Sultan Pasha Kabab with Spinach

I recently uploaded my mother’s recipe book to DropBox. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. It made things so much easier for me. Wherever I am, as long as I have access to DropBox, on my smartphone for example, I browse through it and look for ideas for dinner. I love how my mom categorized everything…she has two main folders; savories and desserts. And each folder has loads of other folders, like vegetable dishes, meat dishes, soups, salads….and loads more. I jump from folder to folder sometimes feeling overwhelmed and enthusiastic at the same time. I love how technology has made this easy for me.

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Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Frosting

I love strawberries…I think I’ve said this more than a few times on this blog; not sure :D

But seriously, especially when it’s strawberry season…and of course if you’re in the right place.

Let me tell you a bit about Bahrain….we don’t get strawberries here! I mean they don’t farm them here. Maybe some people may have a strawberry bush that is barely surviving, but in general, strawberries get imported. And depending from how far away they come, they are pricy!

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Strawberry ‘Heart’ Cheesecake

If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I’m not really into ‘cheesy’ cheesecakes. I like the tanginess of a cheesecake but to a limit. I feel like the heaviness of an all-cheese cheesecake prevents me from enjoying it, and therefore, I’ve been mixing and matching trying to come up with a cheesecake recipe that suits me best; in terms of taste and texture.

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Carrot Cake Cheesecake

I’m lying down day dreaming about my favourite desserts…yes I do that sometimes! :) …and I want to try something different. My thoughts go to carrot cake and cheesecake and combining them into one! What? Yes…combining them into one cake! :) After all, carrot cake is generally covered with cream cheese, so I think cheesecake and carrot cake together would go really well. As I am thinking this, I start searching online because I’m sure someone somewhere has already done it…I love what I find. And the technique seems simple enough.  The thing is, I love my cheesecake recipe and I love my carrot cake recipe; so I decide to combine my recipes rather than trying something new.

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Lemon Bars

When I was younger, I used to love eating lemons. I would peel a lemon, slice it up, sprinkle some salt on it and eat it! I can’t really do that anymore; me teeth are too sensitive to the acidity; but I still love lemons and anything citrus. I have an obsession with lemon meringue pie; lemon cupcakes; key lime pie…you name it; if it has citrus in it, I love it!

A while back, our ex-tenant had left back to his country and we were fixing up the apartment and getting it ready for the new tenant. The ex-tenant left a lot of magazines behind. As I was sifting through them, I saw a recipe book compiled by Costco. The cover page had a picture of lemon bars and I immediately had hearts coming out of my eyes (metaphorically…more like emoticonically :D).

Of course, needless to say, I got to work and made these lemon bars…and they were a hit in this household.

To show you how easy they are to make, I made a video of the making!

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Sultanahmet after Sunset!

 

My visits to Istanbul are quite limited; we take a few weeks off a year for a short vacation and we try to fit everything we want to do in those few weeks. Since we almost always go in the summer time, the days are long and the sun sets after 8…by that time, we’ve already been in the streets for a good 8 to 10 hours and we’re dead tired so we head back home…

We go to Sultanahmet square as a mission. It’s either to look for something, or buy something specific, but not site seeing. We don’t get to enjoy the beauty of the square…we just pass through it!

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Leyla and the Chocolate Factory/Museum (a trip to Pelit Chocolate Factory in Istanbul)

On a cold winter day in Istanbul, when we were scouting for a place to go with the kids, my sister-in-law, Betul, suggested we go to Pelit the chocolate factory. We called a cab and my husband and I, Betul and my nieces (Leyla and Ayla) headed towards Esenyurt where it’s located.  It’s not the huge ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’ type of place that might have come to your minds…it’s a chocolate factory that has a chocolate museum with everything chocolate! I must say, it’s a place that is very befitting Istanbul, with all it’s history and culture…

We were, as adults, extremely excited and tantalised by the addictive scent of chocolate everywhere…you can only imagine how my 6 year old niece felt!! She had a priceless smile on her face the whole day!

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Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream

A few months ago I was looking for desserts that aren’t made with refined sugar…It was when we (husband and I) had attempted to completely cut out sugar from our diet (currently taking a break from that ;)).

This is not very easy to do, especially for someone that loves baking as much as I do…so I wanted to find good substitute recipes. I don’t use sweeteners, artificial or natural, with my baking …the taste is too artificial leaving some sort of after-taste. Anyone that claims that ‘it tastes as good as the real thing’ clearly doesn’t know what the real thing tastes like…that’s my opinion. Not once have I tried something made with a sweetener and thought, yes this is a great replacement for that amazing decadent chocolate cake I make! Never once!

We should just admit and call those desserts out for what they are….low sugar desserts that don’t taste as good as the real thing but might be a fix to a sugar craving…long name but it works for me :p

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Eggplant Canoes with Meat, Peppers and Mushrooms

A long name to an amazing dish…

You know how you have a set of ingredients and you close your eyes for a second and visualise what you want to do with them…

so here’s what happened…

I had eggplants

Cubed Meat

Bell Peppers

Mushrooms

Mozzarella cheese…

and of course let’s not forget the fresh herbs!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Oh cupcakes how beautiful you are!  From the moment I set eyes on you I knew I had to have you! And finally I did!

I saw these cupcakes for the first time on September 12 2013 to be exact! How do I remember? Well after Bakerella posted them on her Instagram I tweeted about them and it took me roughly 7 months to actually make them…better late than never right?! :p

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