without these little cute creatures that we have never missed keeping around in our childhood. You can never teach these cute little pets to wait for us at the door, the welcoming dance that they make when we come in, showing the love they have for us each second. 

You still have noone waiting for you at home?