Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Santa, please don’t forget me!!!

Xmas tree already decorated. The wish list to Santa is hanging on his door. He started to prepare his list in September this year. Like each year the list is getting shorter but total value is going up :D
It's time to sit around the tree watching lights and imagine the items on his list! Yeah!

Me? I think, need to work more hours, decided after saw that list :)

He notices sometimes after dinner, cleaning the kitchen done but mommy still up and looks for me and says' mom, you gotta rest a bit..life is hard enough!!!

It is good to know, somebody cares you, lol!!!

After 10-11 hours work, some nights I'm super tired, just want to relax but I don't like to let things pile up though.

 
'Life is hard enough' turned into a joke between us :)
-Aria! Have you done your homework?
 -Oh, come on ma! Life is hard enough!!!
-Yeah! Welcome to earth, sweetheart!! :)
 
Wishing you guys a Happy Holiday from the bottom of my heart!
 
I have a wish too for sure:
 'Dear Santa,
please let me have the winning lotto numbers so that maybe.
I  can have a faaabulous holiday:)
 
I hope all our wishes come true! :D

Monday, November 11, 2013

My last week. Ahh..also, two color pudding recipe :)


It was a busy week. I worked 11 hours a day, got natural gas for my apartment, helped Aria for 5 tests in whole week.. Turkish test is the hardest one for him, especially writing and understanding  and also mixed feelings...I really need to see an eye doctor for reading glasses. Yeah!
It's the age. My eyes need glasses to read but my soul still feels 30 :)

You know guys, spending some time in kitchen makes me feel relax.
This delicious pumpkin-chocolate pudding is like a pumpkin pie with the graham craker crumbs. Enjoy it with a lot of fat free-whipped cream on top :D

Ingredients

for pumpkin pudding
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon corn starch
2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
 
for Chocolate pudding
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon corn starch
2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cacao powder

 
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, salt, cornstarch, pumpkin puree.. gradually add milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil and stir for 2_3 minutes. Remove from the heat. To combine the eggs with the boiled mixture,  use a measuring cup and take almost a cup and slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs. Then you can add this to the remaining milk mixture. Just keep whisking. Add vanilla and pumpkin spice. Return to stove and bring to boil for a few minutes.
 
Do the same process with the chocolate pudding using cacao instead of pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice.
 
To crush the crackers into crumbs;
Put the crakers in a zipped storage bag, remove the air and let your kids smash it with their fist!
Aria enjoyed doing it :) I think it's great getting kids involved in anything to do with cooking!
Arrange the cracker crumbs on bottom.  Using a spoon, layer both puddings and chill until serving. Garnish with whip cream.


 
 
 Another yummy pudding recipe/Mocha Pudding

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Homemade pumpkin puree

 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.


Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop works very well.
Save the seeds for roasting!!! 
They’re easy to roast..Wipe them off with a paper towel then place in a single layer on a cookie sheet..Roasting them for a short time like 15 min. at 160 degrees would be better  because, it helps to preserve their healthy oils. That 's how my dad used to do it...delicious, healthy and fun.

Cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces and peel. Add to the boiling water and cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the flesh is tender. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor or blender.
If you have more puree than necessary, freeze the rest of it for future use.
Hmmmm... now my home smells pumpkin :D
Ready to use for pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, waffles, pudding, pumpkin soup which I love it :)and more...



Here is the pumpkin bread recipe I shared earlier.

Happy Autumn
 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Laziest Mackerel Recipe :) YUM!

Simple Baked Mackerel

Season the fish basic salt and peper, pour lemon juice all over it and place a bit of butter on each mackerel. (Or just drizzle with olive oil). This is the laziest way ever and this recipe is what I use most often when cooking fish. ...
It basically cooks itself..A huge bonus!!
We can eat fish more often if cooking it simple:)


Tiny hard bones that make eating them difficult. Aria doesn't like these kind of fishes ..Neither do I.
After cooked I just pulled them right out and served with lemon slices and parsley..
Mmmmmmm..Fall is the best season for some fish!
I love fish! Almost any kind including this :)And I love watch the ocean/sea..The next post would be about a gift for me from my sister. She is a talented artist! Love her, love my family!
Thanks all of you guys for visiting my blog and your kindly comments!
.
      .

Hmmm...I smell pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger..Now it's time to make my home smell like fall!!
Yes, finally I'm in the mood for autumn:) Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

He's 6th grade!

My one and only son, Aria.
He's 6th grade this year!!!
First day of school.
 
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Sunday Brunch; Poached eggs with potato&cheese...happiness :)


It was last Sunday's brunch made all of us happy..
A perfectly cooked poached egg is
one of the most wonderful things in the whole world!

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2 potatoes(cubed)
6 eggs
Shredded mozarella, feta cheese
salt, pepper


After peel, wash and cube 2 potatoes, boil them in a pan.
(Not too much water or you can use can cubed potatoes)
Crack the eggs(6 eggs) on potato cubes and cook until the whites are cooked well.
Turn the heat off and sprinkle with shreaded mozerella and
 greated feta cheese(optional-i love it) on top.

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Schools are opening here on Monday
We're done clothes shopping!
I believe we are in the mood!
We cleaned his room together, made some decoration changes,
packed some stuff to give away,
 it also frees up space for new books for a new school year:)
 
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A shore walk was so relaxing
after having some chocolate cake at our favorite shore cafe..
                        But...still we don't wanna say good bye to the summer..
Still hot here!
See ya!

Monday, September 2, 2013

5 healthy foods for good mood!

 What do you eat as a snack?
Instead of having any kind of snacks, switch to a healthy snack/snacks. 
For instance; Just bring a bag of walnuts to work..
Keep them on the counter in kitchen at home
Whenever you need a snack during the day, grab some walnuts!
 
 
 The best plant sources of protein! Walnuts are delicious!!
 Also good for your heart and your skin!
  
 
 Dark chocolate makes you feel more calm.
Enjoy dark chocolate for its taste and its antioxidants
 
 
 Another food to boost your mood; Salmon!
 High concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, the heart-healthy fats that aid mood!
 Salmon is our the most favorite seafood. Aria loves- loves it! Oh, me too!!!
 
 
 
 
One thing I learned from yoga is 'a healthy tummy is a sign of a healthy body'.
An apple a day helps to digestion. Also puts you in a good mood. Eat an apple, feel better :D
  
 
I believe the last food is a favorite of so many of you guys! Coffee doesn't just keep you aweke.
Also improves both mood and brain function.
 
I'm having a cup of hazelnut flavored coffee right now at work with a handful of walnuts. Hmmmmm..good!
 
It helps A LOT to improve The Monday Morning Mood for sure :)
 
Haaaappy Monday!
 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stuffed Mussels/Recipe

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  • 20 mussels (steamed)
    • 1/2 cup rice
    • boiling water
    • 3 tbsp oil
    • 1 tbsp tomato pure
    • 2 teaspoons thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    • 1  onion, finely diced
    • 1 garlic glove(crushed)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Pepper to taste
    • (You also might add pinenuts-optional)
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    Saute the pinenuts(if you have some)onion, garlic over medium-low heat for  10 minutes in a sauce pan. Stir in the rice, tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt.  Add the lemon rind. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the rice. Stir, then cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the thyme and set aside to cool slightly.

    Ingredients for steamed mussels;
    1 tablespoons olive oil
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup water
    2 cloves garlic(minced)
    20 mussels (scrubbed, beards removed)

    Place the olive oil, lemon juice, water and garlic in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the mussels  and cook(covered), shake the pot occasionally, until all the mussels open, (4-5 minutes) While remove all the mussels, let any liquid in the shells drip back into the pot.

    Time to stuff our mussels!!! Woohoo! It is fun:D

    Spoon a generous amount of the rice mixture into each mussel and squeeze the shells shut. Then wipe away any excess. 

    Where is the pan? Oh, here it is!

    Add the mussels to the pan, and  cover it! Bring to the boil then lower the heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let them cool in the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour before to serve and serve  mussels chilled or at room temperature. 
    Garnish with the parsley, lemon cuts. Mmmm..I will serve them with toasted bread and green salad.

    Are you a slow eater?
     If you're looking to lose weight, eating slowly should be a part of your new life style. It's hard to enjoy your food if it goes by too quikly.

    Sometimes you just gotta eat different! Powerful!

    Have a delicious weekend everyone!

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Friends forever!

    These two fun guys are very good friends..
    Since 3rd grade  E.W Bower Elementary School.
    @Lindenhurst, NY 
     
    This Picture was taken 2 years ago.
     
     photo e04bda06-a54e-4750-bae5-25b20b109681_zps7239906e.jpg
     
    They get together in summer times and
    enjoy their sleepovers staying awake until 3-4 am:)
    Then next morning waking up like 7 is not easy though!
     
    Last night, they set the alarm on their smartphone.
    But it only woke ME up ,not them !
    Maybe they need a more smarter phone to wake up the right ones:)
    They didn't even hear it!
    Oh, why did they set up the wake up alarm that early?
    Spending more time together this summer and
     to play Minecraft- longer- of course :)

     photo 48aee8e5-5d72-4690-8568-ef13451ce863_zpse6faac64.jpg
    Boys love games!
    Hey, you two! Minecraft addicts!
    I love you both!

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    To Be Continued Next Summer

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    Some pics from the weekend!

    After work, like 10 pm is a great time for a walk here. Because there are actually 100+ degree days in July-August. Aria and me took a shore walk together and enjoyed our night walk on Saturday :)

     
     
    I love watching him skateboarding! He was calling my name Yon-ka,- Yon-ka as you guys pronounce it. My name is pronounced  Yon-JA. But I got used to hearing my name with a K
    for years in New York. So, sounds like a second name to me:) 

     
    Next morning(Sunday) I realized there were 2 horses staring at me in our front yard.
    I'm surprised, shocked! The shock changed to amazement and I ran inside,  and got my son out of bed because he loves horses. I knew he would be thrilled by this visit. Aria took that pic of them...
    After the move unpacking and organizing new home took half a summer.
    But summer ain't over yet, right?
    Still August :D
    Thanks for your visit! Love y'all!

    Saturday, July 20, 2013

    An ordinary day..

    Sometimes you just enjoy the moment..like,

     photo d96bf7e4-6406-4856-a659-d899050de5ee_zps4e9f1ea1.jpg
     
    .. watching him sleeping before you go to work..
     
     photo 0b3f44a7-9d98-4bd8-b60c-d5e57df0e421_zps750ba708.jpg
     
     or taking a walk after work..
     
     photo 59074479-eb61-4b68-8188-217c1ff44aaf_zps1bb2b70c.jpg
    and sometimes just being in the kitchen and making a colorful salad :)
     
     photo c36351c8-6472-430d-93e3-388942da8843_zps616efa18.jpg
     
    ..to treat your loved ones with the food they love..
     
     photo 96fd07f6-ad7e-4cec-9aa3-e7c97a36def6_zps0876aaa4-1.jpg
     
    or maybe one piece of chocolate cake can make you happy!
    Life is colorful!
     
     
    Happy weekend!

    Friday, July 5, 2013

    Recipes!!!


    Let's have  some fun in the kitchen! Ready???
    You choose any of these recipes and I'll help you!
    Chat me, email me, message me, text me, call me..anything :D

      photo 1cb5efd4-8fa3-4bd6-93b0-d6096aeb32d3_zps139c0820.jpg
     
    Everybody loves zucchini except Aria!
     
    Zucchini with mint and tomato sauce
    A good recipe for zucchini with simple on-hand ingredients.
     
    5 zucchini (cut into half moon)
    1 onion, chopped
    4 gloves garlic, minced
    4 tbs olive oil
    1 tsp dry mint,
     like more mint?..me too!! Let's add one more :D
    salt , pepper
    1 cup chicken broth
    2 tomatoes
    or 
     1/3 cup crushed tomato/canned
    or
    if you have homemade tomato sauce I gave
    the recipe earlier you might want to use it now.
    I'd like to get more zucchini taste instead tomato,
    so, I didn't use more sauce or tomato though.
    But if you like it in more tomato, just scoop more sauce, less chicken broth in it!
     
     
    Saute onion and garlic.
    Add tomatoes (if you use raw tomatoes,
     cook for a few minutes stiring)
    Add half moon sliced zucchinis to the pot..
    ..salt n pepper and finally dry mint!
     
    Zucchini and Bulgur Pilaf
    Some leftover zuccini and bulgur was my last night dinner.
     
     photo b84fe874-d690-4c8e-9a42-849093e85f11_zps102e4849.jpg
     
    I tried bulgur pilaf with sauteed egglant, served with spicy chicken wings
    and arugula salad.
      Hmm...We liked it!
     photo e5c0ad85-ebcc-46c3-91a2-7c1c1b517151_zpsc5264ff2.jpg  photo 6e7b7927-b42b-43ac-aaa6-ee5af5a3147c_zps15c6705b.jpg
     Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf

    1 big onion(crushed)
    2 eggplants(cubed)
    (OK..I have to note this..if you would use Italian eggplant
     which is equals to 2 eggplants in Turkey, So,
    only one would be good enough.(cubed)
    1 cup bulgur(washed in cold water)
    2 tomatoes(peeled and diced)
    1/2 tbs paste(add to the tomatoes)
    2 green peppers(sliced)
    1 glove minced garlic
    3 tbs oil
    2 cups hot water,salt, pepper

    How to make Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf ?

    Saute onion, green pepper a few minutes in olive oil and
    add eggplant cubes, garlic.
    Cook the eggplant in oil, stirring occasionally,
     untill the eggplant is fork-tender,
    about four-five minutes.
    You combined the diced tomateos and the tomato paste, right?
    Cook a few minutes more..until tomatoes soft.

    Ok, well it's time to add bulgur and boiled water.
    Don't forget to salt n pepper!!
    That's all! You made a yummy pilaf :)
    Cook until the water is absorbed.
     Remove from heat and let stand, covered,
     until bulgur is softened, about 25 minutes

    Chicken Wings!
     
    Sprinkled with spicy chicken mix and grilled!
     We started to like wings, lately. :)

     photo 731916fc-2e50-4b29-b8cb-e8a66314a952_zps34fc77ad.jpg
     
    Hmm...yummy Arugula Salad with grated tomato sauce.
    I use cherry tomatoes for this salad but i tried a different way
     to add tomato taste to the salad
    and added grated tomato to the sauce. 
    Taste was good!
     
    Arugula Salad
     1 tomato
     2 garlic cloves pressed
     1 tbs vinegar
    2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, salt

     photo 24c3a2fe-2243-4b8a-bc42-e5edaac0d620_zpsba64444c.jpg

    It has been a while I haven't made Dolma;
    (Ground beef stuffed cubanelle pepper)
    Served with spaghetti and famous Turkish Yogurt Cucumber Salad,
    CACIK!

    Especially ideal for summer time!
     
     
    CACIK

    Ingredients
    3 cups plain yoğurt
    1/4 cup water
    2 gloves garlic(minced)
    3 cucumbers(diced)
    1tbs olive oil
    1 tsp vinegar
    salt and dry mint

    Beat yoğurt; mix with garlic, salt and water.
    Pour the yoğurt mixture over cucumbers.
    You might prefer peel cucumbers but I don't..
    I like more color in salad :)
    Drizlle vinegar and olive oil.
    Garnish with mint.
    Serve cold in bowls!

    And final recipe for this week;
    Dolma!

     photo 33a61ecc-f144-47bf-b54f-9b34a0298da0_zpsa38354db.jpg
    Dolma/ recipe

    Dolma means to stuff,..We all love it. Many versions of Dolmas...
    from stuffed vine leaves, zucchini, eggplant and more more....
    Stuffed wine leaves are very common.

    Ground beef/rice stuffed cubanelle.
    Pictured just after placed into pot before cook it!
     Colorful bell peppers are also pereferable.
    Mmmm..beautiful color combinition on the plate!!!

    Stuffing İngredients

    11 adet cubanelles(I have small ones.
    So, you might need to use less pepers for this stuffing)
    1 pound ground beef;
    2 chopped onion
     1/4 cup uncooked white rice
     2 gloves minced garlic
    One handful of parsley, chopped
    1 tsp tomato paste
    1/4 cup crushed tomato
    salt n pepper
    ---
    rest of the ingredients
    1/2 cup crushed tomatoes,
    1 teaspoon butter
    2 tbsp olive oil
    hot water, salt

    Cut of the tops off the peppers and
    clean out the seeds inside. Now, the peppers are ready!

    Mix all the ingredients and stuff the peppers with a teaspoon.
     The rice will need some room to expand during cooking.
    So, don't over do it.

    Place the pepers into pot..I have already have hot water in the kettle:)
    Fill the pot half way up with hot water.
    Pour the hot water and rest of the ingredients all over the peppers
    and cook them until rice is soft.

    Smells like heaven!!!
     
     Have a tasteful weekend !

    Saturday, June 29, 2013

    Football ice-cream cake for his 11th birthday!

     
    My summer boy asked for a football ice-cream cake for his birthday and mama did it:)
       
     
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    Happy 11th birthday!

     photo b8548737-8059-4bad-910b-a1f057f90468_zps755c2bf5.jpg
     
    • 25 chocolate'n cream sandwich cookies, any kind you'd like (crushed)
    • ½ c melted butter
    • Chocolate syrup
    • ½ gallon chocolate ice cream, slightly softened.
    •  
    Mix melted butter&cookies. Place it on a nylon food bag and rolled by hand into a football-ish shape. Drizzle chocolate syrup all over it, then smooth softened ice cream over the football.
    Freeze at least 2 hours.
    The chocolate ice cream it already looked pretty football-like :) Decorate with food coloring.
    Keep frozen until 10-15 minutes before serving.

    Perfect for a hot summer's day spent at the pool=)
     
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    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Which eggs are old, and which ones are safe to use?


    I confused last Sunday about eggs in the fridge since working long hours again and not good enough time to spend in the kitchen. They were out of the boxes and I had no idea which one is old, bought earlier, fresh enough for breakfast or not.
    The best way is keeping them in their original box in the fridge then see the expire date..
    Anyway,here is one easy way of aging eggs I want to share with you guys.

    Fill up the glass with cold water and put eggs in it. As eggs age, they lose some of their moisture and  begin to float in water.


    1- Really fresh egg  - Lies on the bottom the glass, flat.
    2-At least one week- One end bobs up a bit, it is older, but still good. You might use them baking,   also ideal for hard boiling. Because fresh eggs are impossible to peel.
    3-At least 3 weeks-  Top end touches to buttom first but won't sit on the bottom. It is getting old.       I personaly don't use floating eggs - No matter float low or high!
    4-A floating egg is a bad egg. Don't use it!

     photo 06dd73a7-acff-4dfd-8c8e-209173a2136a_zps4df17e5c.jpg
    The picture doesn't belong to me. (Kadınlar Sitesi/Women's Website)
     
    Aria wanted an soft boiled egg instead scramled last Sunday and this knowladge from the site was so helpful! I used the older ones for a chocolate cake and decorated left over cookie crumbs:) 
    I seperated  the eggs and had 2 eggs floating. I don't like wasting food though:(
     
    Do you know any other way of aging eggs?
     
    Upcoming recipies. Bell pepers filled with rice, cucumber&yogurt salad, another eggplant recipe(since I learned eggplant helps prevent colon and stomach cancer cooking it often) and more...
    Spending time in the kitchen relaxes me..
     

    Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Welcome Summer!


     If you are planning to shop online for an address plague, before decide to buy,
     I have some suggestions for you guys!
     
    The Rose Oval address plaque is handcrafted from rust-free recycled aluminum
    with one line of text. Mounting hardware is included - 2 brass screwswith
    one line of text.

    It matches well with the siding color, İsn't it :) 
    OR
     
    You might prefer a solar-powered lamp address plaque and make it more visible,
    even in the middle of the night.
    No wiring is needed, and the light automatically
    turns on at dusk and off at dawn.
    Solar cell charges the batteries
    for uniform lighting –
     
    What else can you find at Mailbox And Beyond?
     
    Mail Slots; solid brass and handcrafted with the word
    "MAIL" cast into the flap.


    The Butterfly Hanging Birdbath is also pretty! Address signshouse signs,...
    Also some romance?
    Tea lanterns, twilight lanterns to make your patio come alive with glowing candlelight.
     
    Welcome summer!

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    My sweetie's newest pic!



    Hey guys! Would you please vote for Aria?
    Just click the 5th star on the right top! That's all! Thank y'all!
     
    If you want to leave a comment no matter English or Turkish, much appreciated :)
    (Name&last name, your email and your comment to Aria-appears as 'konu'.
     Then hit 'gönder'button/send)
     
    Here is the link;
     
    Have a great week!
     

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    April, 2013

    I 'm an april girl! (My birthday is April 6)
    I started to this month with a new hair cut. What do you think about it?

    This year I redecorated the Christmas tree, put some spring decorations on it instead removing it.

     Butterflies  :)










     
                                                    The new decorative clock I bought :)

                                               Just a few new things bring big smiles :) 


    Happy April Everyone!

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