Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gone Girl… A Review

Everyone is talking about this book, and I mean everyone!

All the book blogs that I listen to, Books on the Nightstand, Literary Disco, the Readers…
Joy the Baker mentioned it on her podcast a few months back…
My friends and my sister…

Like I said, everyone is talking about this book, and now I am.

I’m going to start by saying, that I don’t typically read thrillers. I don’t like surprises, I don’t like plot twist that I can’t predict.

I don’t like dark books or mean characters.

Having said that, I loved this book.

I couldn’t put it down, I read it in three days (Ok all you people who read books in a day, I have two kids under the age of four, and I had a huge assignment due for my Masters course… otherwise I probably would have read it faster.)

So what is this amazing book about…

It is about a couple who have fallen on many levels of hard times. Hard times in their relationship, hard times financially, and even hard times mental. Basically they are pretty unhappy people.

On the day of their five anniversary, the wife Amy, who is a bit of a ‘celebrity’ goes missing. The story is told from two points of view, hers and her husband’s, Nick.

I don’t want to say anything else about the plot for fear that I will give something away.

I do want to say that this book was a real page turner, I would recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a good nail-biter/read.

Since reading the book, I have now recommended it to just about everyone that I talk to, and now, my friends, I am recommending it to you!

I think the sign of a good author is that after reading one of their books, you want to go on and read more of their books, Gillian Flynn must be a great author because I have just bought her first two books, and can’t wait to get into them!

Happy Reading!


So I am a booker…. I love to read. I’ve been this way my whole life, it isn’t a problem, but it can be an expensive hobby…

Because I read so many books, I often forget titles, plots, whether it was good or I liked it…

This problem was solved a few years ago, when I got onto Goodreads, a website where I can make notes of what I’ve read, or want to read and whether or not I liked it. I can also see what my friends and family are reading, and what complete strangers think of certain books. There are book clubs and discussion groups…

It really is for book lovers…

For as much as I love reading, I also have a total fascination with authors, what is their process, how did they get started, any tips?

The other day, I opened my email, and there was an invitation to watch a live video chat with Philippa Gregory , one of my absolutely favourite authors!

I had to watch.

Luckily, Seyfi took the girls for a walk, I made myself a cup of coffee and watched her chat.

She talked about her books, writing, and the new tv series that the BBC is making of the first three books of her cousins war series.

It was awesome! When could I have ever seen something like that otherwise.

Well, actually, it happened the day before as well, I was following Goodreads on twitter, and happened to see a tweet about a live video chat with Amor Towles, who wrote the book Rules of Civility

I loved his book, and watching him talk was also very neat.

I really love Goodreads, and although they don’t know that I am writing about them, I hope that you will find me on Goodreads, and see what I am reading…

A Perfect Food Day

A Perfect Food Day… I hadn’t really ever consciously thought about it until I last week when I was listening to the Spilled Milk podcast and Molly and Matthew were talking about their perfect day of food.

Their perfect days sounded so good, and they seemed to be having so much fun putting it together, that I thought…

Let’s put together our Perfect Food Day!

My perfect food day, doesn’t involve restaurants… It’s all food to be eaten at home with my family….

Ok, well, lets start the day as we should, breakfast- I would definitely have to enjoy a long Turkish breakfast (preferably outdoors). The thing I love most about a Turkish breakfast is the social aspect, sitting down with family and friends eating slowly, drinking cups and cups of tea, chatting, reading the paper, doing sudoku… It really is the best way to start a Saturday or Sunday…

So what does a Turkish Breakfast include?

What doesn’t it include? Tomatoes, cucumbers, white cheese, hard cheese, olives, eggs, parsley, fried potatoes and peppers, honey, jam, butter, crusty bread, fresh orange juice, Turkish tea….

Now usually, after that breakfast, I wouldn’t want lunch, but on a perfect food day, there would be no tummy aches, so here’s lunch…

Something you may not know about me, I’m a sandwich girl. I personally think that a sandwich can be eaten anytime, anywhere. My two favourites are toasted tomato (best when eaten with my dad) and cheese, pickle and mustard.

For my perfect food day though… It would have to be a sandwich like this- whole wheat sliced bread, cheddar cheese, turkey breast (not lunch meat), tomatoe, lettuce, sliced pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, fries on the side with ketchup. San Pellegrino to drink….

In the Podcast, they also chose a snack. There are so many snacks to choose from, but if I had to choose one, than it would have to be nacho chips and some sort of salsa layered dip, or veggies and onion dip.

Are you full yet?

Dinner, yes, what’s for dinner. This one is easy, lasagna, caesar salad, garlic bread. Glass of red wine, probably a Pinot noir…. Easy.

And for dessert- chocolate brownie, with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce…. With a coffee…

What do you think?

Are you full?

What is your Perfect Food Day?

Write about if in the comments, or on your own blog, and put a link in the comments!

Friday Favourites… It’s been a long summer…

What a great summer we have had here!

We went to England and Wales for visiting and because I have started back to school and had some course work to do. I’m a student again! Loving it?!? It will make for an interesting year!

We went to the beach a few times, and to Paris (again). We’ve hung out with some great friends, and unfortunately some of our great friends have moved away…

Alara has started piano lessons, and is doing really well. She has enjoyed her summer vacation, but is looking forward to seeing her friends at school!

Ela is crawling (all over) and standing up now! She’s such happy baby!

Here we are, heading into our last year here and Belgium. This summer has made us realize all the things we still need to do and see! You can believe that we will seeing everything that we get up to before our return to Turkey.

Here are some links to things I’ve been finding interesting…

A friend of mine from Ankara wrote a great post about figs on her blog,
Far From the Sticks

Joy the baker Podcast talked about some of my favourite things, book clubs, nail polish and autumn fashions.

NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour is the podcast that I have been listening to like crazy! So funny and interesting!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Baked Camembert


Is there anything better?

I love living in this part of Europe, if for nothing than the variety of cheeses.

Hard, soft, stinky, sweet, white, yellow, orange and blue, old, young, every kind of cheese you could ever imagine.

I have fallen in love with Camembert. A soft cheese, stinky cheese. It tastes so good on a piece of crusty baquette with some grapes on the side… Heavenly.

I do like my Camembert the traditional way. However, sometimes I buy a Camembert, and it ends up sitting in my fridge for a bit too long, and it is no longer as soft as I would like.

So I bake it.

It becomes so ooey-gooey, and the herbs give it a lovely new flavour layer.

Here’s my recipe for baked Camembert…

Baked Camembert

1 Camembert cheese in it’s wooden box.
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
A small handful of fresh oregano, torn
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C

Remove the cheese from the plastic wrapping and place it back in it’s wooden box.

Score a circle into the top of the cheese and pull of the circle of rind.

Put the garlic, oregano. Pepper and oil in the cut out circle.

Put in the oven for about ten minutes.

Remove and eat. If it is too runny, let it sit for a few minutes to firm up.

While in Istanbul… Istanbul Aquarium

My original plan for this trip to Istanbul was to stay at my in laws, and go as far as the Starbucks in the shopping centre next door… That isn’t happening.

Today we went to the Istanbul Aquarium. It was amazing! If you are ever in Istanbul, and looking for something different to see, I would totally recommend visiting it!

The layout is very interesting, the have arranged it by body of water, Black Sea, Atlantic Ocean, etc…

Lots of different types of fish…

Hands on learning…

Different views of the fish…

We had a lovely day… Where are we off to tomorrow? I’ll grab my Starbucks to go!

Expat Living- Why Turkey?

‘Why Turkey?’

My answer to this always feels so boring, and kind of makes me seem silly.

When I was in my last year of university, the professors went on strike for a month. I had a lot of free time on my hands, so I decided that I would get my ESL certificate. I had always known that I would do something abroad, and teaching seemed like a great opportunity to travel and work.

While I was at the course, one of the teachers was talking about his experience with traveling and teaching. He was talking about food, and all the different kinds of food that he had eaten during his travels. He warned us that if we have any food allergies, we should be careful with where we choose to work.

Now, I have a severe fish allergy. When I told him about it, he suggested that I stay out of Asia. So, when I finished my course, I started looking for jobs in other parts of the world.

My first night of applying, I sent my resume and a letter to a school in Russia, and a school in Turkey. The Turkish school responded immediately. Everything that they were offering seemed to be what I was looking for, and I took the job.

I’d love to tell you that I had always wanted to go there. That I’d been dying to go cross between Europe and Asia in Istanbul, or sit on a Mediterranean beach, or see the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, or the Whirling Dervishes of Konya.

Honestly, I didn’t know very much about Turkey, and most of the things I did know were wrong (I had thought that Istanbul was the capital city, that everyone rode camels, and that it was a lot hotter all year round…)

It didn’t matter though, I thought I would stay for one or two years, get some experience and either go back to Canada, or move on to a new place. I wanted an experience.

‘Why Turkey?’ People always seem so disappointed, it’s not the most exciting answer, why I stayed is much more…

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

No Bake Gluten Free Lemon Cheesecake

We have got a group of friends here in our neighbourhood that we just loving getting together with. The wives all get along, the husbands all get along, the six of us all get along, in fact, the kids all get along.

There is only one problem, if the adults want to just hang out and chat inside, it can be quite difficult because the kids always seem to need someone.

We have found a solution for this, parents only meals. Once and a while we get together without the kids. We enjoy a meal and a great conversation, and can completely relax.

This weekend we had everyone over to our place for brunch. Seyfi and I decided that we would do a buffet style brunch, everyone could help themselves and just relax and chat away the morning.

We prepared lots of different things, some Turkish, some North American, some with gluten, and some without.

For Seyfi it is really important that we have enough gluten free food for everyone to at least be able to try some. He doesn’t want to have a separate plate with gluten free food on it for only him.

For me, it is really important that we have a few different options of gluten free food so that he doesn’t have only one option, while everyone else has lots of options.

So for the brunch, when I was planning the dessert, I’d planned to do my Earl Grey Chocolate Cake (with gluten) and try making a Rolo Blondie (gluten free).

Unfortunately, the blondie did not work out, tasted delicious, did not look that way… So, I thought I’d make a no bake cheese cake.

This cheesecake is actually really easy, and super delicious. The crust is made out of speculoos cookies (ginger snaps) and lemon curd.

Usually, Seyfi thinks he doesn’t like cheesecake, but after eating half of this one, I think he’s changed his mind!

So here’s the recipe:

No Bake Gluten Free Lemon Cheesecake

For the crust:

100 grams Gluten free Speculoos cookies (or ginger snaps, with to without gluten) crushed
2 tbsps sugar
6 tbsps melted butter

For the cheesecake:

200 grams cream cheese (one package)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

For the top:

3/4 cup lemon curd

To make the crust, mix together the crushed cookies, sugar and melted butter. Press them onto your pie plate coating the bottom, and up the sides if necessary. Put it into the fridge.

To make the cheesecake, whip up the cream until you have soft peaks. In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Fold the heavy cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cookie crust and put in the fridge for an hour.

Spread the lemon curd over the cream cheese layer and put in the fridge for at least an hour, or until ready to serve.