Review: “Gennaro: Let’s Cook Italian: Favourite Family Recipes” by Gennaro Contaldo

Bildschirmfoto 2014-05-26 um 10.23.50“Gennaro: Let’s Cook Italian: Favourite Family Recipes” by Gennaro Contaldo, published by Pavilion Books, August 2012.

Five stars: Gorgeous authentic Italian family recipes to cook together and enjoy with friends and family. Beautifully illustrated with photos full of life and love including the invitation to cook and enjoy together. A must-have for all Italian food lovers.

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Rhubarb Cheesecake with Crumble

I got some rhubarb at the farmers market and was searching the internet for new recipes and there I found this lovely cake repice on the blog of Petra  (Chili und Ciabatta). When I saw it, the decision was made, this was it, this had to be it. Just incredibly delicious! Yumm! :) Rhabarber-Käsekuchen

Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!

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Posted in Pastries, Sweets, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

Aubergine-Fan – Şakşuka

AuberginenfächerThe last time at the Turkish market I got lovely small aubergines. I sliced and fried them until tender and golden. Then I arranged the slices like a fan and spread each slice with tomato sauce. They look gorgeous, don’t they :) Easy and delicious! Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!

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Posted in Dairy free, Gluten free, Mediterranean, Turkish Food, Vegan, Vegetarian | 8 Comments

Soup with Okra – Bamya Çorbası

Blog-Event XCVIII - Schatzsuche im Vorratsschrank (Einsendeschluss 15. Mai 2014)My friend Susanne of “Magentrazerl” is looking for Treasures in the pantry“.Bamya1

So I had to check, what is left there after this incredibly long winter :) And I found dried okra from Turkey.

As you may have already noticed, we dry vegetables in Turkey for the long Winter. In the area of Konya, where I come from, okras are very popular. My aunts grow okras in their garden. In summer we sit together and draw the small okra pods on threads to dry. They are especially popular for soups. The big okras are dried for stews in winter. During the summer we enjoy this wonderful vegetable fresh. So you can prepare this soup also with fresh okra. Then the pre-cooking of the okra is omitted.


The important thing about okra is that you cook the okra either with lemon juice adding water or only with tomatoes without the addition of liquid. You can buy okra in Indian or Turkish markets.


Thus I cooked the dried okra with lemon wedges in water until almost tender. Then I took the okra of the threads. I prepared the soup in a pot and stirred in the pre-cooked okra and lemon juice and continued cooking a few more minutes. We serve the soup with lemon wedges. Refreshing and delicious! Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun !

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Posted in Dairy free, Glutenfree, Turkish Food | 6 Comments


This week I have a special guest: a cookbook called “Seelenwärmer”. What a fabulous idea of  Melanie from “touche-a-tout” to send a book on a trip and collect the experiences of the readers.

Over the weekend we enjoyed “Turkish lamb cutlets with apricot mustard”. I had to try this recipe.

For the apricot mustard I used dried fruits and realised that 100 g of dried fruits is enough for the recipe for four. The mustard is delicious and goes also very well with chicken :)


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Aubergine-Rice with Pine Nuts and Cinnamon – Patlıcanlı, Çam Fıstıklı ve Tarçınlı Pilav

This month “Tomateninsel” is stopping for a vegetarian break in Turkey.
Vegetarische Weltreise - Türkei

Thus this May is my month to show you all a few Turkish recipes :) And of course, I am starting this trip with aubergines :)


Turkey is one of the five top producers of aubergines in the world. And crazy Turkish ladies like myself can’t resist aubergines on farmers market. The bigest problem on the farmers market is to decide which aubergines I want to purchase: the longish dark ones for fried aubergines for brunch, or the violett beauties for aubergine-boats or the small roundish ones to fill and top with a natural cap??? It is so hard to decide on the spot, I should take a few from each type, the week can be long :) :)

Auberginenpilav1Auberginenpilav2Auberginenpilav4Today I want to show you one of my favourite aubergine-rice recipes. For this recipe it doesn’t matter which type of aubergines you use, they are all fine :)

I dice onions, mild peperoni, tomato, wash the rice and let the currants soak in water. Then I start cooking. First I fry the pinenuts in olive oil until golden, then I saute the onions and peperoni. What’s left, yes tomatoes, rice, spices and herbs and pour in the water, season with salt and pepper and let the rice simmer. Meanwhile I prepare the aubergines and fry them in a separate pan. I chop the fresh herbs and set all aside. Just before serving I toss the aubergines and herbs gently together with the rice and serve. Ready!

“Pilav” are very popular in Turkey. There are many varieties even for aubergine pilavs. I like the combination with nuts, fruits, spices and herbs. Simply delicious! Have fun and enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!

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Posted in Almost forgotten ..., Dairy free, Gluten free, Mediterranean, Turkish Food, Vegan, Vegetarian | 8 Comments

Review: “Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” by Alison Oakervee, Kyle Books

Bildschirmfoto 2014-05-05 um 13.04.08“Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” by Alison Oakervee, published 2013 by Kyle Books

***** Five Stars from me for this inspiring book: I loved this book before I cooked any of the delicious food. The stunning photos of the countries and dishes bewitched me and I lost myself in the stories of the women all over the world telling their stories and the achievements of “Women for Women International”. Thank you Kyle Books for publishing it.

This very special cookbook is edited by Alison Oakerwee and foreworded by Meryl Streep. The stunning food-photos are from Philip Webb.

The book is also illustrated with beautiful photos from countrysides, landscapes and people from different countries. The photos are so lifely and clear, just beautiful. Thank you for the team of photographers for these magnificent photos.

There is a short introduction to the work of “Women for Women International” after the foreword. “Women for Women International” was founded by Zainab Salbi in 1993 to support women in war and crisis-stricken countries, to allow them adequate access to information and resources, and support them to provide for themselves and their families (

This cookbook is divided into four big chapters:

Enjoy – daily recipes from Afghanistan and Sudan with contributions from Alice Waters, Paul McCartney and Annie Lennox;

Promote – family recipes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Congo with contributions from Sir Richard Branson, Mia Farrow and Emma Thompson;

Share – recipes to share the products of “WfWI- farms” in Rwanda, Nigeria and Kosovo with contributions from Rene Redzepi, Stephanie Alexander and Ashley Judd;

Celebrate – recipes for peace on our tables for more humanity with contributions from Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The recipes are partially from the women living in the war-torn countries in which WfWI operate. Each chapter begins with an information about the country and moving stories from the women whose lives have been changed through the intervention of WfWI.

Other recipes come from international chefs such as Alice Waters, Maggie Beer and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, and humanitarians such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and many celebrities such as Emma Thompson, Richard Branson, Paul McCartney, Mia Farrow, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Peter Gabriel, Judi Dench and many many more. All of them delivering their favourite recipes for a very special cookbook.

All of the recipes are easy to follow and range from traditional Afghani bichak pastries, over light vegetable salads, lovely soups, Baseema biscuits from Sudan, Congolese sticky doughnuts, green Thai curry, pizza, pasta, blueberry pan cakes, baklava, risotto with spinach and fennel, Qeema o titan from Iraq, aubergine curry, tandoori chicken, spicy cashew and tomato soup, beef rendang and orange-scented almond cake and many more up to 114 recipes as different as the contributors.

It is reassuring to read that celebrities also do love “Spaghetti Bolognese oder Penne with pesto or just Pizza with tomatoes and mozzarella”. You will find very simple and easy comfort food recipes as well as very exotic and unknown recipes from different countries in this book. It feels as if the whole world came closer together and all sit around a huge table to dine together with their favourite dishes. Just pick one and enjoy it.

All the royalties from this book “Share” will support WfWI’s farming and food training initiatives, as well as provide micro-financing in the eight countries in which WfWI operate – Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. This is reason enough to buy it. A wonderful book for all women and men of this world.

I also tried a few recipes and selected three of them to serve you:

: Share1

The first recipe is from Meryl Streep: “Barley Salad with Feta Cheese and Pomegranate”. It is a delicious salad, we loved it and couldn’t stop spooning. Delicious!




The second recipe is from Ann Firth Murray: Squares with Oats, Fruits and Nuts. Gorgeous! I couldn’t wait until they cooled down a little and started nibbling, that’s why they look little crumbly.



And of course, I had to try a recipe from Judi Dench. I remembered a friend in India who was telling us about “bread and butter pudding” of his grandma and I think this recipe is as perfect as hers. I used dried apricots instead of raisins. For the first time in my life I made a butterscotch sauce, yummy!

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Summary of Blog Event: “Grains&Pulses”


Conclusion: Lentils are the favoured pulses! They are easy to combine, easy to cook, simple and yet so versatile and delicious!

HumusWe started with my favourite„Humus“, because I love chickpeas and serve “Humus” as Meze for every occasion as a starter or a side dish.



Bildschirmfoto 2013-12-07 um 10.46.41The first contribution came from Petra. Thank you!
„Lentil Soup with Beet Root“ from Petra „Chili und Ciabatta“. She used the beet roots from her own garden for this savoury delicious soup.


Linsensuppe1Lentil are easy to combine for a quick soup or stew. Therefore er had a warming „Lentil-Potato-Soup“.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVegetarians will love this„Lentil and Almond Spread“.




Bildschirmfoto 2013-12-10 um 15.32.25

„Soup with black eye beans“ from  Nesrin of „Nesrins Küche“, who contributed this recipe remembering her childhood days.



Bildschirmfoto 2013-12-12 um 09.25.09„Couscous India“ from „InRiosKueche“, who loves to combine  Couscous and Naan instead of rice with her Indian creations.



Knoblauchsuppe-magentratzerlGarlic Soup“ from Magentratzerl. Susanne served us her favourite soup from the cookbook „I love New York“.



Linsen-Couscous-Bratlinge„Lentil-Couscous Patties with Garlic-Yoghurt Dip“ came from Petra of „Verbotengut“ . Easy, quick and delicious.



Kochpoetin1-Hülsenfrüchteevent„Ravioli with lentil-filling, baked tomatoes and crispy bacon“ prepared  Kochpoetin for us and used her new ravioli formers. Thank you!



Hirse-KichererbsensuppeOn an cold Winter evening we had a lovely creamy and warming „Millet-Lentil-Soup“.



Katha-kocht7„Puy-Lentil-Soup with Carrots and Orangejuice“ from „Katha Kocht“: A delicious creamy soup with red bell pepper for the colour and seasoned with  sumach, orange juice, sherry and vinegar.


Antje-Radcke-Hülsenfrüchte3„Kale-Barley Stew with  Cashew-Ginger-Cream“ from Antje of „“: A beautiful Winter combination of Winter vegetables and grains and a lovely article about names, expressions and term in different languages.


Ninive-Hülsenfrüchte1„Lentil Dish“ from Ninive of „ninivepisces“ has her origins in the 1980ies and I am sure the dish will develop further in future.



Bildschirmfoto 2014-03-10 um 16.37.49„Couscous Falafel in Flat Bread“ from Kerstin of „Verbotengut“ who loves to create oriantal dishes and prepares even the flat bread herself.



Ispanakli-NohutAfter lentils, barley and couscous it was again time for my favourite chickpeas: „Chickpeas with Spinach“.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn a lovely sunny day in Winter we enjoyed Spring feelings and a fresh salad with broad beans: “Salad with Broad Beans-Piyaz“.



Eristeli-Mercimek-CorbasiWhen it is grey and rainy outside, then I take refuge in my kitchen and prepare a warming dish. This time I cooked an Anatolian lentil soup with Turkish noodles: „Lentil and Turkish Noodles“.



Magentratzerl2„Savoury Soup with Freekeh and Meatballs“ came from Susanne of „Magentratzerl“.



Erbsenfalafel-Verbotengut„Falafel with Peas in Pitta Bread“ prepared Kerstin of „Verbotengut“ for us. Who thought that falafel is only made with chickpeas will convinced of the contrary.



Mercimekli-Kisir2In early Spring I had to make some tabouleh with lentils and enjoy them with crispy romada lettuce leafs and tea on our terrace: „Lentil-Bulgur-Tabouleh“.



Manti6And last but not least our favourite Turkish ravioli with lentil and chickpea filling in yoghurt and aromatised butter sauce: „Manti with Chickpea-Lentil-Filling“.



You will find all recipe also on our page: “Grains&Pulses“. Afiyet olsun and have fun trying out all the delicious dishes!

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Turkish Ravioli with Chickpeas and Lentils – Nohutlu ve mercimekli mantı

Todays recipe is for Eva. Sorry it took me so long to post! It is my last recipe for our “Grains&Pulses” blog event. After Easter I will post the summary.
Blogevent-Grains-Pulses “Mantı” are Turkish Ravioli, the only difference may be the size, the Turkish Ravioli are smaller then their siblings.

The reason might be their origin in southern Europe or the rough climate in Anatolia or maybe the ladies there have more time and do love handycrafts. The tiny “Mantı” do look gorgeous.
We do love our “Mantı” with a yoghurt and mint topping.


The filling varies. The classic recipe is with mince-meat-filling. There are also herb fillings and a dozen combinations of fillings with “grains and pulses”. I am sharing with you today a filling with chickpeas and lentils. The chickpeas are so mild and creamy, the green lentils and herbs and spices add more flavour.

The tiny Turkish way of forming the ravioli takes a little time to prepare. But you are free to use the ravioli molds.

I like to use the small rectangular forms for a quick dinner preparation.

Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!
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Posted in Turkish Food, Vegetarian | 6 Comments

Greek Easter Preparations

This year the Orthodox and all other Christians celebrate Easter at the same time. My neighbour is so happy about this. Last year their Easter was weeks later, and she missed the special Easter feeling. And this year she could show me her special recipe for this gorgeous pastry. She reminds me of my relatives, she loves to cook and bake and calls me anytime she wants me to learn something new from her culture.


She is alone with her husband but she bakes for a whole football team. When I arrived in her kitchen early in the morning the yeast with water and little flour was resting already for an hour. We prepared the dough and she put a lid on the bowl and covered the dough like a baby into blankets :) like I do with my yoghurt :)


After hours we had this gorgeous and delicious pastry. I was aloud to have a piece of it, she has to wait until Sunday.

Happy Easter to You All! Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!

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