Tag Archives: Seyfi

London


Up until this point, I had always considered myself a Paris girl, that is until this weekend…

We’ve just returned from a long weekend in London, and had a wonderful time. We spent two days in London, and a day in Oxford and the Cotswolds.

Brilliant.

In London, we did the totally tourist way to see it. On Friday we enjoyed the Champagne Experience on the London Eye.


The London Eye was fun for all of us. Even Alara enjoyed it. She was given a bag with binoculars, a notebook, and a pencil to use while on the ferris wheel. We all enjoyed our drinks, and got to see London from a different view.

On Saturday, we took a bus tour around the city. It was an off and on tour, and it truly was the best way to see the whole city and to learn some really interesting facts, that I never would have learned on my own.


It is because of the bus tour that we were able to see everything that we wanted. It was also a great way to see lots of things with the girls. Alara loved being on the bus, looking at the sights and hearing the stories about them, and Ela either looked around, slept or fed (more on that later) while we toured about.

I absolutely loved London. It is such a relaxed place, the people are so nice and helpful, the food was great (yummy curry!!) and it was so easy to get around.

I can’t wait for our next trip there!

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Seyfi Cooks – Hūnkar Beğendi (Sultan’s Delight)


Did you know, I’m married to a pretty amazing guy.

I’ve truly never met anyone like him in my life. One of the things I love most about him is how he is always trying to improve himself, never happy with how he is, he always wants to learn, do or be something more.

Learn a new language, get a second masters degree, learn to play guitar, keep fit, and now, his newest adventure, cooking.

Seyfi grew up in a pretty typical Turkish home, mom cooked, dad and kids ate. In fact, I don’t think Seyfi was really even allowed to be in the kitchen.

When we met, cooking was not a skill that he possessed, and to be honest, that was fine by me. I like preparing meals for my man, showing him how much I love him with all the thought and care I put into the things we ate.

Then we had a baby, and then another one, and although I can still keep up with all the daily cooking, I think Seyfi wants to give me a bit of a break, so he has taken up cooking at the weekends, and it has been a big help.

He even does the dishes!

Hünkar Beğendi is a pretty famous Turkish dish, and it isn’t that easy to make, but boy, can Seyfi ever make it well!

First, let me tell you, it involves eggplant, before your run away screaming (or calling it ‘crap plant’ like my brother does), the eggplant tastes so good in this dish, that if I hadn’t told you it was there, you wouldn’t have even known it!

Trust me!

So here’s the recipe, if you can, grill the eggplants on a barbecue, the smokey taste makes it even better!

Hūnkar Beğendi

500 grams lamb, cubed
5 Tbsp oil
2 tomatoes, cubed
4 eggplants
2 onions, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 cups kaşar cheese, grated (cheddar can also work)
Salt
1 lemon’s juice

Grill the eggplant over a barbecue, gas stove top, or in your oven, until soft. Allow to cool and peel, and smush, in a bowl, add the juice of one lemon and let it rest.
In a pan, sauté the lamb in three tbsps of oil, when browned, add the tomatoes and onions until all is soft.
In a separate pot, heat the last two Tbsps of oil, add the flour, and allow to brown, add the milk, slowly, until it starts to thicken.
Drain any extra liquid off the eggplant and add to the milk mixture. Mixing well so that it stays smooth.
Add the cheese, and let it melt, it should be thick, and bubbling.

To serve, put a generous spoonful of the eggplant purée in the middle of the plate, and then top with the lamb.

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

Directions

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.