Yap, I’m slightly obsessed with Middle Eastern flavours these days. From Oriental Rice Porridge to Middle Eastern Pasta with Yoghurt and now Arabic Green Tabouleh Salad. As we finally have beautiful produce appearing on the markets in Istanbul again, I want to make full use of it. You might have also noticed that I did not name my recipes by country but rather regions. It’s because recipe like Tabouleh are from the Levant region and not like most people think from Israel or Lebanon. Levant more or less covers parts or the whole states of Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey. So it’s difficult to specify the exact origin of Tabouleh….
Hello Friends! Where do I start? Let’s begin with last week. After weeks of working and waiting, working and waiting, I’ve finally launched my first e-book(let) – my Moody Food Photography Guide with tips and trick on how to achieve those dark, matte and moody images.
And that’s not it. I have also teamed up with Filtergrade.com to finally offer a huuuuge (for my standards) Lightroom preset bundle that I use myself every day to edit my photos.
I’m so happy that I finally took the time to work on these two things and although it’s just a start (and we all need to start somewhere, right?), I’m a little proud of myself. You know there are always these little self doubts weather or not you are good enough to do something. And there are these envious looks at others who in your opinion have it all figured out and already do a much much better job. So why would people care about your Moody Food Photography e-guide or Matte and Moody Food Photography Lightroom presets?…
Sometimes what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all.
The past few weeks have been hectic and overwhelming at times, to say the least. When Felix suggested to join him on a trip in England after a business meeting in London I wasn’t sure if I yet wanted to hop on a plane. All I was wishing for was a calm and relaxing weekend, preferably in bed. But then again, I got second thoughts because I know myself. And I know that I can’t stand sitting at home all day long.
So we decided instead of staying in London like we usually do, we would go somewhere else in England. Somewhere calm and relaxing. Far away from all the hustle and bustle of a big city. We more or less randomly decided to go to Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. I think our decision was based on a pretty picture Felix saw on Instagram. It turned out to be the best decision in a long time….
I do have a soft spot for Oriental desserts, though not for their sweetness. However I could bathe in cinnamon, cardamon, vanilla and rose water. If you then hand me a jar of tahini, ground pistachios or findik ezmisi (Turkish hazelnut butter), I believe you can create some of the best and most flavourful desserts in the world (sorry Italy and France). Just try a spoon of this creamy rosewater rice porridge topped with spiced and sweetened apricots and you know what I’m talking about. It transports you to a different place where the sun is shining, Turkish coffee is served and you get lost in the hustle and bustle of the spice and fruit bazaars….
I just got back from a wonderful weekend spent in England. Without internet, no cell phone and no laptop. Instead we spent lots of time outside, hiked up and down the hilly and absolutely stunning Jurassic Coast, ate Scones and pub food, photographed the wind and were woken by the sound of horses. I had initially planed to work on this recipe for Smashed Roasted Potatoes during our weekend trip but luckily (in hindsight) I forgot my external hard drive with the pictures on it….
I already hear you thinking “Kati, the photos are nice but isn’t your blackberry rosemary focaccia a little overbaked (read burnt)?” And I hear you. I like my photos too. But the answer to the second part is “no”. Though when I took the focaccia out of the oven I also thought I went a little too far with my desire to add some crunch to the otherwise more velvety texture of most focaccia breads. And then I panicked for one second and the next I google “Is there such a thing as crispy crunchy focaccia”. Turns out, that’s how the original focaccia is supposed to taste like. Well, almost….
When I knew that I was going to Zürich, what did I do first? That’s right – dived into Google searches looking for the best places to eat. Luckily my hotel in Zürich was already sorted and so was my breakfast. But I still had ‘food slots’ available for late morning snacks, lunch, early afternoon snacks, late afternoon snacks and dinner. If you just spend two days in a city, there is only so much you can eat. But I tried my best and found some pretty tasty spots, from traditional Swiss cuisine to cold pressed juices and delicious coffee. Many of the food and coffee spots are recommendations from my friends Heike of @tastyasheck and Fanny of @fannythefoodie. I have also listed all their other tips further down below….
Let me get one thing straight first. I don’t feel very comfortable posting the recipe for this Tex-Mex Walnut Cauliflower Fajita Bowl. Not because it’s not delicious. It is so scrumptious you wouldn’t expect it from its look. But because I’ve never been to Mexico. And I feel I have taken this a little too far away from the original Mexican recipe. Usually I’m all for challenging a culture’s traditional cuisine but I tend to keep it somewhat real. I either look for vegan recipes or I veganize recipes that are easy to change. And I always cook recipes of countries I have been to….
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
We landed in Zurich, Switzerland on a sleepy Friday morning. The sky was grey and cloudy and the temperatures colder than we anticipated. Our taxi driver welcomed us with a friendly “Hoi zäme”. And the question if the kebab in Istanbul is better than the one in Zurich. The drive into town was short and peaceful. Coming from busy and loud Istanbul, arriving in Zurich’s Old Town feels like stepping into a world of quietness, serenity and coziness. We made our way through narrow alleys and quaint cobbled streets, lined with picturesque buildings and medieval sights. Passing by smiling elderly tourist groups, artisan shops and historic Cafes selling traditional Swiss cakes and pastries. Just when we thought the narrow lanes could’t get any smaller we arrived at our final destination, the Marktgasse Hotel….
After a beautiful and sunny long weekend in Zurich, I’m back to Istanbul. I always love coming home, not only because of my cats but because I enjoy the moments that allow me to process the past trip. I usually dive deep into work straight away, edit photos, write down thoughts, make lists of my favorite places and pursue ideas I’ve come across while wandering around. Not this time. This time I got really sick, the second I stepped foot into the taxi in Istanbul. Don’t you think it’s a funny coincidence. After we arrived in our flat, only 45 min later I felt like a truck has rolled over me. For the next three days I wasn’t capable of doing anything. The only hour I felt better, I decided to bake a vegan rhubarb almond cake. After that I went back to bed and didn’t do much for the next day or so….