yonca's kitchen

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

No, I ain't GOING shopping for the holiday season!!

One of the best feelings of holiday season is shopping for gifts and one of the best gifts we can give to our children is the experience of the joy of giving. Every year the arrival of autumn brings that feeling back.


gourmetgift baskets.com

Shopping takes time! If you are lucky to have enough time for shopping, it is actually fun.

Work time, family time , social time all demanding our attention, we are constantly juggling our day-to-day responsibilities.

Online shopping makes it easy and allows you to spend less time on your comfort chair with just a few clicks.

If you invited your family and friends for the Thansgiving, give your martini a holiday twist!  This delicious recipe sure will please your thursty crowd!


6 ounces vodka
1 ounce orange liqueur
1 ounces cranberry juice
1 tsp vermouth
1 cup ice
lime slice, or twisted lime rind for garnish

Combine vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, vermouth, ice and shake until chilled (~15-20 seconds) If you want even more cranberry flavor, try cranbery flavored vodka like I did last year and it was really good.

Pour into chilled (~15 min) martini glasses, and garnish with lime slices.

Hosting a holiday dinner can be stressful. Let's not forget, laughing is a real stress relief medicine and also a good calorie burner. So, instead of getting frusrated, stressed, just laugh and make your guests laugh for adding this extra bonus to your dinner table 😄

I'm thankful because although my life is by no means perfect, it's my life and I'm happy .


Enjoyable Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Life is delicious!

Updated post 💕

8 years ago and today (2016)
Oh my gosh! He turned into a teenager and we watch this movie together now😄

Çeşme (pronounced, Cheshme) is the westest edge of Turkey, (8 miles to Chios(Greece)/Aegean) which welcomes the most tourists with its historical and natural beauty, fun and sport activities and its delicious food! We have been here all summer long.

 One fun place to see in Izmir, Aegean/Turkey
             
                     Turkish 
                     thin crust pizza
                     Lahmacun 

                   Fresh Strawberry Sauce Recipe 

                    There is nothing better 
                           on a cold day 
                           than hot soup
                      Creamy
                      Cauliflower Soup/ Recipe
                                  (updated)


      My mom's favorite 
(updated)

                 
                       Heart Shaped Pancakes
                       with Strawbery Jam

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cheshme_(Çeșme)_1

When I started to write about this unique town I knew it is not possible to share everything I want by one post. But now,
I think it will be a write up series more then a couple of posts. Because of the political and security situation in Turkey, maybe you don't get any advisory for an essential travel to the country nationwide so far. Reading about this dreamy peninsula might give you an idea planning your vacation for next summer. Because it really is worth it!
Çeşme (pronounced, Cheshme) is the westest edge of Turkey, (8 miles to Chios(Greece)/Aegean) which welcomes the most tourist with its historical and natural beauty besides fun and sport activities. We have been here all summer long and also met some expats and tourists in Izmir. The coastal town is situated a one hour drive to Izmir and very famous with beach clubs, surf camps, restaurants, luxurious 5 star boutique hotels and beautiful houses. You might rent a dream house for a season or monthly, weekly, daily on your vacation.

It is like a dream land all summer, you collect marvelous memories to tell your friends after a visit. Nightclubs by the seaside are open until morning. Colorful nights of Cheshme adds more fun to your Turkey visit in summer the season.
There are plenty of places worth to see in the peninsula.
First stop is Cheshme Marine. It is totally worth the money for a full day of eating and shopping. Well known brands, restaurants with tasty food/seafood with wonderful services. Enjoy the marine during the sunset faced to Chios. Cheshme_ Chios fast ferries also another attraction you can add to your Cheshme trip.






When we walk into Cheshme Marine, a wish tree welcomes us. We stopped and made a wish by tying a piece of cloth(another white piece from me)on the tree and took a picture like everyone.


Alaçatı (Alachati), is the heart of Chesme Peninsula with its architect, wineyards and windmills for 150 years.
When you step in its clear water, first thought would be 'yes, I made the right decision for a summer vacation'.

Windsurfing, kitesurfing, stonehouses and tasteful restaurants on the street, brings history and fun together with Aegean tastes.
Let's talk about tastes :-)
Mastic ice-cream, cookies and mastic jam / desserts, Turkish coffee which is made on the hot sand and served with Turkish delight in a well decorated little plate and a little bottle of liqueur on a
traditional silver tray.


Alacati Kurabiyecisi/ Alachati Coffee and Cookies. Home like atmosphere, friendly service and impressive tastes!


Mastic and dark chocolate ice_cream

Mastic
Mastic cookies and lemon cookies which are as tasty as they look. Damla sakızı/ mastic(masticate) is a sticky substance derived from the Pistacia lentiscus tree. The mastic tree, actually it is a bush, grows up to 9 feet tall which takes 50 years. Mastic is the fruit of the tree which grows only on Chios(Kios/Hios in Greek) Greek Island and Cheshme Peninsula (Turkey).
An enjoyable shooping day at Alachati for local wines, mastic wines, sugar free homemade mastic jams and more! Amazing! Like a day full of fun!

                       



                           


Wood tables (since plastic is forbidden) with homestyle covers on the street, restaurants which were authentic houses that turned into restaurants, cafes and local style shopping stores. You can see a bride and a groom anytime walking and making their happiness to remember forever with a photo on Alachati streets.


               
Herbs can take a dish from tasty to marvelous.

                 
According to the sayings, there are 1001 different types of herbs that grow in Alachati. One unique festival takes place annually in late March or early April, named Alachati Herb(wild weeds) Festival. Cooking competition provides an amazing food show to taste different types of cooking of the huge variety of local herbs, weeds like ebegümeci (hibiscus), karabaș otu(lavandula), turp otu(radish root), Șevketi bostan(a type of thistle) which are prepared in a number of tasty ways.



           
   
                   
     
                                                                                         Photos belong to Gezi Alemi

Hoping to be here next March and enjoy the celebration and taste all those amazing dishes.

Delicious savory dill cookies, before you get a bite, you smell the herb first, melts in the mouth. Absolute divine!

                     

If it is Saturday, don't forget spending some time in the bazaar. Antiques, fashion clothes, accessories ..it is really fun to visit Alachati Bazaar.

Big Fish Alachati Tournament
Autumn brings new excitements to this town. It is a prime spot for the fabulous seafood and seafood restaurants in the peninsula.
One of the biggest fishing tournament of Europe on held each year in October.

                             



                 The pictures belong to alacatibigfish.com

A stunning authentic town, with pink, purple bougainvilleas hanging from the stone houses walls, sitting on the table with your friends and family and enjoy making a toast with a glass of tasty wine or traditional Turkish Raki or mastic flavored raki with rocks or icy water. You'll find so many things written in English, menus on restaurants, store owners, so mini bus(dolmush) drivers will happily help you speaking in English. Besides simpatic signs in front of stores and supermarkets will catch your eyes!

Dreamy, magical, fantastic vacation town Alachati!
Alachati real estate a hot market. Stone houses and boutique hotels on sale.

Ilıca (Ilija), white sand and warm~ blue water takes you into its beauty on the beach!





                        Photo by Zerrin

Pașalimanı (Pashalimani)- Luxery houses, expensive cars, clear water, amazing sunset views...Watch out! You might see a familiar face from TV anytime :-)
Amazing nature in Pashalimani and Alachati shores for camping but I'll be honest, camping is not a good idea in Cheshme. I am not saying you can not find any camp area to set your tent, get power toilet /water but renting houses, pension rooms or staying in hotels is much better option for an enjoyable vacation in this town.


                                                                  Pashalimani /Cheshme

Beach club's town Cheshme, Quante Beach Club is strongly suggested for families mostly with little kids. The food is good. Overhelming crowd on holidays of Turkey.


Aquante is a natural warm pool besides a lovely shore and sea view. Enjoy your drink listening music and hanging around the pool and watching the sunset.
A beautiful view on the road to Aquante!

                      Dodo Beach Club/ Pashalimani



Aya Yorgi Bay is a must to see place here. Heavenly view, clear water and amazing beach clubs!! Enterence prices start 40tl ($14 and up/ per person)
Or you might prefer The Yonca Resort and enjoy a friendly welcome, food and drink :-)




I don't believe it is October already. We still can't give up getting in the pool and also enjoy the shore.


We were starving to death! An easy snack of mine Mom's Cheesy Bread slices call our name! Made it with mushroom and pepperoni this time and served with apple cuts and one of our homemade favorite dips. Strawberry-yogurt dip. I adore the pretty pink color of it. 


Half of me is having a hard time to say goodbye to summer and the other half has let me to take Hallowen and Thanksgiving decorations and the Christmas tree out of the storage already :-)

More pics, Aegean recipes, seafood/other ways to use mastic, autumn pics, amazing houses and hotels on the list for sale, coming in the post, Cheshme 2.

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