Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Let's Eat Sweet, Talk Sweet! Cookie Recipes

What makes you feel fulfilled and the things that put you in a great mood? Holiday season might be a chance to get in touch with it. As a mom, as a wife, as a sister, a daughter... Besides responsibilities, not to skip fun, the joy of our roles. When you're getting older you notice, enjoying even a minute in life is worth it. Being thankful for an another day, an another breath, waking up and feeling sunlight in your room. Having a morning coffee which is always the tastiest one of the day, right?

Thank God for my time for fulfilled emotions that makes me feel happy. Considering what makes me feel on top is a good start and being focused my energy on getting those things right.
I've just got up and wrote down my feelings while having my coffee this morning. Thank y'all guys for stopping by and reading those sentences.

If you are not new here, you probably know, being in the kitchen is also another thing that puts me in a great mood. Some of you know my blog since the first post I did. 'yonca's kitchen' turns 8 this December. Thanks for being great followers, readers and friends..If you are new here, welcome! Glad you are here too! Enjoy!

My home smells cinnamon right now. Tender and crumbly rich flavored holiday cookies in the oven. Aria gave shapes to them and they make the house smell ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and coconut. Nope, it is not enough! Let's coat them with Nutella.

Holiday Sugar Cookies
Cookie dough;
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup  unsalted butter(softened)
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

(Preheat oven 375 degrees F/ 190 degrees C- cook time 8_9 mins. Dough needs to chill about 30 mins in the refrigerator)

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon. Gradually blend in the other dry ingredients.

Nutella and heavy cream: To make the nutella coating, gently heat the cream and nutella on a low heat, stirring continuously.
Coat each cookies with it.

Confectioner's Sugar_ coconut flakes mix

Tahini Cinnamon Cookies

Cinnamon cookies filled with tahini molasses..yum!

Put a spoonful of tahini(ground sesame seed paste) on a plate and add grape molasses(pekmez) to taste. (If you prefer sweeter, more syrup but mostly use equal proportions).

Fill the cookies with this combination. (1 tsp each) It is delicious and healthy. Try it with carrot slices, crakers, on bread slices basically. It makes for a quick breakfast when you are in a hurry or perfect snack any time of day.

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter(softened)
1 egg
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder

Prepare the dough as usual.
On a floured surface roll each scoop of dough into a 3 inch circle using your palm. Place a tablespoon tahini_pekmez of filling on each circle and roll'em up. Ready to bake!

Chocolate Heaven Cookies
As a nutella lover family, chocolate cookies also coated with nutella and chocolate chips!!! I named these cookies Chocolate Heaven and Aria is in heaven right now :-)

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter(softened)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cacoa powder
Nutella and chocolate chips (as much as you want)

Prepare the dough as usual. Spread nutella on cookies shaped like trees and stars. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top of Chocolate Heaven Cookies.

Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake for 8_9 minutes at 375 F preheated oven. Set aside to let cool before serve.

Duty calls, cookie monster Aria! Haven't you finished m & m's cookies in the jar I made yesterday?

Me? Having a yummy walnut biscotti with a cup of coffee. Mommy's happy hour! Hmmm.. also making cinnamon roll bites on my 'to do' list. There is an traditional saying here.
'Let's eat sweet, talk sweet!'

This year, all I wish for is a healthy and a positive year for all of us, for all the people on earth!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to y'all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Salted cake recipe, Happy Thanksgiving.

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Salted cake is one of our family favorites. It is pretty easy and turns out great with salad and soup. Easy to prepare and eat while standing in a crowd and makes a perfect school snack!

I used parsley, pepperoni chunks, green pepper and feta cheese. Actually, I used different toppings each time. Grated potato, mozarella cheese, bell pepper, olive..and also different herbs like mint, basil, oregano. Create your own topping. You can get as creative as you want. It's the the fun part.

Keep the left over in the fride. After a couple of days, you will still enjoy the taste of it. We ate most of it the day after.

3 large eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic /minced
feta cheese /crumbled, black olive, green pepper (sliced)
2 handfulls of fresh parsley(or mixed herbs-basil, chive and parsley) chopped
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Mix the egg, oil and milk in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and garlic.
Add the baking powder to the flour in another bowl and combine it with the egg mixture. Finally, add half of the herbs to the dough. Place it in a bread pan and top with the rest of herbs, cheese crumbs, olives, green pepper and pepperoni on it. Hmmmmm. Smells delicious while baking. Serve the cake cold and sliced on your Thanksgiving table.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Creamy Potato Soup

I used to love stopping by Panera Bread in New York . Especially winter time and having their yummy creamy potato soup. Last week I came up with my own version of this soup:) I believe that the carrot gave extra benefit and taste to it.

chicken broth
potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small carrot, cubed
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese or sour cream (room temperature)
Pepperoni (cubed) or Bacon/ cooked and crumbled/ 3 slices or more (optional, but makes it really good, especially pepperoni and bacon lovers like my son)

Combine  chicken broth, potatoes, carrot cubes and spices in a small pot. Boil until potatoes and carrots are tender. If you like your soup smooth, here is a little tip: Smash some potato cubes for thickening.  Add cream cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese melts. Ready to serve. Sprinkle a little pepperoni or bacon over each bowl of soup. Extra pepperoni this time for Aria!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

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It was the first time, I let our cat, Zoey outside yesterday. She was spayed three weeks ago. She got so excited, jumped over the neighbor's backyards. She smelled eveything in our new backyard. Whenever I call her, she runs away from me. I was terrified she won't come back in a while. After a couple of hours, she was back to use her litter box!!! Funny ha?

After my mom passed away, we moved to the next city which my sister and brother live in.  April brings new things to my life every year!

Zoey was barely breathing when she got back home and slept all afternoon until Aria was back from school.

Last month of school year! What a tough winter it was! Can't wait for hot summer days. Sun, beach, stepping on sand, ice-cream, ice-coffees and Pina colada!! Spending time with family members, good friends and also good food, yummy recipes from yonca's kitchen :-)
You're all welcome!
Anything I forgot?

Pina Colada...brings summer breeze!! Nothing says summer and vacation
like a Pina Colada! Mmm..delicious!!

Pina Colada

2 ounces light rum
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 1/2 ounces cream of coconut 
Pineapple wedges
Marashino cherry for garnish

Place all the ingredients into the blender. Blend until a smooth consistency. Pour into a glass(chilled), then add your garnish. Ready to serve! What is your favorite summer drink?

Welcome summer!!!

This is the first Mother's Day without my mom.. It has been 3 months since she passed away,  I still feel that she is still alive and waiting for me to come home, set the breakfast table, put the flowers I brought to her for Mother's Day and having a sweet conversation while having breakfast.
I love you mom! I will always love you!

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Being a mom is the best thing makes me feel better this year. His kisses, his Mother's Day cards as usual, his saying  'I love you mom' with his changing voice each year!  

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

My mom's fava beans recipe

My lovely mom passed a month ago, actually today is the 36th day. It was and still is painful. Accepting that she is not sitting next to me when i am cooking anymore..she can't peel the veggies to make them ready to cook..and can't taste it and say 'oh,oh..oh ellerine sağlık yoncacım..harika olmuş! 'means it tastes delicious' and it is a bit of a loose translation, honestly it is hard to translate some sayings. 'Eline sağlık' literally it means' health to your hands' Turkish people use it a lot for food.

My mom used to make this recipe every spring ones in a year. Last year we made it together. It's kinda a mom tradition. She asked just a few days ago before she died if i got broad beans, but i didn't. I feel sorry i could't make it. Last week i saw broad beans and remind me my mom like so many things did in the kitchen.

I cooked it this spring again but without my lovely mom.

If it is not your first visit, you probably know, how i like the kitchen, cooking, playing with food! We all had a different childhood experiences. Mine is full of kitchen stories and so many memories with my mom, my dad my sisters, my brother, nieces, nephews, whole family and friends!

Goodbye's the saddest word I'll ever hear
Goodbye's the last time I will hold you near
Someday you'll say that word and I will cry
It'll break my heart to hear you say goodbye
Till we meet again until then goodbye.
(R.J. Lange)

My mom's Fava Beans with Dill Recipe (Zeytinyaglı Bakla)

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1.5 pound fresh fava /broad beans(in their pods)
1 big onion (chopped finely)
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
A handful of dill
1 cup plain yogurt
2 gloves garlic(chopped finely)
(1 glove is for yogurt sauce)
Mix yogurt with garlic and put aside.
Top, tail and string broad beans

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add the broad beans, salt, the lemon juice and stew gently, stirring occasionally. Add some chopped fresh dill and a cup of boilling water from the kettle) Smir and cook until the pods are tender (15-20 mins) Garnish a spoon of  garlic-yogurt sauce(or more) and with the reserved dill.

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Rest in peace my lovely mom..
thank you for everything you teached me!
Miss you!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Winter Break, Sunday Lunch/Turkish Pizza Lahmacun..Fun..Fun.. Fun!

I can hardly believe that it is already 2015. I hope this year brings everything you wish for. Since winter break started, spending more time with my son was the best part of this winter.

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Kids love winter break. They get time off school and they get to do what they want to do. Aria was longing for winter break. Today we spent some time together, had lunch out. One of the famous foods in Turkey, ground beef bread, named Lahmacun which is delicious and he loves it.

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Baked thin piece of dough topped with minced meat beef and minced vegetables and herbs including onions, tomatoes and parsley. Lahmacun is often served with lemon and wrapped around veggies including pickles, tomatoes, pepers, onions, lettuce, eggplant..

I used to take him to Turkish Restaurants when we were in New York. Lahmacun has always been one of his favorite Turkish foods..

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No snow here. Also it was already 18 C(64 F) today. Actually Aria misses snow, making a snowman, snow angel in winter break ...Then again, he wishes winter break lasted forever with or witbout snow!
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Happy February!!!


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