Hünkar Begendi

…which translated means sultans delight, which is basically a stew on a rich aubergine puree. Traditionally this is made with lamb but i tried it here with beef and it wasn’t a bad substitution at all. This is a dish with a long history and many stories tell the tale of its creation. In the end, all stories have a common happy ending… the sultan liked it, hence the name. Given the intertwined history of Greece and Turkey, the dish has flavors that are very common in this part of the Mediterranean. The roasted aubergine technique used here, is basically used for many recipes like eggplant salad which anyone having visited a Greek island will have tried. The simple tomato beef stew by itself is very common here also, and often enjoyed with either pasta, rice or my favorite… grandma’s extra crunchy fried potatoes and feta cheese.

– mel

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chestnut soup

We’re back to soups, chestnut this time. I know it sounds a little odd, but hear me out. It is cold outside. It is the time of year where you start finding street venders selling these little gems roasted on every corner. Soups are good for you, they warm the soul. Chestnuts are sweet in a comforting way. Yeah, I’m clearly all about comfort eating.

I know our soup images seem repetitious, I can’t find a way around that at the moment. Maybe we’ll do something crazy like photography it in a mug. Then again, that would just be silly. So I’ve just been reminded by my dearest little Julia who looks like an elf, that I do like pictures of soup in mugs. The reason she knows this, is being a food photographer herself, she showed me her portfolio & her images of soup in mugs & I was thrilled… I forgot. I’m going to copy her now. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Enjoy the soup. The sweet, hearty, chestnut soup.

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the incredible chicken pie

So I’m finally over the incident with the cookies. It took a while & a little bit of therapy, but I got there in the end. All I have to say is, the next time I make something sweet… I’m not sharing.

What, too mean?

In the mean time, I’m completely craving leftovers from our incredible chicken pie… that beauty of a dish didn’t last more than two days, probably because I kept eating huge slices.

Does anyone else get that, I have serious cravings for lunch or dinner items first thing in the morning. I don’t want cereal, yogurt, bread with honey or fruit… I just want steak, chicken pie, pasta bake, sushi. I think sushi for breakfast has to be my all time favorite. This morning though, I’m all about that chicken pie, yum.

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pumpkin & pasta, just in time for autumn

I am stuffed, so stuffed.

I can barely breathe…. why oh why?!

I need to stop eating, I mean seriously, this could get dangerous.

I love our Sunday cook days with absolutely every fiber of my being, but this could realistically become a health hazard. How am I supposed to say “no” though when the smells wafting throughout the kitchen are like heaven. How am I supposed to deny myself this things. This creamy, rich, comforting pasta. Tell me?!

I’d go as far as saying that anyone who purposefully denies themselves such a meal even though they really, really want to eat it are slightly masochistic or self-loathing. There I said it, that’s how I feel. So then why am I the one laying on the couch feeling like a balloon that’s about to *pop*.

I’ll tell you why, it’s because mel is evil. He makes these things that no sane human being would deny. Rich, hot pumpkin pasta. This is why I love autumn. This is why I hate mel.

Hate is a strong word, maybe I just dislike him a little in this instant. I’ll get over it. I think it’s time to share though.

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snack attack – marinated olives

Just an itty bitty, teeny tiny recipe today.

Those delicious olives that get brought to the table when you order a glass of wine/ beer/ cocktail… yea, I’m sharing those. Really simple, super delicious & great for the olive lovers. Actually, I feel kind of sad that while I write this I’m sitting at a computer screen in my half empty office instead of pouring myself a glass of wine & snacking on these. I suppose I still have my coffee, something to be thankful for in this moment.

Right, to the olives!

– 150g green olives
– 150g black olives
– 1 tbs rosemary
– 4 tbs olive oil
– 1 clove garlic
– 1/2 orange, zested
– 1 bay-leaf
– 1 tsp coriander seeds

– place a skillet on the stove & bring the temperature to medium-high heat.
– add in the oil, rosemary, bay-leaf, crushed garlic, orange zest, & coriander seeds & cook for 4 minutes.
– add in the olives & then remove from the heat after 30 seconds.
– transfer the olives to a bowl, wrap well & once cooled put them in the fridge over night to allow the flavors to fully blend.
– serve with drinks of your choice before dinner.

…for more recipes check out our archives here.