I haven’t been around here for quite a long time.. I wasn’t that busy to write anything, though. I just couldn’t decide about the blog’s future. As I wrote before, I was thinking about opening a Turkish food blog with an emphasis on healthy eating, but couldn’t find a proper name for the blog (or couldn’t find any empty domains for candidate names). Then, after waiting endlessly for an idea to pop into my mind in bathroom or before I sleep (where creative ideas usually come to me) I decided to stop trying to be always creative and perfect, and just open the Turkish blog under kitchenimpromptu domain. So, for Turkish readers, my new blog is tr.kitchenimpromptu.com, until I find a better name.
Other than my new blog, a lot of things and a lot of cooking happened in the last couple of weeks. My cousin got engaged, and most of the food served was homemade by us! My contributions were: hummus, spinach strawberry salad, sweet and salty avocado dressing from Choosing Raw (killer!), strawberry lemonade soda adapted from here (also killer!), chocolate barks, homemade bounties, chocolate covered peanut butter and chocolate covered fudge babies. And a cute cheese plate!
Closeup on table:
Hummus (recipe will come- I promise!):
Spinach strawberry salad was so easy to make; I blended some chopped spinach with chopped strawberries and walnuts, and sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese. For balsamic vinaigrette, I blended 3 parts of olive oil with one 1 part balsamic vinegar, and drizzled over the salad. DELICIOUS:
Sweet and salty avocado dressing:
Strawberry lemonade soda raised some different comments. Some said it was good, and some said I should have used less mineral water. But I do agree that it cannot be called “lemonade”, as in Martha’s recipe, because it was more like a soda with an emphasis on strawberries. I liked the taste, though I’m planning to make a honey sweetened version. And I think the others liked it as well, because there wasn’t any left at the end of the day!:
Wait, there’s more!
Like my cute little cheese plate:
And the dessert table (Notice the baklavas?):
Chocolate barks were a big hit! And they were so easy to make. First, I melted some milk chocolate. Then I spread it onto a tray with parchment paper. After that, I topped the chocolate with chopped hazelnuts, raisins and orange zest. Orange zest is the key to great smelling chocolate barks! Then I chilled the chocolate for 5 minutes in the freezer. Finally, I put a second layer of melted chocolate and chilled for 10 minutes. When the chocolate is completely solidified, I broke them into pieces, and voila! I also made another variation with dark chocolate, pistachios and raisins.
Homemade bounties (recipe coming soon!), chocolate covered peanut butter and chocolate covered fudge babies:
Oh, we ate so much that day. So much that I wasn’t that hungry even the day after!
I also experimented with a lot of recipes. For example, I made Smitten Kitchen’s Light Brioche Burger Buns with some changes. I used honey instead of sugar, reduced the amount of butter and used whole-wheat flour; and I was very pleased! I even made kidney bean burgers with them, but the burgers looked more like bean paste (I should have used an egg and more flour to bind the burgers). And when I decided to make some burger buns for my cousin’s engagement and doubled the recipe, it didn’t work! I must have missed something, but I’ll definitely try again.
I also made Gena’s macaroons, and they were fantastic, but somehow since I used my oven instead of a dehydrator like Gena does, their shapes were not good enough to put in an engagement menu. But I’ll work on that too, because they were so easy to make, so delicious and healthy! And do you know that I made my own shredded coconuts for that recipe? Yay! I don’t know what took me so long to make them, I guess I was skeptical about breaking and shredding coconuts. But if you have a hammer, it’s easy to break the coconut, and I used food processor instead of shredding the coconuts, which made no difference. Then, all you have to do is roasting them in the oven. I strongly recommend making your own shredded coconut, it’s much much better than the things we buy from store.
I hope to write more often. We’ll see..