Tag Archives: Desserts

Fancy Meringues

Do you ever feel that some recipes a suited better for different seasons, or weather?

Well this is definitely a summer recipe.

In the summer when it is so hot (hopefully ;-)), I never feel like having a really heavy dessert, and I usually prefer to have something easy, and fresh, this is it.

Simple, yet fancy, sweet, but fresh. The perfect summer dessert.

I had never really eaten a meringues until I went to Turkey, and even then I rarely ate them because, let’s be honest, they are a bit boring on there own, but they are gluten free, which makes them an easy option.

Then I saw this recipe, and made it.

It is so light and fresh, plus it is super easy! Give it a try!

Fancy Meringues
Adapted from Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Meals

4 meringues, nest-shaped works best, but any shape will do.
4 tbsp Lemon curd
a handful of strawberries, cut up small,
1 tsp of strawberry jam
4 tbsp plain yoghurt

Mix together the strawberries, jam and yoghurt.

Scope a tablespoon of lemon curd onto each meringue. Top with the strawberry yoghurt. Serve.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

When it comes to making cookies, I am generally not too adventurous. I make chocolate chip cookies throughout the year, and the shortbread and gingerbread at Christmas.

I never make oatmeal cookies.

I don’t know why I never make oatmeal cookies, maybe because I usually think they are too healthy to be a cookie. Or because they usually are so hard that they would make a better hockey puck than after school treat. I just never make them.

My friend Jane makes the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten. Whenever she has them out at her house, I usually eat about ten, I’m not even kidding!

And she uses really delicious/expensive Belgian chocolate…

When I was in England, I bought a bag of really soft oatmeal raisin cookies from the Tesco bakery. They were so delicious, with a hint of cinnamon.

I thought to myself, there is no way I can compete with Jane and her expensive chocolate, so I will try to make something better than Tesco’s.

I made them with lots of raisins, and lots of cinnamon. It gave the cookies a really nice texture, and flavor.

Here’s my recipe…

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C.

Put the raisins to soak in a bowl of warm water.

In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture.

Stir in oats and remove raisins from water and stir in.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Friday Favourites

Well, Alara has finished her week at art school. She really loved it! She has come home with a bunch of beautifully, colourful abstract paintings, that I plan to hang up around the house.

This week has been good, but I don’t feel like I got very much done around the house. I think that with Alara going back to school next week, things will settle back into our normal routine, and I can be more productive.

But here is what I have been into this week…

Here are my favourite blog posts…

I’ve just gotten a new juicer, and this post was nice to read.

I love anything lemon poppy seed, so I’ll be making these!

All I have to say is mmmm shortbread.

Lemon cookies would also be good…

Other wise I really haven’t been up to too much this week,

I’m feeling slightly disappointed with Mad Men (please tell me it is going to get better…), but I am loving Up All Night, and Glee has some how sucked me back in…

I’m trying to read the newest Sophie Kinsella book, I’ve Got Your Number, but am having trouble getting into it…

We are planning on having a quiet weekend at home (thank goodness!).

However, Seyfi has mentioned something about the Turkish football playoffs starting this weekend…. Oh goodness!

Hope you all have a great weekend!
See you next week!

Pineapple Cupcakes


As I’ve mentioned, I have an amazing husband, but there is one thing about him that can be a bit much… He is football (soccer) crazy!

Turkish league, Spanish league, English league, Champions league, Premier League (how do I know all this?!), he watches it ALL! Basically if there is a match on, he will watch it!

Now that we have been married for so long, I no longer feel that I need to fake like watching football, so I don’t. I leave him alone to watch the matches. He seems to like this, he gets himself a snack and a drink, and watches his matches and tries not to wake us all up when he is yelling at the tv.

The only time he doesn’t like watching the matches is when it is a ‘big’ match, like a Derby (when two teams from the same city play against each other).

A couple of weeks ago, such a match came on, the two biggest Istanbul teams were playing against each other, so Seyfi invited two of his friends over to watch the match.

What worked out great is that the guys all got together at our house for pizza and beer, while the wives and kids got together at one of the other houses to hangout and avoid having to watch the match!

It’s so great when both the husbands and wives are such great friends!

Since my friend was going to be making pizza for the ladies and kids (which was some of the best pizza I’ve eaten in a long time) I thought I would make a dessert to take over for all of us.

I wanted to make cupcakes, but I didn’t want them to be your regular standard chocolate cupcakes (besides, one of the kids doesn’t like chocolate). I decided to make pineapple cupcakes, because lets be honest, who doesn’t like pineapple?

These cupcakes turned out really nice, not too sweet, just right.

It ended up being a good night for all of us. Seyfi’s team won, and I got to hang out with my ladies. Don’t tell Seyfi, but with the European Championship coming up this year, I may ended up watching a match or two, just to have an excuse to invite friends over…

Pineapple Cupcakes


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple slices

Cream for whipping

Put five rings of pineapple into the food processor and add your other wet ingredients. Once they are blended, add the dry ingredients until it all comes together to a chunky (from pineapple) batter.

Pour into paper lined cupcake tray and bake until golden about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool.

While the cupcakes cool, pour the whipping cream and about four tbsp of the pineapple juice from the can into a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until firm.

Cut the remaining pineapple rings into quarters.

Spread the whipped cream over the cupcakes generously, and garnish with a piece of pineapple.

Apple Cinnamon Swirls

Sometimes, you want to show your family how much you love them by making them something from the heart.

Sometimes you just need something easy.

Sometimes, you just want to make something that is going to come out of the oven.

This recipe is it.

A few weeks ago, I realized that Alara wasn’t eating her lunch properly. There had been a miscommunication, I had thought there was a set programme about what kind of snacks they were eating. There wasn’t, so the cake, that I had bought (oh the shame!) was getting eaten in the morning, and the fruit wasn’t.

The problem for me wasn’t only that the cake was getting eaten, and not the fruit, it was that the cake was filling her up, and then she wasn’t eating everything at lunch time, and then with no snack, after school she was starved.

I decided to make these for Alara’s morning snack. They have fruit, very little sugar, but they look sweet, so Alara loves them.

Here’s how you make them:

1 apple, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1 sheet puff pastry
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix the apple, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Lay out the puff pastry, brush the melted butter over it.

Cover the puff pastry with the apple mixture.

Roll the puff pastry up into a log. Cut into 2cm slices.

Lay the slices on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.

Bake at 180C until golden, about 10 minutes.

Birthday Brownies

There is a bakery around the corner that I absolutely love. They make the these cream filled, chocolate ganache topped, pain chocolat, with the best dark chocolate in them. Ask my dad, I think we had one every day when he was here.

They also make really good bread.

A few months ago we learned that this bakery also sells fresh gluten free bread. It is Seyfi’s favorite type of bread, soft. We order it every week, and are so grateful that it is here.

For Seyfi’s birthday I had hoped that I would be able to order a gluten free cake for him, but unfortunately they only offer the bread. So I decided to make him a deluxe brownie.

I like really fudgy brownies, and gluten free brownies always turn out great, I think it is because unlike a normal cake, they are more dense and use less flour.

To make these ones special for his birthday, while the brownie was baking, I topped it with rolos, caramels, and chocolate with whole hazelnuts in it. He really liked it. So did I.

Here’s how I made it.

Birthday Brownies

1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 rolls of rolos, cut in half
15 caramels, cut in half
1 bar of chocolate with hazelnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, sprinkle the rolos, caramels and chocolate chunks on top and continue baking until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. About ten more minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Pull apart Cinnamon Bun Bites

Would you like to know something that I’ve been missing since moving abroad? English Magazines! Specifically cooking magazines.

Sure, I can find English magazines if I want to pay a fortune for them, but a magazine is not a book, so why am a paying the same price for both?

Luckily, for my birthday, Seyfi bought me an iPad, and guess what I can do on my iPad?

Buy English, cooking magazines for normal price!

I subscribed to Martha Stewart Living, and Food magazine. I’ve been quite happy with both of them, and often find recipes to make.

This month, in Martha Stewart Living, I found the perfect recipe for the brunch we had at our place last weekend, Pull Apart Cinnamon Bites.

This is actually a wonderful idea for a big brunch because, when you have got lots of food choices, who wants to be eating a great big cinnamon bun? This way, you can pull off as many or as few cinnamon bites as you’d like.

Warning! This recipe takes a long time to make! I had to get up at three to get the whole thing started to be ready for my guests…

That being said, it is totally worth it!

Pull Apart Cinnamon Buns
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living April 2012

Cinnamon Bites:

1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp dry yeast
Approximately 4 cups flour (plus some more for dusting)
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, (1/2 stick melted)
2 tbsp cinnamon


1 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp milk


In a large bowl, gently combine the water and the dry yeast. Let it rest for about 8 minutes (it’ll be foamy when ready).
Add in 1/2 flour and mix to a paste. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Add eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and flour kneading together to a soft doughfor about 3 minutes. Knead in a stick of butter and continue to knead the dough for ten minutes on a floured surface. Cover with plastic and let rest do 2 hour.

Melt 1 cup of butter, and combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar. Butter your baking dish (I used a round cake pan).

Roll the dough into walnut sized balls. Once all the dough has be rolled into balls, take each ball, first dip it in the butter, than roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Place in the cake pan in a pile. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Cook for 55 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the baking dish.

Mix together the icing sugar and milk, drizzle over the cinnamon buns after they’ve been out of the oven for at least fifteen minutes.

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