My new hobby!! Anyone for Crochet?

crochet

 

My new hobby – apart from cooking of course!! Anyone else into crochet?? 

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Home-made Banana Cake – using free range duck eggs

banana cake

 

 

After noticing that 2 banana’s beginning to go dark in colour, I decided to try out banana cake for the first time! And having fresh free range duck eggs in my fridge, I decided to use them – my parents have a poultry farm with chickens and ducks!

Outcome: a very light and fluffy texture, and my new cake addiction! There’s 2 more ripe banana’s in the fruit bowl that has made me tempted to make more banana cake!!

 

 

Prep: 10minutes

Cooking time: 35minutes

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 125g butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas, mash
  • 190g self raising flour
  • 60ml milk

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius
  2. Prepare your ingredients by mashing your banana’s in a separate bowl and beating your egg in another separate bowl.
  3. Melt your butter over medium heat
  4. Once melted, add in your sugar and mix well
  5. Remove from heat and add in your mash banana’s – I used an electric mixer from here on-wards, I find it helps create that light and fluffy texture!!
  6. Next add in your beaten egg and mix again.
  7. Then mix in the flour and milk until fully combined.
  8. Pour into a prepared tin – I didn’t have a baking tin so used my roasting tin – still came out lovely!
  9. Bake in hot oven fro 35 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

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Categories: Desserts, Top 5 favourite meals, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My go at Old El Paso – Vegetarian Enchiladas!!!

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With red kidney beans, courgettes, yellow bell peppers, red onions and mushrooms!!!

Categories: General, Mexican, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My attempt at a mini Turkish Breakfast – inspired from my trip in Cyprus!

After coming back from sunny Cyprus not only did I miss the lovely weather and beautiful surroundings, but the daily breakfast/brunch that we had each morning that was always served with soup first, then extras such as eggs, pasta, salads and of course, Turkish tea and home-made jams! (can view my travel log here!)

So I tried to re-create my own Turkish breakfast by making lentil soup (recipe link) and having my first go at Turkish tea!

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For my Turkish tea, as the soup was being made. I used the lower half of my Turkish tea set to boil up some water.

Once boiling, you then add the water to the little pot on top and place them together so the heat from the bottom pot heats up the smaller one – if that makes sense.

For my tea infusion, I used 1 teabag of Yorkshire tea, 1 teabag of Oolong, 1 small cinnamon stick and 2-3 cardamons. And for my first go, it came out rather nice! The cinnamon overpowered the tea a little so next time I will use much less cinnamon.

 

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my Turkish tea

For the rest of the breakfast I set the table with a quick salad, olives, some jams (no I didn’t make them but hoping to in the future!) and some bread that was toasted in the oven and some bread also cut into pieces and made into croutons for the soup – Cyprus style!

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My Turkish breakfast!

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Categories: *My Travel Food Diary in Cyprus!*, Breakfast, My own mix, Northern Cyprus, Passed down through family, Soups, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW RECIPE: Quick Thai Green Curry – TOP 5 FAVORITE RECIPE –

thai green curry1 text

Preparation time: 8minutes

Cooking time: 25-30minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 dash red chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp · thai fish sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 chicken pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place chopped spring onions, garlic, parsley, coriander, ginger, red chilli flakes and 2-3 tbsps. of water into a blender and blend until it turns into a paste.

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Next heat the oil into a large frying pan and cook your chicken pieces until evenly brown, then transfer onto separate plate. A

  • dd more oil if needed into the frying pan and fry the sliced bell pepper for 2-3 minutes.
  • After
  •  add your green paste you prepared at the start and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. R
  • eturn the chicken back into the frying pan with the paste and green peppers, then add in your coconut milk and
  • season with salt and pepper to taste and boil.

Once boiling reduce heat and cover, simmer for 8-10 minutes.

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Next remove the chicken from the mixture with the green peppers (you might want to sieve it) and place remaining mixture on boil for another 10 minutes until it becomes bit more thicker.

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  • eturn the chicken and bell pepper to the green curry sauce stirring well and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes till its warm through out.

 Serve with hot rice and enjoy! 

thai

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Day 9: Last day in Cyprus!{Travel Log – Food Diary} the rescue chickens story…

Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th January – Last few days in Lefke…

Our journey on the beautiful Island of Cyprus was approaching it’s end with just our last day left, we started to feel upset already with the thought of leaving the wonderful people that we had met in the sister’s guesthouse, the sister’s from Italy, Russia, Manchester, Serbia and Indonesia and the peaceful atmosphere, the 5 times a day prayer routines, the dhikr circles, the delicious food that was always so filled with blessings, our teacher sheikh Nazim and…on the last day we found out it was snowing heavily in the UK, so another thing to miss was the beautiful sunshine in Cyprus as we were nearing our days the weather became more and more sunny reaching 20 degrees Celsius in January months. We knew it was going to be difficult to adjust to the climate back in the UK – and really it was!

So on our last day, aunty Samia made a very delicious breakfast with the usual home-made jams and molasses and fresh toasted bread, but this time with a big pot full of fresh free range eggs from the farm and tasty holloumi cheese!

Story of the rescue chickens

In Cyprus, our teacher Sheikh Nazim, found out that someone had a few hundred chickens that the owners didn’t want anymore. Because they were very skinny and hardly any meat, they were burying them alive under a large heap of soil. Once Sheikh Nazim found out about what they were doing, he took all their chickens off them and placed them onto his fields with the rest of his animals (goats, sheep…etc). Now they run around happily on the fields looking all healthy and chirping ecstatically  This story was told to us, while aunty Samia served us the breakfast made by eggs from those very chickens…

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And it was delicious!!! Blessings of the food at the guesthouse.

I would most likely be trying out this meal – recipe included 🙂

As a second surprise, was aunty Samia’s version of bread and butter pudding. Don’t let the image fool you, it was not burnt but tasted absolutely delicious! The bread was soaked in milk, eggs and sugar and topped with home-made jam and placed in the oven.

desssert

You can also make this topped with banana’s and apples also!

It was time to end our journey in Cyprus, with teary eyes and heavy hearts we departed from Larnaca Airport back to London Gatwick to meet with the snow that was waiting for us in the UK. Goodbye Cyprus, you will be missed, even though it was an amazing trip also being on my homeland as my parents are from Cyprus, discovering the foods from my heritage and the holy sites around the small Island, it was definitely a spiritual and awakening experience where I will be taking back with me the love and warmth of the sister’s guesthouse, the teachings of our teacher Sheikh Nazim with the blessings of food and how not to waste, how to be a good person – through your work, your heart and doings, Cyprus I will be back again, God Willing.

To all my fans, I hope you enjoyed this Travel Log – Food Diary as much as I have enjoyed my experience in Cyprus and hope that you all have also gained something from the travel log and also not to forget I will be trying out many of the meals that I had in Cyprus and sharing with you the recipes!

This was my first Travel Log – Food Diary but as the name suggests ( The Wandering Cook 786) we intend to travel more, so this is not my last Travel Log – Food Diary, more to come from TWC786!

Thank you for reading 🙂

xxx The Wandering Cook 786 xxx

Where else to find The Wandering Cook 786…

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Categories: Backpacking, Day 9 - Last day, Northern Cyprus, Top 5 favourite meals, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 7 & 8: in Cyprus! {Travel Log – Food Diary} IMAGE GALLERY Holy Sites around Cyprus


Thursday 17th & Friday 18th January – Cyprus – Image Gallery

For these days we did a trip around Northern Cyprus visiting holy sites, so this post is mainly pictures during our trip around Cyprus.


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Day 5 & 6: in Cyprus! {Travel Log – Food Diary} Butter beans dish, lamb kofte kebab and a mountain view over Lefke!

Tuesday 15th January – Sister’s Guesthouse, Lefke

breakfast1

Today’s breakfast comprised of a mixture of variations with a similar rainbow salad as yesterday but this time in 3 separate serving dishes, one for the parsley salad, another a red cabbage and beetroot and this time one comprises of small cauliflower with white cabbage, all soaked in generous amounts of vinegar, olive oil and sea salt.

breakfast2

The soup today was vegetable brother soup with pumpkins, fried onions and noodles!

I never ate pumpkin before, simple as we never cooked it. But having it in soup, was pleasantly surprising!

breakfast3

Next up, was a cheesy pasta bake topped off with grater holloumi (helim – in Turkish) cheese, served with a variation of all the different salads. A nice treat that reminded me of back home as I tend to bake this pasta dish a few times!

4pm – Restaurant, Lefke

This time after our aftrnoon walk, we decided to get something to eat! Searching round Lefke, there isn’t much of restaurants as it’s a small village but we came across one tucked away along a hill full of other shops and supermarkets – I had forgotten the name! It had 1 table outside and a couple more inside so you can imagine how small the restaurant/cafe was, but we did have 2 guests with us, a couple of cats decided to join us in our meal – oh yeah, forgetting to mention in Cyprus you do see a lot of cats around, I will be uploading a video soon of all the wonderful cats around Cyprus!

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Yummy Lamb kofte wrap!! Made freshly on a hot grill with fresh Cyprus salad.

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Wednesday 16th January  – Lefke

Today at the guesthouse as there was more and more people coming to stay, I could only get a quick capture of today’s breakfast as it was keeping warm on the stove.

breakfast1

Even though it was just the one photo for breakfast, this was the highlight of all the meals. I never tried this dish before and was really taken to it with its freshness and filling aspect, it gave me inspiration to do a meat-free month back in the UK with all the different variations of vegetarian meals and this one tops it off also!

This delicious meal was made by cooking butter beans until soft and drenching them with Cyprus olive oil, adding freshly cut parsley and finely chopped tomatoes on top with an extra drizzle of olive oil and seasoning. A simple dish but very appetizing!

breakfast2

(if not noticed yet, but at the guesthouse and dergah, you use the same plate that you had your soup in for the rest of all the meals – with the amount of guests they cater for and all for free, I don’t blame them for not supplying different plates for each meal, plus that’s extra washing then!)

2pm-4pm – mountain walk across Lefke

After breakfast and prayers, we decided to tackle the mountain climb and head up to the mountains where a little hut/dergah has been made with the perfect view over the sea and mountains of Cyprus.

trek1

I was just glad I had my Converse trainers to aid me in the walk up!

During our walk up, we had to cross over a river and walk on a bridge over the dam while enjoying beautiful views of Lefke’s coast. Here are some pictures of our trek up!

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local bee hives!!

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view of the sea while walking up

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nearly there!

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We had made it!!

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After arriving at the top and taking a break inside the beautiful wooden hut, I had to take a video before we leave to capture the beauty of the views! Sometimes photographs can’t depict how beautiful a view is without seeing it in real life, so hopefully this video helps in coming closer to showing the beautiful surroundings…

video

just click on the image above to view the video or simple copy and paste the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKXM5S5ahLs

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   Days 7 & 8 will be up tomorrow with more delicious salads from the guesthouse and also a trip round Northern Cyprus visiting all the holy places including a yummy tomato and noodle soup!

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Categories: Backpacking, Day 5 & 6, Northern Cyprus, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 4: in Cyprus! Vegetarian Day {Travel Log – Food Diary} Rainbow Salad, Yogurt soup, Chickpea dish and simit halva!

Monday 14th January 2013 – 10.30am Sister’s Guesthouse

 

breakfast1

Woke up to a bright and sunny day with the smell of fresh food being prepared downstairs. Day 4 at the guesthouse, we were beginning to get into the routine of things. 10.30am breakfast, 11am clean up and tidy, 12:10pm the call to prayer was called, 1pm walk to the dergah for prayers then with all our other days after prayers taking a walk around the village and back in time for dinner and to catch a glimpse of the sheikh (teacher).

This morning breakfast comprised of the biggest salad bowl I’ve seen filled with colorful fresh veg. It had shredded white cabbage, red cabbage, beetroot (which has become my new favorite vegetable!), fresh parsley and lots of olive oil, apple vinegar and salt to finish it off.

breakfast2

                    Toasted bread with chickpeas and garbanzo beans in a yogurt & tahini mix/hummous

Breakfast wasn’t just about the wonderful salad, but this amazing dish which is another one which I will definitely be trying out! Not only was this dish tasty but such a brilliant way of using up old bread or bread that has been left out and hardened. Underneath this delicious meal, had a layer of old bread that had been toasted, with a layer of cooked chick peas and garbanzo beans covered in a mix of tahini, yogurt, lemon, garlic, seasoning and broth of the beans and chick peas (note: I will be providing a full recipe and tutorial of this meal next month!)

It was my first time trying this dish, but something I have brought home to inspire myself to create also and a very yummy vegetarian dish also!

 

Photographs of our daily walk around Lefke…

walk1

beautiful historic buildings

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palm trees!

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local fresh veg market

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something I always wanted to build, a cob oven, perfect for Lahmacun!

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and a new fascination with old doors!

6pm – Dergah (Sufi Centre) – Dinner

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Tonight’s dinner we had food served by the dergah where the sheikh lives, the food is free and welcomed by anyone to come and join the dinner service. For tonight, we had very yummy Yogurt soup for starters with again, without wasting bread, toasted bread cubes.

Yogurt soup is a mixture of well..yogurt and rice with drint mint, it is a very tasty soup – again I will be trying out my own yogurt soup! – with recipes.

salt

Did you know??

If you have a pinch of salt before and after each meal, it helps your

stomach defend itself again diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Next meal was my mother’s specialty which we have back home, runner beans in tomato sauce and Bulgar with vermicelli noodles! A very close competition with the dergah and my mother’s meal but another yummy vegetarian meal.

 

 

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After blogging about my mother’s specility, we then got served..my father’s favourite dessert! Even though being miles away from my home in the UK, I had both my parents favorite foods right in front of me reminding me of them.

This is known as Simit Halva, it’s very much like the halva you prefer with flour and butter, but done with Semolina – very yummy! And the perfect end to our meal and day.

 

 

 

Tomorrow will be Day 5 & 6 in Cyprus!! With cheesy pasta bake, butter beans salad, lamb kofte kebab and a mountain trek – perfect way to view Cyprus from high up!

Don’t forget you can also find The Wandering Cook 786 on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

(click the logo to take you straight there)

 

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Categories: Day 4, Northern Cyprus, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 3 – in Cyprus! {Travel Log – Food Diary} Pumpkin soup, Lahmacun and Orange peel jam!

Sunday 22nd January – Lefke, Northern Cyprus

breakfast1

Today’s breakfast: {Pumpkin, orange lentil & pasta soup}{ yogurt, tahini, lemon & garlic mix on a bed of cauliflower and fresh cut parsley}{ parsley & lettuce salad,with little cubes of  richTurkish pistachio halva (far left)}

Today I discovered a jam that you can make from something you would throw away! Orange peel jam! In blessed Lefke, I have learnt that they never waste, even the foods they get are the leftover’s from the market so they don’t throw them away – yet they look so tasty and fresh!

So with the plentiful of oranges surrounding nearly the whole village of Lefke, what do you do with the peel’s after eating all the mandarins and oranges? Back home we would simple throw them, or sometimes burn them for the citrus smell, but never have I thought of making jam out of the peel!

Today my task in the kitchen with helping out, was boiling a bucket load of orange peel, strain and re-boil, strain and re-boil, and continuing this process for 5 times. Until the orange peel is tender and soft.

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A big pot for all the orange peels!

How’s it done, Orange Peel Jam Recipe:

After the process of re-boiling and straining 5 times, you slice the orange peel into very small cubes – or even blend it if you preferred. And with 1 cup of orange peel, you add 1/2 cup of sugar and follow the process of making jam – she also added fresh orange juice. I don’t know the full process as I then was away from the kitchen and back to find the jam was made! But I did manage to get the 1 cup of orange peel to 1/2 cup of sugar – very crucial! With fresh orange/mandarin juice added and I must say, it was very very delicious!!

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Orange peel jam – yummy! A perfect side for breakfast.

Lefke, Cyprus – 4pm – Boylu Restaurant

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Now Lefke is a small village so you don’t expect big city-like restaurants (it’s all part of the retreat!) but we did find this little restaurant on the corner. It isn’t 5 star or anything, but makes very yummy Adana Kebab (rolled mince-meat kebab) and not too bad Lahmacun’s either!

Adana Kebab…

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In our trip, I tried 3 different Kebab’s and this was my favorite  Right amount of seasoning, enough to fill you up and nicely cooked – only for 5 Turkish Lira – £1.78 bargain!

The Lahmacun…

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Not bad for a tiny restaurant round a corner – delicious!!!

Midnight treats – Sister’s Guesthouse, Lefke

Before I finish off my Day 3 post, here is a sneaky peak of what we had at night. Halal Haribo, Turkish Delight and yummy milk chocolate.

TREATS!

Day 4 & 5 will be up tomorrow! With Bulgar (cracked wheat), yogurt soup, henna art and more!!

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Categories: *My Travel Food Diary in Cyprus!*, Backpacking, Day 3, Northern Cyprus, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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